Codec Question

HeySiri
HeySiri Posts: 386 Just Starting Out*

What codec would be best for editing in Hitfilm? On Production Crate there a few options:

MOV - PNG Codec

PNG Sequence

MOV - ProRes 4444

MP4 - H.264 Codec

I have a 2018 Mac Mini, 3.2 i7 processor, 8 GB ram, Intel UHD Graphics 630 1536 MB.

Comments

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    ProRes is probably your best bet, and with that machine you'll probably want to stay in HD. 

  • tomkane18
    tomkane18 Posts: 35 Enthusiast

    Which option for a Windows 10 PC?

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    If you're not going over 2K, Cineform works well. I'm finding that 4K Cineform playback in HitFilm isn't great though, unfortunately (buttery smooth in Lightworks and Resolve, but pretty slow in HitFilm on the same machine).

    HitFilm does handle 4K ProRes well. The best alternatives that I know for Windows are the Grass Valley codecs (freely available from the Grass Valley web site), and the new Avid DNxHR codec (which I think is also freely available, but Avid's site "organization" makes it a bit challenging to find -- best just to use Google).

    I don't know how well h.265 plays in HitFilm on my new machine and with the latest version, I haven't tried yet.

     

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,294 Power User

    @WhiteCranePhoto at the moment, h.265 is a total no-go. For now, FXHOME isn't paying the rather high license fees. 

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    @Triem23 @#$)*&()&*^*(^&@#$#$#%$ license fees... sigh.

     

  • tomkane18
    tomkane18 Posts: 35 Enthusiast

    Thanks for the response but I meant in terms of the options offered by Production Crate.

    Which of the Production Crate options should a Windows 10 user download for use in HitFilm?

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    ProRes should be your first choice if it's available. Cineform is a good option as well. It's really unclear what codecs the "raw, lossless" options include though; that might be a bit of a bear for HitFilm unless they're Cineform raw (which HitFilm doesn't do a great job with, apparently -- unless it's faster with Cineform raw than with Cineform)... image sequence clips will be the easiest on your CPU, but not so easy on your disks...

  • Neptunos
    Neptunos Posts: 73 Just Starting Out*

    ProRes works well on the Mac Mini, I usually convert via EditReady to ProRes. This allows for quick editing. But without an external eGPU Hitfilm does not make any fun to work with. Invest in a Sonnet Box and a Radeon 580. That makes really a difference! Hopefully FXHome release AMD decoding support for Mac (overall leveraging the GPU better) , too...

  • HeySiri
    HeySiri Posts: 386 Just Starting Out*
    edited December 2019

    @WhiteCranePhoto @Neptunos to me, file size is no problem. My computer has literally several terabytes dedicated just for storing my video files.

    But, is ProRes constant framerate? I don't entirely understand codecs and everything, I just do what articles say... Basically, will downloading ProRes be immediately ready for use in Hitfilm? When I use video from my phone I have to run it through handbrake to change the file type & change it to constant framerate.

    EDIT: Just tried importing a ProRes file I just downloaded from production crate into Hitfilm. It just says "Load Error" and won't import. What do I do?

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    HitFilm does pretty well with ProRes. 

    The size of the files isn't the issue, it's the speed of your disks. If they're spinning disks, you're probably going to have pretty poor performance with raw until you convert it to something more computer friendly, like ProRes or Grass Valley's codecs. 

    ProRes is old, but it's still a widely accepted professional mezzanine codec. It's an option on my Red... which should give you an idea of its pedigree.

    Check to make sure that the download wasn't interrupted? And as a sanity check try to open it in Resolve, that will allow you to determine whether or not the file itself is intact. If it plays in Resolve but not in HitFilm, then it might be time to start a bug thread to figure out what's up. The only other possibility that I can think of is that it's a flavor of ProRes that didn't exist when FXHome implemented ProRes support in HitFilm. 

     

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,376 Expert
    edited December 2019

    "But, is ProRes constant framerate?"

    Any codec is not constant or variable framerate. They all can be either. It depends on the application encoding the file. Extremely unlikely that any Prores file is ever going to be variable frame rate.

    "It just says "Load Error" and won't import."

    I believe Hitfilm has problems with 12-bit 444 Prores XQ encoded files. 10-bit 444 XQ does not seem to have a problem. At least what I have tried.

    Some seem to encode extreme max just because they can and not because it gives anything. The 12-bit Prores XQ can have some compatibility issues.

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    "Some seem to encode extreme max just because they can not not because it gives anything. The 12-bit Prores XQ can have some compatibility issues."

    As in the case when some people who don't know any better complain about cameras not recording a 4444 format instead of a 444 format...

  • HeySiri
    HeySiri Posts: 386 Just Starting Out*

    @WhiteCranePhoto @NormanPCN is there any way to fix the problem of them not importing into Hitfilm? I’ll try redownloading them.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,376 Expert
    edited December 2019

    "...who don't know any better complain about cameras not recording a 4444 format instead of a 444 format..."

    Wow. But I guess I should not be entirely surprised. 

    @HeySiri "is there any way to fix the problem of them not importing into Hitfilm? I’ll try redownloading them."

    My only thoughts are that you need to transcode. What you transcode to depends on many factors including your needs. Really one can often transcode to AVC and not see a difference. But if the media is 444(4) then you may want to keep/transcode it to another 444(4) format. It seems silly to transcode from Prores 444 XQ to Prores 444 XQ, or something else, but what else can we do. That is all we have right at this moment.

    To know what your media spec are, the free MediaInfo utility gives these specs. It does not identify 10 and 12-bit Prores XQ files. All XQ is grouped. File header(s) identify XQ but the component bit depths seems only identified in the data stream itself. The exact media specs may not mean anything to you, but that is what forums like this are good for.

    If there is another reasonable and supported format you can download in then you can try that.

    Firstly, loudly  gripe to FxHome support about a/the missing(?)/bugged(?) Prores support. FxHome needs to worry about this simply because of stock media vendors. Extreme max encodes are likely even if silly/excessive.

  • HeySiri
    HeySiri Posts: 386 Just Starting Out*

    @NormanPCN how do I transcode the prores files then? With what program? Would handbrake do it?

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    If they load in Resolve, you can as a temporary workaround re-encode them as DNxHR or https://www.edius.net/hqx.html and use that in HitFilm. 

    In the mean time, let the FXHome folks know what clip is failing so that they see if it's something they can address.

    If it's something in the licensing agreement from Apple though, there might not be much that FXHome can do about it. Hopefully that's not the case though...

     

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,376 Expert
    edited December 2019

    @HeySiri "how do I transcode the prores files then? With what program? Would handbrake do it?"

    Depends on what codec you want to transcode to. Handbrake can only transcode to AVC/H.264 or HEVC/H.265. Silly to DL Prores and transcode to AVC when you can just DL AVC from the start. Unless you are hoping for a future FxHome fix and want the 444(4) for posterity.

    As for transcode software on the Mac, that is beyond my experience. Me Windows.

    Yes, ffmpeg would work there (Mac), and I know ffmpeg but that is a pretty technical program to use (command line). Probably not your cup of tea. I have provided ffmpeg scripts (windows) for forum users, for easy batch transcodes to various formats including Prores, but I cannot test that on Mac.

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    Oops. I overlooked the part about you being on a mac. 

    Just pop the file open in Resolve, drop it in a timeline, and export it as ProRes 422 HQ in its native resolution, and Bob's your uncle.

     

  • GarethOwen
    GarethOwen Posts: 233 Enthusiast

    Get the highest quality, then use this https://cloudconvert.com/ so you still have HQ while being easier for playback?

  • HeySiri
    HeySiri Posts: 386 Just Starting Out*

    Thanks for all the replies everyone. I contacted Hitfilm support and they said, quote:  “That particular file uses ProRes 4444 XQ, which is not supported by HitFilm. I would check with the providers of the file to see if they offer it in any other variant of ProRes, and if not, then you can convert it yourself to any variant of ProRes that is supported by HitFilm (ProRes 422, 422 HQ, 422 LT, 422 Proxy, or 4444. If the file contains an alpha channel, then standard PRoRes 4444 would be the best option.” Unquote.

  • GarethOwen
    GarethOwen Posts: 233 Enthusiast
  • I would advise you to look at the table of codec comparisons on the Internet, use something like K.Lite, and this will solve your problems in the future. Another option would be to use https://www.movavi.com/ - such companies, ( I use it), they contain entire software packages and other things for interacting with all formats, there this issue is solved even faster.