Author Topic: None destructive raw workflow for Premiere using After Effects and Dynamic Link.  (Read 51372 times)

Africashot

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To be more specific... it would be great if anyone using this workflow would share their approach to grading (as long as it doesn't involve resolve)
ML 5D2 & T3i

r-man

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I've been thinking about this workflow and the Raw workflow overall - in my opinion, using progs as ACR and Lightroom etc in the very start of editing and grading may push you into some limits

Why so ? I think that sometimes it's hard to grade shots fine and adequate, when you can't see the whole image of your sequence ( i mean all your shots going one after one, when you see complete result ), as they might look comlpletely different. Especially this way of grading is awkward when you got the shots with different latitude of highlights and shadows

For example we have a pan shot - in first part we push highs down and black to up, but when pan is over and we have brighter darks, than in prev.part we might get a crap.  Something like this.

So I think that more flexible way for grading, especially secondary grading is to import from Pr to Sg with native dpx conversion.

But I may be wrong, as I'm still exploring different way to work with raw, so if anyone could fix me- you'r welcome!)

The only thing I surely know is that Dynamic Link must be essential in this process, until we get a native dng import to Pr CC

Africashot

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I've been thinking about this workflow and the Raw workflow overall - in my opinion, using progs as ACR and Lightroom etc in the very start of editing and grading may push you into some limits

Exactly my conclusion! Currently I have not found a good alternative and I am having trouble getting into speedgrade... it still feels very akward even after the changes made when ported to CC, Adobe should do a better job in getting all their software workflows to be at least similar, I am not even thinking of speegrade here but even simple things, like if ctrl+D duplicates a layer in after effects why it would have to be ctrl+J in photoshop (and yes I know you can customize that but why would I have to?) when it comes to speedgrade it still feels like a completely different product to me, I hope they'll improve on that!
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DFM

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Some general responses to this thread  ;):

We get a lot of comments about the UI for SpeedGrade being strange, and I agree that it's very different to anything else in the Creative Suite family. It's a legacy of two things - firstly Adobe have had their hands on the code for only a short time, and so the initial development was all about compatibility - Sg as it looks today is basically the same UI as shipped by IRIDAS. Going forward things are evolving but the DI/CT professionals who use it every day have had many years to learn a bunch of quirky UIs from the vendor of their choice, so a wholesale change to something that behaves like Premiere Pro or Resolve would annoy far more people than it'd please.

Without wishing to be rude to anyone, Sg was designed for a very specific user - a color timer in a motion picture studio - and so the UI is secondary. Colorists use hardware desks so they don't care if the wheels are fiddly to use with a mouse, and neither did IRIDAS. The concept of 'look' layers is also difficult to grasp without some heavy reading of the manuals, but given the target audience do nothing else all day every day, the industry does somewhat prefer things to be obscure (a colorist keeps his or her job until the DP finds out a way to do it themselves!). This is also the reason that Sg as of today will only import digital cinema footage rather than stuff like H.264 and AVCHD. That will change in October but the UI is largely static for the time being.

The solution, as you'll know by now, is to steal the Lumetri Color Engine from inside Sg and plug it into the other Adobe applications. You can already do that now in Premiere Pro CC (applying a "look" file as an effect) and come October you'll be able to apply looks directly from Adobe Media Encoder CC, but there's no escaping the need to jump into Sg at some point if you want to create your own looks. Again in October the link between Pr and Sg will finally connect properly.

Will we reach a point when Sg is as intuitive to use as the consumer products? No; but the biggest quirks will be ironed out. Creative Cloud has changed how Adobe see the application landscape, with truckloads of people getting access to programs that in all fairness are beyond their abilities. Dumbing down these top-end applications isn't an option the professional user community would accept so there will always be a cliff-face learning curve between something like Photoshop Elements and SpeedGrade. The hope is to create workflows that the majority of 'prosumer' users can follow which grab snippets of pre-made functionality without necessarily understanding what's happening.

At the basic level, someone with the classic "make my iPhone video look good" question can pick one of the predefined Look files and apply it without needing to know anything about what's being adjusted. Step one level up from that and you can jump across into Sg and fiddle with those defaults, maybe to widen a split tone or burn down the highlights. You will need to read the help file, but not much of it. A colorist who has to shot-match against Macbeth cards and calibrate Alexa log footage for broadcast will lock herself in a basement for 6 months and learn SpeedGrade, then get paid handsomely for her efforts.

In terms of color depth, the sequences in Premiere Pro are always 32-bit floating point. The default MPE previews aren't (because nobody has a 32-bit monitor) but you can bring in your DNG footage, apply any combination of "/32-ready" effects, and export back out to a lossless format of your choice. A pixel in the input stream will be a pixel in the output stream. In contrast you have to explicitly set the bit depth in AE (because it's far more CPU-intensive to do the comps in /32). The rule in AE for maximum quality is simple - pick a comp depth equal to or higher than the deepest source file you intend to feed it. If the source is a 14-bit ML DNG, there is no significant benefit in going above a /16 comp - it would have a very small effect if you apply some ultra-extreme grades as the interpolation would be narrower, but without the source data in the first place you're not gaining any 'real' pixels. If you're exporting that comp to H.264 for the Web you may as well stick in /8 and tone-map on the way in.


For ML raw video shooters the workflow is absolutely going to improve in October; we're not at the point of supporting MLV as a native file format  ;) but the time it takes to get from a folder of DNGs to a Vimeo-ready file will drop hugely. If you're just transcoding a rush to show someone, you'll be able to do it in AME with full hardware-accelerated rendering. The Mercury Playback Engine in Premiere Pro means that in theory you'll be able to scrub about your CinemaDNG timeline as smoothly as you want; but with all raw footage the bottleneck very firmly arrives at your disk. With a decent GPU and more than 12GB RAM, unless you're serving the footage from an SSD or multi-striped RAID array it will often struggle to read the frames fast enough.

That doesn't mean you need a behemoth of a machine to work effectively, just that you can't expect miracles from a Walmart desktop. I have Premiere Pro CC running on a Microsoft Surface Pro and it limps along OK - nothing I'd want to rely on but as a proof of concept it's as not bad to be transcoding on a 'tablet'. Some of the video pros that post their benchmark figures to Adobe have built things that make my eyes water (I've seen a 20-way RAID cabinet feeding a quad-Xeon board with 4 Tesla cards) but they'll be working on time-critical HD material, such as for broadcast news where a minute of extra rendering means they'd miss air time. The 'average' Premiere Pro CC user hovers just a little above the minimum specs; they tend to have a decent graphics card but their disks are...  :o

Africashot

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Nice to see Adobe is listening! And thanks for the comprehensive reply. I get your point and largely agree, there is no reason to 'dumbing' down the product to fit the average consumers needs, there is plenty of that already and we could see how going that direction can backfire within the community (thinking of FCPX here...)

However looking at how the industry develops and with web video becoming an essential marketing tool, the 'one man band' type user will become a large majority of your subscribers and, at least to me, this is exactly the target audience the creative suite seems to be aimed at (a professional colorist will hardly ever be using tools like dreamweaver or even encore, but I do!).

I am not saying that there should be less features or that niche professional should not be kept in mind, also I understand Adobe has purchased an existing product and needs to continue to cater for the existing customer base of this product, but by now Adobe should have enough weight in the industry to have its very own style and a 'company identity' that goes beyond having similar Logos for all their products... making things more complicated for the 'average user' in order to alianize a niche group of professionals in order to support their struggle to justify their existence is counterproductive imo.

In any case thanks you for working on providing great tools for many types of artists, your efforts are highly appreciated!

ML 5D2 & T3i

arrinkiiii

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Thank for the workflow  :)

maverick891

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The part where this workflow is failing me is when I drop the cinema dng sequence on the composition in after effects above the proxy video layer. Since the original file is longer and I have cut it to my requirement in edit the DNG sequence fails to sync with it rendering my cut completely useless and forcing me to match the start manually. I like this workflow and would like to really use it. Please help. What am I doing wrong?

dude

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wouldn t it be one way to do shadows/highlights via ae, and then export to tiff sequence, 16 bit?
So you can import to premiere and cut like you want, even do colour correction due to 16 bit

gary2013

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+1 Thank you for the workflow.  :)

Gary

spnsir

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The part where this workflow is failing me is when I drop the cinema dng sequence on the composition in after effects above the proxy video layer. Since the original file is longer and I have cut it to my requirement in edit the DNG sequence fails to sync with it rendering my cut completely useless and forcing me to match the start manually. I like this workflow and would like to really use it. Please help. What am I doing wrong?

Also having this issue---any way to automate the start of the DNG sequence so it uses the same start time as the proxy clip edit?

mrnv45

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here is a simple test from a video i am shooting.

rawmagic>after effects+acr>export frame size to quicktime prores444>premiere>edit and export to proress444 at 1920x1080>film convert>h.264 1080p

HugoFilipe

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Is there any chance of, after creating a project with this method, create a trimmed project (for disk space saving) that would include the original DNG's from After Effects?

I've used this method and currently have 3 huge projects that I'd like to delete the unused RAW clips (and proxies), but when I create a trimmed project (Premiere>Project Manager) I only get the proxies, not RAW's or DNG folders.

I would really appreciate if anyone know how to do it.

Thank you!

pc_bel

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I know this topic have a long time inactive, but I've found my own workflow and I want to share it:
The main problem I have found with the method of Noisyboy is that it doesn't work for me if I do the editing of the proxy clips before creating the composition in AE .
But if I import the whole clip to the timeline from the Premiere project browser and then I do " replace with AE composition" (then "replace footage" choosing the DNG sequence inside AE), and then edit the clip in Premiere , I have all his original length within AE so I can cut or lengthen everything I want within Premiere without any problem with the start or the end of each clip. If I first edit the clip in Premiere and then I do " replace with AE composition" , AE does not have the total length of the clip then after, in Premiere, I will not be able to lengthen the clip over the length available to me within AE .
The method does not seem the fastest to me, but is very effective and completely non-linear , so at any time the clips can be edited in Premiere , with the advantage not displaying the track containing the AE compositions I get a very smooth playing even with slow computers .
Just do not forget to group every proxy clip with their respective AE composition before edit.
Thank you very much for the workflow ! .

felixaudette

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Hey anyone  found anything better that look a like this one??
I'm planning of using this workflow in my next project :)
thanks a lot

setagana

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Um, I think I'm doing something wrong here. Either that or this workflow is simply not fit for purpose.

As others have pointed out, after your rough cut if you send a clip to AE and import the DNGs it doesn't take edits like your ins & outs into account, so your proxy and your raw in AE will not have the same start point.

Also, once you're back in Premiere pro if you group the AE comp and your proxy clip together, you can't edit them in length anymore.

Please tell me I'm doing something wrong, cause I was just starting to get the hang of this workflow.

JADURCA

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I use Sony Vegas Pro 13 to work on my projects. First, I color grade using ACR, then save in a folder as PSDs (yes, Vegas recognizes it). Then use Import Media option, it import all PSDs using Vegas, then add in timeline by doble-click it. Finallly you can cut, apply effects everything to the originals. If you are not happy later with a color grade you made, no problem, just open again the RAW in a ACR, make corrections and then overwrite PSDs in the same folder. When you open Vegas, everything, the new media and clips are already in place! Found this way very easy and fast, not only that but I can see that at the end once I finish editing I render in h.264 and quality is superb! Check this short video I made using this workflow.