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Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...

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Duke SwedenTranscoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 4, 2016 at 12:53:17 am

I just tried transcoding my .MOV files (h264) to the Dnx etc. codec and then working on them and PPro flies a lot smoother now. By doing this am I losing anything from the original .MOV file? With my lousy eyesight I can't see it myself, it looked pretty darn good, but then again I'm working with green screen so there's not a lot of detail to be lost.

Bottom line question, am I deteriorating the file by transcoding from h264 to DnxHD before working on it and finally exporting as h264 later?


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David Roth WeissRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 4, 2016 at 2:13:49 am

There are numerous "flavors" of the DNX codec Duke, and to answer your question you'll have to tell us which one you're transcoding to, otherwise we'd be quessing.

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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Duke SwedenRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 4, 2016 at 2:46:03 am

It's the one that's included in Premiere Pro cc 2015. DNxHR/DNxHD MXF OP1A

I did some research and found an article that mentions that it's common practice, doesn't degrade the file, and makes editing a bit smoother. It doesn't suggest at all that it will uncompress h264, I'm not saying that. Again, I'm a simple man trying to make things easier for myself.

Is that enough information for you regarding the codec?


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David Roth WeissRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 4, 2016 at 3:59:37 am
Last Edited By David Roth Weiss on May 4, 2016 at 4:02:05 am

It sounds fine Duke, though I'm not familiar with that version of the DNX codec - typically, you will see a number associated with the DNX codecs, such DNX 135, 185, 225, etc. But the odds are you'll be just fine transcoding to the one you mentioned.

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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Dave LaRondeRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 4, 2016 at 4:23:12 am

Like David sez, you'll be OK using it. But unless you were having problems in the first place with H.264, I don't think there's an overpowering reason to transcode. With PP, ultimate image quality has a lot to do with your sequence settings.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Duke SwedenRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 4, 2016 at 11:27:40 am

Thanks, guys. You can't always believe what you read on the internet so I appreciate you confirming what I had read.

David, like I said, it's a codec that came with Premiere Pro. Since I never used it before I don't know how long it's been included.

Dave, you're probably not aware of my situation, but I'm just an amateur, I don't have a workstation, I use a consumer PC. I had read where h264 makes Premiere Pro work harder because of its compression so I looked into transcoding to an uncompressed codec to make timeline scrubbing and real time playback a bit smoother. I'm sure the setups you guys use, h264 is nothing. Anyway, that's why I asked.

Thanks again!


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Oliver PetersRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 4, 2016 at 1:53:22 pm

Actually H264 is a PITA to edit with on all systems. There can be very high quality flavors of H264, but if you are talking about a native camera file, then pretty much every version of DNX will be higher quality. As a general rule, if you convert a lower quality compressed file (more highly compressed) into a higher quality compressed file (less compression) then you won't see any quality loss.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Duke SwedenRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 4, 2016 at 2:09:42 pm

Yeah, I know. I spend more time trying to find the least expensive way around h264 than I've spent trying to find a workstation. But that's a valuable piece of info you gave me about transcoding to a better codec NOT degrading the file.

Again, as I always do, I extend my heartfelt thanks to all of you professionals who take the time to answer the questions of people like myself.


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David Roth WeissRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 4, 2016 at 3:36:13 pm

Trust me Duke, I'm very well aware of your epic adventure in hardware acquisition. Transcoding to a hi-oetfirmance editing codec such as DNX will be very helpful to you. As Oliver wrote, editing h.264 is not easy on any computer, so you'll notice a huge improvement in your editing experience with DNX. Plus, if you export a DNX master at the end of the edit you'll have a superior master to archive for future editing or repurposing at a later time.

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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Duke SwedenRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 4, 2016 at 3:55:21 pm

No, not you, David, I meant Dave LaRonde. I knew there was gonna be trouble commenting to two different guys name Dave ;-)


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Alex UdellRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 5, 2016 at 12:09:15 pm

Hi Duke...


you guys might correct me....




H264 does compression across groups of frames. That's why the file size is significantly smaller. But it takes the computer more effort to display those frames, because it has to read across the groups to do the reconstruction for display.

DNX flavors only do compression within each given frame.
Every frame exists as a frame and it takes the computer less horsepower to display.

The file size in DNX is reduced enough to make it easy on the drives to sustain the reading of the file...and easy enough for the CPU to send it to the display....

ProRes (for mac) would work in much the same way, for the exact same reason.

All these things are "lossy" compression.....meaning data is discarded when you transcode....but it's negligible for your purposes.


hth,

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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Oliver PetersRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 5, 2016 at 12:19:46 pm

In this case "lossy" is relative. DNX and ProRes are lossy relative to an uncompressed source. I don't think you can really consider them lossy when the source is already significantly more compressed than the target.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Duke SwedenRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 5, 2016 at 1:31:50 pm

I've only just started transcoding to DNxHD from h264. To my eyes, which are very bad, I see no degradation, no banding, etc. In fact if I open the transcoded file in the program monitor and the original .MOV file in the source monitor I see absolutely no difference. There's a big difference, however, in how smoothly the file plays when scrubbing the timeline, or just letting it play while I tweak it, so this is a godsend for me, since it's become obvious to me that a $700.00 workstation is no better, and in most cases much worse, than a consumer PC, and I don't have the money, or the need, for a $2,000.00 workstation.


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David Roth WeissRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 5, 2016 at 4:56:03 pm

Duke,

Don't let Alex's discussion of "lossy" compression upset that newbie head of yours... it's a technical term, not one that describes a visually apparent loss of quality. And, your eyes are just fine, there is no monitor at any cost that would be good enough to show you the difference between your camera original and that material transcoded to ProRes. The only way a trained engineer can tell the difference between the two is to use a "difference keyer," which can be used to show a visual representation of the pixels that are different between a frame of the original and the same frame of the transcoded version, i.e. these differences bring the lost pixels. Trust me, in your case it would be just a few green and blue pixels that would never reveal themselves to you in your moving video.

And, until you replace the video card in your new machine with a newer and GPU, your new computer will not reveal its power to you. In the day when your machine was built Cuda processing was not built-in to NLE software yet, and the cheap powerful GPU cards we have today simply did not exist. A Quadro 6000 card, would have cost you $6800 in those days, while today you can buy more powerful cards for $600.

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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Alex UdellRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 5, 2016 at 3:18:24 pm

I hear you Oliver....

like I said....it is Lossy....but negligible....

ProRes and DNX I don't think use a logic that can see that the input is already compressed....

the software host is just handing them an array of data.

they MIGHT be smart enough to see that if the input is matching codec, then it wouldn't recompress and pass it thru....but if it's a different codec...not sure how'd they do that....

again...no visible degradation in a single pass....

but I'm not an engineer....I just play one on TV....

:)

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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Duke SwedenRe: Transcoding to DnxHD blah blah blah...
by on May 5, 2016 at 5:17:03 pm

Starsky & Hutch, season 3, right!?! ;-)

Don't worry, I'm not that much of a noob. I've heard the word lossy before. But I appreciate you worrying about my mental well being :-)

Like I said, right now PPro is behaving wonderfully with my new workflow, but I know these things are relative and it won't be long before even this seems laggy to me. My only complaint is I have to play the timeline at 1/4 resolution which makes it look like crap, hard to discern if the changes I'm making look good. But even the two z800's froze up when I tried to play at full resolution, so...


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