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Kona3 + Redcode

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Jon Weigand
Kona3 + Redcode
on Feb 20, 2008 at 7:52:35 pm

Hi all,

I just posted the following to AJA's support page, but I thought maybe some of you may have had similar problems, or solutions! Thanks!

Technical support request from

Using Redcam footage, I'm having a hard time finding a sequence setting that allows me to play 24fps footage at realtime. The footage (in either the source or record monitor) plays back, but it plays back only some frames, giving the playback a strobed sort of look. Audio is in synch.

If I switch the timeline to a 59.94 timebase, the footage plays back in realtime, but audio synch becomes an issue and frame accurate edits go out the window (I need 24fps frame counts for our animation team). I can and will conform my timeline to 24fps in order to fix this, but so far my Kona 3 settings are not providing the level of quality I expected.

Here's our workflow basics:
Mac Pro 3Ghz 8core, 8Gb ram, mac 4Gb fiber channel card
Ciprico 1.8Tb MediaVault RAID, Kona3 PCIe + Kbox3
Leopard OS X 10.5, FinalCutPro 6, Redcode codec for FCP 1.5
*QT 7.3.1

All media is on the RAID. All media imports into FCP except for the Red Raw files. Dropping an M (Medium) or H (High) resolution Red proxy into the timeline, the timeline settings change to 24fps, 1024x512 (for M) or 2048x1024 (for H) frame size, and the ProRes (HQ) compressor. This makes the render bar on the timeline turn orange.

At this point, the playback issue I described above occurs. The footage plays, and is in synch, but it's dropping frames or stuttering or whatever. Changing the timeline to match the codec of the clip (REDCODE), turns the render bar red (unrendered - no playback). Changing the timecode base to 59.94 allows the footage to play smoothly.

Am I missing something? Are there different settings in the timeline I should use? Or is there a setting somewhere else completely that I need to adjust?

Also, will you be releasing any FCP Easy Setups specific to editing Redcam proxies? Seems like Apple talked to AJA and talked to Red, but didn't invite Red to talk to AJA... :(


Jon Weigand

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Jon Weigand
Re: Kona3 + Redcode
on Feb 21, 2008 at 9:18:42 pm

Not sure if this is against forum etiquette, but here's the response from AJA:

According to Engineering we do not support Red Camera clips.
They are working on a workflow solution but no ETA.
Let me know if you have more questions.

Rudy Van Kol
AJA Video Technical Support

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Terence Curren
Re: Kona3 + Redcode
on Feb 25, 2008 at 5:14:19 pm

You have to use the ProRes HQ presets with the Redcode QTs. know this breaks all the conventions of FCP regarding the clip codec MUST match the sequence codec, etc. But it is the way Apple and Red worked it out.

This is referenced on Red's site.

Also, you need to reduce the playback quality from "full" in the FCP timeline. Then it will play in RT.

The quality is horrible, but fine for offline. Here again breaking convention, if you render that timeline, preferably using the float version of render, the quality will be great.

The bottom line is that the QT codec to play back Redcode sacrifices a LOT of qulaity to get that playback. However rendering basically bypasses the codecs engine and uses whatever render engine you send it through. For this reason, you can be better served rendering out the QT refs to ProRes through Compressor (taking advantage of multiprocessor support) before bring into FCP.

Terence Curren

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Jon Weigand
Re: Kona3 + Redcode
on Feb 26, 2008 at 6:00:21 pm

Thanks Terence,

My problem remains playback at the native framerate. In a 24fps timeline, the footage plays unacceptably but in a 59.94 timeline, it plays fine. This is with playback dropped to "low" quality (and actually, on our system "low" doesn't seem to give me any extra capability. it looks and plays back the same with either setting).

So my question is whether you or anyone you know can play back 24fps footage in a 24fps timeline cleanly?

Time for me to vent:
I'm fine with workarounds until Red drops their new codec and new programs, but it is a little frustrating to see Red and Apple still advertising that it's "ready to go" on their sites, when it's obviously a long way from being suitable for a professional workflow. Here's Red: "New REDCODE RAW codec supports RT playback in Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 and editing of the QuickTime Reference movies generated in camera." And here's Apple: "You can take 4k files, shot with the camera, and plug it directly into, say, a MacBook Pro on the set, and see those files in FinalCut Pro. And actually edit them." (this is audio from the movie here: ). And the reason I'm frustrated is that this sort of advertising has lead people (including the owners of my company) to expect it to work as advertised.

Don't get me wrong - I think the camera is incredible. It's just tough to fight expectation.

-Jon Weigand

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