… for Codecs & Media
Tip #1015: Media Planning Guidelines
Guidelines to plan and use media more efficiently.
As you plan your next project, here are some media guidelines to help you think about your media and the storage necessary to support smooth playback and editing:
- If deadlines are extremely tight AND you are not adding a lot of effects, you can edit H.264 or HEVC directly in your NLE. Otherwise, transcode all highly-compressed media into an easier-to-edit intermediate format, such as ProRes, DNx or GoPro Cineform.
- Always shoot the frame rate you need to deliver. Changing frame rates after production is complete almost always looks “jittery.”
- Image quality is not lost in transcoding (converting) a highly-compressed video format into ProRes.
- If the media was shot by a camera, transcode into ProRes 422.
- If the media was created on a computer, transcode into ProRes 4444.
- If the media was shot in log or raw formats, edit it natively and do the rough cut using proxies.
- Proxies are your friend. Use proxies to create a rough cut when using HDR or raw media; or frame sizes larger than 4K.
- Color grading high-quality 4K HDR media can require over 500 MB / second of data bandwidth! Make sure your storage is fast enough.
- Always have a reserve budget for more high-performance storage. You’ll need it.
- Always allow time to test your entire workflow from capture to final output before starting production. It is much easier to find and fix problems when not staring at a looming deadline. “I didn’t have time to test!” is never a good excuse.
Yes, there are exceptions to these rules, but not in most cases.
Here’s an article I wrote that goes into more detail for each of these.