ProRes 2K from Raw

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Nick Bedford

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  • Location: Brisbane, Australia

ProRes 2K from Raw

PostWed Sep 12, 2012 6:35 am

I'm yet to receive my unit (grumble :P), but with the latest Resolve including a film log LUT for raw files, I think I've stumbled onto a potential solution to those who may run into some hurt when dealing with the high data rate of raw.

Now, before I continue, I want to say that this a potential (I haven't tested it) solution for those who may not be able to afford the various requirements (storage, DIT etc) that BMC raw shooting requires. Leave those comments about your shooting preferences at the door please.

Because Resolve would essentially translate your 12-bit file into a 16-bit film log image for operations, you shoot raw then transcode the shots to 2K (2048x1152) ProRes 4444 12-bit log files, delete the raw files and reduce your storage requirements to one-third. Not only that, it allows you to both edit and grade directly in your NLE of choice. I use Final Cut Pro X which deals very well with ProRes footage.

Even the 10-bit 422 HQ holds up extremely in my own grading tests, so getting four times more colour accuracy (12-bit) and 30% increase in bit rate will give you a hell of an image to work with. And in the end, this roughly matches the data rate found commonly in REDCODE. As well, you don't get the 422 chroma sub-sampling found in the 422 HQ recording.

It would allow you to shoot approximately 142GB to an hour (after transcode and raw deletion) as opposed to 450GB per hour. These are calculated for 25fps.

Shooting Steps:

  1. Shoot raw to SSD.
  2. Transfer to storage.
  3. When appropriate, load shots into Resolve 9.
  4. Apply nothing but the film log LUT (in release version).
  5. Export shots to 12-bit ProRes 4444 (approximately 315mbps).
  6. Do obvious checks, backups etc then delete raw shots.

Editing / Grading Steps:

  1. Import ProRes 4444 files into NLE (i.e. FCPX).
  2. Edit sequences.
  3. Grade shots directly in NLE.
  4. Repeat both steps without leaving the NLE.
  5. Export for review / delivery.

And of course, if you need the power of Resolve to grade, it's right there.

How plausible do you think this sounds?
Nick Bedford, Photographer
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: ProRes 2K from Raw

PostWed Sep 12, 2012 7:10 am

Hi Nick: Makes sense to me. I've also played around a bit rendering BMCC CinemaDNG files to ProRes 4444 using Compressor 3.5.3 and FCP 7.0.3, and it appears to work OK. However, I haven't tested it carefully enough to know for sure if it's a rock-solid workflow.

I'm interested in hearing more about your results and that of others, too.
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Nick Bedford

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Re: ProRes 2K from Raw

PostWed Sep 12, 2012 7:16 am

It's definitely something that I'm very interested in. I love the power of raw, but personally it's a bit too much for me for shooting solely in it, for now anyway.

I was pretty comfortable with the idea of shooting ProRes 422 HQ, but this gives me the best of both worlds if it works out to what I'm assuming it will.
Nick Bedford, Photographer

Vegas Bob

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Re: ProRes 2K from Raw

PostWed Sep 12, 2012 9:12 am

I like your strategy.

I'm chasing upgrading my Mac Pro to handle the workflow.
I stumbled upon Ryan E. Walters Blog which has a great article on upgrading the video cards.

He shows how to build up the system by adding two cards, the Nvidia GTX-570 and a GT-120.
Works in 10.7.4 to 10.8.

Looks like a very smart approach as you end up with 480 Cuda cores as opposed to 256 in a Quadro 4000.
It's a lot of bang for the buck. ... 8611975454

Here's an Ebay link to an auction: ... 6rk%3D2%26

Margus Voll

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Re: ProRes 2K from Raw

PostWed Sep 12, 2012 1:16 pm

sounds like a good option to store your project for long time in the shelf after finishing.

at least for me with the commercial stuff.

have to test it out.
Margus Voll, C.S.I.
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