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best image still file format for animating and compositing photos in a doc-film???

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Nick Natteau
best image still file format for animating and compositing photos in a doc-film???
on Feb 10, 2012 at 7:13:13 pm

I'm making a documentary film that will use many animated composited photos as in the doc-film "Cocaine Cowboys".

Can anyone tell me what format the stills should be in for compositing in Final Cut Pro 7??? TIF? PSD? PNG?
Or should I instead be using After Effects for animated composited still work. I just figured FCP7 because that's what I'm editing my project in.

I'm just unsure which still format to use. I just now that I'll need transparency, alpha channels, etc.

Also I'll be scanning a lot of photos for this film from the National Archives. What format is best to scan in? I'll be doing a lot of Ken Burns type animated moves on stills too.

Thanks very much in advance for any tips, help.


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Shane Ross
Re: best image still file format for animating and compositing photos in a doc-film???
on Feb 10, 2012 at 7:36:41 pm

TIF and PNG are best. If you do this in FCP, they need to be under 4000 pixels in dimension. You cannot work with 8000x6000 files. FCP will choke.

I recommend using After Effects for this. No file size limit, works with any format, the moves are smoother, and compositing is easier.

Shane
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Bret Williams
Re: best image still file format for animating and compositing photos in a doc-film???
on Feb 10, 2012 at 8:32:36 pm

Except for working with audio timing. I wonder, now that Automatic duck is free, if you could use the large photos and time them in FCP, and then export the XML to After Effects to do the moves/compositing. Just lay them out in time to the music/narration in FCP with specific overlap, then use AE to do the rest. I would think that would work.


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Michael Gissing
Re: best image still file format for animating and compositing photos in a doc-film???
on Feb 10, 2012 at 10:58:17 pm

Motion doesn't have the 4k limit. I am not a Motion user for this sort of animating but I think you can have synced audio


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Scott Roberts
Re: best image still file format for animating and compositing photos in a doc-film???
on Feb 12, 2012 at 7:46:30 am

I'd use the Targa format. I made a quick video tutorial on making alpha channels in Photoshop for use in editing programs:







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