Larry Jordan writes on his blog:

“With the release of ProRes 4444, there is no reason to use the Animation codec on system that have it installed, even if you don’t need an alpha channel. (Alpha channels are used when you want to retain the transparency information in a clip.) With or without an alpha channel, ProRes 4444 creates smaller files, with higher quality, than does Animation.” (emphasis added)

While this may be true for “normal” video, it is far off the truth for screen captures. Here’s how far off it really is.
On the left is a 30 second clip encoded with the Apple Animation codec, on the right is the same video encoded with ProRes 4444. The frame size is 1920×1200.

ProRes vs Animation

I’m using ProRes 4×4 for layered animations in Final Cut, but the truth is that the Animation codec, although being old and outdated, produces far smaller encodings than ProRes 4444 for screencasts. Animation is still the best codec screencasters can choose, when file size is a concern.

UPDATE: I played around with streaming over the weekend and recorded the streams on the other end with ScreenFlow, so I can make a decision which streaming service to take. I’ve encoded all screencaps with Animation and ProRes 4444.

Streaming Encoding 4444 vs.
Animation

EVEN ANOTHER UPDATE: I felt this caused some discrepancy between those I’ve talked with. is that Apple wants people to use ProRes, so all their documents tell you about the great ProRes. Animation is old and outdated.

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