Lossless video export format to later use in Hitfilm again?

manjoyka
manjoyka Posts: 46 Just Starting Out*
edited October 2020 in Post-production techniques

Hi,

I have an hour-long project that got recorded as roughly 8 shorter clips. Since my computer freezes/crashes with hour-long Hitfilm projects, I would like to edit them as individual clips, then export them in a format where I do not lose the sound /video quality and later drop them all into a new HitFilm project to put them all together and export for YouTube. What format should I export those short clips in? Any advice on anything else that comes to mind related to this plan? Thank you for your time!

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,995 Just Starting Out
    edited November 2020

    Hello,

    Lossless is a big ask, because that's exporting EXR and PNG images. Likewise if you decide to export using uncompressed AVI then the file size will be enourmous. What I would do in your situation is I would export to Cineform and you'd want to do that for a couple of reasons:

    1. The file size will be significantly smaller than lossless/uncompressed formats.
    2. Cineform with a high enough bitrate is quite resistant to visible-to-our-eyes loss of quality, on a high number of re-encodes.
    3. HitFilm supports Cineform natively, so you don't need to install third party codecs to make imports work.
    4. Cineform is known as an intermediate codec, meaning it plays nicely in editor timelines when played back. This is generally smoother than non intermediates unless you use e.g hardware decoding and H.264, but that's not an ideal throwing back and forth codec to work with.

    Feel free to ask questions!

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,081 Enthusiast

    Agreed, Cineform is likely the best option. For lowest "loss" use the Cineform RGB variant. It has no chroma subsampling. Of course the source material was probably captured on a camera with subsampling but I digress.

    Choose a bitrate/quality option that seems visually lossless to your eyes. Since you are talking lossless in this thread then look at the Filmscan quality. You will probably find that high is just as good.

    The audio in the export to Cineform in MOV or AVI will be lossless PCM, so no issues there.

  • manjoyka
    manjoyka Posts: 46 Just Starting Out*

    Thank you, @CNK and @NormanPCN !

    I really appreciate your generosity in sharing your time and knowledge. I have found the export setting "GoPro Cineform RGB 12-bit with Alpha (MOV)" and selected it as default for the near future.

    @NormanPCN, where would I find the option for choosing Filmscan / high quality?

    Thank you and I wish you a great weekend.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,081 Enthusiast

    @manjoyka You need to create your own preset for export. There you can set all options. The predefined Cineform RGB preset also exports alpha, which you are unlikely to have in your stated use case. Not exporting alpha when you are not using it just makes the file smaller and faster to decode when you re-import it.


  • manjoyka
    manjoyka Posts: 46 Just Starting Out*

    Thank you, @NormanPCN !

    This is way out of my league. I am thankful for your input.

    Where would I found a way to edit an export preset, please? I have tried to find it in Hitfilm Express but have not succeeded.

    Would I then set the same values as in the screenshot above, or different ones, please?

    Concerning Alpha (which I don't know anything about) just to mention, it is a little Sony compact camera that is recording the video as .AVI and the voice is recorded into Audacity, I then save it as WAV.

    Have a great day!

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,030 Staff

    @manjoyka you can edit and create new presets from the Export panel. If you go to Export panel and then Presets, you can click the "New Preset" button at the top right.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,081 Enthusiast
  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Posts: 3,149 Ambassador

    Just for interesting info, in the recent tutorial from Hitfilm they use exporting to the PNG sequence to ensure losses.


  • manjoyka
    manjoyka Posts: 46 Just Starting Out*

    Thank you everyone!

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,995 Just Starting Out
    edited November 2020

    Glad you found the information useful.

    @Andy001z While true, it's not really the ideal format for the use case showed in this thread. The specific use case OP is referring to is a straight forward transcode, probably due to insufficient PC resources. It's a win-win situation.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,081 Enthusiast

    Speaking of the OP specific use case. I suggested Cineform RGB. In the specific use case of the OP, even normal Cineform 422 would be more than sufficient. But Cineform RGB more closely fits the magic "lossless" term used by the OP so I went that route.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,061 Ambassador

    @NormanPCN it's an interesting debate. If I were working in a 16 or 32-bit color space I'd absolutely go with Cineform as the 10/12-bit/pixel output would keep more color depth for future refining. The extremely minor pixelization one might get from Cineform more than outweighs the lossless, but 8-bit depth of PNG output.

    If Hitfilm could output 16-bit PNG things might be different.

  • manjoyka
    manjoyka Posts: 46 Just Starting Out*

    Thank you, everyone for helping me find my way around the Export Panel and the settings. @NormanPCN , thank you very much for the screenshot and link! It helped me to get it done. Have a great day!