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Suggestions for AVCHD green screen workflow.

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Stephen PickeringSuggestions for AVCHD green screen workflow.
by on Aug 31, 2012 at 3:57:44 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been reading about workflows and would appreciate any suggestions or confirmations on the workflow I think I've decided on. I shot about 45 minutes of 1080 30p AVCHD footage on my HMC40. The final timeline will be about 6 minutes in length with every clip needing keying. There will be lots of edit points. I will be using CS6 (on a PC) for everything.

Here's the workflow I am considering:

Batch convert all the avchd footage to a better format. I've heard that while I technically can't make "better" footage I can get footage which will be slightly cleaner to key as well as faster to edit by converting the footage to 4:2:2 and with either the DNxHD or CineForm codec. I've never done this workflow and have always just edited the AVCHD footage natively in CS6, but if it's a big enough advantage I would love to try it out. With either of these codecs should I use Media Encoder to batch convert?

Once converted I will do the edit in Premiere Pro. I'll bypass the Dynamic Link (because of the number of edit points I'll have) and rather just import a copy of the PPro sequence into AE. I think I'll use the "Trim Compose" script to give me a main comp with each edit-point being a pre-comp. I'll do the effects work within each pre-comp.

Then I would export straight from AE. Is there any reason to render anything out for use back in PPro?

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated- I'm terrible at knowing best-practices and I fear I'll get in over my head if I don't have a precise workflow to stick with.

Thank you,


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Stephen PickeringRe: Suggestions for AVCHD green screen workflow.
by on Aug 31, 2012 at 4:16:12 pm

Just to be clear, I know the footage is only 4:2:0 right now so will not be real 4:2:2, but I've still heard that transcoding it up to 4:2:2 is better to key with, even if it isn't native.

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Dave LaRondeRe: Suggestions for AVCHD green screen workflow.
by on Aug 31, 2012 at 4:47:21 pm

You ought to be able to use Dynamic Link for this project and get good results. Or as good as you can get with 4-2-0 green screen footage. You won't get any better keying results by converting it to a different codec.

Now, if you were going to mess with TIME -- as in time stretching, time remapping, changing frame rate, etc. -- I would use the footage conversion method. Likewise for Warp Stabilizer and Rotobrush.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Stephen PickeringRe: Suggestions for AVCHD green screen workflow.
by on Aug 31, 2012 at 5:02:19 pm

Thanks Dave. No, I will not be doing any time remapping stabilizing. I've read though that Premiere Pro is good with h.264 AVCHD footage, but that After Effects hates it. Maybe those were older versions than CS6. I've always edited native AVCHD and while it lags a little with heavy filters, I've never spent the time transcoding. I would like to skip that step of transcoding if you say there is no advantage (with keying), but I also don't mind the time or harddrive space if there is any reason to do so.

Thanks Dave,


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Attila KovarcsikRe: Suggestions for AVCHD green screen workflow.
by on May 16, 2014 at 4:56:46 pm
Last Edited By Attila Kovarcsik on May 16, 2014 at 4:57:59 pm

Hi guys.

I have a same problem, I have done a decent chroma key out of AVCHD and with dynamic links to AE. But a 20 minutes video takes 6-12 hours export from Premiere using AME (1 pass VBR). Is there any way I can speed it up? I mean converting the original source material to MOV or anything else with Adobe Prelude first then rejoining the clips. Will it give any quicker export times compared to AVCHD files?

Also even if I enable CUDA or OpenCL engine on the timeline with my 2012 Macbook Pro I still cannot play the video in real time. It is choppy and a bunch of frames are dropping. That is even a bigger problem for me.

And third, sorry if it is off topic, but you can guide me to the right forum if there is any, I am having problems with the export video itself. For now I turned off Mercury engine and I use only software. But on the export one of the drop shadow, created by AE dynamic link is missing. Clearly it is there on Premier's Program monitor. Any idea why it is not there?

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