I've been using FCP since 2000 and getting poised for having to migrate over to another platform in the coming year or 2. Does anyone know if premiere has something similar to compressor that can be used to encode files that behave with the ease and clarity of the apple prores formats?
I was thinking I'd just hold on to compressor.. but these are the types of things I'd be interested in knowing. I still do some DVD building and wanted to know if Adobe had a solution for that as well that any one has found professionally practical and usable. Although I could also use my now discontinued version of Studio Pro for that as well.
It's called Adobe Media Encoder. I haven't messed around with it too much yet. But it looks like it will do what you need it to do.
Adobe Media Encoder is included and is superior to Compressor in many ways (is 64 bit and very fast). It doesn't have the encoder farm capability of Qmaster, if you use that.
Adobe does not have a code comparable to ProRes. If you keep FCP installed on the same system, you can continue to encode to ProRes in Quicktime applications, including Adobe's. If you don't wish to keep FCP installed, you can give Avid DNX a try. Its a free download from Avid and is comparable in every way to ProRes.
I have read that MP4s that are encoded by AME do not support progressive download (meaning they don't play until fully downloaded from the web), but that may not matter to you.
I like DVDSP better than Adobe Encore for standard DVD's. Encore supports BluRay and DVDSP doesn't, though.
[John Pale] " It doesn't have the encoder farm capability of Qmaster, if you use that."
But it will automatically use all your cores which is a great performance boost over Compressor without qMaster clusters.
Plus it obviously supports Flash which of course Compressor doesn't.
And it will make MPEG2's with as large a data rate as you like up to 80 Mbps - even the new Compressor is still limited to 40Mbps.
A very powerful tool - shame about the progressive download limitation.
so DNX will behave and render as quickly as prores? that's good. IS DNX something Adobe plans to develop further and maintain s part of their production suite? Do they see it as necessary or only a response to prores? Just wondering. I had heard there were some rendering features and times Premiere had that were better than FCP .
[Brian Cooney] "so DNX will behave and render as quickly as prores?"
My subjective experience is that DNx is not as good as ProRes but I am sure there are people here better able to give you an expert opinion.
I don't see that you need to abandon ProRes justbecause you are not using Final Cut though ... It's just a codec like any other (although in my view better than msot others) and will play nicely with Premiere, and indeed Media Composer.
[Simon Ubsdell] "My subjective experience is that DNx is not as good as ProRes"
Probably a better discussion for the Avid forum, but what problems did you have with DNX. In my experience, its indistinguishable from ProRes. It was developed a few years before and on some tests I have seen fares a tiny bit better than ProRes...though in a way thats only truly observable on scopes.
The only problems I have had with Avid DNX is converting between it and Apple ProRes, which under certain conditions, causes a gamma shift.
I haven't tried capturing it from a deck in Premiere, but if its possible, it would be great.
Having no compressed tape capture codec, for HD at least, is a bit of a problem with Premiere, unless you are equipped to work uncompressed. Blackmagic offers a preset for MJPEG, but I would prefer a more modern codec like ProRes or Avid DNX...which are good enough for online.
[John Pale] "but what problems did you have with DNX"
Subjectively it has always felt a little soft by comparsion with ProRes and I think others have mentioned this before. And DnxHD in FCP is not a delightful experience (but that's another story) ...
Also it cannot handly higher than 1920 unlike ProRes.
But they are mostly extremely similar in performance.
Adobe really needs to develop its own DNxHD/ProRes substitute or push for FCP Unity to be replaced with Pr.
Native playback of high bitrate files still results in lag, unfortunately. Both DNX and ProRes.
DNxHD is an Avid proprietary format. Adobe Premiere Pro can decode it if it's using the Avid Quicktime LE codec pack that they put out for free. Premiere Pro however does NOT decode native DNxHD .mxf files. This is a licensing issue. Ditto for ProRes.
The lag that you describe is due to (I believe) invoking the QT player which is as you know 32-bit. Whenever possible, we work around the QT Player so to avoid it's performance issues for a 64-bit application. We do that for Canon/H264 for example. FCP X I believe does the same thing through AV Foundation.
Hope this helps,
Dennis - Adobe guy
[Brian Cooney] "so DNX will behave and render as quickly as prores? that's good. IS DNX something Adobe plans to develop further and maintain s part of their production suite? Do they see it as necessary or only a response to prores? Just wondering. I had heard there were some rendering features and times Premiere had that were better than FCP .
DNX is not ADOBE, it's Avid's, and though supported in premiere, it is not optimized for it as it is for avid products. Just like ProRes in premiere. In my opinion the lack of a proper mastering/proxy/unifying codec in premiere is one of it's strongest weaknesses. Was sure Adobe would be smart enough to acquire Cineform... Now they have to buy GoPro too :)
Avid will maintain and further develop DNX (hopefully) as it is still invaluable to many Avid workflows
As for DNX
[John Pale] " you can give Avid DNX a try. Its a free download from Avid and is comparable in every way to ProRes."
DNX is good and solid, but it is not ProRes, not yet at least. For one, it does not have SD or greater than HD options, in fact, it is strictly HD 720 or 1080. Furthermore, it still does not have a 444 variant, and always clips to 709. And last, ProRes 4x4 is 12 bit color depth, DNX does not top 10 to my best knowledge.
All that said, I use Media Encoder all the time, it's amazing for encoding flash, it works fast, converts hours of weird .MTS files to good looking ProRes in no time and it's simple to use.
Recently I had 3D animations in different sizes and resolutions I had to unify to 1080. I tried compressor ( with every possible setting) and Episode, but Media Encoder blew them all.
[Hector berrebi] "DNX is good and solid, but it is not ProRes, not yet at least. For one, it does not have SD or greater than HD options, in fact, it is strictly HD 720 or 1080. Furthermore, it still does not have a 444 variant, and always clips to 709. And last, ProRes 4x4 is 12 bit color depth, DNX does not top 10 to my best knowledge.
Ah...thanks for the info.
DNX does offer 10 bit (use the variants that have an X after them). No 12 bit or 4444, though. DNX does offer an alpha channel though. ProRes only does in ProRes 4444.
[John Pale] "I have read that MP4s that are encoded by AME do not support progressive download (meaning they don't play until fully downloaded from the web)"
I found that to be the case with AME CS4 (I haven't checked in CS5.5 yet), but I found a small utility 'QTIndexSwapper' which adds the necessary header data to the MP4 file so that browsers can load the fie progressively. It does add an extra step to the compression process, but seems to work.
I've been using Adobe Media Encoder for about 2 years. Made the switch from Compressor when we began exporting BluRays to Encore.
In a hurry? Drop into After Effects and render with multiprocessing. Careful about the TC.
I've used Media Encoder and Compressor and feel Compressor has much more control over encoding parameters. If I decide to switch to PP I'll keep Compressor. I also use Squeeze 7.
MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.3, Motion 4.0.3, Comp 3.5.3, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.3)
Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN
[John Fishback] " I've used Media Encoder and Compressor and feel Compressor has much more control over encoding parameters."
As always it's about using the right tool for the job. They both have their strengths and weaknesses and I use both depending on the jobn in hand. Not much chance of getting a 50Mbps Mpeg2 (needed for TV delivery in some territories) out of Compressor for example, but easily done in AME.
I've been testing a lot of this over the last few days and thought I'd give my opinion. There is the issue of Media Encoder vs Compressor as well as OSX vs Win 7. AT this point I'm liking OSX using Prores. Media Encoder actually has some cool stuff about it and performs well. I think Compressor goes a little farther with things like timecode burns, cropping etc., but if you are doing a simple task like transcoding 5D footage to Prores it's hard to beat. It's faster than real time and there is NO gamma shift like there is with compressor and the converted image looked identical. Also the Prores files act like MOV files and are very easy to play etc. I made some DNX files yesterday and they would not play in the finder.
I still think OSX is a better editing OS as with Quick View it's very easy to browse files and drag them in. Win 7 also seems much slower to load and play media files. In OSX I can play uncompressed 1080 off a single drive. Windows chugs. I've heard that Win 7 performs better but I'm not sure how. Maybe rendering speed but I haven't checked it.
I think Apple will sell a lot of FCPXs just for DVC Pro and Prores as they are the ones to beat if you ask me for overall usability and quality.
[Robert Brown] "I still think OSX is a better editing OS as with Quick View it's very easy to browse files and drag them in. Win 7 also seems much slower to load and play media files. In OSX I can play uncompressed 1080 off a single drive. Windows chugs. I've heard that Win 7 performs better but I'm not sure how. Maybe rendering speed but I haven't checked it."
This is incredibly subjective. I edit and work with HD footage in Windows 7 and OS X every day, and experience far more "chugging" in OS X. It's exactly this reason I prefer to work in Windows 7.
Should my opinion not be based on my own experiences? I do tend to use a lot of the Apple codecs which maybe why. What codecs do you use? Quick view is hard to beat though. Does Windows have an equivalent?
My every day bread-and-butter is editing AVC-Intra 50/100, but I'll be working in codecs ranging from consumer-grade h.264 to R3D. In FCP, most of this has to be converted to ProRes, which eats up time and HD space. Premiere edits all of this natively, and in real-time (thus, no need for Final Cut's Quickview, if that's what you were referring to).
Non-MXF media is associated with a simple media player, so previewing it from Explorer requires one second of loading time (and, thus, no need for previewing with the space bar). And since Windows 7 supports Trim, running the OS and applications from an SSD speeds up my workflow significantly - something that can't be recommended for professional work in OS X.
The only downside to my Windows workflow is working with buggy drivers for my Kona board, but that's more AJA's fault, than Microsoft or Adobe (the board worked beautifully in Windows 32-bit XP and CS3, but has since required planetary alignment to work perfectly). Now there's a company that needs to refocus its attention on the Windows platform.
I didn't initially reply to start a flame war. I've been using both platforms since they were released (I'm old), and love/hate both for various reasons. I've gradually migrated away from OS X, because my workflow works smoother in a Windows/Adobe environment. I suspect that after this year, I won't have much of a choice - but I'm not too upset about it.
I'm all for hearing other people's workflows. The quickview I'm talking about is in osx. Just click on a file in finder and then hit the space bar. It loads extremely fast and then just hit the up or down arrow to see the next file. I was working with a client the other day and it's very fast at seeing what each file is. Then you can drag it into fcp or premier or avid and it's in. I haven't used avc intra yet and don't know much about it. And yes premiere and avid are much better about other codecs. fcp is terrible for that.
Adobe Media Emcoder will do what you want...and does it quite well.
As for a file codec exclusive for Adobe like ProRes or DNxHD... then, No... Adobe doesn't have it's own file format...
BUT... Cineforms Neoscene is a file format application that you should consider. Cineform video file format is highly effective in matching ProRes and DNxHD in ease of use but will uprez any 8bit to 10bit. Cineform codec is interchangeable between FCP and AVID... it is a very Universal-like file format that improves quality and stability (...not to infer that ProRes or DNxHD are unstable).
I've used Cineform, ProRes and DNxHD and found that while there are some small differences when it comes to using in most editing workflows...in general... all three are very good file codecs (...to bad ProRes is history and thank goodness I used Cineform as my primary video file of choice for editing).
Cineform is great, but costs between $129-$999, depending on what you want to use it for.
I think the reason why you don't see a codec like ProRes on Premiere is because I think they don't need it.
Premiere Pro plays a good majority of the codecs used out there natively so you don't have to transcode -- just import the file, drop it in the time timeline and just edit -- this is especially true for DSLRs and RED.
Also, if you already have FCP on your system, the codec will be shared by Premiere Pro.
Basically the best of both worlds.
"Sometimes Life Needs a Cmd-Z!"
[Daniel McClintock] "Premiere Pro plays a good majority of the codecs used out there natively so you don't have to transcode -- just import the file, drop it in the time timeline and just edit -- this is especially true for DSLRs and RED.
This is the same thinking that got apple in trouble with a lot of people. Tape still exists, and will for a long time to come. If you are working with tape (HDCAM, HDCAM SR, D5, etc) what codec can you capture with that is high quality but doesn't require massive amounts of high speed storage? Do I have to factor in buying a codec like Cineform to the cost of switching?
Relying on codecs from Apple or Avid to get the job done doesn't really sound like a good plan. They aren't really optimized for Premiere, so they don't work as efficiently...and you are at their mercy when it comes to support.
You do not need to rely on Cineform to be able to work effectively with ADOBE or AVID. I prefer to use Cineform because it keeps things simple for me (specially if I am having to edit with multiple file formats).
DNxHD will work fine between the two - ADOBE or AVID... and, is similar to ProRes that FCP prefers to use. But... you can also work natively with either Adobe or AVID (i.e., ...not use DNxHD or Cineform)...but, I don't typically recommend this if the editing project is the least bit complex, HD video or long. Whether or not working in a native HD codec is feasable depends upon your hardware capabilities and less about software.
In a perfect world, if you are editing HD material...you will prefer to work off-line and/or proxy format that is lower rez... note: the term off-line and proxy are terms that are used differently between Adobe and AVID...so, when you decide to establish a proxy/off-line process in your workflow...you might want to post at either ADOBE or AVID's forums and get some insight and details.
No matter what video format you will decide to use... there will be a certain degree of learning as to how to apply it to your current workflow. But...neither ADOBE or AVID will likely give the kind of grief FCPX will likely cause. And... I am not picking on FCPX... I would say this about ANY ver. 1.0 editing application.
in FCP I have always had the option to play the gambit of codecs and edit them within the timeline. Prorez is great because it bumps up quality and also cuts HD rendering time in half... or more.
[Brian Cooney] "in FCP I have always had the option to play the gambit of codecs and edit them within the timeline. Prorez is great because it bumps up quality and also cuts HD rendering time in half... or more.
Hmmm... Nothing just bumps up quality. ProRes allows more optimal use of some files in the FCP environment.
It doesn't lose quality (in most cases) its great for capture, and it is proving to be an excellent acquisition codec too.
But any appearent bumping up of quality involving ProRes can be probably explained in better terms
FCP had funky native codec support, involving too much QT rewrapping.
[John Pale] "This is the same thinking that got apple in trouble with a lot of people. Tape still exists, and will for a long time to come. If you are working with tape (HDCAM, HDCAM SR, D5, etc) what codec can you capture with that is high quality but doesn't require massive amounts of high speed storage? Do I have to factor in buying a codec like Cineform to the cost of switching?"
If you're ingesting from HD tape the Matrox iFrame codecs are excellent, free, and will suffice for most uses. For effects bound source material, where greater than 8 bits is needed, the uncompressed 10 bit codecs will not degenerate any tape source, even HDcamSR, while capturing to both Prores and Dnx will. Premiere does all video processing at 32 bit float so only at that point will the quality of the intermediate codec come into play, not on ingesting from tape. And as effect's work is not greatly storage intensive, I, for one, prefer uncompressed 10 bit to any compressed codec. If space is a concern then yes, the prores 4x4 would be a great choice.
[David Cherniack] "If you're ingesting from HD tape the Matrox iFrame codecs are excellent, free, and will suffice for most uses. For effects bound source material, where greater than 8 bits is needed, the uncompressed 10 bit codecs will not degenerate any tape source, even HDcamSR, while capturing to both Prores and Dnx will. Premiere does all video processing at 32 bit float so only at that point will the quality of the intermediate codec come into play, not on ingesting from tape. And as effect's work is not greatly storage intensive, I, for one, prefer uncompressed 10 bit to any compressed codec. If space is a concern then yes, the prores 4x4 would be a great choice."
I tend to agree with john here. Adobe users tend to overlook too quickly how the lack of a propitery codec line hurts the product. Working native all the way is good in certain codecs maybe, but in many cases it is a weak solution, which ignores issues like unifying standards in multiple res multiple codec projects, offline/online workflows, affordable high end mastering both in broadcast and cinema ( no DNX there yet...) and yes, capture from HD tape source.
Uncompressed 10bits HD codecs are in most cases a complete overkill. And if you work in 4:4:4 then it's even a bigger pain in the A@&. The HDD space and performance requirements on a broadcast/network scale make no sense. That's true in other markets too.
It makes little difference that premiere reads DNX or ProRes. FCP reads DNX and AVID reads ProRes too... but they aren't optimized for it so it works poorly. Premier's stregth in reading Native is good for stuff that's either very short or simple, or stuff with lower standards and less rigorous examination...
It's also cool in presentations.
But if someone cuts their feature film in R3D native in premiere, then in my opinion, they're either noobs, or they just don't know better.
ProRes is genius and brilliant, DNX is solid and has potential to better up,
I believe and I hope, that soon Adobe will have their solution too.
I was responding to John's comment about a capturing in Premiere. I duly recognize that there's a lack of an Adobe intermediate and mastering codec and I hope that will be rectified soon. But for effects work I would still prefer to capture and render in 10 bit uncompressed. I've never been sorry that I have and if on those times it's been overkill it's because of poor decision making on my part.
For effects work, its totally feasible and valid to work in 10 bit uncompressed...but if you are editing complete shows, where you have hours and hours of tape footage to deal with, the speed and space requirements are enormous and costly.
Adobe has been given a gift here with Apple basically voluntarily withdrawing from the pro market. The wave of new Premiere converts are going to be expecting a comparable codec to work with.
Thanks for the Matrox suggestion. That might work for some projects in the interim...will have to test. Of course, unlike ProRes, which is 10 bit in all flavors, it is only 8
[David Cherniack] "But for effects work"
:) ok... VFX is something different. I'd go for DPX and such, I find them more versital, and just as intensive on systems ..
[Hector berrebi] "But if someone cuts their feature film in R3D native in premiere, then in my opinion, they're either noobs, or they just don't know better."
[John-Michael Seng-Wheeler] "Why exactly?"
the offline stage of a feature film is long and editing-intensive.
people tend to shoot way over 10:1 ratios
thats at least 1000 minutes for a 90 minute film
being able to sift , sort, find ans select quickly is crucial for good work to be done. furthermore when you fine tune each and every cut on a 90+ minute timeline using trim tools, you need fast response (immediate response)
R3D files are generally very large (most people shoot in 4K+), RAW and compressed (a good wavelet compression, but still...) all these are intensive on your system. and even with the legendary Mercury engine, you'd need a monster system to be stable with such a project and timeline natively, and i'm not sure that even on the best of systems your timeline response in trimming would be satisfactory.
add to that storage requirements, its one thing to have your original R3Ds in a drive on a shelf, completely different thing to have them on a drive where you constantly have to read them and play them (in FULL frame rate and real time as you can't afford less in narrative work). it would probably mean faster more expensive drives.
the point is. that it makes absolutely NO difference if you work offline/online.
offline editing in long projects can take months. and the better offline editors out there usually don't own monster systems. in Avid or FCP you have a stable and easy workflow, that allows you to cut your project on a portable drive using a laptop and doing it anywhere you want (tarins, plains, a hut on a beach or a monastery in Tibet). Prores Proxy files are small look amazing, so do DNX36, and as they are optimized for their systems, they work FAST and stable.
and because of the amazing world of Metadata, conforming back the final sequence to R3D is simple (in most cases and if you know what you are doing) and can be done in a myriad of tools and techniques.
I have many R3D project stored in my studio, some of the quite large, I know how Premiere reacts to big RED folders with hundreds of files and its not what they'd show you in an ADOBE presentation.
believe me, i love Premiere, and the day that software/hardware will really allow native raw 4K work in FULL frame rate, with immediate, response and proper monitoring, i'd advocate for it. its just not quite there yet, at leas when it comes to long form, or narrative work.
sorry for the long answer... didn't have time for a short one :)