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Shot short film on RED... edited in FCP... need workflow advice

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Michael Reese
Shot short film on RED... edited in FCP... need workflow advice
on Jun 8, 2011 at 1:02:50 am


First of all I want to confess my ignorance. I directed a short film, shot it on the RED and ended up editing myself in FCP because I got a horrible rough cut from the guy who I hired to edit it. I am not an editor.

Basically, I couldn't edit at full resolution so I used the Medium (M) clips to put into the timeline. I have two shots that I need to send out to get worked on by a VFX guy. He needs the full res clips to work on. My question is, if I put the full res clip into into the timeline in a separate sequence, mark in's and out's so that the VFX can be added, how do I put this back into the timeline/sequence with the Medium (M) clips?

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Jason Myres
Re: Shot short film on RED... edited in FCP... need workflow advice
on Jun 8, 2011 at 7:38:31 pm

Editing with RED proxies, beyond very basic cutting, dissolves, etc is tough. It will be much easier on you, and Final Cut, if you use RedCine-X to transcode your R3D files to 1920x1080 ProRes. Doing the transcoding will take some time, possibly up to a few days, depending on the Mac you're using and how much footage you have, but your editing experience will be much nicer.

Use ProRes HQ, if you'd like to output directly from Final Cut, or you can choose to edit in ProRes LT or Proxy if you are going to pay for onlining to your original R3D files later. Using PR Proxy or LT will save you quite a bit of space.

Before you send files to your VFX people, find out what app they are using and if they have a file preference. They will want full-resolution plate shots from your original R3Ds, but will not be using the R3Ds themselves to do the work. Often, it's easiest and most flexible to send them a DPX sequence, which RedCine-X will do for you. You can set your In and Out points in RCX, and then export to DPX there. If they would rather have a video file, one option might be to use ProRes 4444, which gives you very high quality, without the huge file sizes of Uncompressed HD.

Once they complete the shots, they'll need to send you files that conform to your final timeline. If you're going to be doing an online using your original R3Ds, find out what your online editor needs. If you are going to outputting in Final Cut yourself, ask them for the same format you used to edit the rest of your short, probably ProRes HQ.


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Michael Reese
Re: Shot short film on RED... edited in FCP... need workflow advice
on Jun 8, 2011 at 9:14:16 pm

Thanks so much for the advice.

I have actually already done a rough cut that I am really happy with in Final Cut with the proxies. Is there any way to save that edit and reapply it to the Pro Res HQ files after I transcode in RedCine and put them into Final Cut? Or do I have to re -edit from scratch?

Also, if I want to enter this into film festivals, do I have to pay to online to the original r3d files (for quality purposes)? Or can I just export directly from final cut and get good quality?

Thanks again for all the advice. This is my first time directing a short that I wrote. I'm only 23 and it's been a fantastic learning experience.

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Michael Kammes
Re: Shot short film on RED... edited in FCP... need workflow advice
on Jun 9, 2011 at 2:10:52 pm

Go to and download the FCStudio 3 plugin bundle.

Contained within this file is a PDF which outlines several RED sanctioned excellent reference.


.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: twitter: @michaelkammes
.: facebook: /mkammes

Hear me pontificate: Speaking Schedule .

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Jason Myres
Re: Shot short film on RED... edited in FCP... need workflow advice
on Jun 10, 2011 at 6:55:46 am

As long as you haven't modified your file names it shouldn't be too difficult. After you've transcoded your R3Ds to ProRes, save a duplicate of your project so you can go back to your original project later if you need to.

Open the duplicate project.
Select your entire timeline.
Go to Modify Menu > Make Offline.

In the dialogue box that appears, select: Leave on disk.

Your proxy media will be taken offline, but your edits will remain in your sequence.

Select your entire time line again.
Right-click on any clip > Reconnect all Media

Another dialogue box will appear.

Click Locate.

Make sure Match Name Only is checked. This should help as long as the file names are similar. If not, you can un-check it, which allows you to select any clip manually.

The dialogue box will ask to reconnect to your first clip.
Browse to the ProRes version of that clip in your ProRes media folder.
Click Choose
Click Connect

Repeat this process for each clip.

If this were a true offline/online process, the files would have the same names, but one set would be high quality, and the other would be your low-res proxies. Many times, as long a the file names are the same, once you re-connect one clip, the others will re-connect automatically. If the file names are different you may need to re-connect each clip manually, which could take some time to complete, but in the end you'll have connected to your new media without losing your edits.

ProRes HQ should take good care of you for 95% of your projects, so in the future, transcode to ProRes first, edit with those files, and save your original R3Ds for archive or if you ever need to do a higher quality online to 2K or 4K.


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