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Old January 5th, 2012, 11:00 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Render settings for an XDCAM EX project?

Workflow Setup:
PC / Windows 7
Adobe CS 5.5 Production Suite (Premiere, After Effects)
working with XDCAM EX 1920x1080 (HQ) @ 59.94i

I'm trying to determine what the best render settings are for AE graphics that will be added to an XDCAM EX 1080i (59.94) project, and am very confused. My previous workflow was standard definition, so everything was rendered into DV NTSC codec, very simple. However now that I'm working in HD, and there isn't an XDCAM EX render preset, I don't know what to do.

First of all, it doesn't look like I can even use the same codec as the footage, which is MPEG2 HD 35mbps (a proprietary Sony codec I'm sure). Out of the format options in AE, the one that made the most sense was H.264 at like 4-5mbps; since my footage is wrapped in as .mp4's, I initially thought it would be the best match. The final output files look pretty perfect too, but the file was is so small that it really makes me uncomfortable; I'm used to DV/uncompressed files that are like 4GB a minute or something. With that mindset, I tried exporting from AE using the AVI format... but that resulted in something way too large.

Basically I'm just wondering what settings I should be exporting from AE with to best match my footage. The only advice I've found online so far is "use ProRes", so that really doesn't help me.
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Old January 5th, 2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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Re: Render settings for an XDCAM EX project?

Surprisingly, Photo - JPEG in Quicktime for Windows at 100% is a great export setting for HD that is not as disk space intensive as uncompressed HD. I use that for progressive scan projects all the time.
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 09:03 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai, India
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Re: Render settings for an XDCAM EX project?

There are two ways to this:

a. Are you finishing in Premiere? If yes, then you need to export your graphics at the best settings possible. Otherwise, you are headed for a double encode (MPEG4/2 re-encode of MPEG4/2 data), which is the worst thing you could do to your graphics, especially if you have sharp edges in it.

My advice?
b. Finish in After Effects. Edit your piece in Premiere and lock it. Open the project in After Effects (no rendering happens). Build your graphics on top of your project and export from AE.
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