Apple ProRes 422

Ever since I’ve started editing with HD on FCP, my system is obviously getting slower due to the fact that the files are pretty much heavier than SD. My FCP would act up ridiculously in so many irritating ways such as ‘sudden shut-down without saving (relaunch)’, ‘Lagging during laybacks after rendering’ as well as annoying  pop-up warnings saying: ‘close open sequences, lowering audio data rates, turn-off RT, upgrading hard drives/ram’ etc. At first I thought I was running out of disc space (which I am) and so I bought an internal 1TB hard-drive. Problem solved for a while but not quite yet. It started again and this time worst. It must be the ram I wondered. I was planning to get one after my next pay so I asked a friend whois a Mac-user for solutions during the wait.

He recommended to convert all files to Apple ProRes 422 which should help to avoid the jerkiness during playbacks on my timeline sequence. It did help, a lot. Nevertheless, files were bigger than before (originally) but it made my editing easier once again although I should still upgrade my ram soon. Thank god I bought the new hard-disc. Below I’ve summaries details about Apple ProRes, copied from site.

Apple ProRes 422 codec vs. Uncompressed HD

Apple ProRes codec lets you edit faster and at higher quality across a wide variety of workflows. The family now includes ProRes 422 (Proxy), ProRes 422 (LT) and ProRes 4444, in addition to the original ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 (HQ).

Choose ProRes 422 (Proxy) for offline editing or use ProRes 422 (LT) for projects that require reduced file sizes at broadcast quality, such as news, sports, and events. At the other end of the scale, ProRes 4444 is ideal for compositing and digital workflows that require the highest-possible image fidelity.

ProRes 422 is a full-raster codec, meaning the video is not scaled down. The full 1920x1080 image is used, unlike DVCPRO-HD or XDCAM, which scale HD 1080 video down to 1280x1080 and 1440x1080 respectively, effectively tossing out a large amount of picture data to save space.

There are other HD codecs with lower data rates available, but because they are more highly compressed, they take more processing power to encode and decode (play back). The ProRes 422 codec provides a good middle-ground by providing a smaller file size than uncompressed, while providing easy capture and playback on even marginal machines.

Another important benefit of ProRes 422 is that it allows more layers of Dynamic RT playback. 4 layers of 1080i can be expected, and 720p 24 editors can expect up to 14 layers of HQ footage playback in real time. For reference, a powerful 8-core machine with a video RAID might only play a single stream of uncompressed HD.

One last tip – while the ProRes HQ codec is great for video from high-end sources, it may be overkill for formats like HDV. It’s been reported that users are better off to use the standard ProRes 422 codec at 145Mbps with the lower-end HD formats, as there is no advantage to using the HQ codec when starting with a highly-compressed and scaled HD source format.

Anonymous –   – (March 27, 2010 at 1:08 AM)  

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