When you have ever produced a custom animated video of any kind, you’ll know the dimensions of the feeling of satisfaction you get from lastly completing a great-looking film. And most likely, you’ll also know the feeling of intimidation, frustration and/or seething rage when first confronted with the huge choice of video render settings.
I actually hear you: ‘All I need is to get my video from the editing program looking as effective as it does inside the program so just why do I need to know if it’s loss or lossless and exactly what is a H. 264 and why can’t I click a button and it just goes.
They would H.264
Probably the most popular video compression codecs at this point in time is H. 264, a loss codec which exports to an. mp4 or. port file container. Where They would. 264 shines are their ability to significantly reduce down the final file size of video files with comparatively minimal quality loss. Due to this, H. 264 has become a go-to format for final exports and file sharing.
Settings with this file type include an arm bit-rate which (depending on the visual complexity of your video) will determine fine quality and foreign trade times. While generally offering a solid compromise between record size and visual quality, the loss nature of H. 264 isn’t suitable for exporting working files between programs.
- 264’s loss compression also is likely to cause a ‘banding’ effect on gradients and soft illumination effects if the bit-rate and BPC (bits per channel) settings aren’t high enough. Furthermore, along with and lighting of cell-shaded SECOND animation will respond differently to H. 264’s data compression than live-action video, so it’s important to play around with the export settings to find what works best for your end result needs.
The particular first thing one might think after seeing the animation codec in the QuickTime export settings checklist is ‘Ah! Surely this is actually the perfect setting for computer animation and nothing else! ‘ Now, endure their Assumptions McGee. When you have worked with digital video before you will know by now that things are rarely that straightforward.
Using the computer animation codec for sharing/playback of your finished product is a totally different tale. Due to the lossless compression, file sizes for this format are always monstrously huge (in the realm of several gigabytes for even a two-minute video file). Additionally, general playback is prone to being slow and jittery and uploading to video clip sharing sites in this format is extremely inefficient. For these reasons, the animation codec is not intended for movie sharing but for allowing the transfer of video clip content during the production pipeline.
ProRes is a loss format which currently comes in 6 different flavors, all of which support the current major frame sizes including SD, HD, 2K and 4K. What separates all the ProRes variations is bit-rate, ranging from ProRes 4444 (minimal compression, greater file size) to ProRes 422 Proxy (heavy data compression, smaller file size).
Within phrases of both file size and visual wreckage, ProRes sits somewhere in the middle between lossless compression and highly pressurized loss files. File measurements will generally be much smaller than uncompressed or lossless codecs, but with a visual quality much closer to lossless than highly compressed formats like H. 264. Similarly, to the Animation codec, ProRes is best used for intermediate compression of working files rather than the end-product viewing.
Image sequences come in a number of different file formats (jpeg, png, targa, tiff), and can be loss or lossless based on the export settings. Because the name would suggest, this compression method exports your animation as several image files rather than a single video file.
Primary, it’s much safer to export large lossless files as image sequences than as single videos (such with the animation codec). Why? Because large, high-quality video files take a while to render. Short films routinely take hours or days, while movie-length files can take months to render across multiple computers. In case you are exporting to a single video document and an error or even something as simple as a power outage interrupts the rendering process, you’re left to re-render the whole video file all over again. But face an error in the middle of rendering a picture sequence? No worries. Due to the fact each frame is a separate image file you can simply re-render those few corrupted frames, or onward from the point of interruption.
‘Ah! ‘ I hear you say again, ‘Surely there are numerous more file types and codecs to discuss which may be suited to compressing my video. ‘ Indeed there are, Captain McObvious. There are a range of other compression setting formats, some that provide similar functions to those in the above list, others which operate for a specific pixel percentage (such as DV Cam) or purpose (such as MPEG-2, commonly known as the ‘DVD format’). The best way to learn about the effects of each is to have a play around with the settings and do some test renders, examining the visual distinctions of each one.