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Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage

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Bob Wilson
Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 8:04:19 am
Last Edited By Bob Wilson on Jun 8, 2017 at 9:01:45 am

Hello!

I'm trying to comp in an animated character over live action footage. I had worked with an artist on my last film who had done the same thing but they're unreachable now. I have the files and they're in SGI format. When I check them out in AE, they have a black background. They can be exported as MP$ and be comped in but when I try it on my own, it comes out as a separate video (see below). What am I doing wrong?



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Michael Szalapski
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 4:01:26 pm

Can you choose to interpret the SGI format with an alpha channel in the interpret footage dialog?

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Bob Wilson
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 4:48:28 pm

I don't have that option but even in the previous artists work, when asked, he told me "The black is nothing. No alpha. And no RGB"

I don't know how much that helps, if at all, but it's all the info I have to go on.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 5:49:16 pm

It can't be neither alpha nor RGB though...
Anyway, you might try the Extract effect to cut out the very darkest pixels.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Bob Wilson
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 5:53:42 pm

Yeah, I have no clue what he meant either

My current artist is doing the art in photoshop and using after effects to animate. What setting(s) should he use to make it so that the animation is able to be comped in over live action seamlessly? We're both rather new to this so thank you for your patience :)


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 6:08:42 pm

After Effects can import Photoshop files. No need to do anything fancy. :)

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Bob Wilson
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 6:12:36 pm

well, I mean in the sense of making it so that it can be comped in. Backgrounds etc. I've seen green backgrounds, blue, black, and yet on export and when I put them in premiere to edit, it comes out like a separate video like in my original post.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 6:27:41 pm

I would recommend compositing in After Effects.
I generally use Premiere to edit and then use After Effects to do compositing.

That being said, if you really want to use Premiere to do your comping, just export from AE into a format that supports alpha and make sure you have it enabled.
For example, in your Output Module, you could choose QuickTime with the PNG codec. And then make sure you choose RGB + Alpha!


- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Bob Wilson
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 6:36:42 pm

The plan is for me to shoot live action, give him a low res version so he can create and comp, export the files, and I import them into premiere for the edit/final export. On his export, use the settings in the shot you just showed me?


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 6:54:32 pm

The RGB + Alpha is the key to get an alpha channel in your final product, yes.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Bob Wilson
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 7:24:31 pm

So when I do the export of the SGI files (which is how the animator is exporting the animation files) to adobe media encoder, what format shall I use to put them into my timeline in premiere? As of now, I used h264 and it comes out as a separate video and when laid into the timeline, it just comes out as a video track.. What output would you suggest?


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Bob Wilson
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 9:24:53 pm

I experimented and it worked! I do have a further question. Since it is ideal for any film maker to have the best possible image, I noticed that PNG sequences are low in file size as opposed to a TIFF sequence. Would TIFF be best in comparison for image quality?


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Exporting animation to be comped in over live footage
on Jun 8, 2017 at 9:58:24 pm

The quality level should be very similar if not identical.
Although, it would be easy to give it a quick test. Render the same frame (or sequence) as both PNGs and TIFs, import them both into AE, stack them on top of each other and flip the visibility of the top layer on and off. Do you see a difference? To check and be totally sure, you can use the Difference Blending mode for the top layer. Anything that's not grey are areas where there are differences.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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