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Creating ProRes422 on Windows

Carl Kadie, Technical Advisor to Slugco Films

Several film festivals have asked for my 16-year-old son Ben Kadie's Alone Together in ProRes format. We figured out how to do it and thought that others might find the information useful.

Aside: How to avoid all this

Method 1: Spend $50 (or 25% less until March 15, 2014 with coupon code "CODECS25") by buying the ProRes codec from Miraizon. With you can create ProRes files on Windows directly from programs such as Sony Vegas (and presumably Premiere and After Effects, etc). We've only tested it on one video so far, but it seems to work fine. There is a 30-day guarantee.

Method 2: If you can use CineForm or DNxHD instead of ProRes422, you can avoid all this. The CineForm decoder is free to anyone and some versions of the encoder are free, too. The DNxHD encoder and decoder are free on Windows and Mac.

Method 3: (what I know do): write out to CineForm or DNxHD first then convert that file to ProRes with http://www.cinemartin.com/cinec/ a great free tool.

Please send any suggestions or corrections to carlk@benkadie.com.

Also see: Ben Kadie Filmmaking Tips Facebook Page


Video of the Final Steps


Install

o   Install 7Zip from http://7-zip.org/. We use 32-bit.

o   Download Ffmpeg from http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/. We use “32-bit Builds (Static), Latest” even though we use 64-bit Sony Vegas and 64-bit Adobe programs.

o   Use 7Zip to extract its files to, for example, c:\users\CarlK\Downloads\

o   This is the program that will create the ProRes422.

o   Install AviSynth from http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/Main_Page#Official_builds, 32-bit. For me, this meant running AviSynth_258.exe.

o   This is the program that provides input to Ffmpeg.

o   Install “DebugMode Frameserver” from http://www.debugmode.com/frameserver/. Internet Explorer this installer, so I had to tell it to run anyway. (Or I could have used FireFox.)

o   As you install, it asks that you select all the editors you use. For us this is 32-bit and 64-bit Sony Vegas. Adobe Premiere and Pure Motion Edit Studio are choices, too.

o   This is the program that connects for editor, for example, Sony Vegas, to AviSynth.


Rendering

·         Sony Vegas (Adobe Premiere should be similar)

o   Create a project with the resolution that you want.

o   You SHOULD (this used to say "SHOULDN'T") have the COMPUTER-RGB-TO-STUDIO-RGB filter on. (We do have this filter on when we create MP4, DVD, and Blu-ray files).

o   As an example, I’m rendering Ben Kadie’s ALONE TOGETHER for a film festival. The festival wants the film in its native resolution which is 1280 x 540 pixels and 23.976 fps.

o   In Vegas, “Render As” to a so-called signpost file.

§  “Save as type: DebugMode FrameServer (*.avi)”

§  “Template: Project Default”

§  “File name: c:\Users\carlk\Desktop\AloneTogether.temp.avi” (for example)

§  Press the “Save” button

o   The “DebugMode FrameServer” panel pops up. Say:

§  “Video Output”

§  “Format: YUY2”

§  “Write audio as PCM samples in signpost AVI”

§  Press the “Next” button

§  It writes for a short time and then pops up a the “DebugMode FrameServer” again.

§  Just leave this and Vegas as is. Working together they are now offering any frames of the film to programs that can read the signpost file.

§  You can test this signpost file by opening it up in Windows Media Player and seeing that plays.

·         Creating the AVS file

o   In the same folder as your signpost file, create a text file with extension *.avs and single line.

o   In my example, on my desktop (C:\Users\CarlK\Desktop\), I create file AloneTogether.avs that contains:

DirectShowSource("AloneTogether.temp.avi")

o   You can test this file by playing it with Windows Media Player.

·         Create the ProRes442

o   Open a command prompt

o   Move to the directory of your signpost file. In my example,  

> cd C:\Users\CarlK\Desktop

o   Figure out where Ffmpeg actually got extracted to. For me, it’s in C:\Users\CarlK\Downloads\ffmpeg-git-e01f478-win32-static\bin

o   So, now I add this to my path, with this command:

§  Set path=C:\Users\CarlK\Downloads\ffmpeg-git-e01f478-win32-static\bin;%path%

o   Test that it is on the path by typing this (and seeing the help message)

§  Ffmpeg

o   Run Ffmpeg for real:

§   Ffmpeg -i AloneTogether.avs -r 23.976 -vcodec prores -profile 3 AloneTogether.1280x540.prores422.mov

·         Where the number after the “-r” is your framerate.

·         The file after “-i” is your input.

·         The final file is your output.

o   When it finishes you’ll have your ProRes file!

o   You can test this by playing with the QuickTime player.

·         Back to Sony Vegas

o   On the “DebugMode FrameServer” panel, press “Stop Serving”

o   Vegas says: “Rendering Complete”. Press “Close”

o   Close Vegas.


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