7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2011 12:21 PM by Strtline

    Using Adobe Ultra Virtual Sets with CS5

    Explorer 2013

      I was an original Adobe Ultra user and purchased the Virtual Sets that were available for it. I am delighted to see that Ultra has returned in Premiere CS5, and I note that some additional refinements have been made to it. Here is my question for the community: So far, I have been unable to use the original Ultra Virtual Sets (they are MFX files) in Premiere or After Effects (I also tried opening the file in Photoshop and Illustrator just to see if I could convert the files with either of those applications - no luck). Attempting to open the Virtual Set files triggers a message indicating that the file format is not recognized. Has anyone been successful in using an Ultra Virtual set in any of the CS5 applications, or found a third party product to covert MFX files into a format that can be read inside the CS5 environment?


      (Technical note: MFX files are not all the same. After Effects, for example, can open some types of MFX files, but does not appear to be able to open the Virtual Set MFX.)

        • 1. Re: Using Adobe Ultra Virtual Sets with CS5
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          You're confusing MFX and MXF. Ultra virtual sets were in MFX files. MXF (Media eXchange Format) files are totally unrelated.


          No, there is nothing in the CS5 suite that can work with the Ultra virtual sets.


          The After Effects team has been looking into doing something with these virtual sets. If you submit a feature request to let the powers that be know that you want this, it stands a greater chance of happening.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Using Adobe Ultra Virtual Sets with CS5
            Explorer 2013 Level 1

            Thanks Todd!  I will indeed follow up with the wish list. I would love to be able to use these sets directly in the CS5 environment rather than doing my keying in CS5 then jumping back to my old Windows XP box to lay the keyed footage over a virtual set in Ultra.



            • 3. Re: Using Adobe Ultra Virtual Sets with CS5
              shooternz Level 6

              Build your virtual set wherever and bring it into CS5 as a BG.


              Why would you do a key in  the old NLE when you can do it realtime in CS5 using the fabulous latest version of UltraKey?

              • 4. Re: Using Adobe Ultra Virtual Sets with CS5
                Explorer 2013 Level 1



                Thanks for responding. At this point, I'm doing my keying in CS5 (either Keylight or Ultra Key depending on the project), then pulling the keyed footage into my XP box when I want to use the Ultra Virtual Sets. Having used the original Ultra and Ultra Key, I can see that Adobe made a very good product even better in CS5.


                I am currently trying demo versions of a couple of file converter utilities to see if I can find one that can convert the Virtual sets into a format that either Premiere or After Effects can read, preferable while retaining the alpha channel in the sets.


                Another member of the community who responded to my question stated:


                "The After Effects team has been looking into doing something with these virtual sets. If you http://www.adobe.com/go/wish to let the powers that be know that you want this, it stands a greater chance of happening."


                So I have taken his advice and submitted an item to the After Effects wish list.


                Thanks again!

                • 5. Re: Using Adobe Ultra Virtual Sets with CS5
                  Powered by Design Level 4

                  I think what Craig was saying was to use your XP running ULTRA and just save the video transitions out to a format that CS5 can read.


                  Most of the sets are still images so those should work just importing into CS5 but the video part is the only ones you need to convert.


                  After that just import those new videos and use them for your background in CS5.




                  • 6. Re: Using Adobe Ultra Virtual Sets with CS5
                    Explorer 2013 Level 1



                    Your message suggested something that encouraged me to shift my approach. Up until now, I have been looking for ways to bring the Ultra Virtual Sets forward by opening them in current applications (specifically CS5).  After reading your message, I went back to the Virtual Set folders in Ultra to more closely examine their structure. I have still been unable to open the MFX* files that represent the fully constructed virtual sets, however, when I made the hidden folder named "elements" visible in the Virtual Sets directory (there is an elements folder for each virtual set), I found the PNG files that are used to construct the sets. The PNG files can be opened in CS5 applications, although you are required to manually "rebuild" the virtual sets in cases when they incorporated layered foreground and background elements, but that's still a very good workaround. This trick doesn't work for the virtual sets that include virtual camera moves, but I can still do the key in CS5, the initial composite in Ultra in cases where I want to preserve the virtual camera moves, then the finish work back in CS5. Thanks to Rotobrush, it should be possible to color correct or add effects to the background elements and the keyed in talent separately if necessary, but I haven't gotten that far in my experiments yet.


                    Thanks to everyone who offered advice on my question. It occurs to me that Adobe might be able to create another revenue stream for themselves if they did enable After Effects to use MFX files because it would create some level of demand for Adobe's old Virtual Sets and might even create a market for new Virtual Sets.


                    *Yes, I DID confuse MFX and MXF files in my original posting; I stand corrected.

                    • 7. Re: Using Adobe Ultra Virtual Sets with CS5

                      This is what I did and it works fine as long as you realize that you will need to use AE to control placement, masking, etc.  All stuff that could be accomplished in Ultra as a stand alone program.


                      I created some footage contained nothing but a greed solid.  I create this the same size and duration of the clip I intended to use with the virtual set.


                      I then loaded this footage into Ultra (The stand alone version from CS3).  I keyed out the green.  I then loaded the virtual set I needed and created the output file.  This created a mov file.  I was working in HD so, in my case I ended up with a 1080P virtual set movie.  I then used this movie in AE, added my green screen footage, keyed it, and ended up with my footage in the virtual set.


                      There mught be a easier way, even though this was pretty easy, but Ultra would not simply let me create a movie with only the virtual set.  I needed to add the keyed green footage as my input footage then apply the virtual set to that.  Once done, Ultra was happy to let me output the vurtual set and, since the greeen footage was completely keyed out, I ended up with a high resolution virtual set.


                      Since the 1st, I have done this with pany of the virtual sets at diffrent resolutions and all works great.