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Old Dec 7, 2012, 07:02 AM   #1
salacious
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4444 - DSLR usage

So I'm trying to write a short guide for dslr film makers who are just getting into it.

The problem I have at the moment is with ProRes 4444, there's something which I cannot explain or don't understand if I'm honest.

ProRes 4444 includes an alpha channel, now I want to present scenarios which I want you to say its correct for, as I'm still trying to clarify its use in a workflow.

1. You have shot some green screen and you need to preserve the information for more accurate keying.

2. You have shot normal footage and would like to apply some vfx via after effects or another graphic programme.

3. Both of the above

From what I have researched it would seem the alpha channel is needed only if you need to key out some colour? So why would this not work with 422 codec? Or if it does is it not effective enough?

Thanks
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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You only need 4444 if exporting out of AE or other software after applying the keying. Although if you complete your keying in AE then there is no reason to export the alpha channel as well unless the compositing is happening somewhere else.

If working in AE use the original DSLR files and then export to whatever format works in your editor.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 07:05 AM   #3
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Just so you know, DSLR footage is H.264 compressed, thus it is only using 4:2:0, thus 4:4:4:4 might be overkill, unless you use the D800 and an external recorder and record in 4:2:2-

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Old Dec 7, 2012, 07:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
Just so you know, DSLR footage is H.264 compressed, thus it is only using 4:2:0, thus 4:4:4:4 might be overkill, unless you use the D800 and an external recorder and record in 4:2:2-
I know that, hence why I'm trying to get conviction for using ProRes 4444

Thanks for the input anyway

Quote:
Originally Posted by acearchie View Post
You only need 4444 if exporting out of AE or other software after applying the keying. Although if you complete your keying in AE then there is no reason to export the alpha channel as well unless the compositing is happening somewhere else.

If working in AE use the original DSLR files and then export to whatever format works in your editor.
So what would you do with this workflow then?

Source file > fcpx for cutting > ae for effects and keying

At what point would you convert or would you do it like this?

Source file > ae for effects and keying > fcpx for cutting?

This would be aimed at beginners so more complex workflows aren't needed.

What I usually do is: source file> convert to 422 > fcpx for cutting > export as original > ae for effects > export as original > fcpx for final export

Last edited by maflynn; Dec 7, 2012 at 07:45 AM. Reason: Post Merge
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 10:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salacious View Post
I know that, hence why I'm trying to get conviction for using ProRes 4444

Thanks for the input anyway



So what would you do with this workflow then?

Source file > fcpx for cutting > ae for effects and keying

At what point would you convert or would you do it like this?

Source file > ae for effects and keying > fcpx for cutting?

This would be aimed at beginners so more complex workflows aren't needed.

What I usually do is: source file> convert to 422 > fcpx for cutting > export as original > ae for effects > export as original > fcpx for final export
Well ideally if you are using AE for the keying and effects then work in Premiere so you can dynamically link to the composition. This then saves you having to export from AE back into premiere.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 10:52 AM   #6
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Well ideally if you are using AE for the keying and effects then work in Premiere so you can dynamically link to the composition. This then saves you having to export from AE back into premiere.
ideally yes, however i dont know how to use PP, only fcpx, i guess il have to limit the info on this topic for the guide then thanks.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:35 PM   #7
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ideally yes, however i dont know how to use PP, only fcpx, i guess il have to limit the info on this topic for the guide then thanks.
In that case I would recommend compiling the edit in FCPx and then instead of exporting segments note the time code and open the source footage in AE so you work from the most detailed source rather than something that has been transcoded a few times.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 10:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salacious View Post
I know that, hence why I'm trying to get conviction for using ProRes 4444
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but just because 4444 is available doesn't mean you have to use. 4444 is more like a speciality use codec rather than an 'everyday' codec.

One of the best uses of 4444, IMO, is with motion GFX. You get all the benefits of using the Animation codec (RGB, very high quality & built in Alpha) at a smaller data rate. Plus, if you are using 4444 in any ProRes timeline in FCP 7 it's a green render bar (as opposed to using Animation which is orange or red depending on your settings).
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 01:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by LethalWolfe View Post
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but just because 4444 is available doesn't mean you have to use. 4444 is more like a speciality use codec rather than an 'everyday' codec.

One of the best uses of 4444, IMO, is with motion GFX. You get all the benefits of using the Animation codec (RGB, very high quality & built in Alpha) at a smaller data rate. Plus, if you are using 4444 in any ProRes timeline in FCP 7 it's a green render bar (as opposed to using Animation which is orange or red depending on your settings).
Thanks for this wolf
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:39 PM   #10
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For most video cameras, save for highest end DSLRs and Red cameras and the like 422 HQ is the highest you'll need.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 04:05 AM   #11
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For most video cameras, save for highest end DSLRs and Red cameras and the like 422 HQ is the highest you'll need.
Unless you want an alpha channel.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 02:00 PM   #12
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Yes OP is you want an alpha channel go for it, however what you described can be accomplished with 422 HQ and it won't look visually different from 4444 even with keying ... unless you are doing specific work requiring the use of an alpha channel in which case you would likely know that going into it.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 11:17 AM   #13
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Does conversion from h.264 to ProRes 4444 actually give you more information. My understanding is that you cant add information to something that did not exist in the first place.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 10:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by joshualee90 View Post
Does conversion from h.264 to ProRes 4444 actually give you more information. My understanding is that you cant add information to something that did not exist in the first place.
No it doesn't. It will give you a file that's larger but isn't higher quality. Your understanding is right, same goes for audio.
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