12 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2013 1:52 AM by Fuzzy Barsik

    Workflow and Archive codec choices

    RichExperiences Level 1

      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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        • 1. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
          Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

          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?

          • 2. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
            RichExperiences Level 1

            Hi Fuzzy -

             

            Thanks. Great to decode that preset name a bit. So, it sounds like it is the realy Avid codec and just Adobe's name for it and container.  Cool.

             

            Jumping down to your last note... great point!  Well, it appeared that when I was onboarding my clips through Prelude(which I really want to do) and I was trimming them there, that it wanted to rewrite them(back as mov/h.2s) and that possibly I was loosing quality. Now if it simply is trimming things that would be OK. I was just thinking that it might be good to look at a higher quality format, less lossy, for longer term preservation.

             

            Sort of like using Cineform's old transcode and improve frames before diving into editing.

             

            Cheers.

            • 3. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
              Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

              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.

              • 4. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
                RichExperiences Level 1

                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.    

                • 5. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
                  Jim_Simon Level 8

                  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.

                  • 6. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
                    RichExperiences Level 1

                    I guess I'm not being clear. If you reexport using a compressed format you'll get more Loss. That's all I trying to avoid.

                    • 7. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                      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.

                      • 8. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
                        RichExperiences Level 1

                        Thanks. Makes some sense.

                         

                        However, PL helps me trim out all the crud and only save in archive the important stuff. Like Logg & Cpature from the old pre NLE days.

                        • 9. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
                          Jim_Simon Level 8

                          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.

                          • 10. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
                            RichExperiences Level 1

                            Thanks. That's what I'm trying to verify, does simply trimming, rather than Transcoding itself, actually rewrite the file and thus add more loss into the equation.

                             

                            I could do as you say and do all my "thinking" in premiere, but that sucks. It allows for those old clips to stick around, compete for attention, etc.  I'd rather use Prelude to just get rid of all the clutter and be able to focus on a clean set of file. Not to mention the benefits of markers, comments, rough cuts, etc.

                            • 11. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
                              Jim_Simon Level 8

                              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.

                              • 12. Re: Workflow and Archive codec choices
                                Fuzzy Barsik Level 4
                                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.