View Full Version : Lightwave and H.264

10-10-2007, 09:24 AM
hi,when i try to render a scene with H264 compression,it tells me after first frame "cannot compress frame" or stuff like this.
any idea?

10-10-2007, 10:01 AM
Codec issue?

10-10-2007, 10:12 AM
don't think so, combustion has no problem with this codec,neither does quicktime :s

10-10-2007, 10:16 AM
Hmmm.. not sure then. I haven't gotten much of a chance to play with h.264
I haven't found a decent codec.

10-10-2007, 03:50 PM
You shouldn't render to a quicktime anyway, if it fails or crashes or there's a power failure you'll have to start the render all over again, ideally you should be rendering to frames. But if you have to render to a Qt, then you shouldn't render to a compressed format, use the Animation codec; then you can export the finish video from a proper video exporter. And then you'll always have the master copy at full quality.

10-10-2007, 03:52 PM
I haven't found a decent codec.
It depends on your needs, what are you looking for?

10-10-2007, 09:18 PM
I had NO luck trying to encode H.264 from LW.
The best way I found is to render a sequence & import it into Quicktime(Pro),
THEN compress it.

Captain Obvious
10-11-2007, 03:10 AM
Render to stills and assemble in QTPro? Rendering directly to an animation is possibly the worst thing you can do.

10-11-2007, 08:45 AM
^very very true... The best thing is that once you have your uncompressed files you can try as many different compression settings on the animation as you want - until you're happy. You can also do one compression for the web, and one for DVD, etc...

10-11-2007, 09:44 AM
It depends on your needs, what are you looking for?
I was mostly looking to play with it. Ideally I wanted a free codec I could use to render out some stuff in AE to check quality and filesizes.

10-11-2007, 10:39 PM
On the Mac side anyway, Animation is the defacto standard for lossless compression, but PNG makes smaller files, at the expense of playback and encoding speed. JPG2000 is a lower quality option, 99% lossless, a lot smaller than the other two, but poor playback and slow encoding.

For final viewing output I still tend to use Sorenson3. 3ivx, at max quality is lower quality, and I can't get the same quality/size ratio with the new codecs like mp4 or H264. Guess the pro's know something I don't -

10-12-2007, 02:51 PM
Also, h.263 is a delivery codec, not really for creating or manipulating software. It uses multiple passes on the file to compress and then re-compress... that might be why it can't do it frame by frame...?

I'd recommend the still frames (png or tga) or the animation codec.

10-12-2007, 04:02 PM
I render out my quicktime files from LightWave with the animation codec as well. I composite/assemble it in either Final Cut or AE, and it all works fine.

10-12-2007, 11:28 PM
This topic has come up many times over the years, so I made a webpage for good reasons to render frames and not Quicktimes - I don't have a website anymore so here it is:

1. Crashes or power outages can ruin a quicktime or avi file, forcing you to start the render from the beginning again.

2. When rendering to frames, you can stop and restart the render whenever you feel like it.

3. If one or a series of your frames renders wrong, you can go back and re-render just those frames without having to do any editing.

4. Each frame is numbered for you automatically.

5. You can import an image sequence at any frame rate you want.

6. You can inspect frames or part of your animation before it's completely rendered.

7. You can save 10 or 16 bit-per-channel images. ( Now with exr's, 32 bit-per-channel.)

And some links to previous discussions:

10-14-2007, 12:41 PM
You can also import an image sequence into After Effects, or any other composting program and NLE.
I always render to PNGs.

10-15-2007, 02:08 AM
i obviously render to mov only for preview (as the viper doesn't use multicore,or higher resolution than 640/480),i make my previews with the renderer.and for those previews i render quicktime,
for the final render,i use TGA and combustion to composite layers.

12-20-2007, 07:10 AM
To possibly answer the original question - make sure keyframing is not set when selecting the h.264 codec - as this being set caused they same error message, and failure to produce a working movie file.
Though, obviously, the more flexible approach of rendering stills is best for projects.

12-20-2007, 10:45 AM
I've never had good experiences rendering to h.264 from After Effects either. I don't think it likes being rendered frame by frame, and I don't think the results are as good as you'd get by doing a multipass VBR encode from a lossless render - if you're rendering out frame by frame it can only do a one pass encode. If you don't want to render image sequences for some reason, then you're best off rendering to animation or png codec at lossless and converting using mpeg streamclip (http://www.squared5.com/) or quicktime pro.

H.264 is great for web delivery, but it's not one to use in production.

12-20-2007, 11:31 AM
you guys realize that quicktime pro can make quicktimes out of frames right? there is really no reason to render to a movie clip. infact i think the option should as well be taken out. maybe leave one uncompressed quicktime option just for completeness sake but overall its not a good idea to begin with. no pros ever do this and I personally would point and laugh at anyone who does. (and tries to pass himself off as a pro)

12-20-2007, 11:44 AM
You're quite right, Stooch, but there are a few times when it would have just been a waste of time for me to render out TGAs. For example I did a project a while back that was a short web intro banner for a scientific research company; it was literally 130 x 450 pixels and by exporting it direct to .mov I was able to import it into Flash with no hassle.

I mean, sure, it's not the best way, but that doesn't automatically make it laughable if anyone chooses to do that. Lots of times when working with an HD-res project I'll render out a 320x240 or 640x480 .mov just so I can make sure that there's nothing I'm missing before I hit render for the big ones.