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On CS6 and CinemaDNG

There’s been a big resurgence in the CinemaDNG format because of the new Black Magic Camera. Let me take a moment to explain where Adobe is at with supporting it.

First off, go read Todd Kopriva’s most excellent blog posting here: http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2012/09/cinemadng-in-after-effects-cs6-and-elsewhere.html

Let me give you my take on what’s happened with Premiere Pro support.

There was never “official” support for CinemaDNG in past versions of Premiere Pro. There was an experimental plug-in for Premiere Pro CS5 and CS5.5 that was up on the Labs site. CinemaDNG is a HEAVY format to edit directly, and the Premiere Pro engineering group was never really happy with the performance of the experimental plug-in. And, during the CS5/5.5 time frame, there wasn’t a huge interest in the format – only a tiny handful of cameras supported it.

During the CS6 development period, it was decided to not use engineering resources to make a new plug-in for CinemaDNG. The number of downloads of the CS5 and CS5.5 plug-in didn’t justify it. The existing plug-in for After Effects actually shipped with AE, and that support was continued. Also, SpeedGrade was added to CS6, and the SpeedGrade software was actually the first program ever to support CinemaDNG.

The week Adobe announced Premiere Pro CS6 at NAB, Black Magic Design introduced their new camera. They implemented CinemaDNG using the open documentation that’s freely available. It’s an open standard that Adobe gave to the community. Black Magic kept this camera a closely guarded secret, and really surprised the industry – including the Premiere Pro engineering group at Adobe! 🙂

So, where does this leave CinemaDNG support in Premiere Pro? Well, today, there isn’t support for CinemaDNG in Premiere Pro, but Adobe Engineering is listening to what people request. Want to see it in a future version? Submit a feature request here: http://www.adobe.com/go/wish

If you currently own Production Premium CS6, and have the sample files of CinemaDNG footage from the Black Magic Camera, make sure your copy of SpeedGrade has the latest updates and try them out there – SpeedGrade works directly on the RAW files, and the playback/performance is VERY impressive. Jon Barrie recently posted a quick side-by-side comparison of a grade done with the BMC footage, and Speedgrade handles playback of the footage in real-time, even with masks, primaries, secondaries, etc, all stacked together. Check out the demo video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=akLQQ1h10WY

So, there’s a lot of misinformation floating out there that somehow “Adobe killed CinemaDNG.” That’s far from the truth! If you see someone saying that, refer ’em back here! 🙂


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