What is transcoding and why is it important?
Video file sizes are large. The better the quality of the video or the more footage you need to work with, the more those video files will tax your computer system. Transcoding helps improve your workflow by creating a copy of your video files in a new format that will deliver better playback in your editing platform.
The video transcoding process.
When an editing app works with multiple file types, it can drop frames as it struggles to decode media in real time, meaning you lose footage. Transcoding (which is a process of decoding, reformatting and re-encoding files) takes source footage of various types and recodes it into a single video codec or file format. This improves performance of the editing programme as well as the filmmaker’s user experience — especially if a creator or editor is collaborating on work. Transcoding gives projects a common file type that all collaborators can work with.
While transcodes are the same frame rates and frame sizes of your original video files and an hour of footage will take an hour to transcode, it’s faster to edit transcoded footage than to juggle multiple video formats while you work. Transcoding will help your editing programme and computer work more quickly so you can work more efficiently.
For example, many editors work with smartphone footage. These clips are often in the H264 or HEVC file format, a format that can be very processor-intensive, which means it will slow down your machine. If you transcode those files into video formats like ProRes or DNx, you can more quickly edit your work.