How to Convert to ProRes on a PC

prores_headerIf you are like us, you have an affinity for building editing computers.  There are several reasons for doing so but the main reason is simply getting the best bang for your buck.  You have ultimate control and can build a machine that is faster and more powerful than even the new Mac Pro for half the price.  This power comes with a caveat – you have to know what you’re doing.  I mean REALLY know.  Even coupling a certain RAM card with a certain motherboard can cause problems.

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The other issue we run into continuously is the fact the industry is still holding onto Final Cut 7 and it’s necessary remnant: the ProRes codec.  Now just to clarify, this codec rocks.  The efficiency is matched by probably only DNxHD in that it keeps file sizes down to a reasonable and workable size while at the same time creating 10bit 422 and 444 video MOV’s that serve as exceptional editing and color grading files.  Whether it’s because they still use FCP or simply prefer this codec over other, many post houses still require you to deliver ProRes to them.  But as anyone with a PC knows…you can’t just simply export or convert ProRes files even though you can import them into editors and view them.  Well here’s a method to turn your PC into a ProRes video file creator/converter, and it’s FREE.

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Our Edit Suite

STEPS TO CONVERT VIDEO FILES INTO PRORES:

    1. Download these two executables.  Note: These are not applications that you install.  They are executables that run independently off each other.  You may want to create a folder and name it something like “Video Converter” and place the unzipped download into it.
    2. DOWNLOAD LINK: http://crookedpathfilms.com/FileShare/FFmpeg.zip
    3. Right-Click the ANOTHER GUI exe file and create a shortcut that you can place somewhere handy for when you want to start the program and use it.
    4. Open ANOTHER GUI.  It will ask if you’re sure you want to run…click yes.
    5. After the window opens, click “EDIT” under the preset section.  Another window will open.  This is where you will tell the program to “point to” the ffmpeg.exe file…which is the engine that actually does the video converting.  Next to “executable” click ADD and select the ffmpeg.exe file you downloaded and unzipped.  Click SAVE.
    6. Now you’re ready to convert.  Click ADD SOURCE to select the video file you wish to convert.
    7. Click PRESET and select the codec you wish to covert to.  In this case select the preferred ProRes codec.
    8. Click CHANGE OUTPUT PATH and select where you want all the converted files to go to.  (The default will be the same folder the source files are located)
    9. Click GO.

The files will start processing.  Try not to interrupt the process while it works.

That’s it!  Your PC is now setup to convert files to ProRes for those who need it.  Unfortunately there isn’t a way currently to export to ProRes directly from an NLE such as Adobe Premiere, so you will need to export to another codec and covert to ProRes using the above method.  I recommend exporting to DNxHD 10-bit because it’s similar in size and quality to the ProRes files you will be converting to.

Note: Currently it seems there isn’t an option to get Prores 4:4:4 from this method.  This only gets you 4:2:2 from 36mbps to 185mbps.  If you want to shell out some dough, there is this: http://www.cinemartin.com/cinec/, though I have not tried it out and cannot confirm it’s functionality though the website does state it can do 4:4:4.

2 Comments on “How to Convert to ProRes on a PC

  1. Thanks for the tips! Is there any way to get this to work with the 4444 flavor of pro res? Far as I can tell this only does 422 and 422 HQ?

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