Replace proxies with camera source with "Relink Selected"?

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johngwheeler

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Replace proxies with camera source with "Relink Selected"?

PostTue Dec 03, 2019 3:56 am

I've been "working on my workflow", and would like to ask if I'm doing it right....

1) I'm (currently) using the free version Resolve and editing 10-bit H.264 UHD footage from a Panasonic GH5, which requires me to transcode before importing into Resolve.

2) In the interests of time & disk space, I've been transcoding to DNxHR LB (or ProRes 422 Proxy) and doing my assembly edit with these low-res proxy files. Note that I'm importing the proxies into Resolve and not generating them with "generate optimized media", so Resolve doesn't have the original camera media in the pool.

3) Once I've done the basic edit, I want to switch back to high quality sources or the camera originals so that I can apply effects, color grade and export.

4) The quick option that I've found is to simply select all of the clips in the timeline, right click and then select "Relink Selected Clips". I navigate to the folder with my camera original clips, which have the same names as my proxies, and do the substitution.

So far, this seems to work, but I'm wondering if I'm being too simplistic? There is a whole chapter of the Resolve manual on conforming, which I assume is aimed at moving projects between different NLEs or other tools.

Is my simply "Relink Selected Clips" good enough for the use case I've described, or am I going to run into problems once I have a more complex timeline?

Thanks!

John.
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Jim Simon

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Re: Replace proxies with camera source with "Relink Selected

PostTue Dec 03, 2019 4:30 pm

If the GH5 10 bit media is working in the free version (this surprises me), then the simpler method is to import the originals and generate Optimized Media.
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johngwheeler

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Re: Replace proxies with camera source with "Relink Selected

PostTue Dec 03, 2019 11:48 pm

Jim Simon wrote:If the GH5 10 bit media is working in the free version (this surprises me), then the simpler method is to import the originals and generate Optimized Media.


As I mentioned in step (1) of my workflow, the GH5 10-bit H.264 media works in the free Resolve only if you transcode it to something else. If I want to minimise transcoding loses, I encode to DNxHR HQX, which also supports 10-bit 422 color.

These files are typically about 5 times larger than the H.264 camera originals for 24fps clips & about 12 times larger for 60fps clips, which is a significant amount of disk space, especially for SSDs.

One reason for buying Resolve Studio would be to simplify the generation of optimized media, as you correctly suggested. This would allow me to use lower quality proxy files and automatically switch back to the camera originals for rendering. I have yet to decide whether this convenience is worth the AU$495 that Resolve Studio would cost me! I know there are other features in Studio, but at the moment, I don't really need them.

One downside of generating proxies in Resolve is that the generation of optimized media blocks any other interaction (unlike the same process in FCPX), which is a bit annoying. If I transcode externally, I can at least start working on the initial transcoded clips while waiting for the remainder to finish.

John
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Jim Simon

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Re: Replace proxies with camera source with "Relink Selected

PostTue Dec 03, 2019 11:55 pm

johngwheeler wrote:GH5 10-bit H.264 media works in the free Resolve only if you transcode it to something else.


If you need to transcode because the GH5 media doesn't work, then you wouldn't be able to relink to it later.

So I'm confused.
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johngwheeler

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Re: Replace proxies with camera source with "Relink Selected

PostWed Dec 04, 2019 4:30 am

Jim Simon wrote:
johngwheeler wrote:GH5 10-bit H.264 media works in the free Resolve only if you transcode it to something else.


If you need to transcode because the GH5 media doesn't work, then you wouldn't be able to relink to it later.

So I'm confused.


[I've edited this response, because I didn't answer the original point about relinking unsupported media types in the free Resolve. Of course, you can't relink the unsupported media directly. It still needs transcoding if you need to use a high quality original for rendering. The idea of the workflow is to generate proxies externally to Resolve, which may actually work better than generating optimized media internally. So buying Resolve Studio, does potentially save the double transcoding - once for proxies, & once for the high-quality DNxHR or ProRes. Whether it's better to do finishing with the camera originals or with intermediate codecs is a question I'm still interested in! ]


Actually, yes you can - with the caveat that you still need to transcode 10-bit 422 H.264 media externally in order to add it to the Resolve timeline.

I didn't understand how this worked at first, but thanks to Andrew Kolakowski for his suggestion at viewtopic.php?f=21&t=103298#p572264


Here is the workflow:

1) Use an external transcoder such as ffmpeg, Compressor etc. to transcode the H.264 camera originals to DNxHR or ProRes in proxy quality. The file names of the source and transcoded media must match exactly; I usually create two or more folders for the different encodings, e.g. "H.264", "DNxHR-LB", "DNxHR-HQX"

2) Import the proxy media into the Resolve media pool.

3) Edit as usual, until you need to use original media for quality reasons: VFX, color grading, rendering

4) Select the media bin or clips required -right click-> relink selected <clips | bin | etc. >

5) Navigate to the to folder containing either you camera orginals (8-bit works OK for free Resolve) or high quality transcoded media, e.g. "H.264" or "DNxHR-HQX"

[Edit: It's best not to generate the high quality transcodes until you need them once the rough cut is done. The advantage of relinking to the high-quality transcodes of the camera originals at this stage is that you only need to transcode the consolidated (edited) timeline clips, and not all of the original camera source. If your edit removes 90% of the source material, the high quality transcode will only need to be done on 10% of the original source material]

6) The edited clips will be replaced with the original media that reflects the edits. You can validate the encoding of the clips by looking at the metadata in the Media or Edit tabs.

[Note: I have had a case where I had to "unlink" a clip first, before "relinking", but it still seemed to work OK.

The other gotcha I have discovered is that if you re-link between codec types, Resolve likes the source & destination folders to be at the same file system level. i.e. if I have a root folder "media", I need to create sub-folders "H.264", "DNxHR" for the "relink selected" to work. If I put my camera originals into "media" and have a single sub-folder "DNxHR", relinking does nothing. I recall a similar folder hierarchy issue in Resolve with transcoding ]


My OP was whether this simplistic approach, which appears to work, has any flaws that I will only discover down the line?

In the case of 10-bit H.264 with the free version of Resolve, there is obviously an extra transcoding step for high quality media, which isn't necessary with the Studio version, or if you only use 8-bit camera source.

It seems from anecdotal reports that Optimize Media is not 100% reliable for some people (lost media & other weirdness), so I wonder whether the above approach might be more solid?

John

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