The ultimate control over your images and the flexibility that a Raw codec gives you in post are undeniable advantages. Blackmagic RAW is no exception to that rule. The only downside, however, is that in order to process Blackmagic Raw, you need to use DaVinci Resolve exclusively as it’s currently the only video editing software that supports the format natively.
But what if you want to ingest BRAW footage in Premiere Pro CC? Currently, Adobe’s NLE still doesn’t support BRAW natively, but it doesn’t mean you can’t work with it at all. Gerald Undone has found a neat third-party plugin that brings BRAW workflow to Premiere Pro CC while providing full control over the Raw metadata just as if you are working with it inside DaVinci Resolve.
The solution in question is called BRAW Studio developed by Autokroma. This third-party plugin does not only allow you to import and edit your BRAW clips directly and natively into Premiere Pro CC 2019, but it also brings the included metadata into the Project Panel.
You can tweak and access all Blackmagic RAW parameters such as Exposure, Color Balance, ISO, Contrast etc directly in the Master tab of each clip Effects window. What’s more, BRAW Studio is constantly updated with Blackmagic latest features – new cameras supported (BMPCC 4K, URSA Mini Pro G2), new RAW parameters added (color spaces, gammas, highlight recovery), bug fixes, etc.
In the video above, Gerald demonstrates how you can easily switch between different ISO settings and change clip exposure on the fly in Premiere Pro CC while taking advantage of the Highlight Recovery feature which seems to be an extremely efficient and powerful tool when you want to bring your highlights back without affecting the rest of your image.
Another useful color grading tip covered in the video suggests tweaking your BRAW images in advance and then using the custom metadata by putting it back into your camera. That way, you’ll be able to get consistency between different shots in any given lighting environment thus eliminating the need to tweak your images every time you import them in your NLE.
Beyond that, you get the benefits of 12-bit RAW which in some cases can make a huge difference, especially when you want to eliminate compression artifacts such as banding which is a common issue with cameras using an inferior lower bit codec. Gerald also outlines his color grading workflow when dealing with BRAW by combining the metadata controls provided by BRAW Studio and mixing them with the Lumetri Panel tools and his favorite LUTs.
Overall, BRAW Studio seems to be a convenient solution and a great alternative to using DaVinci Resolve when you want to get full control of your BRAW footage while keeping the advantage of editing and color grading inside Premiere Pro CC.