Intermediate CODEC question

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Joshua_G

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Intermediate CODEC question

PostTue Jan 29, 2019 6:00 pm

When the source material is 1080 25p 4:2:0 8bit h.264 and the delivery is the same, is there any benefit by using intermediate CODEC of 4:2:2 and/or 10bit for the sake of better color correction/grading?
DaVinci Resolve Studio, (usually) latest stable version/Windows 10 Pro/AMD 1920X/32GB RAM/RX Vega56 8G/Dell U2412M.
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antoine

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostThu Jan 31, 2019 10:49 am

Yes of course ! You can have different formats/containers/codecs/specs for capture, intermediate (post production) and final diffusion but you need to understand what your hardware and software stack is doing at every step and why you would need better quality.

For example if you do "8 bpc input -> multiple color grading in 8 bpc -> 8 bpc" output you can have weird artifact popping up and doing "8 bpc input -> multiple color grading in 16 bpc -> 8 bpc" instead can remove them. All depends on your actual content / editing / special effects of course.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostThu Jan 31, 2019 1:59 pm

Joshua is asking if there is any difference in having 8bit source converted to 10bit intermediate file vs. using original 8bit. Not a difference between 8 vs 10bit real source.
Answer is- no. Your 10bit intermediate file will hold same usable 8bit data. There is no magic (until you use some spacial tool which would try to increase bit depth, which is not easy).
Only difference is that intermediate codecs will make your editing smoother as they are way less compressed and easier to decode (and I frame based). When it comes to usable data for grading it won't give you anything above your original source.
10$ is 10$ regardless if you have it in big wallet or small one :D
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Joshua_G

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostFri Feb 01, 2019 11:52 am

Thanks, Antoine and Andrew.
DaVinci Resolve Studio, (usually) latest stable version/Windows 10 Pro/AMD 1920X/32GB RAM/RX Vega56 8G/Dell U2412M.
Retired electronics technician and sound engineer, long-time amateur photographer, beginner hobbyist filmmaker for personal uses.
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David Baud

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostMon Feb 04, 2019 11:30 pm

Another consideration is the software you use for color correction: the internal operations need to happen in higher bit-depth if you don’t want to introduce any new artifacts especially with 8-bit footage during decode/encode. Many modern software like DaVinci will operate in 32-bit floating point, so you should not to worry working with lower bit footage in terms of image quality.


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Joshua_G

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostTue Feb 05, 2019 10:34 am

Thanks, David.
I use DaVinci Resolve for both editing and color correction/grading.
DaVinci Resolve Studio, (usually) latest stable version/Windows 10 Pro/AMD 1920X/32GB RAM/RX Vega56 8G/Dell U2412M.
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antoine

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostSat Feb 09, 2019 5:49 am

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Joshua is asking if there is any difference in having 8bit source converted to 10bit intermediate file vs. using original 8bit. Not a difference between 8 vs 10bit real source.
Answer is- no.

The answer is "it depends" -- cf. David's answer and mine

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Your 10bit intermediate file will hold same usable 8bit data. There is no magic

The magic comes from the fact that you loose quality each time you store the results of an operation on the data. If your logic was true then filmmakers could shoot in 8 bpc, edit and grade in 8bpc and have a great 8 bpc output...
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostSat Feb 09, 2019 12:10 pm

Looks like you don't really understand original question. It's not about shooting 8bit vs 10bit (or editing/grading in higher than source bit depth), but about converting 8bit source into 10bit in hope for gaining usable data during this process.

Resolve will convert any source to 32bit float straight after decoding. So if you have 8bit file or previously converted 8bit to 10bit your usable data in Resolve will be the same and end results as well. Where does "your magic" happens here? Where will Resolve find more data in this 10bit source (coming from 8bit) file compared to original 8bit? In many cases it's same date with padding zeros (in others just converted 8bit into 10bit, which adds nothing new/usable). It's plain math. In order to get something more you need to have advanced algorithm added to bit depth conversion process, but not a single common tool does such a thing. There are some open source tools for this, but this is very specific topic.
10$ is 10$ regardless if it's in small or big wallet :)
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Joshua_G

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostSun Feb 10, 2019 10:29 am

Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew Kolakowski wrote: … In order to get something more you need to have advanced algorithm added to bit depth conversion process, but not a single common tool does such a thing. There are some open source tools for this, but this is very specific topic. …

What are those open source tools?
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostSun Feb 10, 2019 1:52 pm

avisynth, vapoursynth with filters GradFun3, f3kdb 2.0, dither tools etc. Those filters can remove banding quite well in some cases (= increased bit depth), but when you encode to low bitrate then banding will be back. I don't think it's worth the hassle until you really have special case (eg 8bit source footage which needs to go to high quality end master).
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Joshua_G

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostMon Feb 11, 2019 10:19 am

Thanks, Andrew.
DaVinci Resolve Studio, (usually) latest stable version/Windows 10 Pro/AMD 1920X/32GB RAM/RX Vega56 8G/Dell U2412M.
Retired electronics technician and sound engineer, long-time amateur photographer, beginner hobbyist filmmaker for personal uses.
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antoine

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostFri Jun 28, 2019 11:01 am

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Looks like you don't really understand original question. It's not about shooting 8bit vs 10bit (or editing/grading in higher than source bit depth), but about converting 8bit source into 10bit in hope for gaining usable data during this process.

Resolve will convert any source to 32bit float straight after decoding. So if you have 8bit file or previously converted 8bit to 10bit your usable data in Resolve will be the same and end results as well. Where does "your magic" happens here? Where will Resolve find more data in this 10bit source (coming from 8bit) file compared to original 8bit? In many cases it's same date with padding zeros (in others just converted 8bit into 10bit, which adds nothing new/usable). It's plain math. In order to get something more you need to have advanced algorithm added to bit depth conversion process, but not a single common tool does such a thing. There are some open source tools for this, but this is very specific topic.
10$ is 10$ regardless if it's in small or big wallet :)

I hold what I'm saying. If one doesn't know the inner workings of the software, one cannot infer anything about the end quality. For example maybe converting to 10bpc forces the host software to do everything in 16bpc, hence better quality. Maybe not and it's a user option to force the host software to have high quality conversion / filters
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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostFri Jun 28, 2019 4:09 pm

antoine wrote:If one doesn't know the inner workings of the software, one cannot infer anything about the end quality. For example maybe converting to 10bpc forces the host software to do everything in 16bpc, hence better quality. Maybe not


There is no "maybe." Resolve does everything in 32Float and input bit depth is irrelevant with regard to processing strategy.

Given Andrew's money analogy you're asking for a $7.49 bill which might exist in 10-bit and better, but does not in 8-bit. That's all there is to it. (I realized USA still has $1 bills... we don't in Canada, anymore, nor 1-cent "pennies".) If you want exact change, you're going to have to operate in a higher original bit-density or dither like hell.

There are cheats, but 8-bit is like hoping the black flies won't get into your tent when what you are using for a screen is a tennis net.

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antoine

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostMon Jul 01, 2019 7:59 am

You're probably right if we restrict ourselves to DaVinci Resolve yes
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Intermediate CODEC question

PostMon Jul 01, 2019 10:39 am

antoine wrote:I hold what I'm saying. If one doesn't know the inner workings of the software, one cannot infer anything about the end quality. For example maybe converting to 10bpc forces the host software to do everything in 16bpc, hence better quality. Maybe not and it's a user option to force the host software to have high quality conversion / filters


This is a very different matter. You worked too much with Premiere :)
If you don't tick Maximum Bit Depth Premiere will decode even 10bit codecs to 8bit pixel format for speed, no?
It all doesn't change fact that converting 8bit to 10bit doesn't add magically any more usable data.
It's all about knowing your app.

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