Today we are launching a brand new experience in fylm.ai – Raw files development and debayering. This exciting new change will allow still photographers to start and complete their journey in fylm.ai and it opens up a whole new world of opportunities in the future to come.
To be fair, fylm.ai has supported Raw files from day one and it allowed upload and editing of such files. However, it was a partial support. It was a support built around the idea that you use fylm.ai to create a LUT or enhanced .xmp profile so that you can later apply it in Photoshop, Lightroom or any other software that supports the use of LUTs. As such, the support for Raw files was very simple. fylm.ai would extract the built in thumbnail file (usually a full-res JPG file) from the Raw file and work with that.
It was an OK solution as long as you used fylm.ai as a starting point (or intermediary step) for your colour grade and you finished the process in Lightroom or Photoshop for example.
So what’s new?
As of today, fylm.ai allows you to fully develop your Raw file from scratch and use the raw data from your file with all of the wonderful tools available in fylm.ai such as the AI Colour Extract tool or the Magic mode. In simplified terms, this means you can start and finish your journey A-Z inside fylm.ai.
We are excited about this for two main reasons:
- We learned that fylm.ai is just as popular with still photographers as it is with filmmakers
- This opens up a whole new world of possibilities targeted at still photographers that will help them get their work done faster and quicker and fylm.ai is going to explore that area extensively
When we first set out on a mission of creating the easiest and most creative colour grading tool we always wanted to cater to filmmakers and photographers as well and this release brings us one step closer on our mission.
So how does it work?
When you load a Raw file in fylm.ai we will first use the built-in thumbnail for a quick preview. Then, fylm.ai will immediately proceed to develop your raw file so that it’s ready for editing and colour grading.
By default, fylm.ai will develop your Raw file into ProPhoto RGB colour space. It will also apply the correct ACES Input and Output Transforms automatically so that your file is correctly colour managed within the context of fylm.ai. The default colour space of ProPhoto RGB provides an excellent and similar starting point to what you have come to expect from other software. Additionally, choices of Adobe RGB and sRGB colour spaces are offered.
If you need even more flexibility and more room for your colour edits, you can develop your Raw file into the huge ACES2065-1 container in EXR format. Developing your Raw file into ACES2065-1 will give you the absolute best starting point for your Raw files so that you always have as much room as possible for your edits and colour grades while minimising any potential data loss. The downside of using ACES2065-1 as a colour space of your choice is that the debayering process will take a bit longer.
When using ProPhoto RGB, Adobe RGB or sRGB, Tone Mapping option cannot be changed and it is always enabled. When you select ACES2065-1 as colour space for the development of your Raw file, you can either apply Tone Mapping or not.
When you select the ACES2065-1 colour space, fylm.ai will automatically apply Tone Mapping on your Raw file so the the developed result more closely resembles results from other software or other colour spaces such as ProPhoto RGB.
If you wish to disable the tone mapping you may easily do so by toggling it off. Disabling tone mapping will result in a linear response for your Raw file giving you even more room for your edits at the expense of having to tweak the file a little bit more. Files developed without tone mapping will usually appear darker than you might be used to, but when corrected they will not exhibit more noise. Noise levels will remain the same, however you will have more room to “push” your colour grade.
The last option available for Raw development is Highlight Recovery.
To explain the Highlight Recovery option, we need to understand how fylm.ai handles white balance from your Raw file. When fylm.ai reads your Raw file, it also reads the white balance values used in camera and applies them to your image to preserve your creative intent.
Due to white balance scaling, depending on the white balance value, it is possible for some pixels to be in the risk of blowing partially (not all channels) or totally in certain areas of the image. Highlight Recovery option will guarantee for all pixels (which were not blown during the capture) that no channel in the Raw file will blow because of the white balance scaling.
For some images, depending on your exposure and white balance, this might change the appearance of the image or not change it at all.
Once your Raw file is developed, you can grade it just like any other image in fylm.ai and use all of the fylm.ai tools like you normally would.
We are very excited about this release as it opens up a whole new world for us and you and would love to receive any feedback you might have. Try it out now for absolutely free.