View Full Version : Best way to compile rendered frames to movie?

10-07-2006, 01:59 PM
- have about 1300 high quality rendered frames i want to compile as an animation. whats the best and cheapest way to compile them as a high quality animation that I can actually play? I tried using adobe pro premier and exporting as a movie in both quicktime and avi format but the file are between 1 and 3 gig and i cant even play them. Should i go on an adobe forum or do you guys know another way?
- Thanks

Apologize if someone has asked this before - I searched and couldnt find anything.

10-07-2006, 02:32 PM
I guess you used uncompressed/animation options to maintain high quality. Playback will be choppy because disks won't be able to handle the high data rates.

If you want to cut down file sizes, you'll have to compress, and the trick is in choosing the right codec. Some of the modern codecs like MPEG4 and especially H.264 give great quality at a fraction of the file size. There are also nonlossy compression codecs like HuffYUV that give 50% compression, but playback tends be choppy because decompression is CPU intensive.

10-07-2006, 02:32 PM
I usually use DFX+5 Fusion, but other programs work fine, for compositing a bunch of rendered frames, the important choice you need to make is in the Export settings to compress the output. There are a number of "codec" choices, each with their own set of options, from high quality to low. For Quicktime, a particularly good compression codec is designated as H.264. Again, there are options for quality, always trading off quality of image for size of file. Play with the settings and see what happens.

10-08-2006, 12:37 PM
I tried a couple other codecs after i posted and experimented with quality options and ended up with some animations that were about 200k, but they still barely played, perhaps i dont have the right codec installed on my computer? -

thanks for the tips!!
I'm going to try the h.264 codec today - makes me wonder, how do companies make movies on dvd's that play at full speed;their image quality is great! Special software or something?

10-08-2006, 01:09 PM
How big is your frame? Try reducing the frame size and see if that helps. Also, your computer may be struggling either with disk access or CPU speed (or both). Are you able to play similar videos from other sources OK?

DVD uses MPEG2 compression. But both MPEG4 and H.264 produce much better quality for the same file size, so your quality has to be better. Also, as you know, the DVD resolution is just 720x480 (for NTSC).

10-08-2006, 03:29 PM
resolution is 720 x 480 - i tried the h.234 codec and its still playing very slow- after reading more into the manual - it said that exporting to quicktime is done with the adobe media encoder ( i was just selecting file,export,movie)- i dont have this option (adobe media encoder) under file, export - is this because i am using the trial version?
im just rendering these animations for my demo reel - buying the software didnt seem necessary for that you know?

10-08-2006, 05:12 PM
whats the best and cheapest way to compile them as a high quality animation that I can actually play?
Play *where*? - is the operative question. On your computer, or the web, or dvd? For dvds you need dvd authoring software, and they use the mpg2 codec. For the web you have a few choices, h264 is great quality for the filesize, but some computers won't be able to play it - Sorenson3 would be a better choice for the widest compatibility on the web. If things aren't playing well on your computer at 720x480, I'd guess that your machine is pretty old. You may have to reduce the frame size by a third or half.

Professionals use high-end encoding software with lots of options, hardware encoders, and lots of tricks to get small filesizes at high quality. I use Quicktime Pro at home to make all my videos and with practice I get about 90% of the way there.

If you don't have any encoders of your own ( Quicktime Pro is only $30.00 ) you can always put your image sequence in the background in LW and render to a video file.

10-08-2006, 07:02 PM
thnx toby - that clears things up a bit , I was thinking of getting quicktime pro also, since my computer is actually pretty new, I think that its the codecs/my movie exporting that is the problem - also i have no encoder and i guess that could cause problems with creating movies also?

10-08-2006, 08:19 PM
Any new-ish computer should be able to play an H264 video smoothly if you have the codec. Without the codec, it wouldn't play at all, you'd get an error message, and you wouldn't be able to export to that format. I don't know PCs too well but maybe if you tell us about your system, and it in what way the movies play badly, we can figure out the problem

10-11-2006, 12:31 AM
i bought quicktime pro, and made an image sequence in there- it worked beautifully and the movie played at full speed. somehow the animation wasn't being created properly in adobe premier is my guess - i suppose i can stick with quicktime for now - that did the job!