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Old April 16th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #1
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Cineform vs. ProRes 4:2:2

As soon as I saw the announcement, I was curious. ProRes data rates look a lot line Cineform and RedCODE data rates.

We know that the latter two are wavelet codecs, and we know now that they're edit-friendly, and we know Cineform is an absolutely fantastic intermediate codec.

So what did Apple make? Is it wavelets or DCT? How does it handle generational losses? How does this affect Cineform on the Mac? What options will it open up for Cineform on the PC?

For the benefit of all the Cineform guys who have worked so hard and long on this, and have already got a proven product, I sincerely hope Apple just licensed and re-branded their technology... but I fear that's not the case.

-Steve
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Old April 16th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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While I'm not David Newman, I thought I'd pass along some info I received. (IF I am wrong please correct me) I do believe the ProRez codec is DCT not wavelet however it is a variable bit rate unlike Avid's DNxHD which I believe is a constant bit rate. ProRez is also 10bit in quality. Although Apple came out with the ProRez codec at this point I still favor Cineform especially with the 4:4:4 capabilities it has.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 01:31 PM   #3
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10-bit "quality" doesn't mean anything. It's just a bit depth. I want to know about generational losses and artefacts.

If it is DCT-based, consider that DVCPRO-HD is 12.5 MB/s, and it is 8-bit and not full raster. Scaling that algorithm to 1920x1080 10-bit means the data rate to get DVCPRO-HD 'quality' would be 23.4 MB/s. Frankly, I don't think DVCPRO-HD 'quality' is all that.

If Apple chose a DCT solution, they've left the doors wide open for Cineform. Sadly, a lot of the Mac users I've spoken to don't tend to question the wisdom of Apple... Tough market to penetrate.

-Steve
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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #4
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Speaking of the name and those whom will bow before it. How many more products are we going to see with the word "pro" in them?

Folks at cineform are obviously stirring up competition, and they have have the jump on this with much more experience, and are not locked-in to a specific piece of hardware, either. I definitely think prospect is more for the money.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 01:11 AM   #5
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Very little time to post from NAB, but Apple has opened the door for us with their multi-format timeline. ProRes 422 is nothing special, still needs work. They where show a single generation on ProRes compared to uncompressed StEM and there was a level shift, plan as day (not just for my eyes.) So they have some kinks left. It is DCT. No info yet on speed, although trancoding 2 seconds redcode 2K sequence to ProRes took 12 second of the latest and greatest Mac (so something is slow, Redcode decoding or ProRes encoding.) We are still on the way to the mac with a very mature codec core.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 01:16 AM   #6
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Thanks for the discussion topic. First of all, I'm stepping in for David Newman on this post as he may not be logging in this evening. But some of the following observations are his.

So, day one observation about Pro Res.... We still have more to learn, but David Kirlew has the high level about Pro Res nailed - it's DCT, it's 4:2:2, it's VBR. They position it as HD (and show presets only up to 1920), but they also mentioned Pro Res in the context of Red at 2K. So we have a bit more to learn about the actual spatial resolution it supports. Obviously we haven't yet had a chance to evaluate its visual fidelity, but we understand it should be shipping with Studio 2 in the next month.

David Newman spent time visually analyzing a split screen demo of uncompressed/Pro Res in the Apple booth, and it had clear luma shift going on. It also didn't do a great job on certain test material they were showing. Based on first observation it didn't scare us too much, but obviously it remains somewhat a work-in-progress, so we'll all learn more as it becomes available.

From Apple positioning, it appears it'll be Mac only, whereas CineForm is a fan of cross-platform, cross-applications compatibility. (Our interest in supporting the Mac is not just to address an incremental platform, it's also to enable the cross-platform workflow that many of our customers desire.) It is also (as already stated) not 4:4:4. We tend to think 4:4:4 becomes more accessible in the independent segment of the market, and we'd like to serve this arena.

More when we learn more....
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Old April 17th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #7
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Sorry DN - we were posting at the same time....
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Old April 17th, 2007, 01:24 AM   #8
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Yep. Also the stuff that was looking bad was some AVCHD-Intra stuff that was transcoded, so that was likely the AVCHD source, not the ProRes. ProRes at 200+Mb/s should look good, but they are other things a DI codec needs to do. This as an Avid DNxHD me too codec, it is not going after CineForm's market or approach.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 08:55 AM   #9
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I'd consider that really good news then.

Cineform's going for a cross-platform, visually lossless, 10-bit, 4:4:4, 4:2:2 and RAW, multi-generational friendly, wavelet approach, and the only competition is some similar bit-rate DCT?

If you can get the community educated on the subject, it should be a no brainer! Unfortunately, brains = education... I was frustrated this week trying to explain to a 'pro' as to why he could use better intermediates than DVCPRO-HD - and he really didn't get it.

Anyway, I think the ideal solution would be a consumer/prosumer camera line recording directly to Cineform RAW (as a "high quality" option) in addition to Cineform YUV (as a "low quality" option) with native NLE support across the board. It would also be nice if RedCODE RAW and Cineform RAW became cross-compatible.

-Steve
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Old April 17th, 2007, 09:48 AM   #10
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For me, after digging up what little info I could on ProRez, and inspite the fact I am on an Apple Macbook Pro, I will stick with CineForm. I've been messing around with alot of video recently (SD not HD although I want to move up to HD shortly or the Red) and bandiing is a problem and I know CineForm helps in that area. Plus I love the fact that CineForm is going cross platform rather than Apple ProRez which will most likely remain Apple exclusive or Avid's DNxHD which is DCT based.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kirlew View Post
...Plus I love the fact that CineForm is going cross platform rather than Apple ProRez which will most likely remain Apple exclusive or Avid's DNxHD which is DCT based.
From a business decision that IS the most important factor. I have both platforms in my office, and use my Mac whenever the PC is tied up rendering things. Cross-platform is a vote in my favor. I'd love to just render CFHD wrapped mov's to a hard drive, and know that the studio who receives it will be working with and delivering identical quality as if I did the job myself, (and up to 2k resolution when the update arrives). All this regardless of the NLE or hardware. How many systems for less than $2000 can you identify that will provide the same benefit?
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Old April 18th, 2007, 02:27 PM   #12
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In another thread the ProRes White Paper was posted:
http://images.apple.com/finalcutstud..._ProRes_WP.pdf

-Steve
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