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Re: AMA vs Transcoding Reasons/Performance when using RAW video or AVI

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Richard Sanchez
Re: AMA vs Transcoding Reasons/Performance when using RAW video or AVI
on Dec 30, 2014 at 6:11:35 pm

Before Avid supported 4k, you'd export your project with a cut list that would go to your finishing house. In the film days, your cut list would refer to the negative so that it could be cut and a film print made. Nowadays, you're exporting an EDL that refers to the source video files. You can conform to 4k in DaVinci Resolve, Baselight, Quantel Pablo, whatever your finishing system was. That will be made to create your DCP. The Avid was meant to cut with offline media and then conform later. Even with 4k editing, it will be most practical in most cases to continue cutting at 1080p using DNxHD36 media and then conforming to 4k at the end.

Regarding transcoding versus working RAW, yes you're losing a generation and therefore you're losing some quality by transcoding. Since you mentioned MP4, that's a format that is already so compressed that you're probably not losing much more that wasn't already lost in the camera's compression itself. In the case of Alexa, now you can consolidate the ProRes444 directly into Avid so the footage is rewrapped but not transcoded. Again, if you need to finish in 1080p, even though DNxHD175x is a lossy codec, it's a very high quality codec and projects finish on it all the time. If you need to deliver 2k and above, you'll most likely be conforming in a system that can handle it. When you asked how do Hollywood editors edit at 4k, they don't (mostly). They'll cut at 1080, and then conform to 4K.

Also, just to nitpick, you mentioned RAW wasn't compressed, but it's very compressed. I believe most RED cams default to 8:1 compression and even at it's least compressed variant, is still 3:1.

Richard Sanchez
Los Angeles, CA

"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution." - Bill Hicks


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