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    Is ProRes RAW just compressed RAW in a ProRes wrapper?
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    Senior Member DPStewart's Avatar
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    Hey folks,

    I am trying to get a clear understanding about just what ProRes RAW actually is, and all I'm finding is a lot of "laypersons" explanations of "how great it is, and easy to work with" which doesn't really tell us what's under the hood.

    Seeing as how there are already at least half a dozen different Compressed RAW formats out there already I guessed that it's just a form of Compressed RAW put into a ProRes wrapper in some way.

    Is this accurate? Or can someone else give us a clearer more accurate explanation?

    Thanks superheroes!
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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    So far all I have seen is a lot of hype and one rather vague white paper.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Knoop View Post
    So far all I have seen is a lot of hype and one rather vague white paper.
    Yup..that's all I'm finding too.
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    Is ProRes RAW just compressed RAW in a ProRes wrapper?
    There is a dearth of technical detail, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder, what else could it be?

    ProRes's principle of compression is something called the Discrete Cosine Transform. You don't need to understand what it means right now. It's just the way that ProRes finds ways to express the same image in fewer words.

    That method is also used by the JPEG file format. In fact it is used by almost every video codec: DV, MPEG, etc. The only other compression technique I have heard of is wavelets, which is used by JPEG2000, REDCODE, and Cineform. Anyway, the recent lossy RAW codecs all use JPEG. So CinemaDNG has a lossy compression option now, and it's based on JPEG. Blackmagic shortly after started including lossy RAW in its cameras, and I have heard it is essentially lossy CinemaDNG (though I don't know if Blackmagic follows the spec in every single way). You've also heard about slimRAW? Same deal.

    So we have already proven methods of compressing RAW, based on JPEG. ProRes is like JPEG, so likewise it should be straightforward now to apply ProRes's formula to RAW files.

    In case the question (by you or anyone else) is, is a new kind of compression used: I think no, for three reasons: (1) the public-relations announcements say "same technology," which is vague but, (2) coming up with a new formula is a lot of work, and (3) if they had come up with a new formula, they would be shouting it from the rooftops.

    In case the question is, is ProRes RAW compressed at all, then I think Apple's white paper says that it is.

    prores_raw_ratios.png

    --- https://images.apple.com/final-cut-p...hite_Paper.pdf

    I had a nebulous understanding of the Discrete Cosine Transform. I had even read a book about it. But it wasn't until I found and watched this set of videos that it finally got clear: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread...s&p=1986750493 . You can thank yourself for prompting me to break down and finally look for a good video or two.
    Last edited by combatentropy; 04-14-2018 at 11:52 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by combatentropy View Post
    There is a dearth of technical detail
    I can't find anything about white balance. If its raw then its the image off the sensor before its been debayered. Can someone explain why there is no whitebalance adjustment. (Yes I know you can still grade the image.)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry1908 View Post
    I can't find anything about white balance. If its raw then its the image off the sensor before its been debayered. Can someone explain why there is no whitebalance adjustment. (Yes I know you can still grade the image.)
    There’s white balance controls in FCPX... my understanding is that you use the normal controls in the software... there’s no special “raw” controls...

    Also all cameras shoot raw differently... for example the raw of the FS5/7/700 have white balance baked in their raw...
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    Why does this whole idea give me the feeling of smoke and mirrors?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_E View Post
    Why does this whole idea give me the feeling of smoke and mirrors?
    Because there are already an armful of compressed RAW formats, and because like combatentropy stated above, if they had come up with a NEW encoding method they would be shouting it from the rooftops.
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    Quote Originally Posted by combatentropy View Post
    There is a dearth of technical detail, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder, what else could it be?

    ProRes's principle of compression is something called the Discrete Cosine Transform. You don't need to understand what it means right now. It's just the way that ProRes finds ways to express the same image in fewer words.

    That method is also used by the JPEG file format. In fact it is used by almost every video codec: DV, MPEG, etc. The only other compression technique I have heard of is wavelets, which is used by JPEG2000, REDCODE, and Cineform. Anyway, the recent lossy RAW codecs all use JPEG. So CinemaDNG has a lossy compression option now, and it's based on JPEG. Blackmagic shortly after started including lossy RAW in its cameras, and I have heard it is essentially lossy CinemaDNG (though I don't know if Blackmagic follows the spec in every single way). You've also heard about slimRAW? Same deal.

    So we have already proven methods of compressing RAW, based on JPEG. ProRes is like JPEG, so likewise it should be straightforward now to apply ProRes's formula to RAW files.

    In case the question (by you or anyone else) is, is a new kind of compression used: I think no, for three reasons: (1) the public-relations announcements say "same technology," which is vague but, (2) coming up with a new formula is a lot of work, and (3) if they had come up with a new formula, they would be shouting it from the rooftops.

    In case the question is, is ProRes RAW compressed at all, then I think Apple's white paper says that it is.

    prores_raw_ratios.png

    --- https://images.apple.com/final-cut-p...hite_Paper.pdf

    I had a nebulous understanding of the Discrete Cosine Transform. I had even read a book about it. But it wasn't until I found and watched this set of videos that it finally got clear: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread...s&p=1986750493 . You can thank yourself for prompting me to break down and finally look for a good video or two.
    Thanks man, that was super helpful.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________
    Cameras: Panasonic: GH2, GH3, GH4, Sony: RX100 ii, Canon: 6D, T2i, 80D, SL2, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x3),
    Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
    Lights: Every Chinese clone you can imagine


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    To say it’s “just” compressed RAW in a ProRes wrapper is to say getting a man on the moon is “just” sitting him on top of a big rocket. Yes the mathematical concept of ProRes video and ProRes RAW codecs are similar, but there is a LOT that needs to be accounted for otherwise the results would be useless. There’s a lot of math in there that Apple won’t be sharing anytime soon unless you’re a developer. Note that the new codecs are only 1/3 or 1/4 compressed which is a consideration that had to be made for the RAW data.

    The big deal here is that you are working natively in RAW while in FCPX. All of the color correction and any fx are applied to the raw data, which is only rendered out at the very end for your deliverable. That’s huge.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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