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Old February 25th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #1
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AE just degrades my picture quality?

Fairly new to AE CS3..shot some footage on an XL2 at 24p..was hoping to add just a basic gradient in After Effects, however the picture quality is completely degraded on the Final product. I initially edit in FCP then export (h264) to AE for my effects...Please help!

Is this normal to lose picture quality once exporting from Final Cut into After Effects?
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Old February 27th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #2
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Hi Jay. I don't use FCP however I always export/import/export using uncompressed .avi and don't have any problems - apart from large file sizes of course.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #3
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Do you capture directly to After effects?
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Old February 28th, 2010, 11:27 PM   #4
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For FCP users that's .mov instead of .avi, ;-) In general, however, h.264 is a compressed format for final delivery where file sizes need to be kept smaller. When using files WITHIN the post process, always use uncompressed or the least compressed, highest quality footage options you can. Use compressed options only AFTER the final render.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 03:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Day View Post
Fairly new to AE CS3..shot some footage on an XL2 at 24p..was hoping to add just a basic gradient in After Effects, however the picture quality is completely degraded on the Final product. I initially edit in FCP then export (h264) to AE for my effects...Please help!

Is this normal to lose picture quality once exporting from Final Cut into After Effects?
If you need to get a clip from Final Cut Pro to AE:
Export>Quicktime(not conversion) and choose "self contained" (otherwise the quicktime will reference your capture scratch, and if you were to move any media it could stop working). Don't check "recompress" and you'll get a full quality video. Only use "quicktime conversion" if you are encoding your video for the internet or something.

It is normal for gradients to look bad on video though. The tones come through in steps sometimes rather than a smooth gradation.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 03:54 AM   #6
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Jay...

As others have said, don't export to H.264. In fact, don't ever do that. H.264 is strictly a delivery format and has no place in production unless you're doing news across the internet.

Get Automatic Duck. It'll make a copy of your FCP project that can then be opened in AE, using the original media. No format conversions.

An AE render should look absolutely stunning. If there are problems, then something is wrong.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #7
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I hope the problem has already been solved, but I'd like to point out one should always check the output quality. On the bottom of the composition window you can set quality settings: full, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 resolution. This is mainly a tool to get faster previews if the project is a bit 'heavy' on the processor.
But if you render with 'current settings' while the compostion setting is set at 1/2 resolution, you will get degrade stuff.
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