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Old December 31st, 2008, 02:49 AM   #1
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Workflow Problems/Questions

We could use a little help with a work flow issue,
I am trying to help a friend with a small After Effects project. She is shooting HD and I am working with AE7.
What is the recommended steps to bring HD footage into AE, work a little magic, and then export to a format that maintains the best quality, and can then be slipped back into a Vegas 8 time line for final editing. I am trying to stay uncompressed AVI as the clips are small and file size is an acceptable trade off here, as far as I can tell so far.
If someone has a best practice for this, it would help a lot.
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Last edited by Ken Bates; December 31st, 2008 at 02:51 AM. Reason: content
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Old December 31st, 2008, 03:05 AM   #2
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Yes, it sure would help a lot. :) Ken and I have a due date of Jan. 1 so we really appreciate any and all advice!
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Old December 31st, 2008, 07:34 AM   #3
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Your workflow should be the cleanest. You can export from AE using QT and the Animation codec. It's lossless but the file size is smaller than uncompressed. This is what I use for bits I'll use repeatedly like logos and such. I have CS3 so I rely heavily on Dynamic Link for one off clip processing.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 08:57 AM   #4
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Thanks for that, Tripp. Since Ken is the AE guy that falls in his department. :)

We've tried some things already but are having lots of problems, so we're trying to start from the top. For instance, sending m2t/mpg files didn't work for him so I was told to send AVI NTSC DV Widescreen clips. Is that the correct first step?
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Old December 31st, 2008, 09:30 AM   #5
 
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IMHO, by going to DV intermediates at the front end of a workflow you're going to introduce a lot of quality degradation when you apply FX in AE. I would stay in HD until FX are completed and you're ready to downconvert and produce the mpeg2.

There's a number of fairly inexpensive intermediates that i like to use, very much. Bitjazz's SHEER is one. Cineform NEO HD is good too, but, may be too expensive for you. Another possibility is Avid's DNxHD, which is free from the Avid website. All three of these are MAC/PC agnostic.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 10:22 AM   #6
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I agree with Bill that you should stay in HD until the final render because you will maintain more resolution to apply your FX too. If you are on a PC, another HD intermediate is DVFilm Raylight AVI's. But like Cineform, it costs some money (about $150 on sale) so uncompressed is the cheapest.

If you have the space and cpu power then working with the uncompressed avi or quicktime will give you the best quality. Since you have gotten that to work it sounds like it would be the most reliable option.

Hope this helps,
Andy
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Old December 31st, 2008, 02:30 PM   #7
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Staying in HD

I agree, staying in HD would be best. As somewhat of a "sub-contractor" on this I certainly want to maintain the image Quality as long as possible. I don't see any information that suggests AE7 should have a problem with HD footage per se'.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 06:27 PM   #8
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I read you guys' posts, looked up at the banner ad that said Cineform, went there and found Neo Scene for $129. That sounds like our ticket! Thanks so much, fellas. :)
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Old December 31st, 2008, 10:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
sending m2t/mpg files didn't work for him so I was told to send AVI NTSC DV Widescreen clips. Is that the correct first step?
I agree with the others. Stay HD. If you're looking for intermediate codecs I'll again suggest QT/Animation. If you pay for an intermediate codec, you'll need licenses for both of your machines. Double the cost. Using what you already have will save money and time. Since it's due in hours, do you have time to install/debug new software? Just a thought.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 10:58 PM   #10
 
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Cineform sells their encoder. The decoder is available for free.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 11:15 PM   #11
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Export options

So, how does exporting in QT affect Linda when she has to bring in clips that I have modified this way. Is it not important to keep similar file times in a time line with Vegas, or other NLVE apps for that matter. That is something I was trying to keep a constancy on. Maybe for not good reason.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 11:35 PM   #12
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Shouldn't be a problem, Ken; part of preparing to help Lorinda with my end of the effects work involved installing the Vegas trial version, and I just tried importing a few different format .mov files. No difficulties that I could see, they all imported and sat nicely on the timeline. With the appropriate Quicktime codec installed on her machine, she'll be good to go.

Sorry I couldn't help you out sooner, but I didn't know you guys still needed to figure this out (I didn't even know this thread was here). Not to mention the workflow I used was a rather convoluted process, one I just summarized in this thread but involving the .m2t file format and an extra step--Donald Graft's DGMPGDec plugin with its DGIndex program to prepare the file--and isn't something I imagine you'd want to slog through.

Good luck with your shots, I can't wait to see how it all comes out!
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