Proof Of Concept -Importing stills into AE

Before I started the process of editing I needed to make sure that I could use After Effects to import the stills directly in. I found a really useful forum post which made sense of this process. For this test I decided to use what would be the opening shot of the animation. It’s a good example because the shot is comprised of 208 frames/pictures (the JPGs adding up to 155.5 Mb) which will be the average size of most takes. Following the advice I proceeded to do the following:

  • In AE, I went FILE > IMPORT > FILE. I selected the first .JPG of the sequence and made sure the ‘Import As: JPEG Sequence’ box was checked. This created an image sequence in the Project panel.

Importing the image sequence

  • I right-clicked on this sequence and selected INTERPRET FOOTAGE> MAIN. Inside the Interpret Footage dialogue I changed the frame rate to 24 fps and pressed OK.

Setting frame rate of sequence

  • I then dragged the Image Sequence to the ‘Create a New Composition’ button at the bottom of the Project window. This created a new composition based on the sequence and opened it up in the timeline panel.

Converting sequence to composition

  • In the project window I selected the new composition and went to COMPOSITION > COMPOSITION SETTINGS. In the ‘Advanced’ tab I checked the box marked ‘Preserve frame rate when nested or in render queue’.

Preserving frame rate

  • I then made a new composition (COMPOSITION > NEW COMPOSITION) which would theoretically house all the different scenes’ compositions I would be creating. I set it to HDTV 1080 24 from the preset drop down menu and named it ‘Final’. As a test I set the duration to 10 seconds.

Creating a new parent composition

  • Then I dragged the sequence composition from the project window to the new composition. I pressed the ‘s’ key to bring up the scale parameter and scaled the image to fit.

Scaling the Image Sequence to fit new composition's dimensions

  • Then I selected COMPOSITION > ADD TO RENDER QUEUE to bring up the rendering options. I made sure the Render Settings was set to 24fps. In the Output Mode options I set the Format to Quicktime. In the Format Options I initially chose Animation, 100% Quality as my Video Codec. This produced a file that was 1.2 GB big and wouldn’t play smoothly. I can’t understand where all this extra information is coming from as the images were a combined 155.5 Mb. I then re-rendered, this time choosing the H.264 codec, 100% Quality. This gave me a .Mov file 48.9 Mb in size.

Render Settings

Output Module Settings - Animation Codec

Output Module Settings - H.264 Codec

Obviously there is a lot of compression going on here to strip over 100 Mb off the images. I’m not certain that this is the codec that I will be using but I’m almost certain that this is the route I will take when animating the image files.

    • roger murtagh
    • March 14th, 2011

    nice work, top gun

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