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MPG is not a stable, professional format. Your experience shows why. Before you bring the MPG into AE, transcode it to a stable CoDec, like an Animation compressed Quicktime, for instance.
Well, it sure is a professional format, but it's for delivery, not intermediate editing. ie it's lossy and heavily compressed.
As Steve said, try first rendering your mpg movie to QT: Animation (lossless - no quality loss).
Well, right! I thought intermediate editing was what we were talking about.
Ok, well, learning a lot here! This is my first time using After Effects properlly.
To transcode, do I use a special tool or should I just put the movie on the timeline, do make movie and choose a diffrent format?
I understand exactly what you are saying about it not being professional, but I had no idea whatsoever that it was as bad as that!
Also, on my machine, the only software loaded is Adobe Production Suite, VLC Media Player, Quick Time free edition.
I am just trying to get in to doing video editing and was wondering if there are any other things I should get? (Cost is really not a issue as long as it is within reason and justified)
I do not really understand what the benefits are to having quicktime installed, but I did it as it recommended it, however should I buy the professional version or is the free one just as good? (I have no plans to actually use this as my viewer)
Owning Quicktime Pro is a great 30 dollar investment - it allows you to convert many video formats with ease. In your case, you can export your MPEG movie directly to a lossless Quicktime file.
Note that, assuming you're using the CS3 Production Premium bundle, you can open that lossless quicktime file directly in Photoshop to edit individual frames. You can also use the paint tools within AE.
William, if you care for some interesting reading, have a search of mpeg on wikipedia. It's pretty interesting how it uses many frames to derive the compression. It should help clear up why it should only be used as a delivery format.
You probably don't need QT pro. Sure there's a couple of nice reasons for it, but nothing necessary: converting video formats, H264 encoding, and the ability to play movies full screen (why Apple charges for fullscreen playback is beyond me.....)
If I use a quicktime file, will it mean that it will be exactly the same frames in the same place every time I open the file?
Also, is converting the movie from within quicktime exactly the same as using a expensive tool such as AE and re rendering in a diffrent format?
As for the paint tool.... I guess I have a lot to learn, it has been taking me ages to export each frame, work in photoshop, then import file, drag to timeline and crop to one frame, then make sure that frame goes over the main movie.... then reload project to find it all changed and need to do a load more work!... I think il pick up a book or two and learn properly!
I have no problem in buying quicktime, but is it the best format that I can do the work in?
Converting a file from QT Pro ($30) has benefits over AE ($1000) because it can encode with variable bit / multipass (search those in wiki if you don't know what they are). AE isn't designed to render like that.. The workflow would be to render a lossless file (such as QT:Animation) out of AE, and then reencode it to whatever delivery format you wish with QT PRO.
"If I use a quicktime file, will it mean that it will be exactly the same frames in the same place every time I open the file?"
Yes. If you don't need audio, you can also use a TGA sequence (which has an option for lossless compression).
Unfortunately you can't import tga sequences into PS:Extended (lame!!), only QT files. With TGA sequences, you can hit ctrl-e to open the frame in PS.
Trish/Chris Meyer books are good.
Thank you very much for the help.
I am going to get Quicktime Pro for the converting in future projects.
I have another similar question.
For the end of the project, I have tried a few diffrent options, but AE keeps giving me files > 1.5GBs that seem better than the original!
I have seen many programs available that seem to convert anything to anything (e.g. xillisoft stuff), I was wondering if these are good and if people would recommend them?
Lastly, I currently use VLC for my own media playback of DivX files, I do not really understand the codec side that much, but I have been told that if I installed the real DivX codec I would be able to render straight to this format from AE, is this true?
I have not really used DivX since they started doing the bundling, however I was wondering if it is worth me buying the pro version?