Thread: Burning two halves of one film. . .

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  1. #1 Burning two halves of one film. . . 
    Hey all. . .

    . . . this isn't exactly a cinematography-related question, but I am certain I'll get a quick answer given that it is an image-related issue.

    I am burning my latest feature in two halves, each on Premiere Pro H.264 1080p 23.976 using CBR and 40 megabits per second. I'm doing this because sometimes things crash for various reasons.

    Once I get the two half burned, I plan to link them together on one timeline and then burn the complete film off of that (again, at 1080p).

    Is there any image degradation using this technique vis-a-vis if I burned it "first generation" all at once?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Stephen
    Scarlet Dragon with Canon, Sigma, and Tokina lenses and the Optitron 2 wireless focus system
    First feature film, Works in Progress, out on DVD (Vanguard Cinema) and online.
    Second feature film, the miniseries Terminal, currently available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R8RQ488
    Third feature film, The Tree, currently available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JJ179RP
    Fourth feature film, The Land, currently under review at film festivals around the world.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Brendan_H_Banks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Pruitt View Post
    Hey all. . .

    . . . this isn't exactly a cinematography-related question, but I am certain I'll get a quick answer given that it is an image-related issue.

    I am burning my latest feature in two halves, each on Premiere Pro H.264 1080p 23.976 using CBR and 40 megabits per second. I'm doing this because sometimes things crash for various reasons.

    Once I get the two half burned, I plan to link them together on one timeline and then burn the complete film off of that (again, at 1080p).

    Is there any image degradation using this technique vis-a-vis if I burned it "first generation" all at once?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Stephen
    I find it's best to go to an interim master codec anyway for any project (ProRes, Cineform, DNx). You will render that and then you use that single file to render out your lower quality finals. Even though you're encoding twice, you might notice the total render time actually is shorter. Now you've got the final version of your film in very high quality and can make any further versions from that master file. This two-step encode can also be automated with Watch Folders in Media Encoder. I also recommend queuing all exports through Media Encoder.

    You can do a test clip of just like a minute or two of your project to make sure it's all working before moving forward.

    All of this to say that you will find way less problems and crashes because your processors will have more singularly focused tasks than going straight from timeline to a viewing codec. Hopefully this means you won't need to export in two chunks and can just do the one straight through.
    Brendan H. Banks
    DP
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  3. #3  
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    ProRes was designed to have very little generational loss and is much easier to digest in Premiere than H.264, so I definitely agree with Brendan here.

    Also, the macroblocking in H.264 is definitely going to look worse in successive generations. Not a perfect comparison, but I found some more info here: https://goughlui.com/2016/11/22/vide...-loss-testing/ .

    I recently had a project where I had the following steps:

    1. Original Blackmagic Pocket footage recorded as ProRes
    2. Color corrected in Resolve and then exported as ProRes
    3. Imported into Premiere Pro and exported 7 separate scenes as ProRes
    4. Imported those scenes into ProRes and exported final master as ProRes
    5. Imported that master final and exported as H.264

    I didn't compare pixel to pixel, but the final master looked just like the original footage. I was actually shocked at how close it looked, and I'm really picky. I've always been concerned about round-tripping with Premiere Pro and Resolve, but at some levels (and YMMV) I don't think it's worth it for the negligible quality gains.
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan_H_Banks View Post
    I find it's best to go to an interim master codec anyway for any project (ProRes, Cineform, DNx). You will render that and then you use that single file to render out your lower quality finals.
    Yes, it's actually pretty common to use high-quality "mezzanine" files as an interim step. DNxHR 444 or ProRes 444 at the correct resolution would be good choices. I would first do (say) a 1-minute test to make sure the resultant H.264 deliverable from the interim file looks and sounds correct.
    marc wielage, csi colorist/post consultant daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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