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Trouble Remuxing an MKV File with V_MS/VFW/FOURCC Codec (Superman Returns)
#21
Hey, SoS. Mac user here. I can only imagine what kind of digital gremlins are causing the muxed file to misbehave, but for the best image quality, you might not want to edit a delivery codec like mp4, even if set at a high bit rate. You'll lose quality with each encoding generation.

on the PC side, lagarith avi seems to be the preferred lossless codec for editing. In the Mac realm, prores is the way to go; it's nearly lossless, and I've read that recoding a prores file at least 10 times is necessary before visible image degradation occurs.

i used pavtube's bytecopy to create a prores file directly off the blu-ray. The 2-hour, 6-min movie became a roughly 100-GB file with great image quality. Even prores LT, which should be ok for FCP editing, would provide an approximately 70-GB file for a movie of the same length. If your editing file's in the 16-19 GB range (and superman returns is around 2.5 hours, iirc) then you're definitely dealing with loss of quality, which will be pixeliciously noticeable by the time you crank out your final encode.

i was skeptical re: pavtube because they have a confusing and jumbled product line and dodgy Engrish on their site. But on the recommendation of other editors here, I gave it a try, and lo & fucking behold, the software works like a charm. More so than their website, the pavtube support staff was superhelpful in helping me to pinpoint the program that I needed (which ended up being bytecopy). You can download their software for free and give it a test run, which should crank out a prores file with a watermark.

Plus, pavtube is having a tenksgibbing sale. And you can also ask the support staff for discounts. I was going to try several free programs to create a prores file in multiple steps (without even knowing whether that solution would work), but it's much nicer having one program do all the heavy lifting. The 1080p prores file was ready in less than two hours.

hope this helps. cheers, dude.
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#22
Oh, one more thing. mp4s are lossy because of data being interpolated from one frame to another, which allows for smaller file sizes than editing codecs. h.264's a great compression codec, but that compression is achieved thru data loss; you'll want to create an mp4 only as your very last step on your conversion journey.
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#23
ssj Wrote:Oh, one more thing. mp4s are lossy because of data being interpolated from one frame to another, which allows for smaller file sizes than editing codecs. h.264's a great compression codec, but that compression is achieved thru data loss; you'll want to create an mp4 only as your very last step on your conversion journey.

Thanks for all the helpful information, ssj! I'm shocked at how large of files you're talking about. My understanding was that MakeMKV was losslessly giving me an MKV of the video file. And my understanding was that if I remuxed directly from MKV to MP4 (instead of converting like I ended up doing in Handbrake), it would just change the container but not affect the video at all.

Also, I thought that Blu-rays maxed out at 50 GB capacity for the dual-layer ones. How are you getting a 100 GB file for just the main feature? What about special features and stuff? Where do they fit?

I'll look into pavtube and other options to get a prores file. One issue is that I'm using a PC laptop to rip the Blu-ray (as it's the only thing I've got with a Blu-ray drive) and then bringing it over to Mac to edit. So I can do the remuxing on either platform, but the initial rip is on Windows.
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#24
FCP can accept mp4 files, but what you want is quality output down the line.

i'm no expert, but the way i look at the encoding on a DVD or blu-ray is that the data is akin to a compressed accordion; to have a file in which each frame has its own visual and audio data means expanding the accordion to a size beyond the DVD or blu-ray capacity.

i can't help in selecting windows software, as i'm not familiar with them. but if the goal is to edit in FCP, you'll want to use a prores codec (there are multiple flavors), and i'm not sure how to encode prores in a windows environment.

a note on prores: if you're not editing in 4k, vanilla prores or prores LT should meet your needs. if i used one of the higher prores codecs, i could have gotten a 300-GB file with no noticeable improvement in quality.

and you're welcome!
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#25
ssj Wrote:FCP can accept mp4 files, but what you want is quality output down the line.

i'm no expert, but the way i look at the encoding on a DVD or blu-ray is that the data is akin to a compressed accordion; to have a file in which each frame has its own visual and audio data means expanding the accordion to a size beyond the DVD or blu-ray capacity.

i can't help in selecting windows software, as i'm not familiar with them. but if the goal is to edit in FCP, you'll want to use a prores codec (there are multiple flavors), and i'm not sure how to encode prores in a windows environment.

a note on prores: if you're not editing in 4k, vanilla prores or prores LT should meet your needs. if i used one of the higher prores codecs, i could have gotten a 300-GB file with no noticeable improvement in quality.

and you're welcome!

Huh. Well, I shall keep looking into it then and see if I can find a way to get a higher quality file into Final Cut Pro. I'll see if there's a way I can get a prores file on Windows.
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