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Daniel_R says

Hi there creative people! Hope you are doing great stuff and succeding in whatever you do.

I need your help to clarify something. I was unsure if AE CS4 opens mp4 files, so I download the k-lite codec / basic to import this kind of files. Since then, I noticed the audio shrinks / it’s not the length of the video, so if my footage is 5 min long, audio will be 3 min. Did I installed the wrong codec? Does Vista comes with the necessary codec (windows codecs essentials) to import mp4 files to AE CS4 ?

Any help would be highly appreciated. If you are around Long Island, NY, I’ll invite you a coup of cofee at Starbucks ;)

Thanks in advance

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Sharky says

Yes.

But convert it to an uncompressed WAV or AIFF file is the solution if it doesn’t. Seems fine on my mac.

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Daniel_R says

Thanks Sharky (your lates project is really cool) that’s a tip.

I solved the problem with Quick Time Pro, saving the file as .mov. But then I noticed something else. My footage was 1980×1080 and QT PRO resized it to 1280×960. Can I change this settings in the preferences?

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Sharky says

Doesn’t sound like its wrong, you probably have a small res on your monitor, so QT resizes the window to fit.

You can just make it display in full screen.

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

If you’re using export in QT Pro, there are options including resizing that you should check… they’re there in the save as dialogue. If you’re using simple save as, it shouldn’t alter anything.

In Quicktime, hit command-I (Mac) or ctrl – i (PC) and an info window comes up and shows you details about your file.

cmd / ctrl – j gives more information on a per media layer basis.

After Effects is also pretty good for examining files as they actually are. i.e. without colour management, at native pixel size and frame rate etc. But as you point out, AE doesn’t much like mp4.

Be warned though… although Quicktime gives you a bit more info it does sometimes lie about actual pixel dimensions… giving the display dimensions as actual pixel dimensions. Seems to happen with mpeg2 stuff exported from DVD studio, for instance. No idea why this should be….. a bit like Quicktime’s famous gamma problem… utterly mysterious.

-felt.

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Daniel_R says
If you’re using export in QT Pro, there are options including resizing that you should check… they’re there in the save as dialogue. If you’re using simple save as, it shouldn’t alter anything. In Quicktime, hit command-I (Mac) or ctrl – i (PC) and an info window comes up and shows you details about your file. cmd / ctrl – j gives more information on a per media layer basis. After Effects is also pretty good for examining files as they actually are. i.e. without colour management, at native pixel size and frame rate etc. But as you point out, AE doesn’t much like mp4. Be warned though… although Quicktime gives you a bit more info it does sometimes lie about actual pixel dimensions… giving the display dimensions as actual pixel dimensions. Seems to happen with mpeg2 stuff exported from DVD studio, for instance. No idea why this should be….. a bit like Quicktime’s famous gamma problem… utterly mysterious. -felt.

Thanks Felt…I should emailed you first instead…lol :)

Why is that AE CS4 doesn’t open this very popular file? Strange… I did notice the save as options and everything is fine now but when installing the K-lite codec AE was able to open the .mp4 files but had problems with the foottage audio.

I have another question though. I opened a .mp4 (.h264 codec) file with QT Pro and then saved it changing the compression codec to animation, the file size increased from 800 MB to 2 GB? Does this mean the footage has better resolution? I don’t think so since making an eye comparison of the files they pretty look the same.

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

The file got bigger because Animation codec is lossless and h.264 is very lossy. But the quality hasn’t got any better???

Let me make an analogy from the real world. Imagine you made a recording in a top end recording studio in digital 96khz 24bit stereo….. but the recording was of a crackly old record. The recording would still sound like a crackly old record… it’s just that the amazing studio technology won’t have put its own layer of interference over the top. You get a perfect fidelity copy of a crackly old record.

That’s what you have here… a perfect fidelity copy of an mp4.

First rule of compression: you can’t put the quality back!

:)

-felt.

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