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.
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.
The sequences should import quickly and you'll see them listed in the Import List with a generic thumbnail that says, 'RAW'.
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.
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.
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.
Black Level Subtract: Use this to increase the black levels on the image.
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.
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.
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.
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.