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View Full Version : 16bpc Quicktime support needed



Beamtracer
03-24-2004, 06:47 PM
Mac users are lucky that Quicktime is available in 16-bits-per-channel (16bpc) format.

What is this? It means higher dynamic range movies than the standard 8bpc ones. It means a greater range of luminance values from light to dark. It means you have more freedom to colorgrade your animations later, without getting "banding artifacts" in your image. It means retaining more of Lightwave's image quality.

So what's the problem?

Well, Quicktime has been 16bpc for some years now. Mac users have access to two 16bpc codecs, Microcosm and Apple's amazing new Pixlet codec. The problem is that Lightwave has not been updated to work with 16bpc. Lightwave can only read and write 8bpc Quicktimes.

http://a772.g.akamai.net/7/772/51/773750d1e0ca02/www.apple.com/macosx/features/quicktime/images/indexpixlet10082003.gif

My current workflow is to render out of Lightwave in 16bpc PSD image files (an "image sequence"). I then go to a compositing application (Adobe After Effects) and translate these huge PSD image files into a 16bpc Quicktime in either Pixlet or Microcosm format, which will reduce the animation to a fraction of its original size, without any loss in quality.

I'd like to render from Lightwave directly to 16bpc in Pixlet codec. I'd still render to PSD image files at the same time, but only as a back-up. The PSDs would be deleted when the Quicktime checked OK.

If Lightwave supported 16bpc Quicktimes, it would remove a time consuming conversion step from the pipeline.

Please, Newtek. 16bpc Quicktime is not a difficult feature to support. 16bpc is the current standard for broadcast and film work. 8bpc has had its day and is obsolete in the professional realm.

RonGC
03-26-2004, 02:51 PM
I would like to add my support for this feature as well. This would make for easier production of higher quality animations with less fuss:-)

Ron