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ProRes licensing for DaVinci Resolve in Windows

It’s not a secret… YOU CAN ENCODE PRORES ON WINDOWS!

It’s done through an open-source program called FFmpeg. Clever developers have created user interfaces to that use the FFmpeg engine to encode ProRes directly from software like After Effects. There are also many programs available to encode ProRes from any Windows-available codec.

Apple has started licensing ProRes Encoding to certain Windows software, including Assimilate Scratch and BlackMagic Design’s Fusion. I think Apple is starting to realize there is an important need for ProRes rendering on Windows that is being filled by FFmpeg:

From the Apple Authorized Products Page:

In some instances, unauthorized codec implementations have been used in third-party software and hardware products. Using any unauthorized implementation (such as the FFmpeg and derivative implementations) might lead to decoding errors, performance degradation, incompatibility, and instability.

For a long time, the inability to render ProRes natively on a PC has created post-production headaches for the entire video industry. Mac users need to interact with Windows-based creators. It would be much simpler for Mac users to get proper ProRes files from their follow Windows collaborators. Instead, Apple has forced the Windows community into the hacked-ProRes netherworld of FFmpeg… and it’s not going to stop until Apple allows ProRes to be rendered natively on Windows. In the meantime, Windows users are producing ProRes outside of the Apple standard,  leading to the production of 10-bit ProRes 4444, unsteady bit-rates and a variety of different ProRes variations. In the long-term, this will be detrimental to the ProRes brand and standard. By definition, a codec is a collaborative tool, a way to share video information by means of encoding and decoding. To limit it’s use to one platform to gain a potential commercial advantage on another platform is greedy, monopolistic and short-sighted.

Hoping to influence the Windows licensing process, I wrote this letter to the [email protected] licensing team. My main concern is ProRes licensing for DaVinci Resolve, although having ProRes available for the Adobe suite would really help the entire industry. I’m not holding my breath on this… but it’s worth a shot?

If you think ProRes should be set free, write a letter! Spread the word!

Hi ProRes team!

Video professionals love working on Macs. There is no doubt that OSX provides a smoother, more-reliable user experience than Windows. Key to that experience is the use of ProRes as a capture, intermediary and finishing codec.

As a video finishing professional, I had to move away from Apple hardware because the Mac Pro is ill suited to my needs and lacks the power necessary for today’s color grading workflows. Many digital artists and creators are in the same situation, VFX Artists, Compositors, 3D Artist, AR Artists, etc.

However, my clients are all on Mac and want me to deliver ProRes. I totally understand. It’s a great codec. It works with QuickLook. Why should they have to adapt to a DNxHR or Cineform workflow when they know and trust ProRes?

By limiting the licensing of ProRes on Windows, you are hurting Mac users and diluting the ProRes brand. Windows users are rendering to ProRes using FFmpeg converters/plugins and delivering non-Apple ProRes to clients.
There is a serious need to collaborate between Mac and Windows video professionals. This collaboration is happening either through the sharing of sometimes buggy FFmpeg-ProRes, or by introducing Mac users to alternative cross-platform codecs like DNxHR and Cineform. Either way, this is bad for ProRes’ future.

Regardless of whether Apple is planning to release a new Mac Pro to market, the need for a cross-platform codec is growing. It will either be filled by a hacked version of ProRes, DNxHR, VC-5 or an official Apple ProRes encoder for Windows.

Please show some goodwill to the pro-video community and make ProRes encoding available on the Windows platform, or at the very least, consider licensing it to BlackMagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve. 🙂
Sincerely,

Francis Hanneman

It's not a secret... You can encode ProRes on Windows!Click To Tweet

2 Responses

    • I didn’t get a response… but I still think it’s important to call out Apple on this. I think anyone who’s frustrated with the current situation should do the same.

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