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DSLR footage - Master export to Pro Res or Pro Res HQ?

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Joe RiggsDSLR footage - Master export to Pro Res or Pro Res HQ?
by on May 6, 2015 at 11:57:06 pm

Working with DSLR footage, natively in premiere, doing all my color work there as well. I have an adjustment layer with 3-4 effects (various color/beauty filters) over the footage.

I am ready to make my master file, which I will then create an .mp4 from, should I export my master to HQ or regular Pro Res? Is there a noticeable quality difference with DSLR footage?

Also, would it be of higher quality to export an .mp4 directly from the timeline (using all the best settings in media encoder) vs creating it from the master file?

Thanks


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Shane RossRe: DSLR footage - Master export to Pro Res or Pro Res HQ?
by on May 7, 2015 at 4:48:53 pm

[Joe Riggs] "should I export my master to HQ or regular Pro Res?"

ProRes 422. ProRes HQ is meant for 10-bit source formats, DSLR isn't, it's 8 bit. The only thing you'll gain is file size.

[Joe Riggs] "Is there a noticeable quality difference with DSLR footage?"

There will be no noticeable, nor measureable difference. Again, the only thing gained will be a larger file.

[Joe Riggs] "Also, would it be of higher quality to export an .mp4 directly from the timeline (using all the best settings in media encoder) vs creating it from the master file?"

Yes...one less layer of compression. Now, a ProRes 422 file is a good master to have, if you archive a master. But if you want to just export a compressed deliverable from the sequence, that is the best way.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Mike JacksonRe: DSLR footage - Master export to Pro Res or Pro Res HQ?
by on May 7, 2015 at 7:19:06 pm

I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here and actually say the opposite from Shane: Do ProResHQ. What Shane says is absolutely true if all you're doing is transcoding your original footage... But depending on how much you did with your color / beauty filters, you might actually benefit from the '10-bit' export.

Now this assumes that you also toggle 'render at maximum depth', but it should significantly reduce any banding or artifacting that may be otherwise introduced by your filters.

In the end, it all comes down to how hard you pushed your footage. If you didn't do much, stick with the 8-bit pipeline and save the file space. On the other hand, hard drives are cheap. On the other other hand, if your final delivery format is .mp4, the added color fidelity of ProRes(HQ) is going to get lost again anyway.



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Shane RossRe: DSLR footage - Master export to Pro Res or Pro Res HQ?
by on May 7, 2015 at 7:40:37 pm

ProRes 422 and ProRes HQ are both 10 bit codecs. Neither is 8 bit. I said that ProRes 422 is fine if your SOURCE FOOTAGE is 8-bit. H.264, that the DSLRs shoot, is 8 bit. But something like the Alexa, the Red...external recorders that record ProRes or other 10-bit formats...that's what ProRes HQ is for.

Really...if you take H.264 and encode it to ProRes, and also to ProRes HQ...there is zero difference in quality.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Mike JacksonRe: DSLR footage - Master export to Pro Res or Pro Res HQ?
by on May 7, 2015 at 8:07:55 pm

I beg to differ (and I feel weird doing it - Long time reader of your posts here at the Cow, even if I don't post often). As soon as you start color-correcting and throwing effects on the footage, the aquisition codec becomes much less important. It becomes all about the color space in which the calculations are done, and the quality of the codec it's exported to.

Simple example - If I take an 8-bit image and then transcode it to an 8-bit, 10-bit or whatever format, the image will essentially stay the same.

If I add a severe gaussian blur and stay in a lower-quality pipeline, there will be banding in the image.

If I render in maximum color depth but export to a low quality codec, there will still be banding.

If I render in maximum color depth and export to DPX or ProRes444, there will be NO banding.

So it really all depends on how far he's pushing the image with his filters. If it's a lot, you ARE likely to see a difference between the results of the two codecs.



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