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4K - Now what? Codecs discussion...

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  • 4K - Now what? Codecs discussion...

    Before anyone says I told you so, one of my primary objective in owning the BMPC4K was the larger sensor and global shutter. I had always assumed that I would generally shoot mostly in 1080 mode. That said, I was anxious to shoot in 4K UHD to see what those files look like. Like BMCC RAW...the files are huge. I was pleased to find the ProRes clips are readily recognized and imported by Premiere Pro CC. The clips even scrub at a reasonable speed in 1/4 resolution and even look great in the composite monitor at that reduced resolution.

    NOW....what to do about an intermediate Codec? I've always been a AVID DNxHD fan but it does not support 4K. I do not own Cineform Studio (yet) but I'm assuming that would only work in UHD as an intermediate Codec. I'm presuming that one cannot play the file with owning Cineform Studio and having those codecs which support UHD. I am Windows based so I do not have an option of exporting in ProRes.

    And finally...for distribution. What popular Codec will do UHD 4K footage justice? I assume we should be exporting these 4K files to a codec that most computers can read? Speaking of that...what UHD files can most computers read? The MP4 files that I've created in UHD are unreadable in Windows Media Player. They will play in QuickTime but are quite choppy even on my editing system. I can't imagine that many people (not in the video/film or gaming business) are going to have systems capable of playing these files.

    Are we therefore now reliant on YouTube or Vimeo UHD compression just to get files into distribution so that they can reasonable be viewed? Lots of challenges ahead for the 4K revolution!!! (smile)
    Last edited by dmetz; 02-20-2014, 01:44 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by dmetz View Post
    Before anyone says I told you so,
    I told you so



    You can always render DNXHD proxies for editing, and than export your Premiere timeline to Resolve, to render it out in whatever codec you want.
    I would say, that H265 or VP9 should be the weapons of choice.
    But there are not many computers out there, that play 4k H265 smooth in good quality, a lot of folks don't even have a fast enough connection to view 4k on Youtube/Vimeo (let alone 4k screens to have any benefit from it). So actually delivery of 4k doesn't make much sense for now. That may change in a few years though (when we have 16k cameras).

    The only point I see in the moment is uploading 4k to youtube, looks better when watched in HD than uploading HD.
    Blog: http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Frank Glencairn View Post
      I told you so



      You can always render DNXHD proxies for editing, and than export your Premiere timeline to Resolve, to render it out in whatever codec you want.
      I would say, that H265 or VP9 should be the weapons of choice.
      But there are not many computers out there, that play 4k H265 smooth in good quality, a lot of folks don't even have a fast enough connection to view 4k on Youtube/Vimeo (let alone 4k screens to have any benefit from it). So actually delivery of 4k doesn't make much sense for now. That may change in a few years though (when we have 16k cameras).

      The only point I see in the moment is uploading 4k to Youtube, looks better when watched in HD than uploading HD.
      Thanks for your response Frank...always accurate and informative. I'm assuming from what you've said above that YouTube will accept a 4K H265 file?

      This is the very first footage that I've shot with the 4K camera...nothing extremely interesting but helpful to me. The original files look so much better than the 4K export to Vimeo as an MP4 with 30 mbs CPR. Even so, the 30 mbs file is available for download from Vimeo without Vimeo compression added. The grain on this camera in low light is spectacular....see attached images.

      The board apparently doesn't like the 8mb screen grab without Neat Video so while I tried to attach it here....I cannot get the system to accept it.....sorry.


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      • #4
        I believe the free Cinferom decoder is not resolution limited, so you can playback 4k cineform encoded files without owning GoPro Studio Premium.
        Shutter Angle: The science and magic of shooting moving pictures

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        • #5
          If we're talking intermediate codec for editing, don't bother editing 4K files. In Resolve, convert them to 1080p DNxHD 36 or ProRes Proxie and use those to edit. Then, when you're done, you can send an XML out of Premiere back into the same Resolve project you created the proxies in, or (a more annoying/difficult way) bring the camera native files AND the XML from Premiere into a new project. Just make sure you keep the file names the same so Resolve knows the relink them.

          4K proxies at this point kinda defeat the purpose of proxies, unless your machine is top of the line blazing fast. If you MUST edit in UHD/4K, you can use Prores Proxie but again, it kinda defeats the purpose.
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          • #6
            Prores isn't an option on Windows PCs. This pretty much leaves you with cineform or some more obscure codec; or image sequences. Kinda strange that Avid haven't updated dnxhd to 4k+ yet.
            Shutter Angle: The science and magic of shooting moving pictures

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PaulDelVecchio View Post
              If we're talking intermediate codec for editing, don't bother editing 4K files. In Resolve, convert them to 1080p DNxHD 36 or ProRes Proxie and use those to edit. Then, when you're done, you can send an XML out of Premiere back into the same Resolve project you created the proxies in, or (a more annoying/difficult way) bring the camera native files AND the XML from Premiere into a new project. Just make sure you keep the file names the same so Resolve knows the relink them.

              4K proxies at this point kinda defeat the purpose of proxies, unless your machine is top of the line blazing fast. If you MUST edit in UHD/4K, you can use Prores Proxie but again, it kinda defeats the purpose.
              That is a good point regarding intermediates...yes 4K proxies really does defeat the point of proxies. I guess I'm also looking for an intermediate option when doing VFX work and when I'm not really wanting to use a proxy work flow. Cineform may be my best option in Windows since, as was pointed out, ProRes export is not an option. I wish the free AVID codecs supported 4K.

              Thanks for all the good advice.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cpc View Post
                Prores isn't an option on Windows PCs. This pretty much leaves you with cineform or some more obscure codec; or image sequences. Kinda strange that Avid haven't updated dnxhd to 4k+ yet.
                http://www.cinemartin.com/cinec/

                Sure it is.

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                • #9
                  2C, not a pro,
                  But I've used cinform to make 2.5K intermediates for green screening. I compared it against using the raw dngs in AE and it's seemed to key just as good, at least in my case.
                  "Senior Member"???... Really???...
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mcgeedigital View Post
                    I haven't tried it with 4K material, but FFMPEG and AnotherGUI transocdes to ProRes as well. It's free and it also uses multithreading. Here's a video tutorial for it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcBHItw4niM

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                    • #11
                      I don't see how these will help you export 4K from a grading/editing software. These are trascoding apps/workflows.
                      The issue is not how to get 4K prores. You do get 4K prores from the 4K BM camera in the first place, so no need to transcode anything. The question is how to output 4K from your favorite video processing software after doing whatever work on the footage.
                      Shutter Angle: The science and magic of shooting moving pictures

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cpc View Post
                        I don't see how these will help you export 4K from a grading/editing software. These are trascoding apps/workflows.
                        The issue is not how to get 4K prores. You do get 4K prores from the 4K BM camera in the first place, so no need to transcode anything. The question is how to output 4K from your favorite video processing software after doing whatever work on the footage.
                        Both mcgeedigital and I are just responding to OP's question:

                        Originally posted by dmez
                        NOW....what to do about an intermediate Codec? ... I am Windows based so I do not have an option of exporting in ProRes.
                        Of course you don't have to use ProRes if you don't want to, we're just saying it is available on Windows as an option.

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                        • #13
                          You can edit prores in premiere in windows.
                          -Michael Beck

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kin869 View Post
                            Of course you don't have to use ProRes if you don't want to, we're just saying it is available on Windows as an option.
                            I still don't see how you will export 4K prores from, say, Premiere, or Resolve, or whatever.
                            Shutter Angle: The science and magic of shooting moving pictures

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cpc View Post
                              Prores isn't an option on Windows PCs. This pretty much leaves you with cineform or some more obscure codec; or image sequences. Kinda strange that Avid haven't updated dnxhd to 4k+ yet.

                              There are new options for DNxHD coming. It has been just finalised by SMPTE, but I am not sure if they include 4K.

                              Cineform in terms of technology is waaay the best option, but support is still not 'full'.
                              Cineform is going to be SMPTE standard very soon (progress is at 95%), so maybe than we will get wide adoption.
                              At the moment choice of codecs is dictated by the chosen workflow and ProRes is not a bad option.

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