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Sean Kapleton
RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 8:22:50 pm

Hey friends,

SO I have a potential project to work on but the client insists on cutting on an Avid in there facility and I am just curious to hear what the latest opinions on the RED / AVID workflow are?

I have only FCP experience when it comes to RED and I just went to the RED/AVID support site and downloaded there version of the whitepaper so i will look at that now but I want to hear what the pro's think.

Also would love to hear what workflows are recommended when one has to use AVID in terms of offline & online editing as well as the equivalent of making hi res ProRes (HQ) files 1080 and sticking with them all the way through delivery - what / is there an AVID equivalent?

The job is HD delivering on HDCAM sr no further details i believe at this point.

thank you in advance

cheers

Sean



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Russell Lasson
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 8:59:11 pm

We use Clipfinder to create DNxHD 36 files for editing. They fast import which is nice. Must import using ALE to retain all metadata. Then edit. When edit is done, export edl for conforming and final grading in Scratch.

That's our workflow. I guess it really just depends on how you're going to do your final color grading. Then work backwards to get there.

-Russ

Russell Lasson
Colorist/Digital Cinema Specialist
Color Mill
Salt Lake City, UT
http://www.colormill.net


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Sean Kapleton
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 9:04:10 pm

thanks russ - thoughts from anyone else?



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Noah Kadner
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 10:37:04 pm

Yeah it's definitely offline/online with Avid- start with DNxHD and finish either with high-quality DNxHD out to HDCAM or from a RED native grade and out to tape. If you have access to Avid DS then the finishing side goes a little quicker because you can just fire a DNxHD edit into DS for a RED native finish. But it's not a quick or easy workflow, especially if you're an FCP person by trade.

I'd suggest bringing on at least an Avid assistant who knows the RED workflow cold. To be honest, if you're an FCP editor I'd push hard for an FCP edit. In theory you're being hired for your creative skills, not proficiency on a particular editing platform. If they have an Avid facility then charge them a minimal box fee and bring in your FCP gear- no shame in that.

Whatever costs they think they're saving by using their own gear is going to be eaten up in all the lost time and fixes due to inexperience- and that's going to be on you as the editor. Not a good place to be. If the producer can't be convinced otherwise, I'd say maybe pass on the gig. That or ask for a *lot* of money and a lot of assistants.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!. Unlock the secrets of the 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, and Panasonic DVX100.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 10:45:24 pm

what many people don't "get" is that there are many people who intend to shoot with RED, and NEVER conform back to 4K. Never go to a Scratch system. They will transcode to DNxHD or ProRes422HQ (and now ProRes444), and THATS IT. Thats the show that will be delivered.

Bob Zelin




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Noah Kadner
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 11:43:10 pm

That's right Bob, it's not always necessary to conform back to 4K for the resolution, in fact it's hardly ever in most cases. However if you go as far as a color grade with your R3D files you have a much wider range of latitude and color info to play with. Once you lock into a finish in ProRes or DNxHD you've essentially tossed out the RAW workflow that is supposedly a big part of what gets people interested in using the camera in the first place. It's the difference between finishing from a 35mm IP or even from a print vs. finishing from original negative.

And it's really not that tricky now- Avid, FCP and Premiere all support a RAW 4K finish without making it impossible. In fact, those workflows only take up about 20 pages in my book each to get the job done. :)

When that correction is complete and you have everything graded, then you print back to ProRes or tape or whatever at 1080p (or 2K) and leave behind the 4K resolution. But it's really a two part advantage- resolution and RAW- that you get if you grade from your original camera files.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!. Unlock the secrets of the 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, and Panasonic DVX100.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Mike Most
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 25, 2009 at 9:51:27 pm

>>It's the difference between finishing from a 35mm IP or even from a print vs. finishing from original >>negative.

I would say that it's more like transferring from the negative directly to video, and then finishing from the videotape instead of going back to the film. And, quite frankly, that's exactly how virtually every episodic television show on the air is finished, and has been for 20 years.

One thing that's clear to me is that those who claim that it's necessary to go back to RAW files to produce a good result for video or digital distribution have not, for the most part, ever worked in a professional post facility.



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Russell Lasson
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 5, 2009 at 11:54:42 pm

[Bob Zelin] "what many people don't "get" is that there are many people who intend to shoot with RED, and NEVER conform back to 4K. Never go to a Scratch system. They will transcode to DNxHD or ProRes422HQ (and now ProRes444), and THATS IT. Thats the show that will be delivered.
"


The first RED projects I worked on, I followed this workflow. I did the color work through Color using ProResHQ. I was amazed at how much more room there was to play with the colors. It was much better than coloring DVCPROHD, which I had been doing a lot of at the time.

Bob, I think you're right that it doesn't get pushed as a viable workflow often enough. I will say that there can be some specific challenges with the workflow though:

1. Render times. Some people say they want to work with RED footage on a MacBook Pro. That's a massive render for such a little computer. Even a half debayer on a Mac Pro can range between a 3:1 to 6:1 render times at 1080P. If you have a lot of footage or a weak computer, an offline/online workflow might be better.

2. Color. With RAW cameras, you have to address color. The camera isn't going to do an image processing pass to "optimize" the image. If you're going to take it to a colorist anyways, the colorist might want to get back to the R3D file just so he or she doesn't have to worry about dealing with baked in color adjustments made when someone processed the files for editorial. If you're going to just color off the original files, you should transfer it with a flat look, to make sure you don't cause irreversible damage for the colorist.

3. File sizes. If you have a big show, then ProRes Proxy or DVCPROHD can be great offline editing codecs.

4. Access to 4k image for scaling. So if you've done your edit and you've repositioned footage, now you can go back to the 4k image and downconvert it to the size you need, instead of scaling the editing version that you have.

I'll admit that part of what makes me money is this workflow, so I probably sound a little bias:) but I do think I've come up with a pretty good list here.

But as Bob says, it's still not for everyone.

-Russ

Russell Lasson
Colorist/Digital Cinema Specialist
Color Mill
Salt Lake City, UT
http://www.colormill.net


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Sean Kapleton
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 6, 2009 at 10:22:45 pm

hey guys

thanks so much for the great responses

many thanks!!

cheers

sean



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Kris Anderson
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 8, 2009 at 10:33:14 am

Bob hit the nail on the head. I'm right in the middle of a very low budget, very fast turn around show and we needed high speed/slo-mo photography. We had all up 6 hours of RED at 120fps shot at a live event.

I only had time to set up a basic look in Red Alert and then crunch out all of the rushes (at half debayer as it was a standard def show) and then import them into Avid from the pro res files. Client storage was also a factor in codec choice. Not an ideal situation by any means but it worked for them. The biggest problem was trying to match up RED, Digi Beta, HDV and an EX1.... errr, can I be excused now!?!?


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Libby O'Flaherty
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 17, 2009 at 9:26:54 pm

Thanks for all the helpful advice! Here's my question:

I've got experience with RED in finalcut and found it to be pretty easy once you get used to it. However, my editors prefer to work with Avid due to the way Avid manages media as opposed to FCP. We currently run on an Adrenaline system that doesn't support hd, which was a total nightmare when we did our last RED job. We're looking to upgrade, and our local dealer suggested we go to the Nitris, although that seems like a lot more machine than we need as we are a strictly editorial operation, no online ect. What are your opinions on the HD upgrade and its speed in regards to the Avid workflow?


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Mike Most
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Aug 25, 2009 at 10:06:37 pm

Unless you need to do analog input or output, you don't need the Nitris DX. The Mojo DX will allow you to do HD in and out (via SDI only) and costs less than 1/3 the price. It will even let you do uncompressed HD (1:1) if your storage is fast enough. The software license you already have should be upgradeable to version 3.5. I would consider taking the assistant's machines and going MC software only, and the editors' workstations going with Mojo DX. Even the software version is now HD compatible, and has been for some time.

Avid has come a very, very long way in the last year or two. Most of the notions expressed here regarding things like requiring an offline/online approach are seriously outdated. The DNxHD resolutions are almost identical to what Apple offers in ProRes (except that it took Apple until a few weeks ago to catch up in terms of an "offline" HD codec) with the exception of 4:4:4 capability - which in the vast majority of cases is unnecessary because the material isn't recorded that way in the first place. ProResHQ and DNxHD175x (for 23.98 material) are nearly identical in terms of quality and multigenerational performance. The same goes for ProRes422 and DNxHD115. And the new ProRes Proxy is a direct knockoff of DNxHD36. Exactly the same options are available on Avid as on Final Cut. Those claiming otherwise aren't familiar enough with the facts.



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Shannon OBrien
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Jan 6, 2010 at 4:56:53 pm

Currently watching the "paint dry" as Avid is importing qt dnxhd36 from clip finder. Wondering what the best export settings to use on clip finder are to make this process go as quickly as can be. Only offlining in avid and then will provide colorist with an edl. Thanks!


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Bryan Haney
Re: RED > AVID Workflow - Whats the latest opinions / thought?
on Feb 1, 2010 at 9:30:09 pm

Where was that White sheet you got on RED/Avid Support?

I am having the same experience right now


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