BRAW Studio for After Effects works with two plugins : The Importer and the Layer Settings.
Note : If you are not familiar with BRAW Studio yet, check our introduction article !

The BRAW Studio Importer in After Effects

First, the BRAW Studio Importer imports the BRAW Source footage into After Effects. You can modify the BRAW Settings of your imported footage by 2 different tools : the Source Settings from the Desktop Application and the Layer Settings from an After Effects optimized effect.
The importer will produce an image in 8bits / 16bits / 32bits according to your Project Settings.

The BRAW Studio Source Settings from the Desktop Application

Accessing BRAW Settings from the Source Settings is not as straightforward as with the Layer Settings
, but if you are using multiple times the same Source Layer in your compositions, and want to share the same look between all of them, it could be useful to use it !
You can access the Source Settings on your "Source Layer" (the one in the Project Panel, not the one in the Composition !) by right-clicking on it : "Interpret Footage" -> "Main..." and then at the bottom of the opened window click on the "More Options.." button.
The Desktop Application will be opened automatically. If you change the RAW Settings then click on "OK", the BRAW Settings will be applied to the imported footage.
If you want to access general BRAW Settings or
register your license
, it is also where you should go ! At the top of the opened application click on the "Settings And License" tab.

The BRAW Studio Layer Settings effect to modify the RAW Parameters

Once you added the BRAW Source in a composition, you can add the BRAW Studio Layer Settings effect (available in the effect list in the "Autokroma" category)
on your BRAW Layer. It won't work and an error will be raised if the layer is not coming from a BRAW Source file
(for example if you precomposed the BRAW Source, then applied the Effect onto that precomposition).
For more information on the BRAW Parameters in the Layer Settings, please read the section about Source Settings in our article "Introduction of BRAW Studio"
Notes :
  • This effect should be at the top of the list, because any effect before it will be erased : indeed this effect works like a generator (it creates the image, so the image in input of the effect is not used, you will lose it !)
  • BRAW Studio Layer Settings supports 32 bpc (as well as the importer)
  • The BRAW Studio Presets are global and accessible whether you are in the Source Settings or Layer Settings, in both Premiere Pro and After Effects. They're all the same and it is a good way to copy RAW Parameters from Premiere Pro to After Effects or vice-versa
  • You can only apply rectangular masks (without feathers) on your .BRAW layer if the Layer Settings is applied on it. Solving this on our side would mean drastically reducing performance, that's why we don't plan to support other kinds of masks. However, to obtain the same result, you can easily precompose your braw layer and create your mask on the composition. Or you can easily use the Track Matte feature to report the alpha channel of a separate layer to your .BRAW Layer

The Layer Settings can give you a full GPU decoding !

Recent versions of BRAW Studio Layer Settings uses your GPU to decode the BRAW Studio frames. As the Layer Settings bypasses the BRAW Studio Importer (and works like an importer + effect), applying the effect to a BRAW layer in After Effects will give you better performance (depending on your GPU hardware of course). Please choose your GPU acceleration in the Project Settings (top menu : File -> Project Settings) : in Windows, choose CUDA or OpenCL, on Mac choose Metal.
The GPU decoding on the Layer Settings is
available on Windows from After Effects CC 2019 onwards, and on Mac from After Effects 2020 onwards.It is activated by default.
If you don't want it anymore you will need to tick a checkbox in the "Settings & License" popup (available from a button in the Layer Settings effect), and click "Ok" for that.
You will be able to use Dynamic Link to work with Premiere Pro, but the RAW Parameters applied in the "Source Settings" of Premiere Pro will not be transferred by the dynamic link when from Premiere Pro you click on "Replace with After Effects Composition"

However, there is a workaround thanks to Sidecar files OR the BRAW Studio Presets feature.

First solution : you export your RAW Parameters in the .sidecar by pressing the button "Update Sidecar" in the Source Settings BEFORE sending the BRAW file to After Effects via Dynamic Link, After Effects will load the values inside this Sidecar file by default (because of the "Camera Metadata" decoding mode as described previously).
Second solution, you can apply the Layer Settings on your After Effects BRAW Layer, and then hit the "Load Preset" button, which will load what has been saved previously in the preset (when you were in Premiere Pro for example). This solution is the best and can work with both software opened at the same time !

BRAW Metadata in the comment section

In After Effects, once you apply the Layer Settings to a BRAW Layer, if the "Comment" section of its Source, which is available in the project panel, is empty, it will be filled with some BRAW Information.
For example, you can get in the comment section : "G.0 - R.1 - S.4 - T.35 - CR.12:1"
  • "G.0" means Good Take : false (G.1 would means : Good Take : true)
  • "R.1" means Reel : 1
  • "S.4" means Scene : 4
  • "T.35" means Take : 35
  • "CR.12:1" means Compression Ratio : 12:1
If you want to get more metadata here, please contact us !

Working with low resolutions to improve performance

To get more performance from BRAW Studio, you should obviously reduce the playback resolutions.
But you should choose 1/2, 1/4 or 1/8 (1/8 being of course the fastest) instead of other resolutions (i.e. do not choose 1/3). They are faster because they are native to the way Blackmagic RAW file format works
: each frame is encoded in the file in a progressive way that makes it really easy to decode it quickly in half, quarter and eighth resolution.

Using sidecar : be careful of cache issues

The Importer will decode your footage using the "Camera Metadata" Parameters by default that were available at the first import of this file through the After Effects session : if there is a .sidecar file next to the .braw file, the importer will decode the footage using the Sidecar values (but if the Sidecar is added next to the file after importing it, you will need to restart After Effects to see the modification applied). If there is no Sidecar file next to the braw file, then the RAW Parameters inside the .braw file that were set when shooting will be used.
If you import a .braw clip, scrub the timeline to add some frames into the After Effects cache and then change the .sidecar next to the .braw (inside AE with BRAW Studio Layer Settings or outside), the cache is not going to be invalidated even after restarting After Effects, and so you will have some frames with the new Settings (from the sidecar file), and old frames from the cache. In that particular case, you can :
  • Clear the cache in After Effects and restart the application
  • Open the "Source Settings" from the Desktop Application (see next section) - when returning the cache should be invalidated for the current clip

Do you want more features in BRAW Studio for After Effects ? Contact us and tell us your needs !

BRAW Studio Version 3 Upgrade

Learn about the new features of BRAW Studio V3 and the upgrading process
Read more

BRAW Studio App: A New Powerful Tool for BRAW Files

Details about the new BRAW Studio App: a BRAW Player where you can edit Settings, trim and more!
Read more

Fast Color Correct with the BRAW Studio White Balance Picker

Indicate the white/grey part in your BRAW image to set automatically Color Temperature and Tint accordingly !
Read more

Apply your Custom LUT directly to BRAW

BRAW Studio now lets you apply your own custom LUT, processed through the official Blackmagic RAW SDK like an Embedded LUT ! Here is a quick tutorial to do so
Read more

BRAW Studio FREE versus Premium License

Explanation about our change of licensing and what you can do Premium license. You can now decode for free Blackmagic RAW inside Premiere Pro and After Effects !
Read more

How to trim your BRAW files without re-encoding ?

You can easily trim your BRAW files with BRAW Studio in our Desktop Application or in Premiere Pro !
Read more

BRAW Studio Legacy Versions for Old Support (previous macOS and Adobe)

BRAW Studio requirements are regularly updated because of BMD requirements, in this page you will be able to access Legacy versions of our plugin to run unsupported platforms
Read more