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    h264 vs Cineform for Export and quality
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    I understand that Transcoding will not magically make my footage any better for color grading but I just read a new thing and it's puzzling me.



    I read that if I were to use native media such as H264 and export that out to say MPG2 the quality is much worse and rather I should transcode all my native fotoage to Cineform beacuse when you export in Premiere with Cineform clips in the timeline the MPG2 file is higher quality. Is this true or is this bogus? It's even saying a Youtube Upload will be better higher quality if you transcode to Cineform rather than using the native footage in your timeline to begin with.



    I did some tests and I don't notice a difference.


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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    For transcoding, you would want to use all-intra with high bitrates, the compression efficiency for all CODECs converge with high bitrates.

    Cineform is a good CODEC to use for transcoding and so are DNxHx and ProRes. Cineform has the advantage, being wavelet-based, to present quick half and quarter resolutions but I do not believe any NLE takes currently advantage of that feature.

    H.264 and H.265 can be used in all-intra as well but they somewhat more computing expensive.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Knoop View Post
    For transcoding, you would want to use all-intra with high bitrates, the compression efficiency for all CODECs converge with high bitrates.

    Cineform is a good CODEC to use for transcoding and so are DNxHx and ProRes. Cineform has the advantage, being wavelet-based, to present quick half and quarter resolutions but I do not believe any NLE takes currently advantage of that feature.

    H.264 and H.265 can be used in all-intra as well but they somewhat more computing expensive.
    I think you misunderstood my question. I'm talking about final export from the timeline not transcoding. I read online just recently that if I have a timeline full of h264 clips and I have the edit complete and go to Export>Media and select MPG2 or say a Youtube preset it's quality after export would be reduced and rather I should first export the timeline of my h264 timeline as CIneform first then take that cineform file that I exported and then export from that to MPG2 or YouTube and the qulaity will look better.

    I don't see how that would help the quality. Why export from my timeiline to cineform first just to reexport that cineform clip as a YouTube preset or MPG2 for DVD when I can just export straight from the timeiline to the settings I want.


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    Quote Originally Posted by offbeatbryce View Post
    I think you misunderstood my question. I'm talking about final export from the timeline not transcoding. I read online just recently that if I have a timeline full of h264 clips and I have the edit complete and go to Export>Media and select MPG2 or say a Youtube preset it's quality after export would be reduced and rather I should first export the timeline of my h264 timeline as CIneform first then take that cineform file that I exported and then export from that to MPG2 or YouTube and the qulaity will look better.

    I don't see how that would help the quality. Why export from my timeiline to cineform first just to reexport that cineform clip as a YouTube preset or MPG2 for DVD when I can just export straight from the timeiline to the settings I want.
    I see what you are saying now.

    Built-in H.264 encoders are not best of the lot, that goes both for Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve.
    Yes, exporting to a more robust CODEC and then encoding with for instance x264 or x265 will give better results! Of course importing and then encoding with the built-in H.264 or H.265 encoders would not make much sense.


    The additional benefit is that you now have a very good master, at a latter date you might want to use this master for other formats.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Knoop View Post
    I see what you are saying now.

    Built-in H.264 encoders are not best of the lot, that goes both for Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve.
    Yes, exporting to a more robust CODEC and then encoding with for instance x264 or x265 will give better results! Of course importing and then encoding with the built-in H.264 or H.265 encoders would not make much sense.


    The additional benefit is that you now have a very good master, at a latter date you might want to use this master for other formats.
    but how much better results? If I just export straight from the sequence in Premeire which has H264 footage I don't notice a difference if I'm exporting to YouTube or dvd


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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by offbeatbryce View Post
    but how much better results? If I just export straight from the sequence in Premeire which has H264 footage I don't notice a difference if I'm exporting to YouTube or dvd
    It would depend on the bitrate. Throw enough bits at it and any version will start to look good.

    For YouTube, I would not be too worried just make sure you throw enough bits at it, after all YouTube re-encodes everything anyways.

    If you really want to know how much better one implementation handles a source you have to use measurements (PSNR etc), they are not perfect however some versions are better because they a perceptually better, and that is hard to translate into a number.
    Last edited by Cary Knoop; 08-28-2018 at 08:55 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Knoop View Post
    It would depend on the bitrate. Throw enough bits at it and any version will start to look good.

    For YouTube, I would not be too worried just make sure you throw enough bits at it, after all YouTube re-encodes everything anyways.

    If you really want to know how much better one implementation handles a source you have to use measurements (PSNR etc), they are not perfect however some versions are better because they a perceptually better, and that is hard to translate into a number.
    I noitced that if I upload a Cineform quality 5 file to youtube the quality is way more better but of course that would depend how long I want to wait to upload to YouTube. If it was a super hih quality video with 8K etc I might want to wait a long time to upload cineform but if it's a small clip that's in 720p I don't think it's worth it unless it's for a music video but if it's just for a short video I don't think it matters.

    I also discovered through tests that if I want to trim my native footage I can export with the high quality H264 10880pHD preset in premiere and the results are just as good as the native footage but it will produce smaller file sizes.


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    Quote Originally Posted by offbeatbryce View Post
    I noitced that if I upload a Cineform quality 5 file to youtube the quality is way more better but of course that would depend how long I want to wait to upload to YouTube. If it was a super hih quality video with 8K etc I might want to wait a long time to upload cineform but if it's a small clip that's in 720p I don't think it's worth it unless it's for a music video but if it's just for a short video I don't think it matters.
    Youtube re-encodes everything so at one point there is really no point to have a higher quality upload. Using Cineform quality 5 is absurdly wasteful for YouTube.
    Also using an all-intra upload is basically a waste of upload bandwidth.

    I would upload to Youtube videos endoded by x264 or x265 or an encoder of similar quality using a constant quality between 16-20, anything hgher quality is not going to make any difference.


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