Working with ARRIRAW

The Digital Lab

Camera raw material is typically converted or transcoded into formats that are appropriate for dailies review, editorial and visual effects.  This is because viewing and editing ARRIRAW data in real-time, while possible, is extremely processor and storage intensive.   The Digital Lab concept, encompassing part data wrangler and part telecine colorist, was developed to bridge this gap and facilitate the generation of deliverable in an efficient and effective manner.

The following steps are an example how ARRIRAW footage could be run through the digital lab workflow:

  • Check the media contents for possible issues (duplicate time code or file names).
  • Collect and back up copies from of the original camera footage and audio recordings.
  • Provide checksum-verification of the copied data ensuring that copies are identical to the original footage.
  • Complete shot reports (scene/take information, filters used, comments, etc.) based on script notes.
  • Sync sound to camera footage.
  • Color correct the material for dailies review or apply recorded CDL data to the image.
  • Generate deliverables for review and editing (e.g. ProRes422 for screening on location, H.264 for the director's iPad, and MXF DNxHD36 for editing).
  • Provide collected footage for post production as original ARRIRAW or processed to e.g. DPX files.
  • Archive the ARRIRAW footage from the interim storage to LTFS tape.
  • Clear the recording media and prepare it to be re-used by the camera crew.
  • Once post production reviewed the camera footage and sent their OK, clear the interim storage to free up space for new camera footage.

The specifics of a production will dictate, which tools will be used, if all of these tasks will be performed or if further tasks (e.g. in a 3D production) will be required and if the tasks will be performed, for example, on location or in post production.

There are almost an infinite number of possible combinations that can manifest when establishing a workflow.
We highly recommend that you put your specific workflow through a practical test before principle photography starts.
This will give you a chance to identify, adjust and refine any incompatibilities before action is called.