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Old May 16th, 2013, 03:15 AM   #1
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Magic Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Haya fellas,

So, with all this talk about how Magic Lantern is enabling RAW recording on the MarkIII (and possibly other Canon cameras) I have some questions regarding the entire workflow, but specially post:

1 - Iīve been shooting a web series and each episode (around 5 min each) ends up with around 100 minutes of footage. How much disk space are we talking about here?

2 - What is the more standard editing workflow for raw? Do people use an intermediate codec like cineform or just go with an ultra powerful computer?

2.1 - Is most people go with an ultra powerful computer, what is the system requirement smoothly edit RAW? Iīm talking CPU, Cores, RAM, Disk space and speed, GPU, etc. I have limited space at my place and I was wondering if it is remotely possible to edit RAW on a powerful laptop or if itīs just crazy.

3 - This is more of a development question and being so soon in the development process it might not have an answer now. Is it possible to record Full HD 24p RAW into fast SD cards? I keep hearing everybody talking about CF x1000...which basically would mean that you have to go with either the MarkII or MarkIII (I think these are the only Canon video DSLRs that have CF ports).
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Last edited by Rafael Lopes; May 16th, 2013 at 04:55 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 10:21 AM   #2
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

I've been trying out ML for the Mark III over the last week or so.

1.Depends on what res and frame rate you shoot at but at 1080p 24fps, you would be looking in the region of 500GB of storage or even more. A 64gb card gives you about 10 mins I think.

2. Workflow is a bit laborious- after you've got the firmware working on your camera (often takes a while to get right). You shoot using appropriate settings in ML.
Download the .RAW files to your computer. Use Raw2dng to convert them to a string of .dng still images. Import dngs into lightroom or similar- process them, export to jpegs or tiffs, use another program such as quicktime to convert them to a video file which you can import into your editing software. Takes a while for each clip. Although you can record audio in ML, I think it would probably be easier at the moment to record with an external recorder. Either way you have to sync audio in post.

3. Not possible at the moment to record full HD 24p to an SD card. None of the SDs are fast enough. You can record lower resolutions I believe.
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Old June 1st, 2013, 12:12 AM   #3
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

I have been shooting with my 5D Mark II. I use a Komputerbay CF 1000x 64 gb, which others said was working well. It was the least expensive card I could find. Latest version also has continuous shooting past the 4 gig limitation.

Largest frame I am able to record is 1880 by 840. Somewhere around 2.35:1. Latest version also has wave sound recording capability that decreases band with for video.

For me, post is fairly easy in my PC processing. You take the resulting files, drop them on a file called rawtodng.exe. It takes the single file, and turns it in to individual dngs. It is fairly quick.

From there, I open GoPro's Cineform Studio premium, and process the files into an avi for easy editing. Cineform claims there converted files from DNGs preserve the original dynamic range and color correction capabilities, and I have no reason to doubt that at this point.
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Old June 1st, 2013, 08:01 AM   #4
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Just to update on workflow- there's also now 'rawanizer' a free download which will batch process the .raw files to DNGs and even convert them to prores or cineform video files all in one. I couldn't get the last step to work on my PC, and in any case I prefer using lightroom for grading as that's what I'm used to from my stills photography.

I also found I could cut out the quicktime step I mentioned above and just import the jpegs (from lightroom) as an image sequence into the NLE.

I guess the preferred workflow will vary from person to person.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 02:38 PM   #5
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

I shot a full 64 GB test movie; it was over 12 minutes long. 5d3, 1000x Komputerbay card (amazon, $114). 1920x1080 23.976 FPS with a separate audio file.

Personally I wouldn't waste the time for a web series and raw. 100 minutes each episode would be a nightmare. Shoot in the regular H264 mode and grade it well in post (apply some nice sharpening) and you'll be fine.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 03:01 PM   #6
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

May I ask, apart from how absolutely cool this is...

What would you use the RAW shooting for?
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Old June 5th, 2013, 08:35 AM   #7
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Perhaps if you are planning to do a lot of special effects work/color grading. Or if you are shooting crazy dynamic range shots like sunsets, silouttes or bright windows in the background where you need to be able to pull detail out of areas that will normally be blown out or black... Otherwise this is a lot of effort for normal everyday type shooting.

Great to have the capability, but if you have a shot that tricky/important, I would go with Alexa or something along those lines. It's only money!
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Old June 5th, 2013, 12:13 PM   #8
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

The whole idea of the DSLR revolution is to beat the system. That was what was behind Magic Lantern when Trammel Hudson first started breaking the code three years ago. The DSLR and Magic Lantern is made for those who want to push the boundries of their equipment, and not fall into the trap of paying manufacturers for to climb the technological mountain. If you aren't into that process, and you have the money (meaning a real budget), you need to buy Alexa or Red, Sony or Canon, etc, etc. high priced rigs.

Because my idea of film making is doing my own thing, and not being told what to shoot,l I personally don't have that kind of cash but still want to participate in film making to the best level I can. I am not independently wealthy, nor do I expect that I will make a living from my film making activity. I suspect that about 98% of avid shooters out there are in the same boat. That's why I worked with Magic Lantern from the beginning, and that is why I have also participated in Black Magic's grand experiment.

Black Magic Raw is going to be tamed and will become a very useful tool to those of us who just want to make films, and I salute the developers as they continue. Somedays I have questioned the need for some of the add ons made to Magic Lantern, but this Magic Lantern raw is a great update and once ironed out, will be great.
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Old June 5th, 2013, 12:29 PM   #9
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
May I ask, apart from how absolutely cool this is...

What would you use the RAW shooting for?
If you have never worked with raw, you will understand once you do. One way to discover the difference is to shoot raw photos on you camera, and then shoot a .jpeg level of the same scene. Then take both files into Photoshop, and try to adjust various levels, saturation and sharpening, Try to bring up detail in highlights or shadows by making these adjustments. You should find that the raw photo has much more detail hidden in the shadows and highlights than the .jpeg.

Raw film shooting is exactly the same. It provides detail over a wider range of highlights and detail and easier color correction capabilities. It also provides much better resolution and apparent sharpness without need of adding sharpening. In short, everything about a raw image is just better because you have more digital information to manipulate..
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Old June 5th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #10
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

It's cool to do your own thing and test the boundaries of your equipment and all that, but if you make your living with your camera (and editing), time is a pretty important factor. I don't know many people who get to just do what they want to do... if you don't have to make a boss/client happy with your work, consider yourself extremely lucky! Most of us don't have that luxury... probably about 98% of us. :)

RAW is just another tool, that is great if you need it, but could quickly kill a budget for shoots that don't require the additional latitude, especially for one-man-bands like me. In a controlled environment, you should be able to get outstanding images without having to use RAW at all.

I'm not "dissing" RAW at all... I'm just saying there's a time and place for it to be truly useful. I can think of plenty of situations where RAW would be very beneficial, but I can also think of plenty of situations where it will add time/complexity to a shoot, and the client would never be able to tell the difference in the finished image... unless you show them a side by side comparison, maybe not even then.

The folks at Magic Lantern do outstanding work! Not dissing them either!
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Old June 7th, 2013, 06:20 AM   #11
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Carroll View Post
It's cool to do your own thing and test the boundaries of your equipment and all that, but if you make your living with your camera (and editing), time is a pretty important factor. I don't know many people who get to just do what they want to do... if you don't have to make a boss/client happy with your work, consider yourself extremely lucky! Most of us don't have that luxury... probably about 98% of us. :)

RAW is just another tool, that is great if you need it, but could quickly kill a budget for shoots that don't require the additional latitude, especially for one-man-bands like me. In a controlled environment, you should be able to get outstanding images without having to use RAW at all.

I'm not "dissing" RAW at all... I'm just saying there's a time and place for it to be truly useful. I can think of plenty of situations where RAW would be very beneficial, but I can also think of plenty of situations where it will add time/complexity to a shoot, and the client would never be able to tell the difference in the finished image... unless you show them a side by side comparison, maybe not even then.

The folks at Magic Lantern do outstanding work! Not dissing them either!
To label RAW as 'just another tool' is unappreciative of its production value: the h264 files coming natively out of the Mark 3 are mushy, soft and can't deal with high contrast. RAW turns this around completely. It's not just about coloring but also about resolution and that's no 'luxury'.
Additionally, especially in uncontrolled environments, the ability to color correct RAW images can save your b*tt...
As far as the time issue is concerned: unless you are floating in work, the extra time it takes to work with RAW is manageable. I guess there are people who have to turn in their finished films the same or next day but I always plan plenty of editing time for my corporate and other commercial work.
I am a one man band as well and just because of that, you are more likely to make errors that you want to be able to correct. RAW gives you that option. Now THAT makes my clients happy...

Before long we'll get some affordable 1TB CF cards and a stable postproduction workflow and we'll all be shooting RAW...
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Old June 7th, 2013, 07:12 AM   #12
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

After a lot of reading I really donīt think I will benefit at the moment by shooting raw. On the contraty I would have to delay production and invest in a bunch o new equipment to deal with RAW files.

Besides I was looking in the Magic Lantern FAQ and I could not find a stable build for the Canon 6D.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 09:50 AM   #13
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

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Originally Posted by Rafael Lopes View Post

Besides I was looking in the Magic Lantern FAQ and I could not find a stable build for the Canon 6D.
Yeah it might be a while before Magic Lantern is officially out for the 6D...perhaps especially now that everyone is focusing on the RAW recording functionality. In the meantime there are nightly builds for it that work just fine. They just haven't been tested to MLs standards just yet. I couldn't resist so I went ahead and gave it a try....works great. I'll definitely not be taking it with me on a paid shoot though.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 02:19 PM   #14
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Yeah, I agree... pretty cool stuff for sure. I can't help feel like I am stepping on some folk's feelings here by saying this is "not quite ready for prime time", but that's not my intention... just my opinion. No denying the power of the RAW workflow. If you really need that though, makes sense to go with a camera that was built for it. As you all know, it's not just a matter of installing ML on your card, there are plenty of ripple effects into time/workflow/equipment that really should be considered. Does your client ask you to use this workflow? Do they care? If you are giving away that added capability to your client now, you'll never be able to charge for it later... but that is really a different conversation.

If you just like it and want to work that way, cool. No need to defend yourself. If it helps you out as a safety net in case you make a mistake during the shoot, that's great too! Although, I doubt this makes your client any happier. The ability of you to bail yourself out of your own mistake really only keeps your client from finding out you messed up, right?

RAW is great and we'll all probably shooting it eventually anyway... someday. I'm just saying that for me, right now, for most of the shoots I produce, I don't need it. Actually, I can't even remember wishing I had it. I color grade every project that goes through my pipeline. But I've never pushed an image so far through the ringer that the image begins to break apart. I transcode to ProRes so maybe that helps... perhaps if I was a little crazier with color grading it might be a different story... or if I had to fix an image that I completely f'd up in camera.

Plenty of folks have been working for years without RAW and producing incredible artistic imagery. The ability to shoot with less discipline or knowledge with the intent of "fixing in post" seems like a slippery slope to me.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 06:02 PM   #15
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Re: Magi Lantern and RAW workflow doubts

Actually, raw is a protection for you clients. Clients sometimes ask for one thing, and actually need something else. You can light and shoot as client wants and you can shoot ETTR and deliver what client ask for in dailies by correcting raw footage, and then rendering. Ultimately you still have the raw if client has a change in idea, and the raw can most likely be corrected to the new vision. This is a tool that expands your capabilities, if you are willing to learn it and make the effort.
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