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I'm planning on creating a time lapse from a series of still images. I plan to shoot the images in raw (Nikon NEF, Adobe RGB), then edit with Photoshop and export as jpegs (highest quality). I am planning on then putting them into an NLE (either FCPX, Resolve, or Premiere Pro) to turn them into a time lapse video.

I am trying to preserve the highest quality for the final video, so my questions are:

  1. Is this the best way to preserve quality? If not, what is?
  2. Also, what will the final quality be? (In terms of retained data?) ie: is there enough data retained, such that if I export it as ProRes4444 there will be more information than ProRes4:2:2? Or is there already such reduced quality that it won't matter?

I understand that this question may be poorly worded, but I believe it is on-topic and relevant, so please edit it or comment for clarification.

  • I normally do my timelapeses like so which works fine for me even on an older system, take pictures, edit in PS, LR, Photos export as a JPEG. import into FCPX, edit and export. I have also just dropped the direct RAW images into FCPX changed the timing and exported a full res sequence. – Adam Mann Pro Apr 27 '17 at 7:04
  • LR might be a better option as there are a few plugins that can create the timelapse within LR which might be better in some ways – Adam Mann Pro Apr 27 '17 at 7:07
  • @AdamMannPro I know it will work, I'm just want to know if it will give me the best quality and what that photo quality translates to in terms of video quality. Thanks for the LR tip, I'll look into it, but I often add other stuff to the time-lapse which is easy to do in an NLE. – NoahL Apr 27 '17 at 7:08
  • you might be better off exporting TIFF's from PS as they have more data within them than a JPEG does (TIFF has less compression). you should be able to export from LR an image sequence or a video file at best resolution and then import that into your NLE to add the bits you want and export the final file – Adam Mann Pro Apr 27 '17 at 7:11
  • @AdamMannPro, good point, but export the final file as what? If I want to retain as much information as possible, do I need to use ProRes4444, or will 4:2:2 cut it? – NoahL Apr 27 '17 at 7:14
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  1. You are approaching the problem at hand very well, you have however not used the most quality-preserving solution available. I recommend that you take your raw image files and import them into Adobe After Effects as a camera raw sequence. This will let you work with the files directly in their raw format and therefore retaining the most quality. From there, you can choose to export in a lossless format if you so desire.

  2. Using this method, you should see a better quality from ProRes 4444 than ProRes 422.

Best of luck

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