I'm currently editing some video screen capture recordings I did under Linux using recordMyDesktop (basically OGG Theora video files).

Since there's currently no way to import Theora video into After Effects CC, I first need to transcode the video files into an intermediate format. I first tried with the Huffyuv and Lagarith losless codecs, but the file sizes came up too big.

I also tried transcoding to MP4 using ffmpeg with mixed results. It seems that After effects only likes a particular kind of MP4 encoded videos which I have yet to find. In my case, the footage would show intermittent "video offline" frames, which is undesirable.

The My ideal codec would be something that:

  • Uses screen capture specific compression.
  • Can be enumerated as a 64bit VFW codec inside Virtualdub 64.
  • Runs in 64 bit mode (since I need to decode and edit inside After Effects).
  • It's free (I'd pay for one, but first I'd like to exhaust my options).

Finally, I tried looking for VFW compatible screen capture codecs and here's what I found:

  • TSCC codec - TechSmith: Not free. Free version does not allow me to encode video using Virtualdub. I think this one can run with 64-bit applications.

  • inno Screen Capture Codec(iSCC): Not free. Don't know if runs in 64-bit mode.

  • MSU Screen Capture Lossless Codec: Free. Compresses files fairly nice. I think it kind of messes with the framerate of the video. Unfortunately, I didn't find a 64-bit build of the codec, so the 32-bit codec encoded files get rejected by After Effects :(.

I also read about using ffmpeg to encode to Quicktime mov with an animation codec here https://video.stackexchange.com/a/8315/6059. So I'll give that a try.

So has anyone else done something like this?


1 Answer 1


You don't need a 64bit codec to use it in 64bit Software like VirtualDub or After Effects, a 32bit codec will work just fine. For intermediate codecs I generally use either a QuickTime with PhotoJPEG compression or Animation like you suggested yourself. The latter is lossless and produces fairly big files, the former is lossy just like JPEG but offers visually lossless compression with a reasonable size and works very well in every software that supports QuickTime video.

Another alternative would be a JPEG2000 image sequence which can be be either lossless or lossy, though its a bit less fun to work with as you end up with thousands of files in a folder, though there are commercial JPEG2000 codecs out there that are 64bit native and integrate into Windows.

Another good (open source) alternative is Ut Video. It also features a native 64bit version of the codec and integrates into Windows aswell. It's completely lossless but produces files with reasonable size.

  • Thank you. I pretty much ended up settling with ffmpeg encoding into video frames using the qtrle codec and placing them under .mov files. In my case generated about 120Mb per minute, which I think is quite suitable since After Effects does understand that video codec. Jun 16, 2014 at 16:58
  • Bare in mind that RLE codecs are very inefficent. If you want lossless go with UT video, the compression ratio and decoding performance is a ton better.
    – timonsku
    Jun 16, 2014 at 22:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.