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Timothy AndersonExport DPX files questions
by on Dec 17, 2010 at 11:21:20 am

Hi everybody -

So I am doing this workflow for the first time so I apologize for anything that may be overly basic. Essentially I am a FCP editor and need to generate DPX files for a feature to be color grading, but I do not have GlueTools to work from nor the $$$ to buy it.

So, I am using AE (CS4) to get what I need. I have imported a 'clean' (no matte/transitions) HD master Quicktime movie of the locked sequence into AE to export the DPX files. I can pretty much figure out the render que and getting things ready for export (I found the Cineon sequence under lossless, etc.), but when it gets into specifics for actually exporting the DPX, can someone give me the basic 4 or 5 steps/settings needed to get the right DPX files? Specifically:

I need to know what 'correct' initial project settings I should be at, what DPX settings, color management specs, correct settings, output module etc....Also, how to correctly deliver the quality I need (I read things need to be 'linear' but don't really know what this is).

My project is:

DVCPRO HD 1080p
23.98 fps
will be graded on a MISTIKA

Any help would be great so I can give the post house the right and highest quality stuff they need to do their job! Thanks so much as I am sort of a foreigner to AE and strictly work in FCP usually so thanks to everybody!

Best,
Tim


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Dave LaRondeRe: Export DPX files questions
by on Dec 17, 2010 at 3:53:24 pm

Here's some info on the frame rate: both the footage from FCP and your AE comps should be at 23.976 fps and NOT 23.98, which is just shorthand for 23.976.

I'll have to defer to someone who's actually worked with DPX sequences for the other stuff.

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


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Walter SoykaRe: Export DPX files questions
by on Dec 17, 2010 at 4:44:35 pm

[Timothy Anderson] "Essentially I am a FCP editor and need to generate DPX files for a feature to be color grading, but I do not have GlueTools to work from ... I have imported a 'clean' (no matte/transitions) HD master Quicktime movie of the locked sequence into AE to export the DPX files."

Why not send the post house the Quicktime that you have and let them deal with it? This should be part of their job. I thought (though I could certainly be mistaken) that Mistika could read DVCPRO HD Quicktime files, anyway.


[Timothy Anderson] "I need to know what 'correct' initial project settings I should be at, what DPX settings, color management specs, correct settings, output module etc....Also, how to correctly deliver the quality I need (I read things need to be 'linear' but don't really know what this is)."

If you really want the correct settings, get on the phone with the post house and ask them to go through it with you. (This might also lead them to ask you just to send your master DVCPRO HD Quicktime file.)

Another consideration: DVCPRO HD is anamorphic. Are you expected to provide anamorphic or full-raster square pixel video?

If you want my guess at the right settings based on the information you've provided, here goes:

DVCPRO HD is 8-bit, so it shouldn't matter whether you work at 8 bpc or 16 bpc in After Effects. In AE, I'd set my working space to Rec. 709 (unless they have told you otherwise), import the file, drop it in a new comp, add it to the render queue, and use the Full Range preset in Cineon settings. Leave the "Logarithmic conversion box" unchecked. Make sure the "Units" setting matches your project's bit depth.

If you're working at 8 bpc, you'll get a warning when you render that the output depth exceeds the project depth -- that's fine. As I mentioned, DVCPRO HD is 8-bit, so changing your project color depth to 16 bpc will avoid the warning, but it won't add any extra quality that wasn't there to begin with.

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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