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  • Premiere + AE workflow

  • Andy Engelkemier

    June 8, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Before you jump, the TL;DR: Premiere fast, AE slow, I’m looking for some things that point to the best workflow for utilizing the speed of premiere working with video, and the motion graphics, and advanced video editing and special effects of AE (not sure what things are considered SFX, or just advanced video editing these days).

    Premiere is insanely fast when compared to AE. But, of course, it’s pretty limited when it comes to motion graphics. Some parts are really nice, like the interface for masks, but also the interface is Terrible when it comes to masks as well, like if you have to precisely mask something. Zooming to see where the mask is, you can’t pan off the video, just lots of things add up. I’m sure you can tell I started learning with AE, not Premiere.

    I just finished up a project that was starting to be maybe up to an 8 minute video, with a fair amount of B-Roll added in. So I started it in Premiere.

    My workflow was, lay out the music, the voice over, add in the video footage, and create some placeholder images somewhat storyboard style to get an idea for the video. (of course, the VO changed a few times, and it ended up being about 4:20 rather than 8:00) And then I’d select a section and “replace with After Effects.”

    Since I’m using the same elements a bunch of time, I decided to just keep all of the compositions in the same AE file. So my first question is, Is that a bad idea? One thing I noticed is if I close a composition (it’s still in the file of course), Premiere would sometimes tell me the content was missing. But if I replaced it with the exact same file, unchanged, it would work fine. One concern I had was how Premiere was using the AE file. With mogrt files, it saves a new AE file for every instance of the title. So if you have a single title on screen 3 times at once, it creates 3 AE files, and is rendering all 3 at once, which is stupid slow. So I wondered if it was keeping the exact same AE file in cache in some way, for each composition, or if it was actually being smart about it, and keeping the file once, and utilizing the composition from that file.

    One huge frustration I’ve had with AE is expressions slowing things down to a screeching halt. But oddly, seems random. I use Motion V3 plugin, which is amazing, and specifically use excite often (although I dial it Way down from it’s default) do add a little wobble/bounce to fast transforms that don’t have enough time to ease. But the way that works, I’m guessing, is by scaling a sine wave algorithm in some way. It automatically settles at some point to avoid tiny tiny micro shakes over a period of time, I’m guessing, but I think it’s still evaluating the expression for every frame. Of course, the same expression plays Amazingly well at about 200fps in a browser, so not sure why AE chokes on it so much. I just never really figure out what’s slowing down AE. Sometimes the same things work great. And sometimes it’s slow.

    And direct connect is create, But sometimes just fails miserably. So I’m looking for some advice, or pointing to some training material geared toward pointing out some failures in workflow between the two, and how to use a flexible workflow that avoids them. I ended up having to render out the AE files, and replace the direct connect pieces in the timeline to get this to render. It just kept getting stuck at 12-15%. Checking there, everything seemed fine. I could even render that part on it’s own. I checked RAM and VRAM, and both were only at about 25% at that point. So no idea what was happening.

    Wow, did you read this far? Thanks! Hopefully you have some great advice!

  • Eric Santiago

    June 8, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    You, my friend, are trying to do everything under one roof (workflow).

    It’s a long conversation that I have had and experienced myself since 1994 when it was Cosa After Effects.
    I don’t think I can sway you to think in smaller bits and bites.
    I know this from experience from teaching in a local college (on the side) and dealing with colleagues for over 28 years.

  • Andy Engelkemier

    November 11, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    It’s not a matter of swaying because it’s necessity when it comes to turnaround times.

    Every time I see someone’s cool animation I ask, how long did that take? And it’s usually something like, “well I was working with the client over a few month’s/years so it’s hard to really say.” But I’m over here trying to crank out a finished product in 5 days start to finish.

    Inevitably, when I render out things into sequences, then use them, (aside from running out of hard drive space) someone will want to change the font on something through the whole thing and see it again. That’s one reason I like AE. I can have all of that linked.

    But that’s why I’m wanting to see some workflow training. My workflow creates quite a lot of issues where Adobe breaks. But any other workflow I’ve seen takes months for a 2 minute animation. Either that, or it’s just video editing, with a couple splashes of motion graphics.

    Someone mentioned mogrts to me. Yeah, that’s great, except adobe didn’t build them with Workflow in mind. They built them more for sellers. You can’t replace one motion graphics template with another. So if you spend the time to create one that matches the style of a client, if you want to change the timing slightly, you can’t Update it. You have to create a new mogrt, and then create new titles with that one. It’s like they were intentionally creating that so that people couldn’t work with them efficiently.

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