German TV series ‘Lerchenberg’ uses a new render-free gradingFilmLight-lerchenberg
workflow from FilmLight, on set and later using plugins for the editor,
with more creative control and a shorter time to air.

FilmLight Render-Free Workflow Takes TV Series from Set to Post

The producers of German television comedy drama series ‘Lerchenberg’ have implemented a new render-free grading workflow from FilmLight. The use of Baselight systems, not only in the grading suite but also on set and later on within plugins for the editor, has resulted in more creative control as well as reduction in the time to air.

‘Lerchenberg’ is a series about an actor returning from a career slump to star in a television comedy drama series. Reflecting the plot, the show is commissioned, produced and broadcast by German national broadcaster ZDF, and shot in and around ZDF’s headquarters in Mainz. This gives the show huge authenticity and also means executive producers and channel commissioners can regularly look in on the production and the edit.

Before shifting to the new workflow, dailies were taken by courier from set to lab at the end of each day, where they were ingested and graded with regular remote input from the DP. “This process was becoming too slow and complex,” said the show’s producer, Florian Schneider. “We needed to develop a more straightforward workflow and chose to base the upgrade on the Baselight system, taking us from set directly into post.”


To maintain the original image quality from beginning to end, the producers of Lerchenberg first implemented the FilmLight Daylight near-set grading system. This takes the raw footage from the ARRI ALEXA cameras, imposes pre-set looks developed by the DP Jenny Bräuer and colourist Stephan Kuch, and allows the director and DP to make adjustments. Consequently, the video leaves the set pre-graded.

The edit is also carried out near the set in Mainz. The Avid workstations are equipped with the Baselight for Avid plugin, so the edit is carried out on the native camera footage. The pre-grade is transferred from Daylight as metadata in FilmLight’s open Baselight Linked Grade format, BLG, and imposed in real time during the edit. In this way, no time is lost in rendering a baked-in pre-grade for editors.

FilmLight-Stephan Kuch Colour1

If adjustments need to be made, only the BLG files have to be changed, not the video, which again saves rendering time and storage space. Furthermore the editor can always work with the latest grade. After picture lock, the raw content and the metadata is sent to the ARRI Media facility where Stephan Kuch can work on the footage in his Baselight suite as he left it on set.

“Using this post production workflow, we can define a look within the details of the show, even on a daily base,” Stephan said. “Working with BLG files means re-rendering is not necessary and gives me more time to improve and talk with the crew, while they are available, to find the best look straight away. We no longer need to ‘fix it in post’, because we can do everything right on set.”


“My goal was to save time and get a better overall look to the series,” said Florian Schneider. “From a producers’ standpoint, fewer surprises between the set and post production – as well as giving reassurance on set to cameras, designers and costumes – is critical the success of the show. Without rendering the workflow also very fast, and when the client comes into the edit they can see what they are getting in real time.”