I have outdoor HDV shots I would like to overlay on top of each other. They were not shot in green screen. Several outdoor shots with exact same background. I would like to apply matte to cut-out several people and superimose to the original background.
I currently own AE5 standard.
Since AE5 does not support HDV, I started looking into AE7 standard upgrade, and realized AE7 Pro might do much better job. At that price point, ($499 upgrad), I can also purchase a new seat of Shake. So, here is a question. For a task described above, which application would be
1. faster ( once you learn the basics)
2. easier ( to go through several footages and cut-out people to superimpose )
You may not need to buy anything. If you have Final cut then just export your clips as a targa sequence. I have AE 6.5 Pro so this may not work with AE 5 but here it is anyway. Import that targa sequence to AE and set your composition to 1920x1080. You may have to resize your footage to correct the aspect ratio because it will squeeze the image to 1440x1080. When you complete your composite export as a targa as well. Import back into final cut and export as whatever you want. You should be able to keep the quality pretty high and I believe, if need be, output back to HDV. A few warnings. Lots of image data! Hope you have a fast computer cause this will slow it down. Export your targa sequence to it's own folder! One picture for every frame adds up real quick and your drive and desktop will be a mess instantly. Remember to change FCP's timeline to accept the targas! If you don't you'll pull in a whole bunch of 10sec individual images. You may also, in the interest of time and space, want to export from AE as a quicktime. You'll lose quality but you have to think of the end product. The only place I know of right now (and I may be wrong) to play HDV back is from the SonyHDV deck or from the camera. Unless your client or whoever will be watching on one of those devices or on some other form of HD player it may not be neccesary to keep it at this high of a quality.
Shake rocks for keys and composites. I find I use AE more for motion graphics or creating elements that will be composited in Shake. If you like this stuff you should check out combustion's particles. Those are sweet.
If you already have AE and you have a good handle on compositing then get Shake.
shake is much more difficult to learn than AE. I've been at it for about a month. from what I heard and have found out, animating motion in shake is a pain, but the keying and compositing is quite good, just a little hard to get a handle on. to tell the truth, after a month of poking at shake I can get better results with keylight and the standard cc filters in AE in less time. that will probably change once I figure out how to use shake better
You're right this has been asked and talked about many times. If you want insite into the differences between AE and Shake, check the archives. Lots of good reading. Many good opinions.
Neither program is "harder" than the other. One will be harder to do certain tasks that it is not made for. Just like A fork and Spoon are both "Utensils" like AE and SHake or both "Compositors". But you can't say a spoon is harder because you can't cut your steak with it very easily or say a fork is harder than the spoon because you're trying to eat soup. They are for 2 pretty different goals. Use the right tool and it's very simple.