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Canon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow

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Daniel Neutzsky-WulffCanon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow
by on Aug 17, 2012 at 9:16:40 am

Hello,

Can someone please explain to me in detail the following workflow?

"The workflow was H.264 to ProRes 4:2:2 to TIFF then to high quality JPEG."

Obviously the footage was shot in H.264, then what happens from here?
From editing in FCP7 to sending the project to color?

The reason for asking is that I want to maintain all the dynamic range of the original footage for color grading.


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Marcus Samuel-GaskinRe: Canon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow
by on Aug 17, 2012 at 10:51:00 am

In my experience, COLOR doesn't mind H.264 camera originals one little bit. I know this is contrary to what you may have heard out there but it's the truth.

You may for example have a FCP editorial sequence in ProRes 422 or ProRes Proxy.
The key to this workflow is that the naming of the files didn't change when transcoding from h.264 to the proxy codec used for editorial.
Then it's just a "create offline" and straight reconnect back to the h.264's in FCP and send that H.264 sequence to COLOR.

Grade as you wish and then render out ProRes from COLOR. It totally works.


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Daniel Neutzsky-WulffRe: Canon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow
by on Aug 17, 2012 at 11:03:02 am

I did a music video a month ago or so which was shot on Canon EOS 5D MKIII and I was quite surprised by the fact that I was able to edit the raw H264 files straight off of the camera in FCP7 with several video tracks on top of each other at the same time.

I sent the sequence directly to Color and back to FCP7 when I was done grading and exported a H264 file for delivery.

The same guy I did the video for just called me back and told me to make sure that this was the workflow to use when wanting to preserve AS MUCH data from the raw footage for grading as possible.

The result was really nice, but I guess he just wanted to make sure.


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Marcus Samuel-GaskinRe: Canon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow
by on Aug 17, 2012 at 11:16:54 am

Well, I wouldn't recommend EDITING in H264 as it's computationally intensive for FCP, though you could turn off the dropped frames warning.. I'd edit ProRes Proxy then reconnect back to the H264, then send to COLOR. What I WOULD do is as soon as you send to COLOR, IMMEDIATELY send that back to FCP (Don't render, just send to FCP). So if you run into any funkiness with the XML, you'll know straight away. It's just a precautionary measure.


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Marcus Samuel-GaskinRe: Canon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow
by on Aug 17, 2012 at 11:20:00 am

Also, as far dynamic range, it helps if you shoot with the Technicolor Cinestyle and light correctly.


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Daniel Neutzsky-WulffRe: Canon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow
by on Aug 17, 2012 at 11:20:22 am

Okay, great! Thanks for your help.


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Rafael AmadorRe: Canon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow
by on Aug 19, 2012 at 3:13:26 am

[Daniel Neutzsky-Wulff] "The reason for asking is that I want to maintain all the dynamic range of the original footage for color grading."
h264 is 8b/420 and prores is 10b/422.
You won't lose any dinamyc range when converting.

I would convert the H264 to Prores/Prores HQ (if possible with 5DtoRGB), and forget about H264 (not supported by FC neither by Color), and forget about proxys. TIFF and JPEG have nothing to do here.

If you insist in working with proxys, don't forget that the only way to reconnect to the original h264 files is using L&T and the Canon plugin.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Shane RossRe: Canon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow
by on Aug 19, 2012 at 10:30:00 pm

Anyone who shoots H.264...and then insists that you "retain every ounce of quality throughout the process" is a person who doesn't know what they are talking about. Encoding to ProRes is fine...good...proven.

And people need to concentrate more on STORY than all this. Hurt Locker...shot super 16...looked grainy as hell...and was a far better movie than Avatar that was beautiful and full of quality.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Marek KremerRe: Canon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow
by on Aug 20, 2012 at 11:00:19 am

Best workflow for CANON that I am using for years is:
H264 into ProRes4444 or HQ, edit, grade, export keeping the same codec up to the end. That's it. Any conforming to H264 is pointless I believe.


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Joseph OwensRe: Canon EOS 5D MK III color grading workflow
by on Aug 20, 2012 at 3:52:27 pm

[Marek Kremer] "H264 into ProRes4444 or HQ, edit, grade, export keeping the same codec up to the end. That's it. Any conforming to H264 is pointless I believe."

Agreed in principle, although its still overkill. H264 is really a pro-sumer highly compact codec, which might be great for extremely low budget field acquisition, but in no way is it an efficient post format, requiring i-frame interpolation for every operation, and massive, intensive CPU attention. Maybe worse than HDV, the use of which seems to be tailing away, finally. However, even HDV seems to have had a better overall ability to keep well-exposed source images intact. "Well exposed" being the key phrase.

Anything shot in H264 is still a cookie being shipped in a boxcar if you use anything higher-bitrate than ProRes 422 (standard). Sequential frame formats like dpx or tiff only make sense if you have done some chroma smoothing and gamut expansion and you are intending on a DCP or filmout, both of which seem very unlikely here.

On the same page as Shane.


jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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