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quicktimes 'animation' codec


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#1 stoop

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 02:04 PM

I had 1200 ft of 16mm telecined to digi-beta. Once edited it will be put back onto digi-beta and sent to the authoring house.

My friend who has a Digi-beta deck, captured all the footage onto a hardrive for me. He captured using quicktimes 'animation' codec. This is a lossles codec, so even though it has compression - it doesn't reduce quality?? Is 'animation' a good codec for video???? Would the 'DVCPRO50' codec have been a better choice???

My system is only just about up to editing this footage, so I guess if I had 4:2:2 uncompressed, my system might not be up to the job????. My system is G4 dual 1.25 processors with 2 GB of ram. I have a blackmagic decklink card and runing firewire800 from a Lacie drive.

If my comp could no way handle 4:2:2 uncompressed, what would I need to upgrade in order to do so???

Many thanks for your help
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#2 Scott Squires

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 02:37 PM

QuickTime Animation codec is lossless. If it's set to best quality there's no loss. It does this by noting consecutive pixels that are the same. Huge savings on pure graphics and other things, not so much with live footage but still better than none. Animation is 8bit 4:4:4:4 (if set to millions with alpha).
In order to playback realtime on your system it's likely you'll need to convert to another codec (either hardware supported codec if decklink card handles it or a DV format as you mentioned). It's also possibel to edit a proxy in one codec and then apply the final cuts to the real footage still in animation form. Much depends on the final requires. If you're going to dump back to video DVD or MiniDV tape then animation for editing probably isn't worth it. If you're planning to go to film then it will making a difference.
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#3 stoop

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 04:55 PM

My system handles the animation codec fine. What i want to know, is this codec better than say DVCPRO50 and is is any worse than 'fully uncompressed'???

Thanks
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#4 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 07:37 PM

My system handles the animation codec fine. What i want to know, is this codec better than say DVCPRO50 and is is any worse than 'fully uncompressed'???

Thanks

It's better than DVCPro50 in that it's lossless, so you're not losing any information with it. DVCPro50 is much smaller but lossy. It's not any worse than Fully Uncompressed; you get the exact same result and somewhat smaller file sizes. Still, stuff encoded with the Animation codec is enormous. I like to use the PNG codec, which (to my knowledge) is completely lossless, and a fraction of the size of Animation.
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#5 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 09:45 PM

though the animation codec is of very high quality and can playback in realtime on most newish macs, it is actually a "virtually lossless" codec and not a true lossless codec, meaning it will band on certain kinds of subtle gradients... though this is very very unlikely to happen on photographic material (this flaw is much more prone to graphics/animation).

a semi-industry standard nowadays is the blackmagic 10-bit codec. animation is only 8-bit. and the blackmagic codec is a more efficient compressor (animation results in file sizes that are barely smaller than using no codec at all).

you might wanna find out what output card you'll be using to send it out digibeta, because it will probably require its own proprietary codec (even if you are working with animation, fcp will have to render it all out to the card's codec before sending it to the digibeta deck).

for archiving projects at the utmost quality, i would recommend the microcosm codec, which is 16-bit, truly lossless and will compress your file sizes down to about 1/6 of its uncompressed equivalent. the only problem is that it will pretty much never playback in realtime (because of the complex compression algorithm), and would be of most use if you are coming out of software that can take advantage of the 16-bit color space (ie. your final color grade from aftereffects). but for archiving, it really is unmatched.

Edited by jaan, 02 April 2006 - 09:47 PM.

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#6 stoop

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 12:49 PM

Thanks for the replys

"and the blackmagic codec is a more efficient compressor"

Are you saying you would get smaller file sizes with 8 bit uncompressed than the animation codec??


"you might wanna find out what output card you'll be using to send it out digibeta, because it will probably require its own proprietary codec (even if you are working with animation, fcp will have to render it all out to the card's codec before sending it to the digibeta deck)."


The black magic decklink card supports the animation codec, at least I hope it does - it's arriving in the post tomorrow.



Thanks
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#7 Kai.w

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 02:41 PM

though the animation codec is of very high quality and can playback in realtime on most newish macs, it is actually a "virtually lossless" codec and not a true lossless codec, meaning it will band on certain kinds of subtle gradients... though this is very very unlikely to happen on photographic material (this flaw is much more prone to graphics/animation).


How can a runlength compression be "not a true lossless codec" (if "animation" is such)...?

-k
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