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Blackmagic Cinema Camera DNGs graded in Final Cut Pro X 24 Aug 2012 20:45 #13445

  • RobM
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I thought I would try bringing in the raw Cinema DNG files from John Brawley's recent shoot into Final Cut Pro X

I have no idea what is going on under the hood, and I'm not suggesting this is the best approach to maximise image quality, but the following workflow produced a reasonable result.



Imported files with "Import folders as Keyword Collections" selected.

Selected each keyword collection for the individual shots and created 1080 24p compound clips. Opened up and set duration of the images to 1 frame. Dropped onto a 1080 24p timeline (ProRes 444)

Playback was realtime (playback quality high) off my internal hard drive and even with the grade applied near realtime. Off faster storage and with a newer machine (I'm using a late 2009 iMac) I'd expect good performance.

Used my free effect wvl_RGBbalance to complete a base grade. Nothing fancy here, just trying to balance each shot.

Exported to Vimeo using built-in export, multi-pass enabled.

Before/after screenshots from FCP X available here.

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Last edit: by RobM.

Re: Blackmagic Cinema Camera DNGs graded in Final Cut Pro X 24 Aug 2012 21:20 #13448

Now this is cool!

Did you only use your filter or also the color board to grade the footage?

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Re: Blackmagic Cinema Camera DNGs graded in Final Cut Pro X 24 Aug 2012 22:30 #13449

  • RobM
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Thanks.

Just my filter but I'm sure the color board would produce similar results. I started using the color board but I find the squeel less than ideal when correcting color casts.

Also using wvl_RGBbalance allowed the screenshots to show the whole correction.

Attached is frame (exported save current frame jpeg) from Shot 3 where I applied a quick (and over the top) secondary correction using the shape mask in the color board.

Should also mention export rendering time of the graded timeline was about 60 seconds to ProRes 444 and about 70 seconds to h264 for a 23 second clip.


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Last edit: by RobM.

Re: Blackmagic Cinema Camera DNGs graded in Final Cut Pro X 25 Aug 2012 01:38 #13452

  • ptrush
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I took a crack at it as well using Davinci Reslove
I've graded raw footage in the past, and these .DNGs held up very well!
Dropped those exported clips into a 422 HQ, FCPx timeline and did a touch of color tweaking there.
I also used the Cosmo filter in Magic Bullet for the close ups to smooth her skin just a touch.

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Last edit: by peteramwiggins. Reason: Embedded Video

Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera Footage: 100% FCP X Grading Test 25 Aug 2012 07:08 #13456

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[video size=1080P width=1920 height=1080 type=vimeo]48178713[/video]

As Blackmagic and John Brawley have kindly made RAW footage from the new Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera available for download I thought I would take it for a spin! Make sure and watch the before and after at the end.

To get the most latitude when grading this footage you need to use the Blackmagic Divinci Resolve Application, Photoshop, or something of that nature.

In this test though I thought I would give the footage more of a challenge and did all grading in Final Cut Pro X.

Workflow:

1.) Opened Final Cut Pro X and created a New Event and Project for the test (Option+N, Command+N).
2.) Imported the DNG's into the test Event
3.) Put all the photos (as they come in as individual photos) into the timeline (Command+A then E to append) and set the duration for all of them to one frame (Command+A then Control+D then type in duration).
4.) Selected all photos for a particular shot and Command+G to make each shot a compound clip therefore separating each of the four shots out for editing as a video clip.

Steps one through four took about a minute to do.

5.) Corrected and colored the clips one step at a time as shown in the video. Including the use of Motionvfx.com's mLooks 2 Color Correction Plugins in combination with Final Cut Pro X's Color Board. I can't tell you how much I love the Color and Shape masking abilities that are right there within the program!

6.) Exported 1080P

Also notably, and amazingly, Final Cut Pro X played back the 2.5K footage un-rendered in the 1080P timeline no problem, even with all grades, color and shape masks, and titles applied. Put that on the list of things that make me smile as an editor.

(Tip: If you select a clip or clips and hold option+click and drag and then drop them, before letting go of option, it will duplicate the clips you have selected as well as their settings. I used this to move from one step to another in the video.)

In the end I was very impressed with how clean the footage was as I largely have had to work with DSLR footage. It's a big difference. It held up incredibly well to grading directly in the application. It was very resistent to the normal color noise and artifacting you see when grading DSLR footage. There is some noise in the final low light shot but it is mostly luminance, not color noise. That I can deal with.

For more info check out the links below:

The Final Cut Pro X Editor: thefcpxeditor.tumblr.com/

Final Cut Pro X NLE: www.apple.com/finalcutpro/

Blackmagic Cinema Camera: www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/

John Brawley: johnbrawley.wordpress.com/

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Last edit: by peteramwiggins.

Re: Blackmagic Cinema Camera DNGs graded in Final Cut Pro X 26 Aug 2012 01:07 #13462

  • RobM
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ptrush - that's a big improvement on my basic grade.

I took a look at what FCPX is doing in the background with these DNGs. lt's creating 2400 x 1350 ProRes 422 frames (about 1MB) on the fly as you play (when playback quality set to high) and skim the image sequence in the event and project. These are stored within the default Event/Render Files/High Quality Media. ProRes 422 is used even if you set the compound clip and project to ProRes 444. Seems to be some intelligent caching so if you've clicked on a bunch of individual frames within the event then when dropped into the timeline the playback will be smoother. I was getting realtime playback in the project timeline because I'd viewed most of the clips already in the event. When importing check the "create optimized media" checkbox to have these files created from the get go.

[If you select a compound clip or an individual frame right click - transcode media - create proxy media ( optimised is greyed out) - then 500KB 2048 x 1152 jpegs are created within the proxy media folder along with a 2400 x 1350 ProRes frame in the High Quality Media folder.]

If you export without rendering the timeline any frames that haven't been played/skimmed are created before export and exporting times will increase significantly. Even if you choose to export an image sequence as DPX or as ProRes 444 file (using export media) the frames are still created as ProRes 422.

If you render a ProRes 444 timeline then 1920x1080 ProRes 444 render files are created inside the project folder as well as 2400 x 1350 Pro Res 422 frames within the event. I think FCPX is using the Event ProRes 422 as an intermediate file to render the ProRes 444. If you then delete the event files the ProRes 444 are used on export. No ProRes 422 frames are created if you use Compressor to export ProRes 444 but they are when using compressor settings.


So my takeaway from this little bit of unscientific testing:

- if you want to follow the workflow in my original post stick with ProRes 422 compound clips and projects as FCPX appears to be processing internally with this codec (much like Smoke 2012 and earlier did with DPX) You're not going to want to grade and edit a feature like this, but I think it's a viable option for smaller jobs.

- if you need ProRes 444 then transcode the Cinema DNGs prior to importing into FCPX. (You could try deleting all event render files, leaving rendering till export and using compressor).

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Last edit: by RobM.

Re: Blackmagic Cinema Camera DNGs graded in Final Cut Pro X 29 Aug 2012 05:09 #13534



I am kind of new here, but I love the site. Thanks for pushing FCPX as hard as you guys can.

Anyways, I gave a go at it. I wanted to try and see what I could do with the pixels instead of just coloring. I used a majority of the workflows that have already been mentioned. But if you are using Motion 5 you will want to create a project from a file and it will ask if its an image sequence. It works really well, better than AFX I felt like.

Shot 1 is just FCP X color grading...and I wanted to play with isolating colors. I saw the fcpxeditor do it and I liked what he did with eyes, so i tried similar. I will comment, it was hard to get the eyes...i had to keyframe a mask that fit the size of her eyes exactly...otherwise it got the whites in them. I dont know what he did...but it took a few extra minutes.....but very easy to do with the new fcpx. That would have taken 3 times as long in FCP 7.






Shot 2 was a combination of 3 freakin programs. Mainly because I dont know how to make emitters follow a 3D line in After Effects, but I do in Motion. Anyways, I rocked the new rotoscope tool in After effects 6 and it worked pretty well I have to say. It took about 45 minutes to rotoscope it, but thats pretty fast. It grabbed the pixels pretty flawlessly...I just had to redraw areas every few frames. Then I exported her out and put the BG in motion as well as her rotoscope file. I didn't know how to keep it in Cinema DNG, so i just went to Animation. Let me know if you do please! And you can ask me how to do the emitter on a 3D spiral going up...but I honestly can't explain it.







Did my color correction in Motion as well.

Shot 3 was all motion. I wanted to test how it tracks data...and man was that flawless! Didn't hiccup once! Their all pretty slight modifications i did...but I added text to the boards below her, the word LOVE on the right board beside her, and a texture in the crosses on the left side of the screen.





Shot 4 was just FCPX. I was running out of ideas...so I just tried to make the sky a little more colorful. It worked out decently, but it doesnt help when its blurry handheld footage. Not the cameras fault or operators.





Shot 5 was Optical Flow Retiming. I couldn't get this to work in FCPX for some reason...maybe it is so much in the background of rendering that it doesn't popup in background render...or maybe its because of it being an image sequence. Anyways, just took it into motion and then applied B&W to it to see how that looked. Not really a effect to show off the camera because its all about the movement and not really the pixels.

All in all...I would really love to work with uncompressed footage more instead of my dingy compressed EOS Canon footage. If your looking to buy a camera, I would say get this before ever getting an EOS camera. Even if the price is more expensive.

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Last edit: by peteramwiggins.

Re: Blackmagic Cinema Camera DNGs graded in Final Cut Pro X 29 Aug 2012 15:45 #13545

  • ptrush
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Welcome to the forums Muddygun!
I've been playing around with one of the shots this morning and have come across a pretty disturbing fact. The differences in color, contrast, and saturation are huge.

Here we have Resolve9 on the left / Quicktime with final cut studio compatibility turned off on the right / and Final Cut Pro x on the bottom. The quicktime is an exported ProRes from davinci and then imported into FCPx.
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Last edit: by ptrush.

Re: Blackmagic Cinema Camera DNGs graded in Final Cut Pro X 29 Aug 2012 16:25 #13547

  • alex4D
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Here are examples of all the built-in Looks effects in Final Cut Pro X applied to two of the Blackmagic shots.



In most cases I've applied each effect twice. The first shows the defaults, the second shows how different a look can be if you change one or two parameters.

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Re: Blackmagic Cinema Camera DNGs graded in Final Cut Pro X 01 Oct 2012 17:07 #14633

FInally got around to playing with John Brawley's rushes with the BMC camera from his Pool Shark shoot:




This is just pure FCPX, bringing the DNGs in and Grouping them at 1 fps. I'm not trying to be extreme, just bringing thing to a sort of Corporate grade.

Very impressive for beauty shots. I've also worked with some ProRes HQ footage from Rick Young and found that quick and intuitive to work with. Very impressed with it. FCPX has a few little oddities but I think it's nothing to do with BMC footage, just the way it works.

On the strength of this, I'm certainly buying one. :)

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Last edit: by MattDavis.
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