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Workaround to get RAW processing out of h264 files

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Duke SwedenWorkaround to get RAW processing out of h264 files
by on May 16, 2016 at 9:12:53 pm

I checked the other forums and couldn't find one to put this in so I thought I'd put it here for my "friends" ;-)

This couldn't be this easy, but it appears I've come up with a way to apply RAW post processing to compressed h264 video. To my eyes it seems to have worked but I figure you guys will either say "That's brilliant!" or "No, sorry, your eyes are fooling you and here's why".

Anyway this is what I did. I came up with this idea but I haven't been able to shoot lately so I used an image and a video of the same basic area shot weeks apart to experiment with. This is my idea. In Speedgrade you can use color match to get a decent color grade look of a movie you like by using the color match feature, and a .tga of the scene you want to duplicate.

So, I figured, why can I not frame a shot when I'm shooting a video, take a picture beforehand, do some post in Camera RAW, save it as a .tga file, then apply the tweaks to my video shot at the same time? So I gave it a shot using video I shot using FLAAT11, and a picture I took of the same general area in 14 bit RAW. Here's the original video with the changes applied to it using Speedgrade, going from left to right.

Am I on to something. Or is it completely impossible for the h264 footage to accept the depth of change that the image can put out?







Remember, I shot the picture and the video weeks apart. I imagine the results would be even better if I shoot video and take a picture of the same scene one after the other.


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Chris WrightRe: Workaround to get RAW processing out of h264 files
by on May 17, 2016 at 1:16:11 am

if you're asking if you'll get higher quality out of it, I don't think so. Once brights are clipped in 8 bit 4:2:0 video they are gone for good. but you're right, you can match to any image and adobe will try the best it can to match. It's nothing that you couldn't do manually though. This reminds me of the AE trick *.* All files tab to enable open up format Camera RAW for non-RAW images.

Camera RAW was designed to interpret RAW with non-destructive color profiling. it expects 12 bits of unprocessed sensor data,
even before iso and white balance, not 8 bit 4:2:0 color with all that permanently burned in.


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Duke SwedenRe: Workaround to get RAW processing out of h264 files
by on May 17, 2016 at 2:27:00 am

Thanks, Chris. Does it make any difference that my camera, the Nikon D5500, uses 4:2:2 rather than 4:2:0? I know it IS 8 bit. Is the bit size more important than the 4:2:2?


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Chris WrightRe: Workaround to get RAW processing out of h264 files
by on May 17, 2016 at 2:53:03 am

yes, very much so. in fact, 4:2:2 encoding is quite popular in 10 bit format in many prores formats. the human eye can't see chroma as well as luma, so the visual compression of color is not as obvious.


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Duke SwedenRe: Workaround to get RAW processing out of h264 files
by on May 17, 2016 at 3:36:54 am

OK, so basically I wasted my time. Thought for sure I was gonna be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in technology ;-)


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Chris WrightRe: Workaround to get RAW processing out of h264 files
by on May 17, 2016 at 3:40:19 am

in fact, if you can get the look you want faster/easier this way, you have actually reduced time needed to complete your project ;)


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Tero AhlforsRe: Workaround to get RAW processing out of h264 files
by on May 17, 2016 at 7:20:27 am

[Duke Sweden] "Am I on to something."

Not really, no. RAW files aren't images like JPEGs or H264 video are. They are the unprocessed "digital negative" data you must process into an image. You can do workarounds and bring these in into camera RAW converters but you aren't getting any data that's not in the original.


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