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RichExperiences
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Workflow and Archive codec choices

Jul 8, 2013 12:11 PM

Tags: #workflow #lossless #avid #dnxhd

Hello all -

 

I've just completed an inventory of all my little cameras that shoot video. From a nice 5D mkII down to some GoPro's. As you can see from the attached (mostly up to date and correct) list  all of these are storing H.264 in a few flavors of containers. I'm curious if anyone could help me decide on a storage codec that will preserve the pixels in these files while and not loose any during my ingest workflow steps(e.g. Prelude, most likely, or some other lo and capture.)  When I test trimming and transcoding to h.264 is really appears like it is recompressing and loosing quire a bit.

 

I've been looking at Avid's DNxHD format as a possible long term, higher rest format. I think I saw that this codec could be gaining ground in Adobe's products and being freely distributed all around it could be a good choice. I'm on a windows box, so no ProRes.. Also, can someone please tell me if the DNxHD MFX Op1a is actually a precise incarnation of the Avid original? http://www.avid.com/US/industries/workflow/DNxHD-Codec

 

BTW - I've installed the Avid set, but I never see any Avid branded Codecs in any encoder list, which made me wonder if the Op1a was really the Avid codec or something.

 

Thanks much!!!  I figure that once I get a default codec selected, or maybe a second one for some camera variations then I can start to trim things on import and toss the original files. Of course, I do know that the stored files will be much bigger

 

Rich

 

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Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2013 1:52 PM   in reply to RichExperiences

    1. DNxHD is a codec. MXF and MOV are containers. DNxHD in MXF container hasn't been supported until CC.

    2. DNxHD for QuirkTime (MOV) container is downloadable via Avid website, link to which you submitted. If you installed the package, but can't see Avid codecs under Format: QuirkTime, navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\QuickTime\QTComponents folder, copy .qtx files and paste them into the C:\Program Files (x86)\QuickTime\QTSystem folder.

    3. Keep in mind that DNxHD is literally for 720 and 1080 only. See also some details about encoding to QuirkTime DNxHD from Adobe Suite in this thread.

    4. Why on Earth do you want to transcode your source footages at all?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2013 2:49 PM   in reply to RichExperiences

    Prelude doesn't want to do anything, including transcoding, unless you tell it to do one or another thing.

     

    Instead of transcoding original footages once you trimmed them, create Rough cuts and export them into PrPro directly. Stay native, avoid transcoding until you really need an intermediate, e.g. if your machine is incapable of handling original footages or you want to save on render time with complex compositing work.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2013 5:53 PM   in reply to RichExperiences

    I was just thinking that it might be good to look at a higher quality format, less lossy, for longer term preservation.

     

    You won't really add anything but file size doing that.  If you want a higher quality image, you need to record it that way.  You can't increase the quality after the fact.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2013 6:07 PM   in reply to RichExperiences

    I think the issue is trying to use Prelude.  It's a good piece of software when you have an assistant, someone else to slog through the footage and make selects or a rough cut.

     

    But when you're doing all the work yourself, Prelude loses most of it's usefulness (when you're not transcoding), so I recommend just importing the original media into Premiere Pro and skip Prelude.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2013 6:41 PM   in reply to RichExperiences

    It does do that, but that requires transcoding.  To not lose quality, you'll need lossless. and 10 seconds of a lossless file will take up more room than 10 minutes of compressed footage, so you're probably better off keeping the originals, including the 'crud', and make those trims only when you need to in a project.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2013 9:25 PM   in reply to RichExperiences

    All those things are also available in PP.  And you can use Media Browser to 'preview' the files and import only the ones you think you'll use.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2013 1:52 AM   in reply to RichExperiences
    Ok, cool. But do you know for sure if it does not rewrite a file using it's current format and thereby potentially recompressing it again?  I could be way off base worrying about this, but it seemed like a logical thing to clarify. It's like rexporting a jpg over and over again.  I know PL doesn't want to do anything unless told, but it may be doing it as a side effect.

    If you do partial ingest, then yes, you have to transcode, and that is the side effect. Therefore, perform full ingest (make sure you disabled the Transcode checkbox), create subclips, log them, create Rough Cuts and send them to PrPro.

     
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