DSM to After Effects

The following instructions provide one way to edit high resolution images captured in Dragon Stop Motion. After Effects is used in this process to rotate, scale, and modify the framerate. Any compositing should take place in After Effects as well, but this tutorial does not address that.

  • These instructions assume that you have already shot your animation using Dragon Stop Motion.
  • Launch After Effects.
Launch After Effects
  • Choose File -> Save As. Save the After Effects project to your folder in the Xsan.
Save Project
  • Choose File -> Import -> File.
  • Browse to the Dragon Stop Motion high resolution exposures. These can be found in your .DGN file under the correct take and in the X1 folder. Select the first image in the sequence. Verify that JPEG Sequence is checked. Choose Ok.
Import Image Sequence
  • The image sequence will be imported into the After Effects project and will show up as "footage" in the project window.
  • With the footage selected (highlighted) press Command+Shift+/ to create a new composition from the footage and to add it to the Render Queue.
  • Double Click on the Composition to load it into the timeline. Adjust the Rotation value to 180˚ in the Transform section of the comp if you shot upside down on the downshooter.
Rotate Footage If Necessary
  • Click on the Render Queue tab and set the Render Settings by clicking the yellow "Best Settings". Change the frame rate as necessary to match the frame rate that you intended while shooting.
Change Frame Rate
  • Click on the yellow "Lossless" in the output module in the render queue. Choose "ProRes 422" if you plan to do additional editing in Final Cut.
ProRes 422
  • Scale the footage to 1920x1280 keeping the aspect ratio locked. If you used a 16:9 aspect ratio mask in Dragon Stop Motion you can crop the top and bottom of the image by 100 each to get to a 1920x1080 image which will match that mask.
Scale and Crop
  • Choose where you want to save to by clicking on the "Output To:" section in the Output module of the render queue. Click Render.
  • Repeat this process for each Dragon Stop Motion scene that you need to prep for final cut pro.
  • Now you are ready to import the rendered movies into Final Cut Pro. Follow the FCP Setup instructions and use a ProRes 422 easy setup with a framerate that matches your export.


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