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Codec for the intermediate export

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Gytis Tumas
Codec for the intermediate export
on Mar 22, 2012 at 12:00:30 pm

I have to transfer a clip back and forth from Adobe Premiere to After Effects, e.g. stabilizing footage in AE, then exporting it, importing into Premiere for other modifications, exporting, bringing back to AE, etc.

What is the best codec for an intermediate export of a clip in such cases? Exporting with Quicktime Animation codec produces perfect quality but huge files that are later hard to work with for my not-state-of-art laptop. However I noticed that with the H.264 codec the quality degrades quite a lot after several encodings (even when using a high value for mbps).

I am not striving for the perfection, what encoding would you recommend for a good quality/size trade-off when a video clip is encoded several times?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Codec for the intermediate export
on Mar 22, 2012 at 3:49:03 pm

If you're using intermediate files, I'd really try to minimize the amount of back and forth between apps. Unless you're using lossless compression (like Animation), each generation will cost you some quality.

I like ProRes or CineForm for high-quality lossy intermediates. You could probably get away with multiple generations in either of these codecs.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Walter Soyka
Re: Codec for the intermediate export
on Mar 23, 2012 at 5:51:47 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I like ProRes or CineForm for high-quality lossy intermediates. You could probably get away with multiple generations in either of these codecs."

I also like DNxHD quite a bit.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Gytis Tumas
Re: Codec for the intermediate export
on Mar 27, 2012 at 9:21:53 am

Since ProRes 422 is for Apple users only (I am on a Windows 7 machine) and CineForm is a proprietary codec, DNxHD was the way to go! Thanks!


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Kevin Camin
Re: Codec for the intermediate export
on Mar 23, 2012 at 3:18:38 pm

I 2nd Walter's suggestion of ProRes. Yesterday I rendered out a 2-minute HD video in Animation and ProRes422. They were 12.5 Gb and 1.6 Gb respectively. ProRes comes in several flavors, and I think ProRes422 would be good enough to go back to Final Cut with, or I might use ProRes422(HQ) to just be on the same side (HQ=high quality).

Best regards,

Kevin Camin


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