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After Effects Color Pipeline

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Matt Korshis
After Effects Color Pipeline
on Jan 5, 2011 at 1:24:10 pm

I am currently doing the post production for a short film. Basically it is my first project of this scale and am learning as I go. I spent days reading forums, tutorials etc etc on post production workflow prior to commencing the edit. I still have many questions, a lot of them are in regard to the grade/colour correction and making sure I am not losing picture quality throughout my pipeline. Below are the details of the workflow I have chosen. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I feel like I am in slightly over my head.

The footage is RED 4K. I am using CS5(Windows). The DOP will do colour correction/grade in Apple Color. The final output will be 2K.


- I have started the project directly in Premiere CS5 with the RED RAW format. Skipped using REDCINE-X for any middle man carry on.

- Within Premiere I have linked audio back to the clips, then edited the film together.

- While editing in Premiere I have also been working on several VFX shots for the film in After Effects.

- When the edit is done I will open the Premiere project in After Effects and insert the VFX shots + do any reframing + down size to 2K. Output from After Effects as a DPX sequence.

-DOP will use DPX files in Apple Color for the grade. He will then return it to me for a final render with sound etc.

- For the pro’s out there are then any glaring mistakes that are going to trip me over somewhere in the process?

- Should there be any kind of colour correction/grade/sharpen etc etc earlier in the process than what I have?

- I have been quite confused by the 8,16,32 bit colour information, should my after effects project be set to 32 bit floating point so that when I output my DPX files the person grading the film will have maximum amount of information to work with? I have read that RED records 12bit colour so does that mean 16bit in after effects is sufficient?

- Is DPX my best option for grading?

I have more questions but will leave them for know. Please throw any feedback/suggestions my way, and be harsh as I am a rookie. Thank you so much for your time.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: After Effects Color Pipeline
on Jan 5, 2011 at 4:57:03 pm

[Matt Korshis] "Please throw any feedback/suggestions my way, and be harsh as I am a rookie."

The first thing that strikes me is that you're making this project overly difficult by working on two different platforms, Mac & Win.

You've gone to all the trouble and expense to shoot in RED. Then comes the time invested in editing, color grading and effects. Yet you're willing to flirt with time-consuming headaches by editing in Premiere on a Windows box and color correcting in Apple Color... which means there's a Mac lying around with Final Cut Suite on it.

I, for one, would streamline and simplify the process by picking a common platform -- and a common editing application -- on which to work. Using two different platforms and editing applications is NO WAY TO SAVE MONEY. It is a fine way to create problems, which newcomers absolutely do not need.

Working on two different platforms and two different editing/grading applications just to save money is a false economy because of the wasted time. You should be prepared to raise your edit/effects/finishing time by a factor of at least two, and possibly up to four.

If I were you, I would beg, borrow or steal a Mac Pro so that you could edit in Final Cut Pro, your other guy could work in Color, and you could easily exchange files & information. AE does run on Macintoshes, you know.

Okay, I'm stepping down off my soapbox now.

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

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Matt Korshis
Re: After Effects Color Pipeline
on Jan 9, 2011 at 11:53:56 pm

Thanks for the insight. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. The reason I am editing in Premiere is due to being able to edit the RED RAW natively and not having to encode or edit proxies which seemed to be an unecessary step. And being on a PC is because it is what I could afford and don't have access to a Mac. I understand your point regarding extra work time but may have to roll with that for now.

Thanks again


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