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Old August 17th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #16
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Pete, apparently I inadvertantly skipped your first post. Oops!

I am a neophyte when it comes to Actions. So I am reading up on them. Haven't been able to get them to work in batch from Illustrator saving to a raster image of some type.

Was able to create the action. How do you execute it in batch and setup the batch dialogs? Apparently, you can't execute the Illustrator Actions from Bridge in the current version.

Thanks,

David
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:42 PM   #17
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Ok, I'll attach jpg files of both the script with all the steps scrolled open and the Batch dialog settings.

I ran the same Action using a B&W default on 67 frames of 640x360 TIFs and the Action itself took about 1 second per frame to LiveTrace.

Parenthetically, I got Illustrator really only because it was added to the Production Studio (wasn't part of Adobe Video Collection) and I kind of wondered if I'd ever really use it. As I barely scratch the surface, it is becoming clear to me that, yes, being able to do this kind of vector stuff really is going to help me create cool video stuff I otherwise wouldn't be able to do. Worth getting to know, which will take some time even as a long-time Adobe customer.

Chris may want me to remove the WMV soon due to bandwidth, but that little clip's history is this:
- Canon XL H1 60i pointed at our league hockey championship game
- Capture in Cineform AVI into PPro 2
- Export Work Area to TIF (67 frames) at 640x360
- Run the existing LiveTrace Action with B&W default settings to create 67 Adobe Illustrator files
- Import into a PPro 2 sequence with "Numbered Stills" checked
- Export to WMV 720x 480, PAR 1.2. (Which was the slowest part of the whole process, of course).

With the Action already written, getting it onto the timeline in PPro was about 5 minutes total time. Another 5 minutes to encode to WMV.

EDIT: You get to the Batch dialog from the little right-pointing caret in the upper right of the Action Pallet. You don't use Bridge at all.
Attached Thumbnails
Turning Video Into Vector Graphics-illustrator-action-pallet-test.jpg   Turning Video Into Vector Graphics-illustrator-batch-screen-test.jpg  

Attached Files
File Type: wmv test AI B&W Livetrace.wmv (536.3 KB, 119 views)
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Old August 19th, 2006, 02:31 AM   #18
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Thanks!!! And a very nice affect on the video.

In my current project, it is 3 13-year old girls dancing at a party. It may also help recover some footage for another project that had a heavily overexposed backgroud (sun coming through the window in its own schedule).

Our Action scripts are similar, except that I exported as bmp, set a destination folder in batch, and did not override open, save, or export commands. Additionally, I find that after taking a test frame, tuning a live trace, and saving the setting, it is necessary to make that setting the default and make sure the swatch library is open before the batch executes.

It worked for me (once). Clearly, this is way preferable over converting 10 frames at a time in Bridge. However, I must be doing something wrong in an inconsistant way. Sometimes I get a dialog for every frame in Illustrator. Othertimes, PP shows it as a video of the correct length, yet only displays the first frame.

Still debugging.

When you captured to Cineform, was that converting an HDV file with AspectHD or ingesting HD-SDI with ProspectHD and an AJA Xena card? The impact of when and what you capture the ProspectHD on final image quality.

Thanks again,

David

P.S.
What do you think of Cool Edit Pro...err...Adobe Audition?
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Old August 19th, 2006, 07:12 AM   #19
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You're correct about needing to set the default for LiveTrace (and I suppose the color pallet, although I've left that at default myself) ahead of time. It appears that the Action Pallet only drills down to the menu item level; looks like whatever is the current setting for any menu item in an Action, that's what it'll do.

To batch save to a different folder and file format (eg, save as AI from bmp), the help specifically says to use "Save As..." (not "Save") in the Action and "None" for destination in the batch dialog. I suspect that specifying a destination in the Batch dialog is why it is asking you to save each frame. If you set Destination to None -- thereby letting the "Save As..." and "Close" steps in the Action do their things -- it should crank straight through your stills.

The only thing I can think of for PPro to show just the first frame is that you forgot to check the "Numbered Stills" box in the Import dialog. It doesn't stay checked; you have to enable it for each import.

I currently just use HDV over firewire. Since AI files are vector graphics, one can take advantage of that for these kind of projects by batching much smaller still images (faster processing) and then importing them into AE (rather than PPro), where they can be continuously rasterized if necessary to keep edges looking sharp even with substantial up-scaling.

Adobe Audition? I'm not too knowledgeable about sound processing and I haven't much tried other audio applications, so others here may be able to compare it better to competing software. But as a greenhorn in audio, I have found that Audition more than serves my needs. I use the spectral views, various noise and filter tools, and normalization on every project, often ending up with very nice clean tracks from originals that were all but unuseable. I love the tight integration with PPro. I'm under the impression that serious audio folks tend to favor other software, but I don't see myself outgrowing it.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 10:44 AM   #20
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I can't help wondering if a similar effect to Live Trace couldn't be achieved inside Premiere Pro by simply bumping up the contrast to an extreme level.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 11:38 AM   #21
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Maybe in certain situations, but in general probably not. LiveTrace can be tweaked to give a many, many different looks; what I did was just a quick-n-dirty default setting. And it is vector-based, so you can scale your output really easily in AE.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 02:26 PM   #22
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I see. I only used Live Trace once a little while ago, so I'm not really familiar with it. And good point about scaling the vector output in AE. That could definitely be useful.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 08:03 PM   #23
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Doesn't it scale as vector drawing in PP also? For that matter, launching PP seems to launch AELinkServer.exe and and AfterFX.exe programs.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 09:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ziegelheim
Doesn't it scale as vector drawing in PP also?
No, as according to the Premiere Pro 2.0 Help file, "Adobe Premiere Pro converts path-based Illustrator art into the pixel-based image format used by Adobe Premiere Pro, a process known as rasterization."

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ziegelheim
For that matter, launching PP seems to launch AELinkServer.exe and and AfterFX.exe programs.
That is probably because Premiere Pro 2.0 can import and link After Effects sequences directly into the Premiere Timeline. Premiere Pro would need to access the After Effects engine to be able to play back and render the After Effects sequence.
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