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How many colors does ProRes have?

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Daniel Schmidt
How many colors does ProRes have?
on Apr 27, 2011 at 1:23:09 pm

I have been googling this, but just got confused.

When creating a preset for ProRes (and one for ProRes HQ) export in AE CS5, to how many colors should I set it? I don't want to up or down-sample the footage in any way. I just want to maintain what's normal for ProRes (and ProRes HQ).

AE gives me two options: 16,7 millions of colors and Quintillions of colors (Trillionen in German - which translates to Quintillions in English - I think).


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Walter Soyka
Re: How many colors does ProRes have?
on Apr 27, 2011 at 2:18:05 pm

ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 HQ support 10-bit video. If you are working at 8 bpc in After Effects, it doesn't make a difference if you are rendering to Millions or Trillions of colors. If you're working in a higher bit depth (16 or 32 bpc), you can preserve some of that range by rendering to ProRes at Trillions of colors.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Daniel Schmidt
Re: How many colors does ProRes have?
on Apr 27, 2011 at 2:46:10 pm

I see. Just out of curiosity, does ProRes at trillions of colors have a higher bit rate than at millions of colors?

Also: Is there any disadvantage at all to always using trillions of colors, just to be safe?


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Walter Soyka
Re: How many colors does ProRes have?
on Apr 27, 2011 at 2:57:49 pm

[Daniel Schmidt] "Just out of curiosity, does ProRes at trillions of colors have a higher bit rate than at millions of colors?"

It shouldn't.

ProRes is VBR, and the target data rates for different raster sizes and frame rates can be found in Apple's ProRes whitepaper [link].


[Daniel Schmidt] "Is there any disadvantage at all to always using trillions of colors, just to be safe?"

Not that I can think of.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Dave LaRonde
Re: How many colors does ProRes have?
on Apr 27, 2011 at 2:51:43 pm

Don't worry about it: work in 16 bits in AE. You will be fine.

And for future reference, here's how it works in the USA:

1000 x 1000 = 1 million

1 million x 1000 = 1 billion

1 billion x 1000 = 1 trillion

1 trillion x 1000 = 1 quadrillion

1 quadrillion x 1000 = 1 quintillion


You would think the people of Planet Earth could agree on something as simple as numbers, wouldn't you?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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