Anyway, I'm going to be color correcting and color grading some footage for a music video. The files are all h.264 mov files. I've never had an issue with my computer being slow while editing or exporting them.
But I'm just wondering if I should continue to edit and color the original files, or if there is some benefit to creating Optimized files to edit with instead.
Optimized files will make them play back easier, but that's all. The color data in the originals is all there is. Transcoding to another codec won't gain you anything. Grade the originals, save the drive space and time.
ok cool. because i felt like i was going crazy. i saw a video from Larry Jordan, and he even commented back to me on the youtube video, and basically said if i plan on doing any color grading or color corrections, i should optimize my media, because ProRes is going to have more stops between pure black and pure white. and while i understand that, i just don't see how converting h.264 files to ProRes is going to help me in color grading and color correction in terms of quality. i understand how it can help in terms of rendering and quickly playing it back or exporting, but from a pure 'image quality' stand point, i don't see how there could possibly be a benefit.
bradywurtz wrote: ... Larry Jordan... commented... if i plan on doing any color grading or color corrections, i should optimize my media, because ProRes is going to have more stops between pure black and pure white...i just don't see how converting h.264 files to ProRes is going to help me in color grading and color correction in terms of quality...
You are correct, transcoding from H264 to ProRes doesn't help color or dynamic range. FCPX already edits in ProRes for H264, which is why the default render format is ProRes 422. Transcoding to optimized ProRes is for performance, not quality.
It's not like editing a .jpg in Photoshop multiple times where each pass re-compresses the already-compressed .jpg. It is more like editing a raw still in Lightroom where the edit steps are metadata.
By contrast it often does help to *acquire* in ProRes from the camera (where possible). But in those cases you don't need optimized media -- it's already in ProRes.
In cases involving 4k H264 where better editing performance is needed, it's often best to use proxies, not optimized media. The proxy of 4k is 1080, which is plenty good enough for most editing decisions and this does not degrade color or dynamic range but provides improved performance at about 1/6th the size of optimized media.
I know Larry, have for many years, and that doesn't sound like him. ProRes is capable of having more dynamic range between one end of the luma and chroma scale to the other, but when you transcode from another codec to it, it only has what you feed it. It only has the color data, thus the dynamic range, of the original. It doesn't add "stop" or dynamic range or extra data. That simply isn't possible.
If I have 4 marbles, I can move them from a small jar to a much larger jug, and shine a flood light on them, but I still only have 4 marbles.
Yeah, that doesn't sound like Larry. But then, I don't see much of his stuff around anymore. Shame, cause he's a nice guy. But, YouTube has killed off most all of the major trainers save Ripple Training. And even they are hurting from the free (and often incorrect / misguided) YouTube freebie tutorials.