18 Replies Latest reply on Apr 1, 2011 6:13 AM by matt_exton

    1080i compositing - yes or no!

    Jon-M-Spear Level 4

      I am editing an HDV 1080i 50 project in PP CS5 with all motion material acquired on a Sony Z1.

       

      Various sequences (both camera rushes and PP sub renders) are to be exported to AE CS5 for compositing work.  This primarily involves motion tracking and rotoscoping.   These then need to be imported back into the master PP programme for edit completion.  The final programme will be output as a PAL DVD plus You Tube sequence, and will also be output as H.264 for conference play-in (its main use, although a one-off showing)

       

      My question is one of workflow for optimum quality!

       

      I recall reading that it is not advisable to composite HDV in AE because of the GOP limitations amongst other things, and that material should be up-sampled beforehand.  Can anyone advise me whether this is still true, or whether it is acceptable to composite in native 1080i these days.

       

      If resampling is key, what are the best ways to achieive this; and into what format?  Should PP sub-renders be exported as 1080i or uncompressed 1440 x 1080 AVI, and should rushes be processed in PP beforehand also?

       

      Finally, rendering back to PP from AE - what is the optimum format for exporting to the PP HDV project?  Am I right in assuming that it should be uncompressed AVI 1440 x 1080, as HDV per se doesn't seem to be an option.

       

      Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

        • 1. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          HDV is a pretty compressed kind of video (4:1:1 color space, etc.) so you wouldn't want to export that out of AE anyway.

           

          CS5 has greatly improved how AE handles interframe compression so you may be able to work with the native files there. I would suggest testing it out, if you get a chance.

           

          I like to export out of AE as Quicktime with the PNG codec as it's still lossless but has significantly smaller file sizes than Uncompressed AVI.

          • 2. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
            Jon-M-Spear Level 4

            HI Szalam

             

            Thanks for your reply.

             

            Do you know what the general rule of thumb is with HDV compositing?  If HDV is not considered suitable across the board for for AE compositing, would the way to go to be to convert it to uncompressed AVI in Premiere Pro (PAL 4:2:0) , or does that not gain anything.

             

            Cheers

            • 3. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              HDV uses an interframe compression scheme. Older versions of AE had issues with it. All reports I've heard from users with CS5 have been that the problems have been resolved. So I would say, if you have CS5, don't worry about converting your footage into anything else. And, if everything moves along smoothly, don't worry about it.

              • 4. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                Sorry to revisit this months later but in hindsight, I'm not sure that I articulated my issue very well...

                 

                I am working on a PP CS5 HDV 1440 x 1080 50i edit (Sony Z1), and have linked a sequence to AE CS5 for compositing.

                 

                I want to render the AE output - rather than continue the link with PP - but am not sure what export parameters to give the render module so that the outputed material best matches the source material.

                 

                I have had interlacing and quality issues in the past when exporting as mpeg2, and don't want to export as a Quicktime as Szalam suggested!

                 

                Is there a rule-of-thumb working on HDV material, or is it more trrail and error?

                 

                Many thanks.

                • 5. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                  bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3

                  > Is there a rule-of-thumb working on HDV material, or is it more trrail and error?<

                   

                  The rule of thumb for me is to convert HDV footage to something—anything—else.

                   

                  bogiesan

                  • 6. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                    Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                    Er, thanks bogiesan.  Anything more specific?

                    • 7. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                      Dave LaRonde Level 6

                      Anything more specific?

                      Well, since you specifically wrote that you'd use this video for compositing -- a term which covers a lot of ground -- I can think of a couple of reasons NOT to use HDV.

                       

                      The first item: left in its acquisition codec, HDV image quality degrades rapidly if you need to re-render it. Danger, Will Robinson!

                       

                      Second, HDV has bad color resolution (aka color sampling).  If you intend to do any chroma keying, it's wise to shoot in something other than HDV; a Panasonic P2 camera recording in DVCPro HD has much better color resolution.

                      To grasp what happens in color resolution you should spend 15 minutes watching the following podcast:

                      http://macbreak.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=70596

                      Since HDV color resolution is the same as DV color resolution, the information is still germane.

                       

                      Bad color resolution is encoded right into HDV; once it's recorded, the damage is done; hence the need for a better camera when shooting on green/blue screen.  If you transcode HDV to a lossless or uncompressed codec, you won't lose any more image quality when you render, but you've already lost a lot as it was recorded.  The workaround is to hook the HDV camera up to a device like an AJA KiPro via HDMI; the image retains horizontal and vertical resolution PLUS full color resolution, and you can record in high-quality codecs like ProRes 422.

                      • 8. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                        Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                        Hi Dave

                         

                        Thanks very much for your valuable input.  I totally understand your reservations about shooting HDV, and that the term "compositing" covers a multitude of sins.

                         

                        As a corporate filmmaker, I'm pretty happy with the limitaions of 4:2:0 - well, not so much happy, but accept the fact!  However, we do tend to use Digibeta for keying work.

                         

                        You say that HDV rapidly degrades on re-render.  This was the point I was initially asking.  My workflow is always to shoot and edit in HD (1440 x 1080i) , and sort out the versioning once the master edit is complete, as the programme can end up in many different formats. 

                         

                        Given that my AE work will be stuff like time remapping and motion graphics, should I transcode the HD material to work in AE before exporting it back into PP CS5 to edit in HD? 

                         

                        I am about to replace my Z1 with a non-tape HD system.  It doesn't have HDMI, for one thing (plus it's getting on a bit).  Given your comments, your recommendations would be welcome.

                        • 9. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                          Dave LaRonde Level 6

                          J-MS wrote:

                           

                          Given that my AE work will be stuff like time remapping and motion graphics, should I transcode the HD material to work in AE before exporting it back into PP CS5 to edit in HD?

                          That time remapping comment has me worried. 

                          AE 10 can work with HDV-codec footage, but I honestly have no clue how it would react to time remapping such long-gop footage.  If you have the luxury of testing a clip in HDV, then the same clip transcoded to a lossless codec prior to use it AE, it would be worthwhile.

                           

                          J-MS wrote:

                           

                          I am about to replace my Z1 with a non-tape HD system... Given your comments, your recommendations would be welcome.

                          It depends on the conditions in which you shoot, and the ultimate use of the footage you shoot.  If you're shooting primarily for effects work in conditions where you have the luxury of a complicated setup, you could get by with almost anything -- you could use a camera an HD-SDI out or an HDMI out, run it into an AJA I/O box and capture straight to your NLE in the codec of your choice, for example.  If you're expected to shoot the keynote speaker at a big meeting, then rush backstage to shoot an interview with the speaker, you'd want a camera that records to cards.

                           

                          I personally would opt for flexibility, meaning a camera that records to a better codec, with nice color resolution, onto cards.  For starters -- and starters ONLY, because it's a big decision -- I'd look at cameras from Panasonic:

                          http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelList?storeId=11201&catalogId= 13051&catGroupId=15768&surfModel=AG-HPX500-EFP*

                          They're more expensive than your current camera, but they'd be far more flexible.

                           

                          Camera capabilities are changing so quickly at the moment that it's difficult for a certain promotion producer at a Midwestern American TV station to keep up with them.

                          • 10. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                            Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                            Hi David

                             

                            I am a long-time, albeit somewhat naive, user of AE (since v5), and I'm fairly happy with HDV time-remapping results and the general compositing work I do within the application. It works reasonably well for the corporate/ below-the-line industry I'm in.

                             

                            The issue here is my lack of knowledge on AE rendering codecs (given that I am where I am with 4:2;0, long GOP material - as so many other thousands are).  My general question is; is there a recognised way of handling the footage in AE (4:2:0 limitations accepted) and exporting it to PP with the least degradation.

                             

                            The two specific issues are:

                             

                            1.  Dynamic linking with PP.  What Adobe does not make clear is what happens to the 1080 50i material in the PP timeline when it is dynamically linked to AE CS5.  Does image degradation occur, or does AE "link" it back using the most suitable codec for the edit preset?

                             

                            2.  Non-dynamic linking.  Assuming that I am editing 1080 50i in PP, and I independently work on 1080 50i material in AE, what is the best render codec to use to bring it into the PP edit as footage with the least degradation?

                             

                            Are you about Todd?

                             

                            By the way, Canon is claiming that their Canon FX305 produces 4:2:2 50Mpps on a CF card!!

                            • 11. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                              Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                              > 1.  Dynamic linking with PP.  What Adobe does not make clear is what happens to the 1080 50i material in the PP timeline when it is dynamically linked to AE CS5.  Does image degradation occur, or does AE "link" it back using the most suitable codec for the edit preset?

                               

                               

                              After Effects works internally with uncompressed frames. When it serves frames to Premiere Pro through Dynamic Link, there's no codec involved---no compression, no degradation.

                               

                              > 2.  Non-dynamic linking.  Assuming that I am editing 1080 50i in PP, and I independently work on 1080 50i material in AE, what is the best render codec to use to bring it into the PP edit as footage with the least degradation?

                               

                               

                              Any losslessly encoded format will do. I use QuickTime files with the PNG codec. Some people use QuickTime files with Animation or AVI with no compression. I tend to stick with these because they're part of a standard installation, so I can easily exchange files with anyone.

                              • 12. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                                Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                                Thanks for the clarification, Todd.

                                 

                                Re the lossless codecs - are you saying that you do a lossless conversion BEFORE bringing HD material into AE, or use the native format and render out with a lossless codec?

                                • 13. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                                  Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                  > Re the lossless codecs - are you saying that you do a lossless conversion BEFORE bringing HD material into AE, or use the native format and render out with a lossless codec?

                                   

                                  The latter.

                                  • 15. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                                    Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                                    One final question...  (for the moment, anyway ;-0)

                                     

                                    This refers as much to PP CS5 as much as it does AE.

                                     

                                    I have seen a Jason Levine Adobe TV video in which he talking up the advantages of native editing mpeg in PP CS5.,

                                     

                                    http://tv.adobe.com/watch/premiere-pro-cs5-feature-tour/staying-native-or-going-intermedia te-transcoding-and-premiere-pro-cs5-

                                     

                                     

                                    So....

                                     

                                    If colour correction and general image maniupulation is a standard part of one's workflow, is it still considered preferable to transcode all source footage to an intermediate codec - specifically Cineform - before the edit/ composition.  Or does the advent of CS5 make this unnecassary?

                                     

                                    Adobe TV doesn't address the issue that the mpeg codec is not considered very robust - and that it soon deteriorates if it is overly manupulated.

                                     

                                    Thanks guys.

                                    • 16. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                                      matt_exton Level 1

                                      Hi J-MS

                                       

                                      Did you ever find an overall solution to your question because I need a little advice concerning a similar thing.

                                       

                                      I am shooting and editing a video in a few weeks and have been testing a variety of things to keep good quality within the boundries of shooting on a Sony V1. However rendering HDV into various formats takes a long time and I could do with a few pointers to maybe skip a couple of steps and head in the right direction. So anything you can help with would be greatly appreciated.

                                       

                                      So, the plan is to shoot HDV 1080 50i on a Sony V1 and then import into Prem Pro CS4. Graphics / Efects will be created in After Effects CS4 too. My usual workflow is to edit in Prem / Final Cut and then export this to a QT mov using Photo JPEG compression. I then import this info After Effects and colour correct / Add Graphics etc and re-render using the same codec. Although it wasn't ideal, this achieved satisfying results. However, that was when shooting and editing in SD, and HDV is a completely new ball game to me.

                                       

                                      What I want to know is what the best way of working is in HDV. Is it better to work solely in Prem Pro and then just import the graphics in from After Effects?

                                      Also, when exporting, did you find a solution to keeping image quality to a maximum when adding effects? Because a lot of the time when I colour correct, I struggle with grain mainly in the black areas.

                                       

                                      Thanks in advance for any help. Much appreciated.

                                       

                                      Kind Regards,

                                      Matt

                                      • 17. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                                        Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                                        Hmm...

                                         

                                        I'm not entirely sure I've fully cracked it yet!

                                         

                                        I've distilled the sage advice given in this thread and done two things:

                                         

                                        1.  For 1080 50i work that needs extensive AE compositing (using more than a single layer of footage), I import the native HD footage directly into AE, work on it and export as an uncompressed Microsoft AVI.  I then import into PP.

                                         

                                        2.  For 1080 50i Premiere Pro editing, I currently work on the native HD footage.  For timeline footage that needs a small AE tweak, I use the dynamic link between AE and PP and let ultimately Adobe Media Encoder deal with it in the final render. The dynamic link between AE and PP in CS5 is pretty fantastic.  Unfortunately I don't recall it being quite so robust in CS4.

                                         

                                        I think that a purist would probably convert all native footage to a lossless codec at the outset and only use that in AE and PP - but it depends upon how the final programme is going to be used.   If it's only going to end up on the web...! 

                                         

                                        Cineform neo (for about £80) captures directly from the Sony V1/Z1 on the fly and converts to a Cineform lossless codec, but I haven't quite got around to incorporating that into my workflow.

                                         

                                        Hope there's a nugget in there somewhere.

                                        • 18. Re: 1080i compositing - yes or no!
                                          matt_exton Level 1

                                          Thanks for your help!

                                           

                                          Kind Regards,

                                          Matt