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Advice on R3D footage colorspace import/export workflow headaches in After Effects

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Andrew Brown
Advice on R3D footage colorspace import/export workflow headaches in After Effects
on May 21, 2020 at 1:32:23 pm

Hello all,

I'm helping out with some corrective visual effects on a friends' short film - essentially just taking a shut door from one clip and placing it over another clip where the door was wide open to fix continuity. No new cgi elements, just some A over B masking.

I was provided with camera original r3d files and have was asked to deliver an exr image sequence to the colorist.

Problem is I don't know how to manage colour space properly in AE – I aimed to deliver the images to match the exact colour profile and gamma to be consistent with the camera original footage, but on my first attempt the colourist came back and said that the image was much too dark and asked what gamma adjustments I'd applied. None that I know of! I'm struggling to get my head around it.

Here has been how I've approached the colourspace pipeline in hopes of not messing with any values:

1: Import r3d footage into AE. AE applied a rec709 profile to it by default, so I go into "interpret footage">"Color Management" and chose "Preserve RGB (disable colour management conversions for this item)"

2: Under the "Color" tab in project settings, I selected Depth 32bpc and set working space to "none"

3: Upon exporting the completed shot, I go into the "Colour management" tab in the Output Module and check "Preserve RGB" here too.

4: I export the image sequence, bring it back in to the project and cross-reference it with the camera originals and it looks good to me so I send it off to colorist.

5: Colorist emails and says it doesn't match the rest of the footage.

I'm hoping an expert with experience working with r3d can help point me in the right direction because I'm completely lost here.

Many thanks in advance and please let me know if there's any other details I've overlooked and need to clarify.

Cheers,

Andrew


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Advice on R3D footage colorspace import/export workflow headaches in After Effects
on May 26, 2020 at 4:27:37 pm

hmmm...is your screen true colors? It could be that you or him are working in 32 bits and not 16 and thats throwing the colors off. or maybe he does not have that 709 profile on his computer..Lumetri is the best color correction effect these days...my opinion..try using that instead maybe


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Andrew Brown
Re: Advice on R3D footage colorspace import/export workflow headaches in After Effects
on May 27, 2020 at 8:22:24 am

I appreciate your reply Richard.

I've been working in 32bit, could that be it? I'll try exporting a few variations to provide to the colourist but at this stage I feel like I'm still taking stabs in the dark rather than understanding exactly what my process should be!

I agree that Lumetri is great but I'm but I'm not sure if it can help me here? I'm trying to avoid making any alterations to the colourspace so that what I deliver has the same colour profile as the source r3d footage so that our external paid colourist is able to work seamlessly in Davinci Resolve. Do you have a recommended process in AE for ensuring this?

I'm a little spoilt as an animation graduate who had access to Nuke for the last two years. Inputting and outputting formats was all pretty seamless and I could get away with working on VFX shots without having to think too much about the risk messing up colour interpretations upon export... now that I'm graduate who can't afford Nuke, I'm back to just using After Effects and am having a harder time understanding how to effectively work with colour complexities!

Thanks again for your time,
Andrew


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Eric Santiago
Re: Advice on R3D footage colorspace import/export workflow headaches in After Effects
on May 27, 2020 at 12:17:49 pm

I've delivered many R3Ds to post houses.
But none of them asked for EXR.
Most stayed with the closest format to the editing platform such as ProRes or DNxHR/HD.
Maybe the EXR route is a bit overkill for what you are doing.
I want to say that any decent colourist can match that scene back to its original form.
IMHO of course.


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Chris Wright
Re: Advice on R3D footage colorspace import/export workflow headaches in After Effects
on May 28, 2020 at 3:40:15 am

once you conform out of RAW, you're going into some sort of color management. In Ae's more options, you can change the default color science interpretation of RAW. how are they debayering it on their end? IPP2? REDWideGamutRGB and Log3G10?

also, how they view rec. 709 may change depending on the codec used. some use video or full levels in resolve by default.

if color management is off, then preserve RGB won't do anything anyway. if project color management is on, it will use your monitor's internal default icc profile to conform assets.


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Andrew Brown
Re: Advice on R3D footage colorspace import/export workflow headaches in After Effects
on May 29, 2020 at 3:37:18 am

[Chris Wright] "once you conform out of RAW, you're going into some sort of color management. In Ae's more options, you can change the default color science interpretation of RAW. how are they debayering it on their end? IPP2? REDWideGamutRGB and Log3G10?"

Thank you, Chris! This was the crucial part I was missing – "More Options"! Colourist asked that I set the Gamma Curve to REDlogFilm and that appears to have done the trick – the exported footage is useable and everybody is happy!

Thank you all for your time and advice. I'll be sure to read up on colour management and its intricacies more thoroughly for next time.

Cheers,
Andrew


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