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Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots

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Peta Ridley
Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 1, 2008 at 12:02:58 pm

I have been reading the different forums for info on the best workflow for Red cameras to FCP, and I'm still confused as to what will be the best scenario for me to use on an upcoming job.

Its a series of films for a high-profile client, which are around 2 minutes each (about 24 in total). They are shooting at 2K and I am editing on the latest spec G5 with FCP 6.0.2. I will be grading myself using Color. Delivery will be multiple formats (both tape and web).

Please bear in mind that I know nothing about Red cameras and I'm really hoping that someone can dumb all this info down for me and give me step by step advice on how to handle this particular job, including set-up / project settings in FCP. If you can also let me know how to get a hold of any extra software / codecs that I will need if they dont already come installed with FCP etc. Dont worry about sounding patronising - I really do want someone to dumb this down for me as much as possible!

Thanks for any help....

Peta

Editor / Colorist
http://www.petaridley.com


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Russell Lasson
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 1, 2008 at 5:12:25 pm

In my opinion, the easiest way to work with red right now is to convert all of the QuickTime proxies to ProRes. Then just use those as the masters for editing and color.

Since Red is only working with proxies shot at a 2:1 aspect ratio (2048x1024) you either need to crop and scale the size to fit into 1920x1080 or letterbox the footage to fit within the 1920 frame size.

Hopefully Apple is still smart enough to release an update that will change all of this at NAB, even though they won't have a booth there. But even if Apple doesn't, expect the workflow to change at NAB (April 14th).

-Russ

Russell Lasson
Kaleidoscope Pictures
Provo, UT


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Peta Ridley
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 2, 2008 at 8:13:02 am

Hi guys, thanks for your response. From the reading I have done, it looks like the simplest workflow is going to be working with Pro-res. Can you tell me the step by step approach to converting files and setting up my project so its hassle free in the cutting process? Can you also explain what this will mean in terms of the quality degradation of the image?

And if I am working with an Intel based machine (will have to re-check with the company) is there a better workflow for a project of this kind?

Thanks for an advice you can give.

P

Editor / Colorist
http://www.petaridley.com


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Russell Lasson
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 2, 2008 at 4:47:14 pm

Basic workflow for 4K 2:1 R3D (2048x1024) files to ProRes.

INTEL MAC REQUIRED

1. Take the _H QuickTime into compressor. NOTE: The actual proxies need to stay in the same folders as the R3D file that they reference.
2. Create a ProRes HQ setting at 1920x1080 with audio pass-through.
3a. If you want the footage letterboxed in a 16x9 frame, enable the letterbox filter and set the manual letterbox to 89.0.
3b. If you want to crop the sides to fill the 1920x1080 space, then under geometry, change the crop to setting to 16x9 1.78.
4. Compress the files and use those for masters from here on out.

Variation 1:
Before compressing in Compressor, open each clip in RedAlert and do basic image color/exposure adjustments. Then create new QuickTime proxies.

Variation 2:
Once you've compressed the footage to ProRes for editing, open all clips in RedCine. Make your color/exposure adjustments. Set it up to render to whatever you want and let it go for a really long time (anywhere from a day to a couple of months depending on your machine, what format you're rendering to and how much footage you have.) Once you're done, reconnect the first back of Compressor ProRes files to the new files from RedCine. This is where changing names using automator is really, really useful if you accidentally named your clips different names.

My opinion is that for HD or SD masters, a ProRes workflow is acceptable quality for many shows. If you're going out to film or Digital Cinema, then using 2k dpx files or 16-bit tif files is better.

-Russ

Russell Lasson
Kaleidoscope Pictures
Provo, UT


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Ryan Whiting
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Mar 23, 2010 at 5:24:46 am

Hi Russell ~
I'm stumped - I'm sure it's sort've a basic question, but I've read your posts and searched online, and I can't seem to find the answer on creativecow.net or anywhere else online.

Can you please help me?

I have recently completed post on a music video project shot with the Red Camera - my first experience with the Red System.

We edited in FCP and colored corrected with Color.
Footage is in timeline at:
23.98fps
1920x1080
Uncompressed 10 bit 4:2:2

Sequence is:
Apple pro res 422 (HQ)

I am now trying to export the HIGEST QUALITY MOV file possible with the footage in the form it is now in (without re-linking to Red original files) - so i've been using these settings:

Export Using QT Conversion
H.264
Quality: Best
Frame Rate: 24
1920 x 1080

However, the results are awful - it looks pixelated, milky, and very compressed?

What am I doing wrong?

I am running:
2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mac Book Pro
OS 10.6.2
FCP 6.0.6

Thanks very much

Ryan W.

***


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Stuart Ferreyra
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 1, 2008 at 8:19:23 pm

You can edit with the proxies generated by the Red camera; but I am concerned about using a G5 to work with the Red footage. First of all, if you are indeed planning on using a G5 you are out of luck.

The R3D code proxies only work with Intel based Macs. RedAlert and RedCine (used to convert the footage) can only be installed on Intel based Macs. If you are planning on doing "creative editing" with the proxies, you are out of luck. The proxies allow you to work with cuts only. No transitions, no effects, no pre-comps, no motion, no nothing. And even with the latest 2008 Mac Pros, don't expect the proxies to playback at full frame rate.

Like Russel says, and depending on the specific workflow for the specific project you have to figure out what works best for you, to work with proxies or to convert everything to an edit friendly format such as ProRes, and depending on the amount of footage, you may be looking at days of conversion time.

I will strongly recommend that if really don't know a thing about the Red camera is to start reading every post and thread on the RedUser forum and educate yourself. It took me weeks to completely understand the process and days of testing in a variety of situations to feel comfortable enough to take the first job. And even then, once we got the project, we had to pull rabbits out of hats to make it work in a real project situation.

With a few projects under our belt, we are pretty comfortable about any Red project and workflow. If you'd like more info, follow the link under my signature. Hope this helps and Good Luck!!!

Stuart Ferreyra
Timecode Multimedia
Colorist / Online Editor
Ph: 310.826.9199
AIM: stuart.colorist
http://www.timecodemultimedia.com

"HD, 2K & RED Post Production for Indies at Affordable Rates"



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Russell Lasson
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 1, 2008 at 9:18:52 pm

[Stuart Ferreyra] "but I am concerned about using a G5 to work with the Red footage. First of all, if you are indeed planning on using a G5 you are out of luck. "

Dang, I keep forgetting to tell people that. Intel only is a really big deal for a lot of people.

-Russ

Russell Lasson
Kaleidoscope Pictures
Provo, UT


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Stuart Ferreyra
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 2, 2008 at 2:12:08 am

Russell,

You are right. The market is so abundant of G5's. They are perfect machines for editing and onlining in SD and HD. It simply sucks when you have to change your perfectly working horses to brand new ones just because one piece of the freaking puzzle is not compatible (in this case can;t even be installed). Hmmm, I wonder if Apple has something to do with that....

But, what can we do? Nothing, just bennd over. Ouch!

Stuart Ferreyra
Timecode Multimedia
Colorist / Online Editor
Ph: 310.826.9199
AIM: stuart.colorist
http://www.timecodemultimedia.com

"HD, 2K & RED Post Production for Indies at Affordable Rates"



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Steve Wargo
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 2, 2008 at 7:50:14 am

Years ago, (1999) we sold Discreet Edit machines and they only ran on certain Intel processors. The software was written specifically for them. So, I don't think Apple planned this at all. Well, maybe, but probably not, or it could be.

Or not.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Graeme Nattress
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 2, 2008 at 3:15:39 pm

No conspiracy, just that it's an awful lot easier for the small team that is RED software development to only have to support one processor architecture and one type of endianness. And the extra speed from the intel chips really helps with the REDCODE decode and other image processing algorithms too....

Graeme

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


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Stuart Ferreyra
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 3, 2008 at 2:14:39 pm

Graeme,

I am no soft engineer, but how much more difficult could have been to write a universal app?

Lots of users (including us until recently) still use G5 machines for all sort of things. I could only think about the possibilities here... we could have a bunch of G5s doing the heavy R3D work through QMaster.

But that's the way it goes.....

Stuart Ferreyra
Timecode Multimedia
Colorist / Online Editor
Ph: 310.826.9199
AIM: stuart.colorist
http://www.timecodemultimedia.com

"HD, 2K & RED Post Production for Indies at Affordable Rates"



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Graeme Nattress
Re: Red camera - FCP workflow for idiots
on Apr 3, 2008 at 2:21:31 pm

The endian issues between PPC and Intel are a right royal pain, especially for image processing applications.

Graeme

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


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