July 22, 2009

Working with DNG Camera Profiles

The Digital Negative or DNG is Adobe's royalty-free, open standard archival format for the RAW files generated by digital cameras. DNG helps ensure that photographers will be able to access their files in the future, as well as features like sharing visual styles across multiple cameras.

There's support for this file format among major players in imaging, and Adobe provides support in some apps along with a Profile Editor to create new styles or looks. A backgrounder, The DNG Profile Editor: What's it all about?, was posted last year on John Nack's blog. Just a month ago Adobe issued a new version of the spec, which was discussed at Digital Photography Review in DNG updated to allow RAW corrections and Unless otherwise specified: DNG gains lens corrections.

Moving images are a big of this future, and last year Adobe announced CinemaDNG with "plans to support the CinemaDNG format in future releases of After Effects and Premiere Pro." This year Adobe Lightroom Product Manager Tom Hogarty mentioned that Lightroom might get some kind of video support. Also, CinemaDNG got support from camera maker Ikonoskop, codec engineers Cineform, and Iridas, maker of color correction software (see the interview from NAB 2009). Having a non-modal 'AdobeCine' Develop Module in AE and Premiere should be nice, especially when complemented by tools from On Location or Color Finesse (which has its own Looks deep inside Plug-ins > Effects).

Nudging us into the future now is Julieanne Kost, who explains Working with DNG Camera Profiles on Adobe.TV (fullscreen):

"In this Episode, learn how to take advantage of the new Adobe Standard and Camera Matching DNG Camera Profiles in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4. Discover how to best use and apply profiles by: customizing your default settings, synchronizing settings between images, and/or creating presets and applying them upon import — all that and more will be covered as we unlock the secrets of Camera Profiles." (via John Nack)

Update: There's now a CinemaDNG Importer for After Effects and Premiere to read CinemaDNG video streams in the form of MXF files and DNG file sequences. It supports After Effects CS4 and Premiere Pro CS4 on both Mac and Windows systems.

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