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Topics - agentirons

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Hello everyone,

I have been developing a VFX pipeline for a stop-motion production (essentially the same requirements as RAW timelapse) and am struggling to find an answer to something that seems very basic.

We are using Canon 60D cameras to capture 5K RAW .cr2 files, and our VFX team uses After Effects for compositing. However, our computers are not really up to the challenge of working directly with .cr2 image sequences using the Adobe Camera Raw importer, at least not when we need to crank out dozens of shots a week.

What I would like to do is convert the .cr2 sequences into 2.5K .exr sequences (linear/scene-referred). In doing so, I would love to keep ALL of the dynamic range that is present in the original .cr2. This seems like a pretty standard workflow for large productions - take raw camera footage, convert to 16-bit linear .exr for grading and VFX, then output to whatever. It's even the standard process for the new Academy ACES workflow.

However, I cannot find a method for transcoding that actually keeps all of the dynamic range (essentially the overbrights), and in the process of my research found that not even Adobe Camera Raw seems capable of doing so within After Effects.

Here is an example of what I mean, using After Effects CC 2015 and Adobe Camera Raw 9.1.1:

I feel like I've tried every format and program under the sun (including Resolve) and still always come back to this same issue - Somewhere there is information being clipped.

Am I simply misunderstanding how RAW processing works? From everything I've read, it really sounds like all major productions have somehow solved this issue. I know that I can adjust the exposure in ACR manually to recover the highlight information I want, but for our workflow with thousands of sequences, manual adjustment simply isn't an option.

Thanks for anyone who can help shed some light on this!

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