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Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow

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Ted Bezaire
Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Apr 15, 2018 at 2:43:41 pm

Hi All! I'm working on a feature film this summer and we're shooting on and Alexa Mini 4k and editing on Premiere Pro CC. We plan to finish 2k. I'm looking for a best practices workflow from on set, to editorial, to delivery. Transcoding Dailies? Syncing Sound? Etc. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Apr 15, 2018 at 5:30:21 pm

The workflow is really pretty straightforward, but depends on a number of factors. So a few questions:

1. Mac or PC?
2. Storage - local attached storage or SAN/NAS? Fast or slow? What brand? Capacity?
3. 4K and 2K - do you really mean UHD and HD?
4. Multicam set-ups?
5. Common TC for camera and sound?
6. Do you have a DIT?
7. Do you have a script supervisor? How are they handling script notes?
8. How are you handling audio post?
9. How are you handling grading and final mastering?
10. Are you editing by yourself or collaboratively with others - assistants or other editors?
11. Do you need to be portable or work from a fixed base?
12. Is timebase 23.976 or a true 24.0?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Ted Bezaire
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Apr 15, 2018 at 5:50:18 pm

Hi Oliver, thanks for the response. Below are my answers, but we're still figuring some things out so don't have 100% accuracy just yet.

1. Mac
2. Local Attached storage, G-tech drives (7200 for raw files, 5400 for project drives)
3. Alexa UHD capture, 2k cinema finish https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2K_resolution
4. No
5. Probably, still confirming equipment
6. Yes
7. Probably, tbd
8. Protools or Nuendo
9. Probably Davinci Suite
10. Alone
11. Portability isn't a make or break, but could be nice
12. Probably 23.976

Hope this sheds more light on the situation. Thanks!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Apr 15, 2018 at 8:27:46 pm

You might want to read this article:

http://vashivisuals.com/how-i-created-the-first-6k-native-workflow-for-a-ho...

I would be careful to not overthink this. You are working on a small indie, I presume, so work accordingly. The only flaw I see here is the drive selection. Without investing in some sort of RAID array, it's going to be tough to juggle the original 4K footage. Typically you are going to want at least two copies of the original media - generally on individual drives, plus a RAID or similar.

The second thing is the 2K deliverable. Who is making that decision and why? A lot of indies are finished in standard HD with DCP made from those. Part of the issue with this is math and handling set and scale values in Premiere. UHD is 3840 wide, which evenly scales to HD 1920 wide. True 2K is 2048. So if you do go that route, I would plan on finishing in Resolve, as you have better control over color management. However, it may require that the scaling on each shot is tweaked.

But here are some general workflow suggestions.

1. Create a folder structure on your RAID and put everything there. Organize the camera originals and sound files by date. Also create an ADOBE PROXIES folder.

2. Copy all media to the RAID as well as to additional back-up drives. You could have the DIT do this (to the back-up drives) depending on their expertise. Avoid as much work being done on location as possible. ESPECIALLY any color work. If they are shooting Alexa Mini in log-C, just use the basic LUTs for viewing and editing.

3. Import all camera and sound files into Premiere. Depending on the performance of your system, you may or may not need to create proxies. That's a simple process in Premiere. The Alexa log-C files will automatically have a LUT applied by Premiere. If needed, let Adobe create proxies using the 720p ProResProxy preset and work with those. Let the proxies render to the ADOBE PROXIES folder that you have created on the RAID. Remember to toggle proxies "off" whenever rendering viewing copies of the cut.

4. Use Premiere's synchronized clips function to create synced clips. Rename if desired by Camera/Scene/Take. Organize your bins by Scenes.

5. For back-up, create a "save as" project at the end of each day and continue working on that on the next day. This way you always have a project saved from the end of the previous day, should you project become corrupt. Another strategy is to "save a copy" to a DropBox location, which will give you running back-ups in the cloud.

6. Periodically delete old sequences from your current project to keep it from bloating.

7. Avoid nested sequences, morphs, etc. - basically anything that will be a problem in Resolve.

8. Create all titles as finished graphics in After Effects or Photoshop so they are OK for Resolve.

9. When the picture is locked, create a sequence to send to Resolve. This should have a mix down of your audio for reference. Export an XML of this, along with the audio mix down and a reference video. Send the colorist all the original camera media, XML, audio mix down and reference. When the final is rendered out of Resolve, make sure individual clips are rendered at source resolution with 24 or 48-frame handles. ProRes4444. Also render a single flattened file of the movie in 2K - ProResHQ or ProRes4444.

10. Likewise for sound, export an OMF for ProTools with trimmed media (24bit, 48-frame handles), along with the same reference video. Send these to the mixer. The OMF will have the audio media embedded in it. When the mix is complete, you should have a stereo and a surround mix. Also generate stems in each version (dialogue, music, sound effects).

11. Bring everything back into Premiere for final conforming and export - or - bring sound and titles into Resolve for final export. Ultimately you will want two masters - the fully-titled and mixed master along with a "clean" (no titles) submaster with the audio stems (at least in stereo).

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Chris Wright
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Apr 15, 2018 at 8:50:17 pm
Last Edited By Chris Wright on Apr 15, 2018 at 8:56:00 pm

from Mr. Peter's post, my thoughts below:

1. AAF is the new format and contains more information than the OMF. OMF loses
the volume automation and names of the tracks when exporting and importing from one application to another. ... Most applications for audio and video will support AAF and MXF formats moving forward.

2. don't do any stabilizing in premiere/AE unless its rendered out
because the data is stored in the project file and could make it unusuable for
long form projects.

3. I wouldn't export anything out of premiere directly anyway as it clips ARRI color. use only XML!

4. the lumetri auto lut will bloat your project file as it will apply one lut
per clip. use an adjustment layer instead.

5. you want Apple ProRes 4444 XQ 12 bit. not 10 bit.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Apr 15, 2018 at 9:41:31 pm

[Chris Wright] "AAF is the new format and contains more information than the OMF"

OMF versus AAF will depend on the version of Pro Tools that the mixer is using. Consult with the mixer.

[Chris Wright] "the lumetri auto lut will bloat your project file as it will apply one lut
per clip"


I have heard this too, and yes it does increase project size, but I have personally never run into this as an actual problem. But if you want to remove it, you will have to do this in the bin by disabling master clip effects for all ARRI clips.

[Chris Wright] "I wouldn't export anything out of premiere directly anyway as it clips ARRI color"

It will be fine for viewing copies. If you roundtrip from Resolve back to Premiere, then it depends on what your ultimate deliverable requirements will be. Broadcast? Web? Film festivals? Etc. It also depends on the color management set up in Resolve and how the colorist grades it. So there may or may not be clipping involved and any possible clipping may or may not be a real issue. Consult with the colorist.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Chris Wright
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Apr 15, 2018 at 5:54:31 pm

are you planning on grading in resolve? finishing in premiere? dcp? premiere only supports rec.709/sRGB d65 gamma 2.2 so arri color would be clipped down to that. that's why some xml to resolve. but if you plan on finishing in premiere,
you only get srgb output so you'll lose the larger color gamut.

pluraleyes works a little easier than premiere for sound syncing. you'll need to decide up front if you're going to use proxies, transcodes, offlines, color pipeline, ACES, storage, backups, matching timecode/matching audio channels.

You'll want to choose good DIT/dailies software solutions and test it all the way through the whole process something like Colorfront Express Dailies, hedge, shotput, or something with built in CRC support. Often its DAY-shot/scene-reel-take or something similar. The proxies(if used) will also need to support metadata as well. Premiere has problems with multicam audio syncing vs proxies, so afaik they haven't fixed that yet. resolve has an audio sync feature as well.


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Ted Bezaire
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Apr 16, 2018 at 2:34:02 pm

Wow, thanks for all the detailed responses. I think this will point me in the right direction. Thanks again!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Apr 16, 2018 at 3:36:49 pm

You are welcome. It's also best to test the workflow on a small scale first, just to make sure there are no issues when it gets down to moving to sound and color. Good luck.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Pilar Rico
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Sep 19, 2018 at 1:44:38 pm

Hi Oliver, I'm working on a feature documentary with lots of footage and I've followed your guidelines. However, I'm noticing my Premiere project file size is very large, 80MB. If I create a new test project with just the proxies and the production audio and create the same number of sequences it's only 20MB. I'm wondering if using the Proxy workflow is the best way to go for a large project. I love the convenience of having a direct link to the raw media, but I'm afraid importing the RAW media first into the project as opposed to transcodes is increasing my project file size significantly. Any thoughts?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Sep 19, 2018 at 4:38:17 pm

It's better if you import all the media first and then have Premiere generate the proxies.

However, what type of files are you talking about? For example, on RED films that I've cut, I used Redcine-X Pro to generate editing proxies and then relinked to the raw in Resolve for grading and finishing. When you do this you may at times have to fix scale and positioning in Resolve to match what you did in Premiere.

Project bloat can happen for many reasons. Often the culprit will be masterclip effects. These come into play when you work in a format that automatically adds a LUT to each source clip. ARRI Alexa/Amira/Mini files will do this. If you remove those (disable master clip effects), your project size shrinks. But the downside is that you then have to manually add back in the LUT in your timeline - either clip-by-clip or using an adjustment layer.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Pilar Rico
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Sep 19, 2018 at 6:21:02 pm

Thanks so much Oliver. I do have footage from the ARRI and removing the LUT did lower the project size. But I have been running some tests and it seems like the Proxy Workflow does increase the size of the project. I created a new project with only the proxy files and the production sound and that is only 6MB. The same project with the RAW media is 15.7MB after deleting the ARRI Lut, but after I attached the Proxies files to the Clips it went up to 32MB and it seemed to duplicate the LUT. I turned off the LUTs again and the project went down to 25MB, so it's 19MB larger. It seems like the merged clips and Multicam sequences we created were doubling the size of the project too. Since this is a feature documentary with lots of media, I'm wondering if it might be smarter to start all over with a new project just with the 720 transcodes and forget about the Proxy workflow. It seems like the merged clips are also bigger if you create them with the proxy workflow than with just traditional transcodes as it's taking the RAW media as baseline. Is this possible?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Sep 19, 2018 at 6:37:01 pm

In the grand scheme of things, your project size isn't bad. Heck, in the FCP7 days, projects would often get up to and over 100MB. But if you are concerned, then I'm inclined to agree that working only with low-res proxies would be best for your needs.

In that case, make sure that all of your footage has valid timecode and a frame rate that matches your project. Make sure all file names are unique. Any media that doesn't match these specs should be fixed/transcoded before you create proxies. Do all of this before you bring it into Premiere, so that inside Premiere you are working with the proxy media as if it were your master source files.

The reason to be very regimented with your file management is so that everything correctly relinks at the finishing/"online edit" stage. When you get to that point, send an XML to Resolve and then in Resolve, link to the high-res media. Make any size/position adjustments as needed. Of course, all color grading in Resolve, too. Complete in Resolve or send files back to Premiere.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Pilar Rico
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Sep 19, 2018 at 6:42:19 pm

Thank you so much Oliver. I'm concerned about the file size because we still have not started making selects or cuts and we have some more media to add in the next weeks, so I would rather start a new project that I know will save me time later on.
As for your suggestions for the transcodes, I was planning on using the Proxy files we created through the Premiere proxy workflow, but removing the word Proxy from the file names. I understand in a new project, they should behave like if they were new regular transcodes created outside the project, but please let me know if you think we might run into any issues.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Premiere Pro Feature Film Workflow
on Sep 19, 2018 at 6:48:39 pm
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on Sep 19, 2018 at 6:49:34 pm

[Pilar Rico] " I was planning on using the Proxy files we created through the Premiere proxy workflow, but removing the word Proxy from the file names"

I'm not quite sure if there's other data embedded into these files by Premiere. I would recommend starting fresh. Make all of your editing files 720p, ProRes Proxy or ProResLT. Use Adobe Media Encoder or Compressor to create the files.

Also make sure that the audio channel configuration is identical to the camera masters.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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