Transcoding time to ProRes
On a dual 3Ghz Quadcore Mac Pro, how long does it take to transcode a minute of RED HD QT proxies to ProRes ?
I just need an estimate to work out how long it'll take to transcode the raw materials to ProRes for editing.
I have a 4-core 3Ghz system and it takes around 2-3 minutes using Compressor to render the proxies to ProRes. If you're using RedCine, it's more like 30 minutes for a minute of footage.
I just wrote a small tutorial on how to do it in compressor. Tell me what you think:
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.
Before compressing in Compressor, open each clip in RedAlert and do basic image color/exposure adjustments. Then create new QuickTime proxies.
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.
This is the clearest Workflow that I have heard from anyone thus far on a forum so thank-you for that!
I had a couple of questions:
(1) Would this be the same workflow if the footage was shot at 2K?
(2) Could you ingest into FCP using Log and Transfer and convert the files to Pro-res in the process?
(3) How do you set up your FCP project with the correct settings to match this workflow?
Also, if an Intel Mac is not available, is this workflow impossible?
Editor / Colorist
[Peta Ridley] "(1) Would this be the same workflow if the footage was shot at 2K? "
I don't have any 2K files to play with so I'm not sure. It depends on several factors. In my opinion, the only reason to shoot 2K is for more frames per second. Other than that I would shoot at either 3K or 4K so you use more of the sensor. It's better to have more resolution than not enough.
[Peta Ridley] "(2) Could you ingest into FCP using Log and Transfer and convert the files to Pro-res in the process?"
Currently, no. Maybe after NAB:)
[Peta Ridley] "(3) How do you set up your FCP project with the correct settings to match this workflow?"
ProRes 1080p. The nice thing about this workflow is that video capture cards can play it back without any scaling or problems like they have if you leave the frame size at 2048x1024.
NOTE: All of this could change radically when NAB starts! The ideal solution is for FCP to accept the actual R3D files and for some company like AJA to create a card that supports R3D output to standard broadcast displays (or maybe a RED 4K display). We can only hope. Even if that happens, there will probably be bugs in that workflow for a while too.
One part of this workflow is a little un-clear to me and if you could clarify why I would want to take these steps that would be great:
"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. "
Thanks very much for all your advice.
Editor / Colorist
If you're shooting Red and using QT proxies you're currently shooting at a 2:1 aspect ratio. This is a not standard aspect ratio for broadcast video so it makes not sense to finish to. That means that the 2K proxy is 2048x1024. The closest video standard to that is 1920x1080.
So in order to convert 2048x1024 to 1920x1080 you need to do one of two things:
1. Scale down the size of the 2048 width to fit within a 1920 width. This will make the 2048 letterboxed within the 1920x1080 frame (black bars on top and bottom).
2. Scale the 1024 height to fit the 1080 height. This will cause the sides of the original footage to be cropped.
Take a _H proxy through both processes and you'll see what I'll talking about. Even if you use a Red app like RedCine, you'll still need to make the same decisions.
If all of this hasn't completely changed at NAB, then I'll put together a more in depth tutorial about it. We'll have to see what NAB will bring.