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Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?

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Esther Casas
Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 20, 2012 at 6:57:27 pm

Hello everybody!

I've been going through several forums regarding what is the best output module for a film that will be screened on festivals, so it will be viewed in a huge size screen and it might be broadcasted on TV.

I was told that AppleProRes 422 is my best choice. I am exporting the QT in After Effects into Final Cut for editing, and in FC I am going to set it up as AppleProRes422, but I was told that AppleProRes422(HQ)is overkill.
The film is 2K size, why is it an overkill then? I assume there will not be a difference on image quality then?

I really need to make sure what is the best setting to project a 2K film in high definition on theatrical screenings...
thank you all!


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 20, 2012 at 7:35:04 pm

The only difference you might see is in fast moving shots (fastish pans, or sporting scenes, chase scenes). Use HQ for those sorts of projects.

Other than less noise in fast movement, you'd not see a difference between HQ and plain old 422. LT is even appropriate for many jobs. it's still a broadcast quality codec.

Jerry


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Shane Ross
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 20, 2012 at 7:48:59 pm

HQ is overkill for anything under 2K. You are working with 2K...so it is perfect.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Esther Casas
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 20, 2012 at 7:54:19 pm

thanks Shane!


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Rafael Amador
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:11:16 am

[Shane Ross] "HQ is overkill for anything under 2K. You are working with 2K.."
Shane,
You can can consider that a codec "overkill" for what ever reason, but never because the frame size.
If Prores HQ is the optimal option for capturing DigiBeta, why should be "overkill" for 720 or 1080?
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:28:09 am

HQ is meant for 10 bit source formats. Digibeta...well, isn't, but I consider it so. Or is it? Sorry, haven't dealt with SD in a while.

ANYWAY...I use ProRes 422 for 720 or 1080 8-bit formats...like AVCHD, DVCPRO HD, H.264 from DSLR, HDV, XDCAM. But 10 bit formats, like AVCIntra, RED, Alexa, HDCAM SR...I use HQ. I assume that 2K is a 100bit format...I'm not aware of a 2K 8-bit format. NOt that it might not exist, but I don't know of one. I assume it is 10-bit, so HQ is fine.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rafael Amador
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:41:31 am

You see Shane, that sounds different.

Considering ProresHQ for converting 10b source is acceptable. Probably there is nothing to win using it instead of PR422.
But saying that "should be used only for 2K" means that shouldn't be used to convert smaller 10b formats like DigiBeta (yes is 10b compressed) or the PANASONIC AVC-Intra (1080/720).

[Shane Ross] " I assume that 2K is a 100bit format...I'm not aware of a 2K 8-bit format."
The new JVC records Quad-4K with AVCHD (8b/420). Sure will come more big size formats recording very compressed 8b.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 21, 2012 at 6:38:31 am

Digibeta 10bit compressed????? It was 8 bit lossless for all the years I used it, the only 10bit part was the SDI connections.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:35:18 am

[Andrew Rendell] "Digibeta 10bit compressed????? It was 8 bit lossless for all the years I used it, the only 10bit part was the SDI connections."

So, up to the SONY papers you have been all those years managing 10b compressed stuff thinking that was 8b.

Look in page 31 . VTR Section > General > Quantization : 10b/sample
http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/pdf/sony_dvw_camcorders.pdf

More info here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betacam

I've never used it (that was for millionaires), but I know that Apple released the 10b Uncompressed codec to deal with this format.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 21, 2012 at 9:42:11 pm

I might point out that I'm in PAL land and things are different in PAL compared to NTSC. This is a scan from Sony's old technical manual for the DVW-A500P:



The move to 10 bit is more recent than my changing to hardly ever touching tape any more, in the '90s I don't recall anything being originated in 10 bit so the 10 bit signal going down the 270mbps SDI connection was always upconverted from 8 bit.


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Alex Elkins
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 21, 2012 at 1:10:22 pm

Hi Esther,

What nobody has asked is what your original shooting format was. Or is this all animation from After Effects?

For a 2K festival projection there's definitely plenty of cause to be using (at least) ProRes422 HQ, but then there's nothing to be gained if this was shot on a little DSLR camera for instance - it's horses for courses. You're working at 2K so I'm guessing it's either all animation, or shot on either Alexa or Red. In any of those cases, ProRes 422 HQ or ProRes 4444 are appropriate mastering formats. In terms of delivering to festivals, you need to check with them what they want. Some of the bigger ones will want a DCP, some may even want 35mm. Most will probably request HDCAM.

Alex Elkins
Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.postblue.tv
Post Blue showreel
Latest work: Greyhounds in Motion at 500fps
My Vimeo Pro page


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Russell Lasson
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:50:24 pm

I'm with Alex. What's the original format of the source?

If it's a digital cinema camera (Alexa, RED, etc) then I go with mastering to ProRes 4444 or ProRes HQ.

If the source is a camera that uses a more compressed codec (DSLR, XDCAM, etc) I generally use ProRes SQ.

That said, I'm not sure I know of anyone that would watch your film at a festival and say, "Boy, you should have used ProRes HQ!"

So questions you should answer are:

1. What was the acquisition codec?
2. What was the post production codec and workflow?
3. How with the festival show your film? Just because you have it at 2K doesn't mean that they can screen it at 2K. They might only have 1080P equipment. And if you give them ProRes, they might even just make a Bluray or something for the festival.

Russ

Russell Lasson
Colorist/Digital Cinema Specialist
Color Mill
Salt Lake City, UT
http://www.colormill.net


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Rafael Amador
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 22, 2012 at 3:01:06 am

Andrew,
That is nothing related to PAL or NTSC.
By 1994/5 we have all the AD converters 10b-YUV in PAL land. That was already the broadcast standard for A/D conversion. 8b A/D was not Broadcast.

Here is the full paper of that desk. Scroll to the last page:
http://www.thameside.tv/product_PDFs/DVW-A500P.pdf

As you can see : Video/Audio performance > Digital Video > Quantization: 10b/Sample.

That the desk had a substandard 8b ANALOGUE COMPONENTS to DIGITAL (for direct BetacamSP input), doesn't means that the Digital Betacam format is not 10b/YUV, and the tapes recorded in camera or in the desk when properly feed (SDI) are not 10b.
Probably SONY was selling apart an optional proper 10b board for Components analoge.
The paper mention an optional COMPOSITE to DIGITAL board, but don't even mention the bit depth.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on Sep 22, 2012 at 9:59:57 am

[Rafael Amador] "By 1994/5 we have all the AD converters 10b-YUV in PAL land. That was already the broadcast standard for A/D conversion. 8b A/D was not Broadcast."

Well, you might have done, WE didn't. OTOH I was mainly cutting sport fast-turnaround for auntie at the time and we used whatever we were given. Broadcast spec where I was working in the '90s was "D1", i.e., 8 bit as specified in ITU-R Rec 601, black on 16, white on 235, etc (we might have been using 10 bit signals but IMO they weren't really 10 bit video until the picture sources became 10 bit origination and that was later).

Really IABMCTT and rather ancient history now anyway (it's well over a decade since I moved to non-linear workstations).

:-)


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Oscar Gotti
Re: Is Apple ProRes 422 the best choice for a HD film?
on May 30, 2014 at 4:12:29 pm

"You're working at 2K so I'm guessing it's either all animation, or shot on either Alexa or Red. In any of those cases, ProRes 422 HQ or ProRes 4444 are appropriate mastering formats."

Seems to be a lot of confusion on here.

The following sizes are considered 2K:

2048 × 1080
2048 × 858
1998 × 1080
1920 × 1080
2048 × 1152
2560 × 1440
2560 × 1600

Notice the inclusion of 1920 x 1080, RED and ALEXAs are not the only camera's to shoot that format, my Canon 600d shoots 1080p...


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