....I'm new to working with proxies and trying to establish a good workflow. What codecs would be recommended for making export and ingest presets for proxy files to work with 4k footage? My cameras are Panasonic UX90 and my aerial camera is a DJI Mavic Air2... I'm working on a new Windows/PC system (i9/10 core/GeoForce RTX 3060/64GB RAM) with Premiere Pro CC (latest version).
Also,, my camera format options are MOV, MP4 and AVCHD on the UX90 and MOV, MP4 on the drone.
Would I be best to keep everything MP4 for editing on the system listed above? ((not networking or sharing projects .....just gonna be me working on that system).
Thanks in advance.
mp4 is typically long-GOP, the most amazing compression for file-size but the nastiest, most vile format/codec for editing ever conceived. I would NEVER use if for a proxy media.
Proxy media is all about playback, right? For that you need an intraframe codec. The Cineform, ProRes, and DNx options in the included proxy presets all work quite well.
I was thinking that if I'm using proxies for editing, that the format that I choose in camera would not make any difference in the editing workflow ...but I'm working on a PC instead of a MAC, so I thought maybe it would be better to choose MP4..... I always thought of MOV as more of an APPLE format, but maybe that has changed with the times and MOV would be a better choice (?). I could choose AVCHD as an alternative on my UX90, but I don't have that option on the drone. I thought it might be best to choose either MP4 or MOV for both the UX90 and the drone and thus keeping the footage on the same page for both cameras as much as possible. Do you think I'm on the right track with that thinking, or do I have something backwards?
Regarding proxies: If you are squeamish about QuickTime, use the GoPro Cineform codecs. They're quite good too. By the way, the 64 bit QuickTime codecs that run in Premiere were entirely re-engineered at Adobe. I wouldn't worry about QuickTime codecs so much any more. Avoid editing with AVCHD if you have a choice. It is an outdated format.
Personally, I would immediately transcode any camera originals and drone footage to ProRes LT or the like on ingest. Your world will be a lot easier after that. These files are rather large, so having a lot of HD space is important for that workflow. With camera originals backed up, you can always delete these files after you have delivered your project. Good luck.
That's very helpful. I'm just getting back into editing after being away from it for approx. 20 years and I'm just trying to navigate in this new landscape. Once I get a good workflow down, I'll be good ....getting closer and closer to that with every new bit of information that I learn ...couldn't do it without gurus like you guys shining a light on the path.
....just one more question if you don't mind... I'm having a bit of a hard time understanding the difference between encoding and transcoding. When you suggest to transcode camera originals to ProRes on ingest ...is that just for the proxy files, or is the native footage from the camera being given a ProRes codec for final output?
"Transcoding" is taking the original media, and making new files of it in a different format/codec. Such as taking an mp4 H.264/long-GOP file and creating a ProResLT intraframe file from it.
You would then import/ingest the t-codes to Premiere instead of the original media, and edit from them.
They may be a lot 'bigger' on disc than the original clips. I've know a lot of editors who t-code all H.264/interframe media into intraframe using Cineform, ProRes, or DNxHD/R codecs. Import/ingest the t-codes. And after the project is done, archive the original media and the project file, dumping the t-codes. You can always recreate them if needed.
....why do need to do that if you are working with proxies though? If I have it right in my head,, you are ingesting with a new codec, so Premiere is never really dealing with your original material, right (?) ....Do you do that because outputting/exporting your project will work more smoothly (as compared with Premiere having to work with your originals)? ...or is there a different reason?
....and you still would need to make proxies, right?
Working with full t-codes can at times be an easier solution. Note that the long-GOP formats are not made up of individual frames ... they have a few, but most 'frames' are simply data-sets of 1) pixels that have changed since the last (complete) i-frame, 2) pixels that will change before the next i-frame, or 3) both.
There are specialized chips in the cameras for creating those compression formats, and it reduces data to be written by an amazing amount. But even if say playback during editing with long-GOP media is easier via using proxies, the final computations of all effects for exporting has to be done with the original long-GOP media clips. And can take significantly longer at times.
Where exporting from 'original media' that is intraframe will typically go faster.
Mov/mp4 isn't an issue at all. PCs have worked with mov files for many, many years. Premiere Pro has for many years not only read but exported the QuickTime ProRes formats ... all of them.
I tend to prefer mov to mp4 but that's a personal thing. As on the cameras I've got, mov is intraframe while mp4 is intraframe long-GOP. So depending on the codec in that mov, maybe go with that. Not a big AVCHD fan here. And while you can make proxy files in-cam and 'attach' them in PrPro, you can also pretty quickly simply have PrPro make proxy files for your original media in the background, which is what I do.
Sometimes I use the Cineform preset that's perhaps a quarter-res frame-size, sometimes the ProRes Proxy preset. No rhyme nor reason there, they both work fine.
.....so I'm guessing that you're not interjecting politics when you talk about the GOP 😄
Just kidding.... your answers are very helpful.
I just need to educate myself in all of these GOPs, VFRs, I-frames, P-frames, B-frames, interframes, intraframes
and the like so that when I get great tips and advice from you guys, I can fully utilize it.
....I'm getting it, slowly but surely.
My brain may be processing it like a 4K MP4 file now ...but before long it will be chomping through it like a
ProRes Proxy file 🙂
Hey, this discussion is SIMPLE and in relatively plain English. You oughta listen to a ton of what I do ... when colorists get talking about whether to use ACES0 or ACES-AP1, what IDT to use with what CS options, and which EOTF and ODT should be used, and what they should look for in MAX-fall and Max-a ... sheesh. That's just a small subsampling!
"long-Group-Of-Pictures" ... what a heck of a bit of nomenclature, but that's the official designation for that sort of structure.
Interframe versus intraframe ... um ... are we talking automotive design, rockets, or rugby here or sumpin'? 😉
And the various types of '-frames' have been added to by partial '-frames', extending the distance between complete i-frames to at times over 100 frames in some analysis work I've seen. You think you're confused? Think of your poor computer at that point!
yep... I know, it goes deep...
...reminds me of learning German. At first you don't understand anything, and then one day you stop and say
'oh, hey,,, I know what that means.'
Anyway,,, I appreciate that you guys take the time to help us guys who are starting out make sense of it all.
If you're doing really quick turn-around content for social media with very light editing and minimal or no color correction, then maybe keep your source MP4.
Otherwise, no, do not keep everything MP4.
Take advantage of what Premiere Pro calls Smart Rendering (everything will be faster). That is: transcode all of your camera originals to ProRes; set your Sequence Video Previews to ProRes; Export your edited master to ProRes. Then, as needed, drop that into Media Encoder to create whatever you need for delivery.
If you're creating content for social media, go with ProRes422 LT. (1080p ProRes422 LT requires about 700MB/minute.)
If you're creating content for broadcast, cable, streaming services; go with ProRes422 HQ. (1080p ProRes422 HQ requires about 1.3BG per minute.)
Everything that this white paper discusses (frame size, frame-independent, chroma sampling, sample bit depth, data rate, quality, editing performance, flexibility, peak signal-noise ratio) is what makes ProRes excellent for editing and it is everything that MP4 is not. On the flip side, what makes MP4 bad for editing is what makes it strong for delivery.
Thanks very much!!
So in my camera I have a choice between MP4 and MOV ....one is not better than the other in my situation?
[that is ...editing on a PC with Premiere Pro CC (latest)]
.....sorry....let me rephrase that.....
If I am planning on transcoding my native footage to ProRes, Cineform or DNxHR on ingest ...it does not matter if I choose MP4 or MOV as the format in my camera settings?
Probably not. You could easily check ... does one get a higher bit-rate average out of the camera? I'd go with that one.
I will do that.
From the documentation, it looks like it's H264 in a MP4 wrapper or H264 in a MOV wrapper for the Panasonic UX90. If somehow ProRes was available directly (which it's not), then you'd want to shoot MOV.
It might not hurt to ask a Panasonic product specialist about the two options if you get the opportunity, though. When I used to shoot with the Panasonic AG-DVX100, I learned the most from conversing with one of the engineers at NAB.
Here are the recording specs:
|Recording Modes||MP4 4:2:0 8-Bit:
3840 x 2160p at 23.98/29.97 fps (100 Mb/s)
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/29.97/59.94 fps (50 to 200 Mb/s)
AVCHD 4:2:0 8-Bit:
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/59.94 fps (21 to 25 Mb/s)
1920 x 1080i at 59.94 fps (17 to 21 Mb/s)
1440 x 1080i at 59.94 fps (5 Mb/s)
1280 x 720p at 59.94 fps (8 Mb/s)
720 x 480i at 59.94 fps (9 Mb/s)
35 Mb/sec is a minimum for broadcast.
For quick turn-around social media, I'd consider 21 Mb/sec. For anything else I'd go with 100 Mb/sec.
Avoid the low bandwidth settings unless you're in a pinch and running out of storage space. In other words, always have adequate storage media.
....that's very helpful!!
yeah, I pretty much had ruled out using the AVCHD format based on what the others here had advised ...which actually works out better for me because I really want to match what I'm shooting between my panasonic and my DJI as much as possible ...and the DJI did not have AVCHD as a format option. In looking at the documentation for the UX90, it looks like they are lumping the MOV and MP4 formats together in the bitrate specs ...when I compared the file size of a 20 second clip from each format, they were the same size,,, so that makes sense. It sounds like I could choose either format, but I'll do some testing and see if there are any differences.
For what it's worth, if you have an H264 MP4 that needs to be a MOV, you just change the ".mp4" to ".mov". If you have an H264 MOV that needs to be MP4, you just change the ".mov" to ".mp4".
I would suspect that the Panasonic UX90 is just providing a user-based option to tell it which format to put the H264 picture stream into. There's probably no difference other than that.
just a heads up. I've been working on both a windows machine and a mac for the last year, transferring projects and media without issue. I almost always use prores proxies with the same pixel dimensions as the original media cause I just feel it's safer fwiw bwdik. prores works consistently within the premiere environment in Windows whether the proxies are generated on the mac or the windows machine.
The proxy workflow and creating and saving a working ingest preset can be a little daunting (again bwdik) and you may not always realize that your proxies are not attached... So I have a metadata preset available to show whether the proxies are attached or not. You can also do a "reveal in finder" (or the windows equivalent) when you've selected a clip in the timeline or the bin with the proxy toggled on in either the source or program monitor. And always test creating the proxy for one clip and checking to make sure it's attached before doing all your clips (the voice of experience is speaking here).
Also, you might consider actually making your camera original "offline" and actually relinking to your proxies. The advantage of this workflow is that your renders and exports will be much faster. And when you're ready to do your final full rez output, just make the proxies "offline" and relink to the camera original.
Thanks very much for weighing in
....again, I'm trying set up a smooth workflow after being away from editing for 20 years ...so I'm having to relearn lots of stuff because so much has changed. All of this information will definitely help with that ...very much appreciated!
I had a rude awakening when I went to edit 4K video on my new workstation last week
....lets just say there was not much editing going on... lol
PS... quick pros and cons question ...lets say I'm just wanting to make and archive some B-roll footage of some local landmarks (lighthouses, etc...) ...mainly learning to fly the DJI Air 2, but might as well keep some of the best footage. Lets say I shot 10 min, but just want to keep the best 2 min. for possible future use ....would there be any drawbacks to ingesting all of the footage into Premiere with a ProRes codec ...editing it down to 2 minutes, saving that edit and dumping the original footage?
A lot of people t-code and edit down the "extended" shooting they do for b-roll. I can build up a lot when I'm out doing something like that, 4k BRAW adds up quick. And for much of it, what I end up wanting to keep is only the audio. So I'll export a WAV file or two or three, and dump an entire folder of original media.
Thanks for the reply!!