Sony Vegas: Compression Formats for Digital Intermediates

Compression formats for Digital Intermediates when using Sony Vegas:

    • Cineform for highest quality (smart-renderable)
      • Cineform (is great for transfer) between After Effects and Vegas.
    • MXF for almost the same quality at a fraction of the size.
      • MXF previews beautifully off small bus-powered USB 2 drives.
    • Quicktime .mov with png compression for anything with a transparent alpha layer.
    • Quicktime .mov with Avid DNxHD codec for Handbrake encoding intermediary and for working with the FCP world.

Details (again from the above link) about use of MXF:

  • The big thing with MXF is to make sure that you use it interlaced even (if) you are using progressive footage.  …set it using one of the interlaced templates but set the deinterlace method to none.
    • The reason this is important is that Vegas will only smart-render .mxf footage flagged as interlaced. If you set the MXF render properties to progressive, it won’t smart-render. If you set the properties to interlaced and select either blend fields or interpolate, it will screw up resizes and renders to other formats.
  • MXF with a smart-render is very cool. The format looks wonderful and no damage is done as you smart-render sections into a final piece.
    • MXF without a smart-render isn’t really good enough. MXF will not hold up to successive rerenders like Cineform or a lossless codec.

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