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Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.

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John Russell
Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 12:03:08 pm

I have asked questions on this website before and always received very good advise on this site. Again would be very grateful of any suggestions and feedback.

I am making a film which will be approximate 1 hour 20 minutes long. I have about 200 clips filmed on a Panasonic 4K and SONY NXCAM, and a few on GoPro HERO4. The clips are all mp4s and .mov of different lengths, which will be edited together to make the final film.

I am intending to colour correct, brighten, adding effects, and layer animations on top of the clips before exporting to Premiere for final compositing.

Is there a way of working on individual clips, one by one, in After Effects, and then saving each clip individuallly with all the corrections and transformations preserved, before finally exporting and compositing these clips in Premiere?

I have been advised not to work on the whole film in After Effects , ie all the clips and layers/animations because Premiere is better at compositing and output

Sorry if this sounds very simplistic.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 5:06:11 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Mar 3, 2017 at 5:33:22 pm

First, it sounds as if you intend getting the various footage looking the same before you begin the edit. That's a backwards workflow. Normally people get Edit Lock, and THEN they color correct & grade.

Then based on what you've written, I can not in good conscience recommend using AE for this chore. Here are my reasons:
  • I don't trust Dynamic Link for round-trip work any time and in any version, and certainly not in your situation. Using various media containers & codecs. On a project projected to be more than a couple of minutes long. For one thing, the current versions of Adobe products are just too unstable for such a gamble.
  • We don't know what ELSE you're doing in this edit. Will there be effects work? Animated graphics? Subtitles? Files from 3D applications, perhaps? Audio exotica like 5.1 Surround?
  • We know nothing about your computer system, your hardware, OS, storage capabilities and the versions of Adobe software you're running. If it happens to be CC 2017, know that there are many hardware & OS configurations that cause the applications to fail. The diagnostic work it takes to get the applications running properly can encompass many days, and may require the purchase of other hardware. and abandoning current hardware.
  • You don't say what you need to deliver when the project is finished, a large consideration in any large project.

Now, based on what you HAVE written -- and granted, there are many unknowns -- I would propose an alternative workflow:
  • Once delivery specs are established, use Adobe Media Encoder to convert all this off-the-wall footage to a common media container, codec, H&V dimensions and frame rate.
  • Import all footage into PP for edit.
  • Cut together test problem clips to see if Lumetri is sufficient for color correction & any color grading. If it is, fine.
  • If not, download a fine and FREE color correction / grading / editing application, Blackmagic's Davinci Resolve. Unlike many Adobe applications, its core code was actually written in the twenty-first century, and reflects twenty-first century workflows and media developments.
  • Try correcting & grading the same clips in Resolve.
  • If you choose to use Resolve, you have an option: do the entire project in Resolve, or establish Edit Lock in PP, and send an XML to Resolve for correction & grading.

Unless you intend to do effects work or need motion graphics, I say AE is totally out of your workflow.

But that's just one guy's opinion.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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John Russell
Re: Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 7:52:15 pm

Ah thanks very much for the response. I will go this way. Once I have the edit locked I can then export clips from PP into After Effects to add animations and effects where required. Thanks again


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Daniel Waldron
Re: Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 5:46:04 pm

I heard somewhere (maybe even on this site) that the distinction between AE and PP is that After Effects is vertical and Premiere is horizontal. I've always liked that description. In other words, do your main editing on a long timeline in Premiere. Once you have a good edit that is close to picture lock, you can send individual shots or short segments into After Effects for stacking effects and graphics. Then import these finished shots back into Premiere for final export.


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John Russell
Re: Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 7:53:45 pm

Brilliant thanks for this. Yes I get it now. once i've got my edit sorted i will export specific clips to add animations and effects.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 9:12:59 pm

I agree with Dave that Dynamic Link shouldn't be trusted on this scale, but there is a workflow that gives you the flexibility of dynamic link with the reliability and performance of proper media files:

https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/render-replace-effects-compositi...

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 9:21:34 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I agree with Dave that Dynamic Link shouldn't be trusted on this scale"

I'd be really interested to hear what you think the best use is for Dynamic Link.

Where is it useful and what's the point at which it becomes counter-productive?

I'm not sure I've yet found the right balance and tend to avoid it for that reason.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Walter Soyka
Re: Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 9:29:06 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I'd be really interested to hear what you think the best use is for Dynamic Link. "

NAB demos?

I don't use dynamic link much for anything other than text templates or relatively simple custom transitions. For moderate to heavy comps, or for a project that needs to be shared with others, I generally want real media files on disk to avoid any potential headaches.

An age-old alternative to render and replace is copy from Premiere, paste in Ae, render to a Quicktime container and include project link metadata, then relink or recut in Premiere. Project link metadata saves the name/path to the AEP that generated the render in the movie file itself, so you can get back at the original AEP file from the clip in Premiere with Edit > Open original.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 9:33:11 pm

Thanks, Walter.

That very much echoes the way I'm working so it's good to hear that I'm not missing a trick here.

I remember reading those stories about Deadpool and wondering why they were relying so heavily on Dynamic Link and thinking that they were opening up a world of pain.

It's a really great feature but it does need to be used with caution, I can't help thinking.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Walter Soyka
Re: Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 9:35:51 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I remember reading those stories about Deadpool and wondering why they were relying so heavily on Dynamic Link and thinking that they were opening up a world of pain. It's a really great feature but it does need to be used with caution, I can't help thinking."

They used Render and Replace heavily. There's no reason to keep dynamic links live instead of rendered; you can Restore Unrendered anytime you like.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Workflow question: colour correcting, brightening, adding effetcs and exporting to Premiere for final compositing.
on Mar 3, 2017 at 9:39:13 pm

[Walter Soyka] "They used Render and Replace heavily. "

Ah, OK. My impression was that they were keeping the links live and hence ran into problems as a result.

I can't see any reason not to use Render and Replace.

It's essentially the same system that Fusion Connect uses and it works just fine in practice.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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