Cineform in Creative Cloud: render quality settings + more

PVC by Rich Young

GoPro Cineform, aka the SMPTE ST 2073 VC-5 video compression standard, is a cross platform codec that in Creative Cloud piggybacks onto QuickTime (warts and all). The codec is available in Adobe video apps in CC 2014.1, and plays system-wide if you download the free player or free GoPro Studio app. GoPro Cineform is a wavelet-based codec that holds up well even after multiple encodes, and features full support for alpha and large frame sizes of 4K and beyond.

While Adobe does offer information on GoPro Cineform in Premiere Help and especially on blog posts (see below), render quality slider settings are a little less mysterious if you visit the Cineform forum. There Jake Segraves posted Understanding CineForm Quality Settings.

The numbers on the Quality slider control the levels of spatial compression, and Cineform had been recommending setting 3 or 4:

1 - Low (storage)
2 - Medium (Light post)
3 - High (Film HD-DVD)
4 - Film Scan 1 (Adobe default)
5 - Film Scan 2 ("Rigorous post" or "Overkill")

Exporting from Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder (AME) has 3 color depth options, which correspond to the Presets under the QuickTime option. According to Adobe's Dave Helmly, the options are:

24 bit = YUV 8 bpc 4:2:2
32 bit = RGBA 8 bpc 4:2:2
64 bit = RGBA 16 bpc 4:4:4 (12-bit calculated as 16)

The UI is a bit murkier in After Effects, and uses different naming than Premiere Pro. In the Render Que Output Module Settings, you can choose QuickTime Format Options > GoPro CineForm. There's one RGB and two RGBA Channels settings. You might then choose Trillions Of Colors+ from the Depth menu for a movie with a precision of 16 bits per channel. There are no Presets to Match Settings and color depth when rendering from AE. read more...

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