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The steps would be as follows:
1. Export from Premiere Pro a video file (or, if you have Production Premium, bring it into AE using Dynamic Link which would avoid intermediate rendering),
2. in After Effects, create a Comp from one of the DV presets. Do you need standard 4:3 DV or 16:9 Widescreen?
3. Drag your video file (or Dynamic Link sequence) into Comp you just created. AE should automatically scale it to fit the Comp dimensions. If your Comp is 4:3 DV, it may be squished. In that case, you want to unlock scale in the timeline and make vertical scale match horizontal scale (and of course, you'll have a crop of the center of the 16:9 frame in the 4:3 Comp).
4. Export the video file from AE using the DV templates for both Output Module and Render Settings.
Let me know if this helps.
Thanks very much - that's very helpful. In the render settings (of the render queue), I don't see anything specific for DV. As my comp is already 720x576 (for PAL), I've just kept the settings to Best. Is that right?
Is it your view that AE will do a better a job at the conversion than Premiere Pro? Ultimately I will be creating a DVD through Encore.
When you go to the Render Queue, you'll see that both the Output Module and Render Settings have drop-down menus with templates.
The "DV" template for Render Settings is exactly the same as "Best", but sets field order to Lower Field first.
The "DV" template for Output Module specifies DV codec in Quicktime or AVI format, depending on your platform (so, it is lossy).
After Effects in general should do a better job at scaling elements than editing applications. But you should trust your eyes in this matter. If you invoke the Adobe Media Encoder directly from Premiere Pro and use MPEG-2 DVD as a target, it should give you decent quality avoiding all of this. If for any reason you're not satisfied, then you could try this route.
One furrther question please. How do I use DL to take my Premiere HDV output into AE for the downconversion.
If I choose File / Adobe Dynamic Link / New After Effects composition, all I seem to get is a blank linked comp...
Thanks. I know DL in CS4 allows you to take a clip from Premiere's timeline and round-trip it via AE. I have CS3 and can't find this option. Did it come in in CS4?
Yes, before CS4 Premiere Pro was a Dynamic Link client but not a host. In other words, you could go from AE to PPro but not the other way around. The ability to take PPro sequences to AE, Encore, etc via Dynamic Link is a new feature in CS4.
Julian: There was a tiny piece of information in my head that I wanted to share all along with you, but I had to check if it was correct (the worst possible crime is to reveal features which don't exist!)
So, as much as I like to think AE is the universal remedy for every image processing problem (!), I wanted to let you know that, starting with the 4.01 update and forward, Premiere Pro CS4 has a new option in Sequence Settings called "Maximum Render quality". This means "high quality scaling". If you use that version of Premiere Pro, you should get very good downscaling quality (at a cost in rendering time, but you imagined that, didn't you?)
Thanks - that's good to hear. Several months since the release of CS4, I'm still on CS3 - as I'm wating for Premiere Pro (and the Matrox drivers) to be more stable. Hopefully 4.10 will mark this occasion!