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Old May 18th, 2007, 09:23 AM   #1
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First Impressions of ProRes

First impressions of ProRes:

FCP6 captures only into HDV/AIC not Prosres.
Easy to transcode into ProRes in FCP using export clip or in Compressor.

1 min test file sizes:
a) HDV 200mb
b) Captured HDV encoded in ProRes(HQ) 1.17gb
c) Captured HDV encoded in ProRes 850mb

The quality between HQ and standard: Can't tell in my short test.
And between HDV and ProRes seems lossless.

I though the file sizes would be a lot smaller for Standard ProRes. (50GB per Hour)

It's a same Compressor does still not allow the processing of .m2t files,
as in my tests the quality between HDV in FCP and .m2t is noticeable.

First in depth impressionon Apple Color comming soon, first play with it, it's not very apple in use.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #2
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Hi James,

Thanks for posting your test results!

I believe you can capture to ProRes 422 in FCP, you just need an HD-SDI source. At least that's what the ProRes whitepaper says.

Looking forward to your review of Color.

Cheers,
Adam
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #3
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Hi Adam,

I should have said 'FCP6 captures directly the formats HDV and AIC but not Prosres. Set up using standard firewire, with no breakout box.'

Also, trying to find out if Motion 3 can use prores, I can't find it in the presets.?
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #4
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yes, thanks James for the early info.

how long was the transcode for your test footage to ProRes, both standard and HQ? (using what hardware?)

how do you find the performance in the open format timeline. especially for rendering an effect on an HDV clip in HDV as compared to rendering it as ProRes?

cheers
Andy
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Old May 18th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #5
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Old Mac G5 Dual 2.0 5Gb Ram 3TB. For 1 Min transcoding from HDV to ProRes SQ was 3 mins ProRes HQ around 3.30 mins.

Have not tried many timeline renders yet, but it feels much like AIC. Picture quality is excellent.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #6
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Final times on a 1min test clip basic codecs

1 Min Native HDV Test Clip

HDV to Prores 2:26 sec
HDV to Prores 1280x720 1.44 sec
HDV to Prores 1280x720 + sharpening 4.26 sec

HDV to AIC 1:28 sec
HDV to AIC 1280x720 1.13 sec
HDV to AIC 1280x720 + sharpening 3.42 sec

Without sharpening the 1280x720 files are a little soft (level 10, Compressor)

Rendering effects to a 1280x720 Seq AIC is 3 times faster than Prores

HDV Rendering/Conforming: Time Taken: 3.50sec
AIC Rendering: Time Taken: 1.20sec
AIC Rendering 1440 x 1080: Time Taken: 1.40sec
ProRes Rendering: Time Taken: 3.08
ProRes Rendering 1440 x 1080: Time Taken: 4.38

File Sizes:
HDV FCP captured file 203mb
Prores SQ 1440x1080 785mb
Prores SQ 1280x720 484mb
Prores SQ 1280x720 486mb+ sharpening (2mb more)
AIC 1440x1080 535mb
AIC 1280x720 380mb
AIC 1280x720 + sharpening 485mb (100mb more!)

Conclusion:
I still prefer the AIC codec, side by side I can't see anything in it. The file size using AIC with sharpening in compressor goes up 100mb for a 1min clip (1280 x 720). However left unchanged the file size is smaller than Prores.

Rendering is much faster still with AIC, Prores full size SQ mode not HQ is much slower than HDV in rendering basic 3 way color correction within FCP(see above).

Using the send to color option in FCP 6 the 1 min test footage times:

a) Prores 1440 x 1080 with 3 way color correcting takes 16mins
b) Prores 1280 x 720 with 3 way color correcting takes 10mins

c) AIC 1440 x 1080 with 3 way color correcting takes 15mins
d) AIC 1280 x 720 with 3 way color correcting takes 9mins


Test screen grabs to follow.

Last edited by James Miller; May 18th, 2007 at 01:41 PM. Reason: More details
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #7
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thanks again for taking the time and effort to do this
much appreciated
Andy
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Old May 26th, 2007, 04:57 AM   #8
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I am getting confused about this ProRes now.

Based on the test results above, it seems Apple invented a format that is the most useless of all, for:

- being much larger vs HDV AND slower to render or similar render times

OR

- being same size as AIC but much slower to render

So whats the big deal about it? The 4:2:2? HDV will never be 4:2:2 so after all this, whats the point of converting HDV into ProRes?

Where is the real use and advantage of this ProRes anyways?

Thanks a lot.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsolt Gordos View Post
I am getting confused about this ProRes now.

Based on the test results above, it seems Apple invented a format that is the most useless of all, for:

- being much larger vs HDV AND slower to render or similar render times

OR

- being same size as AIC but much slower to render

So whats the big deal about it? The 4:2:2? HDV will never be 4:2:2 so after all this, whats the point of converting HDV into ProRes?

Where is the real use and advantage of this ProRes anyways?

Thanks a lot.
It elimintates the need to work in Uncompressed 4:2:2 and the storage requirements. Mostly for those who work in the 2k and 4k world as a digital intermediate.

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Old May 26th, 2007, 10:18 PM   #10
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I've just done a test on material shot with an JVC GY-111E at 720p25 and this is what I found.

Original File size: HDV 2.95GB

Transcoded to:

ProRes 422 (HQ) = 12.38GB
ProRes422 (Standard) = 8.88GB
AIC = 6.12GB

I then put the same gamma correction filter over the top of each clip and rendered. I'm running a MacMini 1.66GHz with 1.25GB RAM.

The render times were:

HDV 5m17s
ProRes 422 (HQ) Forget it!
ProRes422 (Standard) 11m49s
AIC 4m46s

After conducting these tests, I've decided I'll stick with HDV. If it becomes a problem to work natively, I'll go with AIC (720p30 with a 25frame editing timebase).

Last edited by Glenn Krawczyk; May 27th, 2007 at 06:34 AM.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 07:49 AM   #11
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why do the files sizes get larger?

I thought the purpose of prores was to "shrink" files and allow for more footage on the drives.

I will be using HD DVCpro. Any reason for me to use prores?
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Old May 27th, 2007, 08:02 AM   #12
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Hi Randolph,

ProRes really wasn't designed with upscaling in mind, i.e. transcoding HDV or DV to a "higher resolution", which obviously isn't possible. It was meant for taking uncompressed or lightly compressed 2K or 4K HD and scaling it down to manageable file sizes, without losing visual resolution. So for HDV shooters, it really isn't necessary at all. It does have the advantage of working in a higher colorspace/bit rate (hence the bigger file sizes), so it may be beneficial for render files or FX composites... but it can't add information to a picture if the information hasn't been recorded in the native format.

I've tried transcoding HDV to both DVCProHD and AIC, just to get away from MPEG-2 and its supposed editing limitations and they both look pretty good. Personally, I think AIC comes up better though. DVCProHD looked a little soft to my eyes, that's why I'd choose AIC as an intermediate codec, or just stick with HDV and edit that. Unless render times become an issue because of lack of processing power, there isn't much to be gained by transcoding to another codec if your original material is HDV.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #13
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Got it.
Thanks.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 09:05 PM   #14
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Stumbled upon something

I was testing something similar to the stuff above, when....

I took an m2t stream and converted it to three different clips using different codecs- ProRes, AIC, and HDV. I imported them into an FCP6 timeline to compare them. THEN, I sent the project to Color. That's when it got interesting.

Color was set to render to ProRes. The ProRes and HDV clips looked fine, but the AIC clip was a full stop brighter in Color. This did not show up in FCP. Does anyone know how to account for this?
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Old May 28th, 2007, 12:14 AM   #15
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It might be a Quicktime or Quicktime-Color bug. Before in Final Touch, you would get color errors for some formats so this could be the case.

Quicktime has a lot of inappropriate color management being applied bugs.
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