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Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: dmag
Date: July 03, 2017 10:41PM
Hi guys,

I'm starting a short feature video series, essentially a business vlog, if you will. Pretty much all is in place except what software to edit with, sfx and how to use them, etc. I've been doing most everything with Camtasia and Screenflow to now, so this is a bit of a new world. Could use some opinion.

1. What I want to do

a. Record my material as a standup
b. Insert FX, images and other info to my right, sort of as if I was a news anchor.
c. These inserts need to have transparent backgrounds to cleanly go over the main video with me.

2. Roadblocks so far

a. I have After Effects templates for feature inserts and transitions, bumpers, etc...but Camtasia doesn't recognize alpha channels so the rendered files import with a black background. I can remove the black and in many cases achieve transparency, getting away with it. But not on some very good stuff I want to use...including most transitions.

b. Screenflow does not remove black. That surprised me but their support verified it.

3. Just downloaded the Final Cut Pro trial. Didn't want to go there.

a. FCP is like using an ultra sophisticated missile system to take out a fly. I'll likely never use 99% of it.

So, if FCP will handle the After Effects renders and recognize the alpha channels, I should be able to make these features...and hopefully the learning curve to use what little of the program I need won't take too long.

What I'm wondering is if there is any other way. Is there any other Mac video app that can see alpha channels and do the relatively simple tasks I need done? So far, the negatives are in for Camtasia, Screenflow, Filmora and iMovie.

Frankly I'm fried right now with hours of trying to make this happen and so I'm asking for advice on anything that might work, without a lot of searching and the additional trial and error today.

If you know of anything I'd appreciate the suggestion.

Thanks.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/03/2017 10:42PM by dmag.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: July 03, 2017 11:36PM
You can do everything you mentioned in iMovie.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: dmag
Date: July 04, 2017 12:04AM
Quote
Article Accelerator
You can do everything you mentioned in iMovie.

Maybe I missed something in iMovie. I'll go back in and test again. Thanks.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: July 04, 2017 12:07AM
Just saw this.

It's a step up, at least, but it may get where you want to go, and it's free. Avid's Media Composer | First. Sounds like Avid's half step down offering a la Premiere Elements and the like.

There are tutorials available to get you started. Here's an article with an overview of the program.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: dmag
Date: July 04, 2017 12:11AM
Quote
Blankity Blank
Just saw this.

It's a step up, at least, but it may get where you want to go, and it's free. Avid's Media Composer | First. Sounds like Avid's half step down offering a la Premiere Elements and the like.

There are tutorials available to get you started. Here's an article with an overview of the program.


Thanks. I'll give it a look. They had a big Avid install at a TV station I worked with many years ago. Interesting.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: dmag
Date: July 04, 2017 03:28AM
Re: iMovie, once you import a file (like the mp4s rendered out of After Effects), and once it's on the timeline on top of another clip, is there any way to position logos and animations wherever you want on the screen?

So far, I can't reposition anything or scale it, which are basics in Camtasia.

It's the latest iMovie, just downloaded. Also tried an older version. Can't do it with either.

Am I missing something? Tks.

P.S. I tried picture-in-picture but the box needs to be transparent to work.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2017 03:47AM by dmag.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: dmag
Date: July 04, 2017 03:31AM
Quote
dmag
Quote
Blankity Blank
Just saw this.

It's a step up, at least, but it may get where you want to go, and it's free. Avid's Media Composer | First. Sounds like Avid's half step down offering a la Premiere Elements and the like.

There are tutorials available to get you started. Here's an article with an overview of the program.

Installed Avid, crashing when I import ANY file. Over and over again.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: July 04, 2017 06:20AM
I have no skin in this game, but have you looked at Lightworks?

[www.lwks.com]



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: dmag
Date: July 04, 2017 07:07AM
Quote
WHiiP
I have no skin in this game, but have you looked at Lightworks?

[www.lwks.com]

Thanks, Bill. Looked promising in the demo, but same deal as Avid, continual crashes.

Lightworks gave a message that they don't like the internal Intel graphics that come with the MBP, and advised I should switch off to AMD or NVidia. Had to laugh.

I'm running 16GB RAM on this so that's not it. Not sure why those apps are busting, but it's always in the same places. I've tried different files but same thing.

Thanks, anyway.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: July 04, 2017 11:50AM
Quote
dmag
Re: iMovie, once you import a file (like the mp4s rendered out of After Effects), and once it's on the timeline on top of another clip, is there any way to position logos and animations wherever you want on the screen?

Sure—the insert is moveable/placeable anywhere on the underlying video area. Also, note the selection handles on the corners of the insert for resizing:



iMovie supports transparency for use with logos, etc. You can also use Keynote to create some very powerful graphics effects and moves, export the Keynote "project" as a movie, then import that into your iMovie project as a clip.

This site has tons of excellent tips (although many are based on older versions of iMovie): [macmost.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2017 12:02PM by Article Accelerator.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: nwyaker
Date: July 04, 2017 01:25PM
Quote
Article Accelerator
Quote
dmag
Re: iMovie, once you import a file (like the mp4s rendered out of After Effects), and once it's on the timeline on top of another clip, is there any way to position logos and animations wherever you want on the screen?

Sure—the insert is moveable/placeable anywhere on the underlying video area. Also, note the selection handles on the corners of the insert for resizing:



iMovie supports transparency for use with logos, etc. You can also use Keynote to create some very powerful graphics effects and moves, export the Keynote "project" as a movie, then import that into your iMovie project as a clip.



This site has tons of excellent tips (although many are based on older versions of iMovie): [macmost.com]

Great tips ! Thanks for link to that site.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2017 01:26PM by nwyaker.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: dmag
Date: July 04, 2017 05:44PM
Yes, I can insert with picture-in-picture box and move things around. What I can't do is make the background in that box transparent.

What I'm dealing with is an MP4 file (an animated segment title) that has been rendered out of After Effects, and supposedly with an alpha channel for transparency. The goal is to lay it over another video (of me talking) to help me transition.

In Camtasia it has a small drawback but basically works. I can knock out the black background and reposition the animation to the right of my head. Camtasia isn't perfect for this sort of work but is closest right now.

In iMovie I can select green/blue screen and get the transparency but — for what reason I can't imagine — Apple chose to not allow that image to be resized or repositioned. If they had I would be done.

In picture-in-picture I can do those things but am stuck with the black background of the MP4 animation. If I could make that PIP image transparent, that would work.

Either way, iMovie is just short of getting it done — or I'm just not seeing something that's obvious. Tks.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2017 05:45PM by dmag.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: bik
Date: July 04, 2017 07:24PM
So, would it be accurate to assume you have these renders from After Effects, but you don't actually have After Effects therefore also don't have Premiere?

And the content of the After Effects renders couldn't be recreated in another program?

Is this a one-time project or are you going to be working on this series on an ongoing basis?

Any reason not to download a trial of Premiere and see what you can do?
Or are you already familiar with Premiere and it's a no-go?
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: July 04, 2017 08:29PM
Quote
dmag
Yes, I can insert with picture-in-picture box and move things around. What I can't do is make the background in that box transparent.…iMovie is just short of getting it done

As I noted above, Keynote is an excellent adjunct to iMovie. These are from the site I cited:

[macmost.com]
[macmost.com]
[macmost.com]
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: dmag
Date: July 04, 2017 09:58PM
Quote
bik
So, would it be accurate to assume you have these renders from After Effects, but you don't actually have After Effects therefore also don't have Premiere?

And the content of the After Effects renders couldn't be recreated in another program?

Is this a one-time project or are you going to be working on this series on an ongoing basis?

Any reason not to download a trial of Premiere and see what you can do?
Or are you already familiar with Premiere and it's a no-go?

Thanks.

I have the trial of AE, having bought a set of templates and trying them out. I could get the trial of Premiere as well. No, I don't know anything about it.

To be honest I learned Camtasia and others (like Photoshop) by just using them, need by need. AE and Premiere are ponderous and I frankly had hoped I wouldn't have to dig deep into them to edit and render these templates.

Question not asked...I'm prohibited by the templates creator from giving the templates to someone on Fiverr or any outsource site and letting them do the edits/renders.

Maybe somebody could recreate those renders in another program but I don't have those skills. Not even remotely close. People who create those things really are good.

The project is ongoing (well, six months and then we'll assess where we are).

I just need to figure a way to make this stuff work, like a gazillion others seemingly have done.

...Edit/render AE file with transparent background. Import to editor app that recognizes and preserves that transparency, and that allows me to resize and reposition the render as necessary.

Assemble. Export. Upload.

If I can't, I'll need to scale back my plans and expectations.

Appreciate all the suggestions, guys.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: bik
Date: July 05, 2017 09:31AM
There is also a Premiere Elements, which should be less ponderous that Premier Pro.
[www.adobe.com]

I would assume the pairing of After Effects and Premiere would be a better match, although it's been a decade since I used either.

Personally, I would agree with the folks suggesting the Keynote/iMovie combo. In the long run, you might find recreating titles and effects in Keynote more desirable than having to immerse yourself in the complexity of the Adobe Pro apps.
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: clay
Date: July 05, 2017 09:35AM
...or just use one of the pro tools (FCP or Premiere) and pay a pro a couple hundred bucks to walk you through how to do what you want to do. That way, when your needs inevitably change, you'll already be working in a program that can do what you want to do. Futzing around using tools that will *kinda* do what you want them to do (until they don't) is going to be frustrating at best, IMHO, especially for a long-term project.

You don't need to learn all of the capabilities of the pro program(s) to do what you need to do.

just my .02
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Re: Need advice on video project — bit frustrated
Posted by: dmag
Date: July 05, 2017 09:59AM
Quote
clay
...or just use one of the pro tools (FCP or Premiere) and pay a pro a couple hundred bucks to walk you through how to do what you want to do. That way, when your needs inevitably change, you'll already be working in a program that can do what you want to do. Futzing around using tools that will *kinda* do what you want them to do (until they don't) is going to be frustrating at best, IMHO, especially for a long-term project.

You don't need to learn all of the capabilities of the pro program(s) to do what you need to do.

just my .02


This is the path I'll try. The template creator offered up a bunch of files that are okay to toss at a Fiverr vendor. I'll be posting a job there for someone to school me via screencast video, click-by-click, in how to work the files from start to finish in After Effects and likely Premiere. If FCP is as good I can go with that.

You're right, I don't need to know more than what will get this project done.

Thanks.
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