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Old April 21st, 2007, 07:03 AM   #1
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After Effects post production/color correction workflow

We edit our movie in Vegas and I do the post and color correction work in AE. One of the only things that I feel I'm still doing inefficiently is the post production workflow...

I first thought it'd be simplest to just import the edited scene as a DV file and just work with that but then these problems popped up:

-Do I work with the scene in one composition? Or do I break up every shot in a different composition? Both have advantages and disadvantages, not sure which to choose.

-What about crossfades in the scene? It seems like there will have to be a special workflow for that because if the color correction differs from one shot to the next and there's a crossfade... It takes some ridiculous fiddling to get it to look right in post without actually working with the original footage.


Let me know your ideas, thanks!
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:57 AM   #2
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I've seen in some book it was suggested to have an adjustment layer above each video layer (and for the duration of those layers), that have two effects - levels and Contrast. To achieve similar results as from a DI studio, it said to correct your color you would shape the curve on R,B, and G channel. Dissolves are to be added after the color correcting process. I don't know how efficient this method is or practical since dissolves are created at edit time before AE.

You have a very good question, I hope someone with hands on experience can chip in.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 02:02 PM   #3
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I, too, am hoping someone with a bit of expertise in this area can provide some insight. I'm looking to take many Hi8 tapes and clean up the video. The one I'm currently working on has 240+ clips, each of which needs color correction, filtering, etc.

What's the general process on how hollywood does this, for example? With a feature length movie and hundreds of clips, where and how does color correction come into the process?

Do I take each clip and perform filtering and color correction, save it back out as a new file, and then perform my edits with that? Or do I perform my edits in Premiere, then import the Premiere timeline into AfterEffects, and perform the editing there?
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Old May 26th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #4
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I just read the book "The DV Rebel's Guide" by Stu Maschwitz (The Orphanage). I got it off Amazon. In it he details how to do an online of your video in AE. He explains the order to do things and how to break it up in comps. The book also comes with a DVD that has some custom color correction scripts with it. Be forwarned. His online process will take some work. You do cut up your project in AE. His focus is on creating a digital master without any recompression for the best quality.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 12:38 AM   #5
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In Vegas, export an AAF into After Effects. It should carry most information over.

The easiest way to work is to have a comp for each scene. In each scene comp, you have a layer for each clip. Unfortunately this gets messy... but to control CC on each clip, it has to have its own layer. Pre-comping doesn't help.

Render each scene as one big file. If you need to do any fixes, render out particular shots and throw them in Vegas on top of your original renders (in a new sequence). It can get a little messy, but just stay organized.

2- Make notes about any effects that appear in your Vegas timeline. Most of these will not carry into After Effects and have to be re-created.

You might want to do dissolves in AE since they look better with linear blending, and it makes conforming back into Vegas easier.

3- Do a test clip and see that the colors don't shift when going from Vegas to AE and back. Also check that AE is setup to handle studio RGB levels correctly (it's called ITU 601 or something like that in AE).

4- Tim: You might want to clean up your clips, render it out, and then bring the rendered clips into a new AE comp. Not sure about the most efficient way of doing this. It might be:
-Conform your project into AE. (Collapse everything into a single track beforehand.)
-Write down your effects and titles... you need to remove these before going into AE or make sure AE doesn't replicate them.
-Export an EDL just so you know where all your cross dissolves are.
-Apply your clean-up filters to all your clips.
-Render out one big file with cleaned-up video.
-Bring that file back in and chop it up. An EDL may or may not help here.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....00&postcount=5

-Cross dissolves need to be handled differently. You should get rid of them, then add them back in.

Quote:
What's the general process on how hollywood does this, for example? With a feature length movie and hundreds of clips, where and how does color correction come into the process?
Facilities may have proprietary/unique workflows that work for them. They may have proprietary tools to conform their projects.

Sometimes there are tasks that are particularly painful, boring or repetitive... that's what assistants are for. In high-end systems, sometimes you re-capture off tape and stuff doesn't come in frame accurate. So someone has to sit there and slip everything back into sync.

Quote:
Or do I perform my edits in Premiere, then import the Premiere timeline into AfterEffects, and perform the editing there?
Finish editing first, declare picture lock (promise not to change your edits), then do your color (and audio) work.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #6
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An alternative is to do most of your color work in Vegas.

Though export an AAF too. If you need to roto or motion track any masks, AE is GREAT for that. Use AE in those situations, render out and bring footage back into Vegas as a take.

Right-click-drag stuff from the media pool or explorer onto clips onto the timeline, and add as take. T flips between takes.

2- Studio RGB levels may be something to watch out for.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 08:45 AM   #7
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Stu Maschwitz recently posted his Rebel CC After Effects preset, and instructional video, on his blog (prolost.blogspot.com) and in conjunction with his book (heck, even without his book) seems like the surefire way to go. Rebel CC is for the primary grade to get everything to a standard look before you do your final corrections. Definitely a good place to start.


http://prolost.blogspot.com/2006/10/rebel-cc.html
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