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What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?

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Susan Dempster
What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 10, 2017 at 4:17:20 pm

I have 4800x2700 R3D epic files to send to a freelance colorist. I initially requested graded files as ProRes 4444 because my client usually requests ProRes. Unfortunately, the colorist cannot export ProRres codecs. Trying to determine the next best thing that would allow me to still make some edits and to also deliver a final ProRes to the client...
And this is where I get confused...
I have read several threads discussing the topic of the raw colorspace, most of which is over my head completely, and some seem to imply I might be better off going with Uncompressed 10 bit 4:2:2 files... but won't I be significantly reducing the color information and limiting myself to a Prores422 (HQ) final output? I really want to deliver the best quality I can, which I thought was Prores 4444, but now I'm not so sure. Any advice?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 10, 2017 at 4:32:54 pm

DNX is supported on both Macs and PCs, and the various flavors of DNX are essentially equal in quality to the various favors of ProRes.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Michael Gissing
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 10, 2017 at 10:27:38 pm

[Susan Dempster] "..some seem to imply I might be better off going with Uncompressed 10 bit 4:2:2 files... but won't I be significantly reducing the color information and limiting myself to a Prores422 (HQ) final output? I really want to deliver the best quality I can, which I thought was Prores 4444, but now I'm not so sure"

Not sure why you need to deliver Prores4444 unless the deliverable requires an alpha channel. Delivery files for most needs do not need the extended color space unless further image manipulation is required. DNx has variants with 444 space if required but getting graded files to edit without further need to manipulate color doesn't need a 444 codec. As a test you should get some 444 and 422 codecs and intercut and see if you can see any difference.


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Susan Dempster
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:16:19 pm

Thank you, David and Michael!

It looks like we have 2 options:
1. Resolve "DNxHR 444" transcoded to ProRes4444
2. Resolve "Uncompressed RGB 10 bit" transcoded to ProRes422(HQ)

I know that DNxHR is considered a lossy codec - but I'm not really sure if Uncompressed 10 bit would be less so?
Regardless, if there is little visual difference between ProRes 422 (HQ) and ProRes 4444, and we don't need an alpha channel, would #2 be a better workflow in general?

Thank you so much - I greatly appreciate your time and your advice!


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Michael Gissing
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 12, 2017 at 7:51:25 am

I wouldn't do a transcode from DNx to ProRes. Just cut the DNx.


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Susan Dempster
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 12, 2017 at 2:06:34 pm

The client requested a ProRes codec, so I have to transcode to ProRes for delivery....


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 12, 2017 at 5:51:49 pm

you might have to transcode to prores for delivery, but that doesn't mean you have to transcode to prores for the edit.

Transcode the footage to DNX, cut your piece, once its signed off on, either uprez back to camera original and color and output to Prores, or color the dnx and output to prores.

There is absolutely no need to do a double transcode before you start editing.

Glenn


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Susan Dempster
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 13, 2017 at 7:50:04 pm

the piece is edited and I'm in a rush to get it off to grading - the only change that I may end up making is removing one shot before I send the final to the client. Since we are under time contraints, I figured it makes the most sense to go ahead and have it graded - especially since the client has asked for ProRes files and my colorist can't produce ProRes on their system, so I know I have to transcode to final delivery anyway. I dont' know if I have explained that well, but hopefully it makes sense.
I am most curious to find out if it's better to go DNX from Resolve and transcode to Prores4444 or Uncompressed 10 bit from Resolve and transcode to Prores422HQ, as a general workflow rule. Curious if you still think I should go the DNX route and why that would be better than uncompressed?
TIA!


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Michael Gissing
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 12, 2017 at 11:41:30 pm

If you can edit DNx then output a ProRes final for delivery that will save a lot of extra transcoding of rushes, effectively double transcoding everything.


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Susan Dempster
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 13, 2017 at 7:52:07 pm

Michael, Why would DNX to Prores 4444 be better than Uncompressed to Prores 422 HQ (unless I have an alpha channel which I don't)?
I'm sorry if i'm being slow in understanding what you are proposing...


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Michael Gissing
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 14, 2017 at 5:57:44 am

I don't think you need the 444 codecs if you are bringing graded files back in to a final timeline to transcode to ProRes. Personally I use Unc 10bit 422 and render a ProRes on another machine but for really long projects an Uncompressed file is huge. For feature length docos I use DNx220 as the master file and also make a ProRes for some deliverables from that. I never bother with a 444 codec as in my experience ProRes4444 sometimes has gamma shifts depending on the NLE it goes back into.


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 14, 2017 at 5:18:51 pm

if the piece is already edited, and about to go to grading, then you might want to consider linking back to the R3ds.
Talk to the colorist and see what they want.

Yes uncompressed is a great quality option, but not knowing the scope of the project you are working on, it may be overkill. That is why a lot of us are simply saying work in a high quality DNX.

The client wants a prores master...fine. There is a great chance they want that because that is what they always ask for. There isn't really an advantage to having it in Prores for the most part, but if thats what they want, fine. That still doesn't mean you need to turn everything into ProRes first.

If the colorist is fine working with highres DNX, then let them. If his box can handle R3d's, then let him.

Your original post said you were looking for a working codec for editing, so i think we are all a bit confused that the project is already edited. Personally if it has been edited at high res DNX and has to go off to color, you have two choices...go to R3d or leave it as is. Turning your DNX into uncompressed isn't going to do anything, but waste space. You don't gain anything in that workflow. Same thing if your DNX is 422...going to 444 isn't going to gain anything, unless you go back to R3ds first...in which case, i would again send that off to the colorist, and let him work natively.

If the colorist can't create prores, and it has to come back through you, he would either send you a DNX file that matches his orignal codec (not sure what that is) or if he has worked in R3d, then NOW he could create as high res a master as you want...again, depending on the scope of the project and what is needed.

Is this going to a theatre, a broadcaster, or a youtube channel. Those are considerations as well.

Glenn


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Susan Dempster
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 17, 2017 at 5:37:54 pm

Sorry I wasn't more clear in my initial post. The colorist has the R3Ds to work from.
The piece may have a clip or two removed before sending to the client, but no major editing will take place after grading, and since we are on a tight-ish deadline, it made sense to go ahead and send the project to the colorist before I heard back regarding those couple clips being removed.

So basically, I'm just trying to see if it would be better to:

A) grade from R3D > Uncompressed 10 Bit > Proress 422 (HQ)
or
B) grade from R3D > DNX > Proress 4444

I have to follow one of the above workflows, and I just need to know which is a better way to preserve color data and clip integrity throughout the process. If ProRes 4444 is mainly just for use with an alpha channel, I'll go the Uncompressed 10 bit > Prores 422 (HQ) route, but I was under the impression that ProRes 4444 contains more color information, so I was initially leaning toward that workflow for that reason.

Thanks again for your time and patience!


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 18, 2017 at 3:07:20 pm

Is uncompressed better...yes. Is it necessary...again depends on your final delivery

The one thing you might find going PC to mac, and DNX to prores is a gamma shift.
Uncompressed will probably help with this...but at a cost in file size.

If you do some testing on bars from the colourist, and can get everyone's settings correct the I would do one of the following.

If you want a 422 master then I would go r3d to DNA 175x to prores 422.

If you want a 444 master I would go r3d to Dnx444 to prores 444.

Test the file workflow...scope the bars from the colourist and make sure you see what he saw....then you can avoid uncompressed.

Nobody will ever look at your final Prores output and say "it doesn't look like you used an uncompressed intermediate"

Glenn


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Susan Dempster
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 18, 2017 at 9:16:35 pm

Thanks so much, this is exactly what I wanted to find out.

Best,
Susan


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Marc Wielage
Re: What codec from R3D files in resolve to give me a good working codec for editing?
on Jan 20, 2017 at 3:58:23 am

[Glenn Sakatch] "Nobody will ever look at your final Prores output and say "it doesn't look like you used an uncompressed intermediate""
Unless they baked in a permanent color correction and/or used an 8-bit format.


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