Creating Ultra HD (4K) video from RAW video shot with Magic Lantern

I recently created some Ultra HD video from RAW video I shot using Magic Lantern software on my Canon 5D Mark lll camera.  The video I created is 3641 x 2048 and has more detail than the RAW 1920 x 1080 video.  To complete this test project I upres’d the dng files from 1080 to 2048 in Photoshop RAW.  This blog post will explain how I did my work.

To shoot RAW video on my Canon 5D Mark lll, I use a super fast Transend CompactFlash 1000x 64GB memory card.  This write speed of this card allows my camera to record the high data rate needed to record RAW video.  I set my Magic Lantern settings to create 1920×1080 video, which is the largest size my camera and this card will allow me to record.  If I record my RAW video to an external recorder, or if I can find a faster card – Magic Lantern software may allow me to record larger than 1920×1080 RAW – but I have not tested whether or not this will work.

Each RAW shot is recorded on my card as a file that ends in .RAW.  I use software called raw2dng to convert my RAW file into a folder of digital negative files.  Each dng file is one frame of the video I shot and all of the dng files in the folder will be used to create a movie sequence. I drop each RAW file on the raw2dng software and it creates folders with dng files.

To open my dng files and to upconvert them to 3641×2048 – I followed a tutorial by RedDeerCityTV that I found on YouTube. The video explains how to set up Adobe Photoshop CC to use Scripts/Image Processor to select which folder you want to open, to open first image to apply settings, and to resize the images to 3641×2048.  RedDeerCityTV believes the dng file can be upres’d to a 4K file that is indistinguishable from native 4k because of the ability of dng files.

I altered this methodology a bit.  I dragged my dng files from one of my folders onto Adobe Photoshop CC icon.  The files will open into Adobe RAW – where I can color correct one of the images appropriately, and resize the image to  3641×2048.  I then select all, right click, and synchronize all of the images to be the same.  Then I Save Images to covert the dng files into TIF files.  I did not use 16bit color settings because I heard the quality is not much higher than the 8 bit files – and I save a bunch of file space.

I used Quicktime 7 to convert my folder full of TIF files into video by using Open Image Sequence.  The resulting video is 3641×2048 ProresHQ that I can import into FCP X and use to edit right away.  I found that the colors were not the same as how I set them in Adobe RAW but I was able to color correct them in FCP X.

I exported my master video from FCP X as a ProResHQ and uploaded it to YouTube.  I did upload an H264 version first, but it was blocky and compressed looking so I took the time to export and upload ProResHQ.  The video I created is below.  If you play the video at 1920 x 1080 and at 4K you will notice a big difference in the quality – especially if you play each version on a 4K monitor.  Please let me know what you think.  I did this project just to see what can be done with a 5D Mark lll and Magic Lantern and if you have suggestions please let me know.


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