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DNG's from MLV's with Ae Pr and Resolve

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George Goodman
DNG's from MLV's with Ae Pr and Resolve
on Dec 18, 2014 at 12:23:45 am

Having premier and resolve round trip is no problem. But if I want to do any compositing or general after effects work, I have no way to retain the flexibility of the DNG. At best, I can render out to a lossless codec. In an ideal situation, my color grade will be the last thing I do, and everything will remain in raw until then.

So I'm wondering if there will ever be a situation where I'll be able to do some form of compositing or effect work in AE but still be able to keep the footage as a DNG sequence. Is this just never going to be possible because of the way that the effects work inside AE? How do others do compositing while remaining in a raw format? I'm assuming this is done in features.

"|_ (°_0) _|"

Sincerely,

George

http://www.vimeo.com/georgegoodman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/georgefranklingoodman


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Sascha Haber
Re: DNG's from MLV's with Ae Pr and Resolve
on Dec 18, 2014 at 11:12:03 am

EXR

A slice of color...

Resolve 11.1.2 - Smoke 2015 - Sapphire 8
Colorist / VFX Guru / Aerial footage nerd
http://vimeo.com/saschahaber


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George Goodman
Re: DNG's from MLV's with Ae Pr and Resolve
on Dec 18, 2014 at 4:35:41 pm

Thanks Sascha!

That's a path I hadn't yet considered - sounds pretty viable from the bit of reading I did about it. I had just started looking at DPX, but not sure if that's offering exactly what I want either. Could you possibly explain the differences to me between the two codecs in regards to how they would work with the 14-bit raw recording to MLV's that I'm getting from my camera?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like no matter what, I'm going to lose my "raw" image - but maybe it doesn't matter? If I crunch all the info such that there is no clipping and use EXR or DPX will I have the same latitude as I would with DNG but just lacking the camera RAW feautres? I suppose I'm asking if I would be losing any information this way?

So knowing that the MLV's I'm recording are 14-bit, what would make the most sense here? I'm pretty much a noob at this stuff and still trying to get my head around bit depths, color space and codecs for high end grading. This is what I'm thinking, so please correct me anywhere I go wrong:

-MLV to DNG

-DNG into Resolve

-Picture Lock

-Build out first color grade to determine LUT that will be ultimately applied

-Prep all DNG's with camera raw tools so that clips will be affected properly by the LUT

-A) Export VFX shots to EXR (what are the best settings here? 16-bit? 32bit?) OR B) Use DNG's in AE and use ACR for the Camera Raw Settings that I determined for my LUT

-Export EXR from AE (best settings? Is it necessary for this stuff to be 32bit or am I adding unnecessary file size)

-Bring into Resolve apply LUT and do a final grade

-Export ftw

I know that's a lot to ask, but I really appreciate all the help. Maybe you can take solace in the fact that I've contributed a fair amount to the AE forums in my day.

"|_ (°_0) _|"

Sincerely,

George

http://www.vimeo.com/georgegoodman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/georgefranklingoodman


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David Fuller
Re: DNG's from MLV's with Ae Pr and Resolve
on Dec 19, 2014 at 4:04:08 am
Last Edited By David Fuller on Dec 19, 2014 at 1:48:22 pm

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like no matter what, I'm going to lose my "raw" image - but maybe it doesn't matter? If I crunch all the info such that there is no clipping and use EXR or DPX will I have the same latitude as I would with DNG but just lacking the camera RAW feautres? I suppose I'm asking if I would be losing any information this way?"


Yes. By definition, once you change the sensor data in the raw image, you no longer have a raw image. It's OK.
You need to think about the post workflow in a kind of "develop/print" methodology. Develop the raw image to a file like exr or dpx that has enough bit depth to hold all the information, and develop the image so that you preserve all the information you want in a way that lets you do the grade that you want down the road. The final grade is the "print" part of the workflow. This, in a nutshell, is Light Iron's theory of workflows, and it works really well.


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Sascha Haber
Re: DNG's from MLV's with Ae Pr and Resolve
on Dec 19, 2014 at 12:25:30 pm

All of the high end houses I had the pleasure to work with are using EXR files.
Depending on the NAS SAN systems they choose different flavours, but EXR is the way to go.
At one project we were able to generate floating point LUTlike data generated in pre-grade sessions, supplied the 3D and compositing pipeline with them, used the full linear data for the VFX and preview pipelines and afterwards inverted the colour changes to supply the final colour grading service with images that were identical to the film scans, just with VFX.
A lot of work, if the budget is there, everything is possible :)

A slice of color...

Resolve 11.1.2 - Smoke 2015 - Sapphire 8
Colorist / VFX Guru / Aerial footage nerd
http://vimeo.com/saschahaber


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George Goodman
Re: DNG's from MLV's with Ae Pr and Resolve
on Dec 20, 2014 at 3:50:50 am

Thanks again Sascha!

I think I've been sold on EXR at this point. Any tips for contrast and IRE range or rendering to ensure I don't lose any information?

"|_ (°_0) _|"

Sincerely,

George

http://www.vimeo.com/georgegoodman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/georgefranklingoodman


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George Goodman
Re: DNG's from MLV's with Ae Pr and Resolve
on Dec 20, 2014 at 3:47:57 am

Thanks!

So what would be best practice for ensuring that I'm not losing any information? I assume that I wouldn't want to clip anything, but would it be best to try to crunch the information tightly around 500 IRE or would I ideally want to spread it out for maximum contrast? It sounds like I'd be best off rendering out to 32 bit.

"|_ (°_0) _|"

Sincerely,

George

http://www.vimeo.com/georgegoodman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/georgefranklingoodman


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Marc Wielage
Re: DNG's from MLV's with Ae Pr and Resolve
on Dec 21, 2014 at 7:51:28 am

[George Goodman] " If I crunch all the info such that there is no clipping and use EXR or DPX will I have the same latitude as I would with DNG but just lacking the camera RAW features? I suppose I'm asking if I would be losing any information this way?"

No, no information lost. Just be sure to inspect the Log-space files and make sure the exposure and color temperature settings are correct.

VFX workflow is covered in depth in Susan Zwerman's VES Handbook of Visual Effects: Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures, which is a very interesting read (albeit very long at about 1100 pages). A lot of this stuff has also been written up as white papers at the Visual Effects Society's conventions over the years. There are several different ways to handle VFX workflows, but DPX and ERX are known to work very well with about a hundred $150M-$200M Hollywood features done in the last 7-8 years.


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