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John Knowles
Workflow advice: greenscreen>color>effects
on Feb 9, 2010 at 6:01:02 pm

Hi all,

Just looking for some advice on how to proceed with a complex project. I just shot a music video which is 100% greenscreen footage. I'm doing my edit in Final Cut Pro and I want to try to do everything else in AE. I'm going to export my final timeline via XML and import into AE, then do my keying pass on all the clips. The whole video has a specific color look that requires dropping the footage to B&W, upping the contrast and then colorizing blue. I'm worried that I'll be adding too many filters at one time, should I be collapsing or nesting comps as I go along?

TIA,
JK



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Workflow advice: greenscreen>color>effects
on Feb 9, 2010 at 6:16:06 pm

[John Knowles] "I'm worried that I'll be adding too many filters at one time, should I be collapsing or nesting comps as I go along? "

Unless you're trying to post this epic on a laptop with 4 lousy GB RAM, you ought to be okay. For AE work, I deem laptops pretty much useless. They make good paperweights.


Here's some unsolicited advice: I STRONGLY urge you to Capture as ProRes 422 in FCP. Native HDV is a disaster in AE. Don't do it. Similarly, unless you have some gee-whiz HD camera that shoots 4-4-4 color, capturing ProRes HQ is a waste of good file space and will do nothing to improve your images. Stick with ProRes422. Even if you don't have FCP installed on your AE machine, you can still READ Prores with a free plugin fromApple for QT, found here:
http://support.apple.com/downloads/Apple_ProRes_QuickTime_Decoder_1_0_for_M...
...then render in PNG codec (not necessarily a PNG sequence) out of AE. I's lossless.

I presume you're versed in Primary/Secondary color correction.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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John Knowles
Re: Workflow advice: greenscreen>color>effects
on Feb 9, 2010 at 6:53:29 pm

Thanks Dave.

I'm pretty familiar with Primary/Secondary color correction, but I usually use Apple's Color. I was thinking this might be a good project to do the color work within AE for the first time, using Red Giant's Colorista; I don't think I want to roundtrip back out to Color afterwards (FCP>AE>Color) unless someone recommends it. And yes, I'm working in Apple ProRes (footage was shot on Canon 7D HDSLR and converted).

Funny you should mention it, I am typing on a laptop with 4GB of RAM right now, but only because I'm working from home. I can cut in FCP no problem, but I do plan on doing all the major AE stuff on the tower in my office.

JK



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Workflow advice: greenscreen>color>effects
on Feb 9, 2010 at 7:04:19 pm

[John Knowles] "...I do plan on doing all the major AE stuff on the tower in my office. "

A wise choice. In multiprocessing mode, AE can utilize up to 4 GB per core. You can run out of memory real fast with AE.

And remember this: you'll have to do the XML transfer and ALL of the AE work at the office. Sorry, no leisurely AE work at home on the couch. The files the transfer generates for the clips are just pointers to the original media... or render files, should that happen. Make sure they're in place on the machine where you'll do the AE work before you use that XML trick!

One final note: if you shot at a film frame rate, almost everybody refers to it as 23.98. Well, that's wrong. It's actually 23.976, and that's the frame rate at which you'll want to work in AE. Do otherwise at your great consternation and frustration.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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John Knowles
Re: Workflow advice: greenscreen>color>effects
on Feb 9, 2010 at 7:25:15 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "...actually 23.976, and that's the frame rate at which you'll want to work in AE. Do otherwise at your great consternation and frustration."

Ooh, good to know. I had assumed that AE would know what to do with a 23.98 setting. Regarding media, I have all my clips duplicated between a RAID at the office and a G-RAID at home; I'll swap updated project files and FX shots via the laptop or DropBox if necessary.

Here's another question: if I want to update my edit in FCP after I've been working on the XML export in AE, is there any conform function in AE to accommodate a new edit? Does Automatic Duck do that? I don't really want to show the client anything for approval until there are effects added and it looks about 90% there. Otherwise, they'll just be approving an edit with a guy in front of a green screen and I don't know if they can wrap their heads around that. So if they make changes down the road I'm just wondering if I can jump back into FCP easily or not...

JK

p.s. - hollah to Cedar Rapids! I used to live in the Quad Cities and Des Moines!



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Workflow advice: greenscreen>color>effects
on Feb 9, 2010 at 7:45:11 pm

[John Knowles] "I had assumed that AE would know what to do with a 23.98 setting..."

It OUGHT to see it as 23.976... which confuses those who only know it as 23.98.

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[John Knowles] "if I want to update my edit in FCP after I've been working on the XML export in AE, is there any conform function in AE to accommodate a new edit? Does Automatic Duck do that?"

I have no clue. You'd have to go to The Duck's web site for a look-see. I've been trying to get even FCP2AE from Popcorn Island for a year now, but the engineers -- who are the system administrators -- won't do it. I've given up. Right now, I'd settle for the proper fonts for our station's graphics package... and I've been asking for those for TWO years. But enough of that.

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[John Knowles] "I'm just wondering if I can jump back into FCP easily or not... "

My guess -- and it's only a guess, mind you -- is no. To my knowledge, AE has no way of knowing that the new cut only has a tight shot replaced, and a wide shot lengthened. It would be seen as a new comp after XML transfer. Lots o' cuttin' an' pastin' to get back to Square On in that case, if you know what I mean. It's one of the problems of shooting an all-chroma key piece, I guess.

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[John Knowles] "p.s. - hollah to Cedar Rapids! I used to live in the Quad Cities and Des Moines! "

So you couldn't drive twenty stinkin' miles up I-380, huh? :-)

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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