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Old February 12th, 2010, 02:20 PM   #1
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ProRes bafflement.

Hi All,

I will shortly begin editing my first major HDV project in FCP6. I don't expect to do a tremendous amount of post production, maybe a bit of colour correction (not Colour), a few motion effects and probably quite a bit of overlaying of multiple clips (it's quite an experimental piece). The footage is shot at 1440x1080 at 50i.

My question is about the ProRes format. I've read quite a lot about it on this forum but am still basically baffled as to what the real advantage of converting to it is, whether one should bother at all and if so when to do it. Is the general consensus that one converts on capture and works from there? And ProRes HQ - is that worth it?

As you can see I'm rather ignorant.

Geoffrey Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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Advantages of Prores:
- easy on your computer because it's an intra-frame codec.
- good compression, allows for more room in color correction and multiple generations of transcoding.
- great quality.

Disadvantages of Prores:
- takes more disc space then HDV or XDCAM.
- transcoding can take time too.

The workflow depends on person to person and project to project.
Today's computers can pretty easily work with HDV too, but if you have to render a lot, it could be handy to work in Prores. So is it necessary? Depends on you.
I wouldn't take Prores HQ if it's a smaller project, because I think you will mostly see the difference on the big screen, and not for smaller projects. And HQ takes even more disc space AND you can put less video-layers on top of each other in HQ depending on your hardware configuration.

Color doesn't render to HDV, so if you do color correction in Color, it will render out in Prores anyhow.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #3
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My advice, if you have a reasonably modern Mac edit in HDV but set your sequence compressor settings to prores. This will render out any effects you are doing to prores, and when you output a quicktime at the end of the project it will render the entire sequence to Prores, but your captured footage remains HDV.

Capturing in Prores is advantageous if you had an effects heavy edit to do (transition and colouring) and didn't want to wait around for things to render on the timeline (Prores plus effect will render out faster than HDV plus effect).

So timeline based rendering is faster if your native footage is already prores, but there is not really a significant quality hit if you edit on an HDV timeline with render settings set to prores (probably none at all, although I think if you have layered multiple effects on the same click that might not work as well if the clip was ingested as prores.)

Basically, as long as you don't render back to HDV you are good to go. Working and rendering in HDV means a significant quality hit to anything that gets render out (color correction, dissolves etc.)
Craig Parkes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice guys. All clips already captured so Craig's suggestion looks interesting. I shall try some experiments! I'm intrigued by the point that quality will improve if I render in Prores.

The project will hopefully be for a big screen (I'm not talking multiplexes here, just a modest festival showing!) so maybe HQ might be worth a try.
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