Brief History of ProRes RAW with Steve Bayes
Welcome to Part 1 of the ProRes RAW Knowledge Series. As this series progresses, so too will our information and samples unfold so you may begin to harness the power of this new age tool. In upcoming videos we’ll take a deep dive into this codec with a wide variety of filmmakers in real world scenarios. See the power and flexibility of ProRes RAW in real workflows, and discover all the benefits of choosing this modern format for your own future workflow.
Accelerated by the need to create a unified and robust compressed RAW format within the industry at large, Apple ProRes RAW driven by Atomos products has burst onto the scene giving users a file that has the power of ProRes and the flexibility of RAW. In this ProRes RAW Knowledge Series, we will cover how ProRes Raw came to be with Apple’s legacy ProRes formats, as well as explore samples, applications, and even provide tips & tricks to help you on your next ProRes RAW project.
The standard ProRes format was developed by Apple in 2007 as an answer to unite digital video formats under a family of flavored compression architypes. Before the emergence of ProRes, Long-GOP digital compressions provided small file sizes, yet these formats left much to be desired in the category of image & motion. With Apple’s infinite wisdom, they identified a need by working professionals to create a compression archetype for both acquisition and delivery. With ProRes, the compressed video format captured every single frame (no interpolation), with manageable file sizes, and without hinderance to user’s CPU performance.
In 2018 Apple partnered with Atomos to capture raw data direct from multiple camera sensors into a manageable file format to democratize and unite the industry. As before, these files had to be small in size, and could not be CPU intensive. A true raw format also had to retain all of the RGB pixel values from the sensor data including ISO and WB, without any debayer compression, or camera profiling to be baked into the files. As a result, ProRes Raw was born. The ProRes RAW codec is capable of maintaining all of the sensor data, when paired with Atomos capable products the end user can harness the power of raw by taking in and storing that data in the ProRes Raw file format. This gives users the ability to leverage all the benefits of the raw, enabling you to change multiple variables such as ISO and White Balance in post-production when editing in Final Cut Pro. With an Atomos recorder capturing in ProRes Raw, you can shift the entire image on a dime, gifting colorists with the ultimate capability to maximize their tonal luminance range. This is all packaged neatly, matching file sizes equivalent to Legacy HQ and ProRes 4444 compression formats.
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