5 Replies Latest reply on May 25, 2011 3:05 AM by AtonMusic

    best intermediate codec and huge video

    getho Level 1

      I've been experimenting with timelapse.

      My current worksflow has me bringing the images into photoshop as a sequence, resizing at that point (I'm working in 720p so I resize to 1280-px wide and then crop).  I do a little grading at this point.

       

      question 1: at the moment I'm exporting to mpeg 4 at 90% quality.  It renders realtively quickly and the quality isn't terrible.  BUT its not great either.

      what would be the best codec to avoid jpeg artifacts and to allow a little grading in premiere whilst still playing back OK and not being huge?  At the moment I've got footage on single 7200 rpm hdds. I've got a 10rpm and 80gb ssd available (raid is off the cards after a disaster with the intel rapid storage technology)

       

      I'm also thinking about panning and scanning from the original 17mp images.  I'd like to do this in premiere or after effects, but I guess a 17mb video file wouldn't play to well in premiere   should I just set this up in photoshop (like by cropping the image HD, and then sizing the smart object layer. Actually can you keyfra,e resizing in photoshop?)

        • 1. Re: best intermediate codec and huge video
          AtonMusic Level 2

          Hi....

           

          In Premiere Pro (I use a RAID0 consisting of 4 Drives) I have found that a tiff-sequence is playing back the smoothest(Any Imaage-Sequence for that matter).

           

          I am playing back 1920x1080 set at FULL playback resolution with NO stutter.

           

          NO CODEC - and I have pretty much tried them all can get me that performance.

          Aside from that... Using tiff (image) sequences put about ZERO load on the CPU. It puts the load on the RAID not the processor.

           

          Playing back H264 i.e. in PPRO takes up 65% of my 16 core 2.23 GHZ mac. Besides - when jogging or shuttling the timeline, image sequences are KING !

           

           

          BUT --- if you dont have a RAID0 - you can pretty much forget about Image Sequences. That is, if you want 100% judder-free playback.

          My RAID0 - enclosing 4 SATA drives costs $450 including housing. Beats purchasing a Cineform Codec which wont run stutter-free anyway.

           

          Besides, all codex which are reducing files size ARE degrading your image. So why resort to something that kills quality and strains you CPU if you can get 100% quality and ZERO CPU strain ;-)))))

           

           

          Keep this in mind: ANY codec needs DECODING - that puts a strain on the CPU - and if the CPU is doing something else then your playback is going to jerk.

           

          Test This:

           

          1) Drag a ProRes422 or 444 or whatever into PPRO. Then add it to a sequence. Drag your Clip Position Locator across the clip. You will note that it does not update each frame but i.e dragging from the beginning to the end it will take a second before the end is displayed (if dragging fast) and the frames inbetween wont be updated.

           

          try the same with a tiff sequence residing on a RAID0 - EACH frame is updated instantly - no matter how fast you drag that CPL - reason is that the CPU doesn't have to decode the clip. The RAID0 is taking care of delivering the imagery. Not the CPU !

           

          Worth noting with image-sequences... The file size is HUGE... But who cares these days. Hard Drive has never been cheaper.

           

          DONT invest in the wrong power.

           

          To play back GREAT Image quality you need FAST media. NOT a fast processor !

          To play back inferior Image Quality(Encoded) you need SLOW media but a FAST processor.

          Makes no sense. Choice is clear.

           

          Unfortunately, most folks are spending loads of time researching for the right codec for intermediate work.

           

          IMO - only situation where a codec is necessary is when you make you final delivery !

           

          Aside from that... If you use Image Sequences all the way to delivery you are ensuring highest quality workflow and the better your final product will look when you deliver in H264 or whatever.

           

          Hope this helps !

          • 3. Re: best intermediate codec and huge video
            AtonMusic Level 2

            Wow... You really kept track of my writings.

             

             

            Perhaps, you should pay more attention to what OP is asking. Then look at my suggestion.

            Then COMPARE with what I wrote in all those posts you saw fit to compare with.

             

            OP was asking about codec!

             

            Just because there are TIFF 'import' issues and other various things... Does NOT mean that Image Sequences aren't playing back well in PPRO !

             

             

            You may of course compare apples with worms, if that sets your mind at ease! Just dont know whether that is doing anyone but yourself any good

             

             

            To OP (In case I was unclear)

             

            There are a few issues with AME and PPRO regarding TIFF image Sequences. However, those issues should deflect from the fact that PPRO CAN play back such sequences just fine and that using image sequences is a GREAT GREAT way of ensuring highest quality and judder-free playback !

            • 4. Re: best intermediate codec and huge video
              getho Level 1

              thanks,

              tiff probably not an option for me at the moment with my current setup (unless that 80gb ssd is fast enough - they are small sequences - but I guess uncompressed at 720p one sequence would be bigger than that) - would the animation codec give the same results by the way?  How is your external raid connected? (I'm on windows, my guess is esata not fast enough??)  Is there such a thing as jpeg sequences?

               

              So in the meantime am I better with mpeg2 (in there a quicktime mp2 codec?), mjpeg?  Is there a codec I should buy that gives a decent tradeoff?

               

              thanks!

              • 5. Re: best intermediate codec and huge video
                AtonMusic Level 2

                getho wrote:

                 

                thanks,

                tiff probably not an option for me at the moment with my current setup (unless that 80gb ssd is fast enough - they are small sequences - but I guess uncompressed at 720p one sequence would be bigger than that) - would the animation codec give the same results by the way?  How is your external raid connected? (I'm on windows, my guess is esata not fast enough??)  Is there such a thing as jpeg sequences?

                 

                So in the meantime am I better with mpeg2 (in there a quicktime mp2 codec?), mjpeg?  Is there a codec I should buy that gives a decent tradeoff?

                 

                thanks!

                Animation codec = I dont know. I believe that will give you a file-size just as big as the TIFF. But you'll have to try that yourself.

                 

                My RAID0 (I have two)

                 

                1= 4 internal drive bays of mac has been striped to form a Raid0. The boot drive is hooked up to the second optical drive-bay sata connector.

                2= RaidSonic 4xeSata external drive enclosure hooked up to a PCI card in the mac with four separate eSata connectors. The PCI card is from sonnet

                 

                eSata is just fine.