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Apple ProRes is a high quality,
lossy In information technology, lossy compression or irreversible compression is the class of data encoding methods that uses inexact approximations and partial data discarding to represent the content. These techniques are used to reduce data size f ...
video compression In signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering subfield that focuses on analysing, modifying, and synthesizing signals such as audio signal processing, sound, image processing, images, and scientific measurements. Signal ...
format developed by
Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a ...
for use in
post-production 275px, A video editing suite Post-production is part of the process of filmmaking, video production, audio production Sound design is the art and practice of creating sound tracks for a variety of needs. It involves specifying, acquiring or c ...
that supports up to 8K. It is the successor of the
Apple Intermediate Codec The Apple Intermediate Codec is a high-quality 8-bit 4:2:0 video codec used mainly as a less processor-intensive way of working with long- GOP MPEG-2 footage such as HDV. It is recommended for use with all HD workflows in Final Cut Express, iMovie, ...
and was introduced in 2007 with
Final Cut Studio Final Cut Studio is a discontinued professional video and audio production suite for Mac OS X macOS (; previously Mac OS X and later OS X) is a Proprietary software, proprietary graphical user interface, graphical operatin ...
2. The ProRes family of codecs use compression algorithms based on the
discrete cosine transform A discrete cosine transform (DCT) expresses a finite sequence of data points In statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to ...
(DCT) technique, much like the
H.26x The Video Coding Experts Group or Visual Coding Experts Group (VCEG, also known as Question 6) is a working group of the (ITU-T) concerned with video coding standards. It is responsible for standardization of the "H.26x" line of video coding sta ...
and
MPEG The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is an alliance of working group A working group, or working party, is a group of experts working together to achieve specified goals. The groups are domain-specific and focus on discussion or activit ...

MPEG
standards. ProRes is widely used as a final format delivery method for HD broadcast files in commercials, features, Blu-ray and streaming.


Overview

ProRes is a line of intermediate codecs, which means they are intended for use during video editing, and not for practical end-user viewing. This is achieved by only using
intra-frame Intra-frame coding is used in video coding (compression). It is part of an intra-frame codec like ProRes: a group of pictures codec without inter frames. Intra-frame prediction exploits spatial redundancy, i.e. correlation among pixels within o ...
compression, where each frame is stored independently and can be decoded with no dependencies on other frames. The benefit of an intermediate codec is that it offers excellent random access performance in post-production applications, and retains higher quality than end-user codecs while still requiring much less expensive disk systems compared to uncompressed video. It is comparable to Avid's
DNxHD codec Avid DNxHD ("Digital Nonlinear Extensible High Definition") is a Lossy compression, lossy high-definition video post-production codec developed by Avid (company), Avid for multi-generation compositing with reduced storage and bandwidth requirements. ...
or
CineForm CineForm Intermediate is an open source (from October 2017) video codec developed for CineForm Inc by David Taylor, David Newman and Brian Schunck. On March 30, 2011, the company was acquired by GoPro which in particular wanted to use the 3D film ca ...
which offer similar bitrates and are also intended to be used as intermediate codecs. ProRes is a DCT scalar based
intra-frame Intra-frame coding is used in video coding (compression). It is part of an intra-frame codec like ProRes: a group of pictures codec without inter frames. Intra-frame prediction exploits spatial redundancy, i.e. correlation among pixels within o ...
-only codec and is therefore simpler to decode than distribution-oriented formats like
H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC), also referred to as H.264 or MPEG-4 MPEG-4 is a method of defining compression of audio and visual (AV) digital data. It was introduced in late 1998 and designated a standard for a group of audio and video codin ...
. In 2018 Apple added a new "ProRes RAW" (compressed
Bayer filter A Bayer filter mosaic is a color filter array In digital imaging, a color filter array (CFA), or color filter mosaic (CFM), is a mosaic of tiny color filters placed over the pixel sensors of an image sensor to capture color Color ( ...
) to Final Cut Pro X, after Blackmagic Design implemented compressed Bayer as "
CinemaDNGCinemaDNG is the result of an Adobe Adobe (; ) is a building material made from earth and organic materials. is Spanish for ' mudbrick', but in some English-speaking regions of Spanish heritage the term is used to refer to any kind of earth ...
3:1" and "CinemaDNG 4:1" in their cameras and DaVinci Resolve.


ProRes-Overview

ProRes supports different data rates and different resolutions. All ProRes422-variants use
Chroma subsampling Chroma subsampling is the practice of encoding images by implementing less resolution for chroma information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For examp ...
of 4:2:2 at 10 Bit
Color depth Color depth or colour depth (see spelling differences Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English orthography ...
. ProRes 4444 and 4444 XQ samples color in the 4:4:4 schema with a color depth of 10 or 12 bits, and can optionally include an alpha channel.


ProRes 422


Key features

* 8K, 5K, 4K, UHD, 2K, HD (up to 1920×1080), & SD resolutions * 4:2:2 chroma subsampling * 10-bit sample depth * I frame-only encoding * Variable bitrate ( VBR) encoding * Normal 147
Mbit/s In telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It has its origin in the desire of huma ...
and High-Quality 220 Mbit/s and ProRes (LT) 100Mbit/s as well as ProRes Proxy for HD 45Mbit/s for HD resolution at 60i * Normal 42
Mbit/s In telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It has its origin in the desire of huma ...
and High-Quality 63 Mbit/s for SD resolution at 29.97 * Fast encoding and decoding (both at full size and half size)


ProRes 4444 and ProRes 4444 XQ

ProRes 4444 and ProRes 4444 XQ are
lossy In information technology, lossy compression or irreversible compression is the class of data encoding methods that uses inexact approximations and partial data discarding to represent the content. These techniques are used to reduce data size f ...
video compression In signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering subfield that focuses on analysing, modifying, and synthesizing signals such as audio signal processing, sound, image processing, images, and scientific measurements. Signal ...
formats developed by
Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a ...
for use in
post-production 275px, A video editing suite Post-production is part of the process of filmmaking, video production, audio production Sound design is the art and practice of creating sound tracks for a variety of needs. It involves specifying, acquiring or c ...
and include support for an
alpha channel image's alpha channel falls off to zero at its base, where it is blended with the background colour. In computer graphics Computer graphics deals with generating images with the aid of computers. Today, computer graphics is a core technolog ...
. ProRes 4444 was introduced with Final Cut Studio (2009) as another in the company's line of intermediate codecs for editing material but not for final delivery. It shares many features with other, 422, codecs of Apple's ProRes family but provides better quality than 422 HQ in colour detail. It has a target data rate of approximately 330 Mbit/s for 4:4:4 sources at 1920x1080 and 29.97 fps ProRes 4444 XQ was introduced with
Final Cut Pro X Final Cut Pro, previously Final Cut Pro X, is a professional non-linear In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), sp ...
version 10.1.2 in June 2014. It has a target data rate of approximately 500 Mbit/s for 4:4:4 sources at 1920x1080 and 29.97 fps, and requires OS X v10.8 (Mountain Lion) or later.


Key features

* 8K, 5K, 4K, 2K, HD (up to 1920×1080), & SD resolutions * 4:4:4 chroma subsampling * Up to 12-bit sample depth for video * Variable bitrate ( VBR) encoding * Alpha channel support at up to 16-bit sample depth


ProRes RAW

In April 2018 Apple released ProRes RAW. It is built upon the same technology as other ProRes codecs, but is directly applied to the raw data coming from the sensor, thus delaying the debayering process to the post-production stage. ProRes RAW therefore aims at quality and better colour reproduction, rather than performance.


Playback

On 28 August 2008, Apple introduced a free ProRes QuickTime Decoder for bot
Mac
an

that allows playback of ProRes files through QuickTime.


Open source projects

On 15 September 2011,
FFmpeg FFmpeg is a free and open-source software Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to work. This is in con ...

FFmpeg
introduced a
free Free may refer to: Concept * Freedom, having the ability to act or change without constraint * Emancipate, to procure political rights, as for a disenfranchised group * Free will, control exercised by rational agents over their actions and decis ...
decoder for ProRes 422 for
libavcodec libavcodec is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to work. This is in contra ...
. FFmbc, a fork of FFmpeg customized for broadcast and professional usage, supports ProRes 422 and 4444 files. On 1 October 2011, JCodec introduced an open source (
FreeBSD License BSD licenses are a family of permissive free software license A permissive software license, sometimes also called BSD-like or BSD-style license, is a free-software license with only minimal restrictions on how the software can be used, modi ...
) pure
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 147.7 million people, Java is the world's List of ...
decoder for ProRes 422, a translate of FFmpeg version.


Encoding

Installing Final Cut Pro will install the ProRes codecs for encoding files on macOS. Without Final Cut Pro installed,
QuickTime Player QuickTime is an extensible multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc., capable of handling various formats of digital video, picture, sound, panoramic images, and interactivity. First made in 1991, the latest Mac version, QuickTime X, ...
can also be used to capture ProRes 422 video from any compatible attached camera, using the "Maximum" quality setting when producing a Movie Recording. Apple released ProRes bundled with other pro codecs as a download for users with "qualifying copies of Final Cut Pro, Motion, or Compressor" installed, for OS X with QuickTime 7.6 and newer. At the April 2010
NAB Show NAB Show is an annual trade show A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or trade exposition) is an exhibition organized so that companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association o ...
, Digital Video Systems launched the first Windows 7 platform with the ability to encode to all the varieties of Apple ProRes at speeds far faster than real time on their Clipster product. On March 31, 2011, Telestream added support for ProRes encoding on Windows systems with Episode Engine, Vantage, and FlipFactory as a free upgrade to the current versions of these products. The system must be running on Windows Server 2008 and be able to support this feature. ProRes video capturing and output to tape is available in Telestream's Pipeline network encoder. On 29 October 2011, FFmpeg introduced a free encoder, enabling ProRes 422 encoding on all FFmpeg supported platforms. On 1 November 2011, JCodec introduced an open source (
FreeBSD License BSD licenses are a family of permissive free software license A permissive software license, sometimes also called BSD-like or BSD-style license, is a free-software license with only minimal restrictions on how the software can be used, modi ...
) pure
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 147.7 million people, Java is the world's List of ...
encoder for ProRes 422. At the April 2012 NAB Show, Brevity introduced a customized algorithm for the accelerated transport and encoding of ProRes files.


Frame layout

A typical ProRes 422 frame has the following layout: Frame container atom ---- Frame header ---- Picture 1 ---- Picture 2 (interlaced frames only)


ProRes hardware

The
Arri Alexa The Arri Alexa (stylised as ΛLEXΛ) is a digital motion picture camera system developed by Arri. First introduced in April 2010, the camera was Arri's first major transition into digital cinematography after smaller previous efforts such as t ...

Arri Alexa
has a built-in ProRes recording unit for its 1080p and 2K video streams, supporting ProRes 4444 and all ProRes 422 versions. As of June 2011, several hardware-based ProRes encoders exist, fro
AJA Video SystemsIO HD FireWire 800 interfaceKi Pro
an
Ki Pro Mini
portable recorders
Ki Pro Rack
an
Ki Pro Ultra for 4K/UltraHD workflows
, Atomos (Ninja and Samurai recorders), Sound Devices (PIX series recorders), Convergent Designs (Odyssey7, 7Q, 7Q+), and Fast Forward Video (Sidekick recorder). At NAB 2012, Blackmagic announced ProRes recording support for their HyperDeck
SSD A solid-state drive (SSD) is a solid-state storage Solid-state storage (SSS) is a type of non-volatile computer storage that stores and retrieves digital information Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary dig ...
recorders as well as onboard recording on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and Brevity announced a GPU-based ProRes transcoder with simultaneous accelerated file transport. In 2013 Blackmagic Design release Blackmagic Cinema Camera that record in raw and Prores files directly in camera 4:2:2 10bit. In 2013 Convergent Design introduced their Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q monitor/recorders that can record in Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) and are certified by Apple. In 2014 Atomos introduced their latest advanced recorder Shogun that can record 4K in Apple ProRes. In 2015 AJA introduced the CION production camera that can capture 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD to all Apple ProRes 422 formats as well as Apple ProRes 4444 in 12-bi

In 2016 Blackmagic Design release UrsaMini 4.6k that can capture from 4.6k to HD in all Apple ProRes flavor from Proxy to 4444 in 12-bit. In 2018/2019 Blackmagic Design release Pocket Cinema Camera 4K that can capture 4k/UltraHD/1080p in all Apple ProRes 422 formats. The 2019
Mac Pro Mac Pro is a series of workstation A workstation is a special computer designed for technical or computational science, scientific applications. Intended primarily to be used by one person at a time, they are commonly connected to a local ...

Mac Pro
has a new "Apple Afterburner" card as an optional component to accelerate ProRes and ProRes RAW decoding.


See also

*
Final Cut Studio Final Cut Studio is a discontinued professional video and audio production suite for Mac OS X macOS (; previously Mac OS X and later OS X) is a Proprietary software, proprietary graphical user interface, graphical operatin ...
*
Final Cut Pro Final Cut Pro is a series of non-linear In mathematics and science, a nonlinear system is a system in which the change of the output is not proportionality (mathematics), proportional to the change of the input. Nonlinear problems are of inte ...

Final Cut Pro
*
Video codec A video codec is software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the ...
* List of open source codecs *
Sampling rate In , sampling is the reduction of a to a . A common example is the conversion of a (a continuous signal) to a sequence of samples (a discrete-time signal). A sample is a value or set of values at a point in time and/or space. A sampler is a su ...
*
Transcoding Transcoding is the direct digital-to-digital conversion of one encoding In communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Org ...
*
Video compression In signal processing, data compression, source coding, or bit-rate reduction is the process of encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation. Any particular compression is either Lossy compression, lossy or Lossless comp ...

Video compression
*
DNxHD codec Avid DNxHD ("Digital Nonlinear Extensible High Definition") is a Lossy compression, lossy high-definition video post-production codec developed by Avid (company), Avid for multi-generation compositing with reduced storage and bandwidth requirements. ...
*
DNxHR codecAvid DNxHR, which stands for "Digital Nonlinear Extensible High Resolution", is a lossy Ultra-high-definition television, UHDTV post-production codec engineered for multi-generation compositing with reduced storage and bandwidth requirements. The cod ...


References


External links


About Apple ProRes

Final Cut Studio
site a
Apple.com
{{Compression Software Implementations
ProRes Apple ProRes is a high quality, lossy In information technology, lossy compression or irreversible compression is the class of data compression, data encoding methods that uses inexact approximations and partial data discarding to represent the ...
Film and video technology Video codecs