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Understanding Render Codecs / What information is lossed

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Matthew Jeschke
Understanding Render Codecs / What information is lossed
on Jan 25, 2016 at 1:54:10 am

I'm shooting a bunch of b-roll for a new short film I'm making. Using RAW hack from Magic Lantern. My goal is to clean up the clips. Do some fairly baseline color grading. Then render using a lossless codec. Lastly store the clips for later and throw away all the files from the crazy Magic Lantern RAW workflow.

I'm starting to realize I don't understand these codecs as well as I should. Which render codecs in Vegas are lossless and what color / bit depth are they using? I cannot seem to get the specs on the codecs (perhaps it is implied somehow)?

I believe my RAW clips are 14bit color depth and slightly less than 1080p.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I realize I can render to uncompressed but this is not preferred.

--------------------------------------

I do Architectural Photograph & Cinematography as a part of being a Residential Real Estate Consultant.

Some of my work can be seen at,
http://www.youtube.com/keystoaz/
http://www.keystoaz.com/

PS. It's an excellent excuse to ride of what I love, Camera equipment :)


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John Rofrano
Re: Understanding Render Codecs / What information is lossed
on Jan 25, 2016 at 8:41:07 pm

Well if you had a Mac the obvious choice would be to render to ProRes 422 HQ or 4444 and be done with it but on the PC it's a lot more complicated.

You could use the Sony YUV codec which is lossless but I'm pretty sure that only Vegas Pro can read it so it's not a good general purpose archive format. You could download the free GoPro Studio to get the CineForm codec and then create a custom render template for it in Vegas Pro. CineForm uses a visually lossless wavelet codec which is very good. I would stay away from solutions like Avid DNxHD because Vegas Pro has problems with using lots of QuickTime files. HuffYUV is another lossless Video for Windows (AVI) codec that you could download and install and create a template for.

Out of those choices, CineForm might be your best option.

~jr

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



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Matthew Jeschke
Re: Understanding Render Codecs / What information is lossed
on Jan 26, 2016 at 2:17:13 am

Thanks John, really appreciate the breakdown on codecs :)

I've actually got a go pro and the studio on my computer. I'll give CineForm a shot. Sad there's not better support for codecs in the windows environment.

What kind of equipment do you shoot with (I'm sure you use just about everything)? I'm curious about trying one of these Black Magic Pocket cameras and or supplementing my 5d with one of those Atomos recorders. The 5d's built in compression is appallingly bad.

I short films to present homes and color balance is super tricky. Almost have to calibrate the camera for each room independently to do it especially since color balancing the compressed 5d footage is pretty well not possible.

--------------------------------------

I do Architectural Photograph & Cinematography as a part of being a Residential Real Estate Consultant.

Some of my work can be seen at,
http://www.youtube.com/keystoaz/
http://www.keystoaz.com/

PS. It's an excellent excuse to ride of what I love, Camera equipment :)


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John Rofrano
Re: Understanding Render Codecs / What information is lossed
on Jan 26, 2016 at 2:03:04 pm

[Matthew Jeschke] "What kind of equipment do you shoot with (I'm sure you use just about everything)? "
Actually, I don't shoot much anymore. I'm still using my Sony HVR-Z1U with HVR-DR60 Hard Disk Recording Unit on rails with a Chrosziel Matte Box and Sachtler sticks, and a Sony HVR-A1U HDV and a small Sony AVCHD camera. I also have a GoPro. I never got into DSLR's and there is nothing driving me to 4K so until my cameras break, there is no compelling reason to update them. If I was still actively shooting I would have probably upgraded to a Sony NXCAM.
[Matthew Jeschke] "I'm curious about trying one of these Black Magic Pocket cameras"
The Black Magic Pocket camera shoots Apple ProRes which is great for Mac editors... not so great for PC editors. I've noticed that many great camera hardware and devices are designed to work optimally with a Mac. That's one of the reason's I sold my PC's are moved 100% to Macs. (I edit on a 2010 Mac Pro 12-Core) I was looking at the Black Magic Pocket camera myself. I really like what I see. That's probably a good way to go but if you stick with a PC and Vegas Pro you'll be doing a lot of transcoding before editing.
[Matthew Jeschke] "...and or supplementing my 5d with one of those Atomos recorders."
You should seriously consider getting a Mac then because the Atomos recorders shoot QuickTime format with Apple ProRes codec which you could edit easily on a Mac in FCP X with no transcoding. Vegas Pro, unfortunately, has problems with too many QuickTime files in a project so I would not recommend the Atomos for Vegas Pro editors.
[Matthew Jeschke] "The 5d's built in compression is appallingly bad."
Why don't you use a "real" video camera? Wouldn't it make shooting and editing a lot easier? If you like Vegas Pro, why not get a Sony camera that shoots a format that Vegas Pro handles nicely like XDCAM, XAVC, AVCHD, etc.? You seem to like all of this hardware that is geared toward Mac editors. Not a good mix. My advice... either stick with hardware that shoots formats that Vegas Pro can handle or get a Mac and edit with FCP X which works great with these other devices.

~jr

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



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Aaron Star
Re: Understanding Render Codecs / What information is lossed
on Jan 26, 2016 at 2:27:08 am

Since you are inside the Sony fence line, do not overlook HDCAM-SR 422, 444, and SR-lite 422. HDCAM is sort of the HD ProRes codec of Vegas. HDCAM is also a highly optimized edit codec in Vegas. Cineform is good too, but normally the super geeks have to bust out signal quality charts measuring in very small details to show a gain in difference. HDCAM is 10-bit 444 MPEG4-SSTP vs wavelet compression, multi channel audio, embedded closed captioning, and was used for DCP prior to formats that have exceeded the 1080p limits. HDCAM 444 is also what Star Wars Phantom Menace was recorded on.

I would be interested in what you are using to convert your RAW DNG file, and what format workflow you choose.

One workflow for Vegas might be:

DNG develop in RawTherapee and export to 16-bit TIF sequence.

Import TIF sequence to Vegas timeline and render HDCAM, XDCAM, Cineform proxy to edit.

Once editing is complete, swap in TIF sequence and render final 16-bit TIF sequence. This is nice because most DCP programs (openDCP) will ingest TIF sequence for conversion to DCP format. 16-bit Tiff will also maintain the 14-bit color information from your DNG source file, and pass that info along to the 12-bit JP2K format of DCP.

MPEG4 streaming and BD files can be rendered from the Proxy project files.

Clearly your conversions from 16-bit TIF sequence to HDCAM/Cineform have to be done in a 32-bit Vegas project to properly down convert to 10-bit 422 or 444.


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