Coolux Codec

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Coolux Codec

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coolux has developed a codec for use on PC and Mac. With this codec, content artists can directly produce .mov files or image sequences for Pandoras Box without any further transcoding step. Keep in mind that image sequence playback is mainly aimed for SSD based systems. Pandoras Box is able to playback uncompressed image sequences. So if the sequence was rendered in an according lossless file format, you can play it back without any quality loss as Pandoras Box never compresses files internally!

In what programs can the codec be used?

Obviously, Pandoras Box software itself can play back videos rendered with the coolux codec. No further steps are necessary, simply install Pandoras Box (Rev 10386 or newer) and the latest Quicktime Player.

The codec can be used for content creation, especially when there must not happen quality reducing and time consuming format conversion. Load the codec into third-party rendering software solutions like AfterFX.
It can be also used in (third-party) content converters like the Quicktime Player or the Quicktime Converter from coolux.
In both workflows, the codec renders content by using the Quicktime API. This is, why the codec is also called the "Pandoras Box Quicktime Component".

As soon as you have installed the coolux codec you can access it. Simply start or execute the according encoding / transcoding command which then offers a drop-down list to choose a custom format. The coolux codec is listed as "coolux".

Where can the codec be downloaded?

If you have installed the latest Pandoras Box version, the codec is already available on your system.

If you like to use the component without PB, download it from our web site's "Download Center" and install it on your PC or Mac system. Note that Mac OS 10.7 or newer is the minimum required version for the coolux QT components to work, older OS version will not be supported. On Mac and Windows PC systems, the codec requires the latest Quicktime Player for rendering as well as playback.

In what formats does the codec render?

First of all, the component allows to create .dds, .png and .bmp image sequences (RGB or RGBA, i.e. with transparency). To save  disk space you can choose to directly compress the image files using the .snp format. No matter what format you chose, the result from the rendering process is a folder with separate single (image) files. The folder can be played back from Pandoras Box by choosing "Import as Image Sequence" in the PB Assets tab. Snappy image sequences are decompressed on the fly.
To play the image sequence on another system than Pandoras Box, you need to choose a media player that supports image sequences.

Secondly, the component allows to render a .mov file. By using our codec in the mov container, you have the advantage of the same quality as an image sequence offers. That is because the container simply contains the single (image / frames) files, there is no additional intra-frame compression. On the other hand, you gain the advantage of a single file, that is a more convenient file handling and management. The advantage of using a .mov file is, that everybody can play the content with a Quicktime Player.
To play the .mov file in Pandoras Box, simply drag it into your Project tab.
Please keep in mind that eventhough PB can playback these .mov files, .mov files containing other codecs are not recommended playback formats!
All .movs require an installed Quicktime Player during playback.

How to convert other .mov files? What is the coolux Converter?

As mentioned above, .mov files containing other codecs are not recommended playback formats for Pandoras Box.
However, you can convert other .mov files using either a Quicktime PRO Player or the new coolux tool called the Quicktime Converter.

The Quicktime PRO Player allows to access the coolux codec as soon as it is installed on the system.

The Converter allows to read, i.e. decode any .mov file as long as the codec used in its container is installed on the system. Again, the latest Quicktime Player needs to be installed.
Afterwards it renders i.e. encode the file into an image sequence or single .mov using the new coolux codec instead. You may find the Converter along with all other coolux tools (Warper; Matrix Patcher,...) in the "Tools" menu in Pandoras Box.

The next chapter covers the use of the Quicktime Converter and the codec settings.