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Premiere Pro CS6 Workflow with CinemanDNG, Davinci?

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Kesten Migdal
Premiere Pro CS6 Workflow with CinemanDNG, Davinci?
on Aug 29, 2012 at 1:03:53 am

I've been shooting on the 7D for a few years and want to make the switch to the Blackmagic. I've done a bit of research on CinemaDNG workflow with Premiere Pro CS6 and it doesn't look good. I downloaded some clips and played around with the After Effects to Premiere workflow, but it was horribly slow.

It ships with DaVinici Resolve which I've never used and know nothing about. I was wondering if there is a workflow with DaVinci to Premiere? I love the idea of color correcting with the 13 stop dynamic range.

Or will Premiere editors just shoot in ProRes or DNxHD? If that's the case, do you lose the 13 stop dynamic range? Sorry, not familiar with RAW, so I think that's the case.


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Premiere Pro CS6 Workflow with CinemanDNG, Davinci?
on Aug 29, 2012 at 5:17:19 am

To keep it simple:

RAW is an unbaked cake - each pixel only has color information of one color - R, G or B.

A RAW converter reads RAW files and uses a debayering algorithm to create 3 colors per pixel.

Right now, NLEs need a baked cake to work with, so you have two routes:

1. RAW convert DNGs to another format like Cineform, TIFFs, etc.
2. Create proxies (JPEG image sequences will work great) and edit in CS6, then relink to original DNG files - and export to Speedgrade. Speedgrade will read CinemaDNG.

Either way, you could try a RAW converter like Lightroom or Raw Therapee to create TIFF image sequences of your data, e.g., but that'll require a lot of hard disk space.

If you are going to work in DNxHD, then why shoot RAW? The BMCC can record directly to DNxHD 220.

The actual DR of the camera is yet to be tested by third parties. RAW will definitely hold more DR than a baked file, usually half a stop to one stop more. If you have total control over your lighting, then shooting RAW is more hassle than it is worth.

http://wolfcrow.com/blog/ - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.


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Kesten Migdal
Re: Premiere Pro CS6 Workflow with CinemanDNG, Davinci?
on Aug 29, 2012 at 6:40:35 am

Great, thank you. So, I'm trying to understand the "13 Stop Dynamic Range" that's on their website http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/. I love the final color graded shot they show.

Say I chose to shoot in ProRes instead of RAW for ease of workflow. If ProRes is the baked file that holds about 1 stop less DR than RAW, will I be able to come close to that final color graded image? Will I basically have a 12 stop dynamic range shooting to ProRes?


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Premiere Pro CS6 Workflow with CinemanDNG, Davinci?
on Aug 29, 2012 at 11:44:18 am

The simple answer is no. But it's not a fair comparison for these reasons:

1. The Prores is in Rec. 709 color space, with a maximum bit depth of 10 bits per pixel

2. The Prores is chroma sampled at 4:2:2 and has two fixed preset options

3. The Prores/DNxHD file is downsampled to 1080p. You can't shoot 2.5K in Prores.

If it were a fair fight, the difference would be minimal, in my experience. Only in better sensors like those found in DSLRs and medium format cameras do the RAW files far outweigh in-camera TIFFs or JPEGs. I could be wrong, though. Maybe BMCC has pulled off a miracle!

One important thing you should know is that RAW files have to be debayered as I mentioned earlier - this means that the RAW converter must have decent knowledge of how the sensor works to use the best algorithm for debayering. Right now, even though many apps support Cinema DNG, only Resolve really 'knows' the BMCC in and out.

As a simple exercise, I recommend downloading Raw Therapee, a small but really cool and powerful RAW converter. You could try grading the available DNG files to see if you can reproduce the look.

By the way, the BMCC manual is available now: http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/4720483/Cinema_Camera_Manual.pdf

http://wolfcrow.com/blog/ - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.


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Kesten Migdal
Re: Premiere Pro CS6 Workflow with CinemanDNG, Davinci?
on Aug 29, 2012 at 5:31:55 pm

Great information. Thank you! The BMCC manual makes the workflow seem easy:

Step 1. Shoot with Blackmagic Cinema Camera and record to CinemaDNG RAW files.
Step 2. Take the SSD out of the camera and dock it to your computer via an SSD dock with a fast Thunderbolt, USB 3.0 or eSATA connection.
Step 3. Bring the media into Resolve 9.
Step 4. Apply a basic grade in Resolve 9 and render out to Apple ProRes, DNxHD or other formats.
Step 5. Edit the files in popular NLE software such as Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer or Adobe Premiere Pro.
Step 6. When finished editing, export an XML or AAF file.
Step 7. Import the XML or AAF file into Resolve 9 and conform with the original CinemaDNG images for maximum creative control.
Step 8. Grade the edited timeline in Resolve 9 to complete the project.

Unfortunately, Step 7 seems the most complicated for a Resolve newbie. There are 130 pages about conforming in the Resolve manual.

As far as Raw Therapee, it doesn't look like there's a version for Mac OSX 10.8 yet.

All I do is web video, and it seems like maybe the 5D MKIII might be a much easier beast to deal with. With that said, I'll watch for the release of the BMCC and see how people are handling it.

Thanks again.


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Premiere Pro CS6 Workflow with CinemanDNG, Davinci?
on Aug 29, 2012 at 6:03:19 pm

[Kesten Migdal] "... All I do is web video, and it seems like maybe the 5D MKIII might be a much easier beast to deal with. With that said, I'll watch for the release of the BMCC and see how people are handling it."

Hi Kesten: Shoot using the BMCC's awesome 1080p 10-bit ProRes 422 HQ "Film" or "Video" feature and be very happy! :-)

ProRes 422 HQ is recorded @ 220 megabits/sec and is far higher quality than DSLR video, and most other camcorder video for that matter. Easy to edit on both Macs & PCs. Requires 1/5th the storage space and disk speed of the BMCC's 2.5K 12-bit RAW CinemaDNG recording mode.

Here's an early example of BMCC ProRes 422 HQ quality:
http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?p=1876&sid=0184fc4c29b407ad...

I plan to use my BMCC to shoot ProRes 422 HQ most of the time, and shoot RAW CinemaDNG only on projects that require the extra quality and/or have budget for the extra hardware & software that RAW video requires.

BMCC: Very high quality video, flexible recording formats & incredible software @ a relatively low price. Cheers.

---

http://www.peterdv.com


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Kesten Migdal
Re: Premiere Pro CS6 Workflow with CinemanDNG, Davinci?
on Aug 29, 2012 at 6:23:33 pm

Very cool Peter! I like the idea of shooting ProRes and having the RAW option for projects that require it.


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