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Another 4k Red footage workflow question.

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Johnny Smith
Another 4k Red footage workflow question.
on Sep 21, 2016 at 10:53:49 pm

Hey fam,
Just directed a low budget music video shot in 4K on a Red Epic ( dragon ).

What I got today:

285gb of R3D files.
I'm working with an older 3,1 MacPro tower ( not book ) that's been recently upgraded with a new SSD drive and a new internal 4TB raid.
I also got 2 empty external drives 2TB each.
I got FCP7
OSX 10.6.8
Processor 2 x 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon
Memory 16GB 800MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
Monitors: 2 Apple Cinema Displays ( 1920 x 1200 )
My graphics card is an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT

So the goal is to finish in 1920 x 1080 and release on the internet ( either in HD or 1280x720 ).
Besides editing and color correction some of the footage needs to be sped up a bit.

So do I
a) attempt to convert the 4K R3D files to ProRes 422 1920x1080 on my machine, then chop it up, color correct, compress in compressor and release


b) download some software from red's website ( I'm assuming compressor can't handle red files ), convert 4K r3d files to ProRes 422 1920x1080 on my machine, chop it up, take it to some post house, conform online and grade. Then compress using H264 codec and release in HD or 1280x720


c) ?

Also not sure if there's a difference between converting from 4K to HD, cutting in HD then releasing in HD, AND Cutting in 4K then bringing it down to 1920x1080. Should look identical right? If I'm feeling gutsy maybe I'll grade it on my cinema displays and cut in HD and forget wasting money on a post house. What do you guys think. Sorry I'm asking a lot of questions.

Lastly I heard there's something free I can download so I can at least view these files

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David Battistella
Re: Another 4k Red footage workflow question.
on Sep 22, 2016 at 6:46:21 am

Hi Johnny,

I run this workflow constantly.

I would, in your case do the following.

1. Import all of the RED media and click on 'CREATE PROXY MEDIA' and Leave files in place.

let FCP X render/create all your proxy media.
SET FCP to PROXY for the editing stage.


EDIT, speed ramp, grade, do whatever you want in with FCPX PROXY mode.

When you are all done you can simply duplicate your sequence. modify the sequence settings to 1920x1080 and switch FCP X to HIGH QUALITY and BETTER PERFORMANCE.

at this point FCPX will re-render everything at the highest quality from the original R3D files, getting you the very best quality you can from the render and your footage.

If you want to do your final grade in resolve or something, no problem, just export an FCP X XML file and open it in resolve for grading and rendering. Resolve will also read the R3D files.

Do everything you can to skip the step of creating media at 1920x1080, you will loose all the benefits of 4K resolution and also the advantage of all of that resolution to reposition, push in, or do other effects like that in post.




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Johnny Smith
Re: Another 4k Red footage workflow question.
on Sep 22, 2016 at 9:08:06 am

Thanks David,
although like I said I'm still using FCP7 and 10.6.8 and am not willing to upgrade.
Thanks anyway, it makes sense, I'll stay in 4K till the very end.

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Stephen Smith
Re: Another 4k Red footage workflow question.
on Mar 22, 2017 at 8:19:50 pm

Why are you unwilling to upgrade FCP or move on to a different editing program like Adobe Premiere Pro?

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page

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greg janza
Re: Another 4k Red footage workflow question.
on Sep 2, 2017 at 10:17:37 pm

I'm also curious as to why you don't want to upgrade to PP or fcpx. You're workflow could be so much easier.

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
- Orson Welles

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Eric Santiago
Re: Another 4k Red footage workflow question.
on Sep 12, 2017 at 2:40:03 pm

I feel for you (poster), I still have clients that cut on FCP7/PPCS6 :P

I would convert to ProRes422 (not sure if FCP7 supports ProRes4444).
I would do all this in REDCINE if possible (export).

Good luck brave soul :)

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