After Effects playback speed

Here’s the result of some tests I ran a year or so back for a project. I have to admit, I don’t know the exact details any more and I would not consider the test “scientific” by a long shot… but the gist of it is that I wanted to work out how fast certain image sequence or video formats play back in After Effects (CC 2017 at that point I think). Playback was from an m.2 PCI-E SSD, so there was no bottleneck from either file system nor network. The images were 4k by 4k, if I remember correctly (for a large installation).

These were from renderings out of Cinema 4D R19 (or R18?).

Maybe this will help some of you narrow down your selection of certain file formats for testing. In any case, I can recommend giving the Edius / Grassvalley HQX codecs a try. They are very fast and small and support alpha channels.

Codec Playback (fps) File size (mb) Notes Lossless mb/fps ratio
QT_JP2000: 1.8fps / 125mb 1.8 125 69.44444444
EXR_ZIP: 1.9fps / 295mb 1.9 295 x 155.2631579
DPX: 2 16000 color fucked up, no alpha x 8000
EXR_DWAB100: 2.5fps / 72mb – compression errors! 2.5 72 Compression errors! 28.8
EXR_DWAB45: 2.5fps / 121mb 2.5 121 48.4
DNXHR HQX QuickTime Uncompressed Alpha 3 7114 2371.333333
Tiff_lzw: 5fps / 247mb 5 247 x 49.4
Tiff: 5fps / 16.852mb 5 16852 x 3370.4
JPG+JPGalpha: 5.5fps / 172mb 5.5 172 31.27272727
Targa: 5.5fps / 16.844mb 5.5 16844 x 3062.545455
PNG: 6fps / 166mb 6 166 x 27.66666667
JPG: 6.2fps / 106mb 6.2 106 17.09677419
DNXHR RGB444 6.5 3705 no alpha 570
Targe_rle: 7fps / 640mb 7 640 x 91.42857143
Cineform_FilmScan1: 10fps / 720mb 10 720 x 72
DNXHR HQX 10.5 1854 no alpha 176.5714286
Cineform_HigherHD: 12fps / 702mb 12 702 58.5
GrassValley_Lossless: 13fps / 667mb 13 667 x 51.30769231
MagicYUV_YUV4444: 17fps / 2153mb 17 2153 x 126.6470588
GrassValleyHQX_Standard: 18fps / 41mb 18 41 2.277777778
GrassValleyHQX_SuperFine: 18fps / 87mb 18 87 4.833333333
QT_Animation: 19fps / 639mb 19 639 x 33.63157895
JPEG2000: no 4k does not support 4k x 4k

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