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 need guidance: workflow to produce max quality/res + HD movs 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:44 am
Posts: 20
Post need guidance: workflow to produce max quality/res + HD movs
Hi All,

I need a bit of guidance, I hope someone can help.

I'm no expert when it comes to AfterEffects and PremierePro, and I need to use both to do what I want to do, which is to create 3 files from my RAWs:
1) a lossless full resolution (5K to 8K) high quality video file to use as a base for further processing (e.g. stabilisation or deflickering). This because I understand that using it for a base will be faster than rendering the RAW sequence every time
2) a 4K file for stock sites (with effects applied)
3) a watermarked HD for uploading to Instagram and Vimeo
I'm an experienced TL photographer (https://vimeo.com/bothhemispheres), and entirely comfortable with Lightroom and LRTimelapse, it's just the steps afterwards that I need help with.

Here's what I'm attempting to do now, and the problems I'm having (I'd be very grateful for any insights you more experienced post-production people might be able to offer):
1) edit in LR and LRT, save XMP with raw files (my cameras produce anywhere from 5K to 8K files)

2) open sequence in AfterEffects, create comp from sequence

3) render sequence as quicktime 16-bit 100% quality photo-jpeg (I'm on a PC, so no ProRes for me).
-a recent 2000 shot 8K TL took just over 3 hours for this

4) re-import that .mov file into AE, create 4K comp and apply effects (usually Flicker Free, and sometimes Warp Stabilise), render again with 16-bit 100% quality photo-jpeg (this one for stock sites).
-this can take a _really_ long time, depending, I'm guessing, on the effects. But...last night I set a render going and I came back this morning to find that it'd been rendering for 10 hours, with 54 more hours estimated to go (umm... I must've made some horrendous mistake somewhere).

5) create a watermarked HD file in Premiere (I have a good workflow set up for watermarks there). This is where things fall down, and I don't know how to solve them. What I thought was the right thing to do was:
a) create HD comp in AE using 4K .mov file (resize .mov file to comp size)
b) Dynamic Link in PP to that HD AE comp
c) edit that HD comp in PP

Here's the problem: using that linked AE HD comp in PP, it takes minutes to render any frame (no quick scrubbing possible), so I can't practically make any edits (Mostly all I want to do is simple fade in and outs with watermark text, plus fade from and to black, all of my Vimeo clips do this).

I've tried creating really small proxies in AE, but that doesn't really speed things up in PP at all, much to my surprise.

So my problems are twofold:
1) That's a lot of rendering, any tips on streamlining the processes? It'd be nice to set something up so that it could run overnight.
2) I can't seem to work in PP with the AE comps as dynamic links (I have a very good PC: fast processor, plenty of RAM, m.2 scratch disk). I must be doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what.

Many thanks for any insights (which I hope are useful for any future readers of this thread).

Chas


Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:11 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:11 am
Posts: 9
Location: Europe
Post Re: need guidance: workflow to produce max quality/res + HD
Check your export settings... there is not 16bit Photo-JPEG codec. Maybe you're using 16bit PNG (but last time I had a look [i.e. 15 years ago] even that had to be custom-enabled in order to show up at all). With PNG I could understand why it is so slow.

Apart from that I can not give much advice since I'm doing these kind of things under Linux (so no Adobe products involved). Doing a conversion of 2000 5k frames to some QuickTime movie would roughly take 10 minutes here with CPU rendering or maybe 2 minutes with GPU.


Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:49 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:44 am
Posts: 20
Post Re: need guidance: workflow to produce max quality/res + HD
You're rendering in 10 minutes?? Right, I'm using the wrong setup! Seriously, can you point me to some resources so I can learn to do this myself? (if I can dual-boot into Linux, I won't hesitate to do what's necessary, if it's going to save that much time).

As for the 16-bit Photo-JPEG, I'm afraid I'm a bit confused by what you've written. The screenshot below is of the AE Render Queue. I was able to set the bit depth to 16-bit, and choose a Quicktime photo-jpeg codec. I'm thinking I'm not understanding the correct terminology, can you say where I've gone wrong? I've come to timelapse from a stills photographer background, and so my typical working file/archive file format is 16-bit TIFFs, and I looked for an equivalent for video.

Image

cinewrangler wrote:
Check your export settings... there is not 16bit Photo-JPEG codec. Maybe you're using 16bit PNG (but last time I had a look [i.e. 15 years ago] even that had to be custom-enabled in order to show up at all). With PNG I could understand why it is so slow.

Apart from that I can not give much advice since I'm doing these kind of things under Linux (so no Adobe products involved). Doing a conversion of 2000 5k frames to some QuickTime movie would roughly take 10 minutes here with CPU rendering or maybe 2 minutes with GPU.


Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:51 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:11 am
Posts: 9
Location: Europe
Post Re: need guidance: workflow to produce max quality/res + HD
I didn't want to say that my faster render times are because its on Linux. It is probably more because it doesn't use the Adobe Camera RAW module. Just look how long it takes to open a RAW file in Photoshop. Multiply that with 2000. Plus the time it takes to safe that file. Also times 2000. I don't think AE does any of this in parallel... at least it didn't do so last time I checked which is admittedly quite a while ago. - Also note that my workflow doesn't involve those sidecar XML files for deflickering (there simply is no deflickering at this stage in the process, I do that in post if required). If you need that you're probably stuck with Adobe software or Lightroom anyway.

About your settings: You've set the rendering to 16bit, which means AE will render 16bit output. It then sends those 16bits to QuickTime which in turn converts it to 8bit because JPEG is an 8bit codec. AE doesn't tell you directly its just 8bit, they assume you know that. The giveaway is that it says "Millions of Colors" which means 8bit.
I think Photoshop doesn't even provide JPEG as an option for saving when you have a 16bit (or higher) file.


Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:51 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:44 am
Posts: 20
Post Re: need guidance: workflow to produce max quality/res + HD
Thanks, cinewrangler, for the further explanation.

If I can figure out how to dual-boot my PC or my Mac, I'm going to look into Linux and a workflow like yours. Forgive me for asking again, but can you point me to any resources?

You've solved a big mystery for me re: photo-jpeg and bit depth. No wonder my last test render took so long! (and no wonder I've gotten some rude messages on video-editor boards when I posted my original question. Two ways to respond to requests for help online: actually help, or crush, LOL). And you're right, you can't make a 16-bit jpeg in photoshop, but I didn't know if a photo-jpeg codec followed the same rules.

Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it.


Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:03 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:11 am
Posts: 9
Location: Europe
Post Re: need guidance: workflow to produce max quality/res + HD
As I said before, no need to switch to Linux (or dual-boot into it). The speed of my workflow is not because of Linux. It is just because it is a different workflow. The idea is to convert the camera RAW files to some edit-friendly format that preserves all the image information. So this means EXR image sequence or 10bit/16bit QuickTime with some sort of Log curve to preserve the highlights. And then edit that instead of tweaking the RAW files in Lightroom.

But I guess if you need deflickering better stick to your current workflow and find out why your renders take so long. I don't think its because Photo-JPEG is 8bits. That extra conversion from 16bit to 8bit should be done in less than 100ms per frame.


Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:32 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:44 am
Posts: 20
Post Re: need guidance: workflow to produce max quality/res + HD
Ah, I misunderstood, I thought it was a magic Linux thing :-)

I do need LR for my workflow, because I use LRTimelapse (or do you know of an alternate way to smooth exposure jumps during sunrise/set? I'm always interested in learning new things!). I do a bit of deflickering in LRT, but, lately, I've been using the "Flicker Free" plugin in AE (LRT does global exposure changes to smooth flickering, Flicker Free will do local exposure smoothing, really useful).

I need to do some proper testing. My original post was an attempt to get a bit of guidance just to start in the right direction (and you've helped very much, many thanks!)

Chas


Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:02 am
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