What stands out among these cameras is the RAW support in BRAW, which allows you to use the information obtained from the sensor as high-bit, 4:4:4 data, and with a low data rate due to compression.
Many people own a Blackmagic camera, or are considering this to purchase one. However, as a Final Cut Pro user, it is sad that BRAW, which is its charm, cannot be used with Final Cut Pro.
Now, there is a light on the horizon, for those of us who want to use Blackmagic cameras. Introducing the BRAW Toolbox. Developed by LateNite Films. If you are an avid user of Final Cut Pro, you may be familiar with “CommandPost developer” from LateNite Films.
Editing using BRAW in Final Cut Pro is possible, although some degree of divisiveness is required. Editing data can also be passed to DaVinci Resolve via FCPXML in conjunction with the tool’s functions. In other words, it is also considered as a BRAW offline editing application in Final Cut Pro. Go offline with fast editing in Final Cut Pro and finish with the delicate and rich capabilities of DaVinci Resolve. It’s a fascinating system.
Introducing the BRAW Toolbox. English available with closed captioning.
Let’s organize some information.
Software that can use BRAW data is represented by DaVinci Resolve, Avid, Adobe, Grass Valley, and others. In addition, the BRAW SDK has been released, and there are applications and utilities that use them. The BRAW Toolbox also uses the BRAW SDK. You can feel the strategic solidity of Blackmagic Design (hereafter: BMD).
From the perspective of Final Cut Pro, there is a history of challenges to BRAW. Before BRAW Toolbox came out, there was a utility to convert to general movie data. However, in this case, in order to accept BRAW’s high-quality video, the movie to be converted needed several times the amount of data as the original BRAW. In addition, conversion processing time was required.
Finally, freed from these problems, the BRAW Toolbox has appeared.
What the BRAW ToolBox can do
By using the BRAW Toolbox, BRAW data can be used in Final Cut Pro without conversion. As for the image quality, it is produced by BRAW SDK and is BMD company quality.
Of course, parameters for de-bayering can also be adjusted, and tone and color space conversions are also possible. Recorded metadata and timecode are also supported. Editing will be fine.
As for the speed, it operates at high speed for the contents to be processed. Of course, it is inferior to DaVinci Resolve in the same environment.
How the BRAW ToolBox Works
The BRAW Toolbox is a utility and does not enhance Final Cut Pro itself. So there is some kind of “mechanism”. Let’s see how it works. My theory is that editors involved in the business need not be able to develop, but they should know how it works. This is to troubleshoot.
I made a simple diagram.
Draw a BRAW image as an “effect” using FxPlug from the BRAW SDK.
Audio is cut out as single data (an additional audio file is generated at this time). This is because filtering omits the audio. Synchronize it within the FCP compound clip to form a body of one clip.
Up to this point, the BRAW Toolbox is used for processing. By the way, even in this form, it is possible to change the RAW parameters in post-processing.
There are also functions that assume an actual workflow. When editing, compound clips are arranged side by side, but there is no problem in itself. There’s just one thing to worry about. That’s when I pass on the edits to DaVinci Resolve in FCPXML. As before, the BRAW part is a composite clip that includes effects, so it cannot be passed to DaVinci Resolve correctly. Therefore, there is also a function to organize the contents of FCPXML (replace the contents of compound clips described in FCPXML with BRAW files).
If the operation is heavy, you can lower the decoding quality and make the operation comfortable. Perfect for offline use.
Future versions of BRAW Toolbox will include the ability to convert to movie data like other utilities. Although it is a data-intensive method, it is a method that has its merits and will allow you to apply color management using Final Cut Pro’s nclc.
The BRAW Toolbox will free creators from absurd ties. “Use your favorite editing software with your favorite camera.” That’s all. It will come true.
*The description is an evaluation of the beta version.
Interview with the author of BRAW Toolbox
Could you tell us about yourself and your company?
Hello. I’m Chris Hocking, developer of CommandPost, BRAW Toolbox and Gyroflow Toolbox. I am the co-founder of LateNite Films, a film and television production company based in Melbourne, Australia.
After I started operating and repairing animatronics on BBC children’s shows, I moved into lighting design and technical production management for live productions. I really enjoyed working with him as the lighting designer for the Moscow Circus tour in South Africa and Taiwan, and as the lighting designer for Sony Music’s major domestic and international artists.
I have also directed thousands of high-end commercials, several short films, feature films and documentaries as post-production supervisor at Melbourne’s award-winning editing company, The Butchery, and finishing company The Refinery.
At LateNite Films, Series Producer of SBS2’s series ‘The Wizards of Aus’, Co-Producer of Melbourne-based Fairy Tale Unit of Foxtel’s mini-series ‘Lamb of God’, Peking Duk, Cosmo’s Midnight, Rufus du Sol, American Doubles and Casey, I have co-produced music videos for artists such as Donovan and Guy Pearce.
I shoot music videos underwater, throw stunt performers off cliffs, and turn stop-motion skeletons into stars in live-action short films. I have extensive experience in editing and sound design.
I edited Fremantle Australia’s “Neighbors-Erinsborough High” spin-off series in Final Cut Pro X, including grading and sound mixing.
What made you want to create the BRAW Toolbox?
Color Finale Transcoder can quickly and easily convert BRAW files to ProRes, all via a very sophisticated Workflow Extension. This is a great application and I highly recommend purchasing it.
It also has a nice “EditReady”. Convert BRAW to ProRes with power and plenty of control. This is also recommended for purchase.
But the problem with transcoding footage is that it requires extra time and extra storage.
As hardcore users of Final Cut Pro, clients hand us SSDs containing 2-4TB worth of BRAW footage. I was frustrated that I had to convert to ProRes before I could start editing in Final Cut Pro.
We love using DaVinci Resolve, but Final Cut Pro is our editing tool of choice for many reasons, so we wanted a solution that would allow native access to BRAW files.
For some reason, Apple doesn’t prioritize BRAW support, and doesn’t seem willing to help Blackmagic implement BRAW support in Final Cut Pro.
The BRAW Toolbox lets you import BRAW files directly into Final Cut Pro, giving you full control over RAW and access to metadata from all your cameras.
What are you thinking of making next?
Depending on the success of BRAW Toolbox and Gyroflow Toolbox, we will not only continue to expand and improve CommandPost, but also “spin-off” CommandPost’s more niche “Toolboxes” (such as Sony Timecode Repair) into independent apps with their own workflow extensions. I would like to. I’m also very interested in how technologies like OpenAI’s Whisper and ChatGPT can make life easier for editors.
Thank you very much for your time.
Other Software Designed by Mr. Hocking
I have been watching the BRAW Toolbox since it was first released, and it has been highly practical since its early days, probably because it is intended for our own use. I think the idea of the function to be implemented is also based on the experience in the field, but it is wonderful.
BRAW Toolbox : Aiming to be available on the Mac App Store by the end of January 2023, $39.99 for the first week and $79.99 after February 13, 2023.
CommandPost : A popular utility for core Final Cut Pro users. Enables hidden features of FCP as well as numerous enhancements.
Gyroflow Toolbox : A tool that applies camera shake data corrected by Gyoflow to FCP based on gyro information in the camera and external sensors.