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Best format workflow for 360 video

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Jo Hex
Best format workflow for 360 video
on Feb 25, 2016 at 10:43:37 am


I produce 360 videos, which are composed of 6 x GoPro camera footage stitched together (each camera shooting at 60mbps mp4 with proTune (gopro version of log)). Once I stitch the footage together I end up exporting from the stitching software in 4K. I then import the stiched 4k file into premiere to edit and grade, then sometimes into AE for titling, and then use media encoder to create a 4k MP4 for Youtube.

Given that the original gopro files are only 60mbps mp4s, and the final export for youtube is also a similar quality mp4, is there any point creating massive files for the edit and grade exporting into either TIFF sequences, uncompressed AVI or cineform.. or am I just wasting my time and data unnecessarily? Should I just stick to a MP4 workflow from beginning to end?

Some guys I work with export their stitches into TIFF sequences or big ProRes files that are 100s of GBs, but is there actually an advantage to doing that if the original footage is just mp4?

Thanks for your help!

PS > bonus question for those inclined.. if you shoot in 4k and downres to HD, will it look better in quality to footage shot in HD?


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Jo Hex
Re: Best format workflow for 360 video
on Feb 27, 2016 at 8:43:48 am

No one? Essitially the question I'm asking is, is it beneficial to transcode GoPro mp4 to anything for the edit/grade?

I read this on GoPro's website, and don't understand how transcoding can ADD quality to footage which has already been shot. Can someone kindly help explain this to me? Thanks :)

"The first step in any GoPro Studio workflow is to convert your source files into the GoPro CineForm format. This is very important and there are several reasons to do this.
All consumer‐level cameras and many professional‐level cameras record in highly compressed video formats designed to capture large amounts of data very quickly and save that data onto an SD card or other portable media format in as small a file as possible. This is great for recording a lot of data onto a small space, but these compression formats are not designed nor optimized for maintaining image quality during editing or color correction processes. Because these formats are so compressed, they often require an ultra powerful computer to decode (playback) the files without performance degradation (choppy playback or dropped frames).
Because of this, many professional filmmakers and consumer‐level videographers use what is called a Digital Intermediate (DI). A DI is an exact copy of the data from the original video file saved in a file format that is specifically optimized for higher image quality and fast playback on modern computer systems. This makes for a much better editing experience.
The GoPro CineForm format (or codec) is the Digital Intermediate (DI) used in all GoPro Studio workflows and is one of the best in the industry—used by indie filmmakers and Hollywood studios alike.
Ultimately, GoPro CineForm files are better for editing than camera source files. They improve on image quality and playback speed, as well as provide the Active MetadataTM architecture required to enable the real‐time image development and enhancement features available in GoPro Studio’s EDIT Room."

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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Best format workflow for 360 video
on Feb 27, 2016 at 5:55:06 pm

[Jo Hex] "how transcoding can ADD quality to footage which has already been shot"

It doesn't. But Cineform will usually perform better than h264. It needs less CPU power to decode it. Also rendering to a better format can slow or stop generation loss. 360 videos are usually pretty huge in the resolution side after stitching and then uncompressed formats become insanely hard to deal with because they can take a lot of space and they need really beefy hardware to run.

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