We need a lot more details, such as which version of After Effects, what operating system, what kind of footage...
Thanks for the quick reply.
avi footage from a flip cam
I should also mention that the black frames show up in the AE comp - the one of the transparent png sequence over the avi footage - as well, not merely the exported movie.
Let me know if you need anything else.
> AE CS4
9.0.0? 9.0.2? I strongly recommend updating to After Effects CS4 (9.0.2).
10.5.8? 10.6.0? 10.6.2?
> avi footage from a flip cam
AVI is just a name for a container. What is the video codec used to encode the video?
How would I find the codec for the avi footage? Would that information be on the flipcam manufacturer's website?
> How would I find the codec for the avi footage? Would that information be on the flipcam manufacturer's website?
You can select the footage item in the Project panel in After Effects, and the codec information will appear at the top of the Project panel, along with other information about the footage item.
The ability of After Effects to import and use files depends on what codecs you have installed.
Here's a link to a document that explains the issue:
(The document was written for Premiere Pro, but the idea is the same.)
The project panel marks it as a Quicktime Movie. I should have the codecs installed for that...
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That simply means that Quicktime is supplying the codec routines used to decode the AVI. In this example, I've added an AVI file that is encoded with the XVID codec. Notice where it says XVID in the upper block of text. That's where the video codec of your file will be displayed.
It's my guess that After Effects can't cope with whatever intra-frame format your camera is using. You should convert the file to an intermediate format (like Quicktime Animation) before using it in AE. Your camera probably came with a conversion tool.
Seeing that the video is Xvid-encoded, I have to agree with Andrew: Convert the video to something else. Xvid is not a supported format for import into After Effects. Here's a Community Help search that brings up several threadsthat say essentially the same thing.
> avi footage from a flip cam<
Flip's .avi is non-compliant with just about every NLE, especially—unfortunately, possibly fortunately—Macintosh systems like Final Cut. Converting Flip video to a conventional codec is standard procedure for many reasons. It gives you a solid backup and it enables all QT applications to use the video seamlessly.
There is a huge user community for these cameras but 99% of them are on Windows.