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Old March 3rd, 2016, 12:10 PM   #1
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codec for complex fx

I have many problems with plugins when things get complex, with buggy renders and outputs. to fix, i am cutting up and rendering the bad frames/sequences and outputing a clip that has everything baked in, and then putting it into the sequence.

for example, 4 cloned clips stacked, all with neat video, magic bullet looks, hawaiki color, and slicex so i can mask different areas for secondary or fx, or using different blend modes on the clips to give a filmic look.
i have been outputing Prores HQ to replace the problem spots.

Am I losing any quality? what if i want to do further grading on these clips, is there a better codec? also, i want to output a clean, high quality master of the entire film so i can put subtitles in different languages on top of it for a hard coded output. do i gain anything from outputing a master uncompressed or 444 or some other crazy huge file, or would prores hq suffice for both the clean and then the subtitled output?
i do want the best quality possible, but if i really don't gain anything in practical terms, prores hq would be a real space saver.
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Old March 4th, 2016, 06:26 AM   #2
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Re: codec for complex fx

ProResHQ is sufficient. How do you expect to distribute the final product? Most professional distribution methods don't use hard coding except in special circumstances. You should explore getting a professional subtitling service to provide you with translations and sub files to use with Adobe Encore to make BluRays or to send to a professional DCP house for cinema files. Frequently I do work with a film distributor and the only time we've hard coded subtitles is for screeners for critics. Since those are distributed by DVD (still) and Vimeo, the quality is compromised anyway.
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Old March 4th, 2016, 09:50 AM   #3
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Re: codec for complex fx

thank for your reply, William.
The film will be toured with music festivals all over Mali, with voice-over versions in Bambara, Tamasheq, and Peuhl, and also a hard coded French subtitle version (these are the languages spoken in the film). It will be played off a laptop to a projector. An English version will hopefully be entered in a major film festival, as yet to be determined. It will also be broadcast for television in Mali, and we would hope for international broadcast at some point and, of course, posted online.
We have already completed the subs, and, as it is a doc on music and dance, the subs are pretty precisely timed with the music and dance, often with fades, and designed to be a part of the look of the film. Most subs I see look tacked on and blocky, and I think they take away from the aesthetic, or at least, do not add to it...
I thought i could cover all my bases by outputing a high quality master of a clean version (so Prores HQ is fine? that's great!), as well as masters of the versions with hard coded English and French subs, and then transcode to whatever was needed for delivery in specific situations.
i also read that the highest quality for subs is baking them in. I am not sure what would be gained by having the subs as a separate file?
been so busy filming and editing this project for three years, now realizing output and distribution is a whole other can of worms!
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Old March 4th, 2016, 03:13 PM   #4
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Re: codec for complex fx

Screening from a laptop is a specialized circumstance and you are using the best way. Subtitle files are text files with time-codes before the dialog lines. It works like very simplified HTML. The BluRay player or DCP server generates the text according to the instructions programmed into the subtitle file. The text quality is excellent these days although limited to parameters in the subtitle format. This is how you see subtitled films these days.

Certainly you have a very good reason for custom subs but be aware that it is severely limiting your distributing it to international film festivals as every language would require a heavy amount of work unless you limit it to French and English. Some festivals just require a translation in a Word file and they use a laptop to generate subs during the screening.
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Old March 5th, 2016, 12:23 PM   #5
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Re: codec for complex fx

great info. will have to look into sub files.
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