Friday, 8 November 2019

Adobe Premiere For Animators

At some point every animator needs to learn the basics of video editing.  Premiere Pro, made by Adobe,  comes bundled as part of the Adobe Creative Suite.

Animators need Adobe Premiere mainly to cut (and re-cut) their demo reels and - of course - to make short film projects.

Premiere is also needed to create movie files from a batch render of images. Let's say you are lighting and rendering your scene with Arnold, the ray tracer that is currently bundled with Maya. Arnold will not render out a movie file (such as a avi or mov) directly; instead, you must render still images in a sequence.  To turn those still images into a movie file, you need Premiere (or some other editing software). Here is how to do it.

DA701 locomotion and mechanics
Our online students at Bucks, studying for their MA in Animation, are currently working on the first animation module, DA701, locomotion and mechanics. Part of the marks on the module goes for lighting and rendering; students are expected to be able to produce attractively lit and rendered images, exported as a movie file. A simple desktop Playblast down't cut it.  To produce their final movie file, students need to know the basics of using Adobe Premiere to create a movie file.

Adobe Premiere Basics

Step 1 Open Adobe Premiere Pro
  1. Open up Premiere and click on the “new project” button. Name your project; something memorable, ideally with today's date. 
  2. Select a location for the Project. By default it will go to your Adobe Premiere Pro folder.
  3. In the New Sequence window, go to settings and select Custom under editing mode. 
  4. Set Timebase to 24 fps
  5. Set Frame size to 1280 by 720 (or whatever you need; most people use one of the HD options), save your preferences, and Click OK
  6. Go to edit/preferences/general and set Still Image Default Duration to 1 frame.
  7. To set up your screen, go go to edit mode, select window/workspace/editing
Step 2 Import your images into your Project
  1. To import your images go to file/import and then navigate to your source media. File/import and navigate to your image sequence. Select the first image and also select image sequence. If you've been rendering images in Maya, your images will be in the Images folder in your Maya project. You can also double click on the Project Window (bottom left) and it will auto-open a browser window. Or, you can just drag your footage and drop it in the Project window. You now have your footage in a Bin.
Step 3 - edit your images
  1. Click on your video and it will appear in the top left hand window. Click on metadata to check the frame rate. Drag and drop the images into your timeline to start editing it.
  2. You won't have any sound - so add the sound (eg voice over, lipsync, sound effects) into the audio channel. You can use as many audio channels as you like. 
Step 4 - Troubleshooting
You may have an Alpha Channel in your project, in which case your sky (for example) might render black. To solve this, select the images in the bin (bottom left), right click/modify/interpret footage. Scroll down to Ignore Alpha Channel and tick the box. Now Premiere should ignore the Alpha Channel.

Step 5 - Export Video
  1. To export a movie file, go to File/export/media. Under Format, select H.264. Under Preset, select HD 720. Set video codec to H.264. Frame Rate 24. (you may have to fiddle with these).
Now you should have a movie file that can be uploaded to your YouTube or Vimeo channel.

For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days, take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK.

1 comment:

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