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X5R Workflow Notes

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A few X5R workflow notes:

Just a note that I observed on a late 2013 MBP 16GB RAM I was getting 185MB/s (about 1.4Gbps) import speed of footage, when copying to an external drive via Thunderbolt. Not shabby. Still, a bit longer than 1:1 for footage capture.

And I can't really use that workflow since I need Premiere-usable DNG sequences.

On that I get about 85MB/s or 680Mbps.

I need to ping the Adobe Premiere product manager and see if we can't get the X5R's Cinema DNG format supporter directly. That would help speed things up.

There is also what appears to be a bug in Premiere where the import of the Premiere-friendly sequence fps is not read correctly and you end up with 23fps on import from the DNG Sequence XML metadata file regardless of the actual footage fps. It's easy enough to fix by conforming the clip in Premiere back to 29.9699fps or whatever your footage is, but it'd be better if this just worked obviously. I'll log s bug for this one as well.
 
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I dream of a world in which DJI works closely with Adobe (et al) during their lengthy beta cycle to get their new technology supported. You know, like a camera company would do.

We X5R customers are fortunate to have you, and for you to have the ear of the Premiere product manager. Thanks.

PS Mine apparently arrives tomorrow; I ordered from DJI and canceled my B&H order.
 
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To conform a clip to the proper fps, in Premiere select the clip in the project view after import and use the Clip menu. Select Modify->Interpret Footage...and select the "Assume this frame rate" option, inputting the correct frame rate:

fixframerate.jpg
 
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I'm chatting with the Adobe Premiere engineering manager to see what it would take to support the DJI CinemaDNG format directly. That would dramatically cut down on the import step of the workflow. I owe him some samples.
 
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Did anyone try Quicktime 7 Pro to convert DNG to ProRes? Maybe a simple solution until Premiere supports DJI DNGs.
After Effects works as well but takes very long on my MBP 2012 (15 minutes for 26 seconds footage).
 
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kinda weird they don't work on premiere, as both FCPX and Resolve have no problem with it directly.

I got SlimRaw going. It's impressive in its use of multi-core. 500% CPU utilization vs CinemaDNG at 95-100% Got about 6% space savings with lossless over the X5R raw import, which is pretty good.

I did a test process over the CinemaDNG from the X5R and checked the "Premiere CC compatibility" box, and it did import fine.

But most remarkably, the directory total space used was 4.02GB vs 10.65GB for the same clip exported to Premiere compatible via CinemaDNG. That's 37% of the size, or a space saving of 6.63GB for this one clip alone.

That's 2.6X smaller, still lossless AND Adobe Premiere compatible.

A faster workflow with 2.6X space savings for Premiere users can now be


1) Export via CinemaDNG to standard X5R RAW.

2) Then process with SlimRaw to Premiere compatible.

3) I can then opt to delete the original import.

One caveat / trade off is that Premiere really has to work hard now to decompress the DNGs and the machine load significantly increases as a result. But you pro guys have supercomputers for editing anyway so this shouldn't be a problem :)
 
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Thought I'd update on workflow now that things have settled a bit. My current workflow looks something like this:

1) Import via CineLight using normal DNG sequence (not Premiere compatible).

2) Run SlimRaw on imported directories and output Premiere comparable, lossless compression and delete imported directories created in Step 1. Result is 600% space savings over CineLight Premiere import but still lossless. Also 6% smaller than straight DNG import.

3) Import Step 2 footage into Premiere and arrange and edit, adding sound tracks, transitions, titles, watermark, etc.

4) Use Premiere LUT panel (and color scopes, especially RGB parade) for Basic adjustments and then use Creative LUT tab and adjust. Add a touch of sharpening for punch.

5) When done export and be sure to use GPU Mercury engine (not software engine) in Media Encoder to render. Good preset to start with is YouTube 4K but jack up the bitrate to 200Mbps and select Max color depth.

Using GPU Mercury engine cut render time down from 12 hours to 56 min on a recent X5R project.
 
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One additional note on color grading in Premiere. While there's really no magic LUT unfortunately, what you can do is go into Color mode in Premiere, turn on the color scopes in the top left panel and on the Basic LUT panel first hit "AUTO" to let Premiere take a crack at basic corrections for the clip.

Then bump saturation, contrast, keeping an eye on the scopes and what looks good to you in the monitor.

I bump sharpness slightly on the Creative panel as well. You can save as a LUT for quick recall but each shot will be different. If you do have multiple shots from the same location, with same settings etc, you can right click on the clip you are happy with, and Copy. Then Paste on the similar clip and Paste Attributes just the LUT you applied to the first one. If you are really uniform across the sequence, add an Adjustment Layer.

Hope that helps.
 
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I am writing up my Windows/Premiere Pro experience in another thread. It's monumentally frustrating, but the end result is simply stunning. The raw footage and the Lumetri color adjustments produce incredible footage with just a few adjustments.

When I finally got it working, I couldn't believe the quality. I hope to have a side-by-side comparison posted in the next few days.

Wow.
 
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FYI the latest FW update fixes the issue where you need to adjust clip Framerate on import into Premiere. DJI also added the missing WhiteLevel tag that made all the regular DNGs too dark.

I got a note from the Adobe Premiere eng manager yesterday that he's now fixed the issue where the normal X5R DNGs exported from CineLight wouldn't import. (I'd sent him a plea and a sample DNG sequence from my X5R).

So once that fix ships in an Premiere update you should be able to edit the plain X5R CineLight DNGs directly in Premiere.
 

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