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Couple Editing/Format Questions

Hey so I've looked around this site, and a couple others and I couldn't find anything that really answered my question.

I am currently shooting my short film on a cannon t2i. Everything is shot in 1280x1080p.

I've decided to edit in Final Cut Express, because I'm comfortable with it, and I don't have to go through a complicated process to work with the files, I already have an established workflow. I then plan to color grade in AE.

The formats I want to release the movie in, are online (Vimeo, Youtube) and on DVD. I was hoping to burn one Blu Ray, (just for myself).

The questions I have are:

1. What format should I use to export between FCE and AE? File size is not an issue, I want the highest possible quality retained.

2. Should I export my finalized film from AE or FCE? What settings should I use to retain the absolute highest quality possible? Again file size is not an issue at all.

I was planning on using Adobe Encore to burn my DVDs. Is that possible if I use FCE to edit the movie?

Thanks for the advice I really appreciate it.

EDIT: Also I wanted a recommendation for a program to mix audio. I have access to Garage Band and Soundbooth but I've heard poor things about both of them. Is audacity a good option? I would like one where I could view the film while editing the audio.
 
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Not sure because I used Final Cut Studio for my movie. My onlined final timeline was uncompressed. For a 90 minute movie, that might fill up a 1/2 Terabyte of drive space. My mass of takes that I used for offline editing was done in DVC PRO NTSC. I used DVD Studio Pro (which comes with Final Cut Studio) to export my final DVD video output.
 
1280x1080 whats that?

HD 1080p is 1920x1080
HD 720p is 1280X720

You need to look at your workflow first.

Leaving the programs aside.. what is it that you DO?

Here is my workflow, tool agnostic.

  • Shoot the footage
  • Transcode footage
  • Import footage into editor
  • Edit the footage
  • LOCK the edit (finish ALL THE EDITING)
  • Add time code for burn in
  • Render super low quality version for audio queue, with audio mix for reference.
  • Render audio only, separate render for each AUDIO clip, all time aligned to the start of the project.
    (note I sometimes due this from the compositing software either way is fine)

  • Remove time code
  • Render super HIGH QUALITY with audio mix for refrences
(Once Im done here, Im done with the NLE, the rest takes place in my "compositing" tool)

  • Import the super high quality video into the "onlineing" or CC or compositing software..
  • Add visual effects
  • Color correct, not grade, but FIX color for consistency for every shot across the entire project
  • Color Grade, or color for look and style

(meanwhile)
  • Import the low quality render with time code into your audio application (DAW)
  • import the individual audio tracks
  • Mix and tweak the dialogue.
  • Clean up sound
  • Add Folley sound
  • Add sound effects
  • Add music
  • mix it all perfect
  • render a mix

Back in the composting software
  • import the audio mix
  • mute the audio for the originally imported file
  • Render for each delivery format
  • HD master. Let your DVD authoring software transcode for delivery to DVD...
  • HD for internet distribution (I do quicktime photo jpeg and then pass it through handrake for h264 encoding)
  • Done..

By the way you can skip a lot of this by IMPORTING your FCP project into After Effects, it will bring the original clips in so there is no generational loss and better quality ensues..

http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/rharrington/story/fcp2ae/
 
The Grinder of Wheat has given you good advice...

Generally speaking you dont color grade in AE... you can, but there are better options out there to grade with.
IMO you will be better off rendering your final from FCP and not AE. If you have to tweak anything last minute you'll understand why. I do VFX shots primarily and to bring the entire edit into my compositing software is opposite of what I normally do. I add VFX to the plate, usually with a second or two at the beginning and end of the clip to give the editor some creative room if he/I needs it.

For audio, if you want a cheap/free solution (mac or PC) thats a really decent piece of software you can use Reaper: http://www.reaper.fm/

I think there is a thread here somewhere about what settings to use for the best output from FCP to youtube.

You can burn the DVD with just about any DVD app as long as the files are setup correctly with the right codec (mpeg2).
 
1280x1080 whats that?

HD 1080p is 1920x1080
HD 720p is 1280X720

You need to look at your workflow first.

Leaving the programs aside.. what is it that you DO?

Here is my workflow, tool agnostic.

  • Shoot the footage
  • Transcode footage
  • Import footage into editor
  • Edit the footage
  • LOCK the edit (finish ALL THE EDITING)
  • Add time code for burn in
  • Render super low quality version for audio queue, with audio mix for reference.
  • Render audio only, separate render for each AUDIO clip, all time aligned to the start of the project.
    (note I sometimes due this from the compositing software either way is fine)

  • Remove time code
  • Render super HIGH QUALITY with audio mix for refrences
(Once Im done here, Im done with the NLE, the rest takes place in my "compositing" tool)

  • Import the super high quality video into the "onlineing" or CC or compositing software..
  • Add visual effects
  • Color correct, not grade, but FIX color for consistency for every shot across the entire project
  • Color Grade, or color for look and style

(meanwhile)
  • Import the low quality render with time code into your audio application (DAW)
  • import the individual audio tracks
  • Mix and tweak the dialogue.
  • Clean up sound
  • Add Folley sound
  • Add sound effects
  • Add music
  • mix it all perfect
  • render a mix

Back in the composting software
  • import the audio mix
  • mute the audio for the originally imported file
  • Render for each delivery format
  • HD master. Let your DVD authoring software transcode for delivery to DVD...
  • HD for internet distribution (I do quicktime photo jpeg and then pass it through handrake for h264 encoding)
  • Done..

By the way you can skip a lot of this by IMPORTING your FCP project into After Effects, it will bring the original clips in so there is no generational loss and better quality ensues..

http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/rharrington/story/fcp2ae/

I'm sorry I meant 1920x1080.

My current workflow for my past projects has been this:
1. Shoot the footage
2.Transcode the footage (MPEG streamclip)
3. Edit the footage (FCE)
4. Export

This is the first project I'll be using AE and any audio program to mix audio. I used to just do it within Final Cut Express. I didn't do any color correction/grading either.

My plan for this project was:
1. Shoot
2. Transcode
3.Edit footage in FCE
4.Mix audio with ?
5. Color Correct/Color Grade with AE.
6. Export from AE or FCE

Any suggestions? Thanks a lot for the advice
 
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