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  1. I shoot alot of video that I don't plan to use in the future, but in some cases may need to pull from the archive. I would like to transcode this footage from codecs like ARRIRAW, BRAW, ProRes 422 and in some cases 60fps. I would like to convert the largest files in my library to H.265 with good quality options such as 10bit 422 in the case that I may need to add the footage back to an edit.

    Can anyone tell me what the best conversion tool and best settings would be in that tool for my purposes? I have FCPX, Resolve Studio, Premiere, Kyno, etc...
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  2. If you are archiving, you need to preserve the originals. Period.

    You can also make a lower resolution, lower bitrate version as an easily accessible library. Any of the programs you mentioned are suitable since the quality will be compromised by definition -- you go back to the actual sources for final output.

    I like Adobe Media Encoder (which comes with Premiere) because it is fast and you can do watch folders and batches. It will also maintain raster size and framerate by clip if you so choose.
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    If you are archiving, you need to preserve the originals. Period.

    You can also make a lower resolution, lower bitrate version as an easily accessible library. Any of the programs you mentioned are suitable since the quality will be compromised by definition -- you go back to the actual sources for final output.

    I like Adobe Media Encoder (which comes with Premiere) because it is fast and you can do watch folders and batches. It will also maintain raster size and framerate by clip if you so choose.
    very helpful document...looking for it for a long time.
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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Don't use delivery formats to archive.
    H.265 not good idea.
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  5. Agreed...partially.
    Typically, archiving footage for later use would mean retain the original camera files as shot - in a commercial setting.
    But, if you're archiving for personal use, archiving videos of low importance, etc., you can convert everything to a standard format like H.265 and kill the originals.

    Now, as for importing into a video editor later for editing, you normally would create proxy files if the originals are too bulky, big, cumbersome for editing quickly.
    https://support.apple.com/guide/final-cut-pro/create-optimized-and-proxy-files-verb8e5f6fd/mac
    That said, Premiere etc are moving to auto-proxies and native RED and other raw video editing with Nvidia GPUs powering it all, so do you really need to create proxies now?

    (Beyond that, how are you organizing clips?
    If you're not adding metadata and organizing using something like Adobe prelude, etc, you'll have hundreds of "I don't know what these are" clips later on.)

    ....

    Adobe Media Encoder can certainly do the encoding quickly for most formats.
    Adobe Prelude can do the same while adding metadata so you can find clips fast.
    Apple Compressor, too https://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/compressor/
    Might need After Effects for DNG files (http://neiloseman.com/converting-blackmagic-raw-footage-to-prores-with-after-effects/).
    (lol. some even build custom encode servers https://hackaday.com/2016/11/26/script-your-way-out-of-video-editing-drudgery/)
    https://acrovid.com/

    But, if dealing with raw, what about the LUT / color / etc. applied to the H.265 files? Any basic LUT or just flat conversion?
    Adobe Media Converter and Apple Compressor will certainly do a very good job at straight format conversion, but apply LUT, color correction, etc and you may need to use a video editing program to apply such, then batch the process.
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  6. Agree with @lordsmurf and @smrpix, H.265 is not a good idea, stick with H.264 unless we are talking about something over 4k and keep the originals.
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  7. Visually, H.265 and H.264 are fine formats for proxies, even at 4:2:2 10-bit, when properly encoded with sufficient bitrate.
    H.265 takes a whole lot more computing power to encode/decode, so even Handbrake with Quicksync can encode to H.264 far faster than H.265.
    In the past, few software supported H.265 for editing, etc, but nowadays, it's well-established such that the major video editing programs handle it natively just fine.

    Also, he's coming from RAW video formats, so H.265 provides up to 1/2 the storage space required of H.264 for the same visual quality, or better visual quality at the same size. Also, if he's geared up for shooting and editing RAW, I'll assume he's got a fast Nvidia card in his system that can handle the H.265 encode/decode without much trouble at 4K/6K resolutions typical for ARRI, BlackMagic, Red.

    Yes, there's alternatives - eg. Sony is pushing XAVC.
    But the key here is "unlikely to use" these videos again. If he wants to go through the trouble of creating unlikely-to-be-used proxies that will gobble hard drive space, might as well go for the smaller H.265 output and leave it on the drive for a few years until it's definitely useless, then delete.
    (I personally wouldn't go through the trouble - only indexing and adding metadata to find the raw clips quickly, then archive to cold storage - rather than wasting time encoding now.... unless I got rid of the RAW and only kept the H.265.)
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  8. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    The problem is GOP, not anything else mentioned here.

    MPEG is actually both delivery and editing, as is H.264. But pay attention to GOP, chroma, bitrate, etc.
    There are specs for these as well.
    For SD, I'd save as a 15mbit+ MPEG spec.
    For HD, to an AVCHD spec.

    Not H.265.
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