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A few RED questions - data rate, storage, workflow/render

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Joel Fisher
A few RED questions - data rate, storage, workflow/render
on Aug 18, 2008 at 7:14:15 pm

I'm going to be doing a shoot on the RED soon; short narrative films, you might say, with final delivery being corporate in-house DVD. As DP/editor, I've been having difficulty tracking down a comprehensive list of workflow options. Everything seems to be scattered across the internet, and it's like doing detective work to find a list of methods in one place - perhaps the nature of the evolving format! I have worked a lot with P2, and am familiar with tapeless, in that regard.

So, we've got two G-Tech 1TB quad interface (meaning eSata, FW800, FW400, USB2) drives, one being meant for the main drive, the second for a backup. I've had difficulty tracking down conclusively how much storage the RED will require at 4K 24p, but could someone please confirm that it's somewhere around 8-10 hours on 1TB?

Regarding those hard drives, we are traveling out of state, and will shoot 5 days, take one day off, and edit 4 on a MacBook Pro, before continuing the remainder of the edit in another location. During the shoot, that's approximately 120 hours that a second laptop could be utilized rendering to ProRes before hitting the edit. Would an eSata connection help provide the bridge for considerably faster render times to ProRes422HQ?

From what I've read, I have a feeling I want to stay away from the proxies... but if I used, say, the Log and Transfer function in Final Cut, would I be able to easily go back in the online and track down the originals if I wanted to pan and scan a couple specific shots from the 4K?

I like the idea of working in Color to finish things out, but have read of software nightmares in that quarter, as well, and am therefore willing to look at doing image adjustments, etc. with various plugins and color tools within (cough, cough) FCP at 1080, if we run into brick walls with Color. If Color behaves, however, is ProRes a workable codec in Color?

So, if I had a Macbook with a drive rendering every day and every night during the shoot leading up to the edit (around 120 hours day and night, as mentioned), would that be [almost] enough to have any amount of 4K footage that could fit within 1TB rendered to ProRes?

Also, I'm assuming ProRes should be great for our needs of going to DVD. The 4K would basically be our original camera negatives, and we'd telecine to ProRes, never making a conform from the 4K. Seems the most simple and effective for our needs. Shouldn't this work as a final format for a project of this nature?

Thanks so much!


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Russell Lasson
Re: A few RED questions - data rate, storage, workflow/render
on Aug 20, 2008 at 8:40:29 pm

[Joel Fisher] "but could someone please confirm that it's somewhere around 8-10 hours on 1TB?"

Very rough estimation, but 125GB/hour is somewhere close depending on your settings.

[Joel Fisher] "Would an eSata connection help provide the bridge for considerably faster render times to ProRes422HQ? "

It wouldn't be considerable faster over eSATA compared to FW800. Processing power is more of the bottleneck. In your case, I'd probably suggest trying the FCP log and transfer or compressor. But converting everything on MacBook Pro sounds pretty intensive.

[Joel Fisher] "would I be able to easily go back in the online and track down the originals if I wanted to pan and scan a couple specific shots from the 4K? "

You would want to look at a Crimson workflow for this.

[Joel Fisher] "is ProRes a workable codec in Color? "

Going from RED to ProRes is better than footage from any other camera out there. Color works great with ProRes.

[Joel Fisher] "Shouldn't this work as a final format for a project of this nature? "

4K, even for finishing feature films, is rare. The consumer world is going to be at 1080P (best case) for a quite a while. Feature films projection is going to be at 2K at least for the next 3-4 years. There will be some 4K theaters, but it's rare currently.

-Russ

Russell Lasson
Kaleidoscope Pictures
Provo, UT


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Edward Campbell
Re: A few RED questions - data rate, storage, workflow/render
on Feb 19, 2012 at 5:53:38 pm

Dear Russell

ULTRA HD HARDWARE NIGHTMARE

You are doubtless aware that semi-professional people, and cinema companies, are beginning to use the latest available 4K video equipment, such as the ‘Red One 4K’. Even posting some clips to You Tube. My current PC is a very hard working Packard Bell imedia 4004, which I've managed to keep fairly well updated, until recently. However, it is now writing me little notes about wanting to retire…

With the advent of Blu Ray and HD streaming video, of course, the vintage Intel P4 2.6 GHz will not cut it with anything above 480p streaming. Playing back DVDs is no problem by comparison, but raw HD processing is just something it was never designed for. I have noticed, for example, that it takes about 3-4 hours to process one 13.4 GB DV tape of 1 hour duration (yawn). I usually load it then decode it overnight to DVD quality for burning. To be honest, H264, DivX, Matroska, MPEG, etc., is all meaningless to me. All I want is the best overall definition for the least necessary processing power, so that my current, or future, processor doesn’t go bye-byes for several hours at a time.

What very much concerns me is how far I need to go, with current processors and video cards, to get 4K or even (god forbid) 8K processing, should such become available, as I'm sure it must (if only to keep the factories in business).

In relation to these new emerging technologies (designed to scare us all into upgrading), how far can codecs expect to go in unburdening the average PC, 5-10 years down the line, from the massive data processing requirements for such huge definition upgrades? I am contemplating either going up to an AMD 8 core Black Edition (AMD is now mooting 10-20 core in a few years), or an Intel i7.

Most of the hundreds of current video cards available are slanted towards game playing, which may be inappropriate for Ultra HD playback. The prospect of Ultra Blu Ray 3D also throws a spanner in the works, just to complicate things further.

I have no idea, at present, what the raw or processed data rates are, for the 4K to 8K standard – can you advise, please? Apparently, the BBC is already conducting experiments in 4K and 8K, to inform its broadcast decisions (nightmarish data rates).

Is there any ballpark combination (processor, ram, video card) you could presently recommend, in relation to codecs, to process 4K and 8K Ultra HD future-projected software, and the looming threat of having to buy, Ultra Blu Ray, 4K and 8K high definition hardware? Or should I simply hold on till the dust has settled? Either way, the hardware is bound to be silly money.

I am sorry that this is so long and complicated but I don’t know how to put this problem more succinctly.

Kind regards

Paul Campbell (UK)


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