I’m all about increased workflow productivity. So I’ve really been wanting to check out Cineform’s First Light included in their NeoHD package for Mac. The basics: it allows you to make preliminary color adjustments to be stored alongside your Cineform .MOV file by utilizing active metadata. These adjustments are accessible in real-time via your NLE (or any program accessing the .MOV file.).
In practice, here are the benefits I forsee:
1. The adjustments (white balance, gamma, color matrix) are not burned into my clips- I can change them at anytime in the post process
2. The adjustments, due to the active metadata, are available in real-time with no rendering. So as I work, (specifically in the grading process) I can make adjustments in realtime via First Light while utilizing necessary scopes and full screen mastering… without rendering (have I mentioned that one yet?)
3. Additional perks: 2.35:1 masking and image flip- all with again, no rendering.
Here are a pre and post frame grabs after about a minute of playing with it:
Pre First Light adjustment
Post First Light adjustment- white balance and color matrix adjustments with a 2.35:1 crop with Log 90 encoding and decoding curves. No gamma adjustments
Naturally, this isn’t meant to be your only color grading application but an additional tool aid and speed the process.