Here are some of the most reliable video codecs you can export with from the Adobe Suite.
With so many codecs to choose from, it can be frustrating to find one that meets your rendering needs. To save you some time experimenting, here are a few formats you can always count on to get the job done.
If you’re looking for something that will render fast and play easily on most machines, it’s hard to go wrong with H.264. Designed to maximize quality with a low bitrate and small file size, the H.264 codec is actually one of the most common encoding standards for Blu-ray.
H.264 can be exported to a variety of formats like MP4 or 3GP. Unfortunately, H.264 does not feature Alpha Channel support, so you’ll want to look elsewhere for video that requires transparency. H.264 is arguably the best format for online video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.
Quicktime’s MOV format is one of the best choices available for exporting with an Alpha Channel. While it is more difficult to play back smoothly than some other formats, it does provide high image fidelity and a reasonable file size.
Quicktime has a number of other formats, such as the MP4 and a variation of H.264, but the MOV is the best for an Alpha Channel. Note that using Quicktime may require a manual installation of the format support.
TIFF Sequences can be a bit more of a hassle, as they output each frame individually as a TIFF photo file. However, for longer rendering times where a render failure is a possibility, TIFF sequences are a great way to ensure you can start from the frame you left off at if necessary.
While a video file would likely be corrupted if interrupted, a TIFF sequence would save any progress you make. Sequences can be exported in other formats as well, such as PNG or JPEG.
If you’re simply looking to maximize your image quality without concern for file size or playback, you will likely want to export as an uncompressed AVI. While this Windows-based codec struggles with variable bit rates and does not include as much metadata as others, it succeeds in providing an extremely high-quality picture with little to no compression. AVIs can support an Alpha Channel as well.
With these popular codecs, you can address just about any purpose you might need a video file to serve.
What codec and settings do you tend to use the most? Let us know in the comments below.