Trying to export H.264 video with multiple stereo audio channels

Community Beginner ,
Oct 19, 2020

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Hello everyone,

 

I'm new here so please don't assume I know anything obvious. I did some googling and found a few people having similar complaints to what I've encountered, but I haven't been able to find a solution.

 

My root problem:

I'm recording rather large files (100-120gig or so or 3840x1080p@60  video). When I go to edit these videos After Effects responds slowly (I'm guessing due to the very large file size).

 

My idea for a solution:

A lot of the recorded content is junk that I plan on cutting. So I've been doing quick cuts to try and cut out all the junk I don't care about so that I can conserve disk space to work on editing these videos lately. I want to then turn around and export the video at 3840x1080@60  with multiple stereo audio channels.

 

My subproblem:

Unfortunately the only way I've found to export video with multiple stereo audio channels is by exporting as quicktime. I've found that the quicktime video codecs actually increase the size of my files. And Since I'm starting with H.264 and converting to quicktime and then back to H.264 I feel the whole thing would best be suited by never leaving h.264 in the first place.

 

My questions:

 

1.) Is there any way in premiere pro 2020 to export H.264 video with multiple stereo audio channels attached? From searching the forums I see this was an option and was available in earlier versions when H.264 was a codec for quicktime. It seems this functionality was removed.

 

2.) Am I maybe missing something obvious with the premiere pro configuration that could help my computer handle such big video files?

 

3.) Is there a better way to accomplish what I am trying to accomplish?

 

Thanks in advance!

TOPICS
Audio, Editing, Export, Formats

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Guide ,
Oct 19, 2020

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what about apple prores 422 proxy or dnxLB? they are farely small. another option is use free shutter encoder to encode h.264 or h.265 files with fast decode for editing to make external proxies and then reconnect.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 19, 2020

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I did test exports of H.264, 422 proxy, and dnxLB for a tiny clip. H.264 definitely seems the way to go. I guess that's why it's the industry standard for so many uses. I'll play around with shutter, but based on first glance I don't think it's going to give me what I want.

 

file size in H.264: 17MB

file size in 422 proxy: 164 MB

file size in dnxLB: 330MB

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Guide ,
Oct 19, 2020

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shutter encoder is amazing. it can do 10 bit h.265 at 4:2:2 main, multiple audio streams embedding. fast decode, GOP to zero etc. and I talk directly to the creator for free upgrades. its based on ffmpeg so can do anything (even more than handbrake) and gives me unlimited batch encoding for my proxies while not tying up media encoder. actually i think adobe should license his product.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2020

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You can export 5.1 so if you need 6 channels or less you could hack it and pretend your channels are a 5.1 mix.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 19, 2020

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Is there any way to embed stereo channels into each of the 5.1 channels? I know they're usually mono, but I really need to be able to keep all 6 stereo channels (or 12 mono channels).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2020

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I believe you'd need to set up a multitrack sequence for that and it would be 12 mono channels. But I don't think you can use H264 for that. You'd need an intermediate codec like ProRes/DNxHD.

 

You can find the old Quicktime H264 in Resolve, so you can see if that will do it for you.

 

A note on your H264 thoughts. It doesn't benefit you to keep using H264 as an intermediary codec. You can increase the bitrate to reduce the quality loss, but you're adding generations of compression every time you do that. The proper editing codecs that are higher bitrate (and higher file size) will do a better job of retaining quality when moving between applications.

 

Is there a reason you're not just doing your editing in Premiere to begin with? After Effects is not great for editorial. It's not really meant to play anything in real-time without caching all the frames first.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 21, 2020

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Thankyou for your response.

 

First I'd like to clarify I screwed up when I said I was using after effects. I'm so new at this I forgot the name of the product I was using. It is on fact premiere pro.

 

I bit the bullet and followed your guidance. I cleared several hundred gigs of space on a drive and converted to quicktime. The difference was amazing. Premiere pro responded instantly and I no longer had all the delays and freezing I was experiencing with h264. Looking back now this makes sense as h264 achieves its compression by only handling deltas - so every time I jumped around in my track it was probably having to recalculate the video from the previous key frame, which likely took forever.

 

Although I'm bummed that premiere pro lost the ability to export multiple audio channels in h264 I don't think that'll be a requirement for me going forward. Thanks for all that contributed!

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Guide ,
Oct 21, 2020

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don't forget you can make shutter batch h.264 proxies with 0 GOP(no deltas) for fast decode too and you can choose your own bitrate. but yea, intraframe rocks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 20, 2020

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No.

5.1 has 6 channels total - L,R,C,LFE,Ls,Rs. If you only needed 3 stereo pairs (6 channels) then you could set up a track system and interpret clip channels so you can get your 3 pairs into your intermediate file. You would then need to re-interpret your intermediate to get back to a stereo pair for your final edit. But I don't think you should go down this route, it is prone to error.

 

As @Phillip Harvey says: why are you going to After Effects? Can't you edit in Premiere?

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