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April 9, 2021
3 mins read

How to transcode Blackmagic RAW files and create proxies

Blackmagic RAW is a visually lossless codec that takes some beating. With it, you get superior image quality, bit depth and dynamic range. It is often an output from a Blackmagic Design camera and used in conjunction with the Blackmagic editor, DaVinci Resolve. 

But while Blackmagic RAW files, also known as BRAW, are incredibly advanced, you’ll often still need a transcoding method to utilize the files in post production such as if you use a non-Blackmagic NLE.

As an example: the Blackmagic RAW codec can be supported by Mac and Windows operating systems. If you edit in Linux, you’ll need to convert your files to a format your editing software accepts.

Even when your editing software is set up to work with Blackmagic RAW, the file size will likely cause an issue and be a memory and CPU hog. That’s where proxies come in.

Using the low/no code platform, AVflow, you can setup a workflow to transcode Blackmagic RAW footage to manageable, accessible proxies in minutes. Simply drag and drop the steps of your workflow together and let AVflow’s programmatic magic create nimble proxy files with ease.

Transcoding Blackmagic RAW files with AVflow

Ready to follow along? Great. All you’ll need is:

Step 1: Trigger your file for processing

Sign in to AVflow, click ‘New workspace’ and then click ‘New flow’.

On the right of the screen, you’ll see a menu of APIs that AVflow has on offer. To start transcoding Blackmagic RAW files, you need to select, drag, and drop the ‘S3 Storage’ API into the starting position.

Doing this automatically triggers the Flow on every video uploaded to a specified S3 Bucket folder.

Be sure to include your AWS API Key in the block's configuration for authentication, too.

Step 2: Add the Pro Transcode API

The next API we need is ‘Pro Transcode’. So go ahead and select, drag, and drop this icon into the workflow you’re building.

Open the ‘Setup Service Options’ menu next and input your preferences. For this demo, we'll use Apple ProRes 422 at HD 2K quality — creating a proxy that’s saved back in the AWS S3 Bucket folder, as specified.

Since Blackmagic RAW maintains metadata in the original file, you don't have to worry too much about maintaining the presets. 

Step 3: Add the "Transfer to Storage" step

You need to save the proxy back to your cloud drive and "Transfer to Storage" lets you do that. Add the step and fill in the details.

Step 4: Go Live!

Lastly, set the workflow to the "on" state using the toggle (as below), and your Blackmagic RAW files will transcode using the desired presets as they’re uploaded to the S3 bucket. And that’s it!

2 APIs, 1 low/no code platform, zero hard work

This workflow BRAW transcoding process in AVflow takes 2 minutes to setup and without any development work. And after a full session of shooting, that’s exactly what you need to get your team moving along on the edit.

Learn more about other AVflow presets and tools to maximize the automation of your audio/video editing process: visit the AVflow blog for more production ‘how to’ guides.