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Exporting AE back to Final Cut. Issues

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Joe Martino
Exporting AE back to Final Cut. Issues
on Mar 16, 2011 at 4:35:54 am

I have been doing some research to solve my problem here and have found some info but i want the full thing all together so I don't end up wasting a bunch of time as I am doing a large project.

Here is as much info as I can provide.

I am shooting 1920 by 1080 HD footage and am looking to eventually put this footage to DVD in as best quality I can fit onto the DVD.
I do my editing in Final Cut Pro and have bought the whole suite so I have access to compressor.
I want to do some stuff with After Effects to a lot of my clips and want to be able to go from Final Cut to After Effects.

Issue I am having is, when I grab my raw and throw it into After Effects, I do the color grading I want to do and then export. When I export using AE i get a HUGE file that I cant have playback on my computer or Final Cut (too big to play etc) What export settings should I use in AE CS5 to get it to be playable, maintain good quality and get it back into my FC sequence?

FC sequence settings:
Frame: 1920 x 1080 Aspect: HDTV 1080i(16:9)
Pixel aspect ratio: Square
Timebase: 29.97
compressor: ProRes 422

Anyone have any advice for me?

Many thanks
Joe


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Exporting AE back to Final Cut. Issues
on Mar 16, 2011 at 8:18:07 am

Color grading should be done at the end of your pipeline. So you should not have a need to bring it back to FCP. Do all editing, then the vfx/graphics, and at the end the color grading. Once that is done use Adobe Media Encoder to open the AE project and select your final comp to render the compressed mpeg for DVD.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Joe Martino
Re: Exporting AE back to Final Cut. Issues
on Mar 16, 2011 at 3:54:37 pm

Ok that makes sense. I just heard that AE's exporting was not the greatest and didn't know about AME so I was gonna go back to FCP.

Might be somewhat of a newbie question here but I have never done a feature length where I was going to use AE. If I wanted to grade certain scenes one way and others another way what is the process? The way Im picturing AE is the timeline with my one exported file.. how could i just edit certain portions?

Thanks
Joe


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Exporting AE back to Final Cut. Issues
on Mar 16, 2011 at 5:09:36 pm

I suppose there may be different approaches tackling this, but here's what comes to mind now:
Render out of FCP the segments that need color grading separate. Import them in AE and create separate projects. Grade each scene separately. Once you are done create a Master comp and assemble the scenes back together for final render. Depending on how complex your grading is (if you just use one pass or multiple passes with masking) you may want to render each individual scene uncompressed (I know, huge files but that's how you keep quality) and then assemble for final.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Walter Soyka
Re: Exporting AE back to Final Cut. Issues
on Mar 16, 2011 at 7:56:04 pm

[Joe Martino] "Might be somewhat of a newbie question here but I have never done a feature length where I was going to use AE. If I wanted to grade certain scenes one way and others another way what is the process? The way Im picturing AE is the timeline with my one exported file.. how could i just edit certain portions?"

AE is great for motion graphics and compositing, but I wouldn't use it for color grading. Do your effects in AE, render out to ProRes 422, and re-import them into FCP.

Since you're using Final Cut Studio, you should consider grading with Apple Color once editorial and effects are complete. Color has a bit of a learning curve, but unlike AE, its toolset is actually built for grading.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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