3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 8, 2011 11:28 PM by Mylenium

    Export for reuse in AE as a motion asset

    MichaelScarn

      More specifically, as an end result I am looking to have "motion assets" that can be used in AE projects to add detail and texture. I guess an example would be similar to the numerous "design elements" that Andrew Kramer and his team create on VideoCopilot (e.g. the 'Evolution' or 'Riot Gear' products). Moving graphics that add a bit of "pizzaz" to the video project. They seem to be pure white or greyscale motion graphics with a transparent background, ready to be thrown on top of another layer. I am simply looking to create some similar assests of my own to use with my own projects.

       

      So I guess the question I have is, "What ouput format should I be using to git'r done?" I've heard the term PNG codec be thrown around before. I work on PC so what ever would be easier on a Windows 7 platform, would be ideal (I'm guessing). 60fps would give me more flexibility in use, as I don't always work with standard video or any video to begin with for that matter (lots of "from scratch" projects). I'd also want to be able to view it in realtime through VLC so I have a good idea of what I'm dealing with. Other PNG codec files I've played would only play for a few seconds and then stop (this is on an i7 950/24GB RAM workstation I built and didn't expect that really).

       

      I'm just struggling with a proper format/codec to use before I start creating a library for myself, only to have to redo many of them. I don't think I would need much more than a 1024x1024 resolution, but I have plenty of HDD space for them and am not afraid to use proxies during the project.

        • 1. Re: Export for reuse in AE as a motion asset
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          It's certainly handy to have your own stock of animated graphics elements.  But here are a few things to consider:

           

          MichaelScarn wrote:

          I've heard the term PNG codec be thrown around before. I work on PC so what ever would be easier on a Windows 7 platform, would be ideal (I'm guessing).

           

          I too work on Win 7 at home, and I wouldn't consider using anything other than the PNG codec to make movies that are universally-accepted and alpha channeled.  Quicktime 7 Pro is the best 35 bucks you'll spend for many a moon, in my opinion.  You'd have to put a gun to my head to get me to make Windows-centric media, that stuff just isn't good.

           

          MichaelScarn wrote:

          60fps would give me more flexibility in use, as I don't always work with standard video or any video to begin with for that matter (lots of "from scratch" projects).

           

          Yup.  But consider working at 59.94 instead of 60.  It is a very adaptable frame rate.  Almost EVERY HD camera can shoot at least at 59.94i, and some will  shoot 720p 59.94.  Those that actually do shoot 60 fps carry price tags comparable to those on brand-new Corvettes.

           

          MichaelScarn wrote:

          I'd also want to be able to view it in realtime through VLC so I have a good idea of what I'm dealing with. Other PNG codec files I've played would only play for a few seconds and then stop (this is on an i7 950/24GB RAM workstation I built and didn't expect that really).

           

          So use Adobe Media Encoder to make thumbnails in the compression of your choice.  PNG is lossless, with a great, big, huge bit rate, and you DO NOT want to compromise that; if you do, you compromise image quality.  Your hard drive just can't keep up with the PNG bit rate, that's all.  Heck, my hard drive would choke on HD PNG-codec files, too.  But if you make a half-size thumbnail in H.264, life gets better again.

           

          MichaelScarn wrote:

          I don't think I would need much more than a 1024x1024 resolution...

           

          Basically square, right?  I don't know if that's a great idea.  If you have absolutely no intentions of moving graphic elements into the picture from off-screen in these animations you propose, I suppose it's fine.  But I'd want to future-proof this stuff if it were mine, and that means 1920x1080, the highest resolution for HD.  1024 sounds suspiciously like one of those Windows VGA monitor deals; fine if you live only in Windows-VGA-Land, but I'd like to give myself a little more flexibility than that.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Export for reuse in AE as a motion asset
            MichaelScarn Level 1

            "Animated Graphic Element" sounds like the proper term I was looking for to describe these assets.

             

            So I am curious, what file size do your renders turn out when working with MOV contained PNG Codec files (say about 10 seconds)? For instance, I have a test file that is approximately 35MB in size, 10 seconds long, about 1100x1400 resolution, 60fps, and with a bitrate of about 30,000kbps. It's coming off of a dedicated read drive (Samsung 1TB F3) so should be more than capable of handling the file size. Either way, I think a thumbnail library of such clips is a great suggestion.

             

            59.94 sounds like a done deal. I was looking at getting a nicer camcorder outside of my DSLR in the future, so 59.94 sounds more practical then.

             

            As for output resolution, 1920x1080 would make most sense for a universal resolution. I guess I imagine most graphics that I implement in a project will be made for that specific project. If being used in the unforeseeable future, would require rerendering or scaling, depending on the necessary quality of the element for that particular scenario. I think its uncessary to force myself to use a fixed resolution for all the custom elements. Would it make sense to keep the original project file and rerender or simply make em big and scale down as needed? I do the same thing with textures I've created; make it a 4000x4000 res file. If there is a specific area that would work best from that texture, I can afford to use only that portion and avoid pixelation.

            • 3. Re: Export for reuse in AE as a motion asset
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              So I am curious, what file size do your renders turn out when working with MOV contained PNG Codec files (say about 10 seconds)?

               

              No one can predict exact file sizes with adaptive compression schemes such as used in Animation or PNG. Depends too much on how many colors are actually contained in there and how much area is covered. I've had 2 minute greyscale animations under 20MB using the Animation CoDec, but on other days 10 seconds can make 700MB. You should not think in such absolute terms. A few things to consider:

               

              • Consider other compressed formats such as TIFF, PNG, JPEG, PSD and EXR image sequences.
              • Only render what is needed, meaning always crop tight, even if the res is not standard.
              • Decide, which effects render fast enough to always be applied/ used on the spot. Doesn't make much sense to pre-render drop shadowes and such.
              • Consider, how the context of the element may affect its appearance, e.g. by transparencies, belnding modes, or otehr elements in front. Many times you will find that your beautiful stock element just doesn't work and re-creating it from scratch wil ltake less time than masking out an existing piece.
              • Use CC Kaleida and Motion Tile to only render a "tile", then repeat it. This serves well for any symmetrical stuff.
              • Think, how you can colorize greyscale elements using Colorama, Tritone and other effects. As pointed out, greyscale templates can be ridiculously small in file size.

               

              Mylenium