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Choosing color bit depth when transcoding 10-bit footage

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Eren Gulfidan
Choosing color bit depth when transcoding 10-bit footage
on Nov 16, 2016 at 5:24:19 pm
Last Edited By Eren Gulfidan on Nov 16, 2016 at 5:38:31 pm

Hi there,

I recently shot some footage on Sony FS7. The camera records 10-bit, and we shot in 4K. Now I need to transcode all the footage to ProRes 4444 on AME and I'm going to leave the size 4K. The transcoded footage will also be used on After Effects and DaVinci after the edit. My only issue is that I'm a bit confused about choosing the right bit-depth. I understand that 24 bit equals 8bpc x 3 RGB Channels and 48 bit equals 16bpc x 3 RGC channels. Would 24, 32, or 48 bit be ideal for VFX and color grading work? Thank you for your feedback. - Eren


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Chris Wright
Re: Choosing color bit depth when transcoding 10-bit footage
on Nov 16, 2016 at 8:41:03 pm

none of the above; technically EXR Full Float/16bit LOG DPX is best for VFX. The next best would be 64 bit(RGB+Alpha) which is 16bpc(bits per channel, 48+16)or "half float"

The next down is prores 444 which only records at 12 bit so you're going from RAW(which is close to float/log DPX 16bit) down to 12 bits.

So you're losing the ability to grade heavily if you transcode out of native RAW, although most people don't miss it for the upside of smaller size and ease of use.
proxies would be better for editing, and saving high quality EXR work for VFX. although often it comes down to data storage requirements which is why prores444, DNXHQ/HR, and Cineform 444 were created.


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Eren Gulfidan
Re: Choosing color bit depth when transcoding 10-bit footage
on Nov 16, 2016 at 9:05:57 pm

Thanks, Chris. Ideally, I want to transcode the MXF footage into a format that I can use for the edit, the VFX, and color. The amount of footage I have isn't much, and that's why I thought I could go with ProRes 4444 instead of proxy, thinking my system can handle it. Also my colorist usually asks for 4444 to grade on, so that was also a factor.

When I choose OpenEXR, I'm only seeing 32-bit floating point, not 16. And AME says "not recommended" next to the 32-bit floating point. Should I be installing a different codec here for EXR?

So overall, do you think ProRes 4444 with 64-bit depth would be the way to go? And should I be checking 'render at maximum depth' or leave it unchecked? Thank you.


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Chris Wright
Re: Choosing color bit depth when transcoding 10-bit footage
on Nov 17, 2016 at 1:58:43 am
Last Edited By Chris Wright on Nov 17, 2016 at 2:00:56 am

do what the colorist wants 444.
even more grading opportunity at 444 XQ though, higher bitrate for more dynamic range.

EXR plugin is 32bpc. adobe warns about large file sizes.
max render quality- is for resizing
max bit depth -is for 32bit output instead of 8bpc for higher quality compositing and grading and higher than 8bpc output.

unfortunately, prores exports from premiere are not lossless, so try to avoid major compositing trips in premiere/ae.

http://blogs.adobe.com/VideoRoad/2010/06/understanding_color_processing.htm...


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