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Can the lossless HuffYUV codec be incorporated into the workflow of a VFX pipeline as an intermediate codec, given ample hard disk space?

I read that since Premiere and After Effects are now 64-bit and commonly HuffYUV is just 32-bit, that might pose problems. However, a x64 version is now available.

I would like to get opinions on a HuffYUV workflow, possible drawbacks and a complete installation guide with suggested settings to use, thanks!

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They do on Windows, you need to use the AVI container as HuffyUV isn't available as a quicktime codec, afaik.

I used huffyUV for a while, but have switched to magicYUV which has a better range of colour space support (including 10-bit in beta). UTVideo is another good option and is available for mac.

With the Premiere - After Effects - Media Encoder workflow I find that exporting to a flattened movie only happens when I am making the final master, I use Dynamic Link for the intermediate transfers from say AE to Premiere. As well as saving disk space it's faster and easier because you can make changes and have them update on the fly.

So for final masters these lossless codecs are great, with the one caveat–they may not be supported in the long term. Mostly they are developed by small teams or even a single person, so if they get a full-time job or have twins the project might tank. If you're making masters that need to be available for the long term – as in decades, then FFV1 is a good option, though for everyday use as an intermediate codec it's a bit slow.

  • Thank you for the clear reply, here my toughs: Dynamic Link is a good solution for light projects, but especially for AE and pre-compositions tends to get glichy and slow, that's why is something I not always use. About the codec aging and it's possibility to being portable in future they said to avoid Lagarith and other smaller codecs for the same reasons claiming Huffyuv as more supported around the globe, but i will give FFV1 definitively a try. Thanks! PS: FFV1 is supported by ffmpeg foundation right? So we have big chances that it will be always readable in future ? – user3450548 Nov 2 '15 at 9:11
  • Yep, that's the idea about FFV1. It's actually been adopted by a couple of archival institutions as a long-term archival format, including the Austrian film archive. With Dynamic link and heavy AE projects, I often pre-render and use a proxy while I'm working. Then at the end I delete the proxy before I master. – stib Nov 2 '15 at 12:25
  • Being lossless the video is bit to bit identical to a Huffyuv one right? Only not so performant on cpu side during encoding (or also on decoding) ? In this case for archival I will use for sure FFV1 ! – user3450548 Nov 2 '15 at 13:31
  • Yes, FFV1 is mathematically lossless. So input === output. We tested it before we adopted it. I believe that they've been working on improving the speed too. – stib Nov 4 '15 at 0:10
  • Very nice, I will stay tuned so ;) – user3450548 Nov 4 '15 at 1:25

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