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Checking My Adjustments to After Effects HDV Workflow

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Joshua Sundberg
Checking My Adjustments to After Effects HDV Workflow
on Aug 8, 2010 at 7:13:21 pm

I have been reading all the great posts on HDV in After Effects and still getting my head around compression and codecs. I have been producing video for several months (learning and failing much) with quite a bit of success, but I am finally getting to the point were I want to increase the quality of my end products.

I realize my workflow is off and I could experiment a bit, but I wanted to get some feedback on the changes I am making to see if more experienced person think it is optimal for best quality and efficiency

So here are my questions and setup:

Setup
Mac
SONY HVR A1U
AE CS4
Premiere Pro CS4
Final Cut Pro
Quicktime PRo

This is the workflow I have been using:
HVR A1U- Capture HDV 1080i= 1440x1080 29.97
Capture in FCP settings- Sequence HDV- 1080i60, Capture preset; HDV
AE CS4; Comp size 1280 x 720 sqaure pixels or 1920 x 1080 sqaure pixels
Render AE- FLV/F4V

The videos are going into, youtube, Vimo, Flash Players, and also being played on computers for presentations in QT or WMP.

After reading Daves #1 rule I realize that there need to be significant changes made. Here is what I am thinking and questions:

Camera: HVR A1U- Capture HDV 1080i= 1440x1080 29.97
Question would it be better to just use DV and skip the HDV?

Capture: FCP ProRes 422 1440 x 1080 60i for the sequence preset and Apple ProRes 422 for the capture settings?
Is this the best arrangement?

AFter Effects: AE CS4; Comp size 1280 x 720 sqaure pixels or 1920 x 1080 sqaure pixels

Render: Adobe Media Encoder: continue to use FLV/F4V
Or what would be a better choice for my desired end use?

Your advice already given is greatly appreciated and I appreciate your assistance on this specific questions


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Checking My Adjustments to After Effects HDV Workflow
on Aug 9, 2010 at 1:53:50 pm

"Would it be better to just use DV and skip the HDV?"
Do you want HD footage? If so, then no. DV is not what you want. If you're capturing your footage as ProRes, then you are skipping the whole HDV compression issue that Dave addresses in his Stock Answer #1. He's referring to a compression codec in the footage, but if you're capturing your footage as ProRes, you're not using them.

As for rendering advice, I tend to render uncompressed video out of AE and use the Media Encoder to compress my final file.
As for your final compression format and settings, they are going to vary depending on your intended final output.
To quote from the last part of Dave's Stock Answer #3:
"Making good-looking compressed files is almost as much an art as it is a science. It is NOT straightforward at all. I recommend asking a few questions at the COW's Compression Techniques forum."


- 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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Joshua Sundberg
Re: Checking My Adjustments to After Effects HDV Workflow
on Aug 9, 2010 at 5:46:33 pm

Up until know, I have been capturing under the HDV setting in FCP6. I am now moving to the ProRes 422 capture as a result of my research here. My question about using HDV or Dv was related to the problems that AE has in handling it.

But from your response and Dave's, the ProRes 422 corrects the HDV compression issue. Thanks for the response, compression here, compression there, still trying to get my head around how each stage of the workflow can impact the process.


I feel as if these adjustments are going to have a positive impact on my next project which I shoot on Wednesday.

Gratis


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Checking My Adjustments to After Effects HDV Workflow
on Aug 9, 2010 at 4:32:03 pm

If you're going to do your AE work in Version 9.x, you really ought to work in FCP, and capture your video in Prores 422. The reason: Premiere might be able to work with native H.264, but AE 9 can't.

I didn't see which Final Cut Suite version you run, but you ought to be able to do a Log & Capture direct to ProRes 422, which is FCP's go-to codec. If your camera records on cards, make that a Log & Transfer.

If you're not aware of the gamma adjustments you might have to make with ProRes, you should read this:
http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/05/prores-4444-and-prores-422-in.ht...

If you run FCP7, you'd have access to ProRes HQ. Unless you're round-tripping the video from FCP to AE and back to FCP -- and doing this more than once to the same video, which is never a good idea -- working in ProRes HQ isn't necessary. ProRes 422 will do the job for you.

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


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Joshua Sundberg
Re: Checking My Adjustments to After Effects HDV Workflow
on Aug 9, 2010 at 5:40:38 pm

I running FCP6.

I am log and capturing into FCP. So it looks like I will begin using ProRes 422. I have ProRes 422 HQ as an option, if I can would you use that instead even thought 422 will work?

Also just to make sure of the exact setting I should use: FCP ProRes 422 1440 x 1080 60i correct? As this is the footage I am bringing in. . .

Thanks Dave, your an amazing resource.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Checking My Adjustments to After Effects HDV Workflow
on Aug 9, 2010 at 5:56:04 pm

[Joshua Sundberg] "if I can would you use that instead even thought 422 will work?"

Hey, if you have sufficient storage, knock yourself out.
HQ file sizes are bigger, for imperceptible improvements in image quality.





[Joshua Sundberg] "FCP ProRes 422 1440 x 1080 60i correct?"

If that's the resolution your camera shoots, yes.

If you're shooting 24p, you'll have to remove the 3:2 pulldown. The result would then be a 23.976 (aka 23.98) frames/sec file, and you should do it BEFORE you start cutting. Your AE work would then be in a 23.976 comp.

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


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