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Final cut pro / AE / XDcamEX... HELP :(.

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Jan-Willem SchramFinal cut pro / AE / XDcamEX... HELP :(.
by on Dec 2, 2009 at 8:54:08 am

Hi guys,

Let me first apologize if I posted this thread in the wrong forum, but the problem I'm facing covers both Final cut pro, Adobe after effects and the XDcam EX format so this forum was my best bet.

A quick outline: I've just finished a shoot of a video with some chroma key stuff on Final cut pro 7.0.1. It was shot with an EX1 on 1080p XDcam EX.

The problem I'm facing now, is getting the dang end result to my After Effects wizzard, who happens to be working on a windows based system. What I've tried so far, (and what hasn't worked)...

* Export to Quicktime Uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 (will not open on the AE system)
* Export to Tiff sequences (half of it works, but after some time there are errors in the sequence)

I'm really at the end of my limited FCP knowledge here...

Is there any way of getting my HD material with a minimum of quality loss over to my editor and back to my Final cut pro for the last finishing touches?


Your help would be greatly appreciated


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Dave LaRondeRe: Final cut pro / AE / XDcamEX... HELP :(.
by on Dec 2, 2009 at 3:59:04 pm

Do you have Quicktime installed on the Windows box running AE? It doesn't come bundled with Adobe products.

Describe these problems with the TIFF sequences in detail. "Errors in the sequence" doesn't help us make much of a diagnosis.

And it wouldn't hurt to tell us about the system on which you're running AE: the type of processors, number of cores, amount of RAM, where you put your footage for use in AE, whether you have Open GL or multiprocessing enabled... stuff like that.

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


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Kevin CampRe: Final cut pro / AE / XDcamEX... HELP :(.
by on Dec 2, 2009 at 4:33:57 pm

you could try avid's dnxhd. it's a free download from avid, it's multi-platform and it's a quicktime component (meaning it works with quicktime and encodes in an .mov container). you would both need quicktime and the codec pack from avid (link on that page i linked to above).

the specs for the codec are very similar to apple's prores 422 (similar data rates and 10-bit capable) and should be a good intermediate codec for going between fcp and ae on multiple platforms. dnxhd also supports an alpha, if that is something you need.


Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Walter SoykaRe: Final cut pro / AE / XDcamEX... HELP :(.
by on Dec 2, 2009 at 4:35:42 pm

The 4:2:2 Uncompressed component is not part of a standard Quicktime install; it's installed with Final Cut Studio. To avoid installing new codecs on the AE/Windows machine, you'd have to render to a common codec, like Animation or PhotoJPEG.

If your AE vendor will try installing some Quicktime codecs, some folks have had success reading uncompressed Quicktime with the AJA or Blackmagic uncompressed Quicktime codecs, but I haven't tried it myself.

I suppose you could also render to ProRes, and install the ProRes Decoder for Windows on the AE box. It's decode-only on Windows, so you'd probably look for animation-codec Quicktime back from your vendor. There are some footage interpretation issues to be aware of; check out this entry on Todd Kopriva's blog for more.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jan-Willem SchramRe: Final cut pro / AE / XDcamEX... HELP :(.
by on Dec 2, 2009 at 7:16:40 pm

Hi guys,

Thanks for the response so far.

To respond to Dave's questions:

The problem with the TIF sequence is as follows:
Several frames, at random intervals are distorted (bar of black, or static through the frame).
AE gives the following error code: "AEGP TIFFIO PLUGIN Bad tiff file 5027::12"

When opening the "damaged" files on the mac pro on which they were created, and a different, standalone macbook there are no problems and the frames look fine.

When we try to open the broken files on the windows AE system, photoshop gives the error: "could not parse file".

We've tried several different workarounds, including rendering to a Uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 mov, Uncompressed AVI, and DNxHD. The first of these two won't open at all and the DNxHD looks fine, but displays the same glitches when rendered.

All files are 1080p 25fps.

The AE system has the following specs:
Windows 7 Ultimate 64, After Effects CS4 9.0.2.42
Intel E8400 Wolfdale 2 x 300mhz
4G ddr2 RAM
Nvidia 6800 GTS 512 MB
OpenGL on.

The Mac pro is running Snow leopard with FCP 7.0.1.


I'm really lost here. Anybody got a clue to what is causing the problem?


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Walter SoykaRe: Final cut pro / AE / XDcamEX... HELP :(.
by on Dec 2, 2009 at 7:48:11 pm

Have you deleted the bad frames and re-rendered them? There's an option in the Render Settings panel to skip existing frames, so if you delete only the offending files and use the same file-naming scheme, it will not re-render the good frames.

Otherwise, maybe open the files on a computer that reads them and re-save into a new directory to force a clean save? I'm not sure what color space you're working with, but just be on the lookout for any color or gamma shifts if you try this.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Paul DoughertyRe: Final cut pro / AE / XDcamEX...
by on Jan 25, 2011 at 1:47:43 pm

I got this error, it seemed to be the result of renaming the Western Digital drive the project lived on. Never would have figured it out but for this post on an Adobe forum & someone else pointing to a renamed WD drive....

After Effects CS3 error: file not found -43 and TIFFIO failed to open the file It appears that there is a problem with AE reading files on a USB external hard drive. Specifically, a WD pocket drive.


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