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The first think I suspect is that your source footage is a highly compressed mpeg (GOP) stream that's not properly interpreted. AVCHD is especially susceptible to these kinds of problems. Make sure you know what the source is, whether or not it is interlaced, and, if all else fails, transcode the original footage to a production format. Anything will do as long as it's not a GOP compression scheme.
The second thing that's probably going on is that you're rendering to a GOP codec (h264) directly from the AE Render Cue. This is a bad idea and only magnifies the problems you run into with MPEG compressed (or other GOP format) original.
The source footage is H.264.
The Interpret Footage window makes this interpretation about the footage:
Use frame rate: (29.970 fps)
Separate Fields: Lower Field First
Remove Pulldown: Off
Pixel Aspect Ratio: D1/DV NTSC Widescreen (1.2)
My client has access to the source footage and can resend me the footage in a format I specify. What format do you recommend?
I'm rendering from AE as Quicktime.
By the way -- I'm somewhat new to AE.
Thanks for your help.
Did they compress the footage to h264? If so that could be the source of your problems.
The footage is DV standard, which is 25Mb/sec. I'd have them send you DV footage if they can. OTT, ProRez 422 or something similar. Even AppleIntermediate if they are on a mac. If they are on a PC and you can deal with the file size have them send PhotoJpg at 90 or 90% quality.