Blackmagic Cinema Camera CinemaDNG to CineForm RAW Workflow (Windows)

Beginning with version 1.3, the Windows version of GoPro CineForm Studio Premium and GoPro CineForm Studio Professional provide support for the conversion of CinemaDNG into CineForm RAW. Below is a brief overview of the suggested workflow.

If you don't already have GoPro CineForm Studio Premium (or Professional) installed, download a trial version from www.cineform.com/downloads/.

1) Launch GoPro CineForm Studio Premium and make sure you are in the Import Room. Click on the 'STEP 1: IMPORT & CONVERT" button at the top of the screen to enter the Import Room.

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2) In Windows Explorer, select the folders that contain your CinemaDNG sequences and DRAG them into the 'Import New Files' bin on the left-hand side of GoPro CineForm Studio.

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The sequences should import quickly and you'll see them listed in the Import List with a generic thumbnail that says, 'RAW'.

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Note: Don't worry that the image has a greenish tint. That is normal for undeveloped RAW sources. The conversion process will take care of this.

3) With any one of the clips/sequences selected in the Import List, click on the 'Advanced Settings' button towards the bottom of the window. The Advanced Settings dialog box will appear.

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This is the window where you will choose your conversion settings.

Frame Rate: This determines the frame rate of the converted file. Its best to keep this on Source to match the frame rate used in the original image sequence.

File Format: Choose between AVI or MOV. Select the format that is the most compatible with the other video applications that you will be using the converted files in. Note: DaVinci Resolve does not support AVI so be sure to use MOV if you plan on working in Resolve. On windows, most other applications prefer the AVI format.

Quality: These are bit rate settings. Medium is adequate for most 4:2:0 camera sources, but for the 12-bit CinemaDNG files, we recommend going with the Filmscan1 setting. Film Scan 2 can be considered overkill for most sources, but it is beneficial for green-screen work. Film Scan 2 also requires the most hard drive space. NOTE: The converted CineForm RAW files will be about 1/6 the size of the original CinemaDNG sequence...but the visual quality will remain the same.

Crop Region: Clicking on this check-box will open up a new area of the advanced settings window where you can specify a precise region of the original image to use for the converted file.

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Note: You may not want to crop the image during the conversion because you can always do this later using the Framing Controls after the conversion or in your NLE. By not cropping during the conversion, you will have more of the image available to you later.

Despeckle/Dead Pixel Fix: Use this option to clean up a dead pixel from your camera sensor.

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Black Level Subtract: Use this to increase the black levels on the image.

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Encoding Curve: This is where you select the encoding or input curve. You can experiment with these to get different results. We recommend using the Protune option because it will produce smaller files and generally be more color correctable than using a fixed number of code words per stop. You can read more about this at David Newman's blog about Protune.

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Decoding Curve: This determines your output curve and this can be changed later. Again, experiment to get the results you want. If you use the Protune encoding curve, we suggest using the 'Match Encode' option.

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Remember Settings: Check this to make these the default settings for the rest of the clips in the Import List.

Click 'OK' to save the settings.

4) Select a conversion directory by clicking on the 'CHANGE DIRECTORY' link at the bottom of the window. Then select all the clips in the bin by pressing 'ctrl+a' on your keyboard. Then click the 'ADD TO CONVERSION LIST' to add the clips to the Conversion List. If you want to the converted files to have specific names, select each clip one at a time and specify a new name by typing it in the 'FILE NAME' text box. Then add that clip to the Conversion List. Repeat those steps for each clip.

5) When all the clips have been added to the Conversion List, click the 'CONVERT ALL' button to begin the conversion. It should process fairly quickly.

6) When the conversion is done, the 'CONVERT ALL' button will change into a 'PROCEED TO STEP 2' button. Click on that to view the converted files in GoPro CineForm Studio's Edit room.

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As you can see, the converted CineForm RAW files, with the Protune input and output curves applied, develop into spectacular looking images. From here, you can choose Demosaic options and use the White Balance, Image Controls, Framing Controls and Looks to apply many non-destructive adjustments to the clips...saved in a database as Active Metadata.

The Active Metadata adjustments you make here will be applied to these same files wherever you are playing them back. You do not need to render or export new files out of GoPro CineForm Studio's Edit room. Just import them into your NLE and start editing. If you want to further refine the image, return to Studio's Edit room, make an adjustment and then switch back to the NLE. The changes will be immediately applied.

NOTE ABOUT AUDIO: Currently, the audio .WAV file from the CinemaDNG sequence is not getting included in the conversion to CineForm RAW. You can either re-sync the .WAV file with the CineForm RAW file in your NLE or use the free VirtualDub software to combine the .WAV file with the CineForm RAW file.

Thanks for taking the time to view this article. Feel free to leave any comments or questions.

Acknowledgment: The footage used in this article was filmed by John Brawley. Read more about  his Afterglow shoot here.

Have more questions? Submit a request

66 Comments

  • 0
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    rob tor

    great job!!! it´s very useful for me.

    thanks

  • 0
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    Eddie Barton

    Awesome, downloaded the trial and I'm loving it! Couple of questions though. I notice that the CF raw show the full dynamic range that the BMD Film space has, but CF applies contrast and saturation. Is there an encode curve (I think that's what it's called) that allows us to use the BMD Film color space and gamma like Resolve does when debayering the raw DNGs? Resolve matches the BMD Film space as if it were recorded to ProRes using the option on the camera. I've tried turning off the image controls and I've tried switching the color matrix from "Source" to "Neutral." Both give me an image close to what the BMD Film color space gives me in Resolve, but the CF raw files have a very slight color cast (not extreme like the unprocessed DNGs shown earlier). Sorry for the long questions...

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    Hi Eddie, you might just be seeing the ProTune preset applied to it. That adds some contrast and saturation. Look down in the right hand column of the window and in the Presets, click on the preset that says 'none'. That will reset the values to not have any looks applied to it. Let me know if that's not what you were referring to.

  • 0
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    Eddie Barton

    Hi Jake, thanks for the quick reply. I just tried that and it gives the same slight green cast (compared to the output of Resolve) as changing the color matrix to Neutral or turning off the Image Controls.

  • 0
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    Eddie Barton

    I'm using the same Afterglow footage you used in this post by the way.

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    Eddie, we read the metadata in the DNG files and include that in the converted file (white balance, etc.). We don't apply the same curve that is used in Resolve. We don't even know what curve they are using. We use our own curve and its a coincidence that it is even close to the one used in Resolve.

  • 0
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    Eddie Barton

     Okay, thanks for your help Jake.

  • 0
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    Evan Burns

    Hey Jake, thank you so much for the informative post.  I have an unusual question regarding this workflow.  I use a Matrox MX02 Mini with Premiere CS6 as a monitoring solution.  If I were to make changes to the image (white balance, contrast, etc.) within GoPro Cineform Studio, would those changes update in real time on my monitor or would I have to click back and forth between program windows in order to see the changes?

  • 0
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    Evan Burns

    Then again, I suppose I should just download the trial and see for myself.

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    Hi Evan. I haven't tried this, but my hunch would be that you'd have to play or scrub the timeline before seeing a change...or at the very least switch back to Premiere. Please let us know what you learn from your experimentation.

  • 0
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    marioperruzza

    Hey buddy

    I am having trouble after converting the videos, when I go to the step 2 screen it is a black White screen and only audio plays. 

    Any suggestions? 

  • 0
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    marioperruzza

    Blank white screen*

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    Open a support request for that and i'll send you some suggestions there.

  • 0
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    Dan Martinez

    Jake - 

    I am working on a Mac system. Is Cinema DNG conversion to Cineform RAW only available on windows systems? I can't get any blackmagic footage to pull into the premium demo version I downloaded.

     

    Thanks!

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    Its currently Windows only but a Mac version is in the works and coming soon.

  • 0
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    Jan Pfeiffer

    Hello, 

    Any timeline for when a Mac version of this utility might be available?  

    Thx,

    JP

  • 0
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    Tarique Qayumi

    I have an issue: Some of the Cinema DNG clips that I import show that it is 29.97 at 1980x1080 while they are actually 25fps at 2400 x 1350. Could you let me know what I am doing wrong please?

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    Hi Tarique,

    I ran into this same issue the other day. It happens when you try importing a 'folder' into Studio. Try dragging just the first frame of a sequence instead of the actual folder containing the frames. When I tried that it got the frame rate and resolution correct. If that doesn't work for you, please open a support request. thanks.

  • 0
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    shylendrahoode

    hi

    i am new to this cineform

    i am using nikon dslr (NIKON D600 & NIKON D3200) for hd video shooting, i came to know that cineform neo HD converts HD video(8bit) 4.2.0 to 4.2.2 (10 bit)

    but i have not Sean cineform neo HD, plese let me know how to convert DSLR 4.2.0 to 10 bit 4.2.2

     Aand what software i have to buy for converting our DSLR HD video into 2K for film projection ......thanks....

     

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    This question is a bit off-topic. In any case,  Neo HD is now GoPro CineForm Studio Premium. You can download a trial version from www.cineform.com/downloads.

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    Jason Conrad

    I am also interested in a mac version.  Any way I could get notified by email when one's available?

  • 0
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    Lucas Pfaff

    Huh, strange thing - I CAN'T do this on my machine! :(

    Using the latest version (1.3.2.169) and various DNG Sequences, nothing works. Also the Afterglow-ones that were used in the example. When I drag the files in the bin, for a fraction of a second there's something flickering on the screen, maybe an import-dialogue, and then it's gone, no footage in the bin.

     

    What's going on? :(

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    Nothing has changed. Are you using the free, Premium or Professional version of GoPro CineForm Studio? Only the Premium and Professional versions support these files. If you continue to experience issue, please open a support request.

  • 0
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    Grant Deliberto

    Hi Jake,

    You say the Raw DNG support is coming for Mac "soon," but I've seen posts about that since last October. Do you have a solid idea of when this will come out, because many indie filmmakers, like myself, use Macs, and the workaround is terrible. Please let us know - it's the only thing keeping me from buying your product right now. Cant wait to use it!

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    Hoping to have Mac support coincide with the GoPro Studio 2.0 release this summer...we are close!

  • 0
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    Edward Ornelas

    Hello, I would like to know if it would be possible to shoot cineform straight out of the blackmagic cinema camera? If so, what would it take?

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    Hi Edward. You could run the HD-SDI signal out to a CineDeck.

  • 0
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    Lucas Pfaff

    Hi Jake,

    yeah I was using the normal free Studio, haha :)

    I now got the Demo for the Professional Version to play around with it a bit. However, I'm having a hard time to set it up properly.

    I made a comparison from cRAW and the files developed in CameraRAW, and I get a whole lot of color fringes (a bit like moire) with the Footage, regardless of the Demosaicing-Algorythm. This guy came to a similar result: http://www.similaar.com/foto/blackmagic-workflow/index.html

    Is there any fix on that?

     

    Also, I have a hard time with the Output Curve. I rendered the cRAW file into Protune, then choosed Protune as Input, and set Cineon 95-685 as output; I then opened the file in Nuke to watch it a bit, but even when I set the Viewing LUT and the file to Cineon, it seems a bit too muddy IMHO.

  • 0
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    Grant Deliberto

    Any update on this for Mac? I think Jake said by the end of the summer but it's getting really close. What seems to be the hold up with getting this for mac? Is it really that difficult to do? Just wondering...

  • 0
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    Jake Segraves

    We're releasing a new version of GoPro Studio Premium 2.0 at the end of August, but unfortunately it won't support CinemaDNG conversion to CineForm RAW on the Mac side yet. We're hoping to get that into a 2.1 release before too long though.

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