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RE-LINKING TO PRORES (or LT or HQ) FOR GRADING & HD EXPORT

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Michael Brown
RE-LINKING TO PRORES (or LT or HQ) FOR GRADING & HD EXPORT
on Jan 24, 2017 at 4:02:43 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have just finished a 1hr music doc using about 35 hrs of footage (x 3 to 7 cameras meaning maybe 150 hrs + all in all) on fcp7 and Yosemite on an iMac.

In order to work smoothly with a lot of multicam editing (frequently up to 9 angles), I transcoded all my footage to ProRes Proxy (1080p), and that was the right choice that my iMac and fp7 could handle quite well.

I did all my edits, transitions, effects, titles, basic! grading and subtitles on timelines in 1080p Proxy sequences, and now it's time to finetune grading and export to the best possible quality. My goal for the time being is an h.264 file (primarily for full HD Vimeo purposes), the 60 minutes not exceeding about 3.5 Gb.

My question is: should I transcode all my footage to ProRes HQ or LT or just plain ProRes (422?) first and then go through my grading, or will my grading results in Proxy be taken over satisfactorily in LT or HQ? And which of these formats will give me the best export results taking my source footage below into consideration?

2nd question: is there a simple and secure way to have only the footage used in a timeline or sequence automatically transcoded to newer high-def files and then re-link only specific sequences or timelines (for ex. using media manager?), or should I go manually using EditReady?

My source footage is about 1/2 AVCHD (various Sony cams > .mtx files), 1/4 .mov files from GoPro Hero 3 cams, the rest being either h.264 (from Panasonic) or ProRes 422 LT (Black Magics).

I'm sure I'll have more questions, but maybe someone would be kind enough to help me get this thread started.

Thanks and best from Hamburg!

Michael Brown


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Shane Ross
Re: RE-LINKING TO PRORES (or LT or HQ) FOR GRADING & HD EXPORT
on Jan 24, 2017 at 6:09:54 pm

[Michael Brown] "In order to work smoothly with a lot of multicam editing (frequently up to 9 angles), I transcoded all my footage to ProRes Proxy (1080p),"

HOW did you accomplish this? Log and Transfer? Compressor? Other third party app?

[Michael Brown] " should I transcode all my footage to ProRes HQ or LT or just plain ProRes (422?)"

Given that most of your footage was shot AVCHD and H.264, ProRes 422 and even LT would be fine for your purposes. Both are 10 bit. ProRes HQ is 10 bit as well, but when it comes to 8-bit sources, you get zero benefit over ProRes 422...only 50% larger file sizes. And you are delivering to the web, so LT or 422 will be fine. But you have some ProRes files there as well, from a Black Magic camera..but the source is LT...so going to 422 won't improve anything. Perhaps sticking to LT would be fine.

[Michael Brown] "first and then go through my grading, or will my grading results in Proxy be taken over satisfactorily in LT or HQ?"

If you grade in the timeline, and relink to ProRes 422 files, the effects should carry over and look fine, if not identical.

[Michael Brown] "2nd question: is there a simple and secure way to have only the footage used in a timeline or sequence automatically transcoded to newer high-def files and then re-link only specific sequences or timelines (for ex. using media manager?"

Yes...but ONLY if you used Log and Transfer within FCP. You'd media manage by using the MAKE OFFLINE option...with handles. And then batch capture. But if you converted with EditReady, or Compressor, or other outside of FCP app, then you'll need to convert the FULL files again, and reconnnect.

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


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Michael Brown
Re: RE-LINKING TO PRORES (or LT or HQ) FOR GRADING & HD EXPORT
on Jan 24, 2017 at 6:42:23 pm

Hi Shane,

Thanks for your quick reply 😉 I used EditReady for all the transcoding, as I find it the smoothest, most dependable and convenient app for that purpose. I always have such a battle with compressor, frankly. So yes, I get it, and I'll do it the long and hard way.

One last question: what if I'm expected to deliver a broadcast file for a European TV channel? Would you suggest I use LT and export in the best possible conversion, and what would that be? Would I end up with 30Gb file that no one can handle? Or do I need to re-encode and relink my footag yet again? I guess that'll depend on their requirements, but I can see it coming.

Best and many thanks again.

Michael

Michael Brown


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Shane Ross
Re: RE-LINKING TO PRORES (or LT or HQ) FOR GRADING & HD EXPORT
on Jan 24, 2017 at 7:02:04 pm

[Michael Brown] "Thanks for your quick reply 😉 I used EditReady for all the transcoding, as I find it the smoothest, most dependable and convenient app for that purpose"

If so, then you need to transcode to high resolution, and then make your proxies. Archive the high resolution as masters. The offline/online workflow isn't that simple if you use EditReady to encode offline, and then try to use it again to encode full res.

[Michael Brown] "One last question: what if I'm expected to deliver a broadcast file for a European TV channel? Would you suggest I use LT and export in the best possible conversion, and what would that be? "

That depends...what does their delivery spec call for? Some call for ProRes 422, some call for ProRes HQ. Personally, given that your footage is 8-bit, I'd transode to ProRes 422, to save space, and online with that. And if they call for a ProRes HQ master, just output ProRes HQ. There will be zero quality difference...but if I mastered to HQ, I'd have larger files with no gains.

[Michael Brown] "Would I end up with 30Gb file that no one can handle?"

No. They can handle it. I deliver 60GB to 148GB files to broadcasters, including international. ProRes HQ and ProRes 422.

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


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Michael Brown
Re: RE-LINKING TO PRORES (or LT or HQ) FOR GRADING & HD EXPORT
on Jan 26, 2017 at 5:35:58 pm

Shane, thanks, that's super helpful.

Now one more question, I hope not idiotic:

When, using EditReady, I export an MTS file to ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT and ProRes 422 Proxy, I get 3 files of drastically different sizes (using same frame size and frame-rate btw). The Proxy will weigh in at about twice the size of the MTS, the LT about 4 times that size, but the ProRes 422 at around 7 times.

There is this theory that putting a file into a larger container doesn't change the amount of information pertinent to that file, it only puts it into a larger container. What's-his-name-again (an editor in LA) used the example of pouring a glass of egg-nog into a pitcher, all you get is the same egg-nog in a larger container. Which means that my file isn't going to look any better by putting it into a larger container, right?


So why does the 422 weigh in at almost twice the size of the LT? Are the rest of all those bytes just the empty container space???

Thanks for the lesson 😉

best from Michael.

Michael Brown


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Shane Ross
Re: RE-LINKING TO PRORES (or LT or HQ) FOR GRADING & HD EXPORT
on Jan 26, 2017 at 6:12:44 pm

[Michael Brown] "There is this theory that putting a file into a larger container doesn't change the amount of information pertinent to that file, it only puts it into a larger container. "

Correct. But the larger container is easier for editing systems to work with...not as complex. FCP cannot edit AVCHD native, period. But apps that can, like Premiere, struggle because it takes a LOT of processor and GPU power to decode those on the fly. Which is why you convert to a more edit friendly codec.

[Michael Brown] "What's-his-name-again (an editor in LA) used the example of pouring a glass of egg-nog into a pitcher, all you get is the same egg-nog in a larger container. "

Michael Kammes...edit tech guru, but not an editor. But yes, I know him.

[Michael Brown] "Which means that my file isn't going to look any better by putting it into a larger container, right?"

Correct. But it will be easier to edit.

[Michael Brown] "So why does the 422 weigh in at almost twice the size of the LT? Are the rest of all those bytes just the empty container space???"

ProRes LT, 422, and HQ all have different purposes, work for different camera masters. LT is more compressed than 422, which is more compressed than HQ. All this really comes into play when working with higher end formats than AVCHD. For your purposes, converting to ProRes LT would be perfectly fine. And then edit LT, but then export HQ as that might be a requirement. Even though nothing is gained by doing that...clients want it. So you give it.

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


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