[FFmpeg-devel] RAW Bayer video codec - needed

Paul Spurrier pauljfspurrier at gmail.com
Mon Dec 24 02:31:38 CET 2012

I am a filmmaker from England, who currently works in Thailand.
You can look up some of my previous work at:

I've been working on the prototype for a new form of digital cinema camera
- HD resolution - accepts professional lenses - and most importantly
records the RAW sensor data.

Anyone who uses a DSLR stills camera and then retouches in Photoshop will
have discovered the advantages of using RAW files. It gives you more
flexibility and latitude in the editing stage.

The important thing about the camera is that while it gives a great quality
result and is certainly good enough for professional use, it is made almost
entirely of publicly available products. Apart from the case, there is only
one tiny circuit board that I have had to build. It is essentially a
mini-PC in a camera shaped case with a high-quality machine-vision camera
on the front.

It's not only a camera that I'm looking forward to use as my own creative
tool, but hopefully also a prototype for other filmmakers to design and
build their own cameras.

However, there is one obstacle.

I need to find a recording codec for it.

There are a number of professional codecs that work with professional
cameras such as REDcode, Phantom Cine, Cineform, ARRIRaw. But of course all
of these are proprietary codecs.

The only option at the moment is CinemaDNG, but this is a slightly strange
codec that seems to be basically an extension to the stills DNG format, and
records an image sequence. I'm not even sure how it handles audio.

Clearly what is needed is a codec that can take in 8 to 16 bit RAW in the
different Bayer array formats, and store, either uncompressed or losslessly
compressed. (And of course allow playback)

This seems an ideal task for ffmpeg.

I believe that work has been done in ffmpeg on a RED-style codec, and I
think there have been efforts to produce a Cineform-style codec. Phantom
Cine is interesting because it has a white paper that gives great detail
about its format.

I have no desire to 'own' a codec, otherwise that makes it no more useful
than the current proprietary formats.
But I do need a codec.

Has anyone either:
got work in progress on a  RAW Bayer ffmpeg implementation that they might
share with me,
got the time to adapt, complete, or start from scratch such a project.

I could sponsor such a project.

Let me know if you are interested in helping. I think this would not only
be a valuable codec for me, but for a lot of filmmakers.
Your work might contribute to a great film!

Thanks, best wishes, and Merry Christmas.

Paul Spurrier
paul at paulspurrier.com

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