FORUMS: list search recent posts

Editing and Special FX

COW Forums : Art of the Edit

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Daniel Kim
Editing and Special FX
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:35:52 pm

Hey guys,

I'm not sure if I'm posting to the correct forum, but here i go :)

I love using Vegas and After Effects (with my PC) and FCS in my macbook.
I'm really starting to the merge the two workflow together (editing and special fx) and wanted to ask you guys what your workflow is like?

Do you edit/merge/cut/paste/whateveryoupleasetodo your footages first and render the final video out and import that to AE (or any application) and add special effects where it needs to?

Or do you guys get clips of the footages you shot into AE and add the necessary special effects and bring the final clips into your NLE and edit your footages, then?

I feel like the first way is more intuitive than the ladder. But I only have these two scenarios because I could only think of these two, for now. Haha

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated it! Thanks!!

If it didn't make sense, sorry!


Return to posts index

Alan Okey
Re: Editing and Visual Effects
on Feb 24, 2010 at 1:34:40 am

[Daniel Kim] "Or do you guys get clips of the footages you shot into AE and add the necessary special effects and bring the final clips into your NLE and edit your footages, then? "

This is the more common workflow for VFX shots when using NLE software. There's a different workflow on high end finishing systems like Smoke, but in Vegas, FCP, Premiere or Avid the VFX shots are usually completed outside the editing app and brought back into the timeline for finishing.

There can be some "gotchas" to this method, most notably anticipating/dealing with gamma shits when exporting/importing footage, but that's outside the scope of this discussion. The typical workflow is that VFX (anything beyond the capabilities of the editing app) are handled on a per-shot basis in a dedicated compositing or VFX app, then brought back into the NLE and edited into the project.

Just a quick note: get in the habit of using the term "visual effects" or VFX for short. The term "special effects" refers specifically to practical real-world physical production effects like pyrotechnics, fog, etc.


Return to posts index

Daniel Kim
Re: Editing and Visual Effects
on Feb 24, 2010 at 1:58:38 am

Wow, really? For some strange reason that was unexpected! I would think because of the render time with certain VFX (thank you for the tip :)) I would have imagined to have video editing first. I guess one would do a rough draft of the editing to sort out where the shots are going to fit within the film and in final gather all the final footages. I've been shooting videos for a bit and making motion graphics but not too much with both because I was always thinking 'o no... rendering time is going to be a pain!' Haha.

Also the point you mention about gamma shifting and such also crossed my mind if you were to gather different footages edited at different point in time and to match the colors would be a pain in the butt.

How is it different with Smoke (as I'm not familiar with the app)?

Thanks so much for the answer, tho I understand why one would add vfx first to footages I'm still concerned of the color and the rendering time.


Return to posts index


Micah McDowell
Re: Editing and Visual Effects
on Feb 24, 2010 at 3:58:40 pm

Well, you want to have a plan of what you're going to use before you start tweaking it in After Effects and render it all, but it often works out better the way Alan described.

Another thing to think about in your workflow is the order that things get compressed and re-compressed. For instance, if you're cutting a project and color correct in a Premiere timeline, and then render and export to AE for other effects, you're going through an extra generation of compression if you're using a lossy codec. You'd get better quality if you took the source footage and did both your color correction and effects in AE first, and then cut in Premiere. You want to figure out the workflow with the fewest steps like this, unless you're going straight to uncompressed video which will give the same quality no matter how many times you export it through, for the most part.

Hopefully this makes sense.


Return to posts index

Daniel Kim
Re: Editing and Visual Effects
on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:12:18 am

Thanks, I think I misunderstood Alan. I thought he meant to export the final edited footages but he meant edit it and export out only the necessary edited footages for VFX work. As you mentioned, if I were to do that aren't I already compressing when I render the footages out from my nle's if I were to render out the locked footages uncompressed and lets say there are a lot of them, wouldn't that be quite expensive, no? Thanks!


Return to posts index

Alan Okey
Re: Editing and Visual Effects
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:06:32 pm

Perhaps I wasn't clear. Typically VFX are done after an edit is locked so that only the required amount of necessary footage is processed. In large productions, VFX shots can be very expensive so it's important to have picture locked before the VFX shots are produced.

Think of it this way:

Shoot > log/capture > edit > lock picture > export shots for VFX > import finished VFX shots back into edit > color grade > final output

Smoke is a very powerful integrated editing and finishing system that has many powerful VFX and compositing tools built in. It can often eliminate the need to export footage to another application for effects work, as the tools are built right into the app. You pay for the privilege, however. Smoke for Mac is $15K plus a $2K yearly maintenance contract, and it only runs on a very specific high spec Mac Pro system with specific additional hardware (AJA Kona 3, nVidia Quadro FX 4800, RAID storage capable of 500MB/sec. throughput). Smoke on Linux is sold as a turnkey hardware/software system and starts at over $40K.

There's a great video overview of Smoke for Mac at this site:

http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/discreetuk/the_official_autodesk_technology_...


Return to posts index


Daniel Kim
Re: Editing and Visual Effects
on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:16:07 am

Awesome. THanks for clearing that up. Yeap I miunderstood! :) I thought you meant to render out your final locked footages into AE (or any compositing app). If I were to render out the specific locked footages and add VFX to it and finally bring it back to the NLE, wouldn't I have hard time unifying the colors for each clip?

And Smoke looks like an awesome app!!!! Definitely an app only usable if the company provides, hahaha


Return to posts index

Alan Okey
Re: VFX
on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:25:25 pm

[Daniel Kim] "If I were to render out the specific locked footages and add VFX to it and finally bring it back to the NLE, wouldn't I have hard time unifying the colors for each clip? "

It's hard to say - it depends on the kind of effects being added. Some people might choose to add VFX to graded footage, others may choose to add VFX first, then grade. If it's a complex composite, it's not uncommon to have to do some color matching/balancing within the VFX app itself.

Also keep in mind that it's not necessary to "render out" segments of a locked edit that will have VFX applied. All you need to do is locate the original source clip of the shot in question and import it into the VFX app using the same in and out points that are used in the edit. Once you complete the shot, you simply render the result in the VFX app and replace the original clip in the NLE with the VFX shot.

I can see how my earlier post may have given that impression:

Shoot > log/capture > edit > lock picture > export shots for VFX > import finished VFX shots back into edit > color grade > final output

Perhaps it would be more accurate to change "export shots for VFX" to "select shots for VFX," since it's not necessary to export anything from the NLE. You simply need to reference the edit for the proper in/out points for the shot and use the original captured media.



Return to posts index

Daniel Kim
Re: VFX
on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:34:03 pm

Thanks Alan, once again for your great reply.

When you say locked edit, it means to finalize (or rough draft) how the footages are going to be placed in the timeline, right?

Let's say I have two footages and I want to edit (cut,fade in/out and etc.) from one footage to another. The second footage was cut at the first five seconds from the original footage and I want to put vfx into this footage. You are saying get the original clip (2nd footage) and bring it to my comp. app and place the VFX within the timeline of the final footage, right? So in my example have the in point start from the five seconds mark. I hope I'm understanding it correctly.

In short, whatever edit I do on a footage within the NLE since I know when it will be faded it or when it will be cut just add the vfx starting from that time.

I think I'm loving that workflow. (Now I have to put in to practice into my next project which is due soon! hahaha)

Thank you so much!


Return to posts index


grinner hester
Re: Editing and Special FX
on Feb 25, 2010 at 6:26:20 pm

I always do effects last so I'm not wasting time on a shot that may wind up on the cutting room floor.



Return to posts index

Daniel Kim
Re: Editing and Special FX
on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:38:10 pm

I guess that's what both Micah and Alan is saying, also :) Only placing VFX into shots that you know for sure that's going to be in the final timeline.
I was worried because if I were to do that, I thought I would have had to render out uncompressed clips from the NLE into the Comp app and render out AGAIN uncompressed and add it back to NLE. But Alan's last comment made a lot sense to just get the original footage but since I know which part of the footage is going to be actually end up in the final render just add the VFX into the necessary part of the footage (Hoping that is what he means.. haha)

Thanks for the reply ;)


Return to posts index

grinner hester
Re: Editing and Special FX
on Feb 26, 2010 at 2:49:32 pm

I just send reference files to AE then render what I need.
Again, I do this last, time permitting.



Return to posts index


Alan Okey
Re: Editing and Special FX
on Mar 1, 2010 at 7:58:59 pm

[Daniel Kim] "Alan's last comment made a lot sense to just get the original footage but since I know which part of the footage is going to be actually end up in the final render just add the VFX into the necessary part of the footage (Hoping that is what he means.. haha) "

Yep, you got it. No reason to render out part of a clip that's referenced in an NLE timeline when you can simply go to the original file and use the same in/out points. Rendering out a clip from an NLE adds a needless generation of compression.


Return to posts index

Daniel Kim
Re: Editing and Special FX
on Mar 9, 2010 at 10:00:29 pm

Hey all, thanks for all the help!

And Alan, as I was fiddling with After effects and finding shortcuts, one of the shortcuts made perfect sense 'i' and 'o' to me now... 'in' and 'out' points. Haha Thanks to your information :)

God bless!


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]