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    Good intermediate codec?
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    Senior Member SJX's Avatar
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    Hi guys, I'm looking for good intermediate codec. I was thinking cineform. Anybody has experience? Is it good option to keep max quality from F35? Now it is open source. Don't want to use prores etc. Thanks.


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    Senior Member El Director's Avatar
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    I use DNxHD 36 or 115 for my offline edits in Avid and couldn't be happier with them for screeners. When I'm ready for color, I bring the edit into Resolve and relink to the source files


    Independent Filmmaker
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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJX View Post
    Hi guys, I'm looking for good intermediate codec. I was thinking cineform. Anybody has experience? Is it good option to keep max quality from F35? Now it is open source. Don't want to use prores etc. Thanks.
    Cineform, DNxHx and ProRes are all great codecs for intermediate use.


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    Senior Member SJX's Avatar
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    Thanks. But maybe intermediate was wrong word. I'm not thinking of coming back to original codec. I want to convert to Cineform and stay in cineform till the end. Then output whatever is needed of finished video. I don't mean convert to cineform as proxies. This is why I ask if cineform will keep the quality.


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    Senior Member Grug's Avatar
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    Converting from what? HDCAM-SR? Or uncompressed DPX?


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    Been using Cineform since David Newman and co released it in 2002. The following is all Windows related. That horrible HDV codec that virtually no NLE could handle back then was transformed using it. Then over the years used in Cineforms' NeoScene, Connect HD and Firstlight. Sadly Cineform got taken over by GoPro. You need to install GoPro Studio on Windows to avail yourself of the codec. If on Windows a small word of advice. The best version of GoPro studio to install is GoProStudio 2.5.7.549. Later versions had a tendency to cause some issues on Win 10. Cineform on Windows becomes available as a codec choice in Resolve which is a nice thing. As it is a VFW codec it will appear in any application that can see VFW codecs. 10-bit 422 to to 12-bit 444 Film Scan qualities all available under the configuration selection. Quality wise it stands up very well as it is employs full frame Wavelet encoding as opposed to DCT encoding as used by ProRes and Avid DNX. Basically that means it is unlikely to ever get 'blocky' under heavy duress. DCT on the other hand tends to show artifacts more as encoding blockiness. Basically it means one can compress more with fewer artifacts when using Wavelet compression. It may look a little softer under extreme duress but that is much more acceptable than picture encoding blocks starting to show. Need for Speed, End of Watch and Slumdog Millionaire are just some of the productions shot on Cineform. I use it all the time in Resolve, AE, Vegas and even in Edius when I use it. It used to be cross platform so it's a shame to see Apple and FCPX dropping support for Cineform along with Avid DNX. I love the codec. If you want to batch encode to Cineform or do many other things to your footage prior to editing the super tool in my mind is "Intertake." It has a great tool set and they are nice guys to deal with when you have questions or queries.

    https://acrovid.com/intertake.htm

    https://blog.frame.io/2017/02/13/50-...decs-compared/

    On the other hand the lowest CPU/GPU demand I've seen on any quality codec on Windows that betters Cineform performance wise to work with has been Grass Valley's HQ and HQX codecs which are also very well worth looking at. I just can't render with them in Resolve which is a shame because they are super smooth and robust codecs to work with. If they could work in Resolve I think they would be my choice today. A modern lower CPU/GPU demand Cineform replacement. That would be great to have in many apps. BTW It looks like GV's HQ and HQX which used to work in earlier versions of FCPX no longer work in the latest version. Why Apple???

    https://www.grassvalley.com/products/hqx_codec/

    Chris Young


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    Senior Member Mike Krumlauf's Avatar
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    My workflow is as follows, maybe it will be of good info, maybe not.

    I shoot on HDCAM SR tape using the SRW, I capture into my mac pro as Apple Prores 4444, edit those files, finish in either the same codec or ProRes422. I've swarn to ProRes since its release ages ago.. before that I use to master with the Apple Intermediate Codec.
    Mike Krumlauf
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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJX View Post
    Thanks. But maybe intermediate was wrong word. I'm not thinking of coming back to original codec. I want to convert to Cineform and stay in cineform till the end. Then output whatever is needed of finished video. I don't mean convert to cineform as proxies. This is why I ask if cineform will keep the quality.
    It's not the wrong word, that what intermediate is, you use it during the editing and grading process and then render it to a deliverable codec.

    You got three stages:

    1. Acquisition codec - what the camera records
    2. Intermediate codec - what is used during the post-production process
    3. Deliverable codec - the codec of the final product


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    I'm another fan of Cineform. I've been using it for more than 10 years now. Apple shot themselves in the foot by discontinuing FCPX support for both Cineform and DNxHD CODECs. I will avoid working with FCPX editors from now on because they can't work with my Cineform files. ( such a stupid move by Apple )


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    Senior Member Mike Krumlauf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDingo View Post
    I'm another fan of Cineform. I've been using it for more than 10 years now. Apple shot themselves in the foot by discontinuing FCPX support for both Cineform and DNxHD CODECs. I will avoid working with FCPX editors from now on because they can't work with my Cineform files. ( such a stupid move by Apple )
    I Hate, repeat, HATE FCPX. I still work with my copy of FCP Studio 3 (so FCP 7) and am very happy with it. Apple really did do themselves in with FCPX for multiple reasons.
    Mike Krumlauf
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