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Leo Lagerwall
HDV and After effects
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:34:13 pm

Hi everyone!

I just started to work with digital "editing" programs again , and It feels like I have been away for a long time.

I got some problems with After effects and Adobe premiere (CS4 versions). I have imported video- material in HDV format and I am trying to figure out how to work with this new format. I can edit HDV in Premiere , the problem is when I try to import the scene into After effects. I cant figure out what format to use when moving video- material between different programs. Does anyone got any advice on how to convert HDV,- The same way you could do with the DV format. When I try to export the hdv format into someting different like uncompressed Avi, After Effects refuses to make the conversion and displays error messages. Could anyone give me some advice on how to work with HDV?

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David Johnson
Re: HDV and After effects
on Feb 24, 2010 at 1:59:24 am

Convert HDV to another codec before bringing into AE ... for details as to why, search the forum for "Dave LaRonde stock answer codec".

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Andy George
Re: HDV and After effects
on Feb 24, 2010 at 2:06:18 am


Yes AE works poorly with HDV format's. Do a search on the forum for:
Dave's Stock Answer #1
for a good explanation of the problem your experiencing.

Basically you need to convert it to a intermediate format before importing into AE.
Prores or lossless quicktime works well. Or even an AVI if that's what you prefer.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: HDV and After effects
on Feb 24, 2010 at 4:40:46 pm

[Leo Lagerwall] "Could anyone give me some advice on how to work with HDV?"

Here's my best advice: always change HDV to a different type of codec as soon as you possibly can. If you can do it while capturing, that's the best.

The main reason: HDV captured in its native acquisition codec does NOT stand up well to any kind of re-rendering -- it loses quality FAST. You need to color correct? That's a re-render, no doubt. You want picture-in-picture? More re-rendering. It doesn't take much to really screw up those HDV images that looked so nice originally.

Final Cut Pro users have an advantage in this regard because they can capture HDV to ProRes 422, a very good codec indeed. However, if you're on a Windows box you have to make another choice, because Apple and Microsoft don't play nice together when it comes to media files and media encoding.

And then, as the others have said, AE simply can't use certain kinds of video files, and native HDV is chief among them:

Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, AVCHD, mp4, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.

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

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Leo Lagerwall
Re: HDV and After effects
on Feb 26, 2010 at 1:28:08 am

I really appreciate all you answers,thank you very much!

This new formats really confuses me. I miss the good old days when you just had to worry about the dv format.

- And yes the format was H.261 or maybe H.264 when I imported it to After effects. What format would you suggest for importing hdv in After effect? And what format whould be the best in speed and stabilitiy on a Windows based plattform?

Lets put it this way , I have just got a new video-camera which can output hdv format, thats the main reason why I want to use the hdv format, but in many ways it seems better to stick with the old dv format. What are the most common formats people use these days?

I have worked in After effects for many years and I want to continue doing that , but I need some basic understanding in these new formats. If you put i like this; what would be the best substitute for the old dv format?

And again , thank you!

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