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Rendering 4K ProRes 4444 with alpha?

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Dan North
Rendering 4K ProRes 4444 with alpha?
on Sep 10, 2019 at 8:02:36 pm

I'm need to render a in 4K and need to render with alpha, but have some issue that seems to cause trouble:

I have a bunch of layers in After Effects that has my whole scene.
A Foreground(consists of several elements and layers), a midground(consists of several elements and layers and a background (also several elements and layers)
I need to render each out seperatele: foreground, midground and background with all the respective animations and layers.
Instead of "hiding" each layer that is not being used (seems like it would take forever),
is there a way to make a layer with a "solid" or similar as the layer behind my foreground, that will work as opacity so I only render my foreground out and will get opacity in my rendering?
When I need to render my background elements, I need to set the elements from foreground and midground to "shadow only" so I get the shadows but not the objects that will block the background. Do I have to this manually for each element or is there another way of doing this?
And last but not least - is 4K ProRes to go to format when rendering opacity in film?
(These file will be huge!)

Thank you so much, any direction would be much much appreciated.
Cheers, Dan


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Walter Soyka
Re: Rendering 4K ProRes 4444 with alpha?
on Sep 11, 2019 at 9:58:22 am

Sorry if I'm being dense, but can you describe a little bit more about the workflow here so we can understand what problem you're trying to solve? Why do you have split up your scene by depth? What will the next person in the workflow do with these outputs?

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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Dan North
Re: Rendering 4K ProRes 4444 with alpha?
on Sep 11, 2019 at 10:41:03 am
Last Edited By Dan North on Sep 11, 2019 at 10:53:03 am

Thanks for your reply.

It's for a projection mapping where there will be video projected on a foreground, midground and background.
Foreground and midground have some odd shapes, so I need to render them out with the shape that was provided in illustrator that I have used as a mask for my canvas to project on(to not light up the layer behind).
If I don't use alpha, the whole film will projected down on the various layers.
I did a similar projection last year, but this had a foreground and background. (arcs on the foreground, so the foreground was rendered with alpha, in order to not light up the wall in the back)

for each, foreground, midground, background, they all have a lot of artworks.
I have them all in the same comp, since I'm using a lot of lights that create depths and hit all layers that are both in foreground, midground and background.

The next thing is to add these in pandoras box which control the projectors.

Last time i didn't render in 4K, so it was a bit easier. Much more details this time.

Hope it makes sense ☺
Thanks a bunch.


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Eric Santiago
Re: Rendering 4K ProRes 4444 with alpha?
on Sep 11, 2019 at 12:42:37 pm

In this 4K or HD is irrelevant unless its an issue with playback.
You will need to render out each set with an alpha (if required) period.
Would love to know if there is a script for using a solid or layer that cant act as an alpha.
Would be great for other projects of mine :)


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Walter Soyka
Re: Rendering 4K ProRes 4444 with alpha?
on Sep 11, 2019 at 1:36:06 pm

Got it -- so you do need those background pixels.

Unfortunately, I think you will need 3 copies of your comp -- one for background, one for midground, and one for foreground. Before you start duplicating, I'd recommend a scheme for identifying/grouping the layers. If you use label colors (for example all FG Red, all MG Green, all BG blue), then you can click the label next to the comp index/name and choose "Select Label Group" from the context menu to get the whole group. (Alternately, you could use the Name or Comment fields, including FG/MG/BG in each layer name or comment, then use the search field to make it easier to select only the elements in that render layer.)

You can set the "Cast Shadow - Only" on one layer, copy the property from the timeline, multi-select the rest of the layers you want as above, and paste to save a lot of time.

To apply the alpha from a single layer across a whole bunch of them -- like restricting your FG layers to a surface in the pixel map -- you can cut out the surface from the mask, put the mask as the top-most layer, then use the Stencil Alpha blend mode.

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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Dan North
Re: Rendering 4K ProRes 4444 with alpha?
on Sep 11, 2019 at 3:52:12 pm

This is so golden Walter. Shoot.
Just felt like I learned more of those pro workflow tips that makes the difference, that I have done in quite a while. Will definitely incorporate these into my workflow. Thank you SO much for that!

Is ProRes 4444 to go to format when rendering with alpha in 4K?
Will kill my MacBook Pro 😃

Cheers, Dan


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Walter Soyka
Re: Rendering 4K ProRes 4444 with alpha?
on Sep 11, 2019 at 3:54:31 pm

ProRes 4444 is a great mastering format. Talk to your Pandora programmer; they will probably want Hap Alpha encodes (for better performance).

I'd recommend render to ProRes 4444, then encoding that to whatever delivery format they require.

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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Dan North
Re: Rendering 4K ProRes 4444 with alpha?
on Sep 12, 2019 at 8:32:24 am

You deserve a cold beer!

Thank you so much - love learning !

Have a great day,
Cheers
Dan


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Walter Soyka
Re: Rendering 4K ProRes 4444 with alpha?
on Sep 12, 2019 at 10:47:00 am

Cheers!

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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