Random Weirdness – Media

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Tip #072: Where Should You Store Media

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Internal or external storage. Which is best?

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As much as we obsess about our computers, storage is much more important to media editors. When it comes to planning your storage and media, there are two essential questions you need to ask:

  • How much capacity do you need?
  • How much speed do you need?

Most current computers – and all Macs – use high-speed SSDs for their internal boot drives. These provide blazing speed but very limited storage capacity.

So, as you are thinking about where to store media, consider this:

  • If you have a small project, using the internal SSD is fine.
  • If you have a large project, or need to move it between computers or editors, external storage is better because it is more flexible.
  • For best results, store cache files (and Libraries in FCP X) on the internal boot drive or your fastest external storage.
  • SSDs are about four times faster than spinning media (traditional hard disks), but spinning media holds more and is much cheaper.
  • A single spinning hard disk is fine for HD, but not fast enough for 4K or HDR,
  • RAIDs are preferred for massive projects, like one-hour shows or features, large frame sizes, HDR, or faster frame rates. They hold more and transfer data much faster than a single drive.
  • Don’t store media on any gear connected via USB 1, 2, or 3 Gen 1. It won’t be fast enough. Howver, you can use these devices for backups and longer-term archiving.
  • Servers are fine for storing and accessing media, but they won’t be as fast as locally-attached storage.
  • In general, if you are getting dropped frame errors, it means your storage is too slow to support the media you are editing. Invest in faster storage.

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Tip #061: When To Choose JPG, PNG or TIFF?

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Different codecs are best for different uses.

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While there are a LOT of image codecs, there are only four that you’ll need to choose from most of the time: PSD, JPG or JPEG, PNG, and TIFF. So, which should you choose?

Here are some tips.

PSD

This is the native Photoshop format.

Use this when you need to retain the ability to edit the elements of an image or when you want to enable, or disable, specific layers within the image.

NOTE: For best results, always embed media into the Photoshop file.

JPG or JPEG

This is a highly-compressed file best used for final distribution. Good image quality in a very small file size.

Part of compressing a JPEG file involves throwing away color data and reducing some of the image quality. While this is almost always OK for images destined for the web, it is not a good idea for any image that you want to edit.

NOTE: Compressing an already compressed file will materially damage quality.

PNG

This is a modestly compressed image format. Excellent image quality with a large file size.

This is a more modern format than TIFF and is the best choice for outputting finished images at high quality. While you can’t reedit a PNG image the way you can a PSD, this provides excellent image quality. PNGs, unlike JPEG, supports an alpha channel for transparent image elements.

The biggest limitation of PNG is that it is only supports 8-bit color.

TIFF

This is a lightly compressed image format, providing excellent image and color quality with a large file size.

TIFF is my go-to still image format. Supporting up to 10-bit color, alpha channels and essentially lossless images, it has been around for a long, long time.

The biggest limitation of TIFF is that, unlike PSD, you can’t edit elements within the image.