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  • RAW or ProRes?

    hi,
    I would like to know what is the best way to get filmic pictures out of BMCC. RAW or ProRes?

    I have heard from many that ProRes has a much more cinematic picture than raw, ooc.

    To me it's all about the pure image quality. I have enough SSD's and time
    I have recorded a lot RAW and i get out very gray and lifeless pictures.
    Even after adding a lut and try to bring out a radiant image.

    What is your opinion?

  • #2
    You can get cimematic images from either RAW or Prores, RAW is a little more forgiving, but I don't see huge differences in the actual image quality (unless you need to push it around a lot in post).

    I think if you could post some DNGs which you consider flat, we could have a go at grading them and see if your perception is changed?

    Also just a thought if you are underexposing you might get images which appear flat because of the overall lack of contrast. Feed your camera lots of light.

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    • #3
      There is tons more grading room in raw than in Prores. But unless you have been grading raw stills enough to develop the necessary skills to use it effectively the learning curve can be steep. Most of the advantages are in the raw processing side before you transcode to video. You have to spend the time and effort to learn raw processing tools to get the most out of it. So the downside to raw is that there is tons more grading room. Gray washed out images are not inherent to properly graded raw video any more than they are for stills.

      http://vimeo.com/58045466
      Last edited by razz16mm; 07-12-2013, 05:36 AM.

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      • #4
        Both Raw and ProRes can give good results in terms of colour. For Raw you need to know Resolve/AE/Lightroom well; for ProRes you need to know your NLE's tools (or Resolve) especially with regard to contrast. You can push Raw further, but unless you want a really extreme grade or want >2K you'll probably get good results from either. You may wish to use 709 as a starting point rather than Film if you're having trouble with too-flat images.

        If you're on FCP X, check out CoreMelt Free for the BMCC DeFlat filter as a good starting point.

        http://coremelt.com/free.html
        Iain Anderson, Apple Certified Trainer
        http://trainingbrisbane.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by razz16mm View Post
          There is tons more grading room in raw than in Prores. But unless you have been grading raw stills enough to develop the necessary skills to use it effectively the learning curve can be steep. Most of the advantages are in the raw processing side before you transcode to video. You have to spend the time and effort to learn raw processing tools to get the most out of it. So the downside to raw is that there is tons more grading room. Gray washed out images are not inherent to properly graded raw video any more than they are for stills.

          http://vimeo.com/58045466
          Please explain how there is tons more grading room, when both formats have the full luminance range of the sensor. I've tested exposure latitude in the highlights and the darks and saw no real advantage in RAW over prores. As long as you don't clip the sensor you can bring everything back just as easily in prores. RAW is a little safer, but most of that extra security is mental.

          If BMC lutted color spaces where not already 90% there for finishing, I would agree with you guys, but BMC rarely needs an intensive grade so the difference is not that large.

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          • #6
            Here are some DNG's from me to test with. They look very grey and green tinted...

            https://mega.co.nz/#!00ZEgRAS!Hn_7LT...QwcFHv93cg-4jE

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            • #7
              I cant see make the download work but the raw processor should have a tint slider to deal with the green and a curve should sort the Grey!

              some raw processors dont see where the files are supposed to 'start' which should be in the file meta data

              S

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              • #8
                For anyone having issues with images:

                1. Use IR NDs, that's a big problem I'm seeing. Use them at every stop, and unless you're shooting wide open to say F4, use a .3 IR ND as well. Shooting at F11~F16 will likely produce undesired results.

                2. Trying to fit 15-16 stops into 13? The camera has a lot of DR, but it isn't THAT much. Unless you REALLY don't want a window or something to clip and you have no choice, let it go, flag, ND, etc.

                3. White balance is pretty important, during or after, but white balance.

                4. The camera is the camera, it's your job to be cinematic with it.

                5. Spend more time in post learning the image, and how to process it. That's as important as learning how to shoot with the camera in this case.

                SKYPE (best way to talk to me): Camera_Kholi | twitter
                Avery and Pete: Superseeds Feature Film Trailer

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                • #9
                  ....and if you have some footage that has been properly exposed and are still scratching your head - give Captain Hook's LUT a try. This won't be the answer for every look but its a good place to start if you want some immediate satisfaction. Often times its as simple as apply hook's LUT, finesse the white balance, contrast/levels, and add or subtract saturation to taste - all in one node.

                  Also - if I had a ton of time, SSD's, hard drive space and processing speed - I would probably shoot everything to raw dng. Not everyone will agree but I percieve a difference in resolution and moire (less in raw dng). Its subtle but its there and always nags me, leading me to believe I should have shot raw in the first place.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rze View Post
                    Please explain how there is tons more grading room, when both formats have the full luminance range of the sensor. I've tested exposure latitude in the highlights and the darks and saw no real advantage in RAW over prores. As long as you don't clip the sensor you can bring everything back just as easily in prores. RAW is a little safer, but most of that extra security is mental.

                    If BMC lutted color spaces where not already 90% there for finishing, I would agree with you guys, but BMC rarely needs an intensive grade so the difference is not that large.
                    Prores is an encoded video format that conforms to display reference standards, REC709 for example. The dynamic range is compressed to meet the defined display gamma of the standard. So within the 0-100 IRE video range as shown on a vectorscope you have a maximum linear DR of 7 stops between black clip and white clip and approximately a 5.5 stop usable range for visible resolved detail.

                    A raw camera that is capable of capturing a usable 12 stop linear DR range records a file that is equivalent to 0-288 IRE.

                    When you grade, you are going to conform your finished product to a display gamma standard anyway because that is what you are seeing on your monitor. But the range of creative choice in how you get there is far greater with the raw file than with the camera engineer's predefined compression curve. Ask any serious still photographer why they shoot raw instead of JPEG. It is the same concept. More data to work with.

                    abelcine_slog.jpg

                    This is a scope shot of a log compressed video signal, Sony S-log in this case. Now it does show the camera's 12 stop response to the test chart, but 10 IRE represents the full 6dB linear DR of a photometric stop compressed by the value of the display reference gamma, for sRGB computer video 2.2, and for REC709 TV 2.4. So effectively a 10 IRE range shows a 1/2 stop linear photometric range on the monitor. You can measure this with a spot meter and a SMPTE color bar or gray scale test signal on a properly calibrated monitor if you don't believe me.

                    Where video camera log compression curves get compromised is at the extreme ends of the range. With the above example, you can't recover much if any visible detail for anything that falls between 0 and 10 IRE. 4 stops of the camera's linear sensor response have been compressed into less than 1/2 stop. Deep shadow detail winds up crushed to black, or if the contrast is low, muddy gray without enough MTF for detail separation. You have no control over this if you record the camera engineer's baked in log compressed "film" LUT in Prores.

                    With raw, if you develop the skills to use it, you have far more control over precisely where to place black clip and white clip in your image and how you render gray scale and color values within the more limited display range. You have full access to the linear capture range of the sensor to create the final image and you can shape the response curve any way you see fit to achieve a desired end result.

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                    • #11
                      There are situations where RAW will be better, but they are few and far between and require more work. What you describe is a situation where fine detail is expected outside a normal range of exposure for important objects. You'd have to be stressing either the DR or sensitivity of the camera which won't happen on a normally produced shot. If in your customization of your gamma curve, you lift low darks, you still have the noise floor to contend with. You'd be better off giving the sensor a fair exposure range with more light than relying on RAW and noise reduction. Plus values at 10 IRE are usually crushed not lifted, we aren't talking about normal transformations.

                      Also I was under the impression that monitors apply gamma correction for proper viewing for the desired gamma space so the information encoded info is not actually effected, its just remapped for display. The luminance values would look the same as pre-debayered raw. RAW would only be non destructive in the luminance transformation to move darks out of extreme lows as long as the effected pixels were above the noise floor which is usually not the case.

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                      • #12
                        Somebody who grades my DNG's? :P

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                        • #13
                          I cant download them.

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                          • #14
                            Here is another download link :

                            http://www.sendspace.com/file/8f6s6n

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                            • #15
                              Sorry its the RAR I cannot unstuff!

                              mac

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