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Best render format for playing in a Cinema

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Alp TekyildizBest render format for playing in a Cinema
by on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:29:24 am

Hi everyone

I am working on an animation for a comercial which will be viewed in a cinema. My client will import my animation to Final Cut Pro and we're working in 1080p.

I usually render in Quick Time Animation codec, but the client was wondering if I shouldn't use an HD codec instead. In my experience, Animation has no noticable compression degradation, but obviously, I have never played these animations on a big screen.

Do you guys know what the most adequate codec would be ?

Thanks


Alp


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Best render format for playing in a Cinema
by on Oct 6, 2010 at 1:42:06 pm

Quicktime with the Animation codec is a lossless format. If they're importing your output into an NLE such as Final Cut, there is nothing wrong with going that way.
In fact, that's the recommended thing to do.
I don't know what an "HD Codec" is. If they mean something like H.264, they're being silly. If you were rendering the final output, that's one thing, but if they're planning to put it in Final Cut you want a lossless, intermediate codec like Animation and definitely not a compressed codec like that. You can also do Quicktime with a PNG codec for somewhat smaller file sizes that are still lossless and I think some people do ProRes, but I'm not a Final Cut person so I can't speak to that.

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Walter SoykaRe: Best render format for playing in a Cinema
by on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:34:31 pm

[Alp Tekyildiz] "I usually render in Quick Time Animation codec, but the client was wondering if I shouldn't use an HD codec instead. In my experience, Animation has no noticable compression degradation, but obviously, I have never played these animations on a big screen."

Like Michael said, Animation codec (at 100%) is lossless. I'd add that it's 8-bit only, so if you're working on a 10-bit project, you should use a format that supports the additional color depth.

[Alp Tekyildiz] "I am working on an animation for a comercial which will be viewed in a cinema. My client will import my animation to Final Cut Pro and we're working in 1080p."

What format is your client using in FCP? If they are using ProRes or Uncompressed and you provide Animation, FCP will need to render the clip. You can save them some time and aggravation if you deliver in their native editing codec.

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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Alp TekyildizRe: Best render format for playing in a Cinema
by on Oct 8, 2010 at 12:49:14 pm

Thanks for your replies, that's exactly the info I needed. I'll keep using the Animation codec since I have to upload the file on a server so keeping it smaller is best.

Thanks again

Alp


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Walter SoykaRe: Best render format for playing in a Cinema
by on Oct 8, 2010 at 1:06:21 pm

[Alp Tekyildiz] "I'll keep using the Animation codec since I have to upload the file on a server so keeping it smaller is best."

Unless you're dealing with large flat fields of color, Animation is incredibly inefficient. Try a Quicktime movie with PNG as the compressor as Michael suggested -- it's still lossless, but the compression is more efficient for most images and you'll get a drastically smaller file size.

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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