Adobe Plugin

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Adobe Plugin

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Adobe Plugin

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Christie has developed a plugin for Adobe After Effects, Media Encoder or Premiere Pro running on a PC and Mac platform. With this plugin, content can be produced directly for optimized playback in Pandoras Box without any further transcoding step.

The content can be saved either as DDS image sequences (three flavors) or as a single MOV file with the according HAP flavor. Keep in mind that image sequence playback is mainly aimed for SSD based systems.

Download and Installation

You can download the Adobe Plugin from our web site's "Download Center" and install it on your Windows 8.1/10 platform or macOS 10.15 "Catalina" and above.

The installer checks which version of Adobe After Effects, Media Encoder or Premiere Pro is installed. As soon as you start one of these applications the plugin is automatically loaded. When setting up the final rendering, you can choose from six "Christie" formats which are added to the format list.

In case you are not seeing the codecs show up there (especially after upgrading to Big Sur), hold down the [Shift] key while launching the application. This resets the plugin cache.

Which Formats are Available?

First of all, the plugin allows to create image sequences:
- DDS
- DDSA and
- YCoCg.

These formats are described in detail in the chapter "Image Formats". In short: in difference to the DDS format with the smallest file size (and thus best performance), DDSA supports transparency and YCoCg results in a higher image quality for most content (especially of interest when the content shows gradients). Both formats, DDSA and YCoCg, result in a doubled file size compared to DDS.

If you looking for an uncompressed content format, the current recommendation is to export an image sequence with the DPX or TIF format which are natively supported by the mentioned Adobe products.

Secondly, you can render content in a single file (MOV container):
- HAP
- HAP Alpha
- HAP Q

For the differences, simply see above description as DDS and HAP are essentially the same; or the chapter "Video Formats". Thus the main difference is whether you like to export DDS images as single files to a folder, or combine them in a container format resulting in a single file.

 

Each format has only one further render setting. To save disk space you can choose to directly compress the image files using the SNP format. Per definition, the HAP format always uses the snappy compression but the plugin gives you the option to deactivate it. In Pandoras Box Snappy content is decompressed on the fly.

Up and Downsides from an Image Sequence versus a Single File

As said above the image quality and playback performance of DDS flavors can be compared to the HAP flavors. Essentially, whether you export the content as images to a folder, or as frames in a MOV container even results in almost the same file size. So what's the difference you might ask. This table gives an overview of advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into account.

Image Sequence

Single MOV Container

- many files > longer file transfer
(even though they add up to almost the same file size!)

+ single file > faster file transfer

+ single files > file transfer can continue at any time if connection drops

- large file > bad for download over a bad connection as file transfer must be restarted in case of interrupted connection

- can only be played back with applications (MAC or PC) that support image sequences

+ can be played back with many applications (MAC or PC) with installed codec

+ easy to replace frames
(specially of interest if content is not finalized and updated frequently; further, sending single images for review is possible)

- no partial content replacement

+ can be played back forward, backwards or bounced

 

+ can be rendered by multiple computers and put together

 

- many files can get confusing very fast