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    Transcoding question
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    I have posted here about transcoding before but this question is a little different. Apple has finally released Prores on windows 10 and Adobe Premiere.

    I've read online a major debate between whether an editor should transcode their footage first or edit from the camera files.

    Is it a myth that transcoding to prores yields better color results and better handle of effects? Someone told me that if I transcoded all my footage from h264 to apple prores 422 HQ I would get better results with lumetri color panel as well as green screen etc.

    I've tried it and don't notice much difference. someone else told me to just transcode to proxy files and use those to edit with and apply effects. Essentially it leads me to this question. What is the point of all the prores formats like LT 422 etc if all you need is proxy? am I missing something?


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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by offbeatbryce View Post
    Is it a myth that transcoding to prores yields better color results and better handle of effects? Someone told me that if I transcoded all my footage from h264 to apple prores 422 HQ I would get better results with lumetri color panel as well as green screen etc.
    That's total nonsense!

    Transcoding to an all-intra format (ProRes, Cineform, DNxHx etc) helps performance but it never will improve the quality of the video or coloring operations.

    Quote Originally Posted by offbeatbryce View Post
    What is the point of all the prores formats like LT 422 etc if all you need is proxy? am I missing something?
    Better performance when editing and seeking on the timeline.


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    okay so do I need to transode to prores 422 or higher or can I apply all effects such as warp stabalizer color correct etc with the prores proxy then export the final film for web to h264? I keep being told effects should never be applied to proxy files or h264 or any native camera file that isn't an editing codec.

    If I can just use proxy files then why would I ever want anything higher than a proxy?


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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    It seems you are being told a lot of things that are not correct.

    If your computer cannot handle the speed necessary to edit (cut, resize, timeline seeking etc) properly I would transcode. But the source CODEC has no influence on the coloring and effects because NLE's convert clips to uncompressed (usually float32) RGB (or sometimes keep YUV) for internal processing. And processing sequential long GOP is for all intents and purposes just as effective as processing all-intra.

    For transcoding ProRes is just one option, ProRes is nothing special there are several alternatives that are just as useful.

    Personally, I do not use proxies, but as long as you on final render replace proxies with the original there is no issue.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Knoop View Post
    That's total nonsense!

    Transcoding to an all-intra format (ProRes, Cineform, DNxHx etc) helps performance but it never will improve the quality of the video or coloring operations.


    Better performance when editing and seeking on the timeline.
    okay so do I need to transode to prores 422 or higher or can I apply all effects such as warp stabalizer color correct etc with the prores proxy then export the final film for web to h264? I keep being told effects should never be applied to proxy files or h264 or any native camera file that isn't an editing codec.

    If I can just use proxy files then why would I ever want anything higher than a proxy?


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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    Looks like we are going in circles, I suppose I can't help you.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Knoop View Post
    Looks like we are going in circles, I suppose I can't help you.
    If your computer can handle editing/playback of the native footage without choking, there is no need for transcoding or proxies...just edit your footage and don't worry about "alternative workflows"

    Thanks

    Jeff


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    Senior Member Samuel H's Avatar
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    Nowadays, most editing programs work on a 32-bit color space independently of what codec and bit depth your footage comes in, and computers and software are fast enough to handle real-time editing with codecs based on H.264... but probably not H.265. So, unless you find that your computer just can't scrub or playback in real time withyour original footage, don't transcode: it takes time, it doesn't provide any advantages besides performance, and it actually degrades the quality of your footage (by a very small amount if you use the options with the very highest bitrates, but still: applying a different compression method on top of the previous one will never help, it can only throw away information).


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    Quote Originally Posted by offbeatbryce View Post
    I keep being told effects should never be applied to proxy files or h264 or any native camera file that isn't an editing codec.
    I'm not sure what Premiere offers, but in FCPX you're able to switch back and forth between proxies (after transcoding) and the original footage with one click.

    This is very useful because you can do all of your main cutting with the proxies for the best performance, but then switch back to the original to see how certain effects may look. I think the reason that some people say effects should never be applied to proxy files is because some actually look and behave slightly different on proxies vs. a high-quality final master (that has been my experience).

    So even though your system might not be able to handle the playing back of any effects/filters/etc. with the original footage, it's still good to try and see (whatever you can) how anything looks on a master because you may not be watching an accurate representation with the lower-quality footage.

    This only answers part of the question (kind of), but I agree with what was said above by others regarding the rest.


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