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Ryan Winters
lossless compression in FCP 7
on Jun 18, 2013 at 4:58:24 am

I’m trying to develop a workflow in FCP using lossless compression for HD. Apple’s Uncompressed 8-bit offering is OK, but I’d like to get the size down. The TIFF codec used to serve this need, but under OS 10.6, it’s no longer available. SheerVideo/BitJazz seems out of business.

Are there other options besides the PNG codec which is painfully too slow?


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Shane Ross
Re: lossless compression in FCP 7
on Jun 18, 2013 at 5:40:39 am

ProRes. That's a full 10-bit quality HD format that doesn't have uncompressed size, but has uncompressed quality. You cannot have "lossless" quality without HUGE file sizes. You can have "smartly compressed" media that is very high quality. ProRes is that. Just like DNxHD is for Avid. Cineform, now owned by GoPro, is another option.

The use of Uncompressed formats really isn't done anymore...the file sizes are too large. JPEG 2000 is a high quality delivery format, mainly for theatrical release, but requires a special system to play back.

How and who are you delivering to? What do they want/need/require?

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


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Ryan Winters
Re: lossless compression in FCP 7
on Jun 20, 2013 at 12:07:19 am

I work with a file-based workflow. I don't have the resources to house all the decks that people use. My ingest is just to copy files over from a transfer drive.

Again, I'm looking for a non-destructive lossless workflow (after acquiring clips onto local drives) primarily centered around FCP and preserving quality exactly. I'm looking for a codec like Apple's Uncompressed codec, but with lossless compression.

I can't understand why the Final Cut world still accepts softening and gradient errors now that storage has hit rock bottom prices and lossless is a simple switch to crisper video. Professional AVID editors can easily deal with lossless video as the norm these days.

That's all that I'm interested in. Compression downstream is something I can't stop, but I can present clean images to the encoder(s).

I also roundtrip a lot between the various graphics packages as my secondary motivator. I don't like artificially limiting the I/O cycles in the name of preventing generational errors when using ProRes or (to a lesser extent) JPEG. ProRes reacts like analog BetaSP at 7 generations. I would much rather use one quicktime format for everything, than a mix of TIF-sequences and lossy codecs.


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Richard Drewes
Re: lossless compression in FCP 7
on Jul 11, 2013 at 5:23:54 pm

"Again, I'm looking for a non-destructive lossless workflow (after acquiring clips onto local drives) primarily centered around FCP and preserving quality exactly. I'm looking for a codec like Apple's Uncompressed codec, but with lossless compression."

This is exactly my need. Did you find any more good ideas here, Ryan?

Rich


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Ryan Winters
Re: lossless compression in FCP 7
on Jul 12, 2013 at 7:58:22 pm

I lost access to the TIFF codec. Apple disabled it from installation.

To enable it I had to go to Applications>Utilities>Terminal, then type or copy/paste:
qtdefaults write LegacyCodecsEnabled yes

-AJA sales figured this out in http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/98/877912

This returns pristine lossless compression with 2:1 size reduction.


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Andrew Rendell
Re: lossless compression in FCP 7
on Jun 19, 2013 at 8:39:16 pm

Lossless and getting the size down are fundamentally incompatible aims. It's only possible to reduce the data stream of a full quality video signal by about a half before you have to accept losses to go any further.

However, there are widely used codecs that are very clever at being a bit lossy without looking bad.... Shane has covered those above.


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