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Are you selecting the h.264 bluray option in the output module?
Ideally, you would first render out of AE to a lossleslly compressed or uncompressed file.
Then, you would use Adobe Media Encoder, or some other compression option (even QT Pro) to generate the h.264 content.
You'll get better quality and better compression by doing so.
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How do we deal with H264 in HD?
It's not that cryptic at all. Most H.264 requires to comply to certain specs due to its compression scheme and that is all AE tells you. The rigidity of these restrictions is defined by the MPEG profile levels, which define sub-sets of allowed resolutions, framerates etc. they have historically evolved to reflect oncgoing developmem nt of various broadcast formats. The x.0 levels are always the ones with the least flexibility, the x.1,x.2 etc. ones reflect additions to the spec and are more versatile in defining resolutions. Depending on which output module you use, you may need to set those levels differently. It's, BTW, no different in Quicktime, it just has more liberally set defaults, so most people never notice. In any case, for YouTube you should merely need a normal H.264 or Quicktime H.264 at the respective standardized HD resolution, as that is what, according to their own help pages, is what they want for best quality and these options are all covered even in the default 3.1 profile level. So unless you areusing a totally different comp size, I don't see how this warning should come up and cause you so much headache.
I did try the H264 for BluRay option once (though I am not yet! making content files for a BluRay or DVD disk.)
The (large-ish?) file it generated was refused by YouTube, I seem to remember.
I will try the Adobe Media Encoder... Didn't even realize what it was for.
It would be nice to add a "For YouTube" option to the Render Cue - MANY people would use it.
(as mentioned, iMovie now does, and it speeds up the process SO much for simpler video cam edit operations,
where I don't need the extra features of AE)
I agree - it should not be happening, especially at standard HD (and even D1 720 x 486) sizes, but it IS.
See .PNG above, which I have gotten on several different comps.
You know A LOT about codecs!
Aside from this error, I am VERY impressed with H264 - the quality to size ratio, etc. -
it makes others obsolete for many purposes
I just want to reiterate what has already been said: DON'T use AE for your final render. As Dave LaRonde on CreativeCOW.net says, "Don't use AE to compress files for final delivery. The various compressors are there only to make quick 'n dirty files showing a project's progress to producers, clients, the kids, etc. AE is incapable of doing multipass encoding, a crucial feature that greatly improves the image quality of H.264 and MPEG-type files in particular.
Render a high-quality file from AE, and use a different application to do the compression. Popular ones are Adobe Media Encoder, Sorenson Squeeze and Apple's Compressor, which comes bundled with Final Cut Suite. Even compressing in Quicktime Pro is better than compressing in AE.
Making good-looking compressed files is almost as much an art as it is a science. It is NOT straightforward at all. I recommend asking a few questions at the COW's Compression Techniques forum."
Thanks, I got better results using Adobe media encoder.