I have some 3D Rendered Frames in 16-bit rgba Color Format.... I don't Wanna Lose Any Data... Because I have to Use those in editing.... But With Thousands of Frames in 4K File Size Matters.... So Why not Encode to H265

I Know How to Do a yuv 12 Bit Convertion.... I Know how to Do a RGB 8 bit conversion.... Using FFMPEG

But I Can't Figure Out How I would do 16Bit to 16Bit Conversion in x265 codec using FFmpeg.. And would not like to convert to yuv... But If there are No choiche with RGB then I might wanna do yuva444 16 bit... But I also can't figure that out too!

  • Use openEXR, and use zip compression if you want smaller files; HEVC still has compression artifacts, and is computationally expensive to decode. Jul 10, 2020 at 20:32
  • As long as you're working on one shot at a time, any halfway decent computer should be able to handle 4K this way. Just keep the shots short, and you'll be fine, then string them together after you've comp'd the EXR's, and compress at that stage if you're running out of space. Jul 10, 2020 at 20:40
  • Which editing s/w? x265 does not support 16-bit.
    – Gyan
    Jul 11, 2020 at 5:25
  • h.265 is not an editing codec. Use proxies if you want to keep your 16bit footage intact.
    – stib
    Jul 11, 2020 at 14:25
  • Thank you, Sir, Gyan.... I have been Flowing your Answers for over weeks.... about FFMPEG.... Learnt So much from those....❤️
    – user30535
    Jul 14, 2020 at 10:03

2 Answers 2


As, Sir Gyan Commented... HEVC Doesn't Support 16-bit....


I don't Wanna Lose Any Data...

Okay that makes sense.

But With Thousands of Frames in 4K File Size Matters.... So Why not Encode to H265

That makes sense in a vacuum, but it's incompatible with the initial goal. The reason that H.264 or H.265 is so much smaller than your initial image sequence is because those codecs use lossy compression. You can't make such a conversion without losing any data, even before we get to the fact that H.265 doesn't support 16 bit RGBA formats.

You need to figure out whether your goal is to make it as small as possible, or to preserve all of the data. Those are mutually exclusive goals.

It's also worth considering what you are actually planning on doing with your rendered frames. Does your editor even support 16 bit RGB internally, or is it converting to something else as a working space? Are you ultimately outputting to a destination format that will preserve the quality? And if not, are you doing any color corrections or effects in your editor that actually benefit from having it during the intermediary steps?

In a VFX studio, a typical workflow would be to render to EXR images, then post process those EXR images so they have lossless compression, and any black void are in the image is cropped so the data window is only a subset of the display window. Then use those optimized EXR frames directly in compositing or editorial rather than making something like a QuickTime or MP4 file as an extra step. You can use something like oiiotool to autocrop the EXR files.

  • Yeah... It does support 16-bit WorkFlow. And We are currently Focusing on Youtube... Their VP 9 codec uses yuv420p. But we would still like to keep a yuv444p16le/yuv444p12le format with us. And doesn't H.265 Contain More data than Prores/DNxHR with same Bitrate? I like EXR. But That Contains a lot of Space. Currently we are working on 24fps 4 Minute target Video. Fully Animated. But that makes nearly 6 Thousand Frames. 6 Thousand Frames in 1080p with exr is gonna cost around Half a TeraByte..... And we would need like 3500MB/ps SSD For viewing those in Realtime. Only a Samsung NVME can doit
    – user30535
    Jul 15, 2020 at 7:38
  • I meant, isn't HEVC better in quality than ProRes/DNxHR with Same Bitrate?
    – user30535
    Jul 15, 2020 at 7:46
  • You are right, EXR Contains All of that data.... But For the Sake of Storage and Realtime Viewing, We are ready to Consider Somewhat compressed Files.... And with some tests we thought about encoding in HEVC with around 70-90 Thousand MB/s Bitrate
    – user30535
    Jul 15, 2020 at 8:04
  • Even a ProRes 444 4K with Alpha Contains around 1500MB/s That is Like, You would need a Super WorkStation For that. We can go upto files about 150MB/s
    – user30535
    Jul 15, 2020 at 8:14
  • Thank You, For Answering, Sir....❤️
    – user30535
    Jul 15, 2020 at 8:15

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