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First Impressions on the RED Rocket

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Russell Lasson
First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 6, 2009 at 5:02:08 am



Obviously this video is dorky, but we got caught up in the moment. Back to my first impressions.

This card is going to completely change the RED post production industry. It's wicked fast. Right now RocketCine-X is still pretty buggy, but it's undergoing rapid development. Writes DPX files with a full debayer faster than 30fps (depending on your raid). ProRes HQ at 1080P is currently at about 16-17fps. ProRes HQ 720 is over 30fps. Both are at a full debayer. QT render speeds should continue to improve with future development. Previous speeds on a 2008 Mac Pro are under 1fps for a full debayer. So this gives you an idea on how powerful this card is.

RocketCine-X is a decent program. Kind of a morph between REDAlert and REDRushes. The real impact of this card is going to be when the SDK comes out. Instead of having R3D bring programs to their knees, working with R3D files will quickly become the preferred method of doing post. I still think I'd use the RED Rocket to export dailies to edit with, especially if it can do if faster than realtime! But for finishing work, this card is going to be an essential!

-Russ

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


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Noah Kadner
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 6, 2009 at 2:44:38 pm

Only thing I don't get is how does it work with programs that don't support R3D such as FCP? I can't drop an R3D into an FCP timeline no matter how ready REDrocket is to accelerate playback. So I'm back to proxies?

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.
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Russell Lasson
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 6, 2009 at 3:11:37 pm

It's hard to say how Apple with work with the RED Rocket. It think that FCP will do well with it because transferring R3D files to "Native" or the proxy files are all pointing to the R3D files. My hunch is that Apple with get something figured out.

Even then, I still think I would use an offline/online workflow.

-Russ

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


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Justin Barham
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 9, 2009 at 12:14:25 am

Isn't it Red's responsibility to support Red Rocket in FCP via plugin, and not the other way around?

- Justin Barham -


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Russell Lasson
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 9, 2009 at 2:52:32 am

[Justin Barham] "Isn't it Red's responsibility to support Red Rocket in FCP via plugin, and not the other way around? "

Nope. Implementing RED Rocket support will likely be much more than just a plug-in. Even then, RED hasn't been writing support of all the other competitors (Adobe, Autodesk, Sony, Assimilate, AVID, DaVinci, etc). It's been up to those companies to work on development. RED of course helps where they can, but I believe it's been other companies working with RED to get support. That's why they're releasing an SDK, so that other companies can work with it to get it working on their system.

This will really be a race. If one company, including Apple, falls behind on support for this card, I could hurt them. Apple and Assimilate both were "pre-SDK" developers and that help both of them significantly.

-Russ

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


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Justin Barham
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 9, 2009 at 3:26:29 am

Red Rocket isn't a format. It's a third party PCI card that specifically supports their codec. AJA, Matrox, BlackMagic, etc. all write their own drivers to support their hardware on FCS. They do so because it's in their own best sales interest.

I'm not sure how much Apple needs to directly support Red Rocket themselves, despite how much we would like to see it. The overwhelming majority of FCP sales are from people for whom dropping five grand plus on a card to accelerate the Red codec is a laughable idea at best. The people who can afford a Red Rocket can certainly afford more premium options than Apple provides with FCS, and should be pressuring The Foundry, Quantel, and Avid if they need software support ASAP.

- Justin Barham -


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Russell Lasson
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 9, 2009 at 6:47:25 am

[Justin Barham] "Red Rocket isn't a format. It's a third party PCI card that specifically supports their codec. "

This obvious statement seems almost insulting. Of course the RED Rocket is a card:) We have one installed and it's freakin' awesome!

Justin, RED has publicly stated that in order for companies to implement RED Rocket support, they just need to make "small" modifications to the code they wrote using the original RED SDK. So while companies have already written R3D support into their programs, now they just need to modify what they've written to support the RED Rocket. RED is providing a new SDK to help with this process.

Still, the card rocks and is going to have a really big impact on the entire market, from the big guys all the way down to the little guys. In order to compete in the RED post industry, it's going to be a requirement.

Still, I don't care who writes the drivers as long as they get done. And if Apple's in last place doing it, I could really care less. I currently don't plan on editing with native R3D files or using them in Color. I'm happy converting offline files for processing in real-time or faster.

-Russ

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


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gary adcock
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 6, 2009 at 3:30:08 pm

[Noah Kadner] "Only thing I don't get is how does it work with programs that don't support R3D such as FCP? I can't drop an R3D into an FCP timeline no matter how ready REDrocket is to accelerate playback. So I'm back to proxies?"


Nah, Noah,

with the speed of conversion that the Red Rocket offers (my tests on a QUAD machine are nearly identical to what Russell posted) it is actually a no- brainer to just render the output just once for a vast majority of users. Remember that all of the conversions are done so close to real time that by importing an XML (ala Clipfinder or Monkey Extract) RocketCineX would be able to re-output at full rez without issue.

Remember that the card is doing a FULL debayer on all conversions, therefor the working files can be as high a quality as possible or because the Red naming convention is upheld there is not as many issues working online offline as there were before.

I am really liking it. the downsample to SD for offline was about 2X realtime in my tests.

now
if the Avid Codecs loaded correctly like RedAlert/ RED Rushes does I would be in heaven.



gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows

Check out
http://www.aja.com/kiprotour/

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http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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Noah Kadner
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 6, 2009 at 3:49:04 pm

Ah ok- so you mean edit with proxies or with transcodes and then XML a final edit for renders? What about RAW grading though? I'd rather have this card doing the work at the start of an edit or during an edit. Still I agree this card is a massive improvement to the RED workflow, depending of course on how well the NLE makers and everyone else chooses to adopt it.

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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Chris Borjis
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 6, 2009 at 7:39:46 pm

[Noah Kadner] "I'd rather have this card doing the work at the start of an edit or during an edit."

that would be awesome!



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gary adcock
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 6, 2009 at 8:36:18 pm

[Noah Kadner] " edit with proxies or with transcodes and then XML a final edit for renders?"

no RED proxies, now ProRes proxies would be a different matter.

Noah, the software can create properly handled and named files so that doing an offline online is once again actually viable, IF your production requires it. The R3D file naming is kept intact, and since the re-render of the content is only slightly longer than realtime, not the 20x that we are used too when working in R3D conforms, why not embrace that workflow. Cut in 720, export cuts only XML, re-render those sections, then final finish at what ever rez and bit depth needed.

Not everyone needs ( or should) work with the native R3D files for final finish, I see nothing to be gained from using anything more than a 1080 QT file if I am finishing for web, SD, some industrials. I see way too many people going over their heads and capabilities when posting Red content- to many people trying to render 4K for a frakin' youtube spot.


gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows

Check out
http://www.aja.com/kiprotour/

Inside look at the IoHD
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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David Battistella
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 6, 2009 at 10:46:45 pm

I think it would be nice if the redrocket made cutting proxies in fcp viable (instead of transcoding) and then a send to color command would be nice to access the all the data and render out to whatever output you set color to in the project setting.

That would be really nice. Just edit with a backup of the r3d's and only ever render once on output.

Still nicer would be to play the color sequence through the RR To tape. (not likely with secondaries applied)

David


Peace
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Bob Zelin
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 9, 2009 at 3:59:55 pm

I like David's comment. Cutting proxies in FCP, instead of having to use one of the RED programs to go thru a transcode process will not only be nice, but will be more demanded, as RED releases lower end products like Scarlet. All you big shot pros have this "workflow" process down - shooting raw R3D, transcoding, and then going back to "on line" or conform with Scratch, etc. You know very well that 99% of the future Scarlet owners will NEVER follow this workflow, and will just want to finish their job with the transcoded file. There will never be a 4K (or even 2K) color grading process done for 99% of the users.

bob Zelin




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Russell Lasson
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 18, 2009 at 8:47:36 pm

[Bob Zelin] "All you big shot pros have this "workflow" process down - shooting raw R3D, transcoding, and then going back to "on line" or conform with Scratch, etc. You know very well that 99% of the future Scarlet owners will NEVER follow this workflow, and will just want to finish their job with the transcoded file."

I tend to think that there will be plenty of Scarlet users that will reconnect to the R3D files using Color. It's a pretty straight forward workflow and if you don't want to editing using ProRes 444 because of the file sizes it requires, and offline/online process using ProRes Proxy and reconnecting to the R3D files using Color or whatever system they want will be a viable option.

Regardless of if you want to transcode and go or if you want an offline/online workflow, I think that the key though is the RED Rocket and would suggest that any RED owner, including future Scarlet owners, should purchase this card. The great thing is that both workflows will work with just FCS7. That means that the project needs should first be considered then match a workflow accordingly.

-Russ

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


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Mike Most
Re: First Impressions on the RED Rocket
on Aug 25, 2009 at 9:42:07 pm

I think that's very questionable advice for an individual owner of a camera who's doing personal projects on a tight budget (and that describes an awful lot of Red's customer base) and for whom a few hours time doesn't directly translate to money. If the Rocket card cost a few hundred dollars, and if it did things that were impossible without it, I might agree. But the fact is that it doesn't do anything that can't be done with Red's free software tools - at the cost of more time, of course - and it costs 5 THOUSAND dollars. For a business in which time equals money very directly, that's a reasonable investment. For an individual, it's an awful lot of money for something that is, in the end, unnecessary.



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