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written by Ivan Alenko
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posted in category Creativity / Video
posted at 23. Jul '17

Video Codecs and Editing

Intra-frame Codecs

If the individual frames are saved as separate files, they are called image sequences, just like many JPEGs in a folder. Some popular image sequence formats are:

  • TIFF – used for mastering
  • DPX – Used in film scans and digital mastering
  • EXR – Used in VFX
  • JPEG2000 – DCI

An intraframe codec is bunched as one file. A few popular intraframe codecs:

  • MJPEG – JPEGS bunched together
  • Prores – Apple’s favorite
  • DNxHD – Avid’s baby
  • ALL-I – Found in the newer DSLRs
  • Cinema DNG – Adobe’s baby for RAW image sequences

Inter-frame Codecs

A few popular interframe codecs are:

  • H.264 (A variant of MPEG-4)
  • MPEG-4
  • MPEG-2
  • AVCHD (A variant of H.264 AVC) – developed by Sony and Panasonic
  • XDCAM – Sony’s baby
  • XAVC – Sony’s new baby
  • VP9
  • h265 (HEVC)

In addition to image sequences, intraframe codecs and interframe codecs, there’s also uncompressed video, uncompressed RAW, and compressed RAW.


  • intraframe codecs are lighter on a CPU
  • if you have powerful enough computer to handle it, do not reencode video to intraframe codecs
  • dualcore i3 3.4GHz is sufficient to handle 720p x264 in Kdenlive video editor, but not 1080p (commonly used bitrate on internet…15-30Mbps)
  • videos with a high bitrate - something like 720p BDRips x264 - video editing is choppy
  • videos with intraframe codecs can be cut and rendered without reencoding, so there isn’t any loss of quality because of subsequent reencode. Also it is faster


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