16 Replies Latest reply on Jul 27, 2011 1:11 PM by Jim_Simon

    TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences

    Toomany3 Level 1

      I know this comes up ever year or two, but as far as exporting as a stills sequence, is there anything new about any of these formats that would make one better than the other for next-to-final-output?

       

      I better give a little more insight to what my goals are so you don't think this is one of those posts like "What's the best camera to buy?" questions.

       

      1. Our projects have long, complicated sequences with lots of effects, dynamic linking, and all kinds of things that could (and often do) make Premiere crash.
      2. Moreover, our average Premiere render/export takes 5-7 hours. 
      3. We are beginning to use still sequences a lot more than before since if the computer DOES crash at 90%, we can pick up where we left off and not have to sit though 5 hours of renders again just to get it to crash at 95%.  I'm sure you've all met my friend Murphy, right?
      4. After the "FINAL FINAL FINAL" render is done (you know the drill), someone inevitably needs to make one last tweak (e.g. brand greeking not done on 30 frames), or someone on the board of directors wants to make a minor tweak after seeing the completed project.
      5. We then can make these changes to the 100 frames that are changing, overwrite the TIFFs and we're ready to export out our TIFF sequence (not the real Premiere project) as an MP4 again in 20 minutes WITHOUT it needing to take 5 hours since all the processing has already been done making the TIFFs the first go around.

       

      We want the sequence to be some sort of lossless stills or close enough to it so that if/when we finally get the green light to publish it, we've already got a project that has already been processed before as TIFFs (effects, dynamic links,... all the heavy weight stuff) and just needs to go to final output, whatever that is (from web video to Bluray).

       

      TIFFs have always worked and they're lossless.  But they're also big, especially on a 28 minute program.  They're bulky and don't play back in real time very well (or sometimes at all) in CS5.

       

      PNGs, I've never really messed around with them for sequences except when I need an alpha.  They are lossless, right?  Any reason to switch to PNG over TIFF if alpha isn't involved?  Better playback in Premiere?  Smaller size?

       

      I assume that JPG is out since it's not lossless.  Or is JPG at 100 lossy-enough to be using these days?  I've always pretty much discarded the idea of JPGs, but has anything changed recently to make it worth a try?

       

      Is there another format I'm missing?  I would love to stumble acrross something equivilent to DNxHD, but for stills.  DNxHD's not lossless, but PERFECTLY satisfactory for my needs.  And from what I can see, it might as well be lossless without the huge size pricetag.  Huge bang for buck.  Something like that for stills?  JPG at 100?

        • 1. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          PNGs are lossless.

           

          One option you might consider is simply to render.  Use a lossless codec such as the free Lagarith or UT codecs.  This allows real time playback after render.  If changes need to be made, only the changed clips need rerendering.  Using a lossless codec, final export is perfect quality and fast if Previews are used.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
            Toomany3 Level 1

            One option you might consider is simply to render.  Use a lossless codec such as the free Lagarith or UT codecs.  This allows real time playback after render.  If changes need to be made, only the changed clips need rerendering.  Using a lossless codec, final export is perfect quality and fast if Previews are used.

            Jim, I'm very interested in what you said.  I'm not sure I fully understand.

             

            I sometimes use the word "render" interchangablly with "export."  Probably because I mucky up the difference between AE and PR.  But when you use the term "render," do you mean hitting the enter/return key or SEQUENCE > RENDER WORK AREA?

             

            That would only allow me to view it locally INSIDE of Premiere, right? I need to get the clips rendered to be viewed by others via Vimeo, Youtube, FTP, etc.  How does this help me?  Sorry, I think I'm missing something.

             

            Use the preview files (or "renders") for the final export?  Is that it?  Sorry, I don't have my thinking cap on straight today.

            • 3. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
              Jim_Simon Level 8

              I sometimes use the word "render" interchangablly with "export."

               

              I tend not to.  They do mean different things.  In this case, render means within Premiere Pro.

               

              If you need to view it outside of PP, you can get a much quicker export by checking the Use Previews box in the export settings.  And if you use a lossless codec for the rendering, you don't lose any quality by doing so.

              • 4. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                Toomany3 Level 1

                Ahhhh!  I'm starting to see the light!  This is great!  I think you've just made my life a lot easier!

                 

                Jim, how can I ensure that I'm using a lossless codec on the rendering?  I just hit render work area and I don't see any option of what codec to even use.

                I searched the options and preferences, but I don't see it there either unless I just totally missed it.


                Thanks again!

                • 5. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                  Colin Brougham Level 6

                  You have to set it up in the Sequence Settings--which is one of the few things you can change after a sequence is created:

                   

                  sequencecodecs.png

                   

                  Personally, I don't think this road is going to make you any happier. Premiere Pro has a tendency to--ahem--forget renders; if you change one little thing about a clip, you'll have to render again; the rendered previews will be as big or bigger than your image sequences; Premiere Pro doesn't have a very efficient means of handling rendered preview files. I'm not saying that you shouldn't explore this as a possibility, but it's not going to be a magic bullet.

                  • 6. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                    Toomany3 Level 1

                    Colin Brougham wrote:

                     

                    You have to set it up in the Sequence Settings--which is one of the few things you can change after a sequence is created:

                    Do you mean can't change?  All my options for video previews are grayed out except for the 2 boxes stat both start with "maximum."  Oh, and I can change the size, but codec and file formats are both grayed out.

                    • 7. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                      Toomany3 Level 1

                      Hmm... now that I'm looking at it more, I can't seem to change it even when I create an entirely new project.

                      capture.PNG

                      • 8. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                        Colin Brougham Level 6

                        Ah, I should clarify: if you choose a specific editing mode--say, a DVCPRO HD editing mode--you're locked into a specific rendering codec. If, however, you create a new sequence and select Desktop/Custom (depending on whether we're talking about CS5 or CS5.5 here), you can pick a format and a codec (sort of like when you export). One of the Formats is Microsoft AVI, which will give you the option of selecting a number of codecs installed on your system. In that case, you can change the codec after the fact, and you can even change the format if you select Desktop/Custom.

                         

                        You might consider using the I-Frame Only MPEG format that is built into PPro; it's a 100Mbps I-frame MPEG2 file, that should be more than sufficient for preview/review purposes. When you're doing your final export, you'd uncheck Use Preview Files.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                          Colin Brougham Level 6

                          Yeah, see below. That's 'cuz you're using the XDCAM editing mode; flip that to Custom or Desktop and you're golden.

                          • 10. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                            Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                            You might consider using the I-Frame Only MPEG format that is built into PPro; it's a 100Mbps I-frame MPEG2 file

                            It's actually only a 28-30 Mbps MPEG2 file, depending on frame size/rate.  Which is why I think they're only good for previews in Pr.  I certainly wouldn't use them outside of Pr except for drafts for client approval or some other one-off, temporary use.  Which is also why I recommend against using the "Match Sequence Settings" check box near the top of the Export Media dialog.

                             

                            -Jeff

                            • 11. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                              Toomany3 Level 1

                              You might consider using the I-Frame Only MPEG format that is built into PPro; it's a 100Mbps I-frame MPEG2 file, that should be more than sufficient for preview/review purposes. When you're doing your final export, you'd uncheck Use Preview Files.

                              I'm trying to save time on our final exports since now some are taking longer than 10 hours which was the whole purpose of my TIFF sequence idea.  I'd like to be able to use my preview files.  I'm installing some of the codecs suggested above.

                               

                              Is there any way to use DNxHD?  I love that codec.  That's close enough to lossless for me.  Oh, but it probably won't give me real time playback, huh?

                              • 12. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                                Colin Brougham Level 6

                                Doh. Good catch.

                                • 13. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                                  Colin Brougham Level 6
                                  I'd like to be able to use my preview files.  I'm installing some of the codecs suggested above.

                                   

                                  Being one who abstains from Use Preview Files even for review clips, you'll have to do your own tests on that. It will "work," but it certainly isn't a workflow I'd ever want to rely one... but that's just me.

                                   

                                  Is there any way to use DNxHD?  I love that codec.  That's close enough to lossless for me.

                                   

                                  No. You could on a Mac, probably, but not on PC. You have to export and reimport, which is a viable workflow in its own right, especially if you divided your entire program into separate, logical sequences and were nesting them into a final assembly sequence. That way you could export a sequence in the background (or whatever), bring the export back in, and lay it on a track above you subsequence's content; it'll automatically update the final assembly sequence then.

                                  • 14. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                                    Toomany3 Level 1

                                    Grr!

                                     

                                    Any of the lossless codecs I've tried for rendering don't allow for realtime playback.  Ugh!  Is there any lossless codec that DOES?

                                     

                                    I've tried Lagarith Lossless and Uncompressed UYVY 422 8 bit.

                                     

                                    Does Cineform?

                                    • 15. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                                      When you're doing your final export, you'd uncheck Use Preview Files.

                                       

                                      The whole purpose of using a lossless codec was to be able to use the preview files and not require a time consuming rerender for export.

                                      • 16. Re: TIFF vs. PNG vs. JPG Sequences
                                        Jim_Simon Level 8
                                        Is there any lossless codec that DOES?

                                         

                                        UT works real time at HD resolutions, more so than Lagarith.  Be sure to install the 64 bit version, which uses a separate installer.  I'd also recommend using one of the YUV modes.  It'll create smaller files than the default RGB, but they're still lossless.