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TOPIC: [SOLVED] Best video format to work with

[SOLVED] Best video format to work with 6 months, 4 weeks ago #159905

  • azymohliad
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Hi!

Preface: I found that Lightworks performs differently on different formats. Particularly, when I import the videos from my camera (Nikon D5100, mediainfo output is under spoiler below) they are played smoothly, and in general everything works pretty fast.

:pinch: Warning: Spoiler!


But if I convert it to slightly different format (I tried few, but here is an example under spoiler below, even the same codec) the playback often lags and most of operations feels slower.
:pinch: Warning: Spoiler!


So as I understand some formats are easier for Lightworks to decode in realtime than others. The main question is: what are the best formats/settings for input videos to work with in Lightworks (to work the fastest, while not loosing quality at the same time)?

Why not just use original videos from camera? I want to deshake them before further processing (btw, here is an awesome way for Linux), and so they need to be transcoded anyway.

I use Lightworks 14.0 on Archlinux.
Last Edit: 6 months, 3 weeks ago by azymohliad.

Re: Best video format to work with 6 months, 4 weeks ago #159998

  • hugly
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Hello and welcome!

Mediainfo of the transcoded file shows x264 metadata, probably encoded with a program using ffmpeg libraries. I suspect turning “CABAC” off and reducing “key_int” to something like 30 (instead of 250) should increase performance noticeably.

To improve performance with native camera formats and highly compressed transcoded file (with constant frame rate) Lightworks provides an internal proxy workflow.

When transcoding is necessary anyway, the most "edit-friendly" formats are video streams which contain only I-frames (Intra-frames, keyframes). Particularly, codecs developed for editing are best suitable, so called Digital Intermediates - DNxHD, ProRes, Cineform, HQX, Matrox MPEG2, to name the most common. For special applications image sequences (e.g. DPX, PNG) or uncompressed formats are used (e.g. YUYV, UYVY).

Due of the nature of those formats size of the resulting files can be very large compared to highly compressed AVC.

FFmpeg can be used on Linux to create most of those formats (not Cineform, not HQX, and DNxHD needs a license with Lightworks to be properly usable). My personal favorites are MPEG2-Intra and ProRes, if intermediates are needed.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...

Re: Best video format to work with 6 months, 4 weeks ago #160000

  • azymohliad
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Thank you very much for such a detailed and quick response. There are a many things in your anwser that I have to google additionaly (what is key_int, CABAC, about those formats) and that's good.

probably encoded with a program using ffmpeg libraries

Yes, I used ffmpeg CLI tool directly.

Lightworks provides an internal proxy workflow

Yeah, I've just learnt about proxies about 1 hour ago and tried them. This is really cool feature!

Thanks again!

Re: Best video format to work with 6 months, 4 weeks ago #160001

  • hugly
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My pleasure!

Do you need well tested command lines for MPEG2-Intra and ProRes?
It's better to travel well than to arrive...

Re: Best video format to work with 6 months, 4 weeks ago #160002

  • azymohliad
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Yeah, that would be great!

Re: Best video format to work with 6 months, 4 weeks ago #160003

  • hugly
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The following command lines assume source files with constant standard frame rate, and one video and one audio stream. ***

ProRes422 HQ intermediate
ffmpeg -i <INPUT> -c:v prores_ks -profile:v 3 -q:v 4 -c:a pcm_s16le -ar 48000 -y <OUTPUT>.MOV

MPEG2-Intra intermediate
ffmpeg -i <INPUT> -pix_fmt yuv420p -c:v mpeg2video -intra -q:v 1 -qmin 1 -c:a pcm_s16le -ar 48000 -y <OUTPUT>.MXF

AVC (highly compressed, just to compare, not recommended but probably somehow editable, long transcoding times)
ffmpeg -i <INPUT> -pix_fmt yuv420p -preset slow -profile:v high -crf 20 -x264opts keyint=30:keyint_min=1:cabac=0 -c:a pcm_s16le -ar 48000 -y <OUTPUT>.MOV


The last one shows how to set "CABAC" and "key_int" for x264.

Edit ***
Also progressive input is assumed.
For framerate conversion add: " -r <framerate> "
For basic deinterlacing add: " -vf yadif "
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Last Edit: 6 months, 4 weeks ago by hugly.

Re: Best video format to work with 6 months, 4 weeks ago #160013

  • hugly
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I've just detected that I truncated the extension when copying the command lines into the post above. Without extension they won't work. That's now fixed.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...

Re: Best video format to work with 6 months, 4 weeks ago #160062

  • azymohliad
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Thank you very much!
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