Onlining questions: Resize, Color Correct
I'm working on a short film that was shot on the RED ONE camera (4K, 24 fps). I'm approaching the online stage of the edit and I'm hoping for a little guidance or advice. Let me give you a little background.
I ingested the footage into Final Cut Pro as ProRes 422 QuickTimes using the Log and Transfer function. I've been cutting with these 2048x1024 ProRes files ever since with no problems. When RED introduced support for native REDCODE files in FCP and Color, I thought I would use Color Workflow #2 "Work Offline Using ProRes; Finish Using RED QuickTime Media" described in the RED FCS Whitepaper. I ran some tests using ClipFinder, and everything looked good.
Here's where I run into a small issue. We're probably going to finish to an HD tape format, most likely D5. My director has decided that he'd like the film to have a 16:9 rather than a 2:1 aspect ratio so that there is no black letterboxing on the D5 image. Content-wise, there's no problem; the shots will look fine with a little of the sides cropped off. However, and here's my first question, if I perform the resize using the Geometry tab in Color, I will be degrading the image slightly, right? Since Color can only ingest the 2K resolution (2048x1024), and 1080 is obviously bigger than 1024, Color will blow the image up slightly to fit the 1920x1080 frame, correct?
ClipFinder allows me to send my clips to Red Alert, but it appears that Red Alert does not have resizing capability. I know RedCine does a good resize, but ClipFinder can't send my clips to RedCine, right? If I want to resize my 2:1 files to 1920x1080 without degrading the image, do I need to abandon the ClipFinder workflow and use Crimson instead?
Here's the next question. If I do have to do my resize in RedCine, how should I export the resized files? I know you can do some nice color grading in RedCine, but my colorist is going to work in Final Cut Pro/Color. Render times are not an issue, so I was planning to export uncompressed 10-bit QuickTimes from RedCine to work with in FCS. I don't need my RedCine exports to look pretty or polished at all; I just want to give my colorist the maximum flexibility to work with the image. (I would have loved for him to be able to work with the native REDCODE files in Color, but I think my 16:9 issue makes that impossible.) So how should I treat the REDCODE files in RedCine? What should my color and gamma settings be? REDspace? REC 709? Remember, all I want to do is give my colorist the greatest possible tonal and color range to work with.
Thanks so much for reading this whole post. I'd love to hear any thoughts or advice you have.
[Conor Flynn] " if I perform the resize using the Geometry tab in Color, I will be degrading the image slightly, right? "
I've never got a clear answer about this, but my guess is that it would be difficult to detect any degradation.
[Conor Flynn] "Remember, all I want to do is give my colorist the greatest possible tonal and color range to work with. "
I think that using Color with the native R3D files and scaling the image to 1080 would be the best option from what you're considering. That way, you still have control over things like white balance, which can really help in some cases. I think that this outweighs any disadvantage of having Color scale the image. Plus, it really cuts down on the size of files you'll have to deal with.
Ridgeline Digital Cinema Mastering
Salt Lake City, UT
Thanks, Russell. That's encouraging to hear. I'll run some tests to see how the minor blow-up looks. It would be great to stay with the Color workflow. Anyone have any experience resizing 2048x1024 QuickTimes to 1920x1080? Any thoughts on how it looked?