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Adobe Ending Support for CinemaDNG in Premiere Pro

Speaking of CinemaDNG, its creator, Adobe, has been very lukewarm in terms of support for the format. Photoshop and After Effects have always had compatibility since they can use the Camera RAW plugin, but Premiere has only had experimental support since CS 5.5. Now they have announced that they are pulling support for the CS 5.5 plugin. A recent post simply stated that the CinemaDNG initiative would be discontinued and no longer hosted on Adobe Labs. That statement has since been updated, but click through for the full explanation about what this really means for users of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and the future of the format on Adobe’s software.

Here is the full explanation of the situation:

What this is intending to communicate is simply that the experimental plug-in for CinemaDNG for Premiere Pro CS5.5 was removed from the Adobe Labs website. The CinemaDNG format continues to be an open format, and its development is not limited to Adobe. CinemaDNG files can still be opened by any current Adobe application that includes the Camera Raw plug-in for importing DNG files. This includes After Effects and Photoshop. Also, we just issued a bug-fix update for SpeedGrade that makes it work better with CinemaDNG files.

Even though more cameras are now supporting the format, Adobe doesn’t see it necessary to provide support in Premiere since the marketshare is so low. As of right now, off the top of my head, three cameras are capable of outputting RAW CinemaDNG files: the Ikonoskop S16 camera, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and the Aaton Penelope Delta – with plenty more on the way, like the open source Apertus Axiom 4K camera. This is part of the reasoning for not including native support in Premiere:

The answer is simply that we have not been satisfied with the performance that we have been able to achieve with CinemaDNG files in Premiere Pro, in which real-time playback is crucial. If it’s important to you that we add native import of CinemaDNG footage into Premiere Pro, please let us know with a feature request so that we can get a sense of whether this is an area where we need to put more effort.

We would certainly encourage all NoFilmSchool readers to ask Adobe for full support in Premiere, especially since so many users will be using Premiere to edit footage shot on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. It would be very handy to have full support even without perfect full-resolution playback. We will see what the response will be like, but if Blackmagic sells enough cameras, there will be quite a vocal audience who will be shooting RAW files and want support in their editor, and since Adobe created the format, it makes sense that they have the best chance at getting a better looking result with their real-time debayering and downscaling in RAW.

You can click above or find the link below to request that Adobe include CinemaDNG support in Premiere.


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Description image 57 COMMENTS

  • Done. Just submitted a feature request.

    If Adobe is serious about becoming the new leader in the NLE market, they have to realize that raw recording and editing is the future. I expect major manufacturers to follow suit in a few years, once we’ve all traded in our crappy h.264 DSLRs for BMCC raw yummies…

    • Joe Marine on 10.2.12 @ 4:38AM

      Thanks Richard – the NoFilmSchool community could make a real difference in this situation if we all ask Adobe for this support.

      • I completely agree. This is a big opportunity for this community to do something positive and edifying for the production world.

      • Hi, I made a request too, but David Mcgavran replied and said : “5D Mark 3 doesn’t support CinemaDNG”.
        and I explained to him that recently 5DmIII is able to record 1080P 25P 14bit Raw.
        But no reply. Anyone can help? please!

  • Done ……. but this has to be the stupidest move Ive ever seen…… Many if not all of the new age cameras are flocking to DNG, and you just decide to pull the plug ? if they did this a year or two ago i would understand but now?

    Digital Bolex

    all will have onboard support or already have it …… what exactly are they thinking ?

  • I kind of get why they have done it.

    Premiere is supposed to be a real time play back program. Thats the whole point, thats what the experience is supposed to be. If software and hardware are not at this point capable of doing that, then I can have sympathy for adobe’s position.

    All it really means is that if you want to do your grading as a final step using the raw files you will need to go back to the future with an offline/online workflow.

    • Lucas Adamson on 10.2.12 @ 7:18PM

      I agree. Offlining is the way to go for RAW files for the cut, and then back to RAW for the grade. I haven’t attempted to edit raw files in Premiere, but if it just can’t be implemented to be a satisfying editing experience, why bother supporting it?

    • I think you’re right on the money.

  • Some guy who's opinion doesn't matter on 10.2.12 @ 8:03AM

    And here I was commending Adobe for creating an open format just days ago. This is a HUGE hit to open source formats. They should drop support for .ari, .cine, and r3d’s as well, then.

    I’m of the opinion that Red, Arri, and Vision Research should all stop using proprietary formats on their cameras. One of the biggest reasons the Black Magic Camera excites me is the open source format. If it didn’t have that, I’d be very lukewarm about such a small sensor on an EF mount camera.

  • Or, maybe Adobe has some better idea of RAW video format that just runs better for realtime editing. Maybe BMC could adapt that in a new update :)

  • Done. Let’s hope they listen :) Would love to have support for DNG along with everything else I’m ingesting in Premiere.

  • Deejayanix on 10.2.12 @ 9:22AM

    They just want to create a new raw plugin, that will work as you so wish BUT they will ask you to purchase it. In my thoughts they just want to make a business case for cinema DNG like red do.

  • not just cameras.. external recorders too..
    Black Magic Hypershuttledeck
    also Atmos Ninja and samurai external recorders are adding support for it..
    (now that I have written that I wonder if it was the avid DNxHD instead)

  • Everyone and their mother needs to submit a feature request for DNG support for CS6. ASAP!!!!!

    Adobe is being ridiculous.

  • Request sent!

  • Adobe may be the new Avid in more ways than we hoped…

  • Done, hope they change their minds soon!

  • what other options are out there that you guys would recommend other then adobe premier that supports cinema dng for editing.

  • Adobe is being ridiculous, but you’d probably use Resolve to deal with the raw files anyway, using proxies to edit.

    Having said that, I don’t get why it’s such a big deal playing CinemaDNG. My tests with a 2-3 year old iMac (Core 2 Duo) over FW800 and FCPX were fine. It was like playing back H.264, ie. no rendering, real time playback, but not displaying full quality until paused. I didn’t stress it or anything, but it didn’t seem like a big deal.

    In any case, the upshot was FCPX couldn’t make raw adjustments, so you’d need Resolve anyway. I would like to hope Apple would add full raw support for CinemaDNG to FCPX before long.

  • Note that until this gets resolved you can always transcode CinemaDNG files to another format in After Effects, and then import them into Premiere Pro. This is mentioned in the Adobe blog article.

  • This is the thing I haven’t understood about Adobe over the last few years. They’ve been fully committed to their video products, as Premiere Pro has especially gotten much better. They bought Speedgrade, they’ve integrated RED support, they’ve done all sorts of nifty accelerations using GPUs, and they came back to the Mac with their video products. I’m fully an Adobe guy now and don’t touch Apple’s software.

    But I find it interesting that Avid has DNxHD, Apple has ProRes, and Cineform has their own codec… but what is a good codec to edit with in Premiere Pro? There is no “native” compression scheme. I and a lot of other people end up using ProRes in Premiere Pro which long-term doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. And then the one format that they’re fully behind, DNG, they drop support for in their NLE, just as several cameras are coming out with it? I see an opportunity for them to offer their own free codec ala ProRes that’s built into the Creative Suite, but we don’t have such a solution.

    CinemaDNG is a great idea but the practicality of it at this point just isn’t there. And even when there is more support out there — it’s uncompressed. The file sizes are MASSIVE. It makes me appreciate more what RED has done with a compressed RAW workflow… and I’m glad Adobe has done so much to support .R3Ds natively. But I do wonder if they’re leaving out their own codec solutions…

  • Sent feature request. Not really going to benefit from it just yet, but in joining the community spirit :-)

  • sent.

    i hope they realize that the black magic cinema camera will help sell premiere if they support it.

  • john jeffreys on 10.2.12 @ 3:02PM

    I dont get the love for premiere. awful 90′s interface, no dynamic timeline, no native audio sync, and now apparently no cinema dng, whats appealing about it?

    • It’s an excellent editing tool. It integrates really well with After Effects. Have you used it lately? It’s interface is spartan, yes, but what do you want out of an NLE? It’s the same as the rest of Adobe’s products.

      Usually if you “don’t get the love” for something I would try it out. Free trial. It has an excellent playback engine and new features like HoverScrub will remind you of FCP X (which I assume you like, given your “dynamic timeline” comment).

    • It works. And it doesn’t assume it’s smarter than the editor.

    • john jeffreys on 10.2.12 @ 4:58PM

      I have CS5 on my computer and I frequently use illustrator, flash and soundbooth. On FCP X I edit super comfortably, and its a pleasurable experience. I like it as much as actually shooting. Premiere was always like a chore, like something disciplinary or something I had to “learn”. Bad vibes. I’ll give it another shot though, but I swear by FCP.

      • mikko löppönen on 10.3.12 @ 8:37AM

        FCP X is like imovie pro. It frankly sucks. CS6 all the way.

        • john jeffreys on 10.3.12 @ 1:10PM

          According to you. CS6 is like what the flintstones use to edit. We all have opinions.

          • Re: john jeffreys “I dont get the love for premiere. awful 90′s interface” No John, an awful 90′s interface would be more like Avid Media Composer. Avid MC has a tough, abstract interface that’s far far harder to navigate and use than Premiere Pro. Avid as a company has also been going through some very rough financial times. My bet is that Adobe Premiere will overtake and outlast both Media Composer and FCPX.

          • john jeffreys on 10.4.12 @ 4:17PM

            I’ve never used Avid in my life and have never even seen somebody using it ever. I guess I should be thankful for that.
            Anyway, I like how premiere has native .r3d support, but thats really it; FCP X changed my life, I drank the kool aid and it tastes amazing. It really changes the way you edit. Just go to the apple store and give it a shot on one of their mac pros. They have some raw footage (an audi commercial or something) that you can cut with there.

          • Lucas Adamson on 10.4.12 @ 6:21PM

            I really wanted to like FCP X, even after all the bad press. I figured I’m the kind of guy that would appreciate a fast new way to edit, and put the fun back into the experience. I absolutely HATED it. I was confused and bewildered, by the jargon, by the file structure, by the automation of things I wanted control over. CS6 is like an old friend – I already know how to use it, and it works very well.

          • Personally, I’ve always been more comfortable in Premiere as I’ve been using it since Premiere Pro 2.0 (before creative suites existed).

            Over the last few years I have worked fairly closely with a studio feature editor, that for most of his career only used FCP, then X came out and he decided to try out Premiere and the rest of the suite.
            Sure, it took him some time to get totally oriented in the new environment, but I don’t think he’s gone back to FCP to work since CS5.5.

            He put himself out of his comfort zone and gave himself the time to get used to the new NLE.
            I’d advise trying a similar approach if interested, but just jumping over, mashing a few buttons, dragging a few clips and claiming “this interface sucks” before uninstalling does not count as trying out software.

      • Christian Anderson on 11.12.12 @ 7:26PM

        “Premiere was always like…something disciplinary or something I had to “learn”.”

        Haha! I guess it’s just not for lazy people.

  • Done. Hate to give BM another reason to delay their camera… :(

  • I wouldn’t worry too much about Adobe, CS6 was really good proof that they listen to their users. Just keep sending requests.

  • Andrius Simutis on 10.4.12 @ 3:36PM

    I was under the impression that CinemaDNG was just being shifted out of the Lab and not being phased out or EOL’d. Unlike software programs that need constant development, codecs can be finalized and then just exist on their own for everyone’s use. I think development and implementation shouldn’t be confused in this case. DVD hasn’t been in development in any real sense since the 1990′s but that doesn’t mean it’s not being used. MPEG2 is still MPEG2, but the tools to make it look better have been in constant development even if the actual codec hasn’t changed.

    • Joe Marine on 10.4.12 @ 4:27PM

      Yes it’s not being phased out or anything as it still works with Photoshop and After Effects, the issue though is that you have no option to get the CinemaDNGs back into Premiere natively, and there are situations where people might want to do this.

  • With all the excitement generated over the BMCC, is this Adobe’s idea of a reality check from a post production standpoint? I’m not sure I’m clear, as maybe many of us are not, on what the implications really are for a RAW workflow. Can someone please outline for me what the process is or will be for editing CinemaDNG footage from this camera if it is not supported natively by NLEs?

  • Miha Horvat on 11.1.12 @ 12:51PM

    So that means that you cant anymore edit raw files in adobe edit programs?

  • This is another example of Adobe stubbornly refusing to take advantage of any kind of intermediate codec. If they just supported background rendering to ProRes or an equivalent, they could offer full native support for CinemaDNG. Those with super sick systems could edit real-time without rendering, but slower systems would still have a fall-back that doesn’t require transcoding in AE or other software. Needing to transcode in advance to a proxy format certainly defeats the greatest advantage of a real-time, format agnostic NLE.

    More on background rendering:

    It’s bizarre that Adobe wouldn’t want to push a built-in advantage with the BMCC.

  • Guys,
    Blackmagic surprised everyone when they launched the camera, including us. If you want to put Cinema DNG back on the table, an intermediate codec, or get background rendering into the mix for Premiere Pro, you have to make a feature request.

    Kevin Monahan
    Social Support Lead, DV Products

    • That makes sense, Kevin. I hope that means Adobe is willing to consider the advantages of proxy formats and background rendering in this particular case!

  • Adobe pulled the plugin for 5.5 and CS6 so they can add it in future versions of Premiere Pro CC… that way all those people who bought BMCC, IKONSCOPS, and DIGIAL BOLEX… gots to pay for a sunscription to get the feature set. Adobe is not dumb… they just wants the money,

  • Adobe is giving someone a chance to develop a plugin for Premier then they buy you out. Magic Bullet prove then wrong.