About Apple ProRes Codecs
Apple ProRes is a lossy video compression format developed by Apple Inc, and features real-time editing performance, remarkable image quality and reduced storage rates. And it finds wide applications in post production. If you use FCP frequently, you’d better get down to know what Apple ProRes codes are and several important tips when using Apple ProRes codecs.
Until now, there are 6 members in Apple ProRes family:
Apple ProRes 4444 XQ is the highest-quality and utmost version of Apple ProRes, and it can preserve the detail in high dynamic imagery. Please note that Apple ProRes 4444 XQ is supported by OS X Mountain Lion v10.8 or later versions.
Apple ProRes 4444 is an extremely high-quality version of Apple ProRes and features full resolution, and it is used for storing and exchanging motion graphics.
Apple ProRes 422 HQ is a higher version than Apple ProRes 422, and Apple ProRes 422 LT is a more highly compressed codex than Apple ProRes 422 and it is perfect for conditions where storing capacity and data rate are quite needy.
As a more highly compressed codex than Apple PRores 422 LT, Apple ProRes 422 Proxy is used for offline workflows that ask for low data rates but full resolution is still required.
Apple ProRes 4444 and Apple ProRes 4444 XQ are both ideal formats for motion graphics media exchange due to their lossless feature. Different from other members in Apple ProRes family, Apple ProRes 4444 and Apple ProRes 4444 XQ are characterized by alpha channel support.
Click here for details about Apple ProRes codecs.
Advantages of Apple ProRes codecs
Superb quality preserving: Apple ProRes codecs can maintain quality even after multiple encoding and decoding.
Mastering quality: Provides a lossless alpha channel with real-time playback (Apple ProRes 4444 only). Mastering-quality 4:4:4 Y′CBCR color and 4:2:2 Y′CBCR color are also available.
Encoding at any frame size: Apple ProRes codecs support any frame size such as SD, HD, 2K, 4K, and 5K.
Consistent quality: Guarantee consistent quality in every frame without artifacts from complex motion to fasten editing speed.
Fast in encoding and decoding: Provides high-quality and real-time performance and faster rendering time.
Tips for Apple ProRes codecs
Apple ProRes codecs have a native gamma of 2.2. The “Gamma Correction” in advanced compression settings pane allow you to disable the automatic gama adjustment from 1.8 to 2.2, which may occur if RGB material at 2.2 gamma is misinterpreted as 1.8.
Apple ProRes 4444 files with alpha channel
When you’re importing a file in Apple ProRes 4444 format and with an alpha channel embedded in it to Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro will detect the embedded alpha channel automatically and the alpha value will be set to either “Black” or “Straight.”
Apple ProRes is Mac based, which means it can be only encoded on a Mac. But you can play it on both Windows and Mac. Please make sure that the encoding is based on an Intel system, otherwise the encoding is quite slow.