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Old July 14th, 2016, 01:05 PM   #1
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What is best output settings for master file of completed project?

Hi. I'm working on a project in Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015.
I want to export a master file of the completed project and I'm not sure which.settings (format, codec, bit rate, etc to choose).

Ideally I would want the file to be:
- lossless codec
- best image quality
- wide range of compatibility with different software and across platforms
- future-proof in terms of using a codec and format that will most likely be accessible for years to come

Please advise on what you would consider the best option for the above.
From research I've done so far I've read that .MOV format, Cineform codec is good. Would that be my best option, or are there others you would recommend?

Thanks!
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Old July 14th, 2016, 01:27 PM   #2
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Re: What is best output settings for master file of completed project?

I use UT lossless codec for saved master files.
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Old July 14th, 2016, 01:37 PM   #3
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Re: What is best output settings for master file of completed project?

Hi Adi,

You didn't say which platform you are on, Mac or PC. For Mac, ProRes is a great choice and the file is usable on Mac or PC (ProRes can be played, but not exported on PC).

For PC, you should have both the Avid DNxHD and Cineform (GoPro) codecs already available in Premiere CC export choices. Options for "lossless" codecs on PC include Lagarith and UT as mentioned by Alan. I use Lagarith quite a bit, files are large but great quality. Both are free downloads.

EDIT: Regarding cross-platform compatibility, since both UT and Lagarith are going to be .avi format only, those would not work on Macs. Premiere CC does offer the Avid DNxHD as an .mxf format that I believe works on both. Or the Avid DNxHD codec can be downloaded from Avid which creates a .mov that would be cross-platform.

Thanks
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Old July 15th, 2016, 12:49 AM   #4
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Re: What is best output settings for master file of completed project?

Thanks for the replies!
@Jeff - I'm working on Windows platform..
Are there any differences I should consider when choosing between Lagarith or Avid DNxHD?
Thanks

Last edited by Adi Head; July 15th, 2016 at 02:08 AM.
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Old July 15th, 2016, 06:38 AM   #5
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Re: What is best output settings for master file of completed project?

Hi Adi,

There are two types of lossless codecs. Mathematically lossless and visually lossless. UT and Lagarith are mathematically lossless with a fairly high bit rate. I tend to stay away from these types due to the fact that once encoded, my system has a tough time playing it back as I only have a single drive for editing.

The other type is visually lossless like Cineform, DNxHD, ProRes. For me these are preferred as they give visually lossless results at a much smaller bit rate. Being a Premiere user on a PC we have both Cineform and DNxHD to choose from. Cineform is 10 bit throughout each quality setting and DNxHD is 8 bit until its 220x setting which is then 10 bit. I always master to 10 bit even if footage is 8 bit. Both are visually similar, but on my system Cineform consumes a bit less in CPU resources and conforms in Premiere much faster.

The other option I've been testing recently is XAVC. It's an intraframe 100 Mb codec. To my eyes it performs similar to those listed previously at an even smaller bit rate. This is also an option in Premiere.
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