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gern blanstenWindows -> Mac codecs
by on Oct 6, 2012 at 5:20:43 pm

Hi--

I have a client who's having me create some animations for him in Flash, but the problem is finding a codec for him to use that looks good.

He's editing these animations in with live footage with Final Cut. He can't use h.264 (says it's looks jaggy) and uncompressed is too huge. He really wants DVCPRO HD, but of course QT on Windows doesn't support 192x1080.

I could buy the codec from Raylight, but that's more than I care to spend. I will if it's the only option, but hope someone has an alternative.

Any ideas?


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Windows -> Mac codecs
by on Oct 6, 2012 at 8:26:24 pm

Export an uncompressed format, and then use Adobe Media Encoder to compress to H264. It will come out better.
Also, you can use QuickTime to export a full HD .mov. Even if it does not show up in the presets you can always st the size (and other parameters) manually in Encoder.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Tero AhlforsRe: Windows -> Mac codecs
by on Oct 7, 2012 at 8:59:24 am

[gern blansten] "He really wants DVCPRO HD, but of course QT on Windows doesn't support 192x1080."

It's not a Windows issue. DVCPRO HD is specced at 1440x1080 anamorphic. It will look right when it's opened with in a program that know the correct pixel aspect ratio for the file.


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gern blanstenRe: Windows -> Mac codecs
by on Oct 7, 2012 at 3:22:58 pm

That's interesting. I understood this to not be the case, but it does make sense and definitely worth a try.

For the record, I'm exporting an uncompressed AVI from Flash and have tried all kinds of encoders to convert to QT -- everything, it seems, except Adobe standalone encoder. Makes me wonder if it's really any different from AE. When I do convert, I end up with a ~96mb file for 6 seconds. The AVI is 1.2gb.

Thanks for all the input. I'm going to ask my client to try the QT I created to see how it looks on that end.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Windows -> Mac codecs
by on Oct 7, 2012 at 5:32:47 pm

the DNxHD codec by Avid is extremely high-quality, it comes in both Mac and Win versions, and it's a FREE download. The next hurdle: sweet-talking the client in installing it on his machine.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tom DaigonRe: Windows -> Mac codecs
by on Oct 7, 2012 at 6:08:31 pm

David, the only drawback I find with DNxHD is that it requires the QT32server which acts as a bottleneck and slows things down when exporting.

For comparison I tried the OP1a MXF format (a broadcast standard in Europe based on Sony's XDCam) and it was TWICE as fast and just as clean as DNxHD.

I know its not an acceptable codec in the US , but it points out just just how efficient some newer codecs are that dont relie on QT.

Tom Daigon
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http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





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gern blanstenRe: Windows -> Mac codecs
by on Oct 7, 2012 at 11:00:18 pm

Wow..great information here. Thanks.

Bottom line is I need to give my client a clean video he can use in Final Cut Pro.

I'm not able to export a QT movie with h264 from Flash for a couple of reasons:

- Audio is seriously out of sync
- I'm told FCP doesn't work with h264; the video I give my client looks fine in QT, but jaggy in FCP

Because Flash has limited export options, I've been trying to export to an uncompressed AVI then encoding to h264. The audio syncs much better this way, but then I learned FCP doesn't like h264.

My client suggested DVCHD Pro because he's shooting with Panasonic HD cams that use this. I'm sure he could be convinced to use another codec for my animations as long as it's clean and free and works with Final Cut.


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Walter SoykaRe: Windows -> Mac codecs
by on Oct 8, 2012 at 1:08:34 pm

[gern blansten] "He's editing these animations in with live footage with Final Cut. He can't use h.264 (says it's looks jaggy) and uncompressed is too huge. He really wants DVCPRO HD, but of course QT on Windows doesn't support 192x1080."

As Tero mentioned, DVCPRO HD is a thin-raster format (anamorphic 1440x1080), so I think it's a pretty poor choice for graphics.

Ideally, your client is actually editing in a full-raster codec sequence (like ProRes). For these, you could export 1920x1080 MOVs with the Animation codec (lossless at 100%), PNG codec, or PhotoJPEG (quality slider allow syou to adjust the tradeoff between image fidelity and file size -- high 90s are pretty decent). These will all play well in FCP (though they will require a render).

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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