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How much MAC do I need?

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luis7216
How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 12, 2007 at 11:56:12 pm

I want to buy a mac computer for the following software:

1. Final Cut Studio 2 (to edit footage from the RED camera and finish at 4K - long form/120 min.),
2. After Effects CS3 (to produce 2K/4K motion graphics for my movies),
3. Photoshop Extended CS3.

Am I going overboard buying the following mac?

1 - Mac Pro
Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme
Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse - U.S. English
500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
One 16x SuperDrive
Quad-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel PCI Express card
Two 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Accessory kit
500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
8GB (4 x 2GB)
Mac OS X - U.S. English
Mac Pro RAID Card
NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 512MB, Stereo 3D (2 x dual-link DVI)

2 - Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel)

I already have a 1 TB external hard drive and need to get speakers.

I appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks.


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JeremyG
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 13, 2007 at 2:18:36 am

As of right now, Final Cut Studio2 does not officially support Red. So don't buy anything.


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Barend Onneweer
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 13, 2007 at 9:00:01 am

[JeremyG] "As of right now, Final Cut Studio2 does not officially support Red. So don't buy anything."

Well, there are a bunch of reports of people editing Redcode in FCS2.

You can extract 1k or 2k proxies out of the 4k RAW stream in real-time and edit them in FCP.

Here's a quick quote from a post by Lucas Wilson (of Assimilate Inc - the makers of Scratch) on CML:


"REDAlert and REDCINE are apps that RED makes that ship with the camera. They each have different purposes. REDAlert is a great app that allows you tons of options for quickly looking at one shot, modifying it, and outputting it. REDCINE is a fuller tool for organizing an entire CF of footage, moving color settings back and forth between the camera and post, and doing batch exports.

Final Cut Pro is native editorial at 1K and 2K.
SCRATCH is native finishing at 1K, 2K, and 4K.

So yesterday, we did the following:

1) Shoot outside
2) Take CF out of camera, and put it in CF reader attached to a Mac Tower
3) Open shots in REDAlert to take a look
4) Export Quicktime Reference at 1K out of RED Alert. Remember this is QT Ref, so that is an instantaneous process.
5) Open Quicktime in Final Cut Studio 2. This is not a beta version - this is what is shipping now.
6) Cut a small sequence.
7) Export EDL out of FCP
8) Run XP in Bootcamp mode.
9) Launch SCRATCH
10) Import EDL and native R3D files (no transcode)
11) Conform and start 4K DI and finishing.

It works, and it works today.

Obviously - editing and finishing natively has huge time savings and workflow advantage. But if you are cutting on Avid, and finishing on Lustre, Baselight, iQ, etc., than you use REDCINE or RED Alert to transcode footage to other formats. "




But the limitations are that FCP and Color don't support anything over 2k. So the topic starter may need to settle for a 2k finish for now. Nothing to be ashamed of.

And like Gary already mentions in his post - a dedicated RAID system would be a good move. Because of the data throughput, but also because it's a good idea to have some redundancy in your storage. It doesn't replace back-ups though (have you thought about that?).

Bar3nd


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JeremyG
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 13, 2007 at 1:51:39 pm

WEll, you can edit anything if you transcode to a format that FCP understands.

I guess I should have said that you can't edit Redcode (or is it REDCODE or RedCode or redCode or REDCode) native.


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Barend Onneweer
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 13, 2007 at 2:21:51 pm

[JeremyG] "WEll, you can edit anything if you transcode to a format that FCP understands."

Sure, but what seems special about this particular workflow is that you don't actually transcode anything, you just apply a Quicktime wrapper to the r3d file and instantaniously you have a file that you can edit in FCP. No rendering.

Barend


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JeremyG
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 13, 2007 at 2:41:15 pm

Right, it's just like editing any image sequence.

Thanks a lot for that info by the way, that's great information.

Jeremy


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Barend Onneweer
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 13, 2007 at 2:56:35 pm

[JeremyG] "
Right, it's just like editing any image sequence."


Well, I may be wrong, but I get the impression from the reports by Lucas Wilson that after wrapping the the .r3d file into a Quicktime wrapper he's able to edit a 1k extraction of the RAW stream in FCP in realtime without rendering, on a MacBook Pro.

If that's really the case I think it's pretty elegant.

Bar3nd



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gary adcock
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 13, 2007 at 8:06:33 am

you have a very long way to go.

you do not have the proper storage for this kind of workflow, working with RED is not about FW drives, and how little you can work with.

This camera is not like working in DV. and don't even think about trying it.


how are you going to monitor the content? currently only the Kona 3 is suitable for preview and playback
(it was my impression that red code is not currently supported with BMD drivers all the computers showing RED at IBC had Kona Cards)

The Post workflow needs to follow the 2K / 444 mentality as it stands today since the offline/ online process is either as 1080HD or 2K DI, in a year from now that may be different but for the next 6 months or so that is the process.





gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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luis7216
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 13, 2007 at 2:08:42 pm

So, presently, if I want to finish a feature at 4K, I have to offline at 2K or lower with FC, AND THEN online 4K with Scratch, IQ, etc...?

Once the offline edit is done, am I able to recapture the 4K footage (for online) from the original drive with an EDL from FC?

How is the 4K files transfered into Scratch for onlining? My understanding is that a Kona 3 is limited to 2K. If so, what device is used to recapture the 4K for offlining?

Also, how much storage space would you allocate for about 12 hours worth of REDcode 4K? (I might stand corrected, but I think I heard somewhere that you can fit 1 1/2 hrs. of RED 4k into 350 gigs. --is that true?).

Thanks for the help.


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Arniepix
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 13, 2007 at 6:41:37 pm

The only shops that are really capable of finishing in 4k are the major labs. Technicolor, Deluxe and the like. And even they only use 2k proxies in their coloring suites.

Arnie

Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

http://www.arniepix.com/blog


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Jim Exton
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 14, 2007 at 12:06:55 am

"So, presently, if I want to finish a feature at 4K, I have to offline at 2K or lower with FC, AND THEN online 4K with Scratch, IQ, etc...?"

Yes.

"Once the offline edit is done, am I able to recapture the 4K footage (for online) from the original drive with an EDL from FC?"

Yes, they will have this function when Redcine is fully built.

"How is the 4K files transfered into Scratch for onlining? My understanding is that a Kona 3 is limited to 2K. If so, what device is used to recapture the 4K for offlining?"

You would probably send them your 4k files on a hard drive and they can ingest them into their system, conform and grade. This is going to be unnecessary unless you are making a feature film and you sell it to a distributor. Otherwise, it is best to output 1080p or 2k files, edit, grade and output from there.

"Also, how much storage space would you allocate for about 12 hours worth of REDcode 4K? (I might stand corrected, but I think I heard somewhere that you can fit 1 1/2 hrs. of RED 4k into 350 gigs. --is that true?)"

8GB is around 4.5 minutes. Take it from there.


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luis7216
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 14, 2007 at 12:50:45 am

Very helpful information. Thanks, everyone, for your response.

L.A. Ortiz
RED Reservation holder #1321
Newark, NJ


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Uli Plank
Re: How much MAC do I need?
on Sep 16, 2007 at 4:58:17 am

When calculating disk space, you have to understand that Redcode is an aquisition codec, not a production codec. The clever part of it is compressing raw images, but that's nothing you want to look at. Once you start seriously working on the footage (anything else but hard cuts), you'll not only decode the images to RGB (for the screen) but you'll need to store them in a high quality codec or uncompressed (huuuuuge) to disk, you wouldn't want to go back to Redcode.

So, ProRes HQ comes to my mind for indie filmmakers with limited ressources, that means around 1.8 GB per minute for 2K.

If you wan to go for filmout, this would be the bare minimum, uncompressed or something very high quality like Sheer would be better.

Best regards,

Uli


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