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Codec for rendering

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John PilgrimCodec for rendering
by on Sep 30, 2009 at 12:10:11 am

We're setting up a VFX pipeline for a microbudget feature shot on the Sony EX1 (1080p24). We have picture lock in FCP and will be color grading in Apple Color and finishing to ProRes.
We are recruiting artists to work on some of the relatively few VFX shots in the film.
On the Mac side, the artists are likely to have FCP installed on their machines and thus access to the ProRes codecs for rendering from AFX.
My question regards the Win side, since ProRes is not available as an encode codec for Windows.
What are some low/no cost codecs on the Win side to render to that we will be able to open on the mac side for grading and finishing.
I'd love to use Cineform but it's not in the budget.
Animation is an RGB codec that Apple Color detests. Shots delivered in Animation would have to be reencoded to ProResHQ before grading.
What are your good ideas?

Thanks in advance,

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Steve RobertsRe: Codec for rendering
by on Sep 30, 2009 at 2:53:56 am

Have you posted on the Color forum to see what Color would tolerate from a Windows box?

(since Color seems to be the gatekeeper here)

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John PilgrimRe: Codec for rendering
by on Sep 30, 2009 at 5:11:27 am

I am a Color operator and Color doesn't like Animation, that's for sure. I do not believe it will take _any_ non-QuickTime formats other than DPX and some other image sequences.
I guess I should clarify my original question: what modern, high-def capable, high quality, intraframe, YUV codecs do Windows AFX artists like? I'll even remove the constraint that they be free or low cost.

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Brendan CootsRe: Codec for rendering
by on Sep 30, 2009 at 5:49:13 am

It's not free ($179 for single licenses, $120 for 2+), but you may want to look into the Sheer Codec. This is a proven codec used on The Simpsons and other high profile projects.

If you want to avoid buying codecs, you may want to consider using image sequences such as TGA or even TIFF, although I'm not sure how well Color handles LZW or other lossless image schemes.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

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Steve RobertsRe: Codec for rendering
by on Sep 30, 2009 at 11:47:34 am

When I was on Windows, I rendered to TGA, Animation, and Photo-JPEG. Many recommend PNG.

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