LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Heroes of RAW Workflow

CreativeCOW presents Heroes of RAW Workflow -- Assimilate Scratch Feature


Santa Monica California USA
CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


The first time I saw the 4K, 16-bit TIFFs coming out of a Dalsa Origin camera back in 2003, I thought, "This is where filmmaking is headed. It's going to be high res, it's going to be file based, and it's going to be RAW."

We founded Local Hero six years ago to deal with the RAW files coming out of the Dalsa, but desktop systems were just too slow to work with files that size. We had started working on our own proprietary system when we discovered ASSIMILATE SCRATCH. It was everything we were trying to build: a GPU-accelerated desktop system that could work with high dynamic range (HDR) RAW files in real time.

This is a big part of why we committed to SCRATCH so early in its development: it's by far the most flexible tool for file-based DI for digital cinema, whether from the ARRI Alexa, RED MX, or the new RED EPIC, where SCRATCH is the first system to support its files natively.



ASSIMILATE SCRATCH Dailies. Versioning. Conform. Finish. Same power and price for Mac and Windows: $17,995


DOING MORE FOR LESS
SCRATCH isn't the cheapest tool on the market, but it's certainly cost effective enough that, even as a boutique, we can afford to have more than one. We have seven SCRATCH systems, probably for the price of one Pablo or one Baselight 8, yet with features comparable to them, and in some areas even better.

It's not that we do four times the work. It's that we can juggle changes in the workflow faster without sacrificing quality.

For example, we just completed work on a feature called ATM, directed by David Brooks, with Bengt Jonsson as the DP. It was shot using the RED with the MX sensor, and I think that the end result is one of the bestlooking RED features out there, on par with anything else that audiences have seen so far this year.

But here's where the workflow challenge kicked in: ATM started out with very few VFX, and then partly into editorial, the director said, "You know what, this entire reel takes place outside. We need to see their breath." So we actually composited 300 digital breath shots as part of the color correct.

We duplicated the original SCRATCH project, so while we were color correcting in one bay, we were using the second bay to drop in and composite the breath shots.

Over the course of one night, we used SCRATCH to consolidate the two projects into our DI theater. The colorist then added a "breath" layer on top of all of the shots. In a final pass, we used SCRATCH to correct the color, adjust opacity and position, or delete the breath shots altogether as needed -- compositing and color correcting in one session.

Without multiple identical SCRATCH bays, we wouldn't have been able to do that as quickly as we did. The fact that we could afford many of them for the price of one comparable heavy iron system just makes us a lot more flexible.


HYBRID COMPOSITING AND COLOR CORRECTION
Don't get me wrong. SCRATCH is a very powerful color corrector. We've used SCRATCH to color correct over 50 features of all sizes, and all of our clients are very happy, but SCRATCH thinks more like a Smoke or Flame than like just a color corrector.

The fact is that modern color correction, especially for features, is actually more like compositing. Clients don't know what to ask for anymore. They just ask for everything. They'll be in the DI suite and say, "Hey, can we replace that sky?" In a traditional color correction session you would say, "No." With SCRATCH, we don't hesitate. We just do it.

That's what I mean when I say that the nature of modern DI color correction is moving toward compositing. And because SCRATCH is more of a compositor, it feels more future-proof to us.


SCRATCH: THE BEST RAW WORKFLOW
Working with RED RAW files is one of the places where we take advantage of SCRATCH's hybrid nature.

We'll be grading and the client will say, "Oh man, I wish there was more detail in that sky," or "I wish there was more detail out of that blown-out window." Because we're working with native RAW instead of transcoded DPX or TIFF files, we can go into the DeBayer settings, roll the ISO down and say, "Look, there's plenty of detail!"

But now that we've rolled down the ISO to compensate for the blown-out areas, everything else is too dark. We could start with a curve to compensate, but SCRATCH has a unique workflow that works much better. We can roll down the ISO to pull out detail, then save that as a version.

Then we'll key the highlights from the same RED file, and we'll pull in the lower-ISO highlights to the higher- ISO midtones, like a pseudo tone map. All of these operations are a simple process using SCRATCH.


SCRATCH-ING THE SURFACE
Digital cameras keep getting better, and they're moving further into high dynamic range imaging. What you're doing at that point is more like data collection than shooting pictures.

You see that with RED EPIC already. You're shooting with so much latitude that the idea of "film stock" is gone. It's more like a "film scanner," and somebody else is going to decide how it looks.

When you think about the implications of a range of 18 stops, your imagination takes over, and it's hard to see a scenario that the EPIC can't handle. It means a lot to us that SCRATCH was the first to support EPIC files natively, which has consistently been the case as each new camera format rolls out.

The end result of EPIC, Alexa and other RAW cameras is that I see creative shifting so far into what we used to think of as post, that we need to come up with a better name than "post production."

Whatever we call it, SCRATCH is going to be in the middle of it at Local Hero.





ADVERTORIAL SPECIAL FEATURE, SPONSORED BY ASSIMILATE, www.assimilateinc.com




Comments

Re: Heroes of RAW Workflow
by Rafael Amador
Great article for an incredible achievement.
My market is very far from needing an "Scratch" today, but who knows.
You are the guys who make things possible.
Congratulations and keep working that way.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


Related Articles / Tutorials:
Assimilate Scratch
ASSIMILATE Opens Online Store

ASSIMILATE Opens Online Store

ASSIMILATE has opened the door to the new online ASSIMILATE Store, which offers an ecosystem of tools surrounding the company’s SCRATCH Lab workflow for production and VFX dailies, as well as the entire SCRATCH product line. Users will have the opportunity to test out SCRATCH Lab before purchasing it, all on the site.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Assimilate Scratch
Prime Focus on Power & Flexibility

Prime Focus on Power & Flexibility

SCRATCH Lab integrates with high-end VFX, grading and compositing systems at Prime Focus UK, with features missing from much higher cost systems.

Feature, People / Interview
Michael Wrightson
Recent Articles / Tutorials:
Cinematography
Five Cinematic Drone Shots For You To Master

Five Cinematic Drone Shots For You To Master

If you tend to put your drone up in the air and then struggle with what to do next, or if you just randomly shoot around filling up your memory card, then this tutorial is for you. Here are 5 cinematic drone shots that, with a little practice, will take your aerial cinematography to the next level.

Tutorial
Adorama TV
Studio Design
Video, Audio, VFX, & Finishing: The Hybrid Suite Revealed!

Video, Audio, VFX, & Finishing: The Hybrid Suite Revealed!

Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media takes us into his newly built suite, which he refers to as the “hybrid suite”, combing editorial, color grading, and audio mixing in one harmonious environment. Installation affordability is this suite's undertone where today's industries are in tight financial climates. With increasing demand for clients wanting “all-in-one” services, building such a suite has proven more important today than ever before. Tips on building your own workspace bookends this in-depth article.

Feature
Marco Solorio
Blackmagic Design Announces Advanced New Blackmagic RAW Codec

Blackmagic Design Announces Advanced New Blackmagic RAW Codec

Blackmagic Design has introduced the public beta of Blackmagic RAW, a new and very modern codec that combines the quality and benefits of RAW with the ease of use, speed and file sizes of traditional video formats. Blackmagic RAW is a more intelligent format that gives customers stunning images, incredible performance, cross platform support and a free developer SDK.


Creative COW
Adobe After Effects
Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use: Pt. 1 - Blend Modes

Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use: Pt. 1 - Blend Modes

Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for the best look behind the technology of blend modes that you've ever seen. This isn't just for graphics and VFX, but for video editors too -- anyone who puts anything together, and wants to learn more about HOW images combine at the most basic level, in a way that applies to every application you might use, whether Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple FCPX, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, VEGAS Pro, and yes, graphics and VFX programs like After Effects, Motion, Fusion, Nuke, Scratch, and many more.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Business & Career Building
Luck: A True Hollywood Story

Luck: A True Hollywood Story

It’s all about who you know, right? But what if you don't know anyone? Yoni Rusnak didn't come to Hollywood until nearly 30, not knowing anyone, yet is rapidly building an enviable resume in both scripted and unscripted TV. He's found that you CAN create luck, using a formula for breaking into the business that everyone can use, in Hollywood or anywhere else.

Feature
Yoni Rusnak
Maxon Cinema 4D
Jiggling Jelly in Maxon Cinema 4D!

Jiggling Jelly in Maxon Cinema 4D!

3D and motion graphics artist Dave Bergin of CG Shortcuts shows how to create and animate jiggling jelly in Maxon Cinema 4D using C4D's Jiggle Deformer.

Tutorial
Dave Bergin
Art of the Edit
What It Takes to Edit Big TV Shows: This Guy Edits

What It Takes to Edit Big TV Shows: This Guy Edits

Sven Pape of "This Guy Edits" joins TV editor Josh Beal (House of Cards, Bloodline) for a close-up look at editing Season 2 of Counterpart, the Starz series starring JK Simmons in a dual role -- which is only the start of the challenges presented by this high-energy sci-fi thriller. Josh dives deep into storytelling techniques, workflow, teamwork, organization, and even offers some insights for people wondering how to get started as TV editors themselves.

Tutorial
Sven Pape
Cinematography
Filming In Small Spaces

Filming In Small Spaces

"Penned" is a narrative series shot on location in New York, which means working in lots of small spaces. The team not only explores how these challenges call upon their highest level of creativity in the shortest amount of time, but also lay out how these challenges give some of the most creative results. The producers, director, and DP all share their tricks and advice including connecting the corners, putting light in Z space, having the lens closer to a foreground element, and utilizing high ceilings.

Tutorial
Adorama TV
MORE
© 2018 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]