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Old March 5th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #1
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Ultra and NEO 2/4K

David, I am looking for a very specific answer:

Can we export ingested material (Cineformed as 1920 High) from Ultra CS3 with an Alpha channel in either MOV or AVI format without having to do it as huge "uncompressed" MOV? (yes, we have and are using NEO 4K on that machine)

Every time we've tried this in ANY format using the Cineform codec (NEO 4K) to compress with the alpha channel enabled, it has crashed Ultra.

We can export them as HUGE uncompressed MOV's (Apple None, 32bit keyed), and then import into AE, but that's it.

Not a nice workflow...suggestions?
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Old March 5th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #2
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Sorry its a fault with Ultra. It doesn't know of any compressed codecs that supports alpha channels (Hello!!! CineForm here.) It won't support Sheer via MOV either with aupport alpha. When you select a compressed AVI or MOV in the output setting, Ultra removes the control that enables 32-bit (RGB+alpha) exports.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by David Newman View Post
Sorry its a fault with Ultra. It doesn't know of any compressed codecs that supports alpha channels (Hello!!! CineForm here.) It won't support Sheer via MOV either with aupport alpha. When you select a compressed AVI or MOV in the output setting, Ultra removes the control that enables 32-bit (RGB+alpha) exports.
Thanks for the info, David. I guess we should be happy we can even do the uncompressed with alpha, then!

Ultra really does do some nice chroma stuff if you tweak it, so guess we'll just live with the workflow:

V1 HDV...to CF'd...to uncompressed out from Ultra...to recompressed CF AE output...to CF final output from PP3...to recompressed and downscaled DVD or Flash or Bluray (if it survives the direct downloads threat).

Gotta be a better way...come on, ADOBE! CF's got the goods to make us fly! Get your acquisitions up to speed!
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Old March 6th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Stephen Armour View Post
Ultra really does do some nice chroma stuff if you tweak it, so guess we'll just live with the workflow:
Are you using Ultra for the chroma key only or chroma key with virtual tracking sets? The tracking sets in Ultra are great, but if you are not using the tracking sets, I suggest using AE. The chroma key in AE CS3 is has better controls than Ultra, and I'm guessing you will be able to use the codec of your choice.

Best,
Christopher
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Old March 6th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #5
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Are you using Ultra for the chroma key only or chroma key with virtual tracking sets? The tracking sets in Ultra are great, but if you are not using the tracking sets, I suggest using AE. The chroma key in AE CS3 is has better controls than Ultra, and I'm guessing you will be able to use the codec of your choice.

Best,
Christopher
We use AE a great deal, and we've done quite a bit of experimenting with AE's chroma key plugin (Key Light) in AE CS3. In our experience, there is no doubt whatsoever the Ultra's keying is much superior with uncompressed video. Head to head, the Ultra gives beautiful keys on either green or blue screens, but ONLY with uncompressed video so far.

Our only real complaint here is not the "quality issue", it's the uncompressed video sizes and the inability of Ultra to use compressed AVI's or MOVs. Ultra really is a professonal quality keying program, and though Key Light is powerful, Ultra can blow it completely out of the water. We don't use any tracking sets, and though there are MORE controls in AE's plugin, they do not result in better keys.

Our AE guru is a total AE fanatic and wonders why our editors use Premiere Pro CS3 instead of AE (inside joke), but it could be he's wrong and Ultra really can't blow away AE's plugin?

He'd really be happy if you were right though, as then he'd have some ammo to back up his AE-is-the-best-program-in-the-world claims...but Christopher, even he admits Ultra is better for keying.

I would guess that since Adobe already spent big bucks for Key Light, and if it was equal to or better than Ultra, they never would have bought out Serious Magic, don't you think? Just doesn't make sense.

Better go back and test Ultra again, you might be surprised. A serious test is trying to do hair details. Ultra really can deliver what they advertise...if you figure out how to do it.
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