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Author Topic: None destructive raw workflow for Premiere using After Effects and Dynamic Link.  (Read 15987 times)

noisyboy

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I've seen a few questions here and there regarding raw workflows inside of Premiere Pro but as most of us know, you can't import DNG sequences directly into Premiere. However, if you have Master Collection, Creative Cloud or Production Premium, you can use the Dynamic Link Feature greatly to your advantage so you can edit and make changes seamlessly without having to finalize or render anything 'til the end of your cut.

First off you will need to create proxies of all of your raw sequences. The way I do this is by using Rawanizer (BIG shout out to marten for this and a1ex for raw2dng). The beauty of Rawanizer is you dump all of your raw files in a folder, select that folder in Rawanizer and it will automatically batch convert all of your raw files to DNG sequences, each inside of there own folder and as an added bonus it also creates easily editable proxy files in a variety of flavours so you can cut your footage with ease. It's a very straight forward piece of software but if you need further help just go here.

Basically all you need to do is create your premiere project and import al of your raw proxies ready for your edit. What I then do is create a cut or even a rough cut using those proxy files.

Once you are happy with the edit, highlight everything on the timeline and duplicate it (hold Alt while dragging) above the sequence you already have (so you see two copies of each clip, one above another. Then rename the original video tracks "proxies" and the tracks with the new copies as "raw" just to keep track of what's what.

The idea here is that we are gonna replace each proxy with a raw dng sequence while at the same time not losing the proxies just incase we have to go back in a edit some more as it'll be less processor intensive us editing the proxy files.

So, you can then right click your first copied clip in the timeline and select "Replace with After Effects Composition".

This will then automatically open After Effects and create a new Comp for that clip after asking you where you would like to save the project (Pro tip: I like to keep everything for a project in one folder for archiving - this means you wont have problems with it not knowing where assets are if you offload the project at a later date).

Inside of After Effects you can then double click the project browser and browse to the folder that contains the dng sequence that relates to that particular clip. Select the first dng file, check the "raw sequence" checkbox a the bottom and import the sequence.

You will then be presented with Adobe Camera Raw and you can do your whatever corrections you wish to do and then then click done. One thing to bare in mind here to those who aren't too familiar with AE, it has a habit of importing sequences at 30fps so what you need to do is right click the sequence in the project browser, select Interpret Footage and then type your desired frame rate into "Assume this frame rate".

Then drag the DNG sequence into the Comp which contains the proxy for the clip you chose to replace inside of AE. This needs to go on the top layer but to be honest, it's not the end of the world even if you delete the proxy from this comp as we still have a backup inside of Premiere.

Then all you have to do is switch back to Premiere and you will see the clip has been updated with your raw sequence and has replaced the proxy file. Hooray!

Now! What I like to do here is select both the raw clip and the original proxy clip we still have sitting beneath it at the same time and right click -> group. That means that now if we want to rearrange anything we can easily click on one clip and it automatically selects both so you can drag them around or shorten/lengthen them together.

Now all is left to do is do the same for the rest of your timeline and then "mute" the track (with the little eye icon) which has your proxy on inside of premiere and hit the enter key which will render previews of all of your raw clips so you can easily play them back and edit them. If you have raw footage mixed with h.264 footage and you don't want to disable the whole track then you can disable individual clips by simply right clicking them and selecting disable.

The beauty of this workflow is that you can quickly make further adjustments to your raw sequences with ACR, simply by switching back to AE, selecting the relevant comp for that clip and then doing this inside of After Effects which will also allow you to correct any frame in the dng sequence, not just the first (shouts to my fellow Modizzles Audionut and Squig for helping me figure this part out).

Then if you need to go back into premiere and do any real intensive edits, you can always disable the raw clips and enable the proxies and as long as you move the clips together, you can then switch back to raw when you are happy.

So there you go. As is said - there are many ways to skin a cat but this is my way and I'm happy with it. If I refine this further then I shall update accordingly and if anyone has any questions or suggestions then post them up in here.

My final thought on this is yes it isn't the quickest most instantaneous way to edit but the work you put in is only in the setup, after that you have a clean, quick workflow with maximum flexibility and to top it off you are already linked to AE so you can start your mastering as soon as you lock your cut. That and raw workflows of any format are not quick and easy. If you want quick and easy workflows I'm afraid raw isn't the way to go but in my opinion it's worth the extra work.

Oh and a final-final thought (promise), keep everything organized inside of Prem and AE. Rename files and create relevantly named folders for proxies, comps and dng's to all live in for each shot. This will make your life a lot easier.

Hope this helps a few of you out!

Kraig  8)
Lynne, some of these people have come from Stoke!

noisyboy

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Note to my fellow Mods: I didn't see another thread that has this as a suggestion but if you know of one then let me know and I'll move/merge/remove accordingly.
Peace ;)
Lynne, some of these people have come from Stoke!

Africashot

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Thanks for laying this out, there are some really nice tips there and although I was generally familiar with most of it I actually learned quite a bit from your explanation.
I am just finishing a (my first) RAW project and decided to turn my usual h.264 workflow upside down by grading first in ACR, then up scaling and adding grain in AE and render it into cineform clips.
I shot the stuff for a day on Tuesday and today is Saturday and I am just finishing rendering the cineform clips... so not the ideal way of doing things if you are in a hurry, I look forward to editing the cineform clips though, they edit really fast and nicely in Premiere and since essentially all the grading is done I won't have to apply tons of effects making this part a bit easier at least.
Thanks again for all the work you guys are doing! 
ML 5D2 & T3i

noisyboy

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Thanks for laying this out, there are some really nice tips there and although I was generally familiar with most of it I actually learned quite a bit from your explanation.

You are very welcome my friend :)

Yeah - the way you have done it sounds good too! Cineform was a large part of my workflow for a very long time before the days of Mercury Playback engine and I still find a great deal of use for it too.

There certainly is no wrong way of doing this, it all depends on how you work I guess. The logic behind my workflow is simply to be able to easily make changes at any point throughout post without having to do a huge round trip :) Also you have all the added benefits and power of working inside of AE while editing inside of an NLE. Plus you can always render any of them our as Cineform, right click your proxy and "Replace Footage" to easily use the Cineform files inside of the sequence too so that they run along side of the DNG sequences.

Anyway - sorry if this is patronizing, I'm sure you get most of this already... just worth discussing for the sake of others 8)
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 06:29:12 PM by noisyboy »
Lynne, some of these people have come from Stoke!

Oedipax

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Just one small suggestion/addition, in After Effects if you go to Preferences/Import you can set the default framerate for image sequences to 23.976 (or 25 etc) so you don't have to interpret clips each time.

noisyboy

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Just one small suggestion/addition, in After Effects if you go to Preferences/Import you can set the default framerate for image sequences to 23.976 (or 25 etc) so you don't have to interpret clips each time.

Ahh pro tip there sir ;) Thanks for that! Will add to the guide.
Lynne, some of these people have come from Stoke!

iunknown

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noisyboy,
How are you getting the dng's to line up with the cut proxy files?  For example, I have a video file and I cut it in half, delete the first half, and then open the second half in after effects.  When I import the dng's, it imports the first frame, which doesn't match the second half of the video. 

So should editing be the last step?  Or is there some way to get the correct dng's to load on a clipped video? (which would be nice because you wouldn't load footage you don't need.)

dandeliondandy

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iunknown,
What I do with this method, which has worked very well (thanks noisyboy!), is once I have the doubled edits in premiere I select the top track, send those to after effects and then once after effects opens all the proxies I simply select each clip and replace it with the DNG sequence. That way all the edits are still there, but now in Premiere I have identical tracks, one is RAW and one is proxy.

Just be careful if you're using something that creates proxies that are half the size of the final video. you'll need to make sure your premiere sequence is the correct larger resolution.

noisyboy

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noisyboy,
How are you getting the dng's to line up with the cut proxy files?  For example, I have a video file and I cut it in half, delete the first half, and then open the second half in after effects.  When I import the dng's, it imports the first frame, which doesn't match the second half of the video. 

So should editing be the last step?  Or is there some way to get the correct dng's to load on a clipped video? (which would be nice because you wouldn't load footage you don't need.)

It's probably because AE is importing your DNG sequence at the wrong frame rate (default is 30fps bu this can be changed in preferences). What you can do is right click the dng sequence in AE project browser, select interpret footage, then type the correct frame rate into "assume this frame rate".

 8)
Lynne, some of these people have come from Stoke!

pinger007

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This is a phenomenal workflow!  Thanks for bringing it up. 

Instead of creating after effects compositions for each shot, you could expedite the process by creating a nested sequence in Premiere (Premiere recognizes it as a single clip) and then replacing it with an after effects composition.  When you open it up in After Effects, there you will see all or your edits and you can replace them with the RAW dngs!  I really like this workflow!  Feels old school.  :)
all you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you

chmee

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Sorry to say that, this workflow is consuming too much time - roundtrippin' with Resolve is workin' so i see no better/faster way to cut your video with proxies (in premiere, fcp or avid) and grading and finishing after that in resolve with original files.

regards chmee

dlrpgmsvc

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Everyone grades in acr. I prefer using speed grade: it is part of the master suite but nobody seems to take advantage of it. All speak about acr or davinci resolve like there is nothing else. But speed grade is nothing less than davinci, it eats less resources (gpu ram is always not enough) and is windows style at least (try to understand how to import a clip in davinci the first time and how to close a dialog... ahah!). Just my hints contribution...
If you think it's impossible, you have lost beforehand

chmee

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speedgrade is not for free, thats maybe an argument? :)

dlrpgmsvc

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if i have to spend 2k euro to buy a new laptop because my 1k euro current one is not enough to run a free software (davinci lite)... it is like to take advantage of a free refuelling for lamborghini's cars... for pc's the problem is easy and cheaply solvable, but for laptops is often cheap to buy an alternative software or using one yet bought and stick with it. this is just to point out the unhappy choices that some software houses makes from time to time and to point cheapers alternatives in some situations like having a laptop.
If you think it's impossible, you have lost beforehand

noisyboy

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Sorry to say that, this workflow is consuming too much time - roundtrippin' with Resolve is workin' so i see no better/faster way to cut your video with proxies (in premiere, fcp or avid) and grading and finishing after that in resolve with original files.

regards chmee

Hey I never said it works for everyone so fair enough ;) The point of this is no round tripping at all once you have your project set up. It's all completely connected and editable/gradeable at any time and completely none-destructive. I personally think that this is not anywhere near as time consuming as round-tripping but then maybe I need to learn more about Resolve. I LOVE Resolve but the only thing that stops me using it every time is the lack of de-noiser in the free version and as I end up handling a lot of DSLR footage - de-noising is essential so de-noising and exporting all of my footage first before I can grade is a pain in the testis ;) Also it means I don't have to convert everything to Cinema DNG and at this stage (unless I'm mistaken) ACR seems to handle the debayering side of things a little smoother. Do you use premiere with your workflow chmee? Would love to learn more about your workflow if you PM me dude  8)

Peace!
Lynne, some of these people have come from Stoke!

chmee

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you named two things, these are real arguments
(A) ACR is hooot (but its sloooow for batchworkin sequences) (i use LR for photoworks)
(B) denoising, sharpening, optical correction - all things that makes ACR/Lightroom an alltime winner

yeah, i'm workin with premiere cs5.5 - and since roundtrippin is working - its no deal to make the first import into resolve, makin automatically xml and proxies, workin with it in premiere and finalizing back in resolve. (cinema dngs are useable for you as well - you could look, if you see any differences between 16bit(14bit) and 12bit)

So, finally, i'm sure, we'll get a handy tutorial for the beginners about roundtrippin'.

regards chmee

Danne

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Too bad my version of adobe doesn,t allow dynamic link.Crap! Really like the idea to be able to use acr in final stages. Thanks for the workflow.
Tried to export to a premiere pro project from after efects but when importing changes from acr is not there anymore. Need that dynamic link

noisyboy

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since roundtrippin is working - its no deal to make the first import into resolve, makin automatically xml and proxies, workin with it in premiere and finalizing back in resolve. (cinema dngs are useable for you as well - you could look, if you see any differences between 16bit(14bit) and 12bit)

Sweet man - just saw that it's fixed so that's a big plus :) Still need to learn more about it coz the way I use resolve is probably a real long way of doing shit. Need to get deep in some decent tutorials on roundtripping. Anyone got any suggestions let me know - otherwise I'm gonna get started with Denver Riddle. Hope he removes his 6  month minimum signup soon now that he's working with Instagram. Dude must be able to afford it now eh!  ;)
Lynne, some of these people have come from Stoke!

araucaria

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Thanks for your workflow! But I have one question, is there any way to speed up or use the gpu to render the previews? In resolve I almost get full speed but in AE with Acr i get 1fps, setting AE up to use 6 cores (i7 2600k HT) doesn't really help and CPU levels stay at 30%. I might have the thing set up wrong, it's basically as slow as rendering *.nef timelpase secuences of my nikons, only that these have huge res and my 50d footage is small.

dirtcastle

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Inside of After Effects you can then double click the project browser and browse to the folder that contains the dng sequence that relates to that particular clip. Select the first dng file, check the "raw sequence" checkbox a the bottom and import the sequence.
Great workflow!

I'm having trouble importing the dng files into After Effects. When I attempt to import the dng sequence into After Effects, I get the following:

After Effects error: file '0000000.dng' cannot be imported — This A@@@ file is damaged or unsupported.

I don't see a "raw sequence" checkbox option anywhere in the import file window. The closest I see is "Camera Raw" in the file types dropdown.

UPDATE: I figured it out. I fiddled with the import settings.
1. Enable: "All Files" (don't use this pulldown to select "Camera Raw")
2. Format: "Camera RAW"
3. Check "Camera RAW Sequence"
4. Import
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 08:46:31 PM by dirtcastle »

dirtcastle

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Is it possible to use Lightroom instead of ACR, but still maintain a non-destructive flow?

Danne

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When I apply anything in acr in photoshop information gets stored and are saved when opening my files in after effects. Should get the same information in lightroom. Still, I don,t think premiere have a raw engine so probably you have to get in in the dynamic link circle to get the settings via after effects to premiere when working with non destructive procedures? Anybody have any thoughts?

classicjoe

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I use raw2dng on my mac and I've never had problems... but is it possibile to create proxies even with this software?

r-man

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None destructive raw workflow for Premiere using After Effects and Dynamic Link.
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2013, 08:36:24 PM »
Could anyone clarify to me couple of things

For example I have 1880x800 source files, shot on mk2, so I have 14 bit of depth in thats RAWs, am I right?
So, according to this workflow ( btw thx for this ) we're importing
converted DNG sequences into AE.

Question is in the following - If I set the comp's depth for 16 bpc, but sources are 14 bit, how these parameters gonna affect sources while roundtrippin' Ae/Pr with Dynamic Link and all that online updates between sequences of Ae/Pr ?

Africashot

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None destructive raw workflow for Premiere using After Effects and Dynamic Link.
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2013, 09:48:46 PM »
I have adopted this workflow on my latest project and as far as editing is concerned it works well, the problem I have is with grading; I am a good graphics card away from being able to use resolve, thus colorista II will have to do the job for now... but grading RAW proofs to be difficult, once you adjust the settings on import in ACR the look is pretty much baked in (although it can be tweaked) and going back to ACR to change stuff is cumbersome at best. I tried the flatz preset (after having graded everything in ACR first I changed my mind and turned everything flat, mainly because I had some cinestyle h264 on the timeline I had to match) but realized that after grading in PP with colorista through dynamic link you won't get a true representation of the colors, also some of the problematic tones like orange get oversturated quickly, although I am probably a nerd my knowledge on digital color science is insufficient to be able to tell why and where the problem lays... also, at least on my rather weak system, every step along the way gets extremely slow when working with the linked footage. I have high hopes for the october CC update and would like to get into speedgrade at least for as I can't use resolve, however for now I have not found an ideal way to comfortably grade the footage and will probably go back to converting to cineform when I edit my next project since this just proofs too complicated for now
ML 5D2 & T3i