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DescriptionEdit

Compression happens when you render or output a file from video processing software like AE. AE and other editors handle both raw and edit-friendly compression. User-end compression will not be handled correctly or will not play due to the program having to work very hard to edit the asset. AE authors should work with more editing friendly or raw footage while exporting the better compression methods for a user-end experience. Get to know compression methods well.

How it worksEdit

Compression reduces the amount of information stored in an asset by crunching its color data, large details and fine details. Compressors can crunch groups of pixels on a frame or as they change through time. Each compression method uses it's own technique or a combination of common techniques to make files smaller and more easily playable

  • more on this can be found here.

Lossy vs LosslessEdit

When you render your files you'll have to pick what kind of compression you want for your video asset. This comes down to what the asset will be used for and how it will be used and how much hard drive space and bandwidth will be used to transfer and store your asset. For example if you are rendering a test, you want high compression and you'll want to half your resolution. There's no sense in waiting all night for a render when seeing fine detail of your bouncing ball isn't needed. However if you plan to edit or color corect your asset you might want a raw format so your editor won't crash every frame.


User End Compression (NOT Editing Friendly)Edit

  • Quicktime
  • DivX
  • Hvid
  • H.261
  • H.263
  • Mpeg1
  • Mpeg2
  • Mpeg3
  • ...add more!

Editing Friendly CompressionEdit

  • Quicktime (Animation, PNG, JPG, TGA)
  • Fraps(compressed colors)
  • HuffYUV
  • H.264
  • ...add more!

Raw and Near Raw Compression (also editing friendly)Edit

Just to get this out there; NO video source you will ever see is completely RAW. The chips in all camera have to store the data they read, and when they do, they leave out certain details.


  • AVI
    • none (yes this is an option)
    • uncompressed (this is more lossy than the "none" option instead of AVI)
  • AVCHD
  • DV
  • DVCAM
  • DVCPRO 25, 50, HD
  • D-1
  • D-5 HD
  • Digital Betacam
  • HDCAM
  • ProRes (plus LT and PROXY)
  • Fraps (uncompressed color)
  • PNG sequence
  • TIFF Sequence
  • Targa Sequence

External LinksEdit

  • Microsoft has a great page explaining Video Formats and compression.
  • Apple Provides a wonderful frame rate / bit rate / format guide