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Thread: Animation Codec with Alpha

  1. #1
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    Animation Codec with Alpha

    Hi guys, I'm wondering, at this point, what's the best option for exporting graphics from After Effects with alpha channel for Tricaster.

    I have found the best codec to be Animation, but when I render a graphic that has alpha and import it into Tricaster, the text or other fine details get very degraded. Without alpha, the Tricaster transcodes Animation codec clips very nicely. So I've resorted exporting without alpha, then cropping the DSK in Tricaster. This alternate method comes with limitations, as opposed to utilizing an alpha channel.

  2. #2
    See if these steps work better for you.

    Importing media files into TriCaster.pdf
    Kane Peterson
    Solutions Architect
    NewTek, Inc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kanep View Post
    See if these steps work better for you.

    Importing media files into TriCaster.pdf

    Thanks, but this document seems outdated, as my understanding is that all Adobe software no longer supports the SpeedHQ codec. I think the next best codec is Animation, but I lose quality with Animation only when there's an alpha channel as described above.

  4. #4
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quicktimes prepared using the Animation codec are really only very lightly compressed. If these are imported and converted, there's probably going to be a little lossiness involved. Actually, you can play them without conversion, but again, the files are massive, and you might run into stuttering depending on other resource demands.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jasono View Post
    Thanks, but this document seems outdated, as my understanding is that all Adobe software no longer supports the SpeedHQ codec. I think the next best codec is Animation, but I lose quality with Animation only when there's an alpha channel as described above.
    The document shows using SpeedHQ when working with AVI files, which is supported on Windows. On Mac, the document shows using the Animation codec with QuickTime files.
    Kane Peterson
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    NewTek, Inc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kanep View Post
    The document shows using SpeedHQ when working with AVI files, which is supported on Windows. On Mac, the document shows using the Animation codec with QuickTime files.
    Thanks Kane,

    But what I'm referring to is the fact that Adobe no longer lets us use add on codecs like SpeedHQ for exporting.

    Again, If I don't have an alpha, the clips do look great in the Tricaster, but when I do have an alpha they are degraded after Tricaster transcodes (both using the Animation codec).

  7. #7
    Can you send me a sample of what you are seeing? [email protected]

    I just tried a test where I rendered out an alpha clip using SpeedHQ/AVI and Animation/QuickTime from After Effects on Windows and brought both into TriCaster. They both look the exact same to me and I'm not seeing anything I would called degraded, but perhaps I'm not testing in the right way.
    Kane Peterson
    Solutions Architect
    NewTek, Inc.

  8. #8
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Is it possible the degradation your describing with alpha is just a premultiply error that shows up on transcoding?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kanep View Post
    Can you send me a sample of what you are seeing? [email protected]

    I just tried a test where I rendered out an alpha clip using SpeedHQ/AVI and Animation/QuickTime from After Effects on Windows and brought both into TriCaster. They both look the exact same to me and I'm not seeing anything I would called degraded, but perhaps I'm not testing in the right way.
    Thanks, yes I will send a clip.

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    FYI for anyone seeing this issue, we were able to track down the problem to the AE 2 build I was on. I'm told upgrading to AE 3 will eliminate this playback issue.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jasono View Post
    FYI for anyone seeing this issue, we were able to track down the problem to the AE 2 build I was on. I'm told upgrading to AE 3 will eliminate this playback issue.
    It appeared to be the specific AE2 build you are running. Upgrading to the current AE2 build or AE3 will resolve it.
    Kane Peterson
    Solutions Architect
    NewTek, Inc.

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    Hey guys, FYI just found something interesting about this problem. When I import my clip (Animation codec 29.97P) into a 60i session, the degrading does NOT happen after Tricaster transcodes it. But it does happen in a 30p session.

    ...Hopefully I can get off of this AE 2 build soon, but for now wanted to pass that info on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasono View Post
    Hi guys, I'm wondering, at this point, what's the best option for exporting graphics from After Effects with alpha channel for Tricaster.

    I have found the best codec to be Animation, but when I render a graphic that has alpha and import it into Tricaster, the text or other fine details get very degraded. Without alpha, the Tricaster transcodes Animation codec clips very nicely. So I've resorted exporting without alpha, then cropping the DSK in Tricaster. This alternate method comes with limitations, as opposed to utilizing an alpha channel.
    Have you tried ProRes 4444?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by dhodlick View Post
    Have you tried ProRes 4444?
    The issue isn't a source file problem, but occurring on playback. Once the TriCaster is updated from the version they are running, file that have already been imported will playback correctly.
    Kane Peterson
    Solutions Architect
    NewTek, Inc.

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