AFTEREFFECTS

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ProRes 4444 and ProRes 422 in After Effects CS5

(If you’re using After Effects CS4, see this post about ProRes 422 color management and this post about gamma shifts with ProRes 4444.)

In After Effects CS5, we fixed some bugs regarding ProRes 422 and ProRes 4444 media in After Effects. See the previous paragraph for links to posts that give workarounds for those bugs in After Effects CS4. But we didn’t quite get everything (yet). This post gives workarounds for two issues in After Effects CS5:

  • After Effects ignores alpha channel information in ProRes 4444 media.
  • In 8-bpc color depth mode, previews of ProRes 422 media look very wrong (blue and pink).

If you have problems other than these two with ProRes media in After Effects CS5 let us know.


After Effects ignores alpha channel information in ProRes 4444 media.

UPDATE: This bug is fixed in After Effects CS5.5.

On Mac OS:

  1. Close all Adobe applications.
  2. Copy the MediaCoreQTCodecRulesCS5.xml file in your Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common folder to your desktop in case you need to revert any changes made in subsequent steps.
  3. Open the MediaCoreQTCodecRulesCS5.xml file in your Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common folder in a text editor.
  4. Find the codec='ap4h' and platform='mactel' entries for both directions (encode and decode).
  5. Change the deepdecodefourcc value for each from 'v210 to 'b64a' to match the following example lines:


    and

  6. Restart After Effects CS5 and see if the alpha channel information is seen and interpreted correctly by After Effects. If it isn’t, let us know by filing a bug report.

On Windows, the fix is similar but the .xml file is located in your user AppDataRoamingAdobeCommon directory and the entries for codec='ap4h' and platform='windows' need to be modified instead.


In 8-bpc color depth mode, previews of ProRes 422 media look very wrong (blue and pink).



UPDATE: In January 2011, AJA released updated software that appears to fix this issue.

The picture below is an example posted to the After Effects user-to-user forum by someone who had this problem.

This problem appears to be the result of a codec conflict with an AJA codec that is installed for the purpose of sending previews to external video devices.

The first workaround is to set the project’s color depth to 16 or 32 bits per channel (bpc).

The second workaround is to turn off the preview to the external video device. I.e., choose Computer Monitor Only from the Output Device menu in the Video Preview preferences.

The third workaround is to just remove the offending AJA codec. See the forum thread for more information about that, and what problems that causes for Final Cut Studio.

AJA is aware of this issue.

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