CR2 DaVinci Resolve workflow for stop motion animation

We plan to use Canon 5D Mark IV for stop motion short student animated film.
I would like to setup ACES workflow using DaVinci Resolve. We plan to shoot to RAW CR2 files.
It seems that it does not work in Resolve.
IDT “canon 5D” selected from list in Resolve makes wrong result.
Does anyone have an idea how to solve it?
Thanks a lot.

Have you seen this thread:

This command line utility may be just what you are looking for. Make sure you read the entire thread to see what has developed and changed, so that when you build the latest version you are familiar with its capabilities, etc.

Good luck,


Hi Martin! This workflow has been near to my heart for several years as the Technical Director on a stop-motion television show.

As Kirk mentioned, the rawtoaces utility is a great step in the right direction but unfortunately still contains a bug that may prevent it from being the right tool for you - when converting from a raw file like .CR2 to a floating-point .EXR, any highlights that fall above 1.0 on the brightness scale will be clipped rather than preserved as overbrights. The colorspace will be correct for ACES AP0 but you will lose the original latitude available in the .CR2.

The only fully workable method I have come across is to use the Cinelog-C color management plugins for Resolve or Adobe After Effects made by @cinelogdcp. I’m not positive about Resolve, but it is possible in After Effects to import .CR2 sequences through the Adobe Camera Raw importer using Cinelog’s digital camera profile, and then use the OCIO plugin to convert from Cinelog to ACES AP0 or AP1 and export to .exr.

This requires your project to be set to 32-bit with no working color space, and your output module to be set to .exr and “Preserve RGB” checked in the color settings. At that point you still won’t have a 100% to spec ACES file because it will be missing the ACES chromaticities metadata, but the pixel data should at least be correct. There might also be one more step needed in the OCIO plugin based on a conversation I had with @cinelogdcp over email but I never got around to determining that for sure.

Lastly, when making any sanity checks using these tools you may be caught off-guard by your ACES images looking just a stop or two dark compared to Adobe Camera Raw’s other camera profiles, OSX Finder, or the in-camera JPG images, even after you’ve properly applied the ACES RRT+ODT. This is normal, and you can find out why in the first two posts on this thread.

So far ACES hasn’t been the right workflow for our show because of these difficulties, but I’ve been waiting for a chance to experiment with it on a project of lower stakes so I would be happy to answer any questions you have if you still feel like trying it out. Just keep in mind that with the above-mentioned issues that you may need to do a lot of double and triple-checking to be sure that you really are getting correct ACES images.


There are many different methods, but I do this all the time. First, I convert all the files using Adobe’s free program “Adobe DNG Converter” which loads the CR2 into a DNG file. The DNG file may have it’s own IDT type of converter, as it seems to understand the different still cameras, similar to ACEs. Regardless, I use the DNG IDT in Resolve, with Aces and I have full control. You can use the raw proxy preferences to view the DNGs faster, but I usually convert to a log (flat) ProRes 4444 and CC later, or do all the CC upfront, and convert to PR444 to final color and just edit. I do lots of SFX, so I adjust the order for each project, but always DNG in Resolve to see the raw. I’ve never had an issue with odd color shifts, and usually view on rec709 monitor (Sony oLed) and have very consistent results. Very easy, just re-wrap those raw files first.

Thank you Scott,
Adobe DNG converter is working fine. I used Resolve to import DNG file, working in ACEScct.
I used ODT to sRGB for my Eizo CG277.
IDT selection has no impact, so Resolve automatically chooses some IDT, probably according to metadata,
( it behaves similarly with R3D ).
Result is fine, but very desaturated.
Thanks also to Jonathon, but suggested workflow is too complicated for me.
I am expecting simplicity when working in ACES. :slight_smile:

That converter is a lifesaver. I believe it sets up many still cameras to manufacturers specs, like aces, and was really intended to work like aces in the still image categories, but I may be wrong. But I agree, it works, and I can color consistent with odts for different monitoring. But I’m an animator before a colorist. :smile:

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Too complicated for me too, Martin!

But thankfully, after I wrote that post I saw that @mzhu made some recent updates to the rawtoaces tool that fixed the highlight bug.

If you did want to try it out on your 5D Mark IV .cr2 files, you can use:

$ rawtoaces --wb-method 0 --mat-method 1 --headroom 1.0 -H 2 image.cr2

This will give you a new image_aces.exr file that will be in the AP0 colorspace and retain all detail from the .cr2.

I’m glad that Adobe’s DNG Converter is also working for you, and rawtoaces may open up some more powerful scripting and automation for your pipeline.

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This might not be the place to ask, but does rawtoaces have the ability to batch convert directories? If not, has anyone thought of a workaround?

Should be straightforward according to the github wiki:

To batch-process raw files in a directory, you can try:

$ rawtoaces input_dir

Otherwise you would need to write up a script or batch file to automate the process in a terminal or command line window.


Many thanks Jonathon!