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FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?

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Jeff Kirkland
FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 20, 2019 at 8:05:33 pm

Hi All,

Just wondering what workflows people are using when dealing with Blackmagic Raw? I've got a short film shot in braw and I really want to edit it in FCPX.

I'm assuming proxies and XML will get me there but I did a quick test and when I round tripped back to Resolve, I lost the connection to some of the clip's sync sound (sync originally done in Resolve).

Just checking in for any hard won hints and tips before I start down that particular rabbit hole.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Brad Hurley
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 20, 2019 at 9:12:38 pm

I haven't done it myself but you can of course render individual BRAW clips in Resolve to ProRes HQ and import them into FCPX, which was a fairly common workflow among people with earlier Blackmagic Design cameras that recorded CDNG raw.

There is some speculation that the next release of FCPX could include BRAW support but who knows. Apple has a vested interest in promoting ProRes RAW so they might not go for it, but Premiere supports it now. Originally there was speculation it might be released at the FCPX summit earlier this month but that didn't happen, so now the speculation is focused on the release of the new MacPro, which could coincide with the release of new versions of FCPX and Logic. We shall see.


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 20, 2019 at 9:33:57 pm

From what I've heard the hold up is on Blackmagic's side, not Apple's.
Note that the BRAW plugin used in Premiere and Avid are developed by Blackmagic.

It's entirely possible that Blackmagic would prefer FCPX users move to Resolve whose full license is included with the purchase of any BMPCC variant.



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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 21, 2019 at 7:58:28 pm

My understanding is that Apple removed the ability for FCPX to run third party codec plugins a few versions back so Blackmagic can't develop anything themselves and have to wait for Apple to add support, if they ever do.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 22, 2019 at 4:13:21 pm
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Nov 23, 2019 at 2:40:44 pm

[Brad Hurley] "Apple has a vested interest in promoting ProRes RAW so they might not go for it"

The meme that won't die until it's actually out, I guess.

Are you suggesting that B"RAW" and ProRes RAW are competition or that somehow Apple actually thinks that it is? 😄



[Craig Seeman] "From what I've heard the hold up is on Blackmagic's side, not Apple's."

Of course it is. Apple's QA is exponentially tighter than that of Adobe's et al's. Once BMD get a stable and (unlike the PPro plugin) bug-free version of the codec to Apple it's sure to be included. Why shouldn't they?

Of course B"RAW" isn't even RAW to begin with, but I'm guessing you're already aware of that.



[Jeff Kirkland] "My understanding is that Apple removed the ability for FCPX to run third party codec plugins a few versions back"

No, it's not an FCP specific thing, it's an OS thing. Meant to keep any and anyone just making (and installing) plugins willy-nilly. All of which pose a potential security and stability risk if not monitored, whather we think it's a PITA or not. It's actually a good thing in the end.




[Joe Marler] "Atomos makes some recorders that record/encode BRAW from a few non-BM cameras, e.g, C300 II. "

Most certainly not.




[Joe Marler] "I wonder if Atomos will make recorders that record ProRes RAW from a Blackmagic camera?"

That's not AtomOS' decision. It's not like they can just pop an Inferno etc. onto any given RAW output port and capture away. But either way, I'd say the answer is clearly "nope".




[Joe Marler] "Blackmagic gives away a free open BRAW SDK for Mac OS, Windows and Linux."

I'd say you're clearly and gravely conflating PLAYBACK and RECORDING. And as much as so many like to say so, the BMD SDK is anything but OPEN in the sense that everyone seems to think.

- RK

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Joe Marler
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 21, 2019 at 3:16:22 am

[Jeff Kirkland] "what workflows people are using when dealing with Blackmagic Raw? I've got a short film shot in braw and I really want to edit it in FCPX. "

It's not just FCPX. You can't play BRAW in QuickLook, QuickTime or VLC. There is a special Blackmagic player. By contrast ProRes RAW can be played in all those -- it acts just like regular ProRes.

But your material already exists, so it's not like you have a choice. I'd just use Resolve. It's actually pretty good. Or you really want to use FCPX, use Resolve to batch convert them to ProRes.


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Brad Hurley
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 21, 2019 at 2:10:42 pm

I think the key question is whether you want to round-trip back to Resolve for color correction after editing in FCPX, or if you just want to use Resolve as a BRAW "developer" so you can render Prores HQ files in Rec709 and then work with those files from start to finish in FCPX.

Resolve's color correction/grading tools are of course much more advanced than those in FCPX, but if you don't need all that power and flexibility (and built-in tracking ability) the color correction tools in FCPX are quite good and capable. I only work with footage from BMD cameras, shooting log or raw, and everything looks better in Resolve; I can't achieve the same results in FCPX in part because Resolve offers a color-managed workflow with no need to use technical LUTs to go from log to Rec709. But if you do primary color correction on your BRAW clips in Resolve and then render the individual clips as Prores HQ files in a Rec709 colorspace, you can then import them into Final Cut and do all your editing and remaining color grading in there with no need to go back to Resolve.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 21, 2019 at 7:51:30 pm

For anything other than small projects, I'm always going to grade in Resolve but I much prefer editing, especially narrative work, in FCPX and I'm trying not to lose the advantages of the original raw files.

Normally, that's all pretty straight forward but when I tested, the reconnected braw files had lost their synced audio tracks and reverted back to just their scratch audio - which would be a pain to have to re-sync because most of the clips had to be synced up by hand.

I've got some time to test again today so I'll see if I can figure it out.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 21, 2019 at 8:03:40 pm

Braw is the choice. All my cameras are Blackmagic and I haven't shot anything other than braw in more than a year. And because of that, I've only edited maybe four projects in FCPX. Resolve is ok but I want to get back to using FCPX regularly for all the reasons I love using it.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Joe Marler
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 21, 2019 at 8:27:12 pm

While BRAW was originally a raw format for Blackmagic cameras, Atomos makes some recorders that record/encode BRAW from a few non-BM cameras, e.g, C300 II.

I wonder if Atomos will make recorders that record ProRes RAW from a Blackmagic camera? That would solve the problem for FCPX users wanting to edit raw from those cameras.


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Brad Hurley
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 21, 2019 at 8:37:35 pm

"While BRAW was originally a raw format for Blackmagic cameras, Atomos makes some recorders that record/encode BRAW from a few non-BM cameras, e.g, C300 II. "

That can't be true, can it? Blackmagic Design and Atomos have a bad history together; as far as I know Atomos is only making monitor/recorders that record Prores Raw, not BRAW.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 21, 2019 at 8:44:43 pm
Last Edited By Jeff Kirkland on Nov 21, 2019 at 8:45:41 pm

I'd say definitely not true - he's probably thinking of Blackmagic's updated Video Assist which can record braw from the C300 and the EVA1.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Brad Hurley
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 21, 2019 at 10:20:09 pm

Okay, if you don't get any useful tips from anyone here, you could try contacting Fabián Aguirre at http://www.theunderstory.co/contact. He mentioned on the Blackmagic Design forum that he does this round-trip workflow, shooting in BRAW on the Ursa Mini and Pocket 4K, exporting proxies from Resolve and editing in Final Cut, and then he goes back to Resolve for color correction. He said (in his post) that it was difficult, but like you he prefers editing in Final Cut. He might be willing to provide some tips.


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Joe Marler
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 21, 2019 at 11:57:31 pm

You are correct, I got the new Video Assist mixed up with the Atomos recorders.

However it seems Atomos could make a ProRes RAW recorder for Blackmagic cameras. Blackmagic gives away a free open BRAW SDK for Mac OS, Windows and Linux. The purpose is facilitate decoding of BRAW format, including unique information about the camera’s image sensor. That was all stated in the press release: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/release/20180914-01

Atomos can already encode ProRes RAW, and the BRAW SDK would seem to give the ability to decode BRAW, including access to low-level sensor data.

However Jeff's current situation is what to do now. I guess you could use Resolve to batch convert BRAW to ProRes (maybe after "first light" correction). You'd obviously lose something but Arri cameras sometimes record ProRes.


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Brad Hurley
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 22, 2019 at 12:05:32 am

"However it seems Atomos could make a ProRes RAW recorder for Blackmagic cameras."

They could, but they almost certainly won't. Atomos and Blackmagic Design have an anagonistic relationship. If you look at the list of compatible cameras that Atomos posts for its monitor/recorders, for example, you won't find any BMD cameras listed even though they're compatible. There is bad blood between them; I can't remember the details but they weren't pretty.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 22, 2019 at 1:22:55 am

Do you have matching tc for video and audio or are you syncing by waveform?


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 22, 2019 at 6:46:11 am

Sadly, synching based on waveform and the camera scratch audio isn't the best. Even an app like Pluraleyes has had issues with some of it. Resolve has a lot of good features but a reliable waveform sync isn't one of them.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 23, 2019 at 6:05:46 am

[Jeff Kirkland] "Sadly, synching based on waveform and the camera scratch audio isn't the best."

I see. I would keep the audio and video separate (don't make new media with embedded audio).

Then I would relink to raw video at or near the end in Resolve.

Do you know why certain clips don't relink? Is there something about the files Resolve doesn't like?


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Russell Harmon
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 28, 2019 at 4:23:11 am

I do a quick grade of all my footage including BRAW in Resolve, export as ProRes files, then edit in FCPX from that. Works great.

There's one difference between BRAW footage and the rest, but otherwise no change to my normal workflow: For everything else, I import the original files into FCPX, then relink to the graded ProRes files when they're ready (making sure they're identical enough to relink is a hassle, but this way I've got an easily reproducible reference established). For BRAW, I just use the already-graded ProRes file.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Nov 28, 2019 at 7:28:50 pm

[Russell Harmon] "I do a quick grade of all my footage including BRAW in Resolve, export as ProRes files, then edit in FCPX from that. Works great."

I've done that in the past but, as the grade is going to be in Resolve anyway, I was trying to not lose my connection to the raw files or the synced audio.

Still not sure why I'm losing the synced audio when Resolve reconnects to the braw files. I'm putting it down to a bug in the current version and I'm chatting with Blackmagic support to see if they can help figure it out.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Dec 1, 2019 at 3:31:15 pm

[Jeff Kirkland] "Still not sure why I'm losing the synced audio when Resolve reconnects to the braw files. "

Yes, this is the crux of the issue.

At what point are you losing access to the audio?


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Dec 1, 2019 at 5:56:34 pm

It happens when I bring the fcpxml back in from Final Cut. The XML comes in, I then tell Resolve to use the braw files instead of the ProRes files I sent to FCPX but a lot of the braw files end up only having their original embedded audio, not the synced connected audio.

It's more a Resolve issue than an FCPX one so I've started chasing it up that end. I'll play with it some more once this current edit is over. I'm pretty much working with .braw files 100% of the time now so it'd be great to start next year with a solid workflow for edition them in FCPX.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX & Blackmagic Raw workflows?
on Dec 2, 2019 at 3:36:12 am

Have you tried exporting a regular XML and translating with SendtoX instead?

Or the other way around, use XtoCC to translate to XML?


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