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working with HD footage in Media 100 and After Effects

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Robert Slenker
working with HD footage in Media 100 and After Effects
on Sep 10, 2010 at 7:25:26 pm

Hey guys!

Can someone give me some advice on how I'd work with 720p 24p (actually 59.94 fps) P2 footage in Media 100 and Adobe After Effects CS3?
I've got my footage in Media 100 Suite v.1.1.2 on the appropriate time line and it looks great.
If I want to send it over to AE CS3, generally I export out "By Reference" which I've done and it looks identical (great) in AE.

My first hurdle was what size AE comp to create. By trial and error, I had to create a Custom Comp that is 1535x720 pixels and 59.94 fps. Not sure if it should be "square pixels or not." ?? A comp that size allows the footage to fit perfectly.

The next hurdle is when I render a .mov and import it back into Media 100 Suite, it comes in a lot more saturated.
Settings I've been using when importing the .mov into Media100 are:
Media 100/QT
retain size
convert to 48KHz
720p 59.94 media standard
and
import to media standard
I also seemed to get better results by checking "fit to video" on the right.

Thoughts?
SD projects have worked great for years. It's my first attempt at working with an HD project.

Bob Slenker



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Andy Taplin
Re: working with HD footage in Media 100 and After Effects
on Sep 13, 2010 at 10:55:12 am

Are you working with the native P2 files or have you transcoded them to ProRes or Media 100 HD?

I usually use Prores for HD work and find no issues going to and from After Effects.

To set the comp to the right size drag the footage to the 'create a new composition" icon at the bottom of the Project window and a new comp at the right size with the right pixel aspect (square usually) will be created. Render as Prores and you should see no difference whatsoever to the original file back in M100.


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Floh Peters
Re: working with HD footage in Media 100 and After Effects
on Sep 13, 2010 at 10:56:09 am

Hmmm, sounds like something still is not right. HereĀ“s what you should try:

find one of the original media files that you have imported on your HD (e.g. Right-click on a clip in a Bin and use "show in Finder").
Import that file into AE
In the AE project window, when you have the file selected you should see its native dimensions and pixel aspect ratio. These are the values you should use in AE; probably they should be 1280*720, with square pixels, which should match the 720p presets in AE.
Now render that out to a Media 100 supported codec, like ProRes or DVCProHD. If you import the rendered clip into Media 100, the file should "fast import", meaning that only a short "update media" dialog should appear and not a "rendering video" during import of the clip.
After the import, your clip colors should be identical to your original clip; the resolution and sharpness also should be the same.



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Robert Slenker
Re: working with HD footage in Media 100 and After Effects
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:38:46 pm

Hi guys!

Sorry for the delay in responding this week. I've been playing with this a little throughout the week when I've had time...taking notes and such regarding my trials and errors.

Here's what I'm having a problem with
:
As stated in my original post, sending P2 footage (720p, 59.94fps) out of Media 100 Suite to After Effects is no problem. The footage looks exactly like it should in AE but when I export it back out of AE to bring it back into Media 100 Suite, it's more saturated.

Now, per your advice I tried simply opening the raw .MXF files in AE then rendering them, and importing them in Media 100 Suite. They look fine.

Regarding exporting out of Media 100, I've tried exporting as "By Ref" and as "Source", as well as exporting via Media 100's "for After Effects" option. Again, all these exports look good when opened in AE.

In rendering out of AE, I'm doing Make Comp>Best Settings, Output Module: Custom>Quicktime, DVCPRO HD 720p60, 59.94 (also tried one as Media100 HD, 59.94 but DVCPRO HD is my codec used in Media100.)

To import in back into Media100, I'm doing Import>Files>Media100/QT, Fit To Video, Honor File's Aspect Ratio, Media standard=720p 59.94, Codec=DVCPRO HD 720p, 60p 50mbps, import to media standard.

frame exported from timeline (P2 imported to Media 100 Suite):



frame back from AE in Media100
:


Now a couple of odd things regarding AE:
You may see previously I asked about correct comp size. Reason being is that when my raw .mxf files are in my source bin, AE says their frame size is 960x720. If I drag one of them down to a new comp, it makes a 960x720 comp. Obviously, it needs to be 1280x720.
My files exported from Media 100 for some reason are larger in frame size. As I said, early on, in trying to figure out what comp size to make, I came up with 1535x720 to have it fill a comp window. Weird, eh?

Now, I am not in a panic trying to complete a project. I'm simply planning to start one and this will be my first attempt at doing an entire project shot in 720p. Until now, I've only worked with SD...with no problems at all going back and forth between Media100 and AE. I just wanted to do some tests to develop a workflow and wondered if anyone had experienced this before.

You can see the difference in these stills is minimal but the difference is more severe on my monitors (skin tones and shirt being more reddish.) I'm also wanting to play with Magic Bullet Suite a bit and need to know my tweaks will be accurate once back in Media100.

The final product will be for DVD and web (~10min recruitment video for my university.)

Thanks in advance.
BOB



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Andy Taplin
Re: working with HD footage in Media 100 and After Effects
on Sep 17, 2010 at 3:50:29 pm

I don't use Media 100 suite or DVC PRO HD (I'm Media 100 13 with XDCAM and ProRes) but I would try this:

Open an original Media 100 media file and the AE rendered file in QT so they are side by side. If they look the same then obviously what looks to me like a gamma change is happening as you import back into M100. If they are different then AE has mangled the gamma. Once you've isolated the problem you can get working on the solution.

I would also try importing the P2 to M100 as Prores and rendering out of AE in Prores, maaybe the DVC Pro HD codec has some issues round tripping.

Best of luck, I'm sure Floh will have some advice as he uses a more up to date version of M100.


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Jim Wilcox
Re: working with HD footage in Media 100 and After Effects
on Sep 18, 2010 at 12:17:29 am

I will say that, first off, the DVCPro HD files are reporting as 960x720 because that is what they are. They are thin raster with a Pix aspect ratio of 1.33. If you want to can work in AE in a 1280x720 comp and AE will handle the conversion. I have round tripped a fair amount of DVCPro HD and I have really found the best way to deal with it is what you tried. Just work with your native mxf files. If its a long edit and you are really looking to do color grading (and if you have FCS) you might think about going thru Color.


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Robert Slenker
Re: working with HD footage in Media 100 and After Effects
on Sep 20, 2010 at 1:41:03 pm

OK guys. I did a little more testing and:
I was mistaken in my original post. The color shift is already present in AE in the P2 files exported (By-Ref) from Media 100 Suite. It's is not present in AE in P2 files imported directly into AE (.MXF.) I did a quick split screen of the 2 of them together. Sorry.

It still makes me wonder what Media 100 is doing. Workflow-wise, I'd like to be able to edit in Media 100 first, then use AE if needed for effects or color correction/enhancement. =(



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Robert Slenker
Re: working with HD footage in Media 100 and After Effects
on Sep 20, 2010 at 1:45:40 pm

I should have said exported out of Media 100 via By-Ref and via the AE export command in Media 100."
Sorry.



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