Photoshop: Improve DPX/Cineon support for sequences

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Hello

I am using PS CS6 to retouch video & scanned film. I would love to see the industry standard Dpx-format better supported. Luckily I can import Dpx-sequences to Photoshop.
If I wish to export same format, no luck.
Native export from Photoshop is not possible - Cineon is not same as Dpx.
There is something fishy in Photoshop written Cineon. I have problems opening it in other system (Quantel, which most surely uses proper industry standars). I have to look into this more.
If I use Adobe Media Encoder path to export Dpx from Photoshop, I cannot select size freely. My scanned film original may be something else than these predefined formats.
Size, bit-depth or colour format must not change. There is no solution that I know of. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

One big problem is also the numbering of exported files. We need the whole 8 digits in the base name! This is required to be able to maintain timecode information throughout the production pipeline. If Photoshop would retain the embedded timecode/frame information, that would be a great plus.

Regards
Jari Hakala
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Jari Hakala

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Posted 5 years ago

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Chris Cox

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DPX And Cineon are almost identical formats, and Photoshop already supports reading and writing most DPX and Cineon variants (not all, since there are some really odd and broken files out there). If you have a variant that isn't supported - we need specifics.

And Photoshop writes Cineon files according to the spec. We haven't seen problems opening the files in other applications, but we don't usually test Quantel software. If Quantel can't read the standard files, they'll have to let us know where their code is having problems.

So the real requests are for AME to support arbitrary sizes on export? We'll need more details about what you need and exactly which options you think need to change (there are too many places for me to just guess).

And to increase the number of digits in file numbering for sequences?

And to preserve the Cineon specific timecode/frame information? (not all of which can be preserved, since Photoshop allows arbitrary image editing, including cropping and resizing)

It's best if you file one request per topic - so we can track them independently, and other users can discuss and vote on them independently. But thank you for including some information about why you need the changes.

P.S. Expect to move away from Cineon/DPX and onto OpenEXR/ACES in the very near future.
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Jari Hakala

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Hello Chris

Thanks for your interest.

Yes, Dpx and Cineon are close. Dpx can be anything Cineon is, but not the other way round.
When I try to open a Dpx sequence, there is only option to read them as Cineon. Is this correct?

Photoshop writes Dpx files only via Media Encoder?



I would like to set any custom resolutions when I export. Now Media Encoder offers only fixed presets. Unless I am not missing something.
It would be great if same resolution would be as a default in export as the original file is. If so desired, you could change the output size to whatever you wish. Frame rate, letterboxing and aspect ratio changes are handled in the export interface nicely.
In my previous job, I had some Dpx sequences sized 2080 x 792 pixels. I could not read them as original file format or export identical Dpx - or give same numbering for the sequence as the originals were. It is important to give back identical files to the effects pipeline.

I will test PS created Cineon file in our Quantel system properly, when I have some spare time. Will report the result.

Yes, at least eight digits maximum for the numbering of sequences, please. Industry standard timecode numbering is important.

If Photoshop would preserve the TC information of the original file, that would be great bonus. Takes away the guess work and possible human errors. (Never happened, but I have heard of it :) ).
I think, Photoshop may do anything it wishes for the file sequence, as long as the first frame of the exported sequence starts with a correct original timecode. This would help a lot. Size, cropping or any spatial processing does not affect timecode.

ACES workflow is great to have, thanks for that.

Apologies for the multiple topics — they are kind of related though?

Cheers

Jari Hakala
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Chris Cox

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Photoshop's Cineon format includes Cineon and DPX (doesn't make sense to have separate code for near identical formats).

But Media Encoder is a separate codebase from the rest of Photoshop (shared with Premiere and AE).

Now that I know exactly which options you're referring to - we can start investigating what might be done to improve them.

I'm not sure if we can preserve the timecode through Photoshop and Media Encoder, but I'll see.

Yeah, kinda related. Internally we'll write it up as several requests going to different people and groups. And I suspect some other users might prioritize some parts of your request over others.
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Jari Hakala

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Still poking this with a stick...

Just an idea: You could actually forget separate codes for Cineon and Dpx. Just ditch the Cineon (It's "obsolete" format anyway [Sorry Kodak]) and use only the Dpx format. Dpx can contain everything Cineon ever is.

Professionally I cannot send any files forward to third parties, having .cin extension on them if they are something else than logarithmic 10-bit RGB files. Dpx on the other hand can be any bit depth, RGB or YUV, any size, logarithmic or linear.

Thanks for your time.

Regards

Jari
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Chris Cox

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Many people still use the base Cineon format. And again, the formats are near identical and share 99% of their code.

We might change the name and default file extension - but even in most other apps, cineon and dpx are the same.