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Handling tens of imported Premiere clips and which workflow direction

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Rok Picasso
Handling tens of imported Premiere clips and which workflow direction
on May 26, 2012 at 10:59:32 am

Hope someone can help me with this. I usually start with long videos that have way too many disposable parts scattered around the whole length of the video, and the juicy parts (which are still numerous) must be trimmed of all that fluff; obviously I do this in Premiere. Thus, the Premiere Sequence becomes a long bar of sometimes very short clips, dozens of them, with video & audio transitions in-between. Now you can imagine what this consistent stream of organized clips looks like once copied & pasted, or project-imported into After Effects; the After FX Composition looks like an endless 2D stairway and some strange lines—basically looks like a nightmare!

In fact, last time I imported this kind of thing into After Effects I saw nothing but a solid black rectangle no matter where I scrubbed!

I thought about and pondered this dilemma, and I really don't know what to do. I consistently need to make After Effects color and Levels adjustments for [all] the clips (the entire production), plus add text and effects here and there. I thought about leaving the entire color-corrected original footage to render overnight so I can edit in Premiere next day, but two problems: 1. Won't multiple rendering to H264 / mp4 compromise the quality of the final production? And 2. I can't add the text effects and so until the footage is properly trimmed and edited. I also thought about finalizing the editing in Premiere [and] rendering to give After Effects a single clip to color-correct and add effects and text at the exact correct times, but again, won't two exports to H264 compromise quality? And it seems like After Effects' exporting capabilities are inferior to Premiere's, so I'd rather make the final export / render from Premiere.

I hope that I was able to explain my challenge and dilemma clearly. What I want is to find out what I (or Adobe!) am doing wrong here, the right direction of the workflow in my situation, an exporting solution that doesn't compromise quality (and isn't as size-beastly as AVI as I don't have enough disk space for that!), and—if relevant—how to deal with the so many Premiere clips when imported into After Effects.

Many thanks for anyone taking the time to help.


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Nikolya Gousteau
Re: Handling tens of imported Premiere clips and which workflow direction
on May 26, 2012 at 5:00:07 pm

Hi Rok,

Concerning workflow in Premiere, do you use nested sequences?

Concerning integration with AE, maybe this tutorial will be useful: link.

Concerning color correction, there are some tools inside Premiere, like "Fast color corrector", "Three-way color corrector" and "RGB Curves", and in some cases there may be no need in doing color correction in AE at all...

Best regards


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Rok Picasso
Re: Handling tens of imported Premiere clips and which workflow direction
on May 26, 2012 at 9:23:10 pm

Hi Nikolya,

Thank you for responding.

No, so far I never felt that I needed to nest sequences in Premiere. Does that step entail any caveats or catches?

Thank you for the tutorial link; I'll be sure to watch it.

I took another look and experimented with the Premiere effects you mentioned and others; I was pleasantly surprised to find that [Color Balance] stacked on [Levels], regardless to which one is sequentially applied first, were indeed awesome and almost enough together. My main problem previously with Premiere's [Levels] effect was that the handy channels graph is hidden in a small 'Setup' button that I just found! It is still significantly less responsive and friendly than After Effects's [Levels], but the discovery is definitely worth it, so I thank you for encouraging me to take another look at Premiere's color enhancing features. A touch of [Three-Way Color Corrector] was also appreciated. Now a Photo Filter effect in Premiere and I'd be a delighted clam!


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Nikolya Gousteau
Re: Handling tens of imported Premiere clips and which workflow direction
on May 27, 2012 at 8:05:49 am

Nesting sequences in Premiere is helpful, because when you paste the main sequence into AE, you get a composition with nested compositions inside of it. In the result, there are considerably less layers in AE (no more endless 2D stairways!).

As for Photo Filter effect, I haven't used it yet, so I don't know if there is a substitute in Premiere...


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Rok Picasso
Re: Handling tens of imported Premiere clips and which workflow direction
on May 27, 2012 at 4:23:01 pm

Thank you very much for the tip about nested Premiere sequences; while it worked to eliminate the endless layers and '2D stairway' look, unfortunately the video itself is not showing when I open the parent Composition that represents the parent sequence. Instead, I see the famous 'no signal' colored bars of a TV. Would you be able to guess why this happened?


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Nikolya Gousteau
Re: Handling tens of imported Premiere clips and which workflow direction
on May 29, 2012 at 12:03:45 pm

Well, I don't encounter such problem. It looks as if some footage was moved and became offline. Could you describe more precisely what did you do or attach a simple sample project where this happens?


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Rok Picasso
Re: Handling tens of imported Premiere clips and which workflow direction
on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:47:57 pm

Would've been impossible for me to re-produce that problem in a sample project, so I just avoided the import to After Effects altogether, and instead, produced the text effects in After Effects then clicked and dragged to Premiere, and color corrected in Premiere. Thank you very much for your help again, Nikolya.


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