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TV commercial workflow

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Chris Bell
TV commercial workflow
on Dec 8, 2007 at 10:25:43 pm

I am curious if anyone can describe a TV workflow for the RED camera. I shoot commercials, mostly on film or HD. If I shoot RED, what is the best workflow for 720 or 1080i post?

Does the camera offer the option to shoot using the full 35mm chip, but record only a 720 or 1080 format? My clients will never need 4K resolution.

Regards,

Chris Bell


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Graeme Nattress
Re: TV commercial workflow
on Dec 9, 2007 at 12:31:41 pm

Redcine will output your 4k in 720p or 1080p from the 4k R3D files.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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Chris Bell
Re: TV commercial workflow
on Dec 9, 2007 at 3:56:47 pm

I have been reading posts indicating that the Redcine conversions can be an very time consuming process. Is there anyway to record 720 or 1080 and skip Redcine?





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Graeme Nattress
Re: TV commercial workflow
on Dec 9, 2007 at 3:58:43 pm

Using the RED Quicktime codec, you can go to 2k very rapidly, so that's an option too. No, there's no way to record other than 2k or 4k in camera.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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Mike Most
Re: TV commercial workflow
on Dec 9, 2007 at 11:34:29 pm

Up until this point, there are only 100 Reds out there. As a result, much of what's been talked about regarding post with Red footage has centered around the "do it yourself" methods favored by its early buyers for personal tests and projects. I think Red has been a bit overly zealous in pushing these methods as well, but I understand why.

For film commercials, my guess is that your "normal" workflow is to process and transfer with either a "basic" color correction or a more directed color correction depending on the client and the budget. You would then likely have this transferred footage either recorded to tape (HDCam, HDCam SR, or perhaps DigiBeta if it's only standard def) and sent to editorial on tape, or digitized to a drive by the telecine facility. You then cut the spot(s), probably as an offline edit, then finish either directly in the editing system or by taking it to a post facility for assembly and effects work, probably on something like a Smoke, Fire, IQ, or Avid DS. If all this sounds familiar, you might consider that substituting a Red for a film camera doesn't really require you to change any of it. My guess is that for either commercial or television series work, it's very likely that the adopted workflows will use much of the same equipment and methods the current one does - the facility will "develop" - i.e., demosaic, resize and format convert - from the R3d files, and put the result on either videotape (very likely for series television, as the elements and workflows have a very good existing infrastructure (especially in Los Angeles), studio support, a well understood work path, and reasonable cost) or on hard disks as they do for you now.

Bottom line: Just because Red and its "fanboys" seem to only talk about do it yourself solutions doesn't mean that facilities won't be providing the same assistance they do for film today. And the same talent along the way. The only reason you haven't seen it yet is because as I said, there are only 100 cameras available and very few of them are in the hands of people like yourself.


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Chris Bell
Re: TV commercial workflow
on Dec 10, 2007 at 2:30:45 am

Mike,

You are correct, the industry will adapt and create workflows to deal with data from cameras like the RED. We're just starting this new adventure. I often find myself having to explain workflows to production companies. Turn around can be a serious issue, and if the RED files require complicated and time consuming transcoding, that could be a tough sell for some of my clients.

I will have a RED early next year, and post workflow is my top concern. Shooting is easy... it's the post which scares me.


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Mike Most
Re: TV commercial workflow
on Dec 10, 2007 at 2:33:35 pm

I think a large part of the problem is perception. Producers and others look at the Red and see a "really great video camera," while those of us who will shoot and post with it see an electronic cinematography device. Those who see a video camera expect a video-like workflow with video-like turnarounds - in other words, record, play back from what you recorded, cut, finish, deliver. Those who see a more, dare I say, film-like device, see a more film-like workflow and turnaround: shoot, develop, color correct, record to editorial format, cut, finish, deliver. The expectations are the issue - and the reality is that the Red is not a video camera and shouldn't be treated as one. But people are going to do it anyway. The bottom line is that unless and until Red sees fit to enable video standard shooting and recording modes (1080p, for instance), Red material needs to be thought of as much more like film than video, with turnarounds that are typical of that way of working.


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Chris Bell
Re: TV commercial workflow
on Dec 10, 2007 at 7:46:34 pm

Can anyone specify what Mac and accessories I will need to convert the 4k RED codec to 1080p or 720p for broadcast use. I have played around with Red Cine on my 2.4 ghz Mac Book Pro, but it does not have the processing power to do much. I was unable to get the clips to play in low-res or export quicktime movies. (I know, it's beta).


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Mike Most
Re: TV commercial workflow
on Dec 10, 2007 at 9:54:33 pm

Redcine in its current state is fine for viewing files, but not particularly good for conversions. You're better off using Red Alert, making 2K proxies ("Half" size), and sending the resulting QT wrappers to Compressor for processing (you can batch process this way).

You should, however, be aware that at this point in time, the demosaic done processing with Quicktime is, shall we say, not quite as good as that of the Red node in either Redcine or Scratch. Then again, with Redcine, you don't get either timecode or the reel number embedded in the Quicktime file.

Ah, life on the bleeding edge...


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