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Old February 9th, 2011, 05:15 PM   #1
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Exporting Movies/Which Way is Best?

In Premiere Pro (regrettably I only have CS3.2) what are the preferred file-export movie-settings in order to yield the best possible result? Visual quality is king, hard drive space used is not a real concern.

What choices and codecs did you make and why?

I have Cineforms Neoscene along with Matroxís and Avids free codecs to work with.

Just as importantly, how did or would the resulting product visually compare with the same project timelines contents rendered/compressed/processed with Adobe media encoder to either a .ts,/.m2t,/.mpeg or an h.264 file?

Iím trying to determine my options are.

Thanks so much for participating.
Bruce Pelley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #2
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The best possible image quality is an uncompressed image sequence (TIFF or TGA, DPX, PNG). I don't think CS3 exports JPEG image sequences. Instead of Premiere, I exported my image sequence from After Effects (I finished with this software) as a 16 bit TIFF sequence. This is my master, and it's about 1.5-2TB of HDD space.

Obviously there's a huge difference when compared to a compressed Mpeg-2 or mpeg-4 codec - ASSUMING you shot it uncompressed. If you shot your footage on HDV or H.264, then don't expect your master to look a lot better than a second render. One render to a final master does not significantly degrade image quality (visually speaking of course) to be noticeable by consumers. But if you have a lot of transcoding, etc, then obviously results will vary quite a bit.

Also, there are many flavors to MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. You can change a lot of things, like the bit rate for instance. You can also have an I-frame only render, etc. You can get visually acceptable results with either if you stick to higher settings.

If you can state what exactly it is you plan to do, I might be able to offer a more specific suggestion. Otherwise, the answer to your question is an uncompressed image sequence.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #3
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I haven't exported as TIFF or TGA sequences for years and years because they are basically little better than high-res .mov's or avi's and take up massive space and time.
If you shot something in maybe 10 bit uncompressed and you needed to edit and export, then TIFFS and TGA's would be gigantic and the quality difference would be negligible IMO.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 09:42 PM   #4
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While I'm not sure I can really answer for for CS3.2 because I haven't used it since CS4 came out (and I went to CS5 last year) and I do not disagree with anything that Sareesh or Chris said, I am not sure I understand what Bruce is asking. Maybe Bruce does not understand that he is asking?

Best possible result for what?

It seems to me that there is no such thing as "best." There is only "best" for a particular delivery format. For example, I think h.264 blu-ray is much better that mpeg2/DVD when you are delivering a blu-ray disk. So, Bruce, I have to ask, what are you doing with the video?. Are you delivering on DVD? Bluray? Internet video over Vimeo or Youtube? Are you maybe just looking at your video on your own computer? Are you, maybe, sending out roughly edited video for delivery to somebody else for finishing? Are you working on a Mac or a PC?
Jay West is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2011, 10:14 PM   #5
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Lest my questions seem unduly harsh, let me add a couple of points.

I generally shoot multi-cam events with a mix of AVCHD and HDV cams. Before editing, I generally prefer to convert the footage using Cineform's NeoHD and run basic color matching in meta-data using Cineform's First Light. I use a Matrox MXO2 Mini so I generally edit with a Matrox 1920x1080i preset because I'm usually delivering in DVD format or blur-ray. For Blu-ray disks, I've found that H.264 makes lovely video, but it takes so much longer in exporting from PPro to Encore that I generally use mpg2 BlurRay presets instead.

If I were delivering masters for use at a film festival or the like, I'd contact the organizers and find out what they want. It does you no good to deliver gorgeous images if they cannot play them.

But, maybe I have missed the point of Bruce's question?
Jay West is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2011, 10:29 PM   #6
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Like Jay, I usually convert and edit as Cineform HD.avi
If I want an archival copy of the final movie, I will render it out as Cineform as well.
From that archive I can transcode to whatever I might need in the future- BR, DVD, Web, etc.
The quality is excellent and the storage requirements are reasonable.
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