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CMerlin

Best workflow for Panasonic GH4?

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Hi, I'm new to this forum, after a while of reading I decided to put my first post. 
 
I have always worked with the Canon 60D, and premiere pro CS6/CC. Now I bought Panasonic GH4 and i'm a little lost with the workflow.
 
My PC:
 
i7 3930k
Asus P9x79 WS
GTX 670 2GB
32GB RAM 1600
 
Storage:
 
C: 256GB Samsung 840 PRO (Os / App) 
D: 2x Caviar Black 1TB RAID 0 (Media / Projects) 
E: Caviar Black 1TB (Export ) 
F: 256GB Samsung 840 PRO (Media Cache)
G:Caviar Green 1TB (D: Backups) 
H Caviar Green 500GB (Music, movies, etc.) 
 
Dell U3014
 
I tried to work with 24p Cinema 4k. Goes well, but applying any effect, it is very slow. When I export to h.264 4k 24p, takes a long time, the CPU goes only to 27% and the RAM to 11GB ... I do not know why not use more. 
 
Here are my questions: 
 
1. Which would be the best workflow for working with 4K files? Proress, DNxHD ...? Proxies? 
 
  The final product will almost always exported at 1080p, only in some cases to 4k for now. So if there are two workflows would seem interesting to me also. 
 
2. After the editing, workflow to move to color grading in Resolve? 
 
3. Better combination for external backups? 
 
Any other advice will be of great help. 
 
Excuse my English. 
 
Thanks
 
 
 
 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Davinci Resolve apparently auto-generates proxies, so if you use one of your RAIDs as the proxy drive, you should be fine. But basically, don't make lower quality 4k files to work with, the standard workflow for film or video is to generate an intermediate at HD (in the old days it was SD) so you can see it at 100% and color grade etc, that can be a proxy or even a dynamic cache file (if the job is small), it depends on the software. Ideal working depth is 32bit float, proxies can be 10bit to 16bit 1/2 float, at HD you should be able to play back uncompressed linear RGB.

 

For backup, if you aren't afraid of tapes, and I know a lot of people that are, you can find deals on LTO-3's on ebay, in the $300 range used and excellent working condition etc. Then if you buy a box of tapes you can get the price down to around $25 or less per TB, this will take up a free PCI slot though and you'll need to find an old SCSI LVD 160 card somewhere, they are also really cheap now. (the SCSI LTO's are much less expensive than the SAS or FC).

 

I gotta do this tape thing because I have clients call me up for something that is over 4 years old, and they need it like "yesterday", so I have to be able to put an entire job back online and I need a catalog. I use bacula, and it will also work with almost any form of storage. Proprietary software like Retrospect has screwed me more times than I can keep track of, I'd stay away, and just manually copying everything onto firewire drives and cramming them randomly onto a shelf is just uncivilized. 

 

 

Good Luck

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Here's my experience with at least working with a PC with 4K footage in Premiere Pro CC.  I have a similar machine.  Maybe about half the specs.  i7 3630QM, 16GB RAM, Samsung 840 Pro SSD, Integrated Graphics, and Premiere Pro CC, on a Windows 7 machine.

 

On a PC, you will have to find 3rd party software to convert your 4K to ProRes 4444 (4:4:4 10-bit).  The only one that seems to do it reliably is Bigasoft Prores Converter.  It's a little slow to convert...it takes about 5 minutes to convert a 30 second 4K clip and only uses about 30% of my CPU while doing it, but it seems to be the only one that I've tried that works reliably.  I've put 4K clips and converted it to 1080p ProRes 4444.  When doing heavy rendering in Premiere Pro, a 1080p ProRes 4444 seems to render about 3 to 4 times faster than working with the 4K file directly in Premiere Pro CC.

 

You can go the DNxHD route, I think DNx 350X 444 RGB as your intermediate codec, but unlike the name suggests, it's not 4:4:4, but 4:2:2.

 

So, say that you have a 30 second clip.  It takes 5 minutes to convert to ProRes 4444 at 50% scale (1080p).  Then it takes 8 minutes to do some heavy grading in Premiere Pro CC with Red Giant Colorista II.

 

Compare that to working with 4K in Premiere Pro, and just scaling that down to 50% in the sequence, it takes about 28 minutes to render with the same settings with Colorista II.

 

For the 30 second sequence, I saved about 15 minutes of rendering time.

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Keep in mind that ProRes is lossy.. if you can bypass compression for your intermediate file, that's the way to go. Michael, He has a level 0 RAIDs so maybe he can work with a 10bit uncompressed linear RGB file instead of ProRes?

 

ffmpeg is great for conversions, it's free and open source. this is a script I wrote to take a folder of mov files and convert them to rgb 10bit dpx sequences for compositing, it also creates subfolders for the sequences:

 

for i in `ls *.mov`; do mkdir `echo $i | sed 's/(.*)..*/1/'`; ffmpeg -i $i -pix_fmt gbrp10le `echo $i | sed 's/(.*)..*/1/'`/$i".%04d.dpx"; done;

 

you could add a resize to the command line with the -s 1920x1080 option and use a mov container codec like "-c:v v410" which is 10bit Uncompressed 4:4:4.

 

Also, I don't know about Premiere, but most programs let you do the reformatting (codecs etc) when you make the proxies from within the application.

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Thank you very much for the help. 
 
The only downside I'm seeing with the theme is transcoding the file sizes. 
 
Bigasoft ProRes Converter 1.3 GB makes an 8GB file. 
 
I know that working with 4K much space is needed, but it would be better to work with h.264 in premiere but 1/4 or 1/8. I see people recommending that when the project is completed a pass to AE project 16-bit, apply denoiser, add some noise and then export a TIFF Resolve to send. 
 
I see too many people going with the Panasonic GH4 4K 1080p. Some special process is required to do that? 
 
The truth is that every time I lost more because I can not find the right way to do it.
 
Thank you

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Cmerlin,

 

I'm not sure why you want to transcode with a stand-alone program? The way proxies work is they create a dynamic relationship in the software you're using, so that you see the low resolution file when working (faster), but when you render, it will reference the source hi-res. In After Effects, you can right click on a comp and render a proxy, that will manage the relationship for you.. It's the same in other programs, I don't know about Premiere, but I'm guessing it's in there too.

 

Davinci Resolve makes proxies automatically. You just need to go into the preferences and make sure these programs are using your 1TB RAID.. I'd just use that as dedicated scratch, you should be fine for short format work. For proxy settings, don't use a delivery codec, use uncompressed linear RGB (that is what your display wants to see, it's called display-referred gamut). 

 

If you want to do it all in one program, just edit in Resolve. 

 

good luck

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In premiere pro, since CS3 I believe, you will not compromise in quality if you work with the files directly from the camera.  However, there are some advantages to working with an intermediate format like ProRes, such as rendering times.  It is faster for your computer to compute a 8GB 1080p ProRes file rather than a 1.3GB heavily compressed 4K file out of the camera.  Keep in mind the large intermediate files are only for you to work with in your NLE, not something you'll be delivering as your final product.  So 8GB intermediate is really not big of a deal since you got a computer with good specs.

 

Intermediate formats will always be bigger than files out of the camera because of their light compression.  If you don't want to use an intermediate format like ProRes or DNxHD, you can work with the file directly, but the rendering will be really slow.

 

It sounds like you're looking for a workflow that's going to be lossless or near-lossless, keep the file sizes small, and be able to render quickly.  Unfortunately you cannot have all 3.  Either work with the files directly in Premiere Pro and let it render slowly, or use an intermediate format, which will also help save time when getting previews while making color grading choices in the NLE.

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Thank you guys.

 

 

Iread a lot these days, was determined to work with DNxHD codec, but I found a post where they say some information is lost. 
 
 
And recommends working with YUV 422 intermediate file, but I do not know what type of codec is. 
 
sunyata, 
 
Because when working in Final Cut Pro all I recorded what encoding to ProRes 422, and I always read on the Internet as people spend all intermediate codec files. But after reading the article above I have my doubts.

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I use mpeg streamclip and convert the original 4k files to DnxHD 1080p 444 10-bit. choose uncompressed for the alpha channel. I have been pretty happy with that. I use Resolve and never really grade my stuff heavily but it seems to hold up pretty well. I have a similar set up as you but only 16GB ram and it runs pretty smooth for me.

 

I'm sure there are better ways to do it but it works alright for me.

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I am not sure why you can't import native 4k mp4/mov into premier cs6. I do it all the time. Either on the Mac or PC

It’s a pity I can’t import Panasonic GH4 4K videos to Adobe Premiere directly due to the codec incompatibility and the 4K high resolution and bitrate. What I’ve done to resolve the issues is to convert Panasonic GH4 4K MOV/MP4 to MPEG-2(I gave up the original 4K resolution and set 1080p), which will save time and trouble, to drag the result videos for prompt editing in Premiere Pro(CS4/CS5/CS6/CC7).

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