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Old January 16th, 2009, 11:03 AM   #1
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Content Workflow Issue using Cineform/PPro/AE

Hello, I have a potential workflow issue that I need some advice on. I'm currently editing a project in Premiere Pro CS3 using the Cineform intermediate codec (the video was shot in HDV--Canon HV30--imported using AspectHD). Everything is working fine.

However, I'd like to export some of the video of this project off to a portable hard drive to physically hand over to someone who will be importing it into After Effects CS3 (on a completely different hardware system) to spice things up for me--i.e. they are going to make a flashy intro/title for this project.

Lastly, I would like to re-import her finished video back into Premiere. She does not have the Cineform codec so exporting it as a cineform.avi file is out (I would think--or am I incorrect here?). My question is mainly--what is the best file format to hand over to my AE person AND what is the best file format for my AE person to give back to me to re-import into Premiere and keep it all in HD/HDV 16:9?

I have no idea if this is a really easy thing, or really challenging. Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Bill
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Old January 16th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #2
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If the AE person doesn't have Cineform on their system, they won't be able to import CFHD.avi into AE.
If you can't find some other lightly compressed format that you have in common, you may have to export your footage back to HDV (m2t) for the transfer, then have her deliver the finished footage as HDV, which you will reimport to your project via HDLink as CFHD.avi.
All of this compression/decompression is less than ideal. You should explore any other formats she might be able to work with that are less compressed.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #3
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I believe I heard that AE can import Cineform files fine; but can't export content as Cineform files.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #4
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It's possible. All my systems have Cineform installed, so I don't know first hand. I have observed that some software will import CFHD. For example, Sorenson Squeeze v. 5 will import CFHD and transcode it to other formats.
If your AE person can import and use the CFHD footage, she could probably render out the final export as uncompressed avi, which you could reimport and compress to CFHD. Something like that should be a pretty lossless workflow.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 06:29 PM   #5
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If I understand correctly, all you need to do is download the free NEO player and install it on the other machines. You should then be able to import into AE.

It is the output that is disabled with the free player.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 08:58 PM   #6
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If you got the Cineform material into the other machine and used AE to make some titles, I assume you could have to export it with an alpha channel. The only way I've been able to do that was with a Quicktime file using RGB+, but that does work OK in Premiere CS3. However, I cannot use a Cineform project preset, but just a regular HDV preset.

I don't think Aspect recognizes an alpha channel.

Bob, I'd be interested to know if there is a better way to do the titles in AE .

Thanks,
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Old January 17th, 2009, 09:16 AM   #7
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William, as Andy suggests your colleague can install CineForm's Neo Player on her machine. It comes with the importer for AE so she should have no problem importing your files.

Far be it for me to suggest that somebody work around a license issue ... but our Neo HD and Neo 4K software has a fully functional 15 day Trial which means she can export with no restriction during this time also. It the project with your colleague is relatively short and can be finished within 15 days, then do it this way.

Then hopefully she'll be compelled to buy it sometimes later!
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Old January 17th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #8
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Thanks for your suggestions. I installed a trial version of NEO HD and did some tests. I exported some test Cineform .avi files from Premiere, imported into AE CS3, added a hue effect and adjusted it (for testing), then exported it out and imported that back into Premiere. However there is noticable recompression. Here are my export settings:

Export Quicktime Movie, Settings--Compression: Cineform HD/2K/4K, Depth: Millions of Colors, Quality: Best.

Is there some step or setting I'm missing? I noticed that if I select Export .avi file, my only Cineform compression setting option is Cinepack.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #9
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Cinepak is not a Cineform output option. It is a totally different codec, and that would be why you are seeing recompression issues. Cineform should also be availble on the same list, in the video for windows exported, but ideally you should use the Cineform Exporter, which is a totally different output format, usually listed right above Cineon Sequence in the AE output options.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 02:42 PM   #10
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Okay, I'm starting to get the flow of it. I used the steps off of Cineform's website (helps when you read the instructions) when exporting from AE. I still get recompression/artifacts, but I discovered that that may be beause of the hue effect that I was applying. I unintentionally exported a clip that I had not applied any effects to, and it looked fine re-importing back into Premiere. I'm not sure why adjusting hue would cause mild artifacting/recompression though.

I did have to reinstall Aspect HD though, based on what one of the other forums said to do.

Does it make any difference whether or not I use the 'add to render queue' steps, or simple go to export..., quicktime movie, and select Cineform HD/2K/4K, etc...?
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Old January 17th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #11
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Always use the render queue, nothing else offers quality. Use the output module called "CineForm AVI" over QuickTime.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #12
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Would Neo Scene allow a user to export to the CineForm format from After Effects? It's very low-cost, but it's not clear from the CineForm website whether or not it works with After Effects.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Stewart View Post
Would Neo Scene allow a user to export to the CineForm format from After Effects? It's very low-cost, but it's not clear from the CineForm website whether or not it works with After Effects.
NEO Scene does add a Video for Window codec to After Effects.
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