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Ideal intermediate editing and render codecs

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Mark Ryan
Ideal intermediate editing and render codecs
on Feb 28, 2017 at 8:46:52 am

I am seeking some help with information for the ideal formats to use for the different processes of editing and rendering.
For starters, the workflow begins with 1080p footage, generally as MP4, which is then edited in Vegas. There are then times where I'll edit separate projects and then render each project and re-import those videos together in a new project (i.e. similar to the logic of nesting, except rendered first). There will then be a render to a format which isn't necessarily the final delivery format (because I'll do conversions after which go to different mediums) so ideally a balance between near lossless quality but not the massive file size. Finally, they'll get converted as I need for different mediums in Handbrake.
I have some ideas but I'd really appreciate some much more experienced thoughts on this matter.
So my main questions are:
1. What would be an ideal format for editing the MP4 footage in Vegas? (i.e. should I convert it? Any thoughts on MXF for editing?)
2. After then editing those files in a project, what should I render them to if this video file is going to be re-edited/rendered in another project? (e.g. should I use the same consistent format for editing as in the first question?)
3. What might be a good near lossless render format before going to Handbrake? I've been interested in XAVC-S as a high quality MP4. How does MXF compare to this in quality? A test found them similar in file size. Are there others I should consider that might produce similar file sizes with the high quality? I like the idea of DNxHD but I will likely use that less frequently and only for particularly important projects.
Thanks in advance for all suggestions and help


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John Rofrano
Re: Ideal intermediate editing and render codecs
on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:00:44 pm

Sony MXF HD422 at 50Mbps is a nice high quality format for HD. Vegas Pro will "smart render" so if you include it in another project and don't add any FX, it will just copy the media losslessly to the rendered file.

A true Digital Intermediary would be something like CineForm which can be obtained by installing the free GoPro Studio and then making a custom Video for Windows AVI template in Vegas Pro.

I would just use Sony MXF. A single extra render is not going to show any quality loss.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Mark Ryan
Re: Ideal intermediate editing and render codecs
on Mar 1, 2017 at 3:46:39 am

That's great. And if I do use FX and render to Sony MXF will it still handle it very well?
What about for the original MP4 footage, would you convert it MXF before editing in Vegas and would you leave it as that when rendering or use it as a proxy and replace it? If so, are there any recommendations for converter programs to convert to MXF?

Also, I wanted to say thanks a lot John because I think I've been reading your helpful advice online from a distance for the past 18 months or so and it's helped a lot with regards to any video editing and computer setups, etc. so I appreciate the help you give to everyone.


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Mark Ryan
Re: Ideal intermediate editing and render codecs
on Mar 1, 2017 at 3:48:49 am

For reference, the FX being used would generally be basic Sony color/Unsharp tools for grading but can also be things like Neat Video or BCC UpRez.


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John Rofrano
Re: Ideal intermediate editing and render codecs
on Mar 1, 2017 at 4:40:24 am

[Mark Ryan] "And if I do use FX and render to Sony MXF will it still handle it very well?"
Yes, it should be fine.
[Mark Ryan] "What about for the original MP4 footage, would you convert it MXF before editing in Vegas and would you leave it as that when rendering or use it as a proxy and replace it?"
I would just edit the MP4 files as long as they perform well for you.
[Mark Ryan] "Also, I wanted to say thanks a lot"
You're very welcome. I'm glad you've found my posts helpful.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Mark Ryan
Re: Ideal intermediate editing and render codecs
on Mar 1, 2017 at 4:53:28 am

Great, thanks John. That makes things simple. I'll just go with MXF for any high quality renders and convert to MP4 in Handbrake as needed.


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Mark Ryan
Re: Ideal intermediate editing and render codecs
on Mar 12, 2017 at 1:39:04 am

Hi John,
Things are going very well with the MXF renders. However, I am having one trouble afterwards with the audio channels when converting to MP4. The main issue is that when in Handbrake that either converting with just one mono or the two mono channels, set to convert to 320kbps they come out around 220kbps. So it seems something's not going right there, either due to how Handbrake MXF audio channels or something in my setup, though I don't think that had been an issue in the past converting other formats/files.

I tried out another more generic/versatile converter, Brorsoft, which output accurate audio and video quality according to specs, and visually is good but seems to have phasing issues with the audio. My interest in Handbrake (or similar converters like that which have more advanced options) has been because I got the impression it had quite a good compression method, whatever it is that it does behind the scenes. But I'll use whatever works, really.

Do you have any thoughts on what would normally be the best method/s for converting Sony MXF to MP4?


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John Rofrano
Re: Ideal intermediate editing and render codecs
on Mar 12, 2017 at 6:57:21 pm

[Mark Ryan] "Do you have any thoughts on what would normally be the best method/s for converting Sony MXF to MP4?"
I've never used Handbreak with Vegas Pro so I can't say. Why don't you use Sony AVC or MainConcept AVC to create your MP4 files? Those are the two MPEG4 AVC/H.264 codecs that come with Vegas Pro. I use MainConcept AVC if it's for the web.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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