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Alternatives to Prores and a video player recommendation for Windows
  • Hi

    I just switched to a Windows laptop from being an a Mac and I was hoping I could ask a few questions.

    Firstly what the Prores alternatives on windows? I know there is Cineform and DNXHR, though there are so many diffrent choices and flavors it is hard to know which one to choose. My intermediate and archive codecs in the past have been prores 4444 and prores 4444xq. What are similar choices on Windows and also what are the editors and graders using?? What is the standard most people use on windows?

    Also can anyone recomend a good video player to be able to check my footage on? Something I can go back and forward frame by frame.

    Thanks

  • 17 Replies sorted by
  • Canopus codecs same quality and versatility of prores. There is also a free Mac version

  • Thanks for that. I had a look at the 'Grass Valley HQX Codec'. Is that what you meant? It says it 422, is there a 4444 version?

    Thanks Chris

  • I would suggest going for the cineform codec. It is a Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers standard (VC-5, which I honestly do not know what it means). This being a standard will make it more popular over time. Other than that, I actually think most people on Windows use DNxHD and its variants, since they have been freely accessible for ages and they are known to work perfectly with AVID.

    I, personally, like cineform better at this point, but my impression is that both of them are good options.

    Good comparison here: http://www.hackermovies.com/intermedia-codec-test-prores-vs-cineform

  • Just because you switched to Windows does not mean you have to give up ProRes. First, editors like Vegas Pro 14 and Resolve 12.5 work with ProRes files, easily. Second, the VLS video player plays them easily.

  • Thanks for the link, very intresting, I was leaning towards Cineform, I will do some tests.

    Premiere and Resolve since the whole Quicktime issue can now play prores natively in the newer updates. But of course I cant make new prores files in windows.

    Cant seem to find and reference to VLS player, though I do use VLC player. The issue with VLC is it is hard to scrub through footage. I was hoping someone could recommend me another player.

    Thanks Chris

  • DNxHR HQX is 4K 10 bit 4:2:2 and should work fine across platforms. If you're working an 8 bit project go with DNxHR HQ instead.

    I've had so many problems with Cineform over the years I cannot recommend it. If you do decide to use it, test it with a big project... that's where I always ran into trouble.

  • cineform is the fastest intermediate codec if you using premiere on windows, only downside is bmd fusion cant read it

  • you can try mpv player https://mpv.io/

  • Thanks for that. I was looking for 4444, Tron what issues with Cineform have you had?

    Rheinpirat thanks for the MPV player recommendation, seems really good, with the scrubbing ability I wanted. Are there different installers? The one i downloaded is really basic, not even an open function just a drag and drop.

    Thanks Chris

  • ProRes has become the de facto pro codec for Windows, unfortunately. It is now natively supported in a lot of apps.

    Cineform has been very unreliable for me. With it now being old and unsupported, I really don't recommend it.

    Sony Catalyst Browse has basic player functionality and frame stepping.

  • Why use a codec? I don't use codecs anymore. ` If I did, I would use Cineform but it is a PITA.
    As for players, Pot player or Windows player with the K-lite codec pack.

  • A few years ago, I tried to configure Cineform to produce 4:2:2 10-bit transcoded files, but ran into a bug that was never satisfactorily resolved by customer support. Considering GoPro's current market-share troubles, I suspect Cineform's time may have passed.

    The most flexible Windows video player I've found is Media Player Classic, HomeCinema:

    https://mpc-hc.org/downloads/

    No matter which video editor you prefer, you owe it to yourself to learn how to use ffmpeg, directly from the DOS command window. It's literally the Swiss Army Knife of video encoders:

    https://ffmpeg.org/download.html

  • Amazing thanks for the info. Looks like I will be trying DNxHR for my intermediates. Also going to try pot player.

  • Never had an issue with Cineform (CF) 10 bit 422; render all video from Resolve to CF to bring back into Premiere Pro as well as all motion graphics from After Effects (with Alpha channel) and all final masters from Premiere. It retains all the info from BMPCC's ProRes files, renders way quicker than H264 and is smaller in size than ProRes. Seeing that it's been standardized by SPMTE I can't see how Cineform will be going away any time soon. I'm format agnostic, I don't give a shit where its from as long as it works and this one has performed beautifully up to this writing so I too am very curious what problems other people have had using it on PC.

  • @spacewig

    I too am very curious what problems other people have had using it on PC.

    I encountered geometric framing artifacts with Cineform in 4:2:2 10-bit color mode, exported from After Effects CS5.5. Cineform customer service rep was able to reproduce the bug, but couldn't deliver a fix. By that time, Cineform had become GoPro's responsibility to maintain...

  • I have been using Cineform for years as my go to codec and am very happy with the version I am using as its been very stable and is excellent for editing on 1080-25P timelines in Premiere Pro CS5 (Cuda enabled)...

    I had issues within After Effects with very early versions of Neoscene but these days have no problems at all with the codec.

    I am currently using GoPro Studio v2.0.1.139 (on Win7 x64) having given up using my licensed version of Cineform Neoscene (constantly activating my legal copy became a PITA). Later versions of this software however failed to install for some reason so I have stuck with v2.0.1.139.

    I have been able to use GoPro Studio with 4K files from my GX85 camera...it imports these .mp4 files and allows you to export UHD, QHD (2560x1440) or FHD 10 Bit 4:2:2 Cineform files.

    These files work well in both Premiere Pro and After Effects CS5...now that the codec is free its a great way to edit FHD footage and the wavelet compression is free from macro blocking artefacts - it looks great to my eyes...

    You can export files from within GoPro Studio using the high quality settings, but if you export files from within Premiere or After Effects you get even higher quality export settings (Filmscan1+2). I have rarely used the higher quality settings as I cant pick any difference but don't bother pixel peeping these files so their may be some improvement.

    @LPowell

    I export all my timelapse sequences from within After Effects CS5 and have never seen any artifacts on any of my footage...have you used later versions of GoPro Studio? What do "geometric framing artifacts" look like as I havent noticed any issues with the codec. Cheers.

    As far as media players go VLC does the trick for me...

  • I second the recommendation for MPC-HC as the best Windows player. It gives the best quality when using it with madVR. One good way to install it with madVR is through the free version of SVP:

    https://www.svp-team.com/

    This will also update madVR for you. Using the frame interpolation features are optional, but they are very well done.