Color Commentary

David Basulto’s article on what he learned from me and Stu to color correct his movie came out just as I was re-editing Chapter 5, the very one he praises, for the next version of After Effects Studio Techniques. I’m psyched that a voice as widely heard as David’s is proclaiming the value of these books – great incentive to keep turning down other opportunities to get another edition of this book done (phone always seems to ring off the hook as soon as I agree to a book deadline). The new CS3 edition will be wrapped in a few weeks, which means you should look for it in October (which is quick by book publishing standards!) with my apologies that it wasn’t out with the software itself.

David’s challenges on Fiesta Grand also remind me of conversations I had live and in-person with a team from Adobe back when Production Studio was first in development, and before the prototype of Dynamic Link was even in beta. I assumed that Adobe was creating an Automatic Duck killer – a workflow that would make it easier to finish a sequence in After Effects after having cut it in Premiere Pro. Instead, as David himself found out, although an After Effects composition can be imported intact into the Premiere timeline, a Premiere timeline imported into After Effects lacks some fundamental stuff, like transitions, that Automatic Duck is able to convert when working with Final Cut Pro or Avid edits.

Now, Automatic Duck, while a highly useful and sophisticated tool, is only the ideal insofar as it lets you coordinate tools that weren’t designed to be compatible. Adobe and Apple are selling suites whose very reason for being is to make the sum be greater than the parts. Apple has now integrated a great Color tool right into Final Cut Pro but Motion is hardly the compositing tool that After Effects is (and if you’ve been using Motion 3 to composite, by all means drop a line and let me know how that’s going).

After Effects, meanwhile, is a great vehicle for its own color tools as well as powerful third-party plug-ins such as Colorista, but something needs to be done about integrating it more completely with Premiere Pro so that David and the rest of us don’t find ourselves re-creating our own work. Now that Adobe has done the thankless work to bring Premiere Pro (and for that matter, After Effects) to the Intel Mac, let’s hope they can get creative with interoperability.

23 July 2007 | after effects, training | Comments

One Response to “Color Commentary”

  1. 1 sean 24 July 2007 @ 4:55 pm

    It’s great that you point this out. I’ve noticed it myself alot recently – AE just brings in solid layer “place holders” to show where your transition takes place. Kind of a bummer. I also find it extremely odd and quite frustrating that Audition cannot bring in an entire audio timeline from Premiere Pro. You have to bring in each audio cut individually and place it manually. (Well, as far as I know anyway. Couldn’t find anything about how to do it in the manual or online.) I always use the cut audio in my Premiere projects as the starting point when creating a clean audio track for a short movie.
    Looking forward to the next edition of your book!