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which prores422 and why ??

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Jakob Mortensen
which prores422 and why ??
on Sep 25, 2009 at 2:26:41 pm

Hi

I mainly shoot HDV 1080i from a Sony HDV FX1e. Now I read about the prores422 being a superior format to the HDV and I am playing a bit with that.

Now some material i have all ready captured in HDV so I could off course transcode it by exporting it and a reimporting it into FCP but what prores version format should I choose ?? I want a format that conserves the original quality, but I am a bit confused about the 1920 /1440 width, which would be the most "correct" to choose when the file that needs transcoding is a HDV1080i ??

I have been told that the advantage of the prores422 codec is that it renders effects nicer than HDV but are there other reasons to choose this format for editing ?

Best wishes

Jakob


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Alex Elkins
Re: which prores422 and why ??
on Sep 25, 2009 at 2:48:50 pm

Jakob,

The correct aspect ratio would be 1440x1080, with FCP doing the stretch to 1920.

However, it's not necessary to export/import/replace everything to finish up with a ProRes version - in FCP under Sequence Settings, change your compressor to Apple ProRes 422. Then in the video processing tab, select the option 'Render all material in high precision YUV"

These actions are only necessary when you come to do your final render - you can change the settings now if you wish, but it won't affect the final quality of your edit.

Note that rendering as ProRes is not good if you intend to go back to HDV tape. For everything else, it is the best way to work by far.

All the best,
Alex Elkins


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Jakob Mortensen
Re: which prores422 and why ??
on Sep 25, 2009 at 3:01:10 pm

Hey

Thanks for the clarification about which to choose. Now being a newbie there are still a few issues that confuse me here.

Should I not change the format to prores422 before I start to edit to have the advantage of the format ? One thing I think about is whether or not to capture in prores from the beginning on. The filesize difference of HDV and prores422 seems to be very big, for that reason I am thinking about capturing in HDV1080i and keeping the captures whole tape as a backup/storage raw file.

I might have gotten it all wrong but the quality of the capture isnt greater in prores422 compared to HDV right ?? But prores422 saves in render time, or ? In your words whats the really big advantage/gain by using prores and in what stages of the project ?

Best wishes

Jakob


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Alex Elkins
Re: which prores422 and why ??
on Sep 25, 2009 at 3:26:18 pm

[Jakob Mortensen] "Should I not change the format to prores422 before I start to edit to have the advantage of the format ?"

It's only an advantage if you have captured as ProRes. Otherwise you're just wasting time converting things which you're going to render again anyway.
The exception to that is if you were going to be doing lots of effects to the clips - adding filters, movement, keying etc. Working from ProRes files is quicker in that case. In most cases, people are just cutting the pictures, perhaps with some dissolves etc. If that is the case, it's not really advantageous to spend time converting until right at the end.


[Jakob Mortensen] "One thing I think about is whether or not to capture in prores from the beginning on."

This is what I would do.


[Jakob Mortensen] "The filesize difference of HDV and prores422 seems to be very big, for that reason I am thinking about capturing in HDV1080i and keeping the captures whole tape as a backup/storage raw file."

Correct, the difference in file size is huge. If you have the space, and your harddrives run fast enough, then the file size isn't an issue. If it is an issue, capture as HDV and just render out as ProRes to finish. The quality will be the same either way. It can just be slower working with HDV when, for example, you render an effect to see how it looks, tweak, re-render, check, repeat etc.


[Jakob Mortensen] "I might have gotten it all wrong but the quality of the capture isnt greater in prores422 compared to HDV right ??"

Correct. Your source is HDV, so you can't add quality that was never there.


[Jakob Mortensen] "In your words whats the really big advantage/gain by using prores and in what stages of the project ?"

It takes me just as long to capture in ProRes as it does HDV, so I begin in the format I intend to finish in.
There are formats that I can't capture as ProRes, such as XDCAM EX, which I work with a lot. It is very similar to HDV, in that it is quite inefficient as an editing format. However, most of my editing doesn't include many effects so I don't convert it before editing. Instead I just use the XDCAM EX material in a ProRes timeline. I still get realtime playback, even with some effects added when necessary.


I hope some of this is helpful. All the best,
Alex Elkins


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Alan Okey
Re: which prores422 and why ??
on Sep 25, 2009 at 3:28:22 pm

[Jakob Mortensen] "I might have gotten it all wrong but the quality of the capture isnt greater in prores422 compared to HDV right ?? "

If you mean capturing HDV footage into Final Cut Pro from tape, then you're correct - your footage won't magically get better because you transcode it to ProRes. The data that is thrown out from the original video signal when the camera compresses and records the signal to HDV tape is gone forever.

However, if you capture video from a camera directly to disk using a video interface like an AJA Kona card, etc. then ProRes 422 is a far superior codec to HDV. That's why for green screen shoots or other applications in which the highest quality signal is important, it's much better to bypass the camera's internal recording method and record the live video signal from the camera's video output direct to disk using a high-quality codec like ProRes 422 or Uncompressed 10-bit 422.

New devices like AJA's Ki Pro or the Convergent Designs Flash XDR allow you to record a much higher quality signal from the camera than is possible by recording to the camera's built-in recording system (tape or memory card), with the benefit of not needing to tether the camera to a computer system for capture.


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Kevin Monahan
Re: which prores422 and why ??
on Sep 25, 2009 at 7:28:32 pm

No FCP 7? If you have it, use ProRes LT for most of your corporate and industrial work. Nice sweet spot of quality and file size.

Kevin Monahan
http://www.fcpworld.com
Author - Motion Graphics and Effects in Final Cut Pro


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