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Author Topic: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???  (Read 2616 times)

cayenne

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Hi all,

I'm finding out that for some reason, using the 5D3, with ALL-I raw footage in FCPX.....you cannot successfully do the XML roundtrip with Davinci Resolve Lite anymore.

The work around for this, I heard, was to have FCPX create the 'optimized media' which transcodes your footage into ProRes.

I was looking around and found that ProRes is a LOSSY format....so, I'm losing information to do this??
I hear about people using ProRes all the time, are people not freaking out about going to all the trouble to take good HD footage, and then start degrading it when they begin to edit it??

Is there a lossless intermediate codec people work with, preferably one that works in FCPX?

I mean, I don't use mp3's on my home stereo, I rip my stuff to flac, to keep the fidelity there....I'd assume this would be even MORE important for video???

Where am I missing something here?

TIA,

cayenne

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Midphase

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 10:14:33 PM »
First of all, if superior image quality and a workflow that makes sense are top priorities for you...you probably shouldn't be using FCP X.

On a less snarky note...Pro Res is lossless but very robust and if you go up to Pro Res HQ or Pro Res 4444, the difference between that and uncompressed is negligible.

Eventually you'll want to master in a more robust and industry standardized format like Pro Res anyway, many commercial releases are mastered to Pro Res 4444 before being sent to Blu Ray duplication.

So yes, you're suffering a wee bit of data degradation, but IMHO it's nothing that you're bound to notice, the ALL-I codec in the 5D is much harsher on your data than Pro Res...which is why many people including myself are waiting for the new firmware update so that we can use a higher quality external recorder.

cayenne

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 11:03:08 AM »
First of all, if superior image quality and a workflow that makes sense are top priorities for you...you probably shouldn't be using FCP X.

On a less snarky note...Pro Res is lossless but very robust and if you go up to Pro Res HQ or Pro Res 4444, the difference between that and uncompressed is negligible.

Eventually you'll want to master in a more robust and industry standardized format like Pro Res anyway, many commercial releases are mastered to Pro Res 4444 before being sent to Blu Ray duplication.

So yes, you're suffering a wee bit of data degradation, but IMHO it's nothing that you're bound to notice, the ALL-I codec in the 5D is much harsher on your data than Pro Res...which is why many people including myself are waiting for the new firmware update so that we can use a higher quality external recorder.

Hmm...I'm a bit confused, you're saying ProRes is lossless (as in no loss of information), but on wikipedia it says it is a lossy format.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ProRes_422

So, I'm confused....doesn't make sense to me that you would want to use lossy formats before your final putput. I mean with stills, you stay with and edit with RAW to have the best possible information, and only when your finished you output in a lessor format (jpeg usualy).

I'm surprised to hear that the use of what appears to be a lossy format, ProRes is used for editing before output. Or, is wiki pedia wrong on this one and ProRes is really lossless?

Thanks in advance!!!

cayenne

Rofflesaurrr

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 11:49:40 AM »
While you can have an entirely uncompressed workflow, it's not ideal for most scenarios. You would use either the Quicktime Uncompressed or Animation codec, and footage would require about 10GB/minute of storage space. Your disk system will also have to sustain about 150MB/sec transfer rate, which means RAID 0 or SSD. The 5D's ALL-I codec isn't a RAW or uncompressed format to begin, so there isn't much reason to have an uncompressed workflow. If you were using REDCODE RAW or ARRIRAW, then yes. Transcoding to ProRes 422 would be ideal (ALL-I is only 4:2:0). Hope this helps.

Axilrod

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 12:57:50 PM »
Hmm...I'm a bit confused, you're saying ProRes is lossless (as in no loss of information), but on wikipedia it says it is a lossy format.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ProRes_422

So, I'm confused....doesn't make sense to me that you would want to use lossy formats before your final putput. I mean with stills, you stay with and edit with RAW to have the best possible information, and only when your finished you output in a lessor format (jpeg usualy).

I'm surprised to hear that the use of what appears to be a lossy format, ProRes is used for editing before output. Or, is wiki pedia wrong on this one and ProRes is really lossless?

Thanks in advance!!!

cayenne

Prores is a standard for editing and there won't be any perceivable differences in quality.  Your thought process is a little overkill for DSLR footage, it's 8-bit 4:2:0 H.264, it's lossy by nature and can't really get any worse to start with.  More or less a lot of the stuff you are reading just doesn't apply to DSLR's since they aren't actual video cameras.

Also, if you're shooting in ALL-I, you don't need to optimize media.  The whole point of shooting in ALL-I is that it's already optimized for editing, it's not about better image quality at all.  I've seen lots of test results and pretty much all of them found that IPB looked equal or better to ALL-I. I shot ALL-I on one shoot and never did again and haven't ever had the desire to again. 

Trust me I've tried every different conversion/workflow possible with DSLR footage to squeeze the most image quality out of it as possible, and there is nothing that will make you say "wow that's a big difference, I'm sticking with that!"  If you want to take advantage of the stuff you're talking about you need to get a real video camera. 

More or less, if you were to shoot in ALL-I and do all these conversions, and then were to shoot the same thing in IPB and just pull the H.264 files into FCPX and not convert anything, then export, you probably wouldn't be able to see a difference in the resulting files at all.  Now if your movies were getting projected on a 100 inch screen or if it was for broadcast or something it may be worth doing all that stuff, but if it's just for the web it wont make the slightest bit of difference. 

All of this round tripping and using Resolve and stuff is just way overkill for DSLR stuff, you should be able to do everything you need to within FCPX.  DSLR footage is compressed from the getgo and you can only do a minimal amount of color correction before the image starts to degrade, and that threshold is way below FCPX's capabilities so going to resolve is unnecessary.  It's like going to After Effects to make a simple 2D plain white piece of text, you can do that in FCPX much faster and just as well so why complicate things?  Simplify your workflow and only try to branch out when you are absolutely sure what you are trying to accomplish cannot be done within your NLE. 

I've edited almost 400 music videos in the last couple of years and aside from using After Effects here and there I never once went outside of FCPX for color correction.  If you want to expand FCPX color controls get Magic Bullet Looks, but throwing Resolve into the mix is just complicating things.  Now if you had a Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera that was shooting 12-Bit 4:2:2 RAW, then yes, it would be worth using Resolve, but not for 8-Bit 4:2:0 compressed footage.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 01:17:00 PM by Axilrod »
5DIII/5DII/Bunch of L's and ZE's, currently rearranging.

cayenne

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 01:34:31 PM »
Hmm...I'm a bit confused, you're saying ProRes is lossless (as in no loss of information), but on wikipedia it says it is a lossy format.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ProRes_422

So, I'm confused....doesn't make sense to me that you would want to use lossy formats before your final putput. I mean with stills, you stay with and edit with RAW to have the best possible information, and only when your finished you output in a lessor format (jpeg usualy).

I'm surprised to hear that the use of what appears to be a lossy format, ProRes is used for editing before output. Or, is wiki pedia wrong on this one and ProRes is really lossless?

Thanks in advance!!!

cayenne

Prores is a standard for editing and there won't be any perceivable differences in quality.  Your thought process is a little overkill for DSLR footage, it's 8-bit 4:2:0 H.264, it's lossy by nature and can't really get any worse to start with.  More or less a lot of the stuff you are reading just doesn't apply to DSLR's since they aren't actual video cameras.

Also, if you're shooting in ALL-I, you don't need to optimize media.  The whole point of shooting in ALL-I is that it's already optimized for editing, it's not about better image quality at all.  I've seen lots of test results and pretty much all of them found that IPB looked equal or better to ALL-I. I shot ALL-I on one shoot and never did again and haven't ever had the desire to again. 

Trust me I've tried every different conversion/workflow possible with DSLR footage to squeeze the most image quality out of it as possible, and there is nothing that will make you say "wow that's a big difference, I'm sticking with that!"  If you want to take advantage of the stuff you're talking about you need to get a real video camera. 

More or less, if you were to shoot in ALL-I and do all these conversions, and then were to shoot the same thing in IPB and just pull the H.264 files into FCPX and not convert anything, then export, you probably wouldn't be able to see a difference in the resulting files at all.  Now if your movies were getting projected on a 100 inch screen or if it was for broadcast or something it may be worth doing all that stuff, but if it's just for the web it wont make the slightest bit of difference. 

All of this round tripping and using Resolve and stuff is just way overkill for DSLR stuff, you should be able to do everything you need to within FCPX.  DSLR footage is compressed from the getgo and you can only do a minimal amount of color correction before the image starts to degrade, and that threshold is way below FCPX's capabilities so going to resolve is unnecessary.  It's like going to After Effects to make a simple 2D plain white piece of text, you can do that in FCPX much faster and just as well so why complicate things?  Simplify your workflow and only try to branch out when you are absolutely sure what you are trying to accomplish cannot be done within your NLE. 

I've edited almost 400 music videos in the last couple of years and aside from using After Effects here and there I never once went outside of FCPX for color correction.  If you want to expand FCPX color controls get Magic Bullet Looks, but throwing Resolve into the mix is just complicating things.  Now if you had a Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera that was shooting 12-Bit 4:2:2 RAW, then yes, it would be worth using Resolve, but not for 8-Bit 4:2:0 compressed footage.

Thanks for the input..as always, sage suggestions and information.

The Resolve thing is two fold....one, I want to learn it. And two, I find the controls for color correction MUCH more intuitive than using the little slider things in FCPX. The notion of Resolve's nodal system is much easier for me to get a feel for, the tracking and all for masking is vastly superior and easier for me to use  to make up for some many mistakes I've made in shooting (it really helped on some over exposed stuff I had to try to isolate, etc).

I've just shot my last project with ALL-I....so, guess so I can use Resolve, I'll do the optimize thing so I can use Resolve. Again, there are a couple of reasons I want to use it, and one is I seem to grasp the concepts with the controls and workflow of Resolve better than I do with FCPX, and it is free and quite powerful. And I've got some color grading books I'm following along with, and they tend to work better with the color wheels and other types of controls that are on Resolve and not on FCPX.

I love FCPX, but I find their new 'twist' on the color tools to be one of the things that is not as intuitive to me...especially when trying to learn about color theory, etc.  But hey, everyone's brains are wired differently,eh?

I think I'll switch to take some footage in the IPB, and see what difference that makes.

I'll go with the ProRes thing here for awhile then...and see how it goes.

I am, however, excited about the upcoming 5D3 firmware upgrade that will allow uncompressed HDMI coming out of the camera into an external recorder. That should prove to make for some interesting shooting...

Again, thank you for the excellent advice and information.

cayenne

Midphase

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 02:42:37 PM »
Sorry...I meant "lossy", (or "isn't"), that's what happens when I post right before going to bed!

But yeah, the perceived loss of quality coming from the 5D codec won't be noticeable unless you look at it through scopes and other analytical tools.

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 02:42:37 PM »

Midphase

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 02:52:57 PM »
FYI:

I'm doing post work on a small film I shot on the 5D3 with the All-I mode. I am doing a decent amount of VFX shots which I bring into AfterEffects. I export them from AE as ProRes HQ and I really can't tell the difference.

Once thing that you also want to keep in mind is that unlike on the 5D2, 5D3 footage can benefit from sharpening in post. Like everything, use it wisely, but it can bring back some additional (perceived) resolution which also helps make the image a bit more robust.

Once again, re-compressing to ProRes is the least of your worries when working with DSRL footage. Really my biggest gripe about doing it is that it's an extra time-consuming process that really shouldn't be necessary nowadays.

Rofflesaurrr

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2013, 03:01:15 PM »
FYI:

I'm doing post work on a small film I shot on the 5D3 with the All-I mode. I am doing a decent amount of VFX shots which I bring into AfterEffects. I export them from AE as ProRes HQ and I really can't tell the difference.

Once thing that you also want to keep in mind is that unlike on the 5D2, 5D3 footage can benefit from sharpening in post. Like everything, use it wisely, but it can bring back some additional (perceived) resolution which also helps make the image a bit more robust.

Once again, re-compressing to ProRes is the least of your worries when working with DSRL footage. Really my biggest gripe about doing it is that it's an extra time-consuming process that really shouldn't be necessary nowadays.

It isn't necessary with Adobe Premiere  :)

Midphase

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 03:06:15 PM »
I know, which is what I use.

I'm talking about FCP X (or FCP 7)...it's a dumb mid-step...glad I generally don't have to deal with it.


P.S.

However, before exporting to something like Resolve, I do prefer to render my full edit out in ProRes4444, IMHO a better way to work in Resolve.

cayenne

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2013, 03:18:32 PM »
I know, which is what I use.

I'm talking about FCP X (or FCP 7)...it's a dumb mid-step...glad I generally don't have to deal with it.


P.S.

However, before exporting to something like Resolve, I do prefer to render my full edit out in ProRes4444, IMHO a better way to work in Resolve.

Well, if I leave Resolve out of the process..I DON'T have to go to prores, I can work with the H264 straight out of the 5D3 within FCPX...but apparently somewhere along the line of upgrades between FCPX and Resolve, the XML round trip using the native out of the camera footage has broken.

The only way to get XML roundtripping working between FCPX and Resolve, is the put the footage in 'optimized' ProRes codec...and that will then work with Resolve.

Resolve has been b!tching about the timecodes coming from the 5D3 if using footage right out of the camera when doing XML out of FCPX for some reason.

I'm using FCPX because it is dead easy to use and CHEAP....$300.

That being said, when it comes time for summer school at one of the colleges around me, I'm going to go spend the $50 to "enroll"...which will give me a edu ID....I'm not going to enroll in any classes, but I am going to use this to get the educational discount on the Adobe CS6 Suite. I think with that discount it is only about $499 or so which is affordable to me.

Then, I can play with all the toys, but at a more reasonable rate.

cayenne

C

Rofflesaurrr

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2013, 04:58:38 PM »
I know, which is what I use.

I'm talking about FCP X (or FCP 7)...it's a dumb mid-step...glad I generally don't have to deal with it.


P.S.

However, before exporting to something like Resolve, I do prefer to render my full edit out in ProRes4444, IMHO a better way to work in Resolve.

Well, if I leave Resolve out of the process..I DON'T have to go to prores, I can work with the H264 straight out of the 5D3 within FCPX...but apparently somewhere along the line of upgrades between FCPX and Resolve, the XML round trip using the native out of the camera footage has broken.

The only way to get XML roundtripping working between FCPX and Resolve, is the put the footage in 'optimized' ProRes codec...and that will then work with Resolve.

Resolve has been b!tching about the timecodes coming from the 5D3 if using footage right out of the camera when doing XML out of FCPX for some reason.

I'm using FCPX because it is dead easy to use and CHEAP....$300.

That being said, when it comes time for summer school at one of the colleges around me, I'm going to go spend the $50 to "enroll"...which will give me a edu ID....I'm not going to enroll in any classes, but I am going to use this to get the educational discount on the Adobe CS6 Suite. I think with that discount it is only about $499 or so which is affordable to me.

Then, I can play with all the toys, but at a more reasonable rate.

cayenne

C

I found the best deal for the EDU CS6 suite is at B&H. In the future when you upgrade to CS7, you can buy a non-EDU upgrade and you'll have a standard license, which is good if you plan on using the software for profit.

cayenne

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2013, 10:29:23 AM »
I know, which is what I use.

I'm talking about FCP X (or FCP 7)...it's a dumb mid-step...glad I generally don't have to deal with it.


P.S.

However, before exporting to something like Resolve, I do prefer to render my full edit out in ProRes4444, IMHO a better way to work in Resolve.

Well, if I leave Resolve out of the process..I DON'T have to go to prores, I can work with the H264 straight out of the 5D3 within FCPX...but apparently somewhere along the line of upgrades between FCPX and Resolve, the XML round trip using the native out of the camera footage has broken.

The only way to get XML roundtripping working between FCPX and Resolve, is the put the footage in 'optimized' ProRes codec...and that will then work with Resolve.

Resolve has been b!tching about the timecodes coming from the 5D3 if using footage right out of the camera when doing XML out of FCPX for some reason.

I'm using FCPX because it is dead easy to use and CHEAP....$300.

That being said, when it comes time for summer school at one of the colleges around me, I'm going to go spend the $50 to "enroll"...which will give me a edu ID....I'm not going to enroll in any classes, but I am going to use this to get the educational discount on the Adobe CS6 Suite. I think with that discount it is only about $499 or so which is affordable to me.

Then, I can play with all the toys, but at a more reasonable rate.

cayenne

C

I found the best deal for the EDU CS6 suite is at B&H. In the future when you upgrade to CS7, you can buy a non-EDU upgrade and you'll have a standard license, which is good if you plan on using the software for profit.

That brings up an interesting topic. I've heard it put forth than you supposedly can't use the EDU version of Adobe products for profit...from what I've read, you can use it commercially as you wish.

References:
http://www.adobe.com/sea/special/education/students/studentteacheredition/faq.html

Quoting from the How can I use it section of the FAQ:

"Can I use my Adobe Student and Teacher Edition software for commercial use?

Yes. You may purchase a Student and Teacher Edition for personal as well as commercial use."

So....no problems there.

:)

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2013, 10:29:23 AM »

Midphase

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2013, 12:46:14 PM »
I found the best deal for the EDU CS6 suite is at B&H. In the future when you upgrade to CS7, you can buy a non-EDU upgrade and you'll have a standard license, which is good if you plan on using the software for profit.

Wait...are you saying that there is a way to make a...what you call it again..."profit"...doing this?  ;D ;D ;D

cayenne

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2013, 07:02:25 PM »
I found the best deal for the EDU CS6 suite is at B&H. In the future when you upgrade to CS7, you can buy a non-EDU upgrade and you'll have a standard license, which is good if you plan on using the software for profit.

Wait...are you saying that there is a way to make a...what you call it again..."profit"...doing this?  ;D ;D ;D

Actually, if at anytime in the near future, I could find a way to make enough $$ to just pay a bit towards my new-found equipment habit, I'd be grateful.

;)

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Re: So ProRes 422 is a lossy format? Why would degrade before editing???
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2013, 07:02:25 PM »