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HD codec choice

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Andy Taplin
HD codec choice
on Jun 11, 2009 at 4:29:55 pm

Hi All

Anyone have an opinion as to the best codec for acquisition and editing within M100 including rendering in After Effects?

I guess the main choices are:

Panasonic10-bit 422 AVC-Intra

Sony XDCAM MPEG2

Apple Prores 422

With a modest bit rate of say 35 Mbit/s which is going to hold up best and give the least headaches with regard to post workflows, processor demands etc?

What about shooting say AVC intra (I like the idea of shooting onto SD cards) and posting with Media 100HD or Prores?

Thanks





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Fermin Branger
Re: HD codec choice
on Jun 11, 2009 at 6:01:08 pm

Hi Andy,
AVC-INTRA is far the best, but Media100 didn't say nothing about it supporting plans. Matt told me that the only way (at this moment) is using a 3rd party app to transcode.

If you have a very big and very fast storage, you can transcode it using Media100 10 bit codec, to ingest and render in Media100, and render with NONE compressor in AE (and then import to media100 using Media100 10 bit again to preserve quality and black levels).

If you haven't, I recommend you to work using ProRes(HQ)

Fermin Branger
ALFARERIA CINEMATOGRAFICA
Caracas, Venezuela.


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Floh Peters
Re: HD codec choice
on Jun 12, 2009 at 6:36:39 am

For editing, we switched most of our work to ProRes over the last years. Only doing uncompressed projects rarely if we feel that we need the absolutely highest quality possible.

Regarding acquisition, it really depends on which cameras and systems fit your needs. Most of the tapeless stuff (except P2 DVCProHD, which is more or less end of life) needs to be transcoded first for editing. I personally would look into the XDCamHD or XDCam EX lines, but it really depends on what your preferences are in cameras, and what your workflow e.g. regarding memory card handling will be.



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Andy Taplin
Re: HD codec choice
on Jun 12, 2009 at 8:46:54 am

Thanks both

It would be great if M100 supported AVC INTRA at some point - it seems to be getting good press and Panasonic cameras are getting better all the time. As for XDCAM or EX: nice camera choice but I'm not keen on mpeg2 and all the transcoding so I might consider one of those new-fangled AJA Ki PRO things and shoot ProRes.


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Fermin Branger
Re: HD codec choice
on Jun 12, 2009 at 6:34:40 pm

Hi Andy, I agree with Floh about that it depend on your needs, and with you about MPEG2 and all that thing (Long gop, 35Mb, etc..).

In my case, I look for the better quality possible because we make features and a lot of "video to film" projects; but working with losseless quality in ProRess maybe the best for the most common cases for traditional projects.

The AJA Ki PRO is wonderful but you will have to take more suitcases with you, and all the matters asociated to that kind of workflow on the set. Again, it depends on your needs and applications.

We're buying a Varicam 3700 and a HPX-300 to get all the advantages of the ACV-INTRA, and we plan to automatically transcode using RAYLIGHT for Mac, to get the better quality and preserve the speed in the set.

Fermin Branger
ALFARERIA CINEMATOGRAFICA
Caracas, Venezuela.


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Andy Taplin
Re: HD codec choice
on Jun 15, 2009 at 8:10:14 am

Thanks Fermin

I'm thinking of the HPX 300 as well, seems like a lot of camera for the money with a great codec. RED Scarlet is also a possibility but that's another story...

Andy


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Fermin Branger
Re: HD codec choice
on Jun 15, 2009 at 4:16:30 pm

Great decission, The HPX-300 is amazing, it's available, and the AVC-INTRA codec is very friendly to our post tools, in spite of M100's silence about it.

RED products seems to be the best, but they are composed into a "marketing buble" appearing great features and specifications that cames from common sensors and processors that, in the real world, means big disvantages because of all re-sizing, pixel shifting, and RAW archival, that makes innessesarily big and heavy clips to your workflow. Is like you were using a big wooden box to carry a tray of sushi.

I hope that M100 has supported AVC-INTRA codec soon, because it will rocks all pro, post & master world for the next 10 years (AVC-INTRA-2 will work in 4:4:4), and M100 can't be out of that.

Fermin Branger
ALFARERIA CINEMATOGRAFICA
Caracas, Venezuela.


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Jim Wilcox
Re: HD codec choice
on Jun 15, 2009 at 6:58:03 pm

Fermin,

Curious how you are working with AVC-I footage at this point. We have an HPX2000 with the AVC-I board and its a real pain to get the stuff working in Media 100. Have to transcode it to Prores in final cut and then run everything thru compressor to make files 59.94 (since AVC-I only shoots native rates in 720p).

If I am missing something I'd love to hear...


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Fermin Branger
Re: HD codec choice
on Jun 16, 2009 at 12:17:02 am

Hi Jim, I did tests with the HPX-300 (1080P23.98, 1080P59,94 and 1080i29.97) using FC, MAKER (DVFILM) and Media 100 HDe to perform different media to transfer it to 35mm. I've transcoded to uncompress-10 bit, NONE and DPX, but I didn't made any test with 720 media nor long edits.
We did it in our Mac Pro Quad Core / 12 Gb RAM / LHe

You will be able to edit directly from your AVC-INTRA MXF files on your FC timeline very soon (without transcoding), using Raylight MXFX 2.0 from DVFILM (Marcus van Bavel). Unless Apple finally releases
FC7 in their FCS3.

I've done a lot of questions about the Media100's AVC-INTRA native supporting plans to Matt C., Rich D'A, Dave C., and Wick, but the only answer that I've get about it were on April 17, when Matt finally toldme: " We do not support the AVC-Intra codec natively. You would need a 3rd party application to transcode this." ...As you see, nothing about the near or far future.

I've been editing with Media100 since 15 years ago and I love it. I know how fast they have putted M100 up again, and I hope that AVC-INTRA take part of this M100 new era.

Fermin Branger
ALFARERIA CINEMATOGRAFICA
Caracas, Venezuela.


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