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Really Need Advice - Your Experiences with AE and Premiere Workflow

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Brian WatkinsReally Need Advice - Your Experiences with AE and Premiere Workflow
by on Dec 30, 2011 at 2:42:05 pm

Hello all,

I'm working on an interactive video project that combines a good bit of editing and effects and have run into a thorny workflow issue. (Disclaimer: I am more of a coder than a video guy, which is why I'm looking for input, so go easy). My question is not so much to get "THE ANSWER", but to hear others' experiences in deciding what to do in AE versus a NLE.

Short Question:

When, if ever, is it appropriate to "edit" the position, order or length of raw footage in AE versus a NLE such as Premiere? It depends? Not enough information? Well, here goes the long form:

Long Question:

The average clip we are working with is about 1-2 minutes of green screen footage, shot from two angles and involving between 10 and 20 cuts and 2-3 audio tracks. Multiple effects are applied to the footage to give it a "cartoony" feel (we are doing this in AE), and about every other clip involves some special effect(blocks falling from the ceiling, smoke, etc.)

Our final product is set up as a book spread, with each "page" being a 4:3 frame to the left or the right. Footage goes in either the right or left side, and sometimes both.

Now, here's the issue. Our current workflow involves cutting the clips in Premiere (but not positioning them relative to the book spread). My partner, who is partial to AE, imports the PP sequence into AE and applies a "trim compose" script which splits the clips and puts them on separate layers. This makes it easy to position them with respect to other assets (we have a lot of hand drawn illustrations that serve as backdrops and or environmental objects). He then renders the entire scene in AE and we pull it back into Premiere for audio mixdown and final export.

The problem is twofold: (1) because our audio has stayed in Premiere, we essentially have to set up two sequences for each scene - one with the raw P2 footage when it is cut, and one for the rendered AE comp (larger size, remember); and as a result,(2) when we've needed to edit the scene after it has been imported into AE, we end making TWO edits - once in Premiere to see what it looks like, followed by the SAME edits again in the AE comp. If the two don't match perfectly, audio gets out of sync (which happens regularly).

Seems to me that wherever possible we should be setting up one PP sequence to the final dimensions, editing and positioning the clips once there, and then treating that sequence as a monolithic piece of footage in AE - with the possible exception of one-off effects where positioning footage w/r/t the effect is tricky.

My partner disagrees - he doesn't mind making two sets of edits and I think he likes the flexibility of composing everything in AE. If it was just an issue of his time, I wouldn't worry, but I've had to go in and make edits to the scene later, and it is a royal pain in the rear to do so.

Thoughts? Experiences?

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ben g ungurenRe: Really Need Advice - Your Experiences with AE and Premiere Workflow
by on Dec 30, 2011 at 3:44:33 pm

Overall, I am with your partner on this one. When the effects are this heavy in each shot, you lean more on ae than on ppro. That said, here is another option: use the media manager in ppro to export your edited clips with, say, 1-second handles. Your ae guy can do the effects work on the exported clips, regardless of how you are editing things. Render the clips in ae, giving them a similar name (if the original were "" you would call it "", then make a copy of your ppro project and replace your green screen clips with the new ones. Assuming he renders out the entire clip, you can do this in the project window, effectively replacing it for any sequences in your ppro project file. (thus the need to make a copy first!)

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Really Need Advice - Your Experiences with AE and Premiere Workflow
by on Dec 31, 2011 at 12:05:16 am

I would go for a PPro project with the clips side by side (positioned roughly). Create a sequence for each scene and use Dynamic Link to work on each individual scene in AE.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Brian WatkinsRe: Really Need Advice - Your Experiences with AE and Premiere Workflow
by on Jan 1, 2012 at 12:58:45 pm


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