What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

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Christian Stoehr

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What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostThu Oct 18, 2012 6:46 pm

Whats the most appealing digital online format for DaVinci ? If your not using R3D Raw. I know a lot of guys use Apple Pro Res 4444 but what about the Windows crowed ? Is there something cross compatible that the experts deliver on ?

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Margus Voll

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostThu Oct 18, 2012 7:34 pm

uncompressed 10 bit or dpx 16 bit ?
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Christian Stoehr

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostThu Oct 18, 2012 7:47 pm

Thanks, so Quicktime only offers me "Quicktime Uncompressed 4:2:2" why is it 4:2:2 ?
And the DPX I have to purchase for $399 from Glue Tools is that the one you are referring too ?

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Margus Voll

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostThu Oct 18, 2012 7:52 pm

No dpx is like tiff or tga.

Uncompressed image sequence.

You can read prorez on pc but not write.

So you have option to read prorez and write outfinals as uncompressed image row
If you need to go back to mac.

Some people have mac specially for that in theyr suit just to convert files.

But your point was geting 444 on pc as compressed format?
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Christian Stoehr

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostThu Oct 18, 2012 8:57 pm

Yes, I am just wondering what a professional color house would output to if they want to go uncompressed.
I am considering getting a Windows system for DaVinci, since I think I can get more speed for the money, but was then wondering what their equivalent is for the main digital video format thats uncompressed. Isn`t there a standart that most guys go with ? Image sequences seems strange.
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Margus Voll

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostThu Oct 18, 2012 9:02 pm

I think you mix compressed and uncompressed here.

Dpx is really well established with motion pictuRes industry.
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Perry

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 2:01 pm

Margus Voll wrote:You can read prorez on pc but not write.

Not exactly true - depends on the application you're using on the PC. Apple doesn't make creation of ProRes files on Windows available by default on Quicktime for Windows, but developers can write it into their applications. applications like Harmonic ProMedia Carbon (used to be Rhozet CarbonCoder) can do this. I'm sure there are others.

One possible workflow if the Windows apps that the OP needs to use don't support ProRes: bounce to some intermediate format that's got little or no compression (DPX or Uncompressed are good choices) while working in the Windows environment, then use an app that can create ProRes on Windows before bringing it back into the mac.

It's worth stepping back a bit and pointing out that any DPX or uncompressed workflow is going to require a couple things that the OP may not be considering:

1) Really, really fast drives with tons of capacity (ProRes is lightweight in terms of file size and throughput requirements. we regularly play back ProRes HQ 1080p files off a firewire drive with no dropped frames. You might get through a second or so of uncompressed before it begins hiccuping on the same drive). So Big, very fast RAIDs are required for either Uncompressed or DPX, in HD. At minimum you're going to want a RAID that can easily do 500MB/second throughput or better, spread out over 6-8 drives. You could build a 16TB RAID yourself for a few thousand dollars if you're handy, or drop $5k-10k on a prepackaged setup. But it's a drive that's tied to one system typically because it will require a hardware controller board, and can't be easily moved from one computer to the next, like a portable external drive (which you could do with ProRes)

2) DPX and Uncompressed both add considerable time to any workflow, because they're so huge - moving files around can take hours, not minutes. Also, converting these can be very slow depending on both drive throughput and CPU speed, as well as the efficiency of the application doing the conversion. This all needs to be factored in. We work in feature films, so these issues are massive - the difference between 1-2 hours and 8-12 hours in some cases.

I'm not saying ProRes is inherently better - Uncompressed and DPX provide the highest possible picture quality, but these workflow and hardware issues need to be considered as well.

A lot of the Windows-based folks I know are using Avid DNxHD instead of ProRes (they're pretty similar in terms of picture quality) but they're not doing 444 work, so I can't really add to that. We use macs for capturing and editing in ProRes (usually 422 HQ), and then we do our encoding and file prep on Windows. In some cases we use Windows to create the ProRes files.

The other one to consider is Cineform, but this is a codec you need to purchase - the quality is excellent but you need to buy it for each machine that needs to create the files, mac or Windows. Reading the files is available with a free codec, I believe.

-perry
Perry Paolantonio
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Perry

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 2:09 pm

newimaging wrote:Image sequences seems strange.


Image sequences are the norm in the high end DI world. Most film is scanned to image sequences because of the high dynamic range and the inherent flexibility - you don't need a platform like Quicktime to play them back, you just need an application to support it internally. Image sequences are conceptually as close to film as one can get - they're frame rate independent, progressive, and very high quality. Also, most film restoration and high end file-based color correction systems were designed to work with DPX files.

But see my other post in this thread - formats like this come at a very high cost in terms of your infrastructure, and your workflow efficiency. To be safe, multiply by 10x the time it will take do to most of the mundane tasks (file copying, export, etc) and 10x the space that will be required for DPX HD or 2k images vs ProRes (more or less, the actual multiplier depends on your specific setup).

We do a lot of work in all these formats, and frankly, I don't usually look forward to dealing with big DPX-based projects. it's a file management nightmare. Really makes you appreciate what Quicktime does for us once you've done a few big image sequence projects on standard desktop hardware!
Last edited by Perry on Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Perry Paolantonio
Gamma Ray Digital - 119 Braintree St #512 - Allston, MA 02134
6k Film Scanning -- Color Grading -- Film Restoration
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Christian Stoehr

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 3:45 pm

Thanks Perry,
I am stuck on doing my first feature on a 2008 Mac with a GTX570 setup, I am spending all the money on a Flander Scientific and the Tangent Element. But I did want to know about the PC because the next upgrade seems like going to PC with a super tower, and 4x Nvida cards will be a more cost effective upgrade then staying on Mac with Cubix boxes.
But for now ProRes it is.
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John Tissavary

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 8:34 pm

The standard for feature DI in the US is 10bit DPX file sequence. I use that on most features I grade, and you'd be hard pressed to find a feature film released in theaters domestically that didn't master in 10 bit DPX.

But I also use Avid DNxHD when appropriate, as it takes up less space and doesn't require a drive system that is capable of greater than 300MB/sec. Tend to use this for low budget indie films, fashion spots, music videos, etc...

It's also possible to encode prores on windows, but not as straightforward as mac as it's not available as a quicktime component, and also not available from within Resolve.

JT
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Rossco

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostMon Oct 29, 2012 10:37 am

Further to this conversation, could anyone suggest an image file type that is close to Pro Res 422 HQ but not wrapped like DNXHD? A compressed Targa or Tiff maybe?

I'm thinking a "mini" DPX where you have the same great quality of Pro Res (and small data size) but in an image file.

Any thoughts?
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John Tissavary

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Re: What do Windows guys use instead of Apple Pro Res

PostMon Oct 29, 2012 5:25 pm

There isn't really a format like that that functions in real time without additional hardware. JPG2000 is sort of like what you're talking about, but decodes are relatively slow on CPUs, might need some sort of acceleration. Uncompressed is still the easiest on the CPU, all you really need for that is disk I/O capable of streaming that datarate.

I prefer image file sequences to monolithic files for post production work, and luckily RAIDs aren't as expensive as they used to be, but it would be really great if someone came out with an image file format that had the same kind of efficiency as prores or dnxhd. Also, let's have some reasonable quicktime tools that would allow re-wrapping, frame insert, etc... without re-compressing or re-rendering entire sequences.

JT
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