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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old November 29th, 2006, 08:16 PM   #1
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HDV Effects workflow: FCP --> After Effects --> FCP

Hi,

If I want to pass HDV files from Final Cut Pro to my After Effects artist, who is working on the PC, what is the file format of choice?

I want to retain the highest quality color and picture detail. When he's done working on the shots, I want to import them back into my HDV timeline in Final Cut for final delivery on HD. I suppose quality outweighs filesizes.

I know this plot line is riddled with holes and complications, but I just wanted to see what the general consensus answer is here. Has anyone done this with any success before?

Many thanks for your thoughts.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 08:42 PM   #2
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I have that need in my studio. I edit with FCP on my iMac and own the Adobe production studio on my PC.

I have found that staying with quicktime is best. I will generally use the 'animation' codec for graphics I export in AE for FCP. They are big but they support alpha and are pretty much lossless.

I have also had success with uncompressed AVIs, but the MAC sure loves its QT.

Hope that helps.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 08:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for your answer. I've tried looking into the Animation codec, but comparing it side-by-side to the HDV makes it look washed out and less sharp...
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Old November 30th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #4
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There is a problem with HDV captured in FCP being put into After Effects.

After Effects will not interpolate the footage horizontally correctly, you will lose some horizintal resolution, as if you have stretched a 1440*1080 file to 1920*1080 using a 'nearest neighbor' type interpolation and not a 'bicubic' type interpolation.

In my search to resolve the issue, I tried the very same work flow on several machines and 3 different HDV cameras (HV10/FX-1/v1) - the consistent point to it being a FCP > AE problem.

The only solution (and belive me when I say I tried everything) is the re-write the headers for any quicktimes captured in FCP that you intend to import into AE - you can do this very easily in Quicktime Pro by simply relabeling the file as 1440 wide and not 1920 forcing AE to using its own internal interpolation algorithm giving a smooth horizontal intepolation.

This relabelling in QTPro does not change the file in any way, it does not resize the file or throw away information, it simply changes its description.

The other way is to capture in something like iMovie, although not as 'professional' as FCP the captures are identical (even thought iMovie calls its capture HDV1080 they are infact the HDV intermediate codec)

I now capture with iMovie - take this into AE - and then take AEs output into FCP for final editing.


Hope this makes sense !!!


Lee
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Old November 30th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #5
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I always use the Animation code set at full quality.
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