Titles, alpha and codecs

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Uli Plank

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Titles, alpha and codecs

PostSun Oct 15, 2017 4:43 pm

Since animated titles or graphics are not a strength of DR, but rather one of the few reasons I still use After Effects I tested how to get them over into DR a bit more thoroughly. This is what I found:

On the Mac transfer works perfectly fine with ProRes 4444, both with a straight alpha or a premultiplied one. Edges look crisp and clean.

But AE can't export ProRes on a PC, so I tried DNxHR with alpha. AE only does it in a .mov wrapper, so I couldn't test it with MXF. Unfortunately, DR has problems with these files: premultiplied alpha is giving me ugly black edge artifacts and straight doesn't show an alpha at all in DR, even if I set it manually.

To be sure it's not AE's fault, I looked at the results in Premiere too.
While all my test files worked OK, the DNxHR versions didn't look as perfectly clean on the edges as the ProRes ones, but much better than in DR. I don't know if this is caused by the codec itself or if the export out of AE is not as good as the one in ProRes on the Mac.

The only other motion format that worked well for me was the ancient Animation codec, but that's 8 bit only.

I'm afraid until BM fixes this you'll be stuck with space consuming image sequences if you are on a PC. DPX/Cineon from AE isn't recognized in DR, but EXR, PNG (only straight alpha) and TIFF (both straight and premultiplied) are and they all look nice and clean. PNGs are the smallest for graphics and TIFFs are huge.

BTW, DR normally assumes straight alpha. If you are coming in as premultiplied you need to tell it so.
Last edited by Uli Plank on Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jean Claude

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostSun Oct 15, 2017 5:09 pm

Hi Uli,
No offense:
Why AE? (I'm curious ...) it's better to go to Fusion? That's just my opinion. (I am in the progress with Fusion Studio .. I start .. well with the management of nodes, other habits ... but Fusion seems to be robust with alpha ..) :?
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Uli Plank

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostSun Oct 15, 2017 5:15 pm

Well, Fusion is a great program, no doubt. It's 3D capabilities go far beyond AE.

But Adobe still holds it's strength when it comes to Illustrator graphics, titles and their integration in AE. And then the new animation templates are very useful when you are working in a collaborative environment where you need to modify animations for repeated use with different content.

Plus, there is still the annoying problem with not being able to modify alpha when using Fusion Connect.
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Jean Claude

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostSun Oct 15, 2017 5:23 pm

Uli Plank wrote:.../...

Plus, there is still the annoying problem with not being able to modify alpha when using Fusion Connect.


Yet I read in the Fusion forum that there are solutions.
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Uli Plank

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostSun Oct 15, 2017 5:55 pm

There are, but they generate more complexity than necessary.
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timbutt2

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostMon Oct 16, 2017 12:45 am

I’ll add I did a Title Graphic in AE because it’s still better for that. I exported it as ProRes 444 w/ RGB+Alpha enabled. When I bring it into Resolve and put it over the video footage it looks fine when I don’t play. But when I play the video it doesn’t show the video layer below but instead black around the text graphic. Pause and it looks as it should. Go frame by frame and it looks as it should. So Alpha does need to be improved in DaVinci Resolve on the Edit page when exported the graphic looks fine as it renders properly. It’s only playback in Resolve that doesn’t work.


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Uli Plank

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostMon Oct 16, 2017 7:42 am

I can't reproduce that behavior here, might this be a limit of your GPU?
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Paul Ingvarsson

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostMon Oct 16, 2017 7:55 am

I must admit, I always comp together layers in Fusion rather than try and bring an alpha into resolve (i'm on PC) as i've never been happy with the timeline compositing in resolve.

However, as Fusion Connect now works with DNX mxf files it is a very speedy workflow getting in and out of Fusion and finally I can render in Fusion, look at it in Resolve, then if I need to rerender in Fusion it happily does that now too - I had to rely on DPX workflow for this functionality before as other codecs wouldn't write over the file when rendering if Resolve was open.
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Rick van den Berg

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostMon Oct 16, 2017 8:48 am

i recently switched from mac to pc (for various reasons) so i also had to deal with alot of prores-alternative-workflow stuff. So far, for a lot of animations, i used image sequences like png/tiff and i must say, at first i didnt really like it because of the huge amount of files, but now im kind of used to it and it works great. only downside i can think of is that it doesn't include audio. but i never did audio design in after effects anyways. Also, batch importing multiple animations into NLE's isn't really handy.

if apple would just let everyone use the prores codec for free.. :geek:
Last edited by Rick van den Berg on Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sam Steti

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostMon Oct 16, 2017 8:52 am

Uli, I don't wanna bother you cos' you probably read to much from me when it comes about alpha and/or compositing ;) , but honestly, since I was forced to* find a solution, it appeared that going to and back from Fusion is really quick and efficient, by Fusion Connect or not (export/import).
Btw I don't remember the alpha issue in DR when back from Fusion but I remember I gave at least one workaround and that anyway there was no issue at all with ProRes (no need to select premultiply again in clip attributes)
*quite a great part of projects I'm on are dealing with sfx and compositing

I won't ever write about AE, for I don't want to rely on Adobe for anything else than PS an AI (for years and years), almost the same way I don't want to rely on Apple for pro Apps anymore. But at least we can all say that Fusion very strongly wipes the floor with AE, whose only asset is the % of users coming from Adobe usual propaganda.

Of course, I'm on Mac ONLY even in collaborative projects, and you're not, but I can say I'd go through PNGs sequences in your PC situation (very well managed in Fusion btw).

To conclude, I think BMD will take a loooooooot of time to fix this, I don't know why but this is what I'm feeling for no particular reason, therefore it's a great idea to find a robust workflow for titles. For me it's a combination (depending on what looks obvious to me) of Fusion, Motion, and even LiveType in some cases...
Yes I know, only mac apps, but I'm sure you'll find an equivalence on your PCs ;)
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timbutt2

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostMon Oct 16, 2017 1:19 pm

Uli Plank wrote:I can't reproduce that behavior here, might this be a limit of your GPU?

Not sure, but honestly the GPU really shouldn't be an issue here since I can do exactly what I want in Premiere Pro no problem. I put the video clip on track one, put the motion graphic w/ alpha on track 2, and play it fine in Premiere. This is a playback bug in Resolve. I'll capture a recording from my phone to send to support. Give them my full tech specs and all, but do believe that my computer should be fine to handle this easy task. It performs far more GPU intensive ones without problem. This kind of playback is GPU cake if you ask me.
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Peter Cave

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 2:31 am

timbutt2 wrote:
Uli Plank wrote:I can't reproduce that behavior here, might this be a limit of your GPU?

Not sure, but honestly the GPU really shouldn't be an issue here since I can do exactly what I want in Premiere Pro no problem. I put the video clip on track one, put the motion graphic w/ alpha on track 2, and play it fine in Premiere. This is a playback bug in Resolve. I'll capture a recording from my phone to send to support. Give them my full tech specs and all, but do believe that my computer should be fine to handle this easy task. It performs far more GPU intensive ones without problem. This kind of playback is GPU cake if you ask me.


Resolve requires quite a bit more processing power than Premiere. It's quite likely that you need a better GPU. A lot of people on these forums can't quite 'get' why this is so, but I have similar issues when I compare FCPX performance with Premiere. FCPX is way faster for SOME types of effects. Same hardware, but different software coding.
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Rohit Gupta

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 3:21 am

timbutt2 wrote:I’ll add I did a Title Graphic in AE because it’s still better for that. I exported it as ProRes 444 w/ RGB+Alpha enabled. When I bring it into Resolve and put it over the video footage it looks fine when I don’t play. But when I play the video it doesn’t show the video layer below but instead black around the text graphic. Pause and it looks as it should. Go frame by frame and it looks as it should. So Alpha does need to be improved in DaVinci Resolve on the Edit page when exported the graphic looks fine as it renders properly. It’s only playback in Resolve that doesn’t work.


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This is a bug in 14.0 and 14.0.1. We will have a fix in the next update. A workaround for now is to disable Performance Mode from the menu. Please remember to enable it when you get the next version. This issue only affects ProRes files of a larger format than the timeline, for example, 4K files on a HD timeline.
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timbutt2

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Re: Titles, alpha and codecs

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 5:49 pm

Rohit Gupta wrote:This is a bug in 14.0 and 14.0.1. We will have a fix in the next update. A workaround for now is to disable Performance Mode from the menu. Please remember to enable it when you get the next version. This issue only affects ProRes files of a larger format than the timeline, for example, 4K files on a HD timeline.

Thank you Rohit for letting me know that this is a known bug. I knew it had to be a bug. I'm also glad there will be a fix for it in the next update.

One thing I would love to see is the Motion Graphics Templates that are in After Effects and Premiere Pro come to Resolve. This way I could do Lower Thirds Graphics in Resolve like I do in Premiere. One of the biggest reasons I'll still use Premiere Pro for a project as the main NLE would be if I knew there will a lot of lower thirds graphics or other graphics that the Motion Graphic Templates are beneficial to working on the project. So to have a similar integration with Fusion and Resolve would be spectacular. May take two years to come to be, but it's worth looking into making it happen.

Thank you!
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