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Using ProRes4444 when I don't need an alpha channel

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Seth Marshall
Using ProRes4444 when I don't need an alpha channel
on Apr 11, 2013 at 1:51:35 pm

I would like to keep high fidelity in my image sequences from Canon 5DmkII raw files. ProRes4444 with 4:4:4 would retain the most color data but I never use transparency and wouldn't need an alpha channel.

I do not know how ProRes compresses, but if my alpha channel doesn't change would the file size be as if it was only saving RGB data and not alpha channel? Or would my files be bloated with data from an unchanging alpha channel?

I am needing a codec for archival. Otherwise I could use ProResHQ but its only 4:2:2.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Using ProRes4444 when I don't need an alpha channel
on Apr 11, 2013 at 3:20:21 pm

[Seth Marshall] "I do not know how ProRes compresses, but if my alpha channel doesn't change would the file size be as if it was only saving RGB data and not alpha channel? Or would my files be bloated with data from an unchanging alpha channel?"

I have read elsewhere that the ProRes 4444 alpha channel uses lossless compression. A movie with full alpha shouldn't be wasting much space on the fourth channel.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
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Seth Marshall
Re: Using ProRes4444 when I don't need an alpha channel
on Apr 11, 2013 at 4:32:00 pm

Thanks Walter! I guess if there's any compression, even if lossless, hopefully the algorithm would take into account situations where the alpha isn't needed and compress that channel entirely (like a losslessly compressed audio file for an empty sound track).

Otherwise if it's tied into the RGB channels it may eat up bandwidth. But I'm not an engineer, just overly concerned about file size.


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