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April 25, 2006 at 5:22 AM #36793AnonymousInactive
Is it encouraged, when working with either CGI, composited footage or both, to always export the clip as a sequence of high quality image files, like TGA or TIF, which can be imported into your NLE as a single clip? (ie, 10.000 images for each frame as a single clip). I’ve often seen people do this rather than export their finished footage as an uncompressed AVI (or when working with DV-AVI, as another DV-AVI file)
What is the reasoning behind this? Can AVI files not contain an alpha channel, while image sequences can? (If so, I can understand why it would be used to import CGI into a compositor as an image sequence to be composited onto live fooage, but should the final render that wlil go back into the NLE also be an image sequence?)
Is there generation loss when rendering out DV-AVI (Render a clip, work on it, render it again, work on it, render it again etc etc, or is DV-AVI totally lossless?)
What advantages does the image sequence method have? Should only the actual footage that’s being composited on and the stuff that will be superimposed be in an image sequence, while the final render that goes into your NLE should be the same filetype as the source footage? Or should EVERYTHING (exported clip from NLE, exported CGI render, composited render to be brought back into NLE) be in an image sequence?
April 25, 2006 at 8:35 AM #163424AnonymousInactive
You might be want to try this too. Export your work as a Quicktime file (.mov) by using the Quicktime codec from within Premiere. Just set it to RGB+alpha (I think that’s the one), and you will get the same high quality video as an AVI file but with the transparences of the alpha channel included. I know AF and Premier can work with this format but Im not certain about that 3D/Effects app youre referring too. I have to believe that it can. In fact most of the higher end video apps should be able to work with Quicktime files by now.
After you’re all done bouncing back and fourth between programs and you have your desired video and effects laid down, just bring it all back into Premier and render the whole thing out as a final AVI file and you would be good to go from there.
April 25, 2006 at 9:27 AM #163425AnonymousInactive
Ok well, which situations would I use image sequences/MOVs and which would I use DV-AVI?
When rendering footage to take from Premiere and use in After Effects, do you render as a DV-AVI or an image sequence? I’m assuming that the effects I composite onto that footage will be an image sequence, but what should the "base" layer video that I bring from Premiere into AE be? Do you include the audio if you’re just going to be working with video effects?
And the question in reverse, when bringing something from AE into Premiere, once you’re finished compositing, what do you render from AE as?
Also, If I was going to use one blanket-filter over an entire movie (not just shots making up a movie) would I just export the entire timeline from Premiere to AE (either an AVI or image sequence) add the filter and then export from AE to the final DV-AVI?
Got Premiere Pro 2 and AE7 separately as part of a student discount so I can’t use Dynamic Link…Is there any workaround to this though?
April 25, 2006 at 11:53 AM #163426AnonymousInactive
The answers to your questions all depend on what youre trying to do. Since I dont have a clue, all I can tell you is this. The only time you need to export a file with an embedded alpha channel would be if you plan on using it as layer feature in some other application. This layer could be a special effect element(s), some kind of object(s), some special selected video section, a mask or even a matte. For me I do all of that in After Effects (AE) and export using the AVI+alpha settings. Ill import that into Premier Pro (PP) and finish my comp section that way. The reason I do it that way is because AE has more power and features than PP does in that regard. Im not sure you would need to go from PP to AE with an alpha channel clip because you could just import the same source footage that you’re using for PP into AE do what you wanted to do and then export the finished comp into PP for final compiling.
Example: I want to make a spinning 3D cube on top of some existing footage in PP. I would fire up AE, throw up a black solid, lay a primitive 3D cube on top of that, key frame in some spinning and any other movements, render that out using the AVI+alpha settings and I would end up with an AVI file that only has the cube spinning and moving with an alpha (transparent) background. Then when you import that into PP, it will see that there is an alpha channel present and ask you how to interpret it and after you answer that you just drop it on a timeline and you should end up with just the spinning cube over the top of whatever you already had on the line(s) below.
Lets say youre doing a space scene with a bunch of ships. You would sort of do the same thing with each individual ship in AE, render out each ship comp with the alpha channel and then import them all into PP. From there you just drop them on different timelines so you could move the individual ships around and you would have that 3D layered look in outer space. I guess if it were me I would just do all of that work in AE and then send it over.
April 25, 2006 at 3:11 PM #163427AnonymousInactive
Ok, basically I’m making an effect in Particle Illusion, and compositing it with After Effects.
I tried this, and got problems.
– Did my effect in particle illusion and exported as a TIFF sequence
– Opened After Effects and Premiere, The shot I was going to be compositing on was quite long and the beginning and ending of the preceding clip had a dissolve (Should I only add transistions after all the compositing and affeced clips are lined up and done?), so I razored it in half, and selected just the part which would be affected. I copied this and pasted it in AE (Yay, good intergration)
– I comped the PI shot onto that clip, looked perfect…Exported as a TIFF seuquence…
– Brought the sequence into Premeire and replaced the second half of the razored clip with this sequence.
Should be fine..BUT, there is a small, but noticeable drop in quality between the two halves (the one untouched and the one from AE)…It seems that the picture softens just a bit, just enough to be distracting…I rendered out as a DV clip from AE too, and the same problem occured…I’m wondering if it has to do with Particle Illusions composite causing problems I use the Premultiplied lum. transfer mode in AE, though, or else the effect wont come through as it’s rendered out from Particle Illusion with a "Non-Intense Particles Create Alpha Channel" setting so that the lighting isn’t ruined by a slight black halo…Could that be the problem?
Any ideas? This is starting to bug me.
I really don’t know what to do…Is this an After Effects problem, a Particle Illusion problem or what? The problem obviously wouldn’t be noticeable if I didn’t affect one half of a clip and leave the other untouched, but still, I don’t expect this to happen.
Would it be easier to just use the original video from PP in Particle Illusion as a background, do the effect straight on it, and render out the effect and the background as one? The only con I can find in this is the fact that the effect and the background wont be separate and I wont be able to colour correct the effect to match the background.
In this clip (11mb), after one second (at 0:02) you can see a slight shift in tone and sharpness (look at the top corners of the tree branches). Annoying.
April 26, 2006 at 7:36 AM #163428AnonymousInactive
OK I looked at your clip and I see what you mean. This shouldnt be that difficult. The only thing here is that Im not familiar with PI so Im going to be doing a lot of assuming here. You said that you created your affect in PI and rendered it out as a TIFF file. Question: Was this rendered out with an embedded alpha channel? If so, why not just import that into PP and layer that little particle piece over the top of that tree w/sign clip? If the PI clip has the alpha channel it should be transparent leaving only the visible particles being displayed over the underlying clip of the trees and sign. Am I missing something?
Anyway, what I suspect happened is that because you generated that original TIFF file from PI and then re-did part of that in AF and then rendered/exported it again that the second section was in essences rendered twice using a different render engine. Its possible that AEs and PIs render engines might be slightly different even though youre technically exporting the same file format. The other possibility is that there was a setting parameter set different somewhere.
Because you said that you clip was real long, heres a little trick that I have used in the past. In PP, Razor just the section of video you want to work with. Copy that to a new sequence. Render and export just that sequence out of PP as an AVI clip. Bring that into AE or PI and do your thing. Render and export that comp out as an AVI again. Then just bring that new AVI comp back into PP and replace this over the older version. This way you dont have to deal with the whole clip length AND the section will be the exact same length youre going to be replacing. In other words I would do like you mentioned in the second to the last paragraph of your last post. Realistically however, you should be able to do what I suggested in my fist paragraph.
April 26, 2006 at 11:27 AM #163429AnonymousInactive
I would need to use AE though to apply a premultiplied luminance transfer effect or else it wouldn’t blend how it should.
I sorted out the problem though, what I was doing was copying a clip from PP, pasting it in AE, applying the effect and rendering out. When I went the long route and rendered out of PP, imported into AE, applied the effect there and rendered out from AE it was perfect and the difference in clips was seamless.
However, for this clip what I did was import the image sequence background into PI, apply the effect directly on it and render the background and effect out of PI as one clip, which also works, but for more advanced effects where I need to colour correct the effect to match the live action video, I would need to work on the effect and background video separately.
In a 3D App, can that method be used? Where the live action video you’re compositing on can be used as a background, your 3D animation built directly on it and then rendered out as one clip, eliminating the need for a middle-man compositing program like AE? Or when working with 3D stuff, do you need to colour correct the animation separately from the live video so you would need the two clips in a compositor separate from each other to work on them separately?
Also, just a side question, but what is the difference between TIFF and TGA? Which is better?
April 26, 2006 at 2:02 PM #163430AnonymousInactive
I kind of figured that your issue had to do with how everything was being rendered together so that makes sense.
I’m not sure what you mean with the 3D question but if you want to color correct a particular clip level within a multi-layered comp, you’ll have to do it there separately. If you render everything out and then try color correcting that new flattened or merged result (sort of speak) you would be correcting everything together. For the most part I always use AE because it’s one of the most powerful (and affordable) program out there.
As far as the difference between the file formats, I quickly copied the technical explanations of the two from Adobe Photo Shops help section and pasted them below.
TGA: (Targa) format is designed for systems using the Truevision video board and is commonly supported by MS-DOS color applications. Targa format supports 16-bit RGB images (5 bits x 3 color channels, plus one unused bit), 24-bit RGB images (8 bits x 3 color channels), and 32-bit RGB images (8 bits x 3 color channels plus a single 8-bit alpha channel). Targa format also supports indexed-color and grayscale images without alpha channels. When saving an RGB image in this format, you can choose a pixel depth and select RLE encoding to compress the image.
TIFF: (Tagged-Image File Format) is used to exchange files between applications and computer platforms. TIFF is a flexible bitmap image format supported by virtually all paint, image-editing, and page-layout applications. Also, virtually all desktop scanners can produce TIFF images. TIFF format supports CMYK, RGB, Lab, indexed-color, and grayscale images with alpha channels and Bitmap-mode images without alpha channels. Photoshop can save layers in a TIFF file; however, if you open the file in another application, only the flattened image is visible. Photoshop can also save annotations, transparency, and multiresolution pyramid data in TIFF format.
As far as which one is better? They both serve a particular useful purpose in varying degrees. The TGA format can support more bit depth capabilities while a TIFF is more interchangeable and recognized by different programs, especially art and graphic types. I have used them both but I would say I use TGAs more for video.
April 26, 2006 at 3:45 PM #163431videolabParticipant
The workflow that I have used in my situation of going between 3ds Max, After Effects and Velocity Q/Premiere/Final Cut (depending on if i am using my personal stuff or on my computer at work); is TGA sequence from Max to AE and then a Lossless Animation+ Quicktime for the final composite to go to the editor. Uncompressed files look the best by far out of AE. Even if you are going to DV, uncompressed will look better in the end especially for text.
April 26, 2006 at 4:45 PM #163432AnonymousInactive
Thanks a lot guys!
Render and export just that sequence out of PP as an AVI clip. Bring that into AE or PI and do your thing. Render and export that comp out as an AVI again. Then just bring that new AVI comp back into PP and replace this over the older version. This way you dont have to deal with the whole clip length AND the section will be the exact same length youre going to be replacing.
That’s basically what I’ve been doing, but obviously exporting as an image sequence…Any problems with that? Relative to using AVI?
Videolab: Would you say that a rule of thumb when rendering between apps should be that only the captured video and final render should be DV-AVI while all video rendered in between should be an image sequence? TGA/TIFF is uncompressed I assume, so the compression point is moot…(If you were working with DV-AVI, however, would you render it out as uncompressed AVI? Would that make the quality better?)
Image sequences seem to work with me, I just need to know when to use them… Should DV-AVI be the bookends (capture and final render) while image sequences are everything in between, (what comes out of premiere, goes into an app, comes out of the app, goes into after effects and comes out of after effects to go back in to Premiere)?
Even when working with audio in after effects, should you render audio and video separately and bring them into AE as two different files?
April 26, 2006 at 7:53 PM #163433AnonymousInactive
In all of the editing I have ever did (million hours it seems), I have never really had to work with image sequences. No reason too I guess. What’s neat about video editing is that there are many ways to skin a cat. As far as what’s the best way, I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder, personal preference and what works best for each of us.
May 3, 2006 at 6:22 PM #163434videolabParticipant
I only use image sequences out of 3d apps. In after effects i export with either an uncompressed AVI or Quicktime. One of the main reasons that I use image sequences for the 3d apps is because i can render out any portion of the animation instead of eh whole thing. This saves alot of time. If I can change frames 60-154 of a 300 frame animation then I don’t have to render frames 1-59 or 155-300. Whereas if I used an AVI I would have to render the entire thing not to loose my other frames. AE’s ram previews are much closer to the actual final product so you don’t have to do a final render to see what it is going to look like.
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