Render to tape from After Effects at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Digital Compositing and Effects

Digital Compositing and Effects
After Effects, Shake and everything else.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 11th, 2005, 09:33 AM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4
Render to tape from After Effects

I work in After Effects to produce animations and graphics for a producer, primarily I do print graphics so there is much I DON'T know in terms of video. Currently, I render either a Quicktime or Pict sequence from After Effects to a folder on my mac, burn to a disc or put on a removeable lacie drive and deliver to an editor who then imports it to edit on an Avid. Several times now I've done some intensive projects and almost missed deadlines due to the time it took to render, transfer data, run it across town and then import into their drive. Their editor asked me to render to beta tape and offered use of a deck or camera as tape would eliminate at least transferring on his end. I used to work at a tv station and would render to a perception drive, then playback on a production moniter with a beta deck and record it to beta. I don't have that set up now and can't afford. Is there some way that I can render out of After Effects to a mini dv camera?

Sue
Susan McConnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2005, 04:34 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
Susan...

How large are these files?

For our own production we routinely move up to 30 seconds of video via FTP as a Quicktime file. Saves a lot of driving. The file is then dragged/dropped into a timeline in FCP for mastering to tape on the receiving end.

You might want to see if you can develop a workflow like that. If it takes more than a half hour of drive time, plus searching for parking, then an FTP transfer is definitely worth it.

Also, you can continue working while the files are moving over to the client.
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2005, 04:44 PM   #3
Tourist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4
Thanks for responding, I'm getting worried. I tried the ftp but the files take forever. They may be up to a Gig in size or more. I'm required to do 30 seconds to 1 minute often and if I do a pict sequence that needs an alpha channel that really bogs me down. Is there something I don't know, an easier way? I've been doing animation for over 10 years but I figured it out on my own and it's only about 1 quarter of my job so I am not up to speed on many aspects of the job.

Sue
Susan McConnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2005, 05:00 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
A gigabyte file is pretty huge, even for broadband FTP.

It's not possible to include an alpha channel on tape as the format doesn't allow it. The only way to do that would be to render the alpha channel as a matte and burn that to tape along with the graphics. The producer would then use the seperate matte to key the graphics. But the time it would take to do that would be equivalent to putting it onto a disk.

Another option is to render out an Animation codec file -- not sure how large a one-minute file would be, tho. I know that a DV file is about 200 megabytes and that's compressed about 5:1. The Animation codec allows for an embedded alpha channel and is lossless. Need to make sure it's rendered as "millions of colors +" and premultiplied.

Then instead outputting to a DVD, put it on a Firewire drive. That would copy faster than burning to a DVD. You'd have to wait to get the drive back from the producer, tho.

For whole shows, about 12-16 gigabytes, we use a compact Firewire drive to get the show from the offline editor to the online editor for finishing and mastering to tape. Doesn't require a power supply as it takes power from the Firewire buss and it moves the one-hour show over in about 20 minutes.

It'll only work if the Avid editor's system has a Firewire port. Another option is a USB drive. There are some flash drives which have up to a gigabyte of capacity.
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2005, 05:02 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
I should have read more carefully -- you're already working with a portable drive.

By the way, my background is also from print. 24 years in the newspaper business, with the last 10 as a chief photographer, moving the operation over to an all-digital process and developing prepress procedures.
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2005, 06:00 PM   #6
Tourist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4
I've never output anything except the Quicktime and Picts. What is an animation codec? I see that I have these options but never tried them. Maybe I'll mess around with that and see if it helps.

It's great to dabble in different medias, glad to hear you do the same.

Sue
Susan McConnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
Yep, Animation codec is one of the options when you export or render a Quicktime file out of AE.

You have the option of rendering in "millions of colors" or "millions of colors +". The second option will allow the inclusion of an alpha channel.

This might take up less space than a series of pict frames and be easier for an editor to import into a project.
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2005, 09:09 PM   #8
Tourist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4
I had no idea. I still need to figure out the tape thing but the quicktime/alpha information is extremely helpful.
Susan McConnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12th, 2005, 12:05 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
Maybe this information will help you a little...

Rendering to animation codec should be about half the size of a PICT sequence. I believe adding in the alpha channel (millions of color+ instead of millions of colors) will increase file size by about a third.

If you're both on cable/broadband, you could be getting ~300KB/s transfers (maybe even 500KB/s). 500MB should take about 42 minutes at 300KB/s. That's in a really good scenario though.

I haven't tried this myself, but some routers can use two broadband connections and this may increase speed and will increase reliability (because your internet connection will sometimes go down). For a single connection, your speeds might top out at the speed of one broadband connection (depends on the router).
Example router: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...8031&CatId=584
broadbandreports.com (they have forums there) would be a good place to find more information on this.
You can find out about the fastest broadband available in your area, find a link to your ISP's speed test site (you may not be getting advertised speeds), and other information.


2- A firewire drive should be able to transfer faster than real-time, whereas a beta tape is stuck at real-time speed (and lower quality). Maybe there's something on their side that can be sped up?

A firewire 400/1394a drive should be transferring at around 35MB/s. There are some even faster ones (firewire 800, external drives with two hard drives inside in RAID 0 configuration). Still, the actual transfer over firewire should be like 2 minutes.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Digital Compositing and Effects

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:08 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network