Feature Film ProRES or RAW

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focusandshadow

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Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostWed Jan 16, 2019 8:59 pm

Trying to decide between ProRes and RAW 3:1 for my first feature. I have experience with both but shoot ProRes for 95% of my other work. I'll be doing the edit and grade myself over the next year. Those with feature or large project experience please weigh in. Thanks!
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Peter John Ross

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostWed Jan 16, 2019 10:42 pm

Go with ProRes. The file size versus the quality is not worth the hard drive expense, especially with redundant backups, and the time added to transfers and workflow.

Just my opinion.
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Ryan Payne

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostWed Jan 16, 2019 10:55 pm

Another thing to consider is how well the workstation is going to handle a feature length worth of colored 3:1 where as prores is quite good in that regard.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostWed Jan 16, 2019 11:13 pm

For feature shooting on Blackmagic, I'd buy or rent an Ursa Mini Pro and shoot in BRAW. No question. The new debayer, v4 color, the easily manageable files and the efficient workflow that BRAW provides are very much worth it.
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Jack Fairley

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostWed Jan 16, 2019 11:15 pm

Keep in mind 3:1 DNG RAW will not work in Premiere and a lot of other software.
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joelfrances

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostWed Jan 16, 2019 11:56 pm

I guess each project is different.
They shot 'Get Out' and 'Lady Bird' on ProRes 4444. 4k can create a bit of strain on some systems. Proxies are an option in that case though..
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Nick Lavigne

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostWed Jan 16, 2019 11:59 pm

it's all down to budget, storage and software.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 12:01 am

Peter John Ross wrote:Go with ProRes. The file size versus the quality is not worth the hard drive expense, especially with redundant backups, and the time added to transfers and workflow.

Just my opinion.



Prores 422 or HQ?
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 12:06 am

focusandshadow wrote:Trying to decide between ProRes and RAW 3:1 for my first feature. I have experience with both but shoot ProRes for 95% of my other work. I'll be doing the edit and grade myself over the next year. Those with feature or large project experience please weigh in. Thanks!


When shooting with the UMP 4.6k I would go for BRAW Q0

https://www.cinema5d.com/blackmagic-raw-dynamic-range-on-the-ursa-mini-pro-4-6-tested/

One note upfront: I was very surprised to see the playback performance of BRAW in DaVinci Resolve Studio 15.2. I am using an I7-4720HQ Laptop with 16GB RAM and a GTX980M graphics card, and 4.6k ProRes XQ resulted in ~7 frames / second playback (fps), 4.6k RAW DNG (lossless) resulted in ~11 fps, whereas BRAW had smooth 24 fps playback in a UHD timeline! Hence, not only smaller filesizes with BRAW but also vastly improved playback – a real winner combination.


Storage rates based on 30 frames per second.
4608 x 2592

Blackmagic RAW 3:1 - 183 MB/s
Blackmagic RAW Q0 - 110 to 274 MB/s * Highest dynamic range
CinemaDNG RAW - 391 MB/s
CinemaDNG RAW 3:1 - 183 MB/s
Apple ProRes XQ - 360 MB/s
Apple ProRes 444 - 238 MB/s
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rick.lang

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Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 1:46 am

Like Nick says, “budget.” If you have the budget, like Misha says, BRAW Q0.


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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 2:23 am

rick.lang wrote:Like Nick says, “budget.” If you have the budget, like Misha says, BRAW Q0.


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When you shoot the UMP 4.6k BRAW is the cheapest on storage and post hardware and it gives the best quality. I couldn't find any reason to shoot ProRes 444 or HQ(or cDNG) over BRAW.
And with BRAW you are more flexible and you can recover high lights in Resolve.

Let's not forget that when you shoot BRAW Q0 and finish in 2k or Full-HD you almost have the same dynamic range(between iso 200..800) as the
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 2:34 am

Second that.
And if you want perfect skin tones and no moiré, add the OLPF by Rawlite, give it enough light and that camera is a beast!
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 5:11 pm

Thanks for the replies! We plan to shoot late summer here in BC in the Northern Rockies. Shooting on Pocket 4K so hopefully by then BRAW is implemented. If not, then I'd be fine to shoot ProRes. We're taking a page from the Duplass brothers and making the film no matter what, on a bare minimum budget. The post will happen on a maxed out iMac that I'll pick up whenever Apple upgrades their current line circa 2017.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 5:15 pm

It all depends on quality and deliveries. Is the work for theater release, Netflix, HBO or Vimeo/Youtube.

I do not think budget is deciding factor, but the desired final quality.

ProRes HQ and DaVinci color and really good, and will deliver fantastic results.

But if you want to have more control on the process, and deliver the highest quality on video and audio, then RAW is the way to go, not budget. It may take more time, but that's dependent on the final color desired, the audio design, original music and VSFX.

Now with DaVinci Resolve, much of the workflow can be successfully done in one platform. From audio sync to editing to color to sfx to audio design to deliverables. How much you may want to push the color to achieve a unique look, audio design to enhance the experience with sound that complements the picture and create a unique experience, how much you want to "fix" that shoot with more threes, or people, or a castle.

This is my workflow before DaVinci, using NLE, DaVinci and Protools.

1. Capture:
a. Image in 5.6K Cinema DNG RAW.
b. Audio in .wav 24 bit 48K.

2. Storage
a. SSD on the field.
b. 12TB G-Raid for online.
c. 2TB LaCie for offline editing and file management.
d. (3x) 4TB G-Drive for backup.

3. ProRes.
a. The captured RAW files are transcoded to ProRes 4222LT for editing.
b. The ProRes and .wav files are sync with PluralEyes and exported to NLE with replaced audio.

4. Editing
a. ProRes files are edited in NLE in reels of 15 minutes approximately.

4. Export to online.
a. H.264 video/audio as reference.
b. EDL or XML for color correction.
c. OMF or AAF for ProTools audio.

5. Import from online.
a. ProRes 4444 4K from DaVinci. (Also DPX files if a DCP is needed)
b. .wav stems from ProTools, one stem per channel. (M&E if necessary)

5. Assembly
a. Import ProRes 4444 to NLE.
b. Import stems to NLE.
c. Add titles and/or graphics. Credits.

6. Deliverbles.
a. ProRes 4444 4K in Surround 5.1
b. ProRes 4444 in HD with Surround 5.1
c. DCP in 2K with Surround 5.1 (if needed)

As you can see, the size of the files in ProRes or RAW is not as important, just a couple of steps for greater control.

The price of hard drives today is so low a 24TB G-Speed XL is $2,200. You can store, edit, and color a feature film on that!

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lee4ever

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 5:22 pm

Highlight Recovery is the reason why I always use CinemaDNG/RAW.
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focusandshadow

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 5:25 pm

That's super helpful. Thank you! Wondering if anyone else would like to share their workflow in a similar way. This thread is turning in to a pretty great resource. For those with BRAW experience, how do you find the new colour science? Also Why BRAWQ0?
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 5:29 pm

I'd say it's not a matter not of what's possible, but of what's most important. The success of a no-budget Duplass type film will not hinge on whether it's shot on raw or Prores. And it won't have the production values or a world class color grader to get the most out of either raw or Prores.

The simpler the filmmakers manage to keep things, the more likely it is they'll finish the project.

As for highlight recovery -- it's strange that clipping, which has been a feature of Western painting, art photography and cinematography for as long those medium were practiced, is somehow forbidden these days. Look at all the clipping in classic feature film 35mm material.... Or any episode of "Breaking Bad".
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 6:53 pm

John Paines wrote:As for highlight recovery -- it's strange that clipping, which has been a feature of Western painting, art photography and cinematography for as long those medium were practiced, is somehow forbidden these days. Look at all the clipping in classic feature film 35mm material.... Or any episode of "Breaking Bad".


Preach it!

I think we began to get so oversensitive about highlights because early video/digital cameras genuinely performed so poorly in this regard. They got incrementally better and better, but our sensitivity to the issue remained, festered and grew into an irrational worship of "highlight protection", sometimes at the expense of all else.

I'm not saying I don't want an affordable camera in the Alexa DR range, but I don't *need* one in order to get great images.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 7:49 pm

It gets to the point where you find yourself objecting to clipping on the street, with your eyes. The cosmos apparently needs to work on its f-stops. Or maybe its iso settings, if you listen to the BMPCC 4k discourse on facebook -- the Grand Poobah apparently never discovered iso 1000.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostFri Jan 18, 2019 3:32 am

I'd say it's not so much about not clipping at all, but how the transition into clipping looks like.
ProRes is very, very close to DNG in this regard.
And why Q0? Best quality with the highest efficiency. When I tested it, I got even slightly higher data rates than 3:1 on very detailed structures, and it fell below 8:1 with a talking head and blurred background. Why waste space on the recording media, which are still expensive?
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostFri Jan 18, 2019 4:34 am

Uli, that’s good feedback. Q0 has quite a large range for the variable data rate depending upon the detail in the frame. It seems ideal in my mind compared to shooting fixed data rate 3:1. Of course I’m not able to do a comparison test yet, but your observations are welcome news.


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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostFri Jan 18, 2019 6:42 am

And if anybody should be missing the Q-numbers in between: Q5's highest rate touches nicely with the lowest rate of Q0. In practical shooting on a 128 GB C-Fast card, Q0 ranged from 7 to 25 minutes and Q5 from 25 to 166 minutes. This was full 4.6K in 25 fps.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostFri Jan 18, 2019 1:12 pm

Recording media for the Blackmagics is pretty cheap when you use SSD's.

We use Samsungs 860 PRO's 2 TB as our standard for commercial shoots, for broadcast we use 256GB CFast cards (will be converted to 1080i50 anyway so 4.6k BRAW at 12:1 will do for around 50 minutes a card).
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostFri Jan 18, 2019 3:14 pm

focusandshadow wrote:That's super helpful. Thank you! Wondering if anyone else would like to share their workflow in a similar way. This thread is turning in to a pretty great resource. For those with BRAW experience, how do you find the new colour science? Also Why BRAWQ0?


You probably won't need Q0. It will be for most things overkill. You'd have to do your own tests to find out what works for you, but it's unlikely that you'll need Q0... which will probably still be a lot easier to work with than cDNG.

If you're good at working with natural light, you'll be able to get great results with either ProRes or raw.

Get yourself some modifiers and study up on landscape photography if you're not already good with it. I shot a film that was mostly outdoor, and we pulled it off without much lighting gear. We shot most of our midday scenes under canopy or in open shade, using reflectors for separation light, and for the one scene that we ended up shooting in the middle of the day in wide open daylight, we used a 15x10 foot silk.

Keeping it simple is key; watch your exposures -- keep your skin tones consistent as much as possible. Don't worry nearly as much about highlights, rather just take advantage of the fact that BMD's color science rolls off highlights nicely, and focus on the skin tones (that will save you a lot of work in color grading).

And if you're editing in Resolve, you won't have to worry about the conforming part of things when you transition from editorial to color grading and sound mixing. That will make post a lot easier also :)
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rick.lang

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostFri Jan 18, 2019 6:30 pm

Uli Plank wrote:... Q5's highest rate touches nicely with the lowest rate of Q0. In practical shooting on a 128 GB C-Fast card, Q0 ranged from 7 to 25 minutes and Q5 from 25 to 166 minutes. This was full 4.6K in 25 fps.


Uli, that observation is so much more helpful than the chart we have seen comparing all the flavours of BRAW. I didn’t realize Q5 at the high end could touch the low end of Q0. And the practical range of Q5 is huge. A range about 3.5x for Q0 and 6.5x for Q5.

Will be fun getting a feel for that after using BRAW in various situations. I tend to record events in the highest quality that my media can hold given how many minutes I plan to shoot. It’s real easy to do that when selecting fixed a data rate codec and I’ve never ran out of media yet. Using Q0 is trickier to estimate if my media will be sufficient. I wanted to use it for events but based on your results, I may need to use Q5 as I need to shoot for a few hours. Q0 would be suitable for shorter controlled shoots that likely total less than an hour of footage. Of course adding 500GB or a terabyte of media would help!


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focusandshadow

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostFri Jan 18, 2019 8:18 pm

This is all great info. What about the variable rate of Q0 for our long forest scenes? Lots of detail and such. I'll be doing cam tests for sure but wondering if anyone else has seen any deficiencies in high detail environments. And for talking heads, have you seen any banding in the background blur? Thanks again for all the responses on this!!
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Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostFri Jan 18, 2019 10:37 pm

There are two kinds of detail. One is detail of the things you care most about in the frame. The other is detail that may not be so important. It could be that Q0 in a forest scene will be like raw 2:1 but that level of detail may not be sustainable in terms of your media and disruption to shooting. So Q5 might be prudent to use there.

But another scene that concentrated on the actors or other elements may be better managed with Q0 because you really want that detail to show.

I’m assuming you can switch flavours on a clip by clip basis.


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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostFri Jan 18, 2019 11:38 pm

We are voting for FI's Independent Spirit awards and are watching screeners done on everything from big budget Arri work to stuff that looks like it was shot on a handy cam, and you know what the surprise is? If the story is well told, and the sound is reasonable, nobody, and I mean less than .1% of the audience will care about clipped highlights. We watched "Socrates" last night, and the image quality was marginal by most any standards. It cost about $20K to make. The story was so powerful we didn't care one bit.

Another story. I was filling in as DIT for a day on $1M feature this fall with a Hollywood name actor, a crew of 30, and expensive Arri package, and an iconic location. They brought me the first card to transfer and it was ProRes 422 1080! I ran to the 2nd AC and whispered to him that I thought these had to be proxies, shot simultaneously to the real footage, where is the full res stuff? He told me they did tests and as long as the lighting was done right nobody could tell the difference between Arri RAW 2K and ProRes 1080. The DP had chosen to shoot ProRes 1080 and spend the time, energy and money on lighting correctly! I'm really glad I didn't make an ass of myself with the DP.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostSat Jan 19, 2019 1:17 am

Ric Murray wrote:If the story is well told, and the sound is reasonable, nobody, and I mean less than .1% of the audience will care about clipped highlights. We watched "Socrates" last night, and the image quality was marginal by most any standards. It cost about $20K to make. The story was so powerful we didn't care one bit.


I think most people know that to be true, deep down, but everyone succumbs to the independent film syndrome. You stop worrying about all the things you can't control for lack of money and resources, and all the other things (usually beginning with the script) you can't improve on, for lack of talent.

So you worry about the one thing you *can* control: stuff like raw v. prores, or this light kit or that light kit, or "vintage" glass or m43. Subject the venture as a whole to rational consideration, and the movie will never get made.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostSat Jan 19, 2019 1:21 am

Ric Murray wrote: The story was so powerful we didn't care one bit.

This works both ways. I have seen shorts that were visually stunning, shot on ARRI, color by Fotokem, nice sound design and 5.1 mix, but were simply not engaging as stories.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostSat Jan 19, 2019 5:31 am

Prores, unless the scene requires heavy CG/compositing. then use raw.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 5:06 am

To me, if RAW is available in any camera, that's the best option if you are going for a film with a big screen output/ Netflix in mind.
Prores (specially 4444 and XQ) is very good, almost as good as RAW, but still you lose out on certain aspects. For example, highlight roll-off, colour temperature settings and ISO. Being able to change these while doing the colour grading solves a lot of problem if in tight shooting scenario a mistake has crept in anywhere.

The workflow is not very complicated. We do it all the time.

1. Shoot in Raw.
2. Convert the Raw footage to Prores Proxy (keeping the original file name and TC intact) for easy editing at the NLE of your choice.
3. Edit your film, lock it and export XML/EDL/AAF from your NLE timeline with the Prores Proxy files.
4. Import the XML/EDL/AAF into your preferred Colour Grading suite (Resolve/Baselight/Others) and conform with the original Raw footage.
5. Finish your movie. Render out and deliver.

Normally, this is the professional workflow followed anywhere in the world. This is done because in most cases the Cinematographer, the Editor and the Colourist are three different people and this workflow helps each of them.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 10:02 am

Krishna Pada wrote:1. Shoot in Raw.
2. Convert the Raw footage to Prores Proxy (keeping the original file name and TC intact) for easy editing at the NLE of your choice.
3. Edit your film, lock it and export XML/EDL/AAF from your NLE timeline with the Prores Proxy files.
4. Import the XML/EDL/AAF into your preferred Colour Grading suite (Resolve/Baselight/Others) and conform with the original Raw footage.
5. Finish your movie. Render out and deliver.


Same here. Plus workflow regarding sound design that still goes manly through Protools, but I could see smaller bands go to Fairlight quite soon...

I really do not know why bother with Prores if you use Davinci and Blackmagic camera. If you have .braw enabeled camera even less. Small-er options of files, more options in post, better in camera optimisation, better post software implementation, cheaper workstation with better performance. And you can get off with that crazy red channel spill that BM has to get rid off the sooner the better.

I really think that BM has something here, especially for emerging or docu filmmakers. If you operate as a micro production Resolve gives a whole package and enables you working together via PostgreSQL. What more do you want. Living future today, at least for us.
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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostMon Jan 21, 2019 4:14 am

Blaž Murn wrote:
Same here. Plus workflow regarding sound design that still goes manly through Protools, but I could see smaller bands go to Fairlight quite soon...



Yes, I didn't mention the sound portion because the question was about Prores vs Raw. Normally, sound design takes the Protools route and is finally married to the image while mastering.

I prefer this method, as the process is agnostic. You choose any camera, any NLE, any DI grading suite, any Sound design software and any OS and this method always works.
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: Feature Film ProRES or RAW

PostMon Jan 21, 2019 4:47 am

Blaž Murn wrote:Same here. Plus workflow regarding sound design that still goes manly through Protools, but I could see smaller bands go to Fairlight quite soon...


Some bigger ones already have made that switch. :)
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