Author Topic: Real 12 bit uncompressed post workflow  (Read 7887 times)


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Real 12 bit uncompressed post workflow
« on: June 21, 2013, 09:52:03 PM »
tired from the long and unsatisfying render and data wars i faced the last days, i packed the cam on the shelf and went to my note board....

i hope, i didn´t miss anything in the forum and can finally contribute to the community:

first, it´s not free!!
and maybe some adobe people take this as a hint...
you should have some experience using premiere. and a little discipline according to file and folder organisation.
no renaming or dislocation during the process of any folder or file!
this is crucial!

you have to manually install software and copy plugins in specific folders.
there´s a premiere plug in (necessary!!)
and a after effects plug in (not necessary)

you´ll need adobe premiere, after effects and adobe camera raw.
plus the ginger hdr merger. you can get a free limited license, but the dng merger is freeware.

so, let´s begin:

1. grab your memory card, stick it in your reader and copy your raw container to a harddrive of your choice.

2. get raw2cdng. the newest version with batch support.

3. drag and drop your cr2 files to raw2cdng. set bit depth to linear 12 bit. (this is vital, because premiere can´t handle bit depths greater than 12 bit.... not true!! with the ginger plug in i was able to load 16bit cdngs)

4. hit the green convert button. raw2dng now extracts the dng files from the container and writes them into a newly generated folder named after the .cr2 file  ( use the prefix CNDG to avoid confusion and helps to keep your file structure clean. verry important! )

5. now comes the funny part. grab your first cdng (your dngs are now officially cinema conform....  ;) ) from your first folder.
open it in adobe camera raw and set the white balance right. no need to do more. just to avoid pink surprises.
save the dng file. meaning, just click "DONE".

6. now comes the fascinating part. open the merger from your fresh installed ginger HDR software. select wrapper (batch)
 a new window opens
 from top to bottom:
 - you set the in step 5 generated reference frame. the merger takes the image settings for all the wrapped cdngs.
 - select the first folder. let it be FOLDER1
 - select the last folder. lets say its FOLDER46
    the merger will process all inbetween folders. FOLDER1 to FOLDER46
 - set your correct framerate
 - leave everything else as it is and watch this video if there are any questions left
- generate the gnr files
 - enjoy the incredible speed!!

6.5  you can leave this step. with the ginger plug in installed you can import the cdngs directly!

7. check if you have the gnr plug in in the correct premiere folder (there is a readme/install file!) if not, premiere won´t recognize the gnr  files.

8. import your new and small gnr files.
what´s so special about this files?
till now your camera raw files have only been slightly compressed by 2 bit. that´s just a very simple mathematical process. there´s no real loss in that. despite 12 bit is the highest real regular "cinema cameras" record.
the gnr file is just a pointer to the original cdng image sequences.  it tells the premiere plug in where to find the cdngs and how to treat them. in terms of framerate and basic quality settings.

the gnr plug in for premiere is a highly optimized and very fast small raw converter. it leaves a lot of information alone touching nearly nothing than really basic image developing parameters. no noise reduction, no sharpening, no CA-correction.... and so on.

thus it is very fast and not really ugly. and way enough for editing!

9. sync your sound. or take your favourite music and start editing.

10. you can even apply effects and i think transitions (not tested yet)

11. once finished with your editing duplicate your master sequence.

short explanation:
what we do here is a so called off-line or proxy cut. but our proxies are no separate files. they´re the original. saving two crucial things:
time and space, but not in an astronomical sense...... work/render-time and harddisk space.
just remember, we´re still working with the original cdng files!

- rename the new sequence "Online Master" (or something else that sounds important and mark it red. always!)
- hit ctrl+a in the sequence. all the clips in the sequence should be selected.
- right click the selected clips
- select "replace with after effects composition"
- after effects will start automatically.
- there will be a new (master)composition representing the premiere timeline. and other compositions containing your clips/footage
- if you didn´t install the AE plug in all of your footage will be offline.
- that´s good news. it reassures you, you are on the right way

13. check your master composition settings (size, framerate)

14. right click your first offline footage. "replace" the reference gnr file by the original cdng sequence.

15. adobe camera raw opens during the import process. take it as it comes and tweak it later or correct it to a flat image. or crunch and compress right away....

16. replace every offline gnr file by the corresponding original.

17. set bit depth in AE to 16 bit.

17. do whatever you want to do in after effects.

18. render the final master in after effects.

19. ideally your sound is mixed and mastered and you join it with the image right in AE

20. you are done

noticed something?
the only stage in this workflow when real compression (not necessary, you can also output a uncompressed 12 bit image sequence, prores 444....) is in the final output of the finished piece.
through the whole process you are completely independent of color spaces and keep all options of delivering your material.

no need to render till the final step.

no need to find a special intermediate codec. why the hell adobe has no own lossless codec???

you could even switch back to premiere. via dynamic link it is suddenly possible to have cdngs in your timeline.
but i wouldn´t recommend rendering in premiere!

AE is much more stable and has a greater variety of supported formats.

i also would always suggest to render your final movie as a image sequence. 12 hours of rendering and one line in your .mov header ruins everything!

i tested this workflow for a short sequence. the wrapped cdngs perform pretty good with 1/2 resolution in premiere.
as said: just edit in premiere. do the other things in AE.

why not resolve you might ask?
i tried the cdngs in resolve. resolve is fast, using the gpu for all the raw things. but the images look ugly....maybe i played to less with it.
but finally, when it comes to deliver your material from resolve to your editing application one has to decide which way to go.
good for the prores users. but.... you double your storage amount.
avid dnxhd.... there´s an 444 option, but not in the free codecs (or am i wrong?) premiere couldn´t handle the dnxhd RGB files.
also here........the storage!

i hope i didn´t forget anything. if there´s a better solution. tell me!

of course you can use proxies for the editing. then generate a edl, import it into resolve replace the proxies and then grade......i know the usual workflow.
but i don´t see such a powerful tool in terms of dng development in resolve compared to acr or raw therapee (it has six pretty good different debayering methods....but crashes a lot and is very slow)


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Re: Real 12 bit uncompressed post workflow
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 10:44:29 AM »
Thanks for the detailed information. Will give it a try.


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Re: Real 12 bit uncompressed post workflow
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 11:30:37 AM »
Where do you have the information from that premiere works with 12 bit?
From my informations, it is working with 32 bit


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Re: Real 12 bit uncompressed post workflow
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 06:45:26 PM »
didn´t say it works with 12 bit.  premiere just can´t  import anything greater than 12 bit.
i couldn´t import 14 bit tiffs and i couldn´t import the 14 bit cdng files. neither wrapped nor straight.

premiere has 8, 16 and 32 bit effects.

and there´s no native cdng importer.

as far as i know share after effects and premiere the same media core and it is capable of 32 bit rendering.


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Re: Real 12 bit uncompressed post workflow
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 12:58:09 AM »
You can import 32 bit float tiffs into Premiere.


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Re: Real 12 bit uncompressed post workflow
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 08:57:48 PM »
okay, didn´t test floating tiffs.
just tried the 16 bit ones and premiere refused them.

and tiffs can always be dangerous because there´s no real standard. tiffs can be anything....

and blowing up 14 bit files to 32 bit float was not what i had in mind by finding a workflow that involves the only transcoding process at the end.
the only other solution is to edit in resolve.

i will send that project to resolve. render it out and start a comparison.


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Re: Real 12 bit uncompressed post workflow
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 09:04:25 PM »
Premiere takes 16 bit PSD.


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Re: Real 12 bit uncompressed post workflow
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2013, 09:21:35 PM »
the danger with premiere itself is, it fools you sometimes by taking anything and then causing trouble over time.
i know this because i serviced some premiere suites for a few years and there was always trouble.

i always suggest to use edius.
it´s no hip or funky software, but it is stable as hell. the color corrector is rubbish...but would be good enough to edit, generate a edl and go to resolve. it also has a after effects plug ins interface, but ginger plug in is not supported.

anybody knows a way of getting cdngs into avid straight??