I read somewhere a time ago that in order to do serious work on videos in the sequencer, the video file should be converted to a sequence of raw images. The procedure was briefly explained in that post, but unfortunately I can't find that post these days.

Could anybody please explain how to do that. Thanks in advance.

PS: since there were comments about specifics, my video is from Panasonic GH3 cam, .mov files h.264 format.


It ultimately depends on what format and / or where your images originate.

If they originate in a render, the best advice is to store your intermediates as EXR. Even half EXRs are tremendously more useful than many other options.

If your images originate in a camera, you'd be wise to take them to a reasonable high fidelity format such as EXR. This can be tricky depending on your needs and experience and the format of your camera.

If your images originate from a consumer grade camera and the encoded format is H264 or another codec, you can extract the raw frames using various tools such as FFMPEG or its ilk, to varying degrees of quality depending on the tool and options chosen. With proper care, even an H264 encoded file can be properly decoded to either display linear or scene linear EXRs depending on need.

Getting to a high fidelity still image format however, is only a portion of the puzzle. Coming up with a reasonable offline to online path is another challenge entirely, and critical to optimize the quality of your work if you choose to avoid the "good enough" path.


No, it doesn't really make a difference once it's in the VSE (except for quality differences which don't have so much to do with the format as with the settings for the format). It just makes it so that, when rendering, you don't lose the entire movie if something bad happens (say a power outage on the last frame...ugh). If you are rendering straight to a movie, and Blender crashes, you lose everything. If you are rendering to a series of images, and Blender crashes, you only lost the image it is working on at the time (i.e. you can fire it back up later and start where you left off). Then you can import an image sequence into the VSE.

If you already rendered to a movie, no worries -- there isn't anything "image sequence specific" per say in the VSE.

The key is the output file type setting in the render tab of the properties window:

enter image description here

Make sure it is set to an image format (jpeg, png, etc.) before you render.

Then in the VSE...

enter image description here

...click the "Add > Image" (Shift+A) instead of "Add > Movie". The file browser will open and you can navigate into the folder your image sequence is in, and then select all the images that were rendered.

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    $\begingroup$ Not exactly accurate. A) The file format stored from a render or film matters tremendously in the amount and quality of data preserved. B) The VSE typically performs all operations at 8 bit depth, and is nonlinear, which mangles all manipulations. $\endgroup$ – troy_s Sep 8 '16 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ @troy_s Thanks for pointing that out. This is true, but on the other hand the quality can be changed for each file format: pngs can have 8-bit, 16-bit, etc., and mpegs have a billion quality settings. I have updated my answer to mention this. $\endgroup$ – JakeD Sep 8 '16 at 12:55
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    $\begingroup$ Bit depth has little to do with the data a particular format can store. EXR, for example, is implicitly linearized, with the capacity for scene referred values. No other format permits this, no matter what bit depth. File formats are not created equally. $\endgroup$ – troy_s Sep 8 '16 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ So did I get it right: 1. load video files in blender VSE 2. render to images 3. load image sequences 4. start editing ?? $\endgroup$ – Ali Rustam Sep 9 '16 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ No, that would not be useful. You need to render to images (from the scene), load them into the VSE as an image seq., edit in the VSE, and finally, render out to a video (from the VSE). $\endgroup$ – JakeD Sep 9 '16 at 21:26

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