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Export transparent video in small file sizes

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Ryan HillabyExport transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 8:27:21 pm
Last Edited By Ryan Hillaby on Sep 8, 2016 at 8:30:11 pm

Hello,
im trying to find a way to export green screen video (transparent background) from premiere pro to use in after effects without having a huge file size. The issue im having with the current method im using in premiere is that the exported video ends up being 20GB or more. I need to do this with multiple files so i need the size of each to be substantially less.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 3:58:48 pm

Are you willing to accept degradation in image quality? Your options for exporting a video file with transparency are very limited.

But here's what I don't understand: why would you key in PP, then import the alpha-channeled footage into AE? Why not just do the whole shot in AE? Keylight's a great keyer in AE. You have more control in AE. You can make it look more realistic in AE.

And you wouldn't have to fart with exporting alpha-channeled video from PP.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Ryan HillabyRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:19:20 pm

Believe it or not me and my co workers are actually having no significant better keying results using the ultra key in premiere as opposed to the keylight tool in after effects. Keylight seems to just not work with our footage nearly as well, regardless of what we do.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:42:04 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:46:25 pm

Okay, then that leads me back to my original question -- Are you willing to accept degradation in image quality?

If yes, export a Matte & Fill file for the shot in H.264. It will be lots smaller.

If not, suck it up and get a cheap external hard drive, export the alpha-channel file and finish the job.

I sounds like everybody in your shop needs more storage.

And the only reason I have for poorer keying in AE would be chroma key footage shot on DSLR. That's a really bad way to shoot for chroma key -- the record codec throws away about 75% of the available color information. And what do you think is the key to a good color key? Accurate color information.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tero AhlforsRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:05:51 pm

Get more hard drive space. For reals. It's cheap and you don't have to deal with subpar workarounds.


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Ryan HillabyRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:15:17 pm

I mean... I appreciate your response but this is hardly a realistic fix for my current problem.

1. I'm not going to buy a new hard drive for just this project
2. A large SSD is upwards of $400 or more so it's hardly cheap....


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Craig HowardRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 10, 2016 at 6:04:03 am

I agree totally with Dave La Ronde on this matter and would add...why add the generations when a digital intermediate from AE is a great way to create the edit asset for PPro. ie export a D.I with alpha channel.

You are doing it backwards in your workflow..

But here's what I don't understand: why would you key in PP, then import the alpha-channeled footage into AE? Why not just do the whole shot in AE? Keylight's a great keyer in AE. You have more control in AE. You can make it look more realistic in AE.


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Ryan HillabyRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 13, 2016 at 3:05:55 am

As i have said already, keylight in AE is giving me absolutely terrible key results regardless of how much i play with and attempt to adjust the settings. Literally abysmal results. The ultrakey tool in premiere gives me fantastic results with little to no tinkering. Though my main composition in which i need the footage to go in is an after effects file. I cannot simply do it all in after effects if the keying results using keylight are trash.

However it doesn't matter, as i figured out i can simply save each file as a premiere pro project and import that project file into after effects with the key resulting in a very small file size in the end.

Finally, Im not doing it backwards in my workflow, its just the method you, and others keep telling me to use simply does not work in this case. You are wrong, and so is Dave La Ronde. Keylight is not a great keyer, and i cannot make it look more realistic in AE using that key.


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Roei TzorefRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 13, 2016 at 9:17:25 am

[Ryan Hillaby] "However it doesn't matter, as i figured out i can simply save each file as a premiere pro project and import that project file into after effects with the key resulting in a very small file size in the end. "

do you mean dynamic linking solved your workflow issue? in Ae: file->Adobe Dynamic link->Import premiere pro sequence ? that's the way to embed a ppro sequence in Ae and as you work in PPro, it automatically updates in Ae. you don't have to save each keying in PPro as a project, as Ae can import multiple sequences in the same PPro project. as you import your PPro project that contains many sequences, in Ae you can choose which sequences to import all at once.


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Ryan HillabyRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:17:14 pm

mean... I appreciate your response but this is hardly a realistic fix for my current problem.

1. I'm not going to buy a new hard drive for just this project
2. A large SSD is upwards of $400 or more so it's hardly cheap....


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Tero AhlforsRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 10, 2016 at 5:59:25 am

[Ryan Hillaby] "1. I'm not going to buy a new hard drive for just this project "

If 20 gigs is hurting then you'll have problems in later projects.

[Ryan Hillaby] "2. A large SSD is upwards of $400 or more so it's hardly cheap...."

Or you could get a 2 TB HDD for 90 euros. That's a bunch of space for exports.


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Ryan HillabyRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 13, 2016 at 3:08:13 am

1. 20 GB per video file when i need space for about 35X 20GB files? You dont think thats excessive?


2. A 2TB HDD is nowhere near as fast/efficient as its SDD equivalent. Thats why theyre so cheap, because theyre slow as hell and are awful for this type of work.


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Tero AhlforsRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 13, 2016 at 3:58:11 am

[Ryan Hillaby] "1. 20 GB per video file when i need space for about 35X 20GB files? You dont think thats excessive?
"


No.

[Ryan Hillaby] "2. A 2TB HDD is nowhere near as fast/efficient as its SDD equivalent. Thats why theyre so cheap, because theyre slow as hell and are awful for this type of work."

Your 20 gig files don't have the bitrate to require the speed of an SSD.


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Ryan HillabyRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 13, 2016 at 4:22:30 am

LMAO, comical responses sir.

20+ GB for a 10 second video file is absolutely absurd. If you think thats reasonable then you're fooling yourself.

Have you ever actually worked off of an SSD?
Im not arguing that the HDD is bad storage, or that i wont be able to store my files...
but why the hell would i pay to downgrade from my current SSD to a cheap, slow as hell HDD?
HDD's are just incredibly slow in comparison, they have greater failure rates and a horrible life expectancy, awful heat dissipation that will hinder its quality over time as well as draw unnecessary amounts of power, and are just a terrible investment when considering the other, indisputably better option in an SSD.
SSD'S boots faster, launch and run apps faster, and transfers files faster. Something that is crucial when it comes to a job like this. This is simple fact, and to think you would suggest i buy an HDD and think that is a reasonable fix to this problem is laughable.

Please move along.


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Tero AhlforsRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 13, 2016 at 6:11:58 am

If your whole work is crippled by 20 gig files then you should have a couple of hundred of bucks to deal with it. I would suggest an HDD RAID that would have the speed and the storage capacity but they would cost more than those precious SSDs.


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Roei TzorefRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:40:32 pm
Last Edited By Roei Tzoref on Sep 9, 2016 at 5:26:19 pm

what codec are you using? if you have disk space considerations, for lossless + alpha you have the Quicktime PNG that does a very good job at compressing file size (the rendering calculation will take more time though). you also have the JPEG2000 Codec that supports Alpha. can even just render a luma matte (white on black) and save much more space. all of this is with ignoring the fact that in Ae you should be able to produce a far more superior matte to your material than in Premiere. if it's not working as it should, there is some other problem. if you have a hard time with keylight, you can try primatte keyer that works in a different way that some users find easier.


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Duke SwedenRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 10, 2016 at 2:03:19 pm

In my own experience Primatte Keyer is clunky, slow and sloppy in PPro, but in AE it's like I'm on a z840 workstation. I don't understand how you get the opposite results. Keylight in AE also works much better than Ultra Key in PPro.


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Ryan HillabyRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 13, 2016 at 3:10:14 am

I can understand that you may have had a different experience, however in this case the results im getting form using keylight in AE are absolutely terrible regardless of how much tinkering i do with the settings. In PPro i can use ultrakey with little to no tinkering in the parameters and my footage is flawlessly keyed. So no, clearly keylight does not work much better than ultrakey.


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Jon DoughtieRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 15, 2016 at 9:13:07 pm

Ryan, let me ask something. Please understand that, because I do not know your level of experience, the question might seem simplistic. Know that no offense is intended in asking.

When you are wrestling with Keylight in AE, are you using just one iteration of the Keylight effect on the clip?

Here's one of the nice things about keying with Keylight in AE. You can use more than one copy of the effect on the clip, with different settings as needed on each one to clear the issues caused by a green screen background shot and lit to frustrate you in post. And it does seem you are very frustrated. If the green screen is not evenly lit, just use multiple copies of Keylight on the same clip, each handling a different troublesome part of the key.

Regarding the hard drives, most of us are using SSD's for the OS/app drive only, and standard spinner hard drives for everything else. If you wish to invest only in SSD's, I respect that, of course. It just seems as though "holding that line" really limits your options for than it should have to. It is your system, of course, and your decision.

System:
Dell Precision T7600 (x2)
Win 7 64-bit
32GB RAM
Adobe CC 2015.02 (as of 6/2016)
256GB SSD system drive
4 internal media drives RAID 5
Typically cutting short form from HD MP4 and P2 MXF.


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Jon DoughtieRe: Export transparent video in small file sizes
by on Sep 15, 2016 at 9:16:11 pm

Also, here's a link to an old technique that gets rid of a great deal of the green screen background with a junk matte.







System:
Dell Precision T7600 (x2)
Win 7 64-bit
32GB RAM
Adobe CC 2015.02 (as of 6/2016)
256GB SSD system drive
4 internal media drives RAID 5
Typically cutting short form from HD MP4 and P2 MXF.


Return to posts index

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