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Apple's ProRes 422

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Apple's ProRes 422
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Apple's ProRes 422 codec

Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson,
Creative COW,
Boston, MA USA

©2007, Creative COW

Article Focus:
Apple's ProRes 422 is the most talked-about feature in any application for quite some time. As users finally start getting their hands on Apple Final Cut Studio 2 and working with ProRes, a number of questions have popped up. Part 1 of this article compiles some of the answers to questions including capture, performance, resolution and workflow basics from across The COW.


205 posts in 11 forums! As I write this Wednesday, May 30 2007, that's the number of posts we've seen on Apple's new ProRes 422 codec here at Creative COW in just the past two weeks! It's an understatement to say that this is the most talked-about topic in our communities right now.

Needless to say, it's impossible to summarize all of that information into even a very long article. I'm going to try to do it in TWO very long articles. Even so, I'll just be getting started.

This small sample is taken just as Final Cut Studio 2 hits the streets. I suspect that's part of the reason why people are talking so much about it, don't you? To make my cross-section of the conversation relatively accurate, I've taken points from 8 of the 11 forums where ProRes has been mentioned in the past two weeks.

For the record, barely half of the posts are in the Final Cut Pro forum. The other 10 are News & Press Releases (only 1 entry there in the past 2 weeks!), AJA Kona, AJA Io, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Color, Apple Final Cut Pro Basics, Apple Motion, Blackmagic Design Decklink, HDV Format, and Sony DV.

See what I mean? Plenty of ProRes talk to go around. It's chunky enough to eat with a fork, but I'm using a spoon here to skim the highlights, so you won't miss a single drop.

To keep things balanced, I've based this article on the most active conversations in 8 of those forums. There's vital information in each of these discussions, whether or not they appear to have anything to do with you. For example if you don't have an AJA card or use HDV, those forums have non-product specific info that you wouldn't want to miss.

It happens that HDV is a special case. The combination of ProRes and HDV generated posts across 5 forums. As with the overall topic of ProRes, barely half of the posts came from the FCP forum. Only 1 in 7 of them actually in the HDV forum!!

Any guesses on the number 2 forum for HDV ProRes posts after FCP?

Apple Color, with twice the number of mentions of ProRes workflows for HDV found in the HDV forum!

Apple Color and HDV clearly need special attention, and they'll get that in part 2 of this article, coming next week. I'll share The COW's collected wisdom on the separate issues of ProRes for Color and HDV, as well as their intersections.

As we get underway with part 1, I'll remind you that the reason why Apple's own ProRes 422 whitepaper is a whitepaper is that the subject simply doesn't lend itself to pictures. Because this article arises out of The COW's collected wisdom, we've added pictures of cows.

Last thing before we begin taking a look at what ProRes is and how it works: my deep apologies for not mentioning the name of every poster I've used as a source. I admire each and every one of you for volunteering to walk the plank with both questions and answers on so visible a topic. And because I might take information from several forums in the course of a single paragraph, I've mostly skipped references.

Also, I'll be honest, I wound up with 50 pages of pasted posts as notes, and I lost a few names along the way.

But even where I speak in my own wisenheimer manner, with one or two obvious exceptions, I'm speaking from The COW's collected wisdom.

A quick confession: I've yet to install FCS 2. Too busy writing articles like this. Since I'm currently unable to verify any of this information on my own computer, I've tried to base everything here on information from more than one poster. Between that and our communal lack of experience, all of this is subject to change. I'll be sure to post any corrections along with part 2 of this article next week.

Comments, questions, corrections? Please post corrections, comments and questions about this article and the upcoming part 2 to the COWmunications Feedback forum.


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Re: Apple's ProRes 422
by Bob Smith
I know Apple ProRes 422 from macnn.com and know Apple ProRes 422 is powerful. It can only import to FCP 6 or FCP 7 for editing and the quality is good. But there is only software was recommended by macnn is Foxreal Video Converter for Mac has this function. You can know from the niews:http://www.macnn.com/articles/10/12/31/converter.works.with.hdv.avi.mkv.tivo.more/


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