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ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?

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Jim Murphy
ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 6:37:16 pm

So I'm capturing some HDV (1440x1080, 60i) footage. Should I capture in the HDV 1080/60i setting or should I use Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) setting? Which is better?

I have hours of footage where the camera starts and stops quite a bit and was hoping that the HDV 1080/60i setting was no worse than the ProRes setting as when you use the ProRes capture setting it creates a new clip for each time the camera stops (unless there's a way to stop this). If the capture quality is significantly better using ProRes then I will deal with the multiple clips.

Lastly, if I do use the HDV 1080/60 setting for my captures, should I also set my Sequences to HDV 1080/60 or would it be better to set the Sequences to Prores?

Any feedback would be appreciated!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 6:53:51 pm

[Jim Murphy] "Should I capture in the HDV 1080/60i setting or should I use Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) setting?"

Neither of the above. Regular old ProRes 422 -- the non-HQ version -- is ideal for you. HQ gives you precisely zero additional image quality. HQ files are significantly bigger, and if large file size is your goal, you should pursue it.



[Jim Murphy] "Which is better?"

Hands-down it's ProRes 422. The reason: the image quality holds up when re-rendered, and HDV does not. HDV is very lossy and should only be considered as an acquisition codec. Since you don't reveal your normal workflow, I'm coming down on the side of preserving image quality.



[Jim Murphy] "if I do use the HDV 1080/60 setting for my captures, should I also set my Sequences to HDV 1080/60 or would it be better to set the Sequences to Prores?"

ProRes. The reason: any necessary rendering of the timeline is done the timeline's codec, and ProRes is far better for that based on the reasons above.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jim Murphy
Re: ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 7:17:51 pm

Ok... so I can capture in the native format (HDV 1080/60i) but once I get it into my Sequence, conform the footage to the ProRes setting in the Sequence. Correct?


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Chris Tompkins
Re: ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 7:59:32 pm

NO.

Capture it straight to Prores.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Dave LaRonde
Re: ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 7:59:42 pm

I heartily agree with Chris: capture to ProRes.

You CAN put the HDV in a ProRes 422 sequence, but ask yourself this first: are you willing to roll the dice with image quality?

It's your call.......

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jim Murphy
Re: ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 8:06:25 pm

So the last question is... if I capture straight to Prores,is there a way to avoid FC making separate clips each time the camera starts and stops during the capture process??


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Dave LaRonde
Re: ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 8:47:00 pm

I'm sure it's in the Log & Capture settings if you really want to do that. Play with it & see.

Personally, I LIKE it when FCP gives me separate clips. I can sort by time code so everything's in chronological order, and it's easy to week out bad takes, bad shots, etc.: it saves a ton of storage. I also get to decide if I want to keep two equally-good takes.

Try that if you capture one big, long, cumbersome clip. You'd need to use Media Manager. And you'd lose those just-as-good takes unless you toss them into a timeline you made just for the purpose.

Eventually, you'll have no choice in the matter, anyway: card-based footage always comes in as individual shots during Log & Transfer. You might as well get used to it.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jim Murphy
Re: ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 18, 2012 at 8:52:11 pm

I've gotten used to editing with longer clips so in a way I'm resisting change. heheheh. However your point is well taken as I am starting to receive HD jobs now so I may as well start getting used to the multiple clips. Thanks for all of your help!!


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Andrew Kimery
Re: ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 19, 2012 at 1:10:13 am

Doing the HDV to ProRes capture, IIRC, only gives you Capture Now functionality, strips out the original TC, and gives you 1440x1080 ProRes files. I only mention the last part because in the past I've had odd issues with'thin raster' ProRes files (which were fixed be re-exporting that offending clips at full raster then cutting them back into the timeline). I didn't do extensive testing, so maybe it was just dumb luck, but I got the feeling that ProRes is 'expected' to be full raster and it was the thin raster that was the source of my problems.

I've done the HDV or XDCAM EX in a ProRes sequence workflow on dozens of TV shows w/o problems of note that I can remember. I feel like it's getting the best of both worlds.

Just another opinion to think about.


-Andrew

2.9 GHz 8-core (4,1), FCP 7.0.3, 10.6.6
Blackmagic Multibridge Eclipse (7.9.5)



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Michael Gissing
Re: ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 19, 2012 at 2:23:57 am

The loss of timecode is a biggie as it breaks any path back to your camera originals. I have done probably 50 docos that were shot and captured as HDV. Cut as HDV and then sent to Color where the grades are returned as ProRes422 1920 x 1080. The image quality is fabulous. There is no gain in quality capturing as ProRes with this workflow.

The downside is if you have a busy complicated timeline with lots of graphics, HDV is a total pain as is editing in a 1440 x 1080 timeline as all the distort values have to be changed on graphics elements when the show is onlined from the grade. Some people have reported that a ProRes sequence is more stable editing HDV with mixed footage & graphics. This will make you render more but will crash less. So your decision is partial based on how big and complex your project is going to be and also if you have a reasonably speced system.

If you have a grunty MacPro then HDV is not a problem but on an older system or underpowered laptop you may struggle with big projects. Most of the dissing of long gop codecs is frankly based on a lack of real world experience. I have done a lot of projects this way and my problems with HDV do not mirror the gloom and doom prophets that say long gop is always a problem. Thin raster is actually more of an issue but not a biggie.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: ProRes 422 or HDV 1080/60i?
on Apr 19, 2012 at 10:36:00 pm

The only way to capture HDV to ProRes is to 'Capture Now', which is not always ideal if TC is important to you.
Option # 2 it to capture HDV and convert using Compressor. It works, but is time consuming.
Option # 3 is to capture HDV, and change your render setting to ProRes. I often find this is the best solution for me since I'm using a JVC camera with a relatively short GOP which doesn't eat up a lot of resources like the Sony 15 frame GOP does. You can always bake and re-import any clips that will need a lot of filters, etc. And you can always work in a ProRes sequence too, if you like. The best idea is to try each workflow with your set-up on a small amount of material and see what works best for you.
On the make a new clip on TC break issue, it doesn't matter. HDV will always make a new clip if there is a TC or GOP break, even if you have FCP set to ignore camera start/stop. This is due to the GOP structure. One missing frame equals 6 (in JVC) or 15 (in Sony) missing frames, since they are interdependent. There is no way to ignore that many missing frames.
As someone said earlier in the thread, ProRes HQ is overkill, and gives you little in return. There are a few workflows that might benefit from it if you were doing extensive compositing , but for 99% of what most are doing, regular ProRes is fine.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair

Where were you on 6/21?


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