"Native" editing of CinemaDNG in Premiere Pro?

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!


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