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Lossless format for exporting from AE CS4 to Premiere

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Paul Clay
Lossless format for exporting from AE CS4 to Premiere
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:20:48 am

Hi There,

I'm trying to pre-render a bunch of greenscreen footage in AE so that I don't have to do much timeline rendering in PPro. Dynamic links seem totally unstable and slow down my whole computer.

My workflow is such:
import footage as HDV 60i in premiere
import those mpeg files into AE
apply my effects

then... I get lost.

I want to export from AE to PPro in a lossless format that my PPro project likes - a format that will have real time playback, just like the original footage. BUT, where on earth can I find the native file format for a given project? All I can find (after initially setting up a proj) is that it's in HDV (in the project settings), which really doesn't help. If I knew the format specifics, I think I could figure out how to export from AE, but otherwise I am lost.

Any help would be awesome.

Thanks!
Paul



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Lossless format for exporting from AE CS4 to Premiere
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:03:08 pm

[Paul Clay] "Dynamic links seem totally unstable and slow down my whole computer."

Yeah, I'm not surprised by that.

Adobe software engineers gave it their best shot, but Dynamic Link is still kind of kludgey in many circumstances.
The reason: Adobe bought both Premiere and After Effects from other software developers, who had different ways of processing the same sort of data.. the two apps are intended to do different things, y'know. Reconciling the two data-processing methods is a difficult at best. Re-writing the code of both applications so they'd work seamlessly would be a nightmare of such proportions that I don't think anyone at Adobe even wants to contemplate the possibility.

And your footage could be the culprit for your slow computer. Let's not go slamming Dynamic Link too hard here. Read on:



[Paul Clay] "...import footage as HDV 60i in premiere... import those mpeg files into AE"

Sorry, but I don't think you'll be able to get around re-rendering. Here's why:

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, mts, 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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Scott Morrison
Re: Lossless format for exporting from AE CS4 to Premiere
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:13:14 pm

Listen to Dave here, he knows the score.

I had a similar problem, only I used Sony Vegas for initial editing/compression. To solve this, I rendered from Vegas as an UNCOMPRESSED .avi (or .mov), using the HD settings as needed. All my work was done in AE, but don't be surprised if AE bogs a bit...after all, it has to do with hardware capabilities (physical memory, GPU etc.) as well as pesky software dorks. And some of your files may be massive. There are, after all, limits...

Anyway, after the AE work is complete, I re-render out of AE (still using an UNCOMPRESSED format), then re-import into PPRo (or whatever). In other words, I am using an UNCOMPRESSED workflow until the last possible moment, then I render compressed for the final output.

Hope this helps. It seems to work for me.


Scott Morrison
Just an amateur trying to learn


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Lossless format for exporting from AE CS4 to Premiere
on Apr 1, 2010 at 4:23:07 pm

[Paul Clay] "I'm trying to pre-render a bunch of greenscreen footage in AE so that I don't have to do much timeline rendering in PPro."

Wow, I missed that tidbit the first time through. Unless you need to put 80 bazillion different backgrounds behind your green screens, I'd look into doing the whole shot -- foreground AND background -- in AE.

You can color correct both background and foreground so they look right together. You can use tricks like light wrap and fake shadows to really sell the idea that subject and background were shot together.

Now, you may actually prefer the "weatherman over the weather map" look in your chroma keys. In which case, ignore what I just wrote.

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


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