Introduction to Apple ProRes – Part 1

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Apple ProRes is one of the most popular codecs in professional post-production. The Apple ProRes family of video codecs has made it both possible and affordable to edit full-frame, 10-bit, 4:2:2 and 4:4:4:4 high-definition (HD), 2K, 4K, and 5K video sources with multistream p
erformance in Final Cut Pro X.

Apple ProRes codecs provide an unparalleled combination of multistream, real-time editing performance, impressive image quality, and reduced storage rates. Apple ProRes codecs take full advantage of multicore processing and feature fast, reduced-resolution decoding modes. All Apple ProRes codecs support any frame size (including SD, HD, 2K, 4K, and 5K) at full resolution. The data rates vary based on codec type, image content, frame size, and frame rate.

As a variable bit rate (VBR) codec technology, Apple ProRes uses fewer bits on simple frames that would not benefit from encoding at a higher data rate. All Apple ProRes codecs are frame-independent (or “intra-frame”) codecs, meaning that each frame is encoded and decoded independently of any other frame. This technique provides the greatest editing performance and flexibility.

Apple ProRes Formats
Apple ProRes 4444 XQ The highest-quality version of Apple ProRes for 4:4:4:4 image sources (including alpha channels), with a very high data rate to preserve the detail in high-dynamic-range imagery generated by today’s highest-quality digital image sensors.
Apple ProRes 4444 An extremely high-quality version of Apple ProRes for 4:4:4:4 image sources (including alpha channels). This codec features full-resolution, mastering- quality 4:4:4:4 RGBA color and visual fidelity that is perceptually indistinguishable from the original material.
Apple ProRes 422 HQ A higher-data-rate version of Apple ProRes 422 that preserves visual quality at the same high level as Apple ProRes 4444, but for 4:2:2 image sources. With widespread adoption across the video post-production industry.
Apple ProRes 422 A high-quality compressed codec offering nearly all the benefits of Apple ProRes 422 HQ, but at 66 percent of the data rate for even better multistream, real-time editing performance.
Apple ProRes 422 LT A more highly compressed codec than Apple ProRes 422, with roughly 70 percent of the data rate and 30 percent smaller file sizes. This codec is perfect for environments where storage capacity and data rate are at a premium.
Apple ProRes 422 Proxy An even more highly compressed codec than Apple ProRes 422 LT, intended for use in offline workflows that require low data rates but full-resolution video.


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