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Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?

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Robert Withers
Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 18, 2018 at 3:49:30 pm
Last Edited By Robert Withers on Dec 18, 2018 at 3:51:12 pm

I posted the below a few days ago . . . no one reacted . . . is it too newb a question? Not a "problem" topic?
Now related, Apple will be deprecating many codecs for any post-Mojave OS's -- how will this affect archiving?
And I'm still wondering, if a camera codec can be a small file with good quality, is there a small file codec that can be used for archiving? Instead of large "mezzanine" codecs like ProRes and DNxHD than some use?

See https://larryjordan.com/blog/important-dont-lose-access-to-older-media/?utm...

Thanks for any thoughts.
Robert

H264 vs Other for archiving
by Robert Withers
on Dec 14, 2018 at 12:47:19 pm

Hi all,
I'm on a list for media archives and libraries and many don't seem to know a lot about digital codecs(!).
I don't know more than a little (;-)) I archive my projects in ProRes.
One question that comes up when people are trying to make files that are small but have good, recoverable quality . . . are there h265 or h265 codecs that will preserve quality as well as large files like ProRes or DNxHD or other ? Or other good codecs that are small files with recoverable quality?
I know files like ProRes and DNxHD are big to enable frame-accurate editing, but they are often converted from smaller camera files that must be of the highest quality, no? Is there a way to reverse this process?
There are long and thorough answers to this I'm sure but would be grateful for any rules of thumb or top of mind.
I bothers me that I don't know.
Thanks,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Pat Horridge
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 19, 2018 at 8:38:01 am

The common thinking is lossless compression of 2:1 and that's either the J2K propriety route in something like MXF or open source FFV1 in MKV wrapper.
It's pretty much accepted that ProRes makes no sense going forward and many are looking at migrating their ProRes archives to FFV1.

Pat Horridge
Broadcast & Post Consultant, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951
pat@vet.co.uk



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Robert Withers
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 19, 2018 at 4:57:54 pm

Thank you, Pat.
I have heard of some of the things you mention but don't really understand them. I will research MXF and FFV1. And whether my NLEs will export to them or if there is software to convert my ProRes to them.
Best,
Robet

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Pat Horridge
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 19, 2018 at 5:01:21 pm

FFMPEG is a command line app that will convert to FFV1 in an MKV wrapper.
You can get FFMPEG for mac or pc.

Pat Horridge
Broadcast & Post Consultant, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951
pat@vet.co.uk



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Robert Withers
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 19, 2018 at 7:04:04 pm

Thanks, I thought it was an app. Larry Jordan wrote about it. Now I need to learn about the FFV1 codec (is that right?)and the MXF and MKV wrappers as options for archiving. I have never used them. I wonder if NLEs will convert to them. I will research.
Thanks for your pointers!
Best,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Pat Horridge
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 19, 2018 at 7:06:59 pm

You won't get direct NLE support.
Export as SAS and convert outside.
. MOV is legacy now. So for FFV1 I'd look at MKV.

Pat Horridge
Broadcast & Post Consultant, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951
pat@vet.co.uk



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Robert Withers
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 19, 2018 at 7:46:33 pm

Here's something I found about FFV1. Does anyone in production use it for archiving? Can a file be restored or recovered with standard equipment and software?

The reduced file sizes produced via FFV1 are exciting, but there are some downsides. Although FFV1 is open-source, the files will not play using standard video software on Mac and Windows, nor can FFV1 be utilized within commercially-available digitization hardware and software (only via terminal command). This is because no major company (Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Blackmagic, etc.) has adopted the codec, or announced plans to do so. Any file format that does not eventually achieve widespread adoption and universal playback capability within the broadcasting and filmmaking communities, has a higher risk of long-term obsolescence, and lack of engineering support. https://blogs.library.duke.edu/bitstreams/2015/05/08/the-pros-and-cons-of-f...

That was from 2015. Has anything changed since then?
Thanks,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Pat Horridge
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 19, 2018 at 7:56:46 pm

Yes it has. There has been big move away from. Propriety solutions.
VLC player supports it as do a number of others. But you are right it stands outside current main stream solutions.
But think a second about the wisdom of following a propriety code solution and long term support. Maybe like ProRes and QuickTime.
This is exactly why the drive to open source is growing.

Pat Horridge
Broadcast & Post Consultant, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951
pat@vet.co.uk



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Eric Strand
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 19, 2018 at 9:55:51 pm

Pat makes a good point about the move away from proprietary solutions; it makes logical and safe sense, in theory.

However, I will say he is the first person I've seen to say "it's pretty much accepted that ProRes makes no sense going forward"

As you pointed out none of the major players/companies/etc support FFV1. If you want to be absolutely safe, then you can archive in BOTH ProRes and FFV1, yes it takes up more space, but there's always going to be a tradeoff somewhere.

@ericstrand11


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Pat Horridge
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 19, 2018 at 9:58:59 pm

If you start with ProRes then FFV1 doesn't gain you much in the short term. But ProRes isn't lossless. It's around 5:1 compression. FFV1 is lossless. For archiving a 2:1 compression that's lossless is a massive plus.

Pat Horridge
Broadcast & Post Consultant, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951
pat@vet.co.uk



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Robert Withers
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 20, 2018 at 6:21:27 pm

Thanks Eric. My initial speculation was about the possibility of archiving to a compressed format like cameras use instead of large-file mezzanine codecs like Pro-Res. So archiving to 2 codecs might be a good idea but is it possible to archive to a compressed format with smaller file sizes? We often convert high-quality compressed camera codecs to large files for editing -- is it possible to go back the other way?
Best,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Pat Horridge
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 20, 2018 at 6:27:40 pm

Yes you can go the other way but unless it's lossless you are compromising quality. Will that be visible today? Maybe not but will it suffer when uprezzed in 6 years time? Too bad if it does as you have made that choice.
Also you have issues with concatenation of codecs if you use another long GOP codec as a archive method.

Pat Horridge
Broadcast & Post Consultant, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951
pat@vet.co.uk



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Robert Withers
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 20, 2018 at 7:15:17 pm

Thanks, Pat,
This is interesting. So we can go from a compressed camera codec to a mezzanine codec without (unacceptable) loss of quality but we can't reverse this to go back to a camera codec literally or another more compressed codec without loss. "Concatenation of codecs" is poetry but I don't understand the issue . Or at least what the issue would be if you went from an intra codec like ProRes back to a long-GOP codec. I do read that ProRes is itself a lossy compression system. Hmmn.
Cheers,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Eric Strand
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 20, 2018 at 7:34:07 pm

ProRes is lossy technically, but it's visually lossless; thousands of people around the world are using and archiving with it.

Camera files that are "small" use Long GOP compression and probably 4:2:0 color subsampling. Using an ALL-I codec means you're back in the range of ProRes data rates, in which case just store and archive in ProRes and FFV1. ProRes so you can keep using it for at least the foreseeable future; FFV1 because it's open source.

@ericstrand11


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Pat Horridge
Re: Is Pro-Res still an option for archiving?
on Dec 20, 2018 at 7:17:34 pm

Your camera codec will have introduced some losses based on the day rate etc. But you can't do much about that (some use external recorders to avoid compressed codecs)

Pat Horridge
Broadcast & Post Consultant, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951
pat@vet.co.uk



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