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Avid DNxHD vs ProRes for Vegas Editors

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Ryan McRobb
Avid DNxHD vs ProRes for Vegas Editors
on Feb 28, 2015 at 11:06:08 am

Hi guys,

our broadcast suite at work currently records all its video content to Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) using four Sound Devices PIX 270i units.
As we generally edit these files on either Sony Vegas or Avid Media Composer, I feel we should start recording to the other possible option, Avid DNxHD.

A few questions for you all:

  • Is this actually the right course of action to take?

  • What is the file container for DNxHD footage? .MOV? .MP4?

  • What is the best way to render this kind of footage whilst retaining maximum file quality in Vegas?

  • When it comes time to render for web, what rendering format would you recommend as the best file size/image quality compromise?

  • Also, is there a way to render the audio as uncompressed PCM rather than compressing it like is necessary using the MainConcept AV/AAC MP4 codec? (My work is full of sound guys, and one time one of them actually picked the difference between a compressed 320kbps audio for video compared to the original wav file!)


  • Cheers

    http://www.ryanmcrobb.com

    Asus G73jh Notebook
    Win7 64Bit
    AMD ATI Radeon HD5870
    12Gb RAM
    Vegas Pro 13


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    John Rofrano
    Re: Avid DNxHD vs ProRes for Vegas Editors
    on Feb 28, 2015 at 2:28:16 pm

    [Ryan McRobb] "Is this actually the right course of action to take?"
    It doesn't matter for editing. Vegas Pro can read both, but it can only write Avid DNxHD so if you need to pre-render something and send it to another editor, you can only render DNxHD. Both are suboptimal because Vegas doesn't handle QuickTime well.
    [Ryan McRobb] "What is the file container for DNxHD footage? .MOV? .MP4?"
    Avid DNxHD is a QuickTime MOV codec and has all of the 32-bit QuickTime problems in Vegas Pro that ProRes 422 does. No difference.
    [Ryan McRobb] "What is the best way to render this kind of footage whilst retaining maximum file quality in Vegas?"
    I'm not sure what you are asking. Render for what purpose? Delivery? Editing? Avid DNxHD and Apple ProRes 422 are both high quality near lossless digital intermediaries.
    [Ryan McRobb] "When it comes time to render for web, what rendering format would you recommend as the best file size/image quality compromise?"
    The best format for the Web is MPEG4. If you have a video card that's supported by MainConcept AVC, that will be the fastest render. If not, you can use Sony AVC or MainConcept AVC as the quality is very similar with MainConcept being a bit better for low bitrates. I use MainConcept AVC because it supports my ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card.
    [Ryan McRobb] "Also, is there a way to render the audio as uncompressed PCM rather than compressing it like is necessary using the MainConcept AV/AAC MP4 codec? (My work is full of sound guys, and one time one of them actually picked the difference between a compressed 320kbps audio for video compared to the original wav file!)"
    We would all like to deliver uncompressed to our customers but we can't. Tell your audio guys to get over it. MP4 is AVC video with AAC audio and no one listening on the tiny speaker in their laptop is going to care! ;-)

    ~jr

    http://www.johnrofrano.com
    http://www.vasst.com



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    Martin Leisborn
    Re: Avid DNxHD vs ProRes for Vegas Editors
    on Dec 3, 2015 at 2:21:31 pm

    Hi John! We met at the IBC last year I remember. I consider buying a C100 and a Ninja to use at times. I would like to ask what is your opinion on using the Atomos Ninja Blade and similar Products to record the uncompressed signal from the camera, like a Canon C100, and then editing in Vegas Pro 13? Those have Apple Pro res and Avid DNxHD to chose fro´m. You say both are Quicktime formats with the same problems in Vegas. Does it mean that will not work fine in Vegas?
    If so, what other alternatives are there in order to get 422 to Vegas?
    Martin, Sweden


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    John Rofrano
    Re: Avid DNxHD vs ProRes for Vegas Editors
    on Dec 3, 2015 at 8:40:14 pm

    [Martin Leisborn] "Those have Apple Pro res and Avid DNxHD to chose fro´m. You say both are Quicktime formats with the same problems in Vegas. Does it mean that will not work fine in Vegas?"
    It's not that it won't work in Vegas Pro. It's that Vegas Pro has limitations when using QuickTime files because it still uses the 32-bit Windows QuickTime libraries. if you place too many QuickTime files in your project it will get bogged down and not work.
    [Martin Leisborn] "If so, what other alternatives are there in order to get 422 to Vegas?"
    Buy a Sony camera that shoots 422 in MXF format.

    You are limited by your choice of software. All of the great hardware add-ons for cameras target the Mac and Apple ProRes. That's one of the reasons I switched to the Mac. I don't use a PC anymore so I really haven't kept up on what solutions there are for PC's in this area. It was just easier to buy a Mac and move on. ;-)

    ~jr

    http://www.johnrofrano.com
    http://www.vasst.com



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    Martin Leisborn
    Re: Avid DNxHD vs ProRes for Vegas Editors
    on Dec 4, 2015 at 8:23:36 am

    Ok, thanks John. Got it.


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    Aaron Star
    Re: Avid DNxHD vs ProRes for Vegas Editors
    on Dec 7, 2015 at 3:13:46 am
    Last Edited By Aaron Star on Dec 7, 2015 at 4:15:09 am

    [Martin Leisborn] "If so, what other alternatives are there in order to get 422 to Vegas?"

    Sony Broadcast has devices to record in 422 and higher, most people on this forum are not in that ballpark. Check out the PMW-1000. It is really odd that Sony of all companies does not have a "Ninja" like device that records to all Sony Codecs. I guess they feel that device would cut into their camera sales to much.

    HDCAM SR and SR-Lite are 444 & 422 mpeg4 intra with uncompressed audio channels.

    XDCAM422 - clearly stated and highly optimized workflow in Vegas.

    XAVC-intra - PMW-1000 now supports recording in HD in XAVC-Intra 422. XAVC is like MP4 2.0, which is a higher MPEG4 profile than AVC, and it uses multi channel uncompressed audio. XAVC also supports 4k bitrates where as HDCAM and XDCAM do not. In my opinion XAVC is pretty much just HDCAM 4K or HDCAM 2.0

    REDCODE don't forget about Redcode - Red One cameras these days are really cheap and the Red shoots in a 12-bit JPEG 2000 Wavelet codec. Redcode is natively supported in Vegas.


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    Martin Leisborn
    Re: Avid DNxHD vs ProRes for Vegas Editors
    on Dec 7, 2015 at 11:24:45 am

    Hi, that sounds interesting as well. I'll look into those. Thanks!


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