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Working w/ AE + FCP using Alpha Channels

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Carlos BeeWorking w/ AE + FCP using Alpha Channels
by on Feb 12, 2011 at 8:32:53 am

Hey guys,

Im editing a music video that requires a lot of keying and effects work in After Effects, I would like to do all my keying in AE but edit it all together in FCP. The problem is that i need to export Alpha channels with my video files from After Effects. In doing some research, I read that the only codec that exports alpha channels is the Animation codec, but using this codec in FCP is a nightmare (at least on my system) and it requires rendering every time i make any adjustment.

Anybody have any insight or tips on working with alpha channels in FCP coming from After Effects?

Any help is GREATLY appreciated - Thank you guys!

CB


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Richard HarringtonRe: Working w/ AE + FCP using Alpha Channels
by on Feb 12, 2011 at 3:53:23 pm

ProRes 4444

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: From Still to Motion, Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques


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Dave LaRondeRe: Working w/ AE + FCP using Alpha Channels
by on Feb 12, 2011 at 4:44:49 pm

[Carlos Bee] "...I would like to do all my keying in AE but edit it all together in FCP. The problem is that i need to export Alpha channels with my video files from After Effects."

As your statement stands, that's a backwards workflow. Perhaps you actually mean that FIRST you're editing in FCP, and THEN you're keying in AE.

You know, AE has a pretty great keyer in Keylight, so I don't see the necessity for keying in FCP AT ALL, nor do I see any need to use ProRes 4444. Simply export from FCP in ProRes 422, Do the keying job in AE -- foreground AND background -- and then render (don't export!) in ProRes 422.

This DOES mean that you'll have to make decisions about the backgrounds you want to use, but background choice is something you should have planned right from the start. We are, after all, talking about effects work, where things work smoothest when you plan them out. Leaving the choice until the last minute in FCP to give yourself "flexibility and choice during editing" is a lame excuse, in my book.

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


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Carlos BeeRe: Working w/ AE + FCP using Alpha Channels
by on Feb 12, 2011 at 11:48:32 pm

Thank you for taking the time to respond guys.

@Dave - Your workflow sounds like a good plan for my situation, the only problem is that im compositing a lot of different footage together to create one shot - and some of the shots I have planned out require that I key at least one of the layers so I can create the shot. I have a shot with a dancer (full body framing) which i plan to duplicate over and over (checker board style) to create a background - on top of that shot i will use a close up shot of the dancer - so just to create that shot would require me to key the close up shot so that you can see the checkerboard background composed of her full body shot. So, this shot alone (if i were using your workflow) would require me to key the close up shot in FCP. I CANNOT create that shot without keying. Even if im creating the main background and graphics in AE (which is the plan) i still need the luxury of being able to key and cut the original greenscreen footage in FCP without having to render after every change.

Just to further illustrate what im trying to do - here is a clip of Rihanna's "Rude Boy" music video:





a shot like the one that occurs at 1:02 would require keying in FCP so u can properly position the images and it would require real time play back so u can slip the shot into the proper timing of the music

Thank you guys again for all of your insight - i look forward to your response

CB


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Joey ForemanRe: Working w/ AE + FCP using Alpha Channels
by on Feb 13, 2011 at 4:36:17 am

I'm with Dave. Do all of your keying and compositing in AE. You'll get much better results.
AE isn't just a motion graphics app, it's a top notch compositor.
And if you think you'll get real-time playback of keyed, composited clips in FCP without rendering, you've got another think coming;)

Joey Foreman
Editor/Compositor/VFX Artist


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Dave LaRondeRe: Working w/ AE + FCP using Alpha Channels
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 3:59:52 pm

[Carlos Bee] "I CANNOT create that shot without keying. "

Well, of course you can.

You can key that often-used shot in AE, which has far better keying resources than FCP, and prerender it. Then the keying's done, and you can add it to other AE comps as many times as you wish.

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


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