It's unclear to me how to best use AE with Premiere, so I thought I should ask the experienced users in this forum.
Background in Premiere
I am reasonably proficient with Premiere. I use it to generate output (Blu-ray compliant) ready for use in Encore, then output to Blu-ray, without transcoding being necessary. The video is always in m4v format, the audio PCM, separate files, not multiplexed. The final product, assembled in Encore, is typically in "chunks", some as short as 5 seconds, some up to 15 minutes. I grab the "chunks" (chapters, if you like), import them into Encore and away I go. This way, burning to Blu-ray can be several times faster than real time.
Export from Premiere is h.264, 1920 x 1080, VBR, 2-pass, typically 20 Mbps target, 35 Mbps Max. I'm quite happy with this workflow and the results. Each "chunk" ends up as two files: an m4v and a PCM.
I'm a complete novice to AE, other than the very occasional Replace with AE Composition from within Premiere, to remove 2:3 pulldown. However, I now want to fix some time-lapse sequences, and that will require AE:
- Motion Tracking to stabilize the sequence
- Color Stabilizer Effect to remove variations in exposure, and
- Time Remapping to alter playback speeds within a composition.
Once I have fixed the time-lapse sequence in AE, I will either:
- Generate my normal m4v and PCM files (see above specs) from within AE, so that they become a "chunk" for my Blu-ray, or
- Send the composition to Premiere via Dynamic Link (or already be linked to the AE composition from within Premiere).
I have several questions about things which are not clear to me.
I've read, or skimmed over, all 614 pages of the After Effects PDF. The very last page says:
You can export an After Effects project as an Adobe Premiere Pro project without rendering.
Sounds good. What I don't understand is: how can Premiere deal with all the stuff that might be in an AE composition – all the layers, effects, dissolves and so forth – the stuff that AE might have but which Premiere lacks? Is the composition flattened (like you can do in Photoshop), but somehow not rendered? Will an AE project exported to Premiere, look the same in both?
I originally thought that the best way to deal with my time-lapse sequence would be to import the images directly into AE, edit them, and render to m4v and WAV. However, I could not find a 2-pass option in AE's rendering setup, or an unmultiplexed option. Can I render from AE in h.264, 2-pass, and obtain separate m4v and WAV files? I want files that will work in Encore and not require transcoding.
To keep my workflow the same as previously, maybe my only option is to:
- Import the time-lapse sequence into Premiere as a stand alone Sequence
- Choose Replace with AE Composition
- Edit in AE
- Jump back to Premiere and export the sequence in my usual way.
Or is there another way?
When I choose Replace with AE Composition from within Premiere, do a serious amount of editing in AE, and then Export from Premiere, how does Premiere know how to deal with all the AE-specific stuff? I just did a simple test along those lines with AE shut down, and didn't notice AE firing up during the Premiere export. I don't understand how an AE composition, which might have hundreds of layers and all sorts of fancy effects, can be dealt with by Premiere, without Premiere interacting with AE.