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Workflow question - PP or AE first?

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Jared Davis
Workflow question - PP or AE first?
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:44:24 pm


First, let me apologize for asking a question that I know has been touched upon several times in the forum. I've searched and read many posts concerning this question, but when I go to implement what has been suggested, I seem to always wind up in the same stuck spot. After going back and re-reading posts, there are times where I feel like the person got their project to work, but perhaps didn't post the solution.

Here's my question: If one has a 90-minute film ready to edit, and he's planning on inserting special effects into certain clips, is it better to edit the entire film first in PP and then insert the effects later with AE, or is it better to bring the clips into AE first, insert the effects, save the clip, import it (and the rest of the film into PP) and then edit the film?

Here's why I ask: In the past, I have edited in PP successfully. But when it comes time to insert effects, color corrections, titles, etc., I'll jump to AE. If I choose "Dynamic Link," everything looks fine in AE (I see my timeline, I can see my edits) but later, if I want to go back to PP in order to perform an edit (shorten, lengthen, remove a clip from the timeline) the entire timeline is now one glob of pink. I lose the ability to see my different clips and to be able to edit them. At that point, I'm not sure what to do, so I jump back to AE and try to move the clips around to accomplish the edit I want, but AE's timeline structure is a bit different that PP's structure, and I wind up getting frustrated.

So, I wonder how other people that edit long films with effects and color corrections do their workflow? Do they first take the clips that need lighting corrections, matte backgrounds, etc. into AE, finalize the output, and then edit everything in PP? Or do they edit completely in PP, and then finalize corrections in AE, and if they do, what method have they found that enables them to be in AE, jump to PP to perform further edits, and then jump back without everything being one glob on one timeline?

If you have links to posts that answer this question, I would gladly take anything to get me pointed in the right direction.

Thank you for your help!

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Walter Soyka
Re: Workflow question - PP or AE first?
on Aug 26, 2010 at 2:49:13 pm

In general terms, you usually go through some editorial before you go to effects so that you can minimize unnecessary effects work.

I'm currently using FCP, but if you're looking to avoid dynamic link problems, perhaps my workflow will be helpful to you.

I rough in my edit and mark shots for effects. I export those shots with handles, work on individual shots in AE, render, then re-connect to the new media in FCP.

I use each tool for its strength -- FCP for editorial, AE for effects -- and I keep each shot separate so that a simple change down the road only affects its shot, not the entire scene.

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
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Moritz Schefers
Re: Workflow question - PP or AE first?
on Sep 30, 2010 at 1:02:08 pm

Hey there,

i am looking for answers to this question since a couple of weeks. It seems that Walter ist rendering (exporting) files before switching from program to program. For AE and Premiere Dynamic Link, i found out at least two ways: one, you did by "Replace by AE Comp". The other one is, to go to AE and click File > Dynamic Link > Import PPro Sequence. If you do so, there is no pink glob like you said. You can edit your sequence later on.

Disadvantage is, you cannot apply effects to just one of your edited clips, because you get one complete layer out of your premiere sequence. If you include different scenes and want to apply different effects, i dont know if you have to work with keyframes, transparency of control-layer or anything else.

Another problem i see: if i change the audio of an imported premiere sequence, AE does not update it. If i render out the video, i alyways get the audio i included first.

And further more, i had the experience, that effects i applied in premiere or blendings, were not transferred to AE, if i do it by "Replace by AE Comp".

If there is anybody out there, who can explain some pros and cons of different AE / PP workflows, it would be a great help!

Excuse my bad english and thank you for help,

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