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Old March 17th, 2009, 11:57 PM   #1
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After Effects and the Canon A1s

I have recently bought a Canon XH-A1s. I'm using the Adobe Creative Suite and have come to the conclusion that After Effects is not compatible with any video (HD or SD, 60i) from the A1. After the video is imported, it says "media pending". Then after I double click the video or add it to a composition the video looks like a digital mess with a green tint. It reminds me of watching digital TV when there's a very weak signal or a scratched DVD, yes that bad. Then after scrubbing the cti or pressing the play button After Effects immediately crashes. It does this on both of my machines.

Has anyone else had this problem or an explanation for this? Hopefully there is fix. Please help!
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Old March 18th, 2009, 01:46 AM   #2
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Try clearing the MEDIA CACHE in preferences. Unmount media partition where XH-A1 footage was captured. CLEAR Database and cache. Restart.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 05:22 AM   #3
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I think I remember elsewhere in these forums that AE has issues with HDV footage. I edit in PPro CS3 then when I am ready for anything in after effects I export the timeline using Quicktime Animation Highest quality w/keyframes. (You will find this under the export option, not media encoder. Also change the settings individually for size and keyframes etc.) It is absolutely lossless and pristine. You then can go back and forth from AE to PPRo before your final encoding depending on your delivery method. Its a little slower because you have to render out to QT but I find the results 100%.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #4
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Right. Interframe codecs HDV, MPEG1, MPEG2, mp4, m2t, H.261 or H.264 need to be re-encoded to another codec like Quicktime. AE needs full information from each frame to render, and HDV codec is missing that information.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 08:16 AM   #5
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Would the .avi or the .wmv codecs work just as good as Quicktime?

Thanks for your help!
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Old March 18th, 2009, 09:41 AM   #6
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Don't get confused between wrappers and codecs! avi, wmv, qt (mov) are wrappers, they can have different codecs within them. E.g. the avi wrapper could use a DV, Cineform or HuffYUV codec for example.

AND - although HDV can be a pain, it does work in After Effects! Just to make sure I wasn't going mad I just tried it and dropped an m2t straight into a project and plonked it on the timeline - it works fine!

I capture with HDVSplit or Cineform (I usually transcode, but not always) and can use the clips directly. Make sure you let it conform the clip and the ensure you choose the deinterlace type correctly (Upper or progressive for XH-A1 m2t)

I'm in PAL land so don't use pull-down, but set that right too. That and the deinterlace only effect the framerate and scanlines though, they don't make it a funny colour.

So, it does work - how did you capture the clip?

But if you're planning on doing CC or having to move between applications etc. then transcoding is a good plan anyway - the long GoP of HDV can make it slow to edit (Although applications support it better now).
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Old March 18th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #7
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Sorry I can't help you with a fix but I use AE with footage from my A1 nearly every day and no issues.

I capture with final cut and AE is happy for me to drop the QT file directly into into it.

Doesn't the creative suite now use bridge for transferring files between CS programs?
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Old March 18th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #8
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As mentioned, HDV is highly compressed and should be converted to an intermediate format before doing any kind of effects work. The nature of the compression is interframe so you are not getting individual frames with full pixel detail. On a mac it is advised to go to ProRes. On a PC, I'd import into Premiere and reconvert to DVCPRO then send to AE.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 10:05 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your help! Using the MPEG format that Premiere CS4 captures, AE constantly crashes. Premiere has Adobe dynamic link, for integration between it, AE and others. A great time saver. To bad I will not be able to use it any more. :-(
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #10
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Hey Mitch:

Sorry about your woes. I too regularly edit and effect HDV footage in CS4, so you must have a problem somewhere in your setup. Do you have the latest versions of the CS4 applications? I know that they just came out with an update to AE, Media Encoder, etc.

I've never felt the need to use intermediate files in AE and just always use native HDV. AE's sub-pixel rendering is pretty darn good, and most of the "damage was done" to the footage at the encoding stage. Heavy CC correction might benefit from higher bit-counts found in Cineform's higher-end codec products... but, let's be honest: there's not going to be any film-outs in my future.

Good luck,
Brian Brown
BrownCow Productions
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