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Workflow for getting HD422 into After Effects

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Chris Burns
Workflow for getting HD422 into After Effects
on Mar 5, 2013 at 2:50:13 pm

I edit a daily science news show and my company recently bought a Sony PMW-100 to replace our HV-V1U.
The show is shot on green screen and the main reason we got a PMW-100 was for it's HD422 codec. Our first day using the PMW-100 was a flop - after importing the footage using the XDCAM browser and pulling the HD1080p30 files into Final Cut to cut a string out and importing the string-out into After Effects we noticed that if anything, the quality of the picture was worse. We are now convinced that we are doing something wrong either work-flow wise or something to do with the camera settings. Yesterday we shot straight to express card and then imported the footage via the camera's USB which took upwards of 45 minutes. Today we are going to shoot straight to an external SSD drive. I've done a lot of searching and can't really find any answers to this problem. For reference we're editing on a Mac Pro with OS 10.8 using FCP7 & After Effects CS6.


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Ian Cook
Re: Workflow for getting HD422 into After Effects
on Mar 5, 2013 at 4:34:47 pm

The quality should not take a hit in the re-wrapping process as the video essence is not being re-encoded or otherwise touched when you go through Browser. More than likely it is an issue with QuickTime or the GPU or whatever is decoding the file. Also, things like drive speed and RAM specs may impact the level of real time performance and introduce dropped frames and other types of artifacts but generally speaking should not cause the video to look like it's been degraded.


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Chris Burns
Re: Workflow for getting HD422 into After Effects
on Mar 5, 2013 at 5:21:10 pm

Thanks for responding - we just finished taping today's show and I'm exporting the chromakey out of After Effects right now & unfortunately the picture quality is extremely noisy. In fact it's markedly worse than anything we've ever shot on our V1U's. Also for reference I'm working on a 12-core Mac Pro with 48GB of RAM. At this point I have a hunch that it has something to do with how we are shooting & not necessarily the camera itself.


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Ian Cook
Re: Workflow for getting HD422 into After Effects
on Mar 5, 2013 at 5:25:32 pm

Are you shooting in 422? Make sure the camera is actually operating in UDF mode and shooting 422/50 and not 420/35. As long as there isn't a lot of gain or other garbage/loss in the video it should hold up very well through the keying process.


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Chris Burns
Re: Workflow for getting HD422 into After Effects
on Mar 5, 2013 at 5:28:51 pm

Yea we're shooting in HD422 1080p30 at 50mb/s & the camera is in UDF mode. Also when we shoot there doesn't seem to be any gain/garbage on the EVF or our external HDMI monitor at all. It only really becomes noticeable when we key her (the host) out.


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Chris Burns
Re: Workflow for getting HD422 into After Effects
on Mar 5, 2013 at 7:48:37 pm

Also I just realized this - although we are shooting in UDF mode, the files are still being stored on our express card. Could that have anything to do with a loss of quality?


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Ian Cook
Re: Workflow for getting HD422 into After Effects
on Mar 5, 2013 at 8:01:29 pm

Sorry, not sure I follow-- where else could they go? You can only record UDF to SxS cards on the PMW100/200. It's called UDF because it allows an SxS card to utilize the file system used on XDCAM Optical Discs.


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Chris Burns
Re: Workflow for getting HD422 into After Effects
on Mar 5, 2013 at 8:03:10 pm

Sorry that's just some confusion on my part - for some reason I thought that UDF only recorded to the optical disc & FAT only recorded to the SxS cards.


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