Thread: What format and codec do you render to deliver clips to an editor?

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  1. #1 What format and codec do you render to deliver clips to an editor? 
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    This workflow process is different for me because I am use to doing the color grading after it has been edited. For the particular project I'm talking about here the producer and DP wants me to color grade their RAW (out of the camera) footage of all the good takes that they have. Don't ask me why but that is what they want. So I take their files and graded every one of them. Now that I have graded them, the editor wants me to render all of them in an MP4/H.264 and upload to their server. I'm a bit taken by the loss in quality that MP4/H.264 will have but setting that aside I obliged. I assume when they finish editing, they will render it as a DCP or whatever other delivery format they wish. The process somewhat had some logic because there was no round tripping between the person doing the edit and me doing the grading. Everyone is working remote too.

    So now my question for everyone who has had to color grade and deliver is what format and codec in Da Vinci Resolve do you usually render to specifically deliver it to an editor for them to edit? For example, is it okay to send an H.264 Master?
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  2. #2  
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    Holy cow what a terrible workflow.

    Editors work with 1080p prores or dnxhd proxies. H.264 sucks ass to edit with because it's a streaming format and doesn't play smoothly since it has to be constantly decoded and the image quality is significantly degraded from the compression. The compression is also only intended to play forwards. First thing our editor would do if they had to edit with h.264 would be to convert them all to an intermediate codec. That's why prores and dnx are called intermediate codecs. These guys you are working with don't know anything, so be careful.

    I have never delivered a project in h.264 ever. I have also never colored a project BEFORE the edit. That is INSANE

    Are you sure they aren't just asking you for a lut applied to dailies? You're sure you aren't doing a color pass on the locked cut, conformed to your raw footage after the editor is done?
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  3. #3  
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    Yep, as an editor the first thing I would do is create ProRes proxies from your H.264 just so everything would playback smooth. and man, if i'm going to edit something, I need to see every take. Even the throw away garbage. I can't tell you how many times I've stolen a quick look out of a "bad" take.

    If the editor is asking for H.264 that's what I'd deliver but I'd check again, for sure.
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  4. #4  
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    You can export to ProRes444 and then use HandBrake app to convert to best quality 10 bit h264 (or h265). HandBrake can do even near lossless h264 but file sizes may be near same as ProRes. Maybe this is the sort of h264 they want?
    Overall it is really strange and unprofessional to ask for h264 as master source.
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  5. #5  
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    Thank goodness for your reply. I thought I had lost my mind. I always produce a Prores or DNxH* as an intermediate for editing (that is if I had control over things). No, it is not for dallies too. I don't know much about this crew. Someone referred me to them for a one off coloring job. Last conversation I had with the person editing (she is in Montana) that they are using Vegas to edit. I've never used Vegas before and have no idea why she wanted H.264. The only thing she kept on eluding is that I have to keep the file size down since they don't have much space on their cloud folder where I uploaded the files.
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  6. #6  
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    They are using Vegas? My jaw is on the floor lmao

    Not your project, so whatever, just do what they ask I guess. Cash that check as soon as you get it!
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  7. #7  
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    Last versions of Vegas supports natively ProRes mov files and reads them as true 10 or 12 bit. No gamma shifts between Mac and Windows.
    Older versions of Vegas needs system installed Quicktime codec and read ProRes mov files only as 8 bit and shifts gamma a lot.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeranSimpson View Post
    They are using Vegas? My jaw is on the floor lmao

    Not your project, so whatever, just do what they ask I guess. Cash that check as soon as you get it!
    That's right, not my project. It's a one time gig. I just want to make sure that I was not losing my marbles ingesting high quality footgae to grade and rendering H.264 for the editor to edit (and deliver). Maybe they'll encode H.264 to Prores. I'm not involved there. Cash that check soon.
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