8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2009 7:07 PM by joshtownsend

    Advice on working in 4:4:4 colour and workflow issues

      Hi All,

      Was hoping to get some advice from those in the know.

      I'm editing a stop motion animation and will be receiving the final composited frames as 16-bit TIF sequences from the compositors.

      I was told by the post production house doing the grade to keep everything in the 4:4:4 colour space.

      I was originally going to use Final Cut, but the post house said that it has trouble staying in 4:4:4 during dissolves and drops to 4:2:2 (due to a bug), so I'd be better rendering those scenes in AE. Does Premiere share this issue?

      I'll be working at 1920 x 1080 and exporting the film as a TIFF sequence for the grader. I'll also be looking at a 35mm blow-up if the film gets into certain festivals so am keen to retain as much quality throughout the production pipeline as possible.

      Can I please get some advise on the best way to achieve this and if there's any advantage to upgrading to CS4? What's a rigid production pipeline I should follow? Any other advise?

      I'll be editing this on a Macbook Pro (4GB RAM) running bootcamp. Would this system be fast enough to handle the hi resolution and uncompressed footage that I'll be dealing with?

      Thanks,
      Chris.
        • 1. Re: Advice on working in 4:4:4 colour and workflow issues
          joshtownsend Level 2
          Do your only cuts in Premiere then Open the project in After Effects, set to 32-bit color. Do all your transitions and color correction in AE for better blending and highlight retention. Render uncompressed Tiffs and your good to go.

          This will keep you in 4:4:4. Your gonna have blast editing in that colorspace you can pull some much out that footage.
          • 2. Re: Advice on working in 4:4:4 colour and workflow issues
            Level 1
            Hi Josh,

            Thanks for the reply. Can I just confirm a couple of things.

            Whilst in Premiere, do I need to set a colour space in the project settings or can I just leave it as a default HD project?

            When in AE, I assume I change to 32-bit colour in the 'Project Settings' under 'Colour Settings/Depth'. What should I make the working space?

            When you say I'm gonna have a blast, was that sarcasm for my PC is going to be very slow when trying to deal with these uncompressed files??

            Thanks,
            Chris.
            • 3. Re: Advice on working in 4:4:4 colour and workflow issues
              joshtownsend Level 2
              Your premiere setting don't matter as much because because it'll be doing cuts only. Once it's brought into AE it'll link to the still sequence you were cutting. That's whats so cool you don't have render out of Premiere just drop the project into AE.

              You can keep the "color management" off if you want.

              Google color management it can be pretty complicated but can also be uesfull when it comes making your WYSIWYG. What kind of camera do they use to shoot the stop motion? A still camera?
              • 4. Re: Advice on working in 4:4:4 colour and workflow issues
                Level 1
                Digital SLR's are more commonly being used to shoot Stop Motion Animations. We used a Canon EOS 450D body and Nikon prime lenses.

                The process we're undertaking is:
                1. Converting the RAW files to 16-bit TIF files.
                2. Doing the compositing in AE and exporting each shot as a TIFF sequence
                3. Importing the sequence into Premiere and doing all the cuts there.
                4. Opening the premiere file in AE and adding the dissolves and transitions
                5. Exporting the final film as a TIF sequence for the post production house to grade.

                Question: In step 2, to retain the best image quality, should the compositor set the AE project setting to 32-bit or 16-bit. As the images are 16-bit to begin with, do I need to go higher during the composite?

                Thanks,
                Chris.
                • 5. Re: Advice on working in 4:4:4 colour and workflow issues
                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                  Need to and want to are different questions. The extra headroom in a 32 bit project may allow for better internal renders.
                  • 6. Re: Advice on working in 4:4:4 colour and workflow issues
                    joshtownsend Level 2
                    Jim's right, you need to be in 32bit that way you get to preserve overbrights and have alot of head room for your color correction.

                    You'll be able to push and pull the colors soooooo much, I envy you it'll be fun color correcting. You'll have nice a shot-on-film-look. Maybe add a very tiny bit of grain (not noise) to the end product.

                    Does that mean you have to reframe each shot to 16x9 or does the footage come precropped?

                    You also will need a raid harddrive to be able to edit the uncompressed Tiffs especially if there in HD.
                    • 7. Re: Advice on working in 4:4:4 colour and workflow issues
                      Level 1
                      Hi Josh,

                      Thanks for the info on staying in 32-bit.

                      Just to be clear, I won't be doing any colour correcting myself, I'll be exporting the film as a TIF sequence and taking it to a professional grader.

                      All I'll really be doing is creating the dissolves in AE.

                      I don't have a RAID drive handy, was intending on using a Firewire 800 drive. Do you reckon that will be fast enough?

                      Cheers,
                      Chris.
                      • 8. Re: Advice on working in 4:4:4 colour and workflow issues
                        joshtownsend Level 2
                        Might be, might not.....lot of variables (like your computer specs and the speed of your harddrive, the size of the files)

                        No way to know to you try it. Get some frames from them or create your own with that are the exact same.