If you’ve been paying attention to what’s going on at Frame.io lately, you’ve heard a lot of buzz around the Camera to Cloud (C2C) workflow.
In the simplest terms, Camera to Cloud means that you can now send proxy files instantly from almost any camera to Frame.io in the cloud for immediate viewing or for your editor to start cutting.
But that’s only part of the story.
At the Cine Gear LA convention earlier this month, we devised a way to demonstrate the full Frame.io end-to-end process in what we called “The Workflow Zone.”
If you weren’t at the show, the way it was structured was that visitors to our booth had a take of themselves captured at the first station, and moved from station to station to follow the process of how that take went from camera, to cloud, to CDL, to dailies, to editorial and through final grading and viewing in 4K HDR in Apple TV—in real time. It was all accomplished through a range of integrated product partnerships, using Frame.io as the cloud-based collaboration layer that connects them.
This workflow has evolved into much more than just not having to ship drives at the end of a shoot. Now it’s a way to go directly from your camera through post-production without ever having to download or ship anything to anyone, anywhere. Your footage is all in one secure place, in the cloud, where you can instantly access everything you need from the moment the camera cuts through your final delivery.
So how did we do it?
Camera to cloud
We demonstrated the workflow using the Teradek Serv 4K with a RED Komodo. The Serv 4K, which can mount right on your camera, automatically uploads an HEVC 4K proxy file to Frame.io the moment the camera cuts—after each take.
Working in a crowded space with lots of people vying for Wi-Fi or LTE? We used 5G hotspots from partners Sclera Digital and FirstMile Technologies to enable reliable connectivity to Frame.io from the show floor.
Meanwhile, the Sound Devices 888 field recorder connects via ethernet to the 5G modem, allowing full-bandwidth audio files to upload at the same time, and creating a new asset in its own folder in Frame.io that can be automatically synced to the video.
The color pipeline
We used an ACES color pipeline to preserve the highest level of image quality throughout the process. Our sample clip was shot in RED Log3G10, ensuring an ideal outcome for HDR viewing.
Newly integrated with Frame.io is Pomfort LiveGrade, which allows the DIT to apply a CDL (color decision list). This means that the director and DP can now view the files in a way that looks very close to what they intended to shoot on an iPad or iPhone, in HDR, while they’re still there on set—which means they’re able to make any tweaks or adjustments to the production design or lighting while they’re shooting.
In the next step of the process, color-corrected dailies can be created using our integration in Colorfront Express Dailies, a cloud-based color correction tool, which means that editors no longer have to wait for dailies. All the dailies colorist (who can be either on- or off-set) has to do is to open the original Log file, get the LUT and CDL information from Pomfort LiveGrade, apply that to the synced video file, and sync back to Frame.io.
Worried about security? Using the Frame.io Enterprise Watermark ID function, the dailies can also be created with visible watermarks along with burned-in timecode windows—or whatever else the editorial team might need.
With the dailies ready to go and Frame.io’s native integration into Adobe Premiere Pro, editors or post-production collaborators can upload either the original Log files or the color-corrected dailies to start cutting immediately. Frame.io is now included as part of the Creative Cloud subscription, so there’s nothing additional you need to buy in order to start using it.
That means that an editor, who may be anywhere in the world, can start editing while the shoot is ongoing. Imagine there’s a complex scene or sequence that an editor needs to cut together to ensure that all coverage has been captured. Now, they can literally do it on the spot and request additional angles or inserts, or can assuage any fears by letting the on-set crew know that they’ve got what they need so the team can move on to the next setup.
An editor, who may be anywhere in the world, can start editing while the shoot is ongoing.
We recently showed the workflow the four-time NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors, used to capture Steph Curry’s three-point record-breaking basket. Within minutes, they were able to share it with the world over social media. It’s that kind of speed and reliability that really drives home the value of this workflow.
The big finish
So you’ve shot, you’ve gotten dailies, you’ve edited. What if you now want to do a high-quality digital intermediate finish? That’s where the new Frame.io integration into FilmLight’s Baselight comes in.
Again, without leaving the cloud, you can access the original 4K H.265 10-bit 4:2:2 files that were uploaded from the camera and do a color correction that’s (in many cases) completely suitable for a final deliverable.
The icing on the cake? With the new Apple TV 4K integration for Frame.io Enterprise, you can watch that grading session on a 4K HDR monitor and then leave frame-accurate notes for your colorist through the Frame.io web or mobile app in the Baselight session—as it’s happening, no matter where you are. Or, you can send the graded deliverables to clients to approve, or even to air—without ever exchanging any physical media.
For that matter, you could even watch dailies or cuts, or any of the other steps or stages of the workflow in 4K. All of the folders and assets in Frame.io are accessible to you through the Apple TV app.
The power of one
So what does all of this mean? It means that we’re talking about nothing less than a new workflow paradigm.
Frame.io and Camera to Cloud isn’t about providing the hardware or software to solve for every individual step of the process. It’s about providing the connection between all of the tools you love to use so that you have the ability to create and control your ideal workflow.
Frame.io gives you one login, one password, one location, one security system, and one admin system—that your team can access from anywhere in the world. It’s basically what creatives have dreamed of: there’s now one app that unites all your tools and all your collaborators with all your content.
How do we know it’s what you’ve dreamed of? Because we created Frame.io to solve the problems we’ve encountered as working industry professionals. And as new tools and technologies become available, we’ll keep working to build the cloud-based production ecosystem.
So even though Aristotle famously didn’t say “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” it’s our belief that connecting all the parts to create a holistic workflow is something that’s definitely pretty great.