What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

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BMNewb

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What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostMon Feb 26, 2018 8:53 am

Hi,

I am a newb. Please go easy on me.

Here's what I did wrong. I recorded some footage at 720P (bad accident) and some footage 1080P (what I want). On top of that, I mixed framerates. Some at 24 fps, and some at 60 fps.

What is the best way to handle this?

Next question. I noticed there are a lot of formats to export/edit in. My files are .mov at 16 bit depth. I want to export my color graded footage into a video editor I am familiar with because so much is new. I may try the davinci reolve editor, but am overwhelmed. So I have two questions, what format do I output my raw footage in and if I edit in this program, what is the best format to export the finished product in. I watched the tutorials on Lynda.com so I know some things and am just doing minimal stuff for now.

Please, make it like Forest Gump can understand. Thank you.
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Uli Plank

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Re: What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostMon Feb 26, 2018 2:35 pm

Well, my answer would be a few questions:
– What is the desired fps for final delivery?
– What is NLE you intend to use?
– Are you on PC or Mac?

Regarding your delivery format, for any high quality source I'd deliver in ProRes (minimum 422 HQ), DNxHR or Cineform, but this depends on your platform and what the other NLE understands.
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Jim Simon

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Re: What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostMon Feb 26, 2018 4:00 pm

BMNewb wrote:My files are .mov at 16 bit depth.


That doesn't sound like RAW footage. What camera was used here?
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BMNewb

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Re: What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostMon Feb 26, 2018 7:49 pm

Sorry!

There is what I want and there is what I can get. I am guessing that I am stuck with the lowest resolution and all my footage has to be reduced to 720p at 24 fps. Like, I can't scale up, I can only scale down. Right?

The footage looks good though. I think it may still look good if I scale up. But I am a newb so I am probably thinking wrong.

I am on Windows. I have been given a Panasonic GH3. I was going to edit on Blender because its free and I edited videos on it before. I tried other free editors, but there is always a catch. You know better, please let me know.
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Uli Plank

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Re: What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostMon Feb 26, 2018 9:35 pm

You can always scale up if needed, maybe add a touch of sharpness and you can use 24 fps in a 60 fps project with frame doubling or (better, but slower and not free) flow motion.
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BMNewb

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Re: What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostTue Feb 27, 2018 2:06 am

What is frame doubling?

What is a good format I can export to? To one, work with on another video editor, and two, if I want to export as a final project if I choose.
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Kye Leslie

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Re: What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostWed Feb 28, 2018 1:47 am

Welcome to video editing - it's another world and there is a very steep learning curve, but if you stick with it you can work out a workflow that will work for you.

As you said you were new, I'll give you some basics - please excuse me if you already know some of this stuff.

The overall process that begins with shooting footage and ends with a finished file being delivered is called a "workflow", which if you google that phrase you'll find lots of people sharing their approach to how they go about these things.

Typically, a workflow will follow the following steps, however there aren't any rules so feel free to experiment:
1) shoot footage
2) review footage and make notes about what content is in which files at what times and where the good bits are etc **
3) edit the footage together
4) colour correct the footage (adjusting the shots so they match with colour and contrast etc)
5) colour grading the footage (giving it a 'look' - this is the video equivalent of Instagram filters)
6) adding titles, credits, visual effects, etc (anything that wasn't from what was shot)
7) exporting to give to a client

Step 2 is optional (but becomes more important the more footage you have) but the remainder pretty much applies to all videos.

In terms of formats, there are two types of formats: intermediate formats and delivery formats.
In most traditional editing environments the editing and colour correction and grading are done in different software platforms, so to get from step 3 to 4, and to get from 5 to 6, files must be saved out of one software package and then opened back up in another. These files are intermediate files, and the idea is that they are of higher quality, and that as they're internal to the film production, file sizes are less important than quality.
Then for delivery to the client, that's when the more compressed formats come into play, and that's where quality must be traded off for file size considerations.
In terms of what format to use, it depends on where you're sending the file. Formats are very different for sending to a TV station than if you're uploading to YouTube.

I know that this doesn't provide direct answers, but hopefully you can gather a bit of the concepts and language required to know what to ask. The people on this forum are very knowledgeable, and if you remain humble they will help you with whatever questions you have.
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BMNewb

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Re: What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostMon Mar 05, 2018 6:24 pm

Hi,

So it is okay to mix resolutions if you made an accident. I was wondering if there may be some things I could do to minimise damage when mixing 720 with 1080p.

Given the constraints of the format my camera outputs in, .MOV files, I want to pick a good format to output my final work in. I saw an interview with Philip Bloom and he suggested to output a video in 'pro-res', even for the likes of Youtube, which handles scaling. I want to output the best quality within my constraints. As mentioned, I see a lot of output formats but don't really know which one to go with. Right now, I am just randomly picking whatever format I see and waiting for the output. I figure it is good to have a master file, and then use things like 'handbrake' or let the Vimeo, Jwplayer, Youtubes handle the rest.

Thanks for your help and the advice you posted.
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Kye Leslie

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Re: What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostWed Mar 07, 2018 12:30 am

Quality is always relative, and decisions need to be made in relation to what you want to do with it.

If you were trying to shoot a high-end Hollywood film that will be shown in theatres then you would want to deliver with very very high quality output files. If you are wanting your work to be screened on TV then the quality doesn't have to be as high, but there are all sorts of standards that you must make sure you fit within.

A quick comment about Philip Bloom - he's a professional who shoots with professional-level equipment (every setup he has is thousands or tens of thousands of dollars) and although he does YouTube videos, I suspect that he's making them as good as possible because his reputation is impacted by how good these things look. He might recommend ProRes to upload to YouTube, but for most of us that's a ridiculous suggestion unless we also shot on that kind of equipment and care that much about what it looks like.

I'm guessing that your project is going to end up being uploaded to YouTube and maybe other social media, will be watched on phones, computers, or consumer TVs. In this case I'd recommend editing it however you like, and then exporting it in either 2560×1440 or 3840×2160 using the Quicktime H264 codec with the quality setting around 50000 straight from Resolve.
The reason for using higher resolutions is that YouTube compresses them less and so the end result looks better. It can't improve the quality of what you recorded, but it will damage it less during the upload process.
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BMNewb

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Re: What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostFri Mar 09, 2018 1:04 am

Hi Kye,

Thanks for the response and for the advice on resolution outputs. I will give it a shot for the current project I am working on. I am trying to make the most out of what I got, which is not much. That said, even though Philip Bloom works with gear even he cannot afford, he also works with equipment at my modest, humble level. Whether his equipment is modest or not, he always makes it look good. That's what I try to do, leverage my limitations. Shane Carruth did Upstream Color with a Panasonic GH2 and I'll be damned if I can make my work look anywhere near as good as his. Though I want to. My colleagues are obsessing over 4K, but I am just trying to get some level of competency. If I can shoot anywhere near as good as Bloom with 2K, I'll still blow my colleagues out of the water. If I had the money, I would buy a Red camera and whatever lenses that loosens Bloom's bowels when he touches them. For now, I just gotta make do with what I got.
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Kye Leslie

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Re: What format do I save my RAW footage after grading?

PostFri Mar 09, 2018 4:36 am

BMNewb wrote:Whether his equipment is modest or n[*]ot, he always makes it look good. That's what I try to do, leverage my limitations.


Indeed he does - I've also noticed this and have been thinking about it. Things I've noticed so far:
  • He always shoots with tonnes of light - the worse the camera is the more he restricts it to something really bright
  • Get shallow depth of field - not only does this look good, but it means that the cameras bitrate is concentrated on less area of the shot that includes detail in it
  • If you camera supports it, shoot 4K and downscale to 1080 in post
  • Slow-motion looks lovely
  • A pretty girl never hurts either

Of course, all of these are in shooting, not in post-processing. In terms of post-processing, I'm not sure how much he does himself or how much he uses presets or film-looks etc. I don't believe he's shown his post-production workflow, but I might have missed it.

In terms of knowing how to get good footage out of any camera, that's probably the number one (or at least top 5) skill of a DP!

BMNewb wrote:My colleagues are obsessing over 4K, but I am just trying to get some level of competency. If I can shoot anywhere near as good as Bloom with 2K, I'll still blow my colleagues out of the water. If I had the money, I would buy a Red camera and whatever lenses that loosens Bloom's bowels when he touches them. For now, I just gotta make do with what I got.


I am also in this stage. I would suggest that when doing colour work you don't try and do too much yourself, but where possible use the skills of others. Things like LUTs made by professionals (not YouTubers!) can really help you. If you have Resolve Studio then I would highly recommend this approach:

Fantastic stuff.

I try and shoot very short test videos (shoot, edit, grade, export in an afternoon) trying different things and getting to know my camera. It's good to practice so that you can make mistakes and learn what works before you try something that matters to you!

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