Timescapes - Digital Timelapse Discussion
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Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?
http://forum.timescapes.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11327
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Author:  tribal-warrior [ Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

Ive just started processing Raw files fairly recently (using a trial of Lightroom.) With the two time lapse sequences that I have worked on in Lightroom so far, I exported them as JPEGs. I use Virtual Dub to create the video file. However, with Lightroom, I'm not sure whether I should be exporting the Raw stills as Tiffs or JPEGs. I want good quality but would exporting them as Tiffs be overkill? My aim is to have nice looking time lapse sequences displayed on a HDTV. Granted, if I did export all of my Raw time lapse sequences as Tiffs, it would certainly consume a hell of a lot of hard drive space and I'm not even sure if Virtual Dub can recognise Tiffs.

Author:  tribal-warrior [ Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

I'm exporting a current batch of time lapse stills as Tiffs from Lightroom and it's taking a ridiculously long time. I started well over an hour ago and it looks like it's just past the half way point.

Author:  Owen [ Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

I always export tiffs from LR then put in AE to make sequence. I've never done it any other way...

I delete tiffs once happy with sequence

Author:  amongstmyselves [ Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

Keep to non destructive compressed formats like TIFF is a good idea - ideally the only place to use destructive compression is the delivery format. As Owen says then delete them. I find PNG to be a good format also as it easily deals with masks and it's one of if not the best non destructive compressed formats. It can be a little slow though. Hope that helps.

Author:  Karl M [ Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

As the guys above say a non-destructuve format may be better, but I export from PS as high-quality JPG then into AE. Never tried it any other way to see if there is a noticeable quality difference.

Author:  amongstmyselves [ Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

It's more about noise generated by the multi degradation of the image that concerns me but like you I've never really proven one way or the other. When you get to the mp4 file format stage for example then you'd really notice the compression working on the noise. All in theory.

Author:  fabians.ch [ Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

I've just tried the LRTimelapse Export Plugin for Lightroom (which will be installed with the new version of LRTimelapse). You export from Lightroom and it automatically exports all the images to a temporary folder, renders a video file out of them and deletes the JPEGs afterwards (you can keep them if you want, too). You choose render quality for the video file (h.264 or ProRes possible, various settings adjustable). JPEGs created are 100% in quality and resized to 4096 in length (height ist calculated accordingly). I really liked this solution and probably gonna use it in the future...

Author:  KoolKool [ Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

JPG is good,and save alots of space and speed for your workflow, just make sure you do everything in RAW before export to JPG (cropping,color grading....bla bla)

Author:  Antz [ Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

Of course it will depend on what you want to do with the finished product.
If you want it to look good on a movie screen, I avoid any lossy intermediate like the plague. It may look fine, and appear great in editing previews, but there are some shots that will look horrible when you export for the final render. Biggest problem you run into is banding in skies or any other shots subtle variations in tone.
I'll use a quicktime jpeg clip for for an off-line edit for speed, but then substitute in either a tiff sequence or go back to the original raw photo sequence directly linked out of After Effects with no intermediate rendering before I do the actual export.

If doing a final overall picture grade of the finished film (ie to match edited scenes together better etc) you need to keep everything at 16bit minimum all the way through to the end for best results.

Author:  tribal-warrior [ Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

Antz wrote:
Of course it will depend on what you want to do with the finished product.
It may look fine, and appear great in editing previews, but there are some shots that will look horrible when you export for the final render. Biggest problem you run into is banding in skies or any other shots subtle variations in tone.


Time lapse sequences assembled from JPEGs look fine when played back full screen on my PC and laptop monitors - apart from the banding in the skies. So there you go! However, as I have found out, VirtualDub won't recognise TIFF files so I have no choice with this software. Perhaps later down the track, I might acquire some other software that will accept TIFFs when creating time lapse videos but for now, I just have to live with the occasional banding.

Author:  chardie [ Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

2 thoughts occur to me if your getting banding can you change your jpg compression settings at all when you first export it ? i'm thinking perhaps you could save your jpg's at the lowest compression setting you would have a bigger image file but if you deleting them later or move them to some other storage it wouldn't matter. i did get some banding with virtualdub and jpgs but i haven't noticed it since i changed the compression settings for jpg's. the other thought was perhaps we could ask the developers of virtualdub to include tiff support. as i understand it it's still being developed

Author:  amongstmyselves [ Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

Tribal-Warrior, you could use TGA files exported out as virtualdub will open these. Whoops I don't know if AE will export TGA though it should.

Banding in skies. I would image the second you start adjusting saturation and levels with a gradient in a jpeg you'll get banding - there isn't the colour depth to allow for much in the way of changes. Something I have yet to try is doing these changes on a RAW file which does have the colour depth. Anyone ?

Author:  Antz [ Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

Yes, work with raw files all the way through and banding is not a problem.
Of course once you upload them on-line to the likes of youtube or vimeo they often reappear because of the compression they use, but for cinema / TV / DVD etc no problem.

Author:  StayFrosty [ Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

I see this is quite an old post and probably too late now but a trick is to add noise / dithering to the gradient to get rid of banding if you are forced to use an 8 bit per channel file format like .jpg or .tga.

Example explanation: a blue sky gradient pretty much just uses the blue channel which means it's only got 256 levels to work with at absolute best, if the distance your gradient ramps over is greater than 256 pixels you'll get banding which jpeg compression then exaggerates. The idea behind adding noise is to mess up the smoothness slightly and mix in some other colours and force the jpeg compression not to compress as much.

It's an old school trick but it helps. Source: I've been in the computer graphics imagery industry since the mid-90s and it's only really in the past 5 years that 16 bit per channel stuff has become everyday.

Author:  amongstmyselves [ Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Export as Tiffs or as JPEGs?

Good idea SF. I've also been around the block a few times and this is also a good method used in the printing industry to do the same. I suppose the only small issue is that it makes for hard work when encoding for final delivery - noise and mp4 don't mix all that well especially considering many people think of Vimeo and Youtube as a final delivery location.

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