NotchLC is a free, high-quality codec that is GPU-powered and designed for playback and middleman, and is supported in Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Media Encoder. Previously available only on the Windows platform, it is now available for macOS.
What is NotchLC?
NotchLC is a GPU-powered codec that acts both as an intermediary and for playback with a color depth of up to 10 bits, and can be encoded and decoded quickly. The creators promise that compression has a ratio of around 5: 1, while keeping the image quality intact without any editing system trying to work with robust video. The LC in the name means Luma and Chroma.
One of the main complaints of any video editor, artist, and visual effects animator is the time it takes to render and export a project, especially at high bit rates. NotchLC takes full advantage of your computer’s GPU to encode and decode video at lightning speed, up to 5 times faster than in real time. When time is money to deliver a video on a tight deadline, this is extremely important.
According to Notch, it aimed to create a high-quality intermediate codec with fast encoding and decoding, 10-bit level precision, scrubbable and excellent – but realistic – compression rate. He developed NotchLC, achieving all of its objectives while adding the reading function. Originally released for Windows with macOS on the horizon, the company was able to deliver on its promise of Mac support.
NotchLC is for those who use Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Media Encoder, and it works very quickly, according to users. One of his clients, The Hive – who has worked on events and live shows with Aerosmith, Gorillaz and others – said it could take up to 5 full days to render and export a show from 90 minutes. With NotchLC, the complete rendering and export time fell to just 7 hours.
The codec offers 5 levels of quality, including Good, Very good, Excellent, Optimal and Best. NotchLC decomposes color data into chroma and luma (YUV), with 12-bit support for luma data. It uses a variable block size and control point to keep the details sharp and, according to Notch, it will assign more compression to the flatter colors.
How to get NotchLC
The codec is free and available for Adobe CC 2018, 2019 and 2020; macOS 10.14 or higher; or Windows 8 or higher. On Mac, it is compatible with Metal (GPU) and Windows, it is DirectX 11 (GPU).
Visit the Notch website to learn more and download the NotchLC plug-in for Adobe Creative Cloud and AVI and Legacy QuickTime 7 for Windows. The company also claims that users will not need Notch Builder or a Playback license.
If you work in Premiere Pro, After Effects or Media Encoder, and you have had to deal with long rendering and export delays, NotchLC is obvious, especially since it is free and free of rights. If you have a quality GPU, NotchLC promises to dramatically reduce these rendering times, so you can deliver projects much faster.
An interesting note is that, although NotchLC concerns Adobe products, the company offers a “fully documented SDK” to other software developers. It would be great if we could get support for other NLE and VFX platforms.