Turnover to VFX

After Picture Lock, if your show has any VFX shots, you will need to generate the DPX sequences for those shots. This process applies to all VFX shots, including those that can be achieved in Premiere.

You must make sure to get faculty approval for all VFX shots prior to picture-lock. We will only generate the DPX assets for approved VFX shots. If you are unsure about whether a specific shot needs VFX approval — especially for work that can be done in Premiere — please consult with the Faculty and Post Staff.

Build VFX String Out

First, open the “Locked” version of the show’s Premiere Pro project.

First, duplicate “Lock” sequence and add “VFX” to the name of the new one as shown in the example below:

Open the VFX sequence. This will be your VFX String Out. Delete everything that is not a production element of a VFX shot (This means all the audio, any mattes, and titles.)

To clean up the empty tracks, right click in the left of the timeline and select “Delete Tracks”.

Check the boxes as shown below so all empty tracks will be deleted.

Afterwards your timeline will look like this.

Save the Premiere project and quit.

Offline Premiere Project

Open Premiere and make a new project saving it as “Show #_VFX”. Save it in the same folder as your other projects.

Import your “Locked” Premiere project into your “VFX” project. When you import one project into another in Premiere the “Import Project” prompt will open. Select “Import Selected Sequences” as shown below and click OK.

It may take a moment depending on the size of your project but when its done linking the projects you will see your project panel in the prompt. Navigate in your “Sequences” bin and select the “VFX” sequence you made earlier.

This will import just that VFX String Out into your new project. It will also import only the media that was in that sequence. When it first comes in the sequence and some of the media may be outside of any bin. Make the following bins to organize the project as shown below.

  • 01_Sequences
  • 02_DPX_Check
  • 03_Footage
  • 04_Reference
  • 05_Other_Media

Save the Premiere Project and quit. Then copy the project to your finishing folder on the Server as shown below.

Online Premiere Project

Consult the Post Staff on moving to a Ingest or Color Suite computer. In this step we will be “onlining” your project to the R3D files. So you will need to be on a machine that has access to CMPA_Data, which is where the R3D files are stored.

When you open your “VFX” Premiere project from the SAN it will give you a “Link Media” prompt. This is because the last time this project was open it was connected to the media on your local edit station. To reconnect to your R3D files you will need uncheck “File Extension” and skip past all the offline audio and start with the video as shown below. Select “Locate”

In the example above we are looking for clip “A006_C012_1008DM_001.mov”

We need to link it to “A006_C012_1008DM_001.R3D”

Navigate to your shows R3D footage on CMPA_Data. Highlight the corresponding R3D and click OK.

After you have relinked all the offline video clips in Premiere to the R3D files then relink the offline audio. DO NOT relink the audio first or it will automatically relink the video to the ProRes instead of the R3D.

Prep Premiere for Export

Import your Nuendo Quicktime from the SAN.

Organize it in Premiere in the “Reference” bin.

To use the Nuendo Quicktime as a reference, lay it on top of your media in the timeline.

This sequence has a resolution of 1920×1080. But your clips to be turned over to VFX are now much larger that. So we need to make a new sequence that will fit them. Make a new sequence with the following parameters as shown below.

  • Timebase – 24.00 frame/second
  • Frame Size – 6720×3780
  • Pixel Aspect Ratio – Square Pixels
  • Fields – Progressive
  • Display Format – 24fps Timecode

Name the new sequence “Show #_Lock_VFX_7K” as shown below.

Change the start time of the new sequence to begin at 00:59:00:00.

Copy and paste everything from the “VFX” sequence into your “VFX 7K” sequence. Now all of your shots to be turned over will fit the sequence resolution but your reference will not.

Fix this by right clicking on the Nuendo Reference bin the timeline and select “Set to Frame Size”

Go through your timeline and look at how you have built your slap comps. You will need to remove most of the effects or attributes that you have done in Premiere before turnover but not all of them.

In the example below, a screen replacement was temped by stacking the two elements on video track 1 and 2.

You can see that it was scaled down and repositioned for the slap comp. You can also see that the clip on top has had a speed change applied.

The speed change will be left on as the Director and Editor have already made that decision. But the scaling and repositioning need to be undone. That way a fullscreen version of that element will be turned over.

The rule of thumb is that any repositions/scaling that makes the image smaller needs to be removed. Any repositions/scaling that makes the image larger should be “baked in”. Also, any speed changes or digital zooms should be “baked in” as well. But any “effects” applied in Premiere need to be removed so they can be recreated in your VFX software.

Consult the Post Staff or VFX Faculty if you have questions pertaining to your particular show about what should be left “baked in”.

Prep Test Share for Export

Mount Test_Share by hitting “Command+K” in the finder and typing the server address below.

You will be asked for a name and password. Use your name and student password. Navigate to your show folder. In the “Shots” folder you will find three folders named “Shot_Code”. These are folder trees that have already been prepared for you.

Rename the folders based on what your shots will be labeled. In the example below it would be labeled “15a_03”

This is what it would then look like in Test_Share.

Duplicate the “Shot Code” folder tree for as many VFX shots as you have and label them accordingly.

Export DPX Sequences

Carefully mark an in and out point for the clip to be exported. Mute all the video tracks except the one you will be exporting from. In the example below, 15A_3 will be exported from track V1.

Bring up the export window and use the following settings.

  • Format – DPX
  • Preset – Full Range
  • Width/Height – 1920/1080
  • Frame Rate – 24
  • Aspect – Square Pixels
  • Header Type – SMPTE/DPX
  • Pixel Bit Depth – 10 bit
  • Use Maximum Render quality

Click the blue text under Output name to label the DPX Sequence and direct it where to export to. In our example it would be labeled “15a_03_plt_” and it would be directed to the “BG” folder inside the “Plate” folder.

When the export is complete it would look like the example below.

In our example the VFX shot was made up of two different clips. One on track V1 and one on track V2. Repeat the export process for the clip on V2. In the example it would be name “15e_02_e01_” and would be exported to a folder labeled “Element”.

Import the DPX sequences into the “02_DPX_Check” bin by using the Media Browser tab and navigating to the correct folder on Test_Share. Then right click and import.

Line up the exported DPX sequence above the original R3D clip. Make sure that it matches the duration exactly.

Because the DPX has a resolution of 1920×1080 it will appear smaller then the R3D in the Program Monitor.

Right click on the DPX in the Sequence and select “set to Frame Size” so that it will be scaled to match the sequence. Now you can solo the different Video tracks on and off containing the original R3D and the DPX sequence. They should should match exactly.

Continue checking the rest of the clips for that shot as shown below.

Once you have exported and checked everything in the VFX sequence you are done with turnover.