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    H.264 vs Apple ProRes 422 Question -- Urgent for Film
    #1
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    Hello,

    I've completed editing a film in FCP 7 with Apple ProRes 422 clips at 1920x1080. I sent a cut clip from the timeline to a SFX person via dropbox. He sent the polished clip (with the new SFX) back in H.264; he's not working on a Mac because he doesn't own one. I imported the new H.264 clip into my timeline and everything looks great. Question: Does this matter? Does it matter that a clip in the timeline is H.264, while all the others are in Apple ProRes 422 clips (the ones that didn't need effects)? My guess is that it's not because H.264 is a finishing format but I want to be sure. Thank you in advance for helping out. Much appreciated.

    -Gittes


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    #2
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    H.264 is a distribution codec, it is very hard to work in FCP 7, better convert that also in Apple ProRess


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    #3
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    Thank you for getting back to me.

    Just to note: I'm not trying to edit the H.264 clip, just simply replaced it into the timeline with the original clip that didn't have the effect. How do I convert H.264 clip(s) to Apple ProRes? Thanks you.


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    #4
    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Your effects editor should not have sent back h.264. That's highly compressed, and it needs to be transcoded back to a higher codec (which means it will have some artifacts) for your project before the final edit is exported. At the very least, he should have come up with a more compatible (cross-platform) editing codec. You might want to speak with him and see what else he can send. With something like MPEG StreamClip (free from squared5.com), you can transcode all sorts of stuff back to ProRes.
    Nobody notices audio... until it's not there.

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    #5
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    Alex, what more compatible cross-platform codec would you recommend? Thank you.


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    #6
    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    AVID has a free download of their DNxHD codec, but even something like DVCPRO HD would be mounds better than h.264.
    Nobody notices audio... until it's not there.

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    #7
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    Alex, let's see he's able to give me the file in, like you say, DVCPRO HD, does that sacrifice any of the image quality of the video through all this transferring and converting? Thanks.


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    #8
    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Well, it's going to have an effect simply because it seems that he doesn't have much compatibility. The idea here is to find the best, mutually-agreeable codec that will have the least amount of artifacting through a couple of rounds of transcoding. DVCPRO HD will hold up nicely, and shouldn't sacrifice much at all. But sending the file back to you in h.264 is going to cost much more.

    So... you sent him ProRes422; what codec was he working in?
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    #9
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    I don't know what codec he's working in. But when I find out I'll post it here. In the meantime I'll recommend DVCPRO HD to him, allowing me to convert those files to Apple ProRes. Thanks for the help.


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    #10
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    Could be a dumb question, but what the hell: For arguments sake, if he were to send me the clip back in DVCPRO HD -- and then I converted it to Apple ProRes via steamclip -- does it matter that the polished DVCPRO HD clip is 1280x720? Whereas the native file is 1920x1080? I would imagine that he should send me the clip in 1920x1080, no? Thanks for illuminating the un-tech savvy.


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