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  #11  
Old 12-15-2009, 08:41 AM
SPC SPC is offline
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Default Re: Best Video File Format for PT

Hi,

This has been an ongoing issue for me. I use to use DV a while back all the time but this was when folks were bringing over the files on a drive. Then in the past year and a half (at one particular studio I freelance at often) I've been having some problems with sluggishness of Pro Tools (delay after hitting play and stop) - so I began to investigate.

I began to hear H264 was not the best option as it takes a bit of PTs muscle to decode the codec. So I began to ask the editors for photo jpeg or motion jpeg. This actually did not do the trick! Seems that H264 was better at eliminating my delay problems (go figure). Also, one editor gives me Sorenson 3 full rate at 320 x 240. This doesn't look great but at least I can work without these huge delays when hitting play and stop.

All that to say, I'm still seeking a good solution. The files that work on my system, which is most times pretty ugly (pixelated) is not what I prefer to work with - and forget about sending approvals with it looking that crappy! I'd love to learn more about what you all are finding.

Specs: Mac OS 10.4.11 (2gb ram), PTs 7.4, Avid Mojo SD, Video on it's own drive via USB2 (I know, I know but we tried FW as well).
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2009, 09:28 AM
mampam mampam is offline
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Default Re: Best Video File Format for PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrantFM View Post
Hello, I was wondering if anyone could give me any pointers of what the best (i.e. highest quality/ resolution) video file format and resolution for movie files to be imported into Pro Tools. In my experience, files (.mov, .mpeg, etc..) are being used more and more for "mix to pic" in advertising post, though a lot of the files I get are of a crappy quality and pixelate a ton. I would just like to be able to recommend a quality file format to the film editors to export so that when I have clients in the room, it looks professional.

Any advice ?
Thanks in advance !
I like receiving MP2 from the editors....it is small and looks as best as can be expected AND since it is a muxed file I never have audio/video sync issues. This I convert to DV25/720/480 at the working frame rate. When I bounce out an approval it should look at least as good as the file I received.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2009, 02:24 PM
postprosound postprosound is offline
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Default Re: Best Video File Format for PT

While i'll agree that the video quality per gig of MP4/h.264 is frankly, amazing, i find that it does suck the system down. The place that i notice them the most is scrubbing, and more importantly when i change impulse responses on my reverb. I have found that it's worth it to have a M-Jpeg, or DV.
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  #14  
Old 12-16-2009, 09:30 AM
GrantFM GrantFM is offline
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Default Re: Best Video File Format for PT

Thanks for your replies everyone ! I appreciate it !
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  #15  
Old 12-16-2009, 11:51 AM
mikevarela mikevarela is offline
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Default Re: Best Video File Format for PT

slipdiskdave---

remember that H.264 is a NON-FRAME-ACCURATE codec, while it looks great it's not precise.

-----

DV is large, but if prohibitively so, use MJPEGA or decrease resolution.
Also, (Dallas) I also convert H.264 to DV when working sometimes, but only because I use a Canopus and thus Firewire, but still remember that it carries along the inaccurate frame count.

crap in = crap out.

Ask the editor for a DV bounce, highest quality. Use QT Pro to manage sizes on your end.
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  #16  
Old 12-16-2009, 05:57 PM
tigas tigas is offline
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Default Re: Best Video File Format for PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikevarela View Post
slipdiskdave---

Ask the editor for a DV bounce, highest quality. Use QT Pro to manage sizes on your end.
Get MPEG Streamclip while it's free and don't bother with QTPro. MPSC goes into the Quicktime libraries and acesses what QT Player keeps locked without a Pro license.
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  #17  
Old 12-16-2009, 08:08 PM
philper philper is offline
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Default Re: Best Video File Format for PT

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Originally Posted by tigas View Post
Get MPEG Streamclip while it's free and don't bother with QTPro. MPSC goes into the Quicktime libraries and acesses what QT Player keeps locked without a Pro license.
+1 for MPEG Streamclip. You can also get from h.264 to DV via Compressor.

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  #18  
Old 12-17-2009, 09:38 AM
Nathan W. Nathan W. is offline
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Default Re: Best Video File Format for PT

It depends on 3 factors: 1) file size 2) computer horsepower 3) workflow

File size is an issue if you work remotely. Horsepower is a concern if you're using a G5 and workflow is concerned if it takes a lot of time to covert to different formats.

The amount of time for editors to convert to different formats is very costly in the long run. H264 looks really good and the upside is the small file size, the downsize is the editors will hate you for requesting it because it takes a really long time to convert a quicktime to h264. I've seen 3hr+ conversion times! Also, your computer won't like you as much if you're using an older machine, and your edit window will lag in performance.

If quality and performance are your concerns it's DVCProHD and MotionJpeg100 codec. DVCProHD is superior in my opinion because a lot of editors work natively with DVCProHD therefore no conversion is needed upon export! =) Only downside is you need the codec which can be annoying to get if you don't already have it. MotionJpeg100 works but there's conversion time needed because editors don't work natively in that format.
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  #19  
Old 07-26-2017, 07:18 AM
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DonaldM DonaldM is offline
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Default Re: Best Video File Format for PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipdiskdave View Post
I actually find MP4 and h.264 to be the best formats. I agree with Dallas that DV is awesome, but is often too big for the remote stuff we work on. The thing to remember, is that Data Rate plays a larger part in how sluggish PT will react to the MOV, more so than actual resolution size. For example, an MP4 at 1920x1080 with a fixed data rate of 1000 will play much faster than an MP4 at 640x360 with a fixed data rate of 5000. When encoding an h.264, the default setting for data rate is usually "Automatic" which uses the highest manageable data rate at given point. Great for the video; bad for PT.

Whenever I get a squirrelly QT, I usually convert it in QT Pro to a 640x360 (640x480 for SD) MP4, with a data rate of about 1000, and a quality of High. Gives me enough resolution to see what's going on, but small enough for PT not to freak out. Your playback will also vary depending on your computer.

Best of Luck!
I know this thread is from 8 years ago, but what's being discussed here with respect to H.264 are precisely the same issues I've been experienced from a particular project I'm working on as the VE sent me MOV files with H.264 codec. It was creating all sorts of havoc with PT for me. So, we found this thread (actually the VE found it) and he fixed the bit rate and sent me an MP4 in H.264 and it seemed to work a bunch better. But my general question is this: is the advice here still apt? I understand the problem with being sent ProRes or DV files, as they are so huge. (The VE told me when he rendered to ProRes the resulting file was 17gig!). So, do you routinely just transcode the H.264 to ProRes or DVxHD? Are there any issues that arise from doing that? What do you all normally request from your VE's in terms of codec/format? I want to avoid these sorts of issues on future projects with this client and find a good solution that makes it easier for him to transfer the files via Dropbox to me, but minimizes or eliminates the issues the video files create in a PT session sometimes. Thanks for any insights!
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  #20  
Old 07-26-2017, 08:02 AM
Tim R. Tim R. is offline
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Default Re: Best Video File Format for PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldM View Post
So, do you routinely just transcode the H.264 to ProRes or DVxHD? Are there any issues that arise from doing that? What do you all normally request from your VE's in terms of codec/format? I want to avoid these sorts of issues on future projects with this client and find a good solution that makes it easier for him to transfer the files via Dropbox to me, but minimizes or eliminates the issues the video files create in a PT session sometimes. Thanks for any insights!
H.264 is a much more manageable file size when sending files to work remotely. As was mentioned it is terrible to work with in Pro Tools. Since I began transcoding every video I get to ProRes I have virtually eliminated my video playback issues in Pro Tools. The only down side in my experience is that the ProRes files are LARGE (and the transcode can be time-consuming and is a bit of a resource hog while it's working if you are on a "lean" machine like mine).
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