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Rendering 32bit - is this overkill for my needs?

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chris Cummings
Rendering 32bit - is this overkill for my needs?
on Mar 29, 2008 at 5:53:23 am

Hi All,

I've been researching this and a number of issues both here and on the web and my head is spinning from info overload and trying to assimilate everything in piecemeal.

I have an HD (1280x720p ProRes 422HQ project in FCP) and am doing addt'l graphics, extensive greenscreen, and compositing work. I want to keep the quality up (this will ultimately end up going to SD DVD), but is it overkill to work in 32bit float/AE CS3?

Can you render 32bit out to Quicktime movies as opposed to image sequences?

What happens to these when they get integrated into the Final Cut timeline?

Thanks in advance for any help!
~Chris






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Brendan Coots
Re: Rendering 32bit - is this overkill for my needs?
on Mar 29, 2008 at 11:22:48 pm

Two points on bit-depth within AE:

1. 16-bit can offer noticeable quality improvement over the standard 8-bit, but mostly on things like gradients, edge detail etc.

2. 32-bit is ONLY useful if you are working with HDR plates or want certain effects to take on a more photographic look (mostly blurs and such).

Either way, these choices really only affect what is happening WITHIN After Effects as you work. 99% of the time you will be outputting to an 8-bit or 10-bit file format anyway, such as Animation codec, Prores422 etc. Outputting to higher bit-depth than 10-bit requires using frame sequences or specialized (read: expensive and tricky) codecs and most of your apps will not accept them anyway (including FCP). In the end, that's not even the point of higher bit-depths in AE - the working bit-depth simply defines the precision at which effects take place, so that your work looks cleaner when output to 8 or 10-bit. Working in these formats is just a way of preserving certain information and detail while working in AE. When you output the file to 8-bit you really aren't going to lose much (if any) of that added detail, but if you're really concerned feel free to render to a 10-bit codec.

Bottom line, it couldn't hurt for you to work in 16-bit given your source materials, but 32-bit would be total overkill with painfully long render times and minimal, if any, improvements over 16-bit.


Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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chris Cummings
Re: Rendering 32bit - is this overkill for my needs?
on Mar 30, 2008 at 12:36:35 am

Thanks so much for clearing this up Brendan, I truly appreciate it!

In the greenscreen keys, I was experiencing noise in the narrator's hair and face. Took reading the Keylight manual, multiple cow threads, and lots of tweaking and tests, but think I finally got it solved for the most part. As you said, I didn't notice any real difference shifting between 32 and 16, but going to 8 bit was huge (completely ruined the key settings). It's still taking hours to render the first clip which is 25 seconds - guess it's time to get Nucleo Pro!

Cheers,
~Chris





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Werner Carrasco
Re: Rendering 32bit - is this overkill for my needs?
on Mar 19, 2012 at 8:43:23 pm

Chris,

Any chance of getting some of those steps you took to get good keying, specially in regards to hair and small details?

Thanks

Werner


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Chris cummings
Re: Rendering 32bit - is this overkill for my needs?
on Mar 20, 2012 at 8:06:40 pm

Hi Werner,

It's been so long I can't remember - that was the first and last keying I had to do. I just played a lot with the settings (Andrew Kramers free tutorials helped). Also, their customer support offered help as well. Once I got it integrated with the backgrounds, it turned out fine. Sorry I can't be more precise, but I think it's always case-by-case. Andrew gives some good basics on videocopilot.net.

Best,
~Chris


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