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Exporting keyed footage back to FCP

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Sonja HolnessExporting keyed footage back to FCP
by on Sep 7, 2010 at 5:49:59 am

I'm working with some HDV footage in AE CS5, I've keyed the footage and would now like to take it back to FCP to continue editing. I'm exporting RGB + Alpha, millions of colours using Apple Intermediate Codec (have also tried H.264). When I import the footage into FCP, it isn't transparent it has a white background. Exporting using H.264 gives me a black background. http://screencast.com/t/OGFiMjUzZm This is what it looks like in FCP you can't see the footage that is underneath.

I've been looking for the solution everywhere, is it the codecs I'm trying to use? Forgot to mention I'm exporting as Quicktime


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Exporting keyed footage back to FCP
by on Sep 7, 2010 at 7:02:19 am

Why would you export keyed footage from a compositing program to a editing program??? Do your compositing in AE where you have much better control and options and then export the finished sequence to FC. Render out uncompressed for best quality.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior Compositor/VFX Artist
Bucharest, Romania


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Sonja HolnessRe: Exporting keyed footage back to FCP
by on Sep 7, 2010 at 7:25:45 am

Thanks for the suggestion. Main reason I'm doing it that way is I'm using After Effects CS5, but the rest of the people in my team use only have access to FCP or Premiere Pro at home. So its just easier to just bring the keyed footage back to FCP for them to work with. At the moment I'm just keying not compositing (some footage yet to be shot). I've even tried sending to Motion but for the life of me can't get the Primatte keyer in Motion to work!


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Exporting keyed footage back to FCP
by on Sep 7, 2010 at 12:21:07 pm

If you must export keyed footage from AE, best is to do it in an uncompressed format with Alpha- Animation codec will do, or tga/tiff. Just make sure you have the alpha option selected.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior Compositor/VFX Artist
Bucharest, Romania


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Dave LaRondeRe: Exporting keyed footage back to FCP
by on Sep 7, 2010 at 7:22:27 pm

Just to add to Ted's advice, you may have to use the Add Output Module command in the AE Render Queue to make two variants: one with a Straight alpha channel, and one with a Premultiplied alpha channel.

Different editing applications use different kinds of alpha channels.

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


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