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Old December 16th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #1
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First Light Workflow

I am editing a short film currently. I converted my DSLR footage to Cineform files on a shoot date basis. I did about 3 shoots, and each shoot has its' own folder and inside each folder is a First Light project file related to that date's shots. I did very basic Cstyle/decode curve changes on all of the files to make them look nice and contrasty for editing.

However, now I have organized all of my media inside Premiere Pro, and it is split up on a per scene basis. I want to be able to take a whole scene's worth of files in PPro and send them to First Light as a project, so that I can do my Primary color correction on them to get a consistent exposure and white balance between all the shots.

Does anybody have any experience working this way? Is there a good workflow? If it is too convulted, I'll just go into After Effects and do my work in Synthetic Aperture, but it would be a shame to have to work that way considering First Light works at the file source and won't need any rendering.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 11:29 AM   #2
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Re: First Light Workflow

I still haven't come up with a good solution to this.

I will try exporting just one sequence from PPro as a Final Cut Pro xml file, opening it in FCP, and then trying the "Open current FCP project" in First Light.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 11:34 AM   #3
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Re: First Light Workflow

My next question is, is it ok to have a file in more than one First Light project? Will the most recently saved project overwrite the settings of the other projects? Would exporting sidecar color database files have any influence over this?
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Old December 26th, 2011, 11:52 PM   #4
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Re: First Light Workflow

I like what FIrst Light offers but it's still very technical as I'm not a colorist. Mostly what I did is to pick those presets and modify from it. Then I save the "Snapshot" for other projects use.

I also learned the trick from Cineform support to use Regedit edit to point the Fight Light database to a Dropbox folder. In that case, any change to the First light database can be shared with other computer with that same dropbox login.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #5
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Re: First Light Workflow

Thanks for the reply.

Really, so there is one central database of all files that First Light has ever touched? Won't that get bloated and unweidly after a few projects? How would you remove info form the database (perhaps just by deleting the First Light project files)?
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Old December 27th, 2011, 12:20 PM   #6
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Re: First Light Workflow

There isn't a central database. That's why you need to use dropbox to save the database so other computer can use the same settings.

CineForm Insider: Automatic remote color corrections with FirstLight and Dropbox

The database is only saving the color settings but not the Cineform video files to be controlled.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 07:03 PM   #7
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Re: First Light Workflow

Thanks a lot for that link Taky. I've red through it, and I'm sure that watching the video will answer many more of my questions.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 08:08 PM   #8
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Re: First Light Workflow

Great video. I didn't know about "Branching". I see there is a db dropdown menu in First Light on the mac, so I will play with creating different databases.

Generally, do people create a database per project? Would a database per scene be overkill?
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Old December 28th, 2011, 01:36 AM   #9
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Re: First Light Workflow

Database entries are tiny, I've never deleted any database for the year I've been working with them. I was one or two per project. My databases changes for every clip I've every worked on for 4 years, is on 1-2MB ("size" vs "size on disk" which is 20X bigger, but still tiny.) We only store 150-ish bytes per clip, per database. Why dropbox works so well.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 08:33 AM   #10
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Re: First Light Workflow

To answer my own question at the top of this thread then:

I have tagged 'Scene' 'Shot' and 'Rating' inside Premiere Pro for all of my files. For the ones that are actually in any timelines I applied a rating of 3 or over so that I can just work on those in First Light and save myself some time on Color Correction.

In Adobe Bridge I did a cmd+F (Find...) and searched for a specific scene (ie. "Scene 1") of rating 3 or over. I open a new First Light project, set up a new color database for this short film, and then copy all the files from my Bridge search into the media bin.

Voila, a way of making First Light projects per scene, when you have you files organised in a date or other kind of directory structure.

This is the first time I have used Cineform and First Light as more than an experiment. I am using it on a short film I am making. So far I am loving being able to playback video relatively smoothly even when editing on my macbook air. I am also liking that I can do small tasks such as primaries whilst out using my air, and that the lack of need for rendering in PPro allows me to continue editing with smooth playback.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 11:29 AM   #11
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Re: First Light Workflow

A FirstLight project per scene is a good idea. Nice workflow.
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