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Premiere Pro render quality compared to FCP7/X, has anyone else done a comparison?

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Geert van den Berg
Premiere Pro render quality compared to FCP7/X, has anyone else done a comparison?
on Sep 4, 2011 at 3:49:54 pm

I've used the trial version and was almost convinced this is a suitable replacement for FCP, but I think the render quality of Premiere Pro isn't as good, or I am making a mistake in render settings. (I had maximum quality enabled and didn't use any preview renders). Unfortunately my trial period is over so I can't test this any further. Or is it the trial which outputs limited quality?

I've tried this specifically with the IMX codec, since that is what most of our deliverables consist of. Put something in the timeline, render and then put it in a new timeline and render. Try this a couple of generations. I already see really bad artifacts at the 3rd generation. In FCP I can do 10 generations and not see artifacts, the color information offcourse will get less and less. But even that seems to keep up better in FCP. With ProRes the problems seem less, because it's a much better codec, but the output of Premiere is still not as good as FCP.

Our company adapts foreign language series and movies to Dutch. So most of our video work is titling and creating new deliverables. After the title sequence I want to pass the rest of program untouched. FCP is able to re-wrap video if the video is just straight cuts and the output codec matches the material in the timeline. It just copies those parts to the new file if you choose not to re-render all frames.

This might not be a problem for someone that edits a commercial, a TV show or a feature, as the material in the timeline is probably the original footage and then the output is just one generation, but for us this isn't useful and that's a pity because I think the titling capabilities of Premiere are awesome. I know Adobe representatives are reading this forum so I hope they take note of this.

Ingesting uncompressed is not an option for us with the amount of content that we process. Also our current workflow is working fine, because we ingest with the deliverables in mind.


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ben g unguren
Re: Premiere Pro render quality compared to FCP7/X, has anyone else done a comparison?
on Sep 4, 2011 at 4:54:47 pm

This has come up a few times recently -- probably because of FCP users migrating to Premiere. When you are doing the test with FCP do you recompress all frames? Because (as you pointed out) PPro does that every time. In PPro did you try using Adobe Media Encoder instead of PPro for export? (Maybe that isn't possible with the trial version.)

I think this is a good test that you're suggesting, and I'd like to give it a try sometime. I use both FCP and PPro CS5 regularly, but I may not be able to run a test until the end of the week.

However it turns out, I think FCP wins the export game with its ability to simply rewrap existing video files. But PPro has a lot going for it in other areas....

An alternative is to use PPro to redo the title sequence, and then use Quicktime Pro to patch the rest of the movie, unaltered, to the PPro export. You'd lose some quality at the beginning, but after that, no loss.

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing
http://www.mostlydocumentary.com


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Tom Daigon
Re: Premiere Pro render quality compared to FCP7/X, has anyone else done a comparison?
on Sep 4, 2011 at 5:09:40 pm

Ive rendered out master files of FCP and out of PrP and they are both great looking spots. Ive tried using Prores as the Preview choice (as opposed to MPEG I frame) and used the Preview files for export. Images just as good.
FYI exporting out of PrP and sending the export to AMEs render Queue uses the same processing path. With Export you tie up PrP and with render Queue PrP is released. This was stated by an Adobe rep.(Todd). Im sticking with Prores as my mastering codec.

Tom Daigon
Avid DS / PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com
Mac Pro 3,1
8 core
10.6.8
Nvidia Quadro 4000
24 gigs ram
Maxx Digita / Areca 8tb. raid


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Premiere Pro render quality compared to FCP7/X, has anyone else done a comparison?
on Sep 4, 2011 at 5:30:30 pm

As a matter of convenience, when I'm doing distribution files which differ greatly from my master, I'll output my 1080p "master" from Premiere (via AME), and then queue up my distribution files for the client in AME (I often send out, for a particular client, 640 x 360, and 320 x 180 files for the web, in H.264, as well as .f4v formats, plus a file encoded for the client's Blackberry as well).

I find that by getting my one master done, I can then manage the encoding process better in AME, because I can look at the queue, and keep track of which formats I've got ready to go - then I hit the "go" button just once, and my deliverables are done.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Tom Daigon
Re: Premiere Pro render quality compared to FCP7/X, has anyone else done a comparison?
on Sep 4, 2011 at 5:42:14 pm

I use the same work flow, Joe.

I was just responding to the previous posters quirey about the comparative imagery output quality of FCP vs. PrP.

Tom Daigon
Avid DS / PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com
Mac Pro 3,1
8 core
10.6.8
Nvidia Quadro 4000
24 gigs ram
Maxx Digita / Areca 8tb. raid


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Geert van den Berg
Re: Premiere Pro render quality compared to FCP7/X, has anyone else done a comparison?
on Sep 4, 2011 at 7:47:13 pm

Do the test Tom, and then report back. Just looking at one render doesn't tell anything. Offcourse I do hope someone can prove me wrong or point out I used a wrong setting, because I really like Premiere.

Layer the files on top in FCP and then look at the difference, switch between them and look at the details in the picture and maybe also try the difference composite mode.

When rendering to Quicktime using the same codec (IMX), I'd expect both applications to perform the same, but it appears that is not the case.

Actually I thought my render settings were changed, as Premiere appears to remember the last render setting, but sometimes it does not. But I did the test twice. Once on my MacBook Pro, which has also FCPX installed, so I thought it might be some updated Quicktime codec causing problems. But I also tried it on the Mac at the company, which still has an older version of the IMX codec installed, the same result.

And offcourse you can never beat re-wrapping, as it's 1:1. But I did render in FCP. See my other post here http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/14635


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Tom Daigon
Re: Premiere Pro render quality compared to FCP7/X, has anyone else done a comparison?
on Sep 4, 2011 at 9:01:01 pm

Sorry Geert, FCP is a mere memory for me. Ive made the switch and am happy with the results. Im not familiar with IMX but Prores has been a thing of beauty both with FCP and now with PrP. I was concerned when issues like gamma changes plagued working with FCP and AE. But now that I dynamically link right out of PrP to AE, that issue is gone. Good luck with your resolving this situation to your satisfaction.

Tom Daigon
Avid DS / PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com
Mac Pro 3,1
8 core
10.6.8
Nvidia Quadro 4000
24 gigs ram
Maxx Digita / Areca 8tb. raid


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Geert van den Berg
Re: Premiere Pro render quality compared to FCP7/X, has anyone else done a comparison?
on Sep 4, 2011 at 7:34:17 pm

I've thought of combining in Quicktime Pro, I could even script that, but it would still be quite a workaround and then I could just as easy combine the parts in FCP.

Actually I've also thought about exporting with an alpha-layer and compositing in Final Cut Pro, but that is also a workaround.

So I think I'll stick with FCP and just use Photoshop for the static titles. We have been using Motion when it has to get flashy, but it's a bit unstable. So I hope to replace that with After Effects.

But please also do the render test. I hope someone can prove me wrong!


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