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Working with DNG files on iMac late 2011

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Lena Sotiriou
Working with DNG files on iMac late 2011
on Mar 27, 2013 at 9:56:07 pm

Hello everyone,

It has been a couple of years now I visit this site quite often to solve my editing queries. But it's the first time I post.

I'm about to shoot a short film with Blackmagic Cinema Camera and after endless hours of research I've almost come to the conclusion not to shoot in 2.5K. The reasons are basically the storage and the workflow.

I'll be using a late 2011 21.5-inch iMac (AMD Radeon HD 6750M, 12GB RAM). And I was wondering, in real terms is it possible with this system to work with 2.5K?

I know I'll have to edit with converted files and then replace them with the originals. But what about color correction? I guess I'll have to work with the originals at that point, right? But I'm afraid my iMac will explode just like my head trying to make it work...

Thank you very much.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Working with DNG files on iMac late 2011
on Mar 31, 2013 at 7:22:21 pm

How do you want to finish? At 2.5K, HD? both, etc.?

There is no reason not to consider a transcode to a more friendly editorial format. The goal of editing is to tell the story and do so with the best performance possible so the editor can concentrate on the flow - I don't understand why there is such a need to edit "native" when either the system, the workflow, and such don't really require it.

Transcode to either a ProRes or DNxHD codec depending on system. There is a ow data rate for either one (36Mb/s) that is great. Once done, you can go back to Resolve for the final conform and color - pretty much as most studio theatrical films are done. Once back in Resolve, you have access to the RAW parameters and a kick-ass color correction.

Don't forget audio and audio workflow in all of this - audio brings so much to the story and viewer experience - even more so than what resolution or camera was used, or whether it was RAW or not. Get the best audio you can on set.


Michael


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Lena Sotiriou
Re: Working with DNG files on iMac late 2011
on Apr 1, 2013 at 7:55:52 am

Thank you for the reply.

I'll finish at HD.

In fact I've thought it over and over and the storage will be a huge issue for me because the entire film will be shot outdoors. And the scenes are basically daytime except one that is night.

So I was thinking of shooting HD the day scenes and RAW the night scene (to have more color correction "moves" with less noise).

As to the editing part, I totally agree with you and that's what I'm trying to find out among other things. This RAW thing is totally new to me and I don't quite understand the details, meaning when do I actually use the original data.

Editing in a friendly format but coloring in the actual DNG files, right?? And then finish the scene in HD and add it to the rest HD sequence? Or am I getting it all wrong?

Either using Davinci Resolve Lite 9 (I don't own a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, I will rent it) or Adobe products, etc. is my system capable of doing the job?

As to the audio part, I'm a big fan of audio quality in movies. It's almost half the movie for me.

Thanx again for the help.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Working with DNG files on iMac late 2011
on Apr 1, 2013 at 12:37:03 pm

The DNG RAW format has advantages for both day and night shooting as it give you more dynamic range, including highlights. Are you shooting under controlled lighting situation, or is it more run-n-gun style with available light only?

DNxHD or ProRes will get you about 12.5 hours of dailies per 1TB storage

DNG will get you 2.43 hours of dailies per 1TB storage

Roughly a factor of x5. DNG or uncompressed RAW shooting is not for the faint of heart when it comes to storage and archive. Not to mention the time it takes to copy, backup, etc.

I would do some testing with RAW shooting in the day and night situations you plan on shooting in to compare. I would highly recommend that you shoot the BMC Film LOG if you go with either the ProRes or DNxHD format as your camera original to give you that extra "extra" in color correction.

But you have it right - if you were to shoot DNG, the process is to open in Resolve (even the free Lite version) and create HD dailies (1920 x 1080) as ProRes or DNxHD. Be sure you settle on REEL ID when making dailies - if using Avid, then just check "use filename" for REEL ID. It may be the same for FCP or FCPx but it gets a little wonky on longer filenames if EDLs are very introduced into the workflow for conform.

Edit with the low data rate proxy, then you can conform in Resolve, to the original DNG files for color correction. The free Lite version will also be fine as you only want to master to HD - the $999 version is required if you wanted to finish and output at higher than HD resolution.

Michael


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Lena Sotiriou
Re: Working with DNG files on iMac late 2011
on Apr 5, 2013 at 7:17:09 pm

Thank you so much for the help.
You've answered a lot of questions there.
I'll do as you suggested.


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