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Old May 13th, 2013, 10:40 AM   #1
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Can I de-noise BMCC footage in After Effects and still export RAW?

Hi all,

I've got some noisy footage from a short film that I need to clean up, preferably using After Effects. According to the prevailing advice I've found in my research, the post workflow should go like this (this list taken directly from Shane Hurlbuts site here):

1. Remove artifacts and de-noise.
2. Balance your shots by adjusting BLACKS/MIDS/WHITES, SATURATION and WHITE BALANCE.
3. Relight within a shot using power windows or masks.
4. Add gradients, diffusion and other lens filters.
5. Add vignettes
6. Grade your images
7. Simulate a film stock of your choice
8. Resize and sharpen

So De-noising comes first. Maybe this isn't so important with RAW footage, and if not, please advise on a more appropriate workflow.

But my instinct says de-noise in After Effects. Fine. I can get the RAW DNG stream into After Effects just fine, but if I do that first, how do I export it as again as RAW DNG files that can still retain all the qualities of the RAW files before After Effects touched them?

I'm frightened that by de-noising first, I'll be degrading the footage at the very first step?

Anyone got a solution?

Thanks,

-- John
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Old May 14th, 2013, 02:44 AM   #2
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Re: Can I de-noise BMCC footage in After Effects and still export RAW?

Shane's workflow is not for raw.

1. Make proxies in Resolve
2. Edit
3. bring the EDL/XML back to Resolve
4. grade to taste in Resolve.
5. render out a master.

Resolve has some noise reduction, but it's not exactly stellar.
So if you need additional reduction, you can always take that to AE after all is said and done in Resolve.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 04:15 AM   #3
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Re: Can I de-noise BMCC footage in After Effects and still export RAW?

Thanks Frank,

That makes sense to me. I'll change my plan of attack.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 06:11 AM   #4
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Re: Can I de-noise BMCC footage in After Effects and still export RAW?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Glencairn View Post
Shane's workflow is not for raw.

1. Make proxies in Resolve
2. Edit
3. bring the EDL/XML back to Resolve
4. grade to taste in Resolve.
5. render out a master.

Resolve has some noise reduction, but it's not exactly stellar.
So if you need additional reduction, you can always take that to AE after all is said and done in Resolve.
Actually Frank, if the de-noise is saved for the end to do in After Effects, how does that impact on the rest of the grade? If Shane's advice is to do the de-noise first, before doing all of the other tasks...

Quote:
1. Remove artifacts and de-noise.
2. Balance your shots by adjusting BLACKS/MIDS/WHITES, SATURATION and WHITE BALANCE.
3. Relight within a shot using power windows or masks.
4. Add gradients, diffusion and other lens filters.
5. Add vignettes
6. Grade your images
7. Simulate a film stock of your choice
8. Resize and sharpen
... will it have a negative affect on the rest of those steps to then apply a de-noiser?
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Old May 18th, 2013, 01:52 AM   #5
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Re: Can I de-noise BMCC footage in After Effects and still export RAW?

Can you share a single frame DNG so that we can offer some more specific advice?

If the footage is really noisy, my suggestion would be to do a "Best Light" in Resolve (just so you can get all the light levels and colour balance correct), render out a DPX sequence, bring into After Effects to "repair" the noisy footage (i.e. the de-noise stage), render out to DPX, then go back into Resolve for the "creative" grading stage.
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Old May 20th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #6
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Re: Can I de-noise BMCC footage in After Effects and still export RAW?

I'll share a DNG when I can.

Incidentally, did Sarah put us on the phone together today to discuss a dead memory card?

I noticed the name on the phone said Chris Hocking and sure enough you're a Chris Hocking.

One and the same?
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Old May 20th, 2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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Re: Can I de-noise BMCC footage in After Effects and still export RAW?

Haha... Yes, same person! Small world!
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Old July 14th, 2013, 12:54 AM   #8
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Re: Can I de-noise BMCC footage in After Effects and still export RAW?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hewat View Post

I'm frightened that by de-noising first, I'll be degrading the footage at the very first step?



-- John
It's more usual to do noise reduction very last, not first.

Neat Video does an amazing job. Resolve has some built in noise reduction that's OK as well.

jb
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Old July 16th, 2013, 02:51 AM   #9
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Re: Can I de-noise BMCC footage in After Effects and still export RAW?

Where in the post process you apply noise reduction will depend on many things, not least of which is how noisy is the material to start with.

One word of caution is that Neat Video appears to me to only process in 8 bit, even though the Pro versions claim to support high bit depth rendering, so never use Neat Video before doing any other work on the footage, save it for the end, even then it can introduce banding not present in the original material.

Assuming you have 10 bit or better NR: If your doing any compositing you want to apply the noise reduction at the beginning of your workflow so that all the various parts in your composited scene have similar noise levels and that the inevitable softening caused by the noise reduction only effects the most heavily NR'd material.

If your doing heavy grading with a lot of secondaries it may be better to NR at the grading stage as the secondaries may need different NR levels to the primary corrections.

If your doing a lot of grading involving black stretch etc it's often better to NR first as this prevents the noise getting stretched. After grading the noise can be harder to remove as the grading may have made it more pronounced. If grading early in the workflow the quality of the NR is paramount.

If your doing any speed changes, do the NR on the original material at the original speed. A lot of NR systems use inter-frame reduction which does not work correctly on speed changed clips as the motion/noise from frame to frame may be repeated or make sudden jumps.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 09:29 PM   #10
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Re: Can I de-noise BMCC footage in After Effects and still export RAW?

You might want to take a look at Cinnafilm's Dark Energy for After Effects too. It's 16-bit and does a stellar job. It leverages CUDA but if you're using Resolve already I'm guessing that isn't a problem for you.

See Dark Energy - Dark Energy for After Effects
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