Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

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Lee Mackreath

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Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostWed Jul 29, 2020 3:37 pm

Afternoon all!

As above - I am stuck in FCP X land now for my edits - so if I want to shoot BRAW I need to put it in Resolve and then convert it/delivery out as ProRes HQ to be then able to work with it in FCP X.

My question is - if I say shoot in Q5 - is there any obvious quality loss converting this footage to prores and editing in FCP X ? and if there is am I just better shootin in ProRes in camera from the start and taking resolve out of the equation?

I ideally want to shoot in BRAW Q5 for the small file sizes which will be better handled by my SD cards...

any help would be appreciated!
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Uli Plank

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostThu Jul 30, 2020 10:33 am

I'd do a 'first light' correction (a rough grade to get you in the ballpark) in Resolve before converting.

There should be no visible quality loss after that.
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Jack Fairley

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostThu Jul 30, 2020 5:23 pm

In the technical sense, going from BRAW to ProRes will lower the quality, as you're going from non-linear 12-bit to 10-bit 4:2:2. Unless you're doing compositing with the footage, I wouldn't worry about it, though - likely visually lossless.
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Lee Mackreath

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostThu Jul 30, 2020 5:28 pm

Jack Fairley wrote:In the technical sense, going from BRAW to ProRes will lower the quality, as you're going from non-linear 12-bit to 10-bit 4:2:2. Unless you're doing compositing with the footage, I wouldn't worry about it, though - likely visually lossless.


Thanks.. I would love to just shoot prores out of the card and then go straight into fcp x.. then there is no transcoding between two systems needed. Unfortunately you can only fit 22 mins of prores how on a 128gb card compared to 78mins in q5... so as long as you think there is no visual loss in quality I will throw into resolve and deliver to proreshq and then do my edit and grading in fcp
X!
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Bunk Timmer

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostFri Jul 31, 2020 6:02 am

Lee Mackreath wrote:My question is - if I say shoot in Q5 - is there any obvious quality loss converting this footage to prores and editing in FCP X ? and if there is am I just better shootin in ProRes in camera from the start and taking resolve out of the equation?
I would think there is a difference. If you shoot proresHQ in camera it is in log (blackmagic film). I imagine that would hold more information than any 16 bit information transcoded to 10 bit without log. Maybe do some simple test, add some extreme grade and see which of the two hold up better.
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Lee Mackreath

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostFri Jul 31, 2020 6:34 am

Bunk Timmer wrote:
Lee Mackreath wrote:My question is - if I say shoot in Q5 - is there any obvious quality loss converting this footage to prores and editing in FCP X ? and if there is am I just better shootin in ProRes in camera from the start and taking resolve out of the equation?
I would think there is a difference. If you shoot proresHQ in camera it is in log (blackmagic film). I imagine that would hold more information than any 16 bit information transcoded to 10 bit without log. Maybe do some simple test, add some extreme grade and see which of the two hold up better.


16 bit?.. I thought braw was 12?

My plan was not to grade at all in resolve.. my plan was to nail exposure and WB in cam as best I can in log.. import into resolve and export straight out with. I changes to
Prores hq.. then import into fcp x for full grade and edit.

To be honest though ... have been looking at some
Prores LT footage overnight and it looks pretty amazing.. and might solve all of my storage /quality issues..!!
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Jack Fairley

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostFri Jul 31, 2020 5:30 pm

It's a non-linear 12-bit that works out to be equivalent to 16-bit linear. As you said, at the end of the day, ProRes LT is still a beautiful quality image compared to something compressed like h264. If you're not going to manipulate the footage in post, I would just save yourself the headache and shoot in a format FCPX can understand.
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Lee Mackreath

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostFri Jul 31, 2020 5:52 pm

Jack Fairley wrote:It's a non-linear 12-bit that works out to be equivalent to 16-bit linear. As you said, at the end of the day, ProRes LT is still a beautiful quality image compared to something compressed like h264. If you're not going to manipulate the footage in post, I would just save yourself the headache and shoot in a format FCPX can understand.


Did some tests today.. shot a few of the same scenes with both prores lt and q5... with the q5 I tried two different workflows.. one where I did nothing with the file in resolve and exported as prores hq and the imported and graded in fcp x.. the other I just stayed in resolve for both the edit and the grade.. and the delivered as a h264 master..

Looking at the footage.. really cannot see anyt difference between any of the files
Tbh.. at this stage I wasn’t doing extensive grading as I nail exposure in shot.. for these tests I just stuck the buttery lut on top (which is the lut also installed in cam
I use for monitoring ).

I am sure if I pixel peeped and zoomed in I would see a difference but with the naked eye I can’t..

This leaves me thinking I can stick with prores lt and my fcp workflow. The files are small enough within reason to stick on sd cards.. and surprising even some of my old Sandisk pro 95mb/s worked fine with this codec.. at both 24p and 60p..

Feel like in some way I am not using the camera to its full
Potential by staying away from braw.. but then I have to go with what’s easy for me and what I think looks good. I think part of the draw with raw is more about the small
File size/quality ratio, but doesn’t necessary make it better than prores for that fact alone in my opinion. I can see the flexibility of having total control of wb, iso after a shot in braw.. but again.. I always try to shoot right first time in cam.. to leave myself with minimal grading. Prores also is also a sturdy codec and holds up well to some pretty extensive grading.

One last thought.. love the image that comes out of this camera..but having played with my og bmpcc just last weekend, the new 4K defo doesn’t have that organic filmic quality the og has.
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RealSting

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostSat Aug 01, 2020 1:49 pm

Lee Mackreath wrote:Afternoon all!

As above - I am stuck in FCP X land now for my edits - so if I want to shoot BRAW I need to put it in Resolve and then convert it/delivery out as ProRes HQ to be then able to work with it in FCP X.

My question is - if I say shoot in Q5 - is there any obvious quality loss converting this footage to prores and editing in FCP X ? and if there is am I just better shootin in ProRes in camera from the start and taking resolve out of the equation?

I ideally want to shoot in BRAW Q5 for the small file sizes which will be better handled by my SD cards...

any help would be appreciated!
Just out of curiosity, why are you stuck with FCP X? There is a free version of Resolve which is pretty well featured compared to the full version.


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Lee Mackreath

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostSat Aug 01, 2020 3:41 pm

RealSting wrote:
Lee Mackreath wrote:Afternoon all!

As above - I am stuck in FCP X land now for my edits - so if I want to shoot BRAW I need to put it in Resolve and then convert it/delivery out as ProRes HQ to be then able to work with it in FCP X.

My question is - if I say shoot in Q5 - is there any obvious quality loss converting this footage to prores and editing in FCP X ? and if there is am I just better shootin in ProRes in camera from the start and taking resolve out of the equation?

I ideally want to shoot in BRAW Q5 for the small file sizes which will be better handled by my SD cards...

any help would be appreciated!
Just out of curiosity, why are you stuck with FCP X? There is a free version of Resolve which is pretty well featured compared to the full version.


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RealSting

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostSat Aug 01, 2020 4:41 pm

Lee Mackreath wrote:
RealSting wrote:
Lee Mackreath wrote:Afternoon all!

As above - I am stuck in FCP X land now for my edits - so if I want to shoot BRAW I need to put it in Resolve and then convert it/delivery out as ProRes HQ to be then able to work with it in FCP X.

My question is - if I say shoot in Q5 - is there any obvious quality loss converting this footage to prores and editing in FCP X ? and if there is am I just better shootin in ProRes in camera from the start and taking resolve out of the equation?

I ideally want to shoot in BRAW Q5 for the small file sizes which will be better handled by my SD cards...

any help would be appreciated!
Just out of curiosity, why are you stuck with FCP X? There is a free version of Resolve which is pretty well featured compared to the full version.

Then I guess bad habits really are the hardest to break! lol BTW, mine was a 9 year bad habit, but Resolve resolved it!! Pun intended!
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Lee Mackreath

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostSun Aug 02, 2020 7:02 am

I need to start watching some YouTube videos then and do some learning!


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Uli Plank

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostSun Aug 02, 2020 4:32 pm

There are some pretty good learning resources from BMD themselves.
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Oliver Peters

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Re: Quality loss converting BRAW to ProRes

PostSun Aug 02, 2020 11:22 pm

A couple of thoughts. First of all, if this is being delivered as H.264, then everything about the relative quality differences are really moot. It just won't matter.

If you want to preserve the most quality for use in FCPX, then transcode the file in Resolve and leave it as Blackmagic Film log. LUT and grade to be applied inside FCPX. Transcode to ProRes 4444 or 4444 XQ for maximum quality. Edit and finish in FCPX.

Or, do a Resolve roundtrip. If you follow that route, first do a quick transcode to ProRes Proxy for your edit in FCPX. When you lock the cut, send an FCPXML to Resolve and relink to the BRAW files. Do the grade and render out final color as ProResHQ or ProRes 4444 along with a corresponding FCPXML to go back into FCPX. Once back in FCPX, import the new FCPXML list and relink to the graded files. Make any final edit tweaks and export your master.

Hope that helps.

- Oliver

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