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working with/archiving raw file (Canon 5DmkII) video sequences

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Seth Marshallworking with/archiving raw file (Canon 5DmkII) video sequences
by on Mar 7, 2013 at 9:53:53 pm

Hello all,
I create time lapses with my 5DmkII. Because I'm not too familiar with AE I typically do all my image processing individually as a batch with Lightroom and sometimes HDR software. I then use After Effects to create the image sequences. At most my ability with AE was using curve adjustments and auto tone/color/ or contrast.

I am realizing AE is an tremendously powerful program that may be able to take over image processing that I otherwise use Lightroom for. A few questions:

1.) Lightroom is specifically a raw converter. Would I have better image results sticking to it for processing raw files?

2.) I often use HDR software to create pseudo-HDRs from bracketed jpg or tiff exports. My results speak for themselves despite others claiming it's a misuse of HDR and could be done otherwise. What tools in AE should I look into to achieve similar results? (I hate the shadows/highlights tool)

3.) For archiving I would like to only save the image sequence and trash the original raw files. Which codec would hold up best for retaining data inside the high bit depth raw files (shadow and highlight detail for possible future processing)?

Thank you all very much for your time.


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Angelo LorenzoRe: working with/archiving raw file (Canon 5DmkII) video sequences
by on Mar 8, 2013 at 2:31:56 am

1) After Effects uses the Adobe RAW plugin. If you're thinking of bridging the gap so you don't have to export intermediate TIFFs or other images, I would suggest processing your tweaks in Lightroom but make sure LR is set to save the XMP sidecar files on top of saving tweaks in its catalog file. Once the raw files are imported into After Effects, they should retain most, if not all, your tweaks - I'm not sure about some of the adjustment brush based things.

2) Nothing really. You could stack brackets on top of each other in After Effects, set your project bitdepth to 32 bits, blend them by selecting the blend mode add, and then have access to HDR data you can then manipulate in interesting ways. If you're happy with Photomatix, stick with it, it'll probably be faster.

3) If you want the ability to remap your HDR files, I would suggest 32-bit Tiff. I think Photomatix also does EXR and that's fine too.

--------------------
Angelo Lorenzo

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Seth MarshallRe: working with/archiving raw file (Canon 5DmkII) video sequences
by on Mar 8, 2013 at 12:10:33 pm

Thanks for your reply! And you totally guessed my HDR software. Going that route still means I'm exporting from LR and processing images individually like the old days, but I hear you.

As for remapping to EXR or 32bit Tiff, the problem is those files are bigger and my intentions are to make it smaller to archive. (I.e. I would save the image sequence as ProRes but want to retain all the shadow/highlight detail in the raw files). My friend says he uses Cineon or DPX for his work but I'm unfamiliar with those codecs


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Angelo LorenzoRe: working with/archiving raw file (Canon 5DmkII) video sequences
by on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:03:02 pm

DPX is the successor to Cineon, so consider Cineon a legacy format. DPX has some heft to it as it's an SMPTE standard; I don't think Cineon reached that status.

Currently, DPX supports 10 bits of data (albeit if encoded logarithmically, you get about 14 working bits out of it so far as I know) as do most high end video formats (ProRes 4444, Avid DNxHD's 10 bit implementation, etc.).

I would probably go ProRes4444. It's 10-bit and the lossy compression is fairly transparent. It's easier to manage than huge image sequences.

If you're working from 32 bit HDR originals, you're locking in the tone map. If you're working from tone mapped 16 bit TIFFs then you'll lose some fidelity overall, but you aren't clamping highlights or anything. 10 bit is enough fidelity for light to moderate color correction.

--------------------
Angelo Lorenzo

Need to encode ProRes on your Windows PC?
Introducing ProRes Helper, an awesome little app that makes it possible
Fallen Empire Digital Production Services - Los Angeles
RED transcoding, on-set DIT, and RED Epic rental services
Fallen Empire - The Blog
A blog dedicated to filmmaking, the RED workflow, and DIT tips and tricks
Can your post production question fit in a tweet? Follow me on Twitter


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Seth MarshallRe: working with/archiving raw file (Canon 5DmkII) video sequences
by on Mar 9, 2013 at 2:35:59 pm

Excellent information, thank you so much!

I don't think I would want to archive the EXR because wouldn't that lock in noise generated from my pseudo-HDR process, although I understand it could have more fidelity for future tone mapping having thrown out that data otherwise. But I guess you can't have the best of both worlds. A ProRes saved EXR image sequence may be significantly compressed enough to make it small enough for archiving.

I always thought ProRes4444 was dedicated to working with alpha channels, and although I don't understand quite how that would help in my situation (no VFX). ProRes and ProResHQ also have 10-bit but in lower bit-rates. Wouldn't that work as well or in this situation would 4444 lock in more fidelity?

Great information, thank you for your time!


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