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 After Effects Advice? 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:18 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Post After Effects Advice?
Hi All,

I'm about to enter post production for a film I've shot that included loads of time lapse sequences. I have shot the film and will be supervising the grade but I would like to work on the time lapse section thoroughly prior to handing the work over the post-house.

I am 'expert' at Lightroom and Photoshop but i feel their limited in having to make each change apply to ALL the images in the sequence. I assume that AE would allow changes to be 'animated' and even masks made for the changes?

Is it feasible to attempt to learn and use this application for Time Lapse in a short period of time?

Are there any tutorials out there that are good for this subject that pertain to the current version of AE?

Cheers

Murray


Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:10 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:49 pm
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Post Re: After Effects Advice?
This is one of my favourite tutors lol :P

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/

And theres lot's available for After Effects. Nothing of help necessarily though my reccomendation for timelapse would be, DO NOT IMPORT YOUR PHOTOS AT THEIR NATIVE RES INTO AFTER EFFECTS!. You want to resize them using your favourite and most appropriate sampling method in Lightroom or Photoshop and do any 'touchups' there. When you're ready to add your effects, then import the set of photos into After Effects and get to work doing what you want to do.

What DO you want to do btw?

Just something else: Say your movie is going to be 1920x1080 then you will probably have to downsample your photos. If your camera for other film was any good, then you probably don't want your timelapse to look 'taken' or obviously appear different in grade to the rest of the footage. Take a close look at your other film and decide there what downsampling method you should use. I would recommend Bicubic sharper for a video camera feel although, Nearest Neighbour gives great realistic noise where on the other hand, bicubic smooth looks like it's been poorly scaled (To be honest I don't know why this method still exists)


Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:34 pm
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:18 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Post Re: After Effects Advice?
Thanks for the reply - very helpful.

Bicubic Smoother is for upsampling only - something very relevant to large scale pint making (which I do).

In fact, better than bicubic sharper, I find that re-sizing (down) using 'bicubic' than sharpening in PS using 'smart sharpen' radius .3 and amount 90% makes the images leap off the page (or screen) so to speak.

What do I want to do? I want to make 'animated contrast, noise, and colour adjustment' so that the various sections (eg moon up, moon down) can be optimised and the transitions made smooth.

So I guess you are saying no to importing the raw files directly into AE for the resizing that would then be necessary??

Murray


Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:04 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:49 pm
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Post Re: After Effects Advice?
Yeah don't do that, AE does a terrible job at resizing -_-

As to animating stuff you should view some tutorials on Keyframing, one on masking and one on any effect (they all work the same) and if you can't find them, I can maybe lend a hand.


Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:26 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:48 pm
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Post Re: After Effects Advice?
Quote:
DO NOT IMPORT YOUR PHOTOS AT THEIR NATIVE RES INTO AFTER EFFECTS!.


I have been using After Effects for 13+ years now and have been using it to do my time lapse work since I got my 20D in 2005 and I would have to respectfully disagree with your advice - I always import directly into after effects and I do touch up and resizing (along with rotoscoping, deflickering and color correcting) inside the program - I've had several plants that had multiple bugs that I needed to paint out in AE there was no way to do it otherwise (maybe in photoshop CS3 but CS3 wasn't out at that time) I'd love to see an example where resizing in AE makes a difference - I'll try it on my end but I have never seen an instance where AE did a "terrible job at resizing"

timt

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Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:42 am
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:48 pm
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Location: Miles City, Montana
Post Re: After Effects Advice?
Just riding along.

So I made a post on hobbiest level video editting recommendations. I haven't started using a panning head so only have static t-l sequences. I often shoot wide and take relatively high resolution (at least compared to video). I wanted to edit the sequences to make them more dynamic (pan and zoom). This would require variable cropping size and orientation and probably beyond a batch process in PS CS3. A couple of people suggested using AE to zoom and pan across the images. This would require importing the original (JPG) images would it not? My sequencies are generally 150 to 360 frames so maybe these are small enough to be workable...

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Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:00 am
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Post Re: After Effects Advice?
AE is very powerful, but also the most difficult program to learn, IMO. I'm usually very good with teaching myself programs (like Photoshop, Premiere, etc) but AE is a tough nut to crack. Bombing the tutorials in advance is probably a great suggestion.


Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:43 am
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Post Re: After Effects Advice?
I've worked with AE for only a few years but took about a week to get around it... I still think re-sampling photos outside of it will give you the best results unless you use a re-sampling plug-in which I don't have one of.

But if you can resample with different algorithms in AE and i'm missing something, please let me know because learning is always a good thing.


Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:48 am
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:18 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Post Re: After Effects Advice?
Something I picked up over the years working as a still photographer and having to break down huge files for web display...

The best results I have ever had at reducing files was just using the standard 'Bicubic' algorithm and then 'smart-sharpening' radius .03, 90% afterwards. All done in PS3.

I plan to re-size all frames here and then use AE for keyframing the levels and curve adjustments.

For TL work, ideally we would have the controls of Lightroom and the keyframing abilities of AE??

Cheers

Murray


Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:56 am
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Post Re: After Effects Advice?
Is PS's bicubic downsampling any different from AE's?

If so, couldn't you just downsample from the AE Camera Raw interface?

I always thought AE's downsampling was the same as PS's. It seems to do a great job with my RAW image sequences.


Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:51 am
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Post Re: After Effects Advice?
About AE resampling, as it's mainly a video tool, choice was made to use smooth somewhat universal resampling filters, that fits about every type of picture. When clean hires plate is to be scaled down, it's right that filters usually appear too soft, but they are quite clean. Some unsharp mask will help for sure.

You can choose your filter type, by choosing to rescale with the scale parameter, or with Zposition, when enabling 3D.
I don't remember what filter is used in either cases, but they're not the same...

If you wanna get complete control of what filter to use when rescaling, consider using Shake, as it's quite inexpensive, and amazingly powerful (AE is then just a toy to play with…)


Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:23 pm
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