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Underdog
09-26-2014, 10:44 AM
After years (!) I finally got the radiosty and cache techniques down to a confident routine, but now - looking to make a full feature animated movie - I have trouble in post production. When rendering the targa (*.tga) sequence in Adobe Premiere, I am slightly lost as to what is the best workflow and settings. One reason being that many of my Premiere-renders will stutter (!) in VLC-player and Quicktime, whereas they play like hot butter in Windows Media Player.

In your opinion, what is the best documented workflow for *.tga-sequences in Adobe Premiere in terms of encoding and bitrate settings? (That IS the question)

It should be noted that my system play back movie files without a hitch, and that stutter usually occur when playing back my own renders.

So: Best documented workflow for rendering *.tga sequences? Even a simple link would make me happy as a button!

Anyone?

jeric_synergy
09-26-2014, 11:45 AM
TGA sequences are going to have a lot of superfluous overhead. I think what you are looking for is a good CODEC. I'd start by examining those codecs used by your successfully playing MOVs currently.

Of course, if you are going to be using ALPHA CHANNELS to composite your stuff, you'll want to keep them in a 32-bit compliant format. Of this, I know nothing.

Underdog
09-26-2014, 12:04 PM
Thanks for your quick reply. Are you suggesting that Windows Media Player is using better codecs than VLC and Quicktime?

jeric_synergy
09-26-2014, 02:43 PM
I misread your OP: a codec is both intrinsic to a MOVIE file (it's how the file is encoded) and part of the OS install-- usually, I'd expect any playback utility to use the system-wide codec install. However, just because >>I<< expect that certainly doesn't make it true.

That is, I expect (ha!) that all your playback utilities utilize the same decoding code for any given codec.

If WMPlayer is intrinsically more efficient than your other utilities, well, good on M$oft.

Hmmm, I keep rereading your post and am still confused: are you talking about playing back a TGA sequence VERSUS a movie? A movie is encoded & compressed, via a codec, and is a lot more compact (almost always) than a bunch of stills-- that's the advantage of encoding. Individual stills can't take advantage of the various tricks a codec does, and therefore require a lot higher bandwidth. That's why codecs were developed.

Anyway, one must compare apples to apples: is WMP markedly smoother playing MOVIES than VLC playing MOVIES?

Danner
09-26-2014, 05:24 PM
For nearly 2 decades my process has been to do some post on the image sequences and export them into uncompressed .avi files,
then edit them.

jeric_synergy
09-26-2014, 05:55 PM
If one's machine will process them fast enough, uncompressed is best. QT 'Animation' codec at 100% is uncompressed, I'm told.

I know of no codec that supports alpha channels though. It certainly could exist.

m.d.
09-26-2014, 07:19 PM
there are a few caveats with a .mov format...

Anything being decoded by quicktime process is 32bit only in windows. Within adobe products, they have their own custom .mov processing which is 64 bit....but outside of adobe....a lot of apps fall back to the quicktime decoding of mov files, which brings you back to a 32bit world

also the animation codec, while lossless is only 8 bit color space, so not really a good choice for any modern high bit depth work

cineform is probably the best choice in avi or .mov world....alpha channel support and at least 12bit color space support, very fast decoding.....I was doing 4k with it all the way back in 2007 (when it was still hard workflow wise) Super efficient wavelet compression makes it light on hard drives

Prores is a good alternative in the mac world....12 bit depth and alpha...contrary to popular belief you can write to it in a windows environment as well using Miraizon or others....http://www.miraizon.com/products/codecsoverview.html

DNXHD is also a good free codec choice which supports 10 bit color and alphas as well

While none of these are mathematically lossless....they all are visually lossless at the right settings....good enough for dozens of hollywood movies

However coming out of lightwave, I would always go to an image format first for the simple reason that if the renderer crashes, you can pick up where you left off.....if you have a crash while rendering to a video format.....you loose everything. Then simply import it and convert it to a codec of your choice after.

toeknee
09-26-2014, 08:42 PM
Hey Underdog, I have not used TGA files for quite sometime now. I render to PNG sequences. I also would never use video files to render you animations. This is because most of the common ones used are lower quality that the images sequences and if you crash during render time you loose everything.
If you are actually paying for your video editing and composting you might want to look at the CC bundle from Adobe. Its pretty powerful and the tools and workflow seem to be growing faster than anyone else right now. They also just came out with a version that has After Effects, Premere and Photoshop for $29.99 per month. IF you just want to do basic editing and compositing I would look at Blender and or Composite by Autodesk because they are both free. The Composite only works with images sequences. Well Good luck. A good comp can totally change the quality of you final production.

Underdog
09-26-2014, 11:35 PM
I am very grateful for all your replies, but quite frankly I am still scratching my head.

I guess what I am looking for is a guide on rendering movie files for animation, equivalent to Except.nl's superb guide on radiosity (http://www.except.nl/lightwave/RadiosityGuide96/index.htm).

A comprehensive guide that can be trusted. No less.

Underdog
09-27-2014, 12:41 AM
For nearly 2 decades my process has been to do some post on the image sequences and export them into uncompressed .avi files,
then edit them.

Thank you very much: This seems about right - will try it.

djwaterman
09-27-2014, 03:01 AM
Just to put you on the right track, I want to add to what has already been mentioned. If you are going to attempt to do a feature animation then you will have to invest in some kind of compositing option and you'll render all your animation passes out as image sequences and not any kind of movie file. Only later down the production chain when shots have been comped and graded will you convert them to movie files of some sort for editing.

There is this open source compositor that closely mirrors Nuke in operation, http://natron.inria.fr/ can't vouch for it, haven't used it, Blender has a compositor as well, and Chris Jones mentioned he used Davinci Resolve Lite (free) for compositing although I understand it to be just for color grading.

Underdog
09-27-2014, 03:16 AM
Just to put you on the right track, I want to add to what has already been mentioned. If you are going to attempt to do a feature animation then you will have to invest in some kind of compositing option and you'll render all your animation passes out as image sequences and not any kind of movie file. Only later down the production chain when shots have been comped and graded will you convert them to movie files of some sort for editing.

There is this open source compositor that closely mirrors Nuke in operation, http://natron.inria.fr/ can't vouch for it, haven't used it, Blender has a compositor as well, and Chris Jones mentioned he used Davinci Resolve Lite (free) for compositing although I understand it to be just for color grading.

Thank you once again for your feedback. For a true professional workflow, it appears I have a lot left to learn. Very hard to find good guides on this topic, but I appreciate the comments!