I am checking in to see if some of these steps are redundant, overkill or the optimum I need for best quality in wide-screen HD video for festival screenings while leaving my options open for green screening/cloning/compositing in editing.

1. HD (1080i60. 19.97 fps) captured in Final Cut Express
2. Export to QTPro - animation codec, current fps, millions of colors+, best quality and size is native.
3. Import into StudioArtist 3.5 - movie compression: animation, 29.97 fps, millions of colors+, best quality. Canvas size - 50% (1920x1080 becomes 960x540) , 300dpi. Process paseq - 1st: layer to supersize source. 2nd: gradient lighting.
4. Re-export to QTPro- animation, current fps, millions of colors +, best quality - size: HD: 1920x1080, 16:9.
5. Import to Final Cut Express  - apple intermediate codec and size defaults to 1440x1080 in editing sequence specs.

I have an iMac OSX 10.4 with 4 gigs of memory and an external hard drive - so the computer will handle it I am thinking/hoping, but just wondering if I need all this (bearing in mind I might want to greenscreen and composite)

Thank you anyone out there for helping me get this right. It's a lot of detail but each step seems to affect the outcome - thank you!!!

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Yes they can and very quickly too. I would look into a multi TB (terabyte) raid array for storage.

Have fun
Great info - thanks!

I would use the ProRes codecs in SA.  If you don't have FCP you can get around it with this info http://bit.ly/tPGQYN

thank you Hulagirl - and how timely --

I'm finally exporting to SA from Final Cut Express. FCE has Apple ProRes codecs ...now to figure out how to diminish flicker in SA.....

Here's a tutorial post that links to different movie processing tips that discuss flicker and how to reduce it.

thank you John - I've been experimenting like mad!

What are you doing that is flickering?  If the paint preset is chaotic it will flicker more but you can use a the trick of slowly fading each frame over time with setting Fixed Image in Image Operations to about 30% that smooths it out.  But it can also make trails so you may not want that.  I have found that the sketch presets in Autopaint are pretty stable and I use those a lot.  Also there are presets in the vectorizer that can be stable especially the sketch ones.  One other trick I like to use is to use Colorize or Fixed image in Image Operations and bring in just a little bit of the original movie by adjusting the mix which helps with stability.  

You can check out this movie http://studioartist.ning.com/video/auto-rotoscoped-dancers

If you are interested in these techniques I posted a bunch of the PAseq presets here http://tinyurl.com/7f7kvxx

What kinds of effects are you going for?

Thank you Hulagirl

I've been experimenting a lot with yours and John's suggestions. I've got to know SA even better as a result!! I've settled on the simplest ImOp solution and I've decided I like the sense of animation you get with all the movement within the image. And it's automated. That works for me!

Thank you so much.


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