CODEX High Density Encoding (HDE) provides bit-exact data reduction of uncompressed camera ARRIRAW files through encoding. HDE can reduce the overall storage size of RAW images by up to a 2:1 ratio.
Studios are demanding 4K and RAW image data to archive and future-proof the negative. High Frame Rate (HFR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) add to this large format data footprint, leading to significant cost increases as well as storage and transmission challenges. HDE is an easy to use tool for large format workflows to control the ever-increasing data footprint of RAW video images.
HDE is a free workflow accelerator built into CODEX Device Manager when working with ARRIRAW on CODEX capture media.
For ALEXA Mini and AMIRA recording ARRIRAW to CFast media, users can purchase a licence to enable HDE for their workflows.
Uncompressed RAW data costs more to transport and store than compressed ProRes files. An uncompressed ARRIRAW file can be reduced to a HDE file size not much larger than a corresponding ProRes 4444 XQ mezzanine file, while retaining all original pixel values that were encoded.
CODEX HDE Features
- Provides lossless reduction of the storage size of ARRIRAW images
- Encoding results in ARRIRAW files that are typically 60% of original size
- Data reduction is comparable to best-in-class lossless codecs
- Images, once decoded, are a bit-for-bit perfect match to the original
- Fast encoding and decoding speeds*
CODEX HDE FAQs
What is HDE?
HDE stands for High Density Encoding. It is an encoding technique that is optimised for Bayer pattern images. ARRIRAW images encoded with HDE are typically around 60% of the original size. HDE encoding is completely lossless - when an HDE image is decoded, it is a bit-for-bit perfect match to the original image.
What resolutions does HDE support?
HDE can be used on ARRIRAW images of any resolution.
What is the data rate of HDE?
HDE typically results in a file that is 60% of the original ARRIRAW file size. For example, ARRIRAW 4.6K 3:2 Open Gate is normally 2006GB/hour. When stored as HDE, this becomes 1203GB/hour.
What is the performance of HDE?
HDE is designed to be high performance for encoding and decoding, and is dependent on CPU power. UPDATE: ARRIRAW Open Gate 4.6K can be encoded at over 50 fps on a Mac Pro (2019 Intel model)., and at over 100 fps on a Mac Studio or MacBook Pro (2022 M1 Max model). The encoding happens when files are copied from a Compact Drive or Capture Drive.
What file format is used for HDE?
For the ALEXA 35 workflow Device Manager provides HDE MXF files from ARRIRAW MXF source files. For earlier ARRI cameras when an ARRIRAW image is encoded as HDE, the file extension changes from .ari to .arx.
When is HDE applied?
HDE is applied at the point of offloading files from the original camera media.
Is a HDE file a compressed RAW file? If not, how is it different?
High Density Encoding of ARRIRAW is a bit-exact lossless encoding with no image compression, broadly comparable to the process of ‘zipping’ a file but highly optimised for Bayer images.
Is anything lost in the HDE conversion?
No image data is lost during the HDE conversion. It is the same data, simply encoded to achieve higher storage efficiency. You can generate an md5 checksum from a .ARI file, encode with HDE to .ARX, then decode back to .ARI and the md5 from the decoded file will match 100%. Try our Trial HDE Encoder and see this for any .ARI file!
Is it similar to Apple ProRes RAW?
No, it is quite different. ProRes RAW is a stream file that captures the Bayer sensor data in a lossy compressed format to an external monitor/recorder. By contrast, HDE is a completely lossless image encoding that is supported by a wide range of ARRI Partners such as Pomfort Silverstack, Colorfront Transkoder and FilmLight Daylight, plus many more.
Why would I use HDE?
Using HDE will result in files that are significantly smaller with no loss in quality. This corresponds to drastic time and cost savings all the way through post production. The HDE files will typically require 40% less storage capacity for online and archive storage, and reduce the I/O requirements of playback and rendering applications. If you are using Cloud services, that is 40% less data to push to the Cloud or to migrate between Cloud server locations. The question is...why wouldn’t you use HDE?
How do I copy/encode HDE files?
CODEX Device Manager software on macOS allows HDE encoding of ARRIRAW directly from a Compact Drive or Capture Drive. The software has a Preferences option to enable HDE mode for ARRIRAW. The encoding happens on-the-fly when files are copied, and your copy application needs to include support for this. Applications with this support include:
- Shotput Pro
NOTE: macOS Finder is not capable of copying ARRIRAW HDE files from Capture Drive and Compact Drive. See the Device Manager datasheet for details.
NOTE: CODEX Vault XL and S appliances can encode ARRIRAW HDE with a licence - please contact CODEX Support if you require more details.
Is CODEX Device Manager software free?
Yes, Device Manager software for encoding ARRIRAW from Compact Drive or Capture Drive to HDE is free, and does not require a licence. DIT/Data Managers just need to download and install the software and they are good to go. Please contact CODEX Support if you require Device Manager with HDE support.
Does Device Manager run on Mac and Windows?
Currently Device Manager is only supported on macOS.
Which applications support HDE files?
The following applications provide support for natively reading HDE files:
VENDOR APPLICATION ARRI ARRI Reference Tool Pomfort Silverstack Lab, Silverstack BlackMagic Design Da Vinci Resolve Colorfront Transkoder, On-Set Dailies, Express Dailies Filmlight Baselight and Daylight Imagine Products Shotput Pro Hedge Hedge YoYotta YoYotta Assimilate SCRATCH, SCRATCH Play Pro, SCRATCH VR nablet ARRIRAW AMA Plugin for Avid Media Composer Limecraft Limecraft Marquise Mist Video Village Screen SGO Mistika Digital Vision Nucoda In2Core QTake Foundry Nuke Less Pain NKyno Autodesk Flame Color Intelligence ColourLab Quine Quine
For further information about the support status of HDE in third party applications please contact their Support teams directly.
Can HDE be applied to Panasonic VRAW or Canon Cinema RAW?
No, HDE currently only supports ARRIRAW material.
Where can I get some sample HDE files for testing my workflow?
ARRI provide a range of ARRIRAW-HDE sample footage.
Why are some HDE files zero-size, and others have final size?
ARRIRAW stored on the original camera media (e.g. Capture Drive or Compact Drive) is unencoded. By default this appears as ARI (Capture Drive) or MXF/ARRIRAW (Compact Drive) files on the media volume. When the Device Manager > Preferences are set to enable HDE then the contents of the media is presented as ARX or MXF files with zero-size - this is because the Device Manager is presenting a list of files ready to be copied but the encoding has not been done yet, and the size cannot be pre-determined because the final HDE size depends on the image content. Once the files are copied using a compatible copy software then they will have their final size on the destination drive.
Which applications can convert ARX back to ARI?
In general, provided you are using applications that support HDE then the files can directly replace the ARRIRAW files in your workflow. If for some reason you need to convert the ARX back to ARI files then Codex Production Suite can be used.
Can HDE be applied to MXF/ARRIRAW files on CFast2.0 cards?
If the CFast2.0 card is loaded into a CODEX CFast2.0 Reader then ARX files will be presented if the Device Manager > Preferences are set to enable HDE mode. A HDE version of the drive will be presented - for example, if the original drive is called 'A001R0D5' then a second drive will appear called 'A001R0D5_hde' that contains the ARX files.
How are MXF/Apple ProRes files handled when HDE mode is enabled?
MXF/Apple ProRes files are not compatible with HDE. Therefore if the Compact Drive contains a mix of ARRIRAW and Apple ProRes when HDE mode is enabled only the ARRIRAW clips will be presented as HDE files and the ProRes files will be ‘passed through’ unaltered.
Product & Services Partners
These CODEX HDE Partners have cameras or applications that use CODEX Technology. The CODEX HDE partner applications can decode HDE files on the fly and support the complete Data Management, Archive, Dailies, VFX, and DI process.
Test the Encoder Utility
Use the CODEX HDE Client Utility to upload your own full resolution ARRIRAW file (.ARI) and get back a HDE encoded file (.ARX)