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Old August 5th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #1
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Turning Video Into Vector Graphics

On the Adobe Production Studio site, under features, it shows exporting a clip with movie as individual bitmaps, the tracing them with Live Trace in Illustrator, and using the images back as a movie.

Does anyone know if there is a guide how to do this? I can't find anyway for Illustrator to automatically process multiple images, or how to pull them back into a video...at least an easy way. Individually opening each frame, setting the trace options, tracing, saving, importing into PP, then setting the length to one frame works, but takes ridculously long.

Thanks,

David
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Old August 5th, 2006, 11:16 PM   #2
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Well, this is what I found out so far:
  1. As we already new, exporting as movie has the option of saving each frame as a bitmap.
  2. Adobe Bridge allows you to perform live trace in batches of 10 frames each. This is a bit of a pain, since you could need 3 batches/second.
  3. Bridge restricts you to just picking a preset tracing option. So you first pick a representative frame, adjust tracing for the desired affect, and save the preset.
  4. Then the frames are imported in bulk. Preferably into their own bin!
  5. they can be dragged in batch to the timeline
Unfortunately, they default to 5 seconds per frame. Is their a way to adjust the out point in batch? Can this be done in After Effects and the result saved as a single composition to be imported into PP?

david
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Old August 6th, 2006, 01:11 AM   #3
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Sounds like an idea they haven't figured out how to do in a useful manner yet.
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Old August 6th, 2006, 09:10 AM   #4
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It is shown on their website as a demo, and on the video training included with the software. So I think they have it down. And they did provide a batch interface in bridge.

It is possible I'm missins something, or the missing feature in in AE which I don't know that well
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Old August 9th, 2006, 11:38 AM   #5
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It will still take a long time, but I would export from Premiere as a filmstrip, convrert to psd in Photoshop, import into illustrator, do the live trace,(take a small vacation while Ill works), impoer the vector frames back into Photoshop, flatten the image, save as filmstrip, import back into PremierIt will still take a long time, but I would export from Premiere as a filmstrip, save a copy as psd in Photoshop, import into illustrator, do the live trace, (take a small vacation while Ill works), import the vector frames back into Photoshop, place in the original filmstrip file, flatten the image, import back into Premier. You could do as many frames as you like, or your computer can handle. The filmstrip file format retains the time code and frame order. I use this method for rotoscoping mistakes in my video files. Hope this helps some,
Jon
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Old August 9th, 2006, 02:46 PM   #6
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This actually isn't that hard to do. Although I've used Photoshop and Premiere for a number of years now, I'm new to Illustrator...and I managed to figure it out in an hour or two by reading Help and experimenting a little. True, using the Batch command in Bridge limits you to 10 frames at a time, which is maddening.

- Export your clip from a PPro sequence to bmp or TIF files (I used TIF) in a folder.

- In Illustrator, make sure your Live Trace settings are defaulted to whatever preset you want (you can create your own presets).

- Create and save an Action in the Action Pallet:
-- Open (set the path to your folder of bmp files)
-- Select All
-- Tracing>Make
-- Save As
-- Close

- Run the Action

- Import the new AI files into PPro, making sure the "Numbered Stills" checkbox at the bottom of the Import dialog is checked.

That's it. I'll attach a jpg of my Actions Pallet with a script that ran about 90 frames successfully. I down-rezzed the PPro output to 640x360, did LiveTrace in a custom 4-color trace, and once I had created the Action, execution of the whole LiveTrace and import process took, I think, about a minute.
Attached Thumbnails
Turning Video Into Vector Graphics-illustrator_livetrace_actions_pallet.jpg  
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Old August 9th, 2006, 11:59 PM   #7
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Jon...I'm not sure of the sequence of steps you are recommending. I haven't found anyway for Photoshop, Imageready, or Illustrator to use filmstrips. However, ImageReady will change an animated GIFcreated by Premier into a layered Photoshop file. However, I haven't found anyway for Illustrator to process it as individual, independent layers. Or to recover it in Premier.

Pete, that is pretty much the workflow I came up with. But the 10 frame thing is a killer. The conversion is pretty quick (really, the frames are pretty low res as photos go), but 10 at time means 12-15 batchs for 5 seconds of video. What an unnecessary pain in the... Also, there is no cancel button once the trace is activated from Bridge. So if you picked the wrong settings, you are in pretty deep!!!

Thanks,

David
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Old August 10th, 2006, 02:50 PM   #8
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this works great, try it.

Sorry my other post was copied 2x......
You can export the timeline in premiere as a filmstrip file.
1) Select the timeline you want to export.
2) Select File, Export Movie.
3) Click the settings tab.
4) Under the General screen select file type.
5) From the file type dropdown select film strip and save.
6) Open the filmstrip file in PS.
7) Create a duplicate of the file and save as PSD.
8) Open the PSD file in Illustrator, do your trace.
9) Save the trace Ill file.
10) Open the trace Ill file in PS.
11) Copy the trace Ill file into the original filmstrip file you exported from premiere.
12) Flatten the filmstrip file and save.
13) Import the filmstrip file into Premiere.
14) Save your work.
I would export the filmstrip file small, like 100 frames or so, unless you have a really fast computer.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 10:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Jaschob
You can export the timeline in premiere as a filmstrip file.
Hmm, are you sure a filmstrip is the best approach? I'm guessing you want to export each frame as a separate image file. Then, create an Illustrator batch command, convert all the files, and then import them back into Premiere, recombinded as a video clip.

Best,
Christopher
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Old August 13th, 2006, 10:30 AM   #10
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Jon,

I got to step 9, then problems. What settings did you need to save the filmstrip in ai? It goes from a 4MB PSD to a 80kB AI file. However, I can't get Photoshop to open it.

Thanks,

David

P.S.
It is certainly fewer steps to trace, since it bypasses the 10 frame limitiation in Bridge.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 11:36 PM   #11
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If you are using Adobe Studio 8 "the new Adobe stuff" you can use the Adobe Bridge. With Dynamic link, this will automate the whole process. Saw a demo of it 2 weeks ago in San Francisco and they did it with Live Trace.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 01:19 AM   #12
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Limited to 10 frames at a time...less than useful. I imagine 72-120 frames are pretty much the minimum. If you used it during credits, you could need 100s of frames.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 07:42 AM   #13
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David, are you still having problems doing this? All three solutions outlined in this thread should work.

I haven't tried Jon's method, and I agree that the Bridge batch process is pretty limited in its usefulness because of the 10 frame max. But I have used the method I described earlier and can verfiy that it works, and only takes seconds per frame to process. The Action should take only moments to create since you can see exactly how to do it in my previous post.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 09:07 AM   #14
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There were only saw two methods. The first, from Adobe, saves the image as bitmaps—bmp, tiff, etc.—sets a trace preference in Illustrator, uses Bridge to trace 10 frames at a time, then imports into Premier.

The second, Jon's method, I haven't gotten to work. Saved as a filmstrip. Used ImageReady to convert to PSD. Illustrator to trace. But then had an Illustrator file that I was unable to convert to a filmstrip or to a PSD to a filmstrip.

So, while I have a process I can make work, I don't really have a setup I'm comfortable with.

David
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Old August 17th, 2006, 09:33 AM   #15
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David, then perhaps you should consider the third approach, using a simple AI Action, that I outlined earlier. As I said twice before, I have tried this and it worked simply and quickly on over 90 frames. If the jpg in my first post that depicts the AI Action Pallet isn't visible to you, let us know.
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