VFX rendering settings

Potter_Productions
Potter_Productions Website User Posts: 26 Enthusiast
edited September 2020 in Post-production techniques

 @FXhome could anyone give some advice on the best exporting options for VFX in hitfilm, but so it can go to another program for the final edit, e.g. edit in DaVinci resolve. here is a scenario, i plan to be shooting with Blackmagic RAW Constant Bitrate 3:1, then doing vfx in hitfilm but then need to export to DaVinci for final render, which is the best exporting settings? i hear that mov (GoPro CineForm RGB 12-bit with alpha) is potently the best but some advice would be great.

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  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,721 Moderator

    @Potter_Productions From a personal stand point, I like Image sequence either PNG or OpenEXR, but that requires finagling with the audio so I understand it is not an option in all cases. I'll let the experts weigh in on actual facts though.

  • Potter_Productions
    Potter_Productions Website User Posts: 26 Enthusiast

    @tddavis thanks for the insight, i'm not too worried about audio as i would edit in davinci for all the colour grading and audio workspace so then audio wouldn't matter too much as most will be out of camera and so i think will be fine not to have it

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,362 Ambassador

    Remind me if you're on Express or Pro?

    If Express do you own the 3D model, VFX: Starter, Color: Correction, or Color: Scopes add-on packs?

    For coloring in Resolve you'll want to maintain as much color and detail as possible. Part of this is project color depth. In Express without the above mentioned add-ons you're limited to 8-bit/pixel color depth. If in 8-bit color depth there's little benefit in a 10 or 12-bit Cineform export. The extra bit depth is basically wasted and your best option will be PNG image sequences, which are totally lossless. An 8-bit Cineform export should also be fine. Medium quality Cineform will be enough.

    If you have one of the above add-ons or are in Pro, you should be working in a 16-bit mode (in Pro you can go 32). Whether Linear or Float is your choice. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Point is the higher bit depth gives you more latitude and will improve the look of glows, gradients and blend modes.

    In a 16-bit color mode your best compromise between quality, file size and performance is 12-bit Cineform. If you don't have transparent backgrounds try making a custom preset that's RGB. Without transparency RGBA just makes 25% larger files with zero benefit. Medium or High quality is probably good enough. Filmscan quality files are massive.

    The absolute highest fidelity image one can export from Hitfilm (Pro only) is 32-bit EXR sequences. These will eat drive space for breakfast and be sluggish to work with. Since you're doing your edit in Resolve and VFX in Hitfilm I'm guessing only 10-20% of your footage is round-tripping so EXR might be fine for short clips.

    Honestly 32-bit EXR is usually overkill. Even a major studio or effects house starting with RAW is most likely to use the RAW for initial color correction and grading, then rendering ProRes HQ/XQ which is used throughout the rest of the edit, effects and grade stages. ProRes, DNxHD/DNxHR and Cineform are all intermediate codecs designed to maintain high image quality while offering reasonable performance.

    TL/DR Your first instinct is the right one. And, anything going from Resolve to Hitfilm should be exported as a high quality ProRes, DNxHD/DNxHR or Cineform.

  • Potter_Productions
    Potter_Productions Website User Posts: 26 Enthusiast

    @Triem23 I have Pro, but what's the difference between liner and float

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,362 Ambassador

    Just use float. It's a boring technical thing. Basically linear levels represent straight binary bits which makes light easier to simulate, but it will push all your video footage brighter and you'll have to correct. Float levels are roughly logarithmic and offer a smoother color latitude and it won't shift video colors.

  • Potter_Productions
    Potter_Productions Website User Posts: 26 Enthusiast
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