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After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD

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Akhil Bhatt
After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 6:02:32 am

Hey everyone, first and foremost, thank you all so much for helping me out over the years. The amount of good advice and expert instruction I've received is really incredible. You guys are amazing. This is my first question ever, so I hope I'm not doing some horrible n00b stuff.

Ok, here's my question. I've seen this asked before, but many of the posts are from years ago and I feel that there might be a better way to do it.

I'm working for a client that has me creating a DVD for extremely wide displays. 14,000 x 768 pixels to be exact. 27,000 frames of it. The film is complete, and a PNG sequence exists. Now it's time to make a DVD. He's made an audio narration that I want to edit the film to, but Final Cut wont take my PNG sequence. I want to export a video from AE or compress it or something so that it's as lossless as possible. My concern is that if I compress it now, when I try to make a DVD in iDVD or DVD studio pro then it will become overcompressed and awful looking.

Maybe I'm just missing some fundamental knowledge on all of this, but I've never really had to use a PNG in FCP. Any takers?

-Akhil


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 12:31:43 pm

Are you sure that the final product will be played from a DVD? The wide setup makes me think that a HDD player may be used. Try to find out what will be used for playback and that will direct you to solutions.
As far as editing the audio- you should create a low resolution render, letter boxed in a SD widescreen and edit to that. Once done, export the audio. Create a project in AE where you bring the final video and audio sequences, open that in Adobe Media Encoder and export whatever format you may need for final playback.
If Walter Soyka peeks at this thread maybe he can give you more feedback.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Akhil Bhatt
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 1:22:43 pm

Actually, this is just for creating the DVD version, pan-scan with narration. Basically, this disc is for press and home viewing of the exhibit. Sorry if that wasnt clear before.

I basically want to know the export settings to use on a file in After Effects so it will look as high quality as possible in idvd. Just to be clear, im going to pan and scan in 16:9. Im going to avoid using FCP as an intermediate because I dont think it's worth the added compression just to make editing to audio easier

Basically, I want to be able to edit my video knowing that it will sit well in iDVD and wont get overly compressed.



(btw, For playback of the actual film on display, we're using C-Nario)


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 2:37:17 pm

[Akhil Bhatt] "Actually, this is just for creating the DVD version, pan-scan with narration. Basically, this disc is for press and home viewing of the exhibit."

Sorry, this post wasn't up yet when I made my earlier reply. I'd do the pan & scan in AE.


[Akhil Bhatt] "Basically, I want to be able to edit my video knowing that it will sit well in iDVD and wont get overly compressed."

Skip iDVD -- the compression is often questionable. I'd use Innovits BitVice [link] and DVD Studio Pro.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Akhil Bhatt
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 2:56:24 pm

Is there a free alternative to Bitvice? can dvdstudiopro itself handle compression? What would be a good alternative?


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:11:28 pm

[Akhil Bhatt] "Is there a free alternative to Bitvice? can dvdstudiopro itself handle compression? What would be a good alternative?"

You can use Adobe Media Encoder (bundled with AE/Premiere) or Compressor (bundled with Final Cut Studio), but in my opinion, BitVice is the best SD MPEG-2 compressor available at a reasonable cost.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Akhil Bhatt
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:22:13 pm

What do you think about AutoDesk Cleaner? My client has this program.


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:40:17 pm

[Akhil Bhatt] "What do you think about AutoDesk Cleaner? My client has this program."

Cleaner hasn't been updated in 5 years, and I haven't used it since it was Terran Interactive Media Cleaner (maybe 10 years ago).

Try Adobe Media Encoder and Compressor (since you probably already have both) and see which output looks cleaner.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Akhil Bhatt
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:44:02 pm

Okay, Im going to download the demos for BitVice and TMPCEnc... as well as trying mpeg2 compression in Compressor and AME.

Thanks so much Walter! Youve been a huge help and Im sure my client will be impressed when it seems like I know what I'm talking about. ;)


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Akhil Bhatt
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:43:48 pm

or TMPGENC? thats only about 40 bucks and would seems to be recommended by some other professionals... I would be paying for this myself as of right now and would like to minimize the amount I spend. I know, Im a cheap young whatever... but I'm prepared to pick up bitvice if there is no other solution.


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:55:33 pm

TMPGEnc does have a great reputation -- but I don't use it, as I'm mainly a Mac shop. On the PC side, I do have a license for Grass Valley ProCoder, which I've needed for some esoteric formats.

Good luck with your project!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects to Final Cut to iDVD
on Jun 1, 2011 at 1:25:39 pm

[Akhil Bhatt] "I'm working for a client that has me creating a DVD for extremely wide displays. 14,000 x 768 pixels to be exact."

A single DVD for a screen that wide? Whether PAL or NTSC, a DVD can only be 720 pixels wide. If you scale your content down to fit within 720 pixels, it will only be 40 pixels tall. You have to scale it up almost 20x (2000%) to get back to full resolution.

Perhaps you are producing a set of DVDs to run in a set of synchronized DVD players?


[Akhil Bhatt] "He's made an audio narration that I want to edit the film to"

With extreme widescreens, I always do editorial first, then finish at full res in After Effects. There is no editorial tool that I'm aware of that's capable of working at 14,000 x 768. FCP will not exceed 4,000 px in either dimension (which, incidentally, prevents it from working with 4K material). The maximum frame size in Premiere Pro is much, much higher (10,240 x 8,192), but still not high enough for your project without pre- and post-processing.


[Akhil Bhatt] "Final Cut wont take my PNG sequence"

FCP doesn't work with image sequences directly. You can make image sequences with QuickTime Player Pro, but again, this frame size is way too large for FCP.

So what to do next?

Working on a project like this is like traveling with a map. You need to know where you are now, and you need to know where you're going -- otherwise, how will you ever figure out how to get there?

You know the final display resolution, but what is the playback system? This will drive your deliverable, and your deliverable will drive your workflow.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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