What codec to use when processing video multiple times.

  • Hi, this is a bit of a basic question but I find the topic slightly confusing.

    My work involves working on video in a few different apps, processing and rendering it to process it again. Sometimes going Jitter - Premiere - Isadora - Premiere.. etc. 
    Most of the time I render / capture my videos using Photo JPEG, to be able to work with them nicely in Isadora. But I wonder if each time I render something I'm degrading the original quality of the video by compressing again or if I keep bouncing with exact the same settings there's no quality loss.  As well it doesn't seem to make too much sense to render something using Animation when the original video I'm processing was Photo JPG to begin with.. or?   I feel like I'm missing some crucial piece of information here to get a smooth workflow going.. any hint would help! 


  • You should use some lossless codec to do renders in between. ProRes does it for me. And most often this would play the best in the end as well.

  • Thanks Vanakaru, there are a lot of different ProRes options when rendering from Premier though. Any one in particular?

    And would ProRes be handled fine in Isadora?

  • Hello,

    I also use Prores most of the time. Prores 422 for exchange between apps with few loss, Prores 4444 if I need alpha layer and quite lossless, ProRes LT to use in Isadora and need a quick render from FCPX.
    A the very last moment I transcode to H264 because its light and perform well with my machine.

  • Thanks jhoepffner. Would you guys play Prores in Isadora too?

  • ProRes play very good in Isadora.

  • Tech Staff


    Prores will preform very well in Isadora on Mac.

  • That's fantastic. Thanks. 
    Then one could keep it Prores beginning to end, from the first render in Isadora to the edits in Premiere and whatever post processing happens.
    I guess always keep maximum quality and there should be no loss?

  • Even With the best ProRes (4444XQ), there will be some loss, not a problem for diffusion, but a problem if you have to correct color, scale or change something. The less transcoding, the better.

  • And keep in mind that you can integrate AE and Preimere. You have AE comp on Premiere timeline where all you do in AE show up in Premiere without rendering in between. Since you are working on kind of metadata (or non destructive editing) you render just once in final export.

  • Thanks for the tip vanakaru, I haven't worked like that yet since most of the processing I do in Isadora and Jitter but I'm going to start now cause I'm sure there's a lot I could do in AE.