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H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly

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William Carr
H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly
on Nov 9, 2009 at 12:01:19 am

I've read through posts about gamma shifts when exporting DVCPRO HD to ProRes 422, and about the dilemma of QT Player playback inconsistencies across multiple computers. But I'm still unsure about what I can do in my situation.

Completed timeline master is DVCPRO HD 720 23.98.
Exported same settings QT self-contained.
With Compressor, converted to a beautiful high bitrate H.264 at 1280x720, looked as good as the original.

The film will be shown at a fest from a computer. But now I'm told the format request has changed to ProRes. So with Compressor I converted the original QT to a 1280x720 ProRes422 with all Best settings.

ProRes result is dark, murky, somewhat garish color saturation. I tried again with "None" for Gamma Correction, same ugly result. Opened up the ProRes and the H.264 in Final Cut and the discrepancy is the same.

I installed QT 7 on my new MacPro to get back the Properties and Preferences panes (gone in the new QT "10") and viewed the tests with "Use high quality video settings" and "Enable Final Cut Studio color compatibility" turned on. No change in how they looked.

I'm not using an external monitor-- don't have a set-up for it-- but such a big difference is still a big difference, and at the fest they will be playing out from QT on a Mac to the projector.

I will try and persuade the use of the H.264, but they may want the ProRes to use in an edit timeline to format the entire evening's program of films.

Any methodology I am missing to make a good-looking ProRes?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly
on Nov 9, 2009 at 12:07:31 am

Duplicate your timeline, go to Sequence>>Settings and change the compressor to Pro Res, re-render, and then export a self contained movie. This will create a QT that is as close to your original as possible with no possibility of pilot or application error.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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William Carr
Re: H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly
on Nov 9, 2009 at 12:12:28 am


I will try it now and report back.


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William Carr
Re: H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly
on Nov 9, 2009 at 12:32:03 am

Tried it on a 3-min segment of master timeline, and the export looks fine, just like the original to my eye.

I think this means my problem is solved. Thank you very much!



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David Roth Weiss
Re: H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly
on Nov 9, 2009 at 12:36:33 am

Always glad to help, especially when my suggestion works the first time.

Do I get a credit now?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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William Carr
Re: H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly
on Nov 9, 2009 at 12:46:55 am

About that credit: bad news is they are locked in as the final text has all been printed in the DVD version, forwarded with the fest materials and sent off in the copyright package.

Good news is we already credited CreativeCOW.net in the Special Thanks.

Would that be close enough?

For the next job I'll name names!


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Greg Ondera
Re: H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly
on Nov 9, 2009 at 1:06:22 am

I just wanted to chime in about Compressor. I have been reading that Compressor is not the best encoder to use for H.264, but that Episode and Squeeze are better. In fact I am looking at some compared examples now in a PDF. I know it is a little off subject, but does this sound right to you experts out there?

Greg Ondera
http://www.Plexus.tv
http://www.SurgeonToday.org


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David Roth Weiss
Re: H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly
on Nov 9, 2009 at 5:14:40 am

I've created some pretty good looking h.264 files in Compressor. It's possible that the dedicated encoders you mentioned might possibly create lower bitrate h.264 files that look better than the lower bitrate files created with Compressor, but when making 5000kbps files from HD sources, Compressor does a pretty good job. However, that being said, the companies selling dedicated compression apps better be doing something right to get $300 to $600 out of FCP users who all have Compressor.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly
on Nov 9, 2009 at 5:01:17 am

[William Carr] "About that credit: bad news is they are locked"

No problem whatsoever, I'm just glad the screening will be as good as you wanted it to be. I'm sure the master and mistress Cows will be happy to see you've given the Cow a credit. Maybe more of us should do that?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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John Fishback
Re: H.264 Pretty, ProRes 422 Ugly
on Nov 10, 2009 at 4:21:47 pm

I've found that using Frame Controls in Compressor greatly affects the quality for the better, especially when re-scaling.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.5 QT7.5.5 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 2 (FCP 6.0.5, Comp 3.0.5, DVDSP 4.2.1, Color 1.0.3)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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