Animation Codex render in 16bit?

New Here ,
Apr 08, 2022 Apr 08, 2022

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HI,

How come I cannot output a file using the animation codex to 16 bit?  the project settings are set to 16 bit, the render settings are set to 16 bit, but I still get an 8 bit file. Granted it's a large file, about 4 times as large as the same file rendered in 16bit Prores HQ.  I know the animation codex is a totally lossless compression, an 8 bit Animation codex file better than a 16bit Prores HQ file?  I am working with some VFX.

 

Thanks!

Michael

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2022 Apr 08, 2022

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These functions are simply not avialable ever since Apple pretty much abandoned Quicktime. Even way back then the 16 bit implementation never really worked right and only existed for a short experimental period. If you want 16 bit output, you have to settle on contemporary CoDecs or image sequences.

 

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Apr 08, 2022 Apr 08, 2022

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I don't understand. You can render from all the other codex's to 16 bit.  so if I cant render to 16bit using the animation codex, the real question is do I need to?  What is the difference between a 8bit animaton file that is 2g as apposed to a 16bit prores file thats 450mb.  It would seem that the 16 bit would have less information baked in and that the file rendered with a 8bit animation codex would be better, no?   I am rendering from a 10 bit Dragonframe output fyi.

 

thanks!

Michael

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2022 Apr 08, 2022

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I suggest you take an excursion to Wikipedia or otehr sites explaining how these different CoDecs actually work and what their capabilities are. This is a case of TL;DR. Suffice it to say that you're throwing too many things in the same pot and there's no need to redundantly write long explanations here on a Friday afternoon when this info is available elsewhere.

 

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Apr 08, 2022 Apr 08, 2022

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excuse me. I know the difference between all the codexs and how they operate. what I am askiing is straitforward question which you have not answered. As a matter of fact what you are saying is incorrect. 16 bit is available, offered and used in prores and other codexs. my question is regarding the comparison of the Animation codex in 8 bit and the same file in prores HQ. 

"These functions are simply not avialable ever since Apple pretty much abandoned Quicktime. Even way back then the 16 bit implementation never really worked right and only existed for a short experimental period. If you want 16 bit output, you have to settle on contemporary CoDecs or image sequences" 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2022 Apr 08, 2022

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There are 8-bit codecs (MP4, H.264, Animation actually, most codecs are 8-bit). Some of the 8-bit codecs support Alpha channels. Most do not. H.264 is RGB only. Animation can be RGBA.

 

There are 10-bit codecs, 12-bit codecs, 14-bit codecs, 16-bit codecs, and 32-bit codecs. Many of those codecs only support RGB and only a few support RGBA. A few formats also support more than just RGBA (Alpha channels). For example, ProRez 422 is 10-bit RGB, and ProRez 444 is 12-bit RGBA. 

 

High-end cameras like Arri and Red Helium have options to record 16-bit RAW video to proprietary codecs, but these are not widely available on less expensive cameras. No ordinary camera can output more than 14-bit files. We process in 16 or 32-bit, so we have more options, and this helps a lot, but in the end, all standard distribution formats are only 8-bit. 

 

Spend some time studying formats and compression so you can make the best production workflow decisions. If you are working with others, you all must follow the same workflow to keep everybody happy.

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New Here ,
Apr 08, 2022 Apr 08, 2022

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Hi Rick,

thank you for your response. I do know all about the codexs. I use many of them all the time for many different reasons. Ive come across an anomaly that I cannot seem to figure out.  When outputing a 10 bit file in After Effects to the Animation codex, which is in the RLE format and supports alpha but only will render in 8 bit , why the file size is so much larger in than the same file rendered in 16bit 422hq  file. (which technically a 10bit file)  

You are only allowed to output to 8,16 or 32 bit in after effects and the prores file can get rendered in 16bit but not the animation codex? 

In the end it seems that the 8 bit animation file looks and retains more information than the 16 bit prores file. 

I am trying to finalize my workflow. my colorist is asking for a 16bit file, and normally that would make perfect sense, but this animation codex seems like it might be a better way to go.

 

Let me re-phrase the question- what exactly is the difference in image quality between the two codexs?

thanks!

Michael

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 09, 2022 Apr 09, 2022

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The Animation codec is a terrible choice if you're sending to a colour grader.  It's a legacy 8 bit format that isn't properly supported any more.  The file sizes are bigger because it uses old, less efficient algorithms to compress data.

 

I typically send grading intermediates in ProRes 4444 or ProRes 4444XQ in 16 bit.  (I believe the colour channels are technically 12 bit in these codecs).  

 

But you should ask the grader how they want the files provided specifically.  Their own platform and OS may require something else.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 09, 2022 Apr 09, 2022

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I'm with Andrew Yoole on this 100%. Animation is old, never was the preferred choice if there was any other option, and I've not been asked for a file using the Animation codec in many years. I always collaborate on format, frame rate, and compression settings. Always.

 

Here is another thing you must consider. Is your monitor color graded? I do this weekly when I am fine-tuning my color grading and monthly if I am not on a contract. You should find a system that you like and use it. You don't have to spend a huge amount of money on a suitable monitor if color grading is not your primary business, but you should do your research.  I use the Spyder X pro to Color Grade all of my monitors. It just takes a few minutes, and it is the only way to know that what you are seeing is what is delivered. 

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