Blackmagic Camera Users can now natively edit Blackmagic RAW video files in Final Cut Pro without transcoding thanks to a new plug-in.
The BRAW ToolBox, developed by LateNite Films, enables users to import the finicky uncompressed codec directly into Final Cut Pro with complete access to camera metadata and full RAW support.
“As hardcore Final Cut Pro users, we got frustrated when clients would hand over SSDs with 2-4TB’s worth of BRAW footage, that we’d need to convert to ProRes to start editing with it in Final Cut Pro,” wrote Chris Hocking of LateNite Films on the company’s website.
“Now we can just import BRAW files directly into Final Cut Pro, with full RAW controls, and access to all the camera metadata.”
While Blackmagic has released BRAW plugins for use in Premiere Pro and AVID, Apple seems to ignore user requests for a similar tool in Final Cut Pro.
“For whatever reason, Apple doesn’t have BRAW support high on the priority list,” the website continues, “nor do they want to help Blackmagic implement BRAW support in Final Cut Pro – so we took matters into our own hands.”
Because Apple’s API for Final Cut Pro is proprietary, the plugin had to be developed using a pair of public APIs that can interact with Final Cut Pro in a rather roundabout fashion.
The APIs are Workflow Extensions and FXPlug4. The Toolbox works as a “Filter” in Apple Motion, but then as an “Effect” in Final Cut Pro.
“We use the FxPlug4 API as our “renderer,” writes Hocking on the website, “but instead of “processing” the source clip, we replace the clip contents with the processed BRAW clip.
” The Toolbox then applies tools from the Blackmagic RAW API for all color science and processing speeds found in DaVinci Resolve. It’s truly the best of both worlds.
The plugin also has several other handy features including adding LUTs, converting project files for importing into DaVinci Resolve and CommandPost for processing, an HDR workflow, image stabilization using GyroFlow, Relinking RAW project files that have been moved, and managing Proxy Clips that have an accompanying BRAW file.
Users can also adjust RAW settings, set keyframes and perform color correction and set exposure.
The Toolbox also provides access to all metadata inside of the Final Cut Pro inspector and can set various resolution and bitrate options depending on the age and speed of the editing system. Within those settings, the plugin can then create a full-quality export within those limitations.
There are automatic Decode Quality options for both HD and UltraHD projects, and you can also work at a lower quality Decode option for older machines.
The BRAW Toolbox is available through the Apple App store for about $80, but until February 13, 2023, there is a 50% off sale to introduce the toolbox to eager users. Check out the BRAW Toolbox website for more details.
It all sounds great, but the real question is … will Apple object and lock BRAW Toolbox out for not adhering to their API TOS? Only time will tell.