Archive for March, 2014

CineformRAW as Intermediate, Interchange and Archive Format for RAW (CinemaDNG) from BMCC

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Following on from where basically I discovered that

  • you need not only GoPro Studio Premium (which gets you the CineformRAW codec) but also a little front-end utility (that you use instead of Studio Premium) called RAW4Pro.  That utility gets you the correct colours and proper audio (‘Studio’ does not otherwise).

Using that solution, I obtained a 5.5 times reduction in file size, for a few-seconds test-clip where the color-chart was handheld against the landscape at the top of the hill.  The file looked good in Resolve where I was able to grade it ok and of course could have used it to encode MOV-H264.

Equally the CineformRAW imported fine to Sony Vegas Pro 12, where I could grade it and export to MP4-H264 or whatever.  Vegas did not recognize the original RAW (CinemaDNG) – I tried various ways, including Vegas’s Device Explorer, so CineformRAW is a useful workaround for this.

The CineformRAW generated by RAW4Pro in its [Fine] setting, according to its [?] button, produces 10-bit Log, which QuickTime player reports as as “Millions+”.  I wonder, is there a way to get it to produce 12-bit?

I expect I will use CineformRAW to replace my existing RAW footage where I want to maintain full 2.5K resolution, gradeability but don’t have chromakey-level demands on resolution around edges etc.  Not that I’ve yet tried such chromakeying, RAW or CineformRAW -based.  As yet…

RAW CinemaDNG (from BMCC) to CIneformRAW for DaVinci Resolve via RAW4Pro+CIneform

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Suppose you have some RAW footage, in CinemaDNG format (a number-sequenced set of [.dng] files), for example shot on a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (BMCC).  Compared to “visually lossless” say ProRes or DNxHD (let alone H264 etc.), CinemaDNG occupies an awful lot of disk space, primarily because it is mathematically lossless.  The GoPro-CineformRAW encoding format offers significant reductions in file size (and hence data rate) at the cost of a practically negligible loss of visual information (and a purchase price).  This codec can be purchased as part of the GoPro Studio Premium product.  A comparison-grid of the various GoPro Studio products is here.

CineformRAW is an attractive compression-format, but unless care is applied to some very technical-level encoding options/settings, compatibility problems can arise when importing to DaVinci Resolve.  The latter is in widespread use but is especially relevant to BMCC owners because it is supplied as free software with that camera.  I experienced such problems myself: one version of Resolve (v.10.0) interpreted CineformRAW clips as green-tinted, while another (v.10.1) just gave black frames.

Happily, a simple solution existed: RAW4Pro, which is essentially a front-end to CineformRAW (and also to DNxHD, useful e.g. if you want HD proxies).


  • Install
    • A product incorporating the GoPro-Cineform RAW codec.
    • The RAW4Pro utility
      • Essentially a front-end to generate CineformRAW and also to generate HD (e.g. as proxies) as DNxHD, in each case in either MOV or AVI container-formats.
  • Run RAW4Pro
    • Select (Browse-to) input-folder, output folder.
    • Select:
      • Sound: Audio-Merge
        • Initially, extract audio from source file to a WAV file, then merge this audio in with the generated file.  The WAV file remains, regardless.
        • The alternative (if not enabled) is no audio in the generated file (and no WAV file).
      • Processing: Convert-Only
      • Quality: Fine
        • Clicking the [?] button reveals that this creates 10-bit Log (colour-channel resolution).
      • Video Format:
        • Cineform RAW (encoding format)
        • MOV (container format)
        • LUT: NoneClick the [Process Clip] button.
  • Result:
    • A movie file with name prefixed by :R4P_” and suffixed by “_sound”, incorporating both video (10-bit Log) and audio tracks.
    • An audio WAV file, similarly prefixed,  generated as a “side effect”, may or may not be useful to you, can be deleted.


SSD Format Details for BlackMagic Cinema Camera

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

For SSDs for the BlackMagic Cinema Camera (BMCC), the following partition/format scheme works fine, and was found in more than one person’s own such SSDs.   I think in each case they were formatted from Windows, hence the “NTFS”.

  • Device:
    • Partition Scheme Map: MBR (FDisk)
    • Device Block Size: 128 Bytes
      • User manual recommends 128 Bytes
        • Default of Command [format <diskletter>: /q /fs:exfat] itself reports “131,072 bytes in each allocation unit”
        • Default of [Windows7 > Windows Explorer]: [aFile >RtClk> Format…] is instead 512 Bytes, but I have not noticed any problem with that.
  • Partition/Volume:
    • Partition Type: NTFS
    • Format: exFAT

How to reformat from Windows 7: