Hey everyone, I am having a heck of a time trying to please my sound editing guy who is insisting on a ProRes 422. "That is the only codec that will express every frame."
Well I cannot export ProRes from a PC. Period. It is NOT supported. The only way I have found I can solve that is by purchasing some software I cannot possibly afford. I have repeatedly asked him to give me an alternative and he says he cannot because he knows of no other way to have video that expresses every frame.
So please, for the love of all that is Holy. Someone give me a solution.
I am using Premiere Pro from CC 2015 on an i7 based PC with Windows 7.
I need a solution because I fly Sunday night for NYC and if I don't have a solution, i am ****ed.
the sound guy's point is to have a playout with intra codec, not long gop. if you have ever tried to make a online with h264 reference you know what I mean, the edits may vary depending on the GOP position so it is impossible to know if it's in perfect sync or off by 1 frame. some images may be in perfect sync and others may be off a bit.
Are you going to make the sound on single pass or is it possible to have a h264 version first and send the prores later for final mix so that the end result can be checked for possible 1 frame errors? most sound guys here are happy to work this way as long as they can get a intra codec version for finishing.
If you have Adobe CC you also should have Adobe Media Encoder (or can download it). AME has the ability to output several intraframe compressed video types like JPEG2000 and DV25.
The JPEG2000 codec uses intraframe compression in a MXF wrapper. That would allow you to output media where each frame of video and audio will be discretely represented. You also could export as a DV25 file. It will be very low resolution compared to what i assume is an HD format currently, but all the sound person needs is the picture to reference the audio to during his edit. You don't say what software your sound person is using, but I'd expect Avid ProTools. DV25 plays back in ProTools, JPEG2000 might be problematic playing back in ProTools. I'm not in front of a ProTools equipped workstation to check how it plays back.
I'd get all my media and project files backed up to an external storage device and bring them with you to NYC. That way if you run into issue you can work with them locally to get them into a format that is compatible. Don't stress-this is a learning experience, and you'll laugh about it in the future.
My head is exploding. I can build a PC no problem, but this techno speak is beyond me.
I have a friend in NY with an i5 2.7 GHz iMac (I believe 12.1), but it only has 4GB of memory. I haven't used anything with less than 16GB in years so I have no idea if his system will crash. He doesn't have Adobe CC but we could always download it, get it installed and start the trial.
One issue, of course, is budget. I am over-budget and broke. How shocking! It's not like places in NYC are inexpensive. After speaking with a few it's clear I can't even hope to afford them.
I'd like to avoid low resolution since some of my project is 2k scanned Super8 and it is difficult enough matching lip movements in HD, let alone SD.
You can create prores on windows for free with ffmpeg, but it can be a bit techie.
I can help you do that, but there's probably a better way.
Just a cautionary note here:
One thing that most "non-propellor-heads" aren't aware of, is that FFMPEG is open source software; and what the FFMPEG people distribute is the source code (that is, the text file the programmer writes). That has to be compiled in a further step to make an executable file than can run on a PC (or Linux or Mac or whatever).
Now, lots of people do that and offer free FFMPEG.exe "builds", but the thing is, their versions don't always have the full "suite" of video formats available, I guess in the interests of trimming down the file size by not including rarely-used formats. (This was probably more advantageous when computers had smaller hard drives and everyone was on diallup).
One of the reasons people sometimes found FFMPEG so baffling is that they appear to be following the instructions to the letter, but it often refuses to run their operation, coming up with a incomprehensible command-line screen of gobbledegook.
Usually, that's because they've downloaded a build where the particular codec they wanted has been left out, because the build was designed by a programmer, not a video editor . Ironically, people usually turn to FFMPEG as a last resort, when they can't find any other program that handles their particular oddball video format, and then find that the person offering the build deemed that format unlikely to be ever used...
By far the easiest way to drive FFMPEG is to use a windows program that writes a custom batch (.bat) file that launches FFMPEG.exe with the metre-long string of suffixes it needs, but many anti-virus programs now scream blue murder if any software tries to write to a batch file, so you have to make write a ".ba_" file and hand-edit it to ".bat".... Painful, but still less so than running FFMPEG directly~
Pro Res is very processor heavy, so most audio guys prefer DV25, which can playback on the GPU and is an intra-frame codec with timecode abilities.
MXF wrapped JPEG2000's won't work unfortunately because the codec is too heavy for most edit bays, unless it's very small. DV doesn't have those problems.
The only issue you'll have with DV is being able to export a quicktime variant, rather then a .dv file. For playback within Pro Tools or Logic, you should be hanging them a quicktime.
Not to be a dick, but this is why the post production industry is linux and mac. If you know how to build computers, you should have zero issue building a hackintosh and running Mac OS on a standard run of the mill PC. http://www.hackintosh.com/
OK, just as an update, I tried my trial version of Acrok out on a 3 minute 10MB MP4 file and it turned it into a 1.3GB 1920 x 1080 Pro Res file!
Apart from having "Acrok" emblazoned across the middle, it looks to be the real deal. The only thing I have that will play ProRes is iTunes, and it played it fine. Interestingly, the original had somewhat erratic sound-sync, but the ProRes playback was absolutely perfect.
Only possible show-stopper is that the highest resolution it does is 1920 x 1080, but they say they're open to suggestions!
Quicktime runs it as well, hardly surprising, as they're virtually the same program!
I would suggest that the best place to get reasonably complete builds of ffmpeg is here, at ffmpeg.zeranoe.org. It's a widely-used resource.
Yes, ffmpeg is open source software and it is very poorly documented and supported, if at all, and yes, it does produce massive quantities of complex debug output - but it does, in general, work, and it's free.
ProRes is not particularly processor heavy - it's basically souped-up MJPEG or a bigger variant of DV. H.264 is much harder work. ProRes is a compromise between disk space, processor time and image quality that was designed to work for editing. It's useful, but there's nothing particularly technologically special about it.
Anyway, get the ffmpeg executable, and put the following into a file called "convert to prores.bat" somewhere convenient:
Hey gents. I have been scrambling as I try to finish travel arrangements and pack. Then we had a power outtage here NO REASON WHY! Happens a few times each summer.
I am out of time in finding solutions since I have to take my system apart this morning. What will likely happen is we install Adobe CC on my friend's MAC and pray it works. 4GB of ram is positively anemic, but maybe we can get away with it. I'd upgrade the ram in it if we could find it in the NYC area Tuesday.
Going without a true viable plan, but I'll pray I can make it all work out.
iMac ram is pretty easy to obtain so I'm sure it will work fine. you may have to need to change all the slots at the same time though, it is harder to find memory which can be mixed with the originals, easiest way is to just update them all.
one possibility in situations where time consuming render is very likely to fail multiple times is to render in smaller chunks and assemble them afterwards in same or other software.
the worst case I have been in was a feature doc preview version graded in Resolve which crashed so often that I had to render it in 60 separate pieces to DPX and then assemble in other project. It is much easier than it sounds like, you just need to use markers and be frame accurate when rendering/reassembling
Update. A friend of mine has a 2015 iMac and she said I can use hers if I upgrade her memory. So I just ordered two 4GB's for her and Amazon will deliver Tuesday. I'll use her system Wednesday. Cutting it close, but I have also ordered ram for my friend's 2011 era MAC to get it to 8GB. That'll be out backup.
aapo that solution makes my eyeballs and ears bleed.
the 60 piece doc render was super easy I think the hardest project so far was another documentary where I had to manually retime about 600 clips in Resolve for online (pretty much all of them and also manually force conform about 1/3 of them because of the difficult source material which confused the software). Some catastrophic XML error which we could not resolve any other way (FCPX was of course involved). THAT was frustrating and took a lot of time
Just remembered that I have 4x2GB of leftover iMac 2011 memory here which I don't use anymore, such a pity that we live in different countries, not practical to send them to the States and they would not arrive on time
Edited by aapo lettinen, 18 September 2016 - 01:20 PM.
I don't understand why memory is such an issue either.
All you're basically doing is converting each input frame to a 1920 x 1080 (or whatever) bitmap, re-compressing to the ProRes format, and saving it a frame at a time to your output file.
With Acrok, if you press the cancel button during the transcode, it leaves whatever it's done up to that point as a truncated but otherwise operational file, so it doesn't sound like there's too much "housekeeping" going on. It's not like you need to hold several frames in memory at once, which would be the case if you were actually editing.
So far there have been no reports of anybody actually exploiting Quicktime like that.
What Apple were actually saying is that if you don't use QuickTime they suggest you uninstall it. But you could say that about just about any program...