I have a client for whom I have to output longform web content for approvals which can take a while.
The footage is shot on 2 5D's (Mk 2 & Mk IV) @ 1080p
Typically the changes are relatively minor and the project can have some fairly intensive after effects work that makes rendering sluggish.
Output uncompressed and have hundreds of GB tied up on my drives awaiting approvals which means I don't have space for other jobs, even though I can then use this as an approvals-master to which I can apply the changes and generate a master from that?
Output to 'Match Source' which takes up only as much space as the original footage would have, but then I'm re-compressing. Does it suffer generational loss if the codec is the same as the original?
Output to somewhere in between? (eg, DNX_HQ_1080p_25)
Edit the original project file and suffer the render times for re-rendering any After Effects sequences? I guess I could always pre-render the After effects files, but then I lose the dynamic link
To give an example I had a video with a lot of talking heads where I increased the depth of field using blurred masks. I had also tracked masks on the subjects face so I could just lift her from the background a little. Then there was a general grade applied to the entire shot. The other main interviewee was very concerned about 'looking fat' so I tracked in an additional neck shadow.
Together, these bogged down the rendering times. You're right, I *could render an H264 version for approvals before going to the full Master, but then it seems pointless to calculate those effects again. And what's the point of a high quality master when it's not being used as the source for the tweaks (and thus saving render time)? Besides, the finished program will never be seen on anything other than youtube, where you have to contend with youtube's codec recompressing your already compressed content, so a low compression master seems useless - a bit like buying a 4K reference monitor to watch youtube, if you know what I mean.
At that point, I wonder if I shouldn't just keep it in the H264 realm since that's what it's shot on and I doubt there will be enough of a difference for people to notice once it's been churned through youtube.
If your source footage isn't uncompressed to start with then there's no reason to render uncompressed.
I too always create H264 files for approval. They're quick to render and easy to post. If this type of work is common for your clients then I would advocate that you get a larger amount of storage so that if you want to create hi-res renders it doesn't have any real impact on your workflow.
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