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Processing h264 footage vs. ProRes footage

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Asaf Billet
Processing h264 footage vs. ProRes footage
on Aug 8, 2010 at 5:11:06 pm

I'm working on a project - video only, very little effects. I just applied some color correction and put it in the oven.
The video is QT h264 1920X1080 files, shot on Canon 7D, straight from the cannon's barrel.
The render, for 4 min. video took about 40 minutes on a Mac Pro.

During the dark, cold hours (or minutes) of watching the render bar fills, I was thinking -
does AE take more time processing h264 files, opposed to working on ProRes ones ?

Now I know you *should* always convert your footage to "working" format, but sometimes times are short, plus I really enjoyed editing on Premiere the native files. Go tapeless !

cheers

<== BilletHQ | Creative that Goes to 11 ==>
http://www.billethq.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Processing h264 footage vs. ProRes footage
on Aug 8, 2010 at 5:26:31 pm

[Asaf Billet] "During the dark, cold hours (or minutes) of watching the render bar fills, I was thinking - does AE take more time processing h264 files, opposed to working on ProRes ones ?"

AE must decode any incoming video in order to use it, and h264 is particularly resource-intensive to decode. In particular, h264 uses interframe compression (meaning some frames rely on data stored in other frames), so the computer must often access and effectively decode multiple frames of video in order to retrieve a single particular frame.

You have to decode the video sometime; I prefer to do it upfront so it doesn't slow me down as I work.

Also, unless you are using CS5, you should stay away from interframe-compressed media, including h264 -- it can cause unpredictable results in your renders.

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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