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Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question

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William Carr
Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 19, 2013 at 5:36:32 am

I've read past COW posts and answers, but I still need a little more glimmer of understanding about at what point I should to be working ProRes HQ vs. ProRes standard.

The original multitudinous camera clips are 8-bit 1080 23.98 mp4 and will all be converted to a ProRes format prior to edit. The project is straight documentary, but with some dramatic dissolves, and occasional selective focus and vignette effects. We'll do simple color correct as we go, but wait until a locked fine cut before grading.

I know the 8-bit original images are what they are, but will HQ make a difference in terms of banding with dissolves to/from black or white color solids? With blurs and gradations in vignette outer areas? For simple but important color correction like improving tungsten / daylight balances decently enough so the client does not worry?

We'll go the extra distance in conversion time and sequence rendering if the HQ work space would confirm, as we move forward, which shots work best for the above needs.


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Steve Eisen
Re: Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 19, 2013 at 5:43:34 am

Making your clips HQ will not improve your video. Just file size.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Creative Pro Users Group


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William Carr
Re: Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 19, 2013 at 4:36:51 pm

I know the original clips will see no improvement to their quality, they are what they are. Here I'm asking whether new elements that I layer with those clips will render cleaner in an HQ workspace-- a slow fade to a black or white color solid will often create banding, as might a blurred area within the frame. I mean elements or changes that are generated on the sequence and mixed with the clips.

That goes for color correction as well- does adjusting the values on an HQ sequence yield different results than a standard PR sequence?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 19, 2013 at 5:10:18 pm

[William Carr] "...I'm asking whether new elements that I layer with those clips will render cleaner in an HQ workspace..."

They will not.

ProRes 422 is a fine codec. The images look just as good as those in HQ. Both codecs are 10-bit, which is a good thing. 422 can withstand at least 6 generations of re-rendering with NO degradation of the image, and Shane Ross reports 10 generations.

Think about how many generations deep you would re-render your stuff. If you even approach 4 generations, you're into one serious project.

Multiple and many, MANY generations of re-rendering would be the only reason I can think of to use ProREs HQ. Otherwise, good ol' ProRes 422 is just fine.

Now, if you happen to need transparency, you'll want ProRes 4444. But be judicious in its use, because the file sizes are bigger than even HQ.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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William Carr
Re: Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 19, 2013 at 5:25:01 pm

Thanks, Dave, very clear. But tell me what you mean by "transparency". Is that related to whether or not I'll get banding during fades and dissolves, which is a real concern here. The films will be projected and banding is downright nasty.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 19, 2013 at 10:11:38 pm

Transparency is for things like animated lower-third supers: you know, animated text over an animated, partially see-through background at the bottom of the screen.

If you don't do that kind of work, You don't even have to bother with ProRes 4444.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Joseph Owens
Re: Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 20, 2013 at 12:01:32 am

[William Carr] "what you mean by "transparency"."

ProRes 4444 supports an alpha channel. It is a much much bigger file, and "enjoys" the distinction of being able to contain either Y'CbCr or RGBA coded media.

But the difference between ProRes 422 and ProRes422HQ is quite small; negligible quality benefits especially when you are pushing a much lower bandwidth codec into it. Its just a bigger bus, same number of travellers. More empty seats.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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William Carr
Re: Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 20, 2013 at 1:11:38 am

Sounds like I will have no gain from the higher PR formats so will stick with Standard. We will face the music that the banding issues in post are simply the pitfalls of 8-bit acquisition.

Thanks everybody for the thorough replies!


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John Pale
Re: Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 20, 2013 at 3:34:52 pm

Joseph could probably expand on this better...but you also have to consider your monitoring setup.

Is your monitor introducing or exacerbating the banding?...unless you have a 10 bit panel how can you be sure?


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William Carr
Re: Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 20, 2013 at 4:33:16 pm

Banding, 10 bit, monitoring: John that's a great question.

The initial edit was for web and I monitored on an external 1080 LED LG via HDMI. The banding was apparent within the Canvas window (not a true indicator, I know) and also the external, and also when uploaded to Vimeo and watched on various computers.

So somewhere in the workflow I need to know if there is "truly" banding going on and deal with it before a final eyeball sees it on line or projected. The final most critical iterations of the project will be projected on a 2K system at a fest.


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Brian Cooney
Re: Another ProRes Standard vs. HQ Question
on Dec 20, 2013 at 5:08:47 pm

probably the best analogy I've ever heard on anything! sweet.

Telly Award Winning Editor, Motion Gfx Artist, Colorist
MotionFoundry, Inc. Post: Verizon, GM, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, L'Oreal, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota


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