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Adam Duguay
Working Uncompressed
on Nov 3, 2009 at 5:08:12 pm

Hello.

I've been working with Final Cut pro for some time now and I've been primarily using the
Apple ProRes (HQ) codec. I recently sent a project (to be laid back to tape and final CC) to a post house that has a Avid DS Nitris suite. I was told by the Nitris editor that they would have preferred that I worked in an uncompressed codec. Apparently the Camera that was used to shoot the footage was a high end Panasonic (full size) Camera. Apparently the video information from this camera has a wider color and luminance spectrum (higher then 100 Units of white) and when using a compressed format like the ProRes (HQ) codec, I'm limiting the information that I could potentially take advantage of if I had worked in a 8 or 10 bit completely uncompressed format. If I was to work in an "full" uncompressed format, would I need a higher end Video card? I'm currently working with an Aja IO HD Box, but it recommends working in the Native Apple ProRes codec.

However, I do have the option of working in 10 Bit, but I'm assuming this isn't the same as working "full" uncompressed 8 or 10 Bit.

Can anyone demystify this for me?

Adam


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Richard Sanchez
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 3, 2009 at 5:26:11 pm

"If I was to work in an "full" uncompressed format, would I need a higher end Video card?"

If you wanted to recapture as uncompressed HD, Yes. The IO HD is an incredible device, but it does not support uncompressed HD capture due to the fact that it uses FW800 as an interface. You'd need a Kona 3 or LHi (I believe the LHe will also capture uncompressed fine) to recapture as uncompressed.

As far as limited dynamic range of the color, Pro Res (and HQ) are 10 bit codecs, so you shouldn't be losing dynamic range, but it is a lossy codec. That said, it's a very efficient lossy codec and people online programming with it all the time because of it's high quality to storage requirement ratio.

Now as far as delivering your self contained quicktime to this post house, you could use compressor to transcode it to apple uncompressed, or you could even download Avid's Quicktime codecs (if this issue is solely of being able to ingest it into the Avid system) however if they insist that the entire program be recaptured as uncompressed HD, you will need a different capture card. Again, Kona 3, LHi, MXO2, they'll take care of this.

Richard Sanchez
North Hollywood, CA

"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution." - Bill Hicks


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 3, 2009 at 6:22:18 pm

First of all, what camera?

Second of all, they hate ProRes for our freedom.

Third of all, if this was captured as 709 HD, then ProRes and Uncompressed will have the same limitations in terms of scope in chroma/luma. Now, that being said, was this an AVC-I camera, or a tape based camera or what?

Jeremy


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Alan Okey
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 3, 2009 at 7:34:12 pm

I can't wait to hear Bob Zelin weigh in on this.

This oughtta be good...


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walter biscardi
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 3, 2009 at 7:56:46 pm

[Adam Duguay] "Apparently the Camera that was used to shoot the footage was a high end Panasonic (full size) Camera. Apparently the video information from this camera has a wider color and luminance spectrum (higher then 100 Units of white) and when using a compressed format like the ProRes (HQ) codec, I'm limiting the information that I could potentially take advantage of if I had worked in a 8 or 10 bit completely uncompressed format."

Um, not exactly. We've been working with the Panasonic (full size) cameras for four years now. You lose nothing in the ProRes or ProRes HQ formats. In fact, Discovery Networks lists only three HD formats for their "Gold Level Programming." That is all the programming that gets top billing during Prime Time.

Uncompressed HD
Avid DNxHD
Apple ProRes HQ

In other words, the Apple ProRes codec gives you all the information you need for network broadcast HD. You can use ALL the luminance information from those cameras, which we do all the time here.







Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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gary adcock
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 3, 2009 at 9:01:39 pm

Adam

I too am going to chime in on this, having torn apart both DNX and ProRes.

"I was told by the Nitris editor that they would have preferred that I worked in an uncompressed codec."
This one is actually simple, the uncompressed QT codecs import faster (by +4X) into the avid.

"high end Panasonic (full size) Camera. Apparently the video information from this camera has a wider color and luminance spectrum (higher then 100 Units of white) and when using a compressed format like the ProRes (HQ) codec,"

That "quality" would depend on a number of things from the basics like recording codec (AVC @ 10bit or DVCProHD @ 8bit) to advanced camera settings or externally recording to higher quality ( DPX or SR).

ProRes does support Superwhite (up to 115 IRE) but that does not translate to a higher luminance range.

I tend to agree with the others about arguments like this being one editors insecurity with his place in the food chain with the changing state of post technology.

Ask him what he means about lesser quality when most of the DNXHD codecs are only 8bit when all of the ProRes versions are 10bit or greater.

You might want to tell him that your 10bit ProRes HQ codec at 220mbps is every bit the equal to the 220x 10bit version of DNXHD. While the X version of the DNXHD codec matches Panasonic's D5 Mastering quality. ProRes is a newer iteration of compression that more closely matches the PNSR (peak signal to noise) ratio of the HDCamSR, considered by the industry as THE Master Tape format for highest quality recordings.



gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows for the Digitally Inclined
Chicago, IL


http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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Jef Huey
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 4, 2009 at 2:09:45 am

What no one has asked here is why the OP was going to a DS Nitris in the first place? Surely not to just output to tape.

What if they went to that environment for effects work? Specifically green / blue screen keying.

Any effects person with any experience will always want the least compression when pulling keys. And compression is almost a given when it comes to camera sources these days. Add a another, different form of compression on top of what ever native camera compression to a screen work and life can get difficult.

Perhaps asking some questions to clarify the situation, rather than immediately demeaning the editor involved would be best way to give the OP a useful answer.

Jef Huey


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Matt Riley
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 4, 2009 at 6:02:16 am

Good point, Jef.

-Matt



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Michael Gissing
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 4, 2009 at 6:40:42 am

[Jef Huey] "What no one has asked here is why the OP was going to a DS Nitris in the first place? Surely not to just output to tape."

The OP says in sentence two "(to be laid back to tape and final CC)".
No need to ask and no mention of green screen. I have the reverse situation of getting a project from an AVID to FCP for playout to tape and I simply asked for 10 bit uncompressed. I see no point in needlessly transcoding.

As always, check and ask the facility first and not the COW afterwards.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 4, 2009 at 3:45:51 pm

And we still don't know if it's from tapeless AVC-I (which is 10bit compressed, why transcode in Uncompressed?) or tape, which could be captured any number of ways.

I think we've all asked, and haven't received the answer. It will help us to better determine what path the editor should take.

Jeremy


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Adam Duguay
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 4, 2009 at 5:49:11 pm

Hello everyone,

I very much appreciate all of your input. The Camera they shot with on location was the HDX-900)

Also, I wanted to give a little more information about my process.

I received the Final Cut Pro (Fine Cut) project from a independent producer. The project was set to ProRes HQ. He requested that I colour correct and "treat" the footage for a specific look. I exported all of the footage from the (Fine Cut) timeline and imported everything from After Effects. I treated the footage in A.E and rendered everything ProRes HQ and imported all of the renders back to Final Cut and delivered the project to the Nitris Editor.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 4, 2009 at 6:26:01 pm

OK. So why don't you give them an EDL/cut list/use automatic duck and have them recapture to whatever they want from tape?

Jeremy


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Joseph Owens
Re: Working Uncompressed
on Nov 6, 2009 at 4:58:06 pm

"So why don't you give them an EDL/cut list/use automatic duck and have them recapture to whatever they want from tape? "

I think because the media has been "treated" already in AE and recapturing from original source would mean re-creating that treatment.

But I'm as confused as anybody with this workflow. Export to tape and "final CC"? You don't mean Closed Caption, but another round of color correction? On an AVID? ????? Like Tape to Tape but not???? Over top of the AE "treatment"...??? And you can't use "COLOR"?

I must be missing something crucial here...


jPo




This IS my blog!


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