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Exporting ProRes 422 Timeline for Disc Authoring

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Jason Teets
Exporting ProRes 422 Timeline for Disc Authoring
on Sep 7, 2010 at 11:19:31 pm

Hello everyone,

I'm a wedding videographer who just finished editing my first HD wedding. I shot all footage with the Panasonic HMC150 at 1080/60i and imported the AVCHD files into Compressor. I then transcoded these into ProRes 422 for use in the FCP timeline. Editing was easy enough on the quad-core iMac... no huge delays in rendering. My finished HD wedding video is a whopping 2 hours and 30 minutes long. Huge.

Anyways, I'd now like to do two things.

1. Burn the project to a dual layer BluRay (for maximum quality)
2. Burn the project to a dual layer DVD (for maximum playability, for those that don't own BluRays yet)


Here is the primary question: What is the optimum export option for the ProRes timeline for task 1, and then for task 2?

I recently tried exporting the project as a H.264 Quicktime MOV. I was happy with the quality, but the finished file was 63 Gigs in size! Huge! Too big even for a dual layer BluRay. Obviously that isn't going to work for me.

So, again, what export option would work for each task I've presented?

I've read that perhaps the best thing to do - if your computer has the space - is to export the FCP timeline in the same codec it was imported as, so in this case, ProRes 422, and then import that file into Compressor for downgrading into whatever various formats I'd prefer. Is this the best approach? To export from FCP in a high quality with low compression, and then use Compressor on that file? Or is it best to export right from FCP into the file I'd like to author to Blu Ray (task 1) or DVD (task 2)?

Furthermore, if exporting from FCP in a high quality (and then importing to Compressor) IS the way to go, why use the original codec (ProRes 422 in this case) when you could actually use the option of NONE for compression (again assuming you have the space). I'm so codec'd out right now, it's insane. What's the best option for a tradeoff in great quality, but less than 50 gig file size? And is there any way to get an estimate of what a certain codec would do to your file before wasting many many hours exporting, only to find that the recently exported file won't work for what you're doing. In other words, how to I stop wasting time?

I know these are a ton of questions, but look at it this way: I should only need to hear all of this once.

Thanks to anyone that responds!

Jason Teets


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Andy George
Re: Exporting ProRes 422 Timeline for Disc Authoring
on Sep 8, 2010 at 2:03:46 am

I've read that perhaps the best thing to do - if your computer has the space - is to export the FCP timeline in the same codec it was imported

This is the best approach. It's kind of a right tool for the right job thing. Compressor is good at....Compressing. And the multiprocessor settings will save you a ton of time.



Furthermore, if exporting from FCP in a high quality (and then importing to Compressor) IS the way to go, why use the original codec (ProRes 422 in this case) when you could actually use the option of NONE

You won't gain anything in image quality going from a lossless compression scheme (PR422) to no compression. It will just add file size. This is a rarely used option.

What's the best option for a tradeoff in great quality, but less than 50 gig file size?
Lossless files are big, but if your shooting for optimal quality its best to keep everything lossless until the final compression. Fortunately hard drive are cheap :)

And is there any way to get an estimate of what a certain codec would do to your file before wasting many many hours exporting,

If you keep the codec the same as your sequence the export should be relatively quick. Then let compressor do the hard work.

-Andy George
Senior Editor
http://www.chiselindustries.com


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