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Cineform sharpness inferior to dcraw via Rawaniser - 5D3 ML source


Neil Creek
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Hi! I'm new to the forum, and a recent purchaser of the EOSHD 5D3 RAW video ebook which has been great thank you very much!

 

I learned about Cineform from the book, and at first glance it seems like a huge boon: smaller file sizes, fewer post production steps etc. But today after converting my first full 5D3 RAW video shoot with Cineform, I noticed it didn't seem to be as sharp as I expected. 

 

Let me briefly explain my old and new workflow and perhaps someone can tell me if I'm doing anything wrong:

 

Old workflow:

- Copy ML RAW video files to HDD

- Point Rawanizer to the folder and batch convert all clips into a DNG sequence using the dcraw option

- Import the DNG sequence into Adobe After Effects, using Adobe Camera Raw to apply some general grading, colour correction, sharpness etc

- Drop the import into a composition and scale the composition to suit the length of the clip

- Export to a DNxHD "DNX 120 1080p 25" encoded .mxf file

- Import all .mxf files into Premiere for editing

 

New workflow:

- Copy ML RAW video files to HDD

- Point Rawanizer to the folder and batch convert all clips into .avi files with the Cineform option (-422 parameter for the free version)

- Import all .avi files into Premiere for editing

- Apply grading and sharpening in Premiere

 

As you can see, the new workflow has fewer steps, and I end up with much smaller files, which is great. But even before I apply sharpening to the DNGs in the old workflow, those images are FAR sharper than the ungraded Cineform files. It almost looks like the files are 720p not 1080p.

 

I've attached a photo illustrating the dramatic difference. The Cineform is on the left, and the DNG is on the right. The DNG has had no processing done to it, this is how it looks with all ACR sliders set to their defaults.

 

Can anyone help? Thank you!

 

 

post-35497-0-29873700-1412406984_thumb.j

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Neil: is it the size of your files you're out to decrease?

 

I don't care about filesize as disk space is cheap and I delete ALL my data when I'm done with my projects anyway. For clients I calculate in storage space in the final bill. But come on, how often have you been asked to cut again after the project is truly done and the final export have found it's new home on TV or other type ads etc.?

 

My workflow is as follows: 

 

- Copy raw files to HD

- Lates Raw2cdng (beta version) with default settings as converter

- Photoshop CC raw and ONLY adjust whitebalance and exposure, although I set my template to decrease sharpness a tad. All other settings at default.

- Export every file sequence out as a PSD's, as photoshop sequences that is. Remember to sync every file before doing that and check the 16 bit box

 

Now I have 16 bit file sequences that imports and PLAYS wonderfully in Premiere CC thats VERY gradeable of course.

 

The whole process is fast and easy. I really don't get all those other elaborate workflows people choose to use. I find this is the ultimate workflow regarding image quality. The only downside like I said, is perhaps the filesize of your project. I don't care about that.

 

This is why I won't give up my 5d mk 3 with ML raw.

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Neil: is it the size of your files you're out to decrease?

 

I don't care about filesize as disk space is cheap and I delete ALL my data when I'm done with my projects anyway. For clients I calculate in storage space in the final bill. But come on, how often have you been asked to cut again after the project is truly done and the final export have found it's new home on TV or other type ads etc.?

 

My workflow is as follows: 

 

- Copy raw files to HD

- Lates Raw2cdng (beta version) with default settings as converter

- Photoshop CC raw and ONLY adjust whitebalance and exposure, although I set my template to decrease sharpness a tad. All other settings at default.

- Export every file sequence out as a PSD's, as photoshop sequences that is. Remember to sync every file before doing that and check the 16 bit box

 

Now I have 16 bit file sequences that imports and PLAYS wonderfully in Premiere CC thats VERY gradeable of course.

 

The whole process is fast and easy. I really don't get all those other elaborate workflows people choose to use. I find this is the ultimate workflow regarding image quality. The only downside like I said, is perhaps the filesize of your project. I don't care about that.

 

This is why I won't give up my 5d mk 3 with ML raw.

Is there really an advantage of using photoshop at all? I import cdng's straight into premiere cc and do everything there.

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Having a smaller file size would be nice, but the workflow difference is the real issue for me. To process the shoot I did yesterday using the new workflow with cineform took 10 mins to turn the RAW files into usable (but soft) .avi files. The cdraw/after effects workflow for the same files took approximately 3 hours. That's a huge amount of time I'd rather spend editing. 

 

Surely this can't be simply how Cineform works? I can't imagine Andrew would recommend Cineform in his book if it causes this great a hit to sharpness? I thought I must be missing something in my workflow.

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Is there really an advantage of using photoshop at all? I import cdng's straight into premiere cc and do everything there.

Probably not if you use CC. I've just started using CC. I come from CS6 and I couldn't import Cdng's there. Although I sometimes use the VisionColor LUT as picture profile in Camera Raw before exporting.

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