Spaces Raw: CineForm Raw for Davinci Resolve

For the past couple of months I’ve been wanting to challenge my programming abilities since I’m close to transferring to uni. To do that I decided to try my hand at getting Davinci Resolve to read CineForm Raw (CFR from now on) files as if they were DNGs. I believe I’ve done a fairly sufficient job with this plugin. Here are the “specs” of the plugin.

  • OFX Win64 only (OS X in development)
  • 32 fps 2K 16:9 on i7-3770K Turbo O.C. 4.4 GHz
  • Uses combination of continuous functions and 16b tables of 32b floats to maintain speed and accuracy

Install by copying the bundle folder from the zip here:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\OFX\Plugins\
If you don’t have this folder, you can create it yourself.

I made sure to try to make the plugin as inclusive as possible when it came to options. So here is the complete list as of April 8, 2015.

Input Curve:
  • Protune
  • Optimize for 9 Stops
  • Optimize for 10 Stops
  • Optimize for 11 Stops

Okay, these are the curves that you would choose in the “Advanced Settings” window of GoPro Studio when converting your DNG files. You need to match these up so the plugin can correctly invert the log encoded CF file for color processing. I excluded 12 stop, 13 stop, and video because Resolve didn’t even read them as an image of those curves. So I just opted not to bother with them.

Color Gamut:
  • ACES
  • Bolex Wide Gamut RGB (not official, my proposed spec)
  • DCI P3
  • Rec. 2020
  • Rec. 709/sRGB
  • Sensor RGB/BMD Film

All of your favorite color gamuts! You can now control a CFR file’s output color gamut. I tried to get the most common ones in there.

Output Curve:
  • BMD Film
  • BMD Film 4K
  • Bolex Log (again, my proposed spec)
  • BT.1886
  • Cineon
  • Gamma
  • Scene Referred Linear
  • Sensor RGB
  • sRGB

Again, I tried to get the most common transfer functions. All of these are written according to their official documentation except for BMD Film (4K) which was added from the 12b LUTs included with Resolve. The gamma slider affects only the gamma option. The Sensor RGB transfer function gives the linear data as if you were looking at the uncorrected, linear DNG image. In other words, it doesn’t bring the linear image to scene referred values where middle gray is 0.18, it gives the data as it was recorded.

White Balance:

  • Custom
  • Tungsten (Incandescent) (2850K)
  • White Fluorescent (3450K)
  • Lite White Fluorescent (4150K)
  • Horizon Daylight (5000K)
  • Daylight (5500K)
  • Noon Daylight (6500K)
  • North Sky Daylight (7500K)

Okay, this part’s a little quirky and is likely to confuse some people. You get the normal options for white balance presets and two sliders for temperature and tint. The thing is the numbers on those sliders only update when in Custom mode. So, say you’re using Tungsten. The sliders will still show 6500 and 0 if you haven’t changed them. The sliders also don’t affect the image unless you’re in Custom mode. I know it’s weird, I just haven’t worked out the logic that works with the OFX API yet; I’ll get it fixed eventually.

Exposure Index:

  • 100
  • 200
  • 400
  • 800
  • 1600

I’m not exactly sure what options the Blackmagic cameras have, but these are the ones I thought to be most common. Use these to make the image exposure match what you were shooting at. So if you shot at 1600 ASA on the camera, put that here too, otherwise your exposure will be off. D16 users should set this to 200 if they shot at exposure without underexposing or ETTR.

Highlight Recovery: I attempted to write a highlight recovery algorithm. I think it does a decent job. Of course, it’s not perfect, but it does the job in real time.

Capture

Here we have the plugin in action on a CFR file. The plugin acts as the raw panel and then on nodes after you can do your grading. Here the second has the BMD Film to Rec 709 v2 LUT that comes with Resolve with a wipe to show the difference between the plugin’s BMD Film and the LUT.

And an example by Jon DeNicholas, shot on the D16.

You can download the plugin for free on my downloads page or if you’re feeling generous, you can buy the plugin through PayPal for whatever price you deem it to be worthy. Thank you for visiting my page and taking interest in my work, and I hope you find it useful.

Cheers!

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32 thoughts on “Spaces Raw: CineForm Raw for Davinci Resolve

  1. This is really great. I know Kinefinity community will love this is if it works well with Cineform raw files from the Kinemini 4K. Thank you so much for finding the time and effort. It really is quite sad that there is so little support for this raw codec.

      1. Hi Eddie,

        I am a from the Kinefinity Community & can tell you a lot of people are interested in getting this supported.

        Are there any special kinds of shots you need? Or just any only DNGs from the kinemini cameras? Also, when we have what you need, where can I send the files to?

        Thanks, Saxon.

      2. Hi Saxon,

        I would need a tungsten balanced DNG as close to Illuminant Standard Light A (2956K) as possible. And one at Illuminant D65 (6504K). And one in the middle just to see how the matrices change with CCT in camera. They don’t have to be of anything in particular, I just need the metadata from them. However, I don’t know if the Kine’s contain metadata necessary for scene referred data(comes into play with the output curves). If you can shoot a gray card as close to perfect as possible, I could calculate that metadata if it isn’t there.

        Also, is there a specified color space that you would like to be added? For that I’d need a link to a specification/white paper.

        And you can send the files to iaremrsir@gmail.com

  2. Hi Eddie. This would be a great plugin if I could get it to work. I have installed the folder v1.3b into the Program Files/Common Files/OFX/Plugins folder, but nothing is appearing in Resolve. Experimented by installing the folder in Program Files (x86), putting just the Spaces.ofx.bundle in the OFX folder and tried it in Program Files /Library/OFX/Plugins/.

    Still no luck. Any suggestions about making Resolve 11 (full) recognise the plugin?

    Thanks

    Scott

    1. It will only work in the following path where “C” is your system drive. It’s a 64-bit plugin, so putting it in the 32-bit Program Files won’t work.

      C:\Program Files\Common Files\OFX\Plugins\Spaces.ofx.bundle

      1. Hi Eddie, thanks for the fast reply. Followed your guide, but no success. In Camera RAW in Resolve the MAster Settings remain greyed out. Should I be able to select “Decode Using: clip”?

        My Cineform RAW clips are created by RAW 4 Pro from DNG RAW from BMPCC cameras

        I have seen on the BM forum others are using this plugin so determined to get this working.

    1. Hi Eddie. Downloaded Spaces RAW again and installed it in the relevant folder, but it still doesn’t show up (OFX library in Resolve is empty). So I installed a trial of GenArts Sapphire OFX and the .exe installed the sapphire.ofx in the same folder as Spaces. When I opened Resolve the Sapphire OFX is visible in the OpenFX Panel and works fine, but Spaces RAW is still not there.

      Any ideas?

  3. Eddie, thanks for this, and the latest blog post on the D16. So much appreciate all of your work on the Bolex. Presently (8/2016), do you prefer CineForm Raw, or compressed DNGs via SlimRaw?

    I’ve used CF 422 for years on certain projects, but haven’t used CF Raw yet. Never took the time to mess with it. I even DL’ed Parallels years ago in hopes of running Windows / raw-compatible Cineform Pro on my Mac, since the Mac GoPro Cineform program no longer supported Raw—but I haven’t touched it, years later. Not wanting to throw good time after bad, I’m now weighing giving SlimRaw a shot instead. How do the two compare? I shoot a lot of doc / cinema verite, so I need the space savings. Thank you so much for your guidance. JB

    1. Hello Joe,

      Thanks for commenting. I now prefer compressed DNGs through slimRAW. The new VBR and Lossy 3-5:1 CBR options are great and achieve about the same compression ratios as CF FS1 & 2. And the lossless modes are extremely nice. All modes compress quickly and these DNGs are easier to use with Resolve than the CF files are. The fact that it’s cross-platform makes it even better. And even though Spaces Raw has the advantage of using the Bolex Log color space, we can get Bolex Log using the high-precision LUT I posted not too long ago. So we aren’t missing out on anything really.

      For me slimRAW is worth every cent. The Lossy 5:1 would do you good for doc work.

  4. Cool! Thanks so much. Have you tried the new Losless 10-bit Log out of SlimRaw yet? Would it be better to go Linear–>Log within SlimRaw, for more space savings? (Not sure how this compares to the various lossy settings, but maybe going to Log helps save space there on the front end? It’s also likely that I don’t yet understand this, or know the math. Haha. Thanks!)

    1. I have, and it doesn’t seem to have much more space savings than regular lossless compression. Also, the lossless compression is worlds faster than the 10b log lossless

  5. Good to know. Thanks man, just now trying SlimRaw. More rambling below, only answer if you have the time and the interest.

    So for a typical D16 project workflow. Leaning toward: 1. DOC / high shooting ratio Workflow: D16–> SlimRaw 5:1 Lossy–>edit within Resolve, Export from Resolve. Cross fingers and keep 5:1 as archival, delete original DNG. // 2. NARRATIVE Workflow: D16–>SlimRaw Lossless–>First Light in Resolve–>Export ProRes LT or ProRes for edit Wherever–>Roundtrip back to Resolve for final color, Export. Keep Lossless DNGs if have the space to spare, grumble to myself about keeping DNGs AND ProRes, backing up both over the years, or delete ProRes when I finish the project, if it bothers me that much!

    …I’ve long thought it would be cool to create an “archival / retrieval” proxy preset in Resolve, using Log—which, thanks to your work, we now have for the D16!—and the most efficient 10bit codec currently available. I have no background like yours for understanding whether this makes sense, but the idea would be to create either First Light (if you have a few minutes to spare to do a quick pass) or Log (if you don’t, or maybe either way, for space savings?) Proxies that you quickly could burn to archival BD-R media at a reasonable minutes/GB ratio, right after ingest of the footage. So you’d have something to go back to if disaster strikes, but compressed as much as technologically possible at the time, hopefully without sacrificing too much color, native resolution or motion rendering. Theoretically, in a few extra minutes, you and your computer can do this far better than any camera can, and you could have small but high quality compressed files.

    ‘TECHMOLOGY.’ Like Ali G, having not done maths lately, or studied the latest compression technology, I plead ignorance: it might even be a dumb idea and better to just backup like a motha and hope for the best. Or acknowledge the essentially transitory nature of life on earth. ¯_(ツ)_/¯! OR 5:1 might just be a silver bullet for me, and comparable space savings with other compressions would be negligible.

    Other Lingering D16 Workflow questions:
    -Best practices for resizing/reframing D16 2K footage when finishing to Theatrical DCP or 1080p? When do you reframe/crop, or resize?

    Should I be always shooting with a crop frame in mind, use the edges for image stabilization?

    Perhaps all of this warrants a new blog post once I figure it out—or when you have the time to write your next one, as you probably know the answers to these questions!

    Worth noting: the D16 has already produced fantastic footage for me, using BMD Film and Alexa presets in Resolve, shot on the old firmware, out to ProRes, edited and colored from ProRes, DCP projected at festivals all over the country (many shots in SIR DOUG & THE GENUINE TEXAS COSMIC GROOVE). Just trying to evolve with the times here, squeeze the last drop of greatness from the old D16!, and hopefully simplify my life! So I’ll be following this blog closely. Thanks again, JB

    1. Upon further consideration, for archival purposes it seems there is a key advantage to image sequences (CinemaDNG) over video files (ProRes, h.265) that I hadn’t considered: if one frame is corrupted, you don’t lose the whole shot! (You could rebuild lost frames fairly easily, though admittedly it could get tedious without targeted software or specialized knowledge; whereas once a video file is corrupted—as far as I know—it’s gone.) So perhaps 5:1 C-DNG, or VBR C-DNG could be a good compressed option, for archival? More ‘digitally durable’ than video?

      OR is a ‘first-light’/timed h.265 proxy still attractive, for just how small the files could be: by their small size, less data to be corrupted?

      Somehow the image sequence just seems more stable, intuitively, to me; like a roll of film. Even though I suppose it’s all 0s and 1s. Which is why I’m asking you, instead of declaring to the void of the internet:

      What is the best archival medium, short of a film-out, for digital cinema in 2016? (I’m talking source footage, not your theatrical DCP. DCP is what the Academy film preservation people ask you for—so maybe that’s a hint toward image sequences, over video?)

      [strokes chin] [checks AJA Data Calculator App one more time] Thank you for indulging my errant thoughts here on your blog.

      And thanks again, Eddie, for all of your work and expertise, on behalf of all the D16 shooters out there!

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