There’s no way to directly import and edit a CinemaDNG sequence in PremierePro.
But this weekend I stumbled upon a promising tool developed by 19lights. It’s called Ginger HDR and it has a Merger functionality that creates wrappers for CinemaDNG sequences (batch). The creation of these .GNR files is lightning fast and the naming is just as it should be (name of the director containing the images of a take).
There’s a nice workflow tutorial on their site.
Without touching any settings (video effects) the footage looks, depending on your exposure, a bit washed out and of course with magenta in the shadows (please Ikonoskop, change the black level back to 80 in the metadata as soon as possible).
On my system (3,5 GHz Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670) playback isn’t smooth at full resolution. Setting it to 1/2 does the trick.
If you’ve installed Ginger HDR as instructed, you’ll find a Ginger HDR folder in the Video Effects. There are 2 effects (Tonemapper basic and Tonemapper advanced) there that give you control on things like exposure, saturation, contrast, highlights, midtones, shadows, gamma, etc. What I’m missing though, is a colour temperature slider and a tint slider.
This is the result I get after playing around with the plug-in for a bit:
The footage is provided by Niels Faes (director) and Lennert De Taeye (cinematographer). I just grabbed 3 takes, no idea about script or dialogue (no audio). So I don’t know where the story is going, but I think it’s safe to believe our protagonist is facing trouble ;-)
So now you can import, edit and grade CinemaDNG in Premiere Pro. Further more the support by John Hable at 19lights is superb!
Is it all good? Well, it would be better, in my opinion with the above mentioned sliders for temperature and tint. And if in the near future there’d be support for timecode, I’d be even happier.
There’s one spectacular downside though: when you’ve finished editing and grading you still have to render your DNG edit to your export format of choice … with Adobe Premiere. How fast do you think this rendering goes? Ay caramba!
The shoot I mentioned in yesterday’s post, was the first project we recorded audio on-board of the dII.
It was also the first project I used Resolve (9) on for conforming and grading.
So how do you get the audio, embedded in the DNG frames, in a format no single decoder can read at this time, synced to the DNG sequences?
I’m not going to do much explaining about 1 & 3 in this post, ‘cause it’s been described elsewhere. Namely:
To do 3., I refer you to page 258 (less minimalistic) of the wonderful Resolve Lite manual. “Open the Conform page, then Right-click the Master timeline in the Timelines list, and choose Link to Audio From Selected Bins …”
But what about 2.? Well, the Ikonoskop Audio Tool has three possible output formats: WAV, AIFF and BWF. Only one of the output formats supports Timecode, namely BWF. But Resolve 9 Lite only reads WAV. So the only solution at this time seems to rewrap the BWF’s as WAV’s. I used the first tool I came across: Name Munger. It changes the extensions extremely fast.
Update: as of version 1.1 it’s no longer necessary to rewrap the files - the option BWF creates WAV files with timecode.
A couple of weeks ago we used the dII on a shoot that looked up front a bit a-typical for an 80MB/s kind of camera. Six interviews, somewhere between 15-30 minutes an interview, to be intercut.
Ideal opportunity to test out some new stuff:
The Canon 8-64mm S16 Zoom is a marvelous lens, that has been used extensively for documentaries and independent feature films. It’s a very robust lens, very sharp, widest aperture 2.4, but it’s quite big (as big and heavy as the camera). From widest to closest zoom, it loses a bit of its focus.
To use a zoom like that, hand-held, you need a decent rig. At the Ikonoskop booth at IBC, I was able to test several rigs and set-ups for the dII. My favourite, by far, is the one from Vocas. Very light, compact, sturdy and high-quality (the leather handles are sublime). And I especially like the MFC-1 Follow Focus. It’s so compact and the gear wheel being underneath the lens is actually very clever and makes it work with all kinds of lenses no matter what mount (before the MFC-1, I used a Lanparte Follow Focus, big and heavy, but impossible to use in combination with, for instance, Zeiss Distagons mkI with 80mm fronts and the IMS-PL mount - it was just too clunky).
In the picture the shoulder pad and weight were only used for balance. Normally the shoulder pad has to be mounted a lot closer to the camera.
The DP in the picture is rather tall. To go easy on his back and because peeping down the built-in viewfinder all day can get quite hard on your right eye (using your left eye on the dII viewfinder is impossible, or you’d have to chop off your right cheek bone or something), we decided on using the all new Alphatron HD-SDI viewfinder (EVF-035W-3G).
This is such a nice combination with the Ikonoskop. Nice resolution, with false colour and focus assist. Worked all day on a single Sony battery (you can use the same type as on the Ikonoskop).
For the first time now, we recorded the audio on the Ikonoskop instead of a recorder like the Sound Devices 702T. Not a single issue there. The audio was stripped from the DNG’s using Ikonoskop’s Audio Tool and automatically synced with the footage in Resolve.
And yes. This job was conformed and graded with Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve 9. What happened to CineForm and SpeedGrade you might ask. I’ll come back to this.
UPDATE: obsolete as of firmware 1.27 (March 2013)
There’s a lot of magenta in the shadows of Ikonoskop footage in DaVinci Resolve. I don’t think it has always been that way, but it definitely is the case in Resolve 9 lite.
There are several ways to get rid of it. I offer you one solution here that’s very quick and easy. In my opinion you have to fix it before you do any Color Correction in the Color Tab. That’s why I’ve created an input LUT that fixes the magenta issue: IkonoVinci. Well it will fix it untill Blackmagic changes something on the decoder side and/or Ikonoskop change something on the encoder side. Then I’d might have to make a new one ;-)
This means you don’t have to fiddle about in the CinemaDNG settings (Camera Raw tab) in Resolve. So leave the White Balance, Color Space, Gamma settings and use the Camera Metadata to do the Decoding.
Unpack the zip and copy the folder into the LUT directory of DaVince Resolve. On OSX this would be: Library>Application Support>Blackmagic Design>DaVinci Resolve>LUT.
Now go to your Project Settings . Select Look Up Tables and select under 3D Input Lookup Table the IkonoVinci.ilut.
Now in your MEDIA tab you’ll still see the magenta. But when you go to the COLOR tab , you’ll see it’s gone. Now you can start grading.
UPDATE: obsolete as of firmware 1.27 (March 2013)
We’ve talked about this before. How there seems to be a magenta issue in decoders like After Effects (Camera Raw) en DaVinci Resolve and rather a green issue in decoders like SpeedGrade. So I’m writing this for those of you who don’t seem to get rid of this magenta in the shadows in After Effects.
3 images with default Camera Raw settings:
Image 1 - Zeiss Distagon mkI 12mm
Image 2 - Canon 8-64 S16 Zoom
Image 3 - Optar Illumina 12mm (thanks Lennert De Taeye)
Now in the first image, there doesn’t seem to be much of magenta, because there isn’t that much shadow. But take a close look at the sides of the image. You’ll notice 2 dark vertical bars at every side. The one most on the outside is completely black. The one between the image and the outside black bar is a reference bar for the blacks in your image. Now see how magenta this is? Not only is it magenta, but it’s also a lot brighter than the outside bars.
The second image contains some more shadow. You’ll notice some magenta on the shadow side of the head (mostly below the ear). Look at the reference bar, also some magenta.
The third image has loads of shadow and a magenta cast almost covering the complete image.
I’ve made a preset to get rid of this: IkonoRaw2012. It’s nothing fancy, a combination of alterations in contrast, blacks and tint settings (Shadows under Camera Calibration tab).
After you’ve downloaded it, you can use it as follows:
Click the little select symbol: (to the right, next to ‘Basic’). Now select Load Settings find the IkonoRaw2012.xmp file, and click Load.
It gives the following results:
That’s more like it, no? Well there’s still something funny about the second image. This one now seems to have too much green in the shadows. Setting the Tint level in Shadows under the Camera Calibration tab to -60 seems to give a better result.
Of al the images in my CinemaDNG archive only these takes (second image) give rather greenish results in the shadows using my preset. The reason is (I assume), that this was filmed with a Canon 8-64 Super 16 Zoom. Apparently this lens has an impact on the magenta/green balance. Saving a specific preset for this lens takes care of that.
Coming up: Getting rid of Magenta in DaVinci Resolve.
Last July, the guys at Ikonoskop asked me if I’d be interested in becoming a distributor for Ikonoskop in the BeNeLux region. I thought long and hard about this and finally accepted.
You probably already noticed that I’m quite passionate about the camera and the company that’s making it. And I’ve been a supporter right from the start of this blog, otherwise I wouldn’t have called it “My Ikonoskop A-cam dII” (there’s actually alot of context in that title :-). But I’m really not much of a salesman.
I do like helping people understand the camera as much as possible and show them how to get the best results, though. And that’s what I plan on continuing to do. If along the way some of you get convinced that this is the camera for you, I’ll be glad to help you get one.
So that’s why you now find a link to a sales page on this blog. There are no surprises regarding offer or prices, although I do offer an interesting expansion pack if you decide to buy a Start Kit.
Anyway. I’ve sold by now a first camera to a most enjoyable Swiss filmmaker, Mr. Gilles Vuissoz. Gilles has been renting my Ikonoskop during a period of almost half a year now and like many others has fallen in love with the sheer simplicity of its design and usability. Gilles actually just perfectly fits the profile of the type of filmmaker this camera was made for, because he has spent most of his filming career as a DoP on 16mm.
But what’s really amazing about this first sale, is that it concerns a Panchromatic.
Gilles has been filming for many years now for a Swiss association called Plans Fixes. They have been making portraits of famous people from the Swiss cultural world on black and white 16mm film, since 1977.
And now, after 35 years, they have decided to go digital and have chosen the Ikonoskop A-cam dII Panchromatic as the ideal camera to continue building their wonderful collection of black and white memories of great minds.
I wish Gilles and his Panchro a wonderful collaboration that hopefully lasts another 35 years.
OK, I haven’t forgotten about this blog!
But I should’ve written this post two months ago. Because I’ve been grading Ikonoskop footage all summer in SpeedGrade and I must say, at this moment, it’s absolutely the right tool to grade A-cam dII CinemaDNG with.
Something I Love is a series about boundless enthusiasm.
Each episode is a portrayal of someone’s passion.
Episode 3 - Pieter Van Eenoge
Location Sound Recording: Thomas Vertongen
DP: Jelle Van Coillie
Directed & Edited by Joachim Vansteelant
Music by brunk (Bert Vanden Berghe)
Filmed in Bruges, Belgium on May 29th, 2012.
Camera: Ikonoskop A-cam dII
Lenses: Arriflex Zeiss Distagons mkI
Julien Bechara from Playtime Films was one of the first to rent an dII from me a couple of months back. One of the DoP’s he’s working with, Gilles Labarbe, was following the blog for some time and was excited about testing an Ikonoskop. So they planned on using it for a music video.
It’s only after I saw some first test footage that I realized it was for one of my favourite Belgian bands: V.O.
Great video for a superb band by a very talented team!
They transcoded the CinemaDNG to ProRes via After Effects.
You may have noticed some calibration issues. I can still hit my self over the head with an A-cam for that.
As I never used or use the camera at any other gain than 0dB, I never had (re)calibrated it at +6 or +12. And further more I forgot to talk to them about calibration, so they were not aware of what to do as they shot a couple of scenes at +6dB.
So I’m writing this here as a reminder for myself and any of you that plan to rent a camera from me: make sure to ask me about calibration, how to use it (read the User Guide I provide), but more important, when to use it.
Great news from John Christoforou. In Resolve there’s now a solution for the pink highlights. Just watch this tutorial:
Now if you’re not familiar with Resolve, at first you’d still might be a bit dissapointed with the result after clicking that CinemaDNG codec setting. Because you’ve lost the pink but highlights still seem completely blown out (which doesn’t seem to occur in AE or CineForm). This is easily overcome by adjusting the luminance curve.
After a couple of hours of trying out the software, I must say, I’m totally amazed by the splendid results.