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Old March 14th, 2010, 08:18 AM   #1
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Best cross-platform codec?

Some Canon 5d M2 footage was shot this weekend. My co-worker and I need to use the same footage to edit our own separate projects but I will edit on a Mac and he'll edit on a PC.

From what I read, it's better to transcode the footage first so it'll be easier to do an online edit but to which codec? ProRes or DNxHD or ... ?

We need to conserve space so we cannot transcode to both.

If we choose ProRes, does that mean I'll have to trancode the files (using MPEG StreamClip) or can a PC transcode to ProRes as well?

And will ProRes footage edit with no problems in Premiere on a PC?
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Old March 14th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #2
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DNxHD is your solution. But you have two problems to solve.

First, it's easiest if you purchase a program called MacDrive for the PC since it will allow you guys to have an external drive that can go back and forth seamlessly between platforms. It makes everything work perfectly. I've used it for years, and wouldn't be without it.

Second, ProRes can be read by the PC, but Apple has chosen to not let PCs encode to it. This means he could read the FCP files, but would have to give it back in a different codec.

DNxHD works as well as ProRes (ProRes is derived from DNxHD) it's free, both platforms can read and write to it, and it prevents the infamous gamma shift issues that occur with ProRes. In short, it's everything you want... and it costs zero. I've written about it many, many times, and use it for any cross-platform project I do.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 12:13 AM   #3
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Great, DNxHD it is then. Thanks for the advice and help!

Also, I've seen many different people use different settings to convert. I'm assuming you also use StreamClip now and then?

What settings do you use?

Color Levels: 709
1080p/24 - DNxHD 175 10-bit
Quality: 100%
Interlaced Scaling: Unchecked

Last edited by Hayzen Chen; March 16th, 2010 at 12:49 AM.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 01:50 AM   #4
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I use Mpeg Streamclip to convert to DNxHD on the PC... if I need to do it outside the NLE. Otherwise I just render to it inside the editor.

Color Levels should match the source. This is usually Rec709 if coming from a camcorder.

I use the highest bit rate that will support the frame rate I am using. I also use 10bit whenever possible

Quality 100% always

Interlaced Scaling unchecked.

That should get it done.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 01:59 AM   #5
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I just did a transcoding test on my Mac.

It's hard to tell in the attached example, but the ProRes is slightly darker than the original but the DNxHD is noticeably brighter than both.

Should I try on the PC to see if it makes a difference?
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Best cross-platform codec?-transcode-test-01a.jpg  
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Old March 16th, 2010, 03:18 AM   #6
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Use RGB on the DNxHD and see if that solves your problem.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #7
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Keep in mind that if you are simply interested in sourcing the material to both Mac and PC, ProRes would be fine. The PC can't encode out to ProRes, but that's only an issue if you both need to master to the same format after editing.

I've edited some pretty extensive projects from ProRes source material on a PC. While it is a shame that you can't encode to it, it works well as a source in my experience.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 05:29 AM   #8
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I tried the RGB option instead and got the same washed out look, unfortunately.

In the meantime, I used ProRes instead on both Mac & PC and it seemed to work fine so far.

Thanks for your input everyone!
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Old March 21st, 2010, 08:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Kolb View Post
Keep in mind that if you are simply interested in sourcing the material to both Mac and PC, ProRes would be fine. The PC can't encode out to ProRes, but that's only an issue if you both need to master to the same format after editing.

I've edited some pretty extensive projects from ProRes source material on a PC. While it is a shame that you can't encode to it, it works well as a source in my experience.
This shocks me. I've also editing Pro Res on the PC, but every time I've gotten it, I've had to battle gamma shift. And so has everyone else I know who's tried it.

What's your secret?
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