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1280x720 AE to FCP Workflow Question

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Geoff Watson
1280x720 AE to FCP Workflow Question
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:06:01 am

Hi,

My cousin and I are a production team on the road as we travel across Australia documenting. We produce videos weekly, so time is of the essence.

We have 2 MacBook Pros, one with Final Cut Pro, and one with After Effects CS4.

The footage we're using comes off our Nikon D90 as 1280x720 24fps.

We want to be able to put together a rough assembly in FCP, then send to AE to color correct / add effects before sending back to Final Cut Pro. This way one person can color correct / add effects whilest the other continues to edit the video.

We're running into problems when attempting to keep our footage at 1280x720. When exporting from AE as a quicktime movie, a 30 second clip comes out as 2gb. We're working with approximately 5 minutes per video and can't really afford to have our files that big. (we're aware we cannot export 1280x720 as a h.264 in AE)

What do you recommend we do, without having to purchase Automatic Duck?

Thanks for anyone's help - it's much appreciated.

Geoff & Jamie

ps - you can check out our videos so far here - they are the 7 most recent posts.


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Joe Coleman
Re: 1280x720 AE to FCP Workflow Question
on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:49:03 pm

Work in Apple ProRes HQ...it is a 10bit lossless codec that will keep your file size very small.


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Geoff Watson
Re: 1280x720 AE to FCP Workflow Question
on Mar 17, 2010 at 12:10:46 am

Thanks for the response.

We've been working in the Apple Pro Res format on the machine with Final Cut Pro, and we can get it to the After Effects machine no problem - but we can't seem to export files from After Effects at 1280x720 without doing a "Quicktime" export, which ends up being 2gb / 30s of footage.

Is there a way to export Apple Pro Res from After Effects?

Again, much thanks for your response.


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Darby Edelen
Re: 1280x720 AE to FCP Workflow Question
on Mar 17, 2010 at 12:26:11 am

[Joe Coleman] "Work in Apple ProRes HQ...it is a 10bit lossless codec that will keep your file size very small"

ProRes HQ is a great codec, but it ain't lossless :(

Darby Edelen


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 1280x720 AE to FCP Workflow Question
on Mar 16, 2010 at 4:09:00 pm




I see that you've chosen to jump in the deep end of the pool with no consideration that you might not know how to swim.



[Geoff Watson] "What do you recommend we do, without having to purchase Automatic Duck? "

You'll have to spend money -- more than you thought -- but you you won't be spending it on The Duck. Sorry! There's no way around it!

Why no Duck? You can't USE The Duck: It only sends AE a series of pointers to the original media. And where's that original media? On the other machine.

But your partner CAN export a self-contained QT of his FCP edit timeline. If you have the same version of Final Cut Suite installed on your machine, you can even read and render in Prores! If you don't have it, you're hosed! Why? He'll have to output self-contained movies in the PNG codec, and you'll have to render them in PNG. Think "big file sizes"

So you ought to both have Final Cut Suite. There's one purchase. In any case, you'll want to invest in one or two of these:
http://www.CalDigit.com/VR_mini/

If you get two, he can be cutting one show while you color grade the other. If you swap drives for each show, you can even use The Duck, because you'd have the original media! Oh, but that means you'd also need your own copy of Final Cut Suite for the necessary codecs.

See? you NEED the storage. That's the other purchase(s). Storage is something that a little pea-shooter laptop doesn't have in abundance. It's either that, or produce videos -- on the road, no less -- living in constant fear of running out of storage, and actually running out of storage, I'd bet.

Oh, and have you given any thought whatsoever to a plan for archiving all this footage you'll be shooting on the road? You know, for future use? You don't want to go to all this trouble and expense just to use the footage once, do you? Don't forget, you have to keep those tiny-little laptop had drives cleaned off for your current edit, or everything comes to a screeching halt.

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


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Luke Jubie
Re: 1280x720 AE to FCP Workflow Question
on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:14:48 pm

Why no Duck? You can't USE The Duck: It only sends AE a series of pointers to the original media. And where's that original media? On the other machine.

I'm afraid this proclamation is incorrect. You certainly can use Automatic Duck to import a Final Cut Pro sequence on a different machine, we do it all the time in our shop. The media referenced by the XML simply needs to be available to the After Effects system, whether copied locally or visible on shared storage. I hope that helps.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 1280x720 AE to FCP Workflow Question
on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:03:47 pm

[Luke Jubie] "The media referenced by the XML simply needs to be available to the After Effects system, whether copied locally or visible on shared storage. I hope that helps."

Um, the statement was made in reference to the fact that they were going to cut on one laptop and do AE work on another. The Duck's no good that way.

As a solution, I recommended getting a portable CalDigit array. and preferably two -- cut one show on one array, do the AE work on the other show using The Duck and the other array, and swap arrays at the appropriate time.

Hope that helps.

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


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Geoff Watson
Re: 1280x720 AE to FCP Workflow Question
on Mar 18, 2010 at 3:22:28 am

[Dave LaRonde] "So you ought to both have Final Cut Suite. There's one purchase. In any case, you'll want to invest in one or two of these: http://www.CalDigit.com/VR_mini/"

We've actually got a few hard drives, each with 500gb of storage on them. They're serving just fine!


[Dave LaRonde]"If you get two, he can be cutting one show while you color grade the other. If you swap drives for each show, you can even use The Duck, because you'd have the original media! Oh, but that means you'd also need your own copy of Final Cut Suite for the necessary codecs."

We've actually just figured it out. He puts together a rough cut in FCP, tells me which media files to use, I color correct / add effects on After Effects, export as a quicktime file, he replaces the file in FCP, and we're gold!


[Dave LaRonde]"Oh, and have you given any thought whatsoever to a plan for archiving all this footage you'll be shooting on the road? You know, for future use? You don't want to go to all this trouble and expense just to use the footage once, do you? Don't forget, you have to keep those tiny-little laptop had drives cleaned off for your current edit, or everything comes to a screeching halt."

Yep. Again, we have 3 hard drives each with 500gb of space. All our footage has been archived and stored without a hitch and still have just around 1tb left PLUS the space on each of our lap tops.

Thanks for the help though. Best to ya! I think we'll manage just fine.




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