MSP15(157) - ProResHQ422 DCP Rendering

K_T wrote on 2/10/2019, 9:33 PM

I am working with original 2K (2048) ProResHQ files with a delivery requirement of the highest quality (resolution/color) least compressed file for making a 2K DCP.

In order to output a file for the DCP with highest quality and least compression, what codec would you recommend?  The main choices seem to be HEVC or AVC by Sony or Magix, or am I missing something? Do I assume constant frame rate is better than variable? higher profile better than "main"?  is there a maximum bitrate best suited for the recommended codec(s) given that ProRes HQ is something like 200+ Mbps, and my ProRes assembly is about 62G?

The online manual is vague about the cost/benefit of some options: more or less slices, two pass VBR vs one, number of reference frames, what "encode quality" slider does to the picture and file? Rendering time and size is not an issue.
Many thanks for all suggestions!


Marco. wrote on 2/11/2019, 3:07 AM

First you need to know which input format is requested by the DCP packaging software. I think in most cases this software asks for image sequence input, e.g. OpenDCP supports TIFF, DPX and BMP as input (and JPEG2000, but JPEG2000 isn't supported as Movie Studio output).

K_T wrote on 2/11/2019, 9:54 PM

thanks for your message Marco. I have been informed that the DCP software takes MP4, ProRes, MOV, AVI, M2TS, VOB, WMV, MKV, JPEG, PNG, TIFF (and possibly other) files. there's no in-depth info in the MSP manual on the best color/resolution and lowest compression codecs within their rendering suite. and, no real commentary on the advantages/disadvantages of many of their settings within the MSP codec options.

there's a fair bit of online opinion about youtube upload options, but i'm heading the other way: large file, lots of good data, low compression. have you come across any good info on the MSP15 rendering options, or had particular success with a specific codec?


Marco. wrote on 2/12/2019, 3:23 AM

I haven't done any DCP delivery yet. If file size does not matter, to keep it simple and to be safe you could export to uncompressed AVI. You need to know this means 1 minute of 2k 24p video would take 12 GB storage (or 9 GB without alpha channel).

K_T wrote on 2/12/2019, 6:01 PM

thanks for the suggestion. i'm assuming you mean the Video for Windows option in MSP15? I found an HD 1080 24p YUV, and digging into the customize template an "uncompressed" at the bottom of a long list of codecs. once again there's no information from Magix on what all these codecs do, but uncompressed seems self-evident.

still, when I try and find out more within the template, clicking on the ? is a dead end, with no information pop-up, so no additional advice on the best interleave frame rate, why OpenDML would be useful (or not), and the advantages of adding Alpha Channel to the render.

I was also considering the Image Sequence option, which renders to TIFF or JPG, but again there's nothing in the template to indicate what you're getting. with TIFF I assume a high-resolution with no compression, but JPG by it's nature has a wide range of compression/quality options, but no way to know what MSP is doing.

I wonder if MSP is going to survive with so little effort by Magix to provide full information about their settings? with Resolve available for free, and Blackmagic providing extensive information, it may already be lost.

in any case, thanks for the suggestion. will try out this out as soon as I figure out if it's possible to "nest" multiple projects into one MSP15 timeline.

K_T wrote on 2/12/2019, 8:24 PM

my research into this matter of uncompressed files led to:

do readers of this thread have an opinion of DNxHD and this approach using MSP15 ?

Marco. wrote on 2/13/2019, 9:30 AM

Do yourself a very favor and – if file size doesn't matter – stay with AVI uncompressed (not YUV).

Leave the "OpenDML" option checked (as this garantues much wider compatibility) and "Alpha Channel" unchecked (you just don't need the extra alpha channel).


K_T wrote on 2/13/2019, 6:23 PM

thanks for your tips, Marco. will try out your AVI uncompressed suggestion.

do you have an opinion re DNxHD ?

Marco. wrote on 2/14/2019, 2:31 AM

DNxHD needs to be installed as separate codec both on your system as well as on the system of your client. Also DNxHD burries the pitfall of mixing up luma ranges. And it needs some knowledge about compression efficiency. If you are not familiar with color spaces and compression ratios and if you are not sure if your client has DNxHD installed, this is no choice.