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RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow

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Nick Ravich
RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 15, 2015 at 9:14:38 pm

Hello-

Looking for best practices workflow to get RED 4K original files (shot with Scarlet) into a 1080 Avid media composer project. Not looking to crop a 1080 area of the original 4K frame but instead "shrink 4K into 1080 frame size.

Understood that 4K is a slightly different aspect ratio than 1080 HD (1.89 vs 1.77), so will need to crop some minimal part of the original.

Looking for simplest method, that involves least transcoding. End codec would be some kind of Avid-friendly HD mxf file type like DNxHD.

Looking to preserve color bit/sampling as well.

Sincerely,

Nick


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Nick Ravich
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 15, 2015 at 9:20:48 pm

Sorry, and I guess a related question is - am I really earning anything by doing this? Should I just shoot 1080 in the RED to begin with?

Footage is for project intended for 1080 broadcast, so this 4K footage will be edited and output/mastered at 1080. I'll probably never make a version where I cut 4K and output 4K. Again, I'm not looking to crop out a portion of the 4K frame to 1080; I want the entire original 4K frame as 1080.

Nick.


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Shane Ross
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 15, 2015 at 9:29:36 pm

How do you plan to finish? Because you can use Red software to convert the footage to Avid media...or you can use Resolve to...and then finish in Resolve at 4K, but render out 1080.

Or seriously, if this is only going to be 1080...KISS...Keep It Simple, Stupid. Shoot 1080.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Michael Hancock
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 15, 2015 at 9:45:03 pm

1. AMA link to the Red footage.
2. Select all of it and go to Clip-->Source Settings. Click the FrameFlex tab.
3. Set your scaling/frame dimentions, etc... here so the footage looks how you want it to look (full frame, with slight letterboxing, etc...).
4. Hit Apply to All.
5. Transcode to the DNxHD flavor of your choice (if you want to skip the offline/online process and will finishing with the Avid media pick the highest number possible - likely 175x if you're in a 24p project). Check "Apply Source Transformations FrameFlex" box before you do to bake in the FrameFlex setup.
6. Edit and output.

Otherwise, transcode to DNxHD36, relink to the Red files when you're done and send an AAF to your colorist. They can use it to relink to the Red files on their end and output 1080p from there, and they'll have full access to all the .r3d raw settings.

Or just shoot 1080p to start with. It is easier, but the 4K downsampling can help to give your image a bit more sharpness and can help squash some noise, if necessary.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Ricky Barrow
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 11:01:58 am

When shooting anamorphic SD became available we chose not to use that option and complicate our workflow. That was in error as the 16x9 aspect ratio became standard we had to pillar box or enlarge and crop top/bottom to get full screen without distortion. When we started HD, we chose the 1280x720, why I can't say but then along comes Frame Flex where we could have cut a simple interview with less quality loss by zooming in to a faux CU had we acquired full HD.

We shoot b-roll around the globe and re-use footage for years. While we currently have little use for 4K we acquire that at almost every opportunity to leave our options open in the future. While every project we do is not black and white and some have limited use, we have amazing opportunities available in post when we do not limit ourselves on the front end.

The workflow Michael described should make it an easy decision to stay with 4K. Live life without fear and regrets!

Ricky


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Nick Ravich
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 2:47:52 pm

Thanks Ricky.
Yeah, I'm a bit of a late adopter as well.
Starting to see the error in that now.
Nick.


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Nick Ravich
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 3:24:27 pm

Many thanks Michael.

Doing the transcode now using the process you suggested. Definitely taking AVID a while to down frame size and re-codec the RED stuff. At DNxHD 220x guessing these are gonna be big files.

Turns out I shot the "UltraHD" frame size - 3840 × 2160 - and Avid AMA linked clip recognized as 1080/16x9. So didn't have to use the FrameFlex crop. Tho that's a super cool tool to know about.

Couple of questions if you've got a moment-

*I noticed I have to burrow into each individual RED clip folder in the AMA tool in order to link to individual clips. Definitely a hassle. A way around this?

*So there's no consolidating RED original footage in AVID, just transcoding?

And so it does sound like there's some benefit to shooting 4K/UltraHD original, even if we're ultimately editing/mastering 1080.

Thanks again,

Nick.


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Michael Hancock
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 3:54:39 pm

[Nick Ravich] "Doing the transcode now using the process you suggested. Definitely taking AVID a while to down frame size and re-codec the RED stuff. At DNxHD 220x guessing these are gonna be big files. "

Yeah - it's going to take a while. I like to set it up before I leave for the night to let it crunch while I'm sleeping.



[Nick Ravich] "*I noticed I have to burrow into each individual RED clip folder in the AMA tool in order to link to individual clips. Definitely a hassle. A way around this?"

Do you have the latest Red AMA plugin? You should be able to select two folders up from the .r3d files - maybe even three folders up. Example folder structure below:

CARD_A1/A001_053G3.RDM/A001_C001_053G3.RDC/A001_C001_053G3.R3D

You should be able to select CARD_A1 and it will AMA link to everything in the A001_053G3.RDM folder (which would be all the footage from the A camera, Card01 (that's how I organize media). If that doesn't work, then selecting "A001_053G3.RDM" should definitely work.

So make sure you have the latest Red AMA plugin (I'm not sure what version that is - I have Media Composer 8.3 with Red R3D Plug-In v5.3). And when you AMA link, under the "Files of type:" select "RED R3D (folder)". Otherwise Avid will guess and gets it wrong a lot.


[Nick Ravich] "*So there's no consolidating RED original footage in AVID, just transcoding? "

Nope. Red isn't Avid native, so it can't consolidate it. It has to be a transcode. Which is part of the reason I love Arri footage - I find it much easier and faster to work with.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Nick Ravich
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 3:58:32 pm

Thanks Michael.

Yeah, gonna be some overnight transcoding.

Will def check and make sure I have the latest RED AMA plug in.

Arri footage is Avid native? Interesting . . .

Nick.


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Michael Hancock
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 4:06:37 pm

[Nick Ravich] "Arri footage is Avid native? Interesting . . . "

If it's not ArriRAW, it's just a Quicktime file encoded to either some flavor of ProRes (usually 444), or DNxHD (but DNxHD is a paid option so most camera ops I know don't have it). You can typically consolidate it into Avid since Avid supports ProRes natively now.

I still offline/online edit for most of my Avid projects though - even the Alexa/Amira stuff. I transcode to DNxHD36 and relink to the original, AMA linked footage at the end for finishing. It works, keeps my system really snappy, and make it easy to drop to a hard drive to edit from home if I need to. For example, my last project had 685GB of Amira ProRes444 files. I transcoded them to DNxHD36 and it only took up about 115GB.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Nick Ravich
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 4:23:40 pm

Hey Michael, thanks for all the details.

I'm coming back to AVID after some time away and just getting grounded. If you got a sec, have a couple of bigger picture AVID questions.

*I realize my small prod house is running 7.0.2 Media Composer, pre-subscription. Looks like latest level is 8. Wondering what I'm missing out on in terms of transcode quality/codecs/color correcting?

*Also, started ingesting footage in MC 7 for 4 hour long series that we won't finish/CC until a year from now. Typical work flow is AMA/consolidate except in cases - like RED or HDSLR footage - where codecs not native and then I transcode. Wondering if I'm losing anything picture/color wise by not upping the ante to MC 8 now for the ingest?

*Really lost on Media Composer and color bit. Now that there's more and more 10 bit color option cameras, really unclear to me if MC is preserving the 10 bit color. Color bit doesn't seem to be an option in bin columns. And project settings don't list color bit either, just color space. FYI - Hope editorially lock in MC, but color correct in Resolve.

Let me know when you can.

Nick.


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Michael Hancock
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 4:48:20 pm

[Nick Ravich] "*I realize my small prod house is running 7.0.2 Media Composer, pre-subscription. Looks like latest level is 8. Wondering what I'm missing out on in terms of transcode quality/codecs/color correcting?"

New in Media Composer 8.3 (look for the "What's new Guide v8.x" links).

Quick overview of MC v8.x over MC7:
1. LUT options on the source side, better AMA management, better mixing of frame rates.
2. Support for greater than HD video (2K, 4K, etc...). DNxHR codec for +HD material.
3. Background Render/Transcode/Consolidate. This might be a big help for you.
4. New/better project window.
5. Search for markers (this was huge for me).
6. Image cache for thumbnails (great if you use thumbnail view).
7. Quick Filter in project window (helpful to find bins in big projects)
8. Change the color space you're viewing in (Rec709, RGB, etc...)

Personally, I like MC8.3.1. It's been solid for me and the improvements have been great. I work with a ton of footage shot in LogC, so being able to apply a LUT on the source side, or as an effect on the timeline, is fantastic. And the marker searching is fantastic. Those were reason enough for me to upgrade.


[Nick Ravich] "*Also, started ingesting footage in MC 7 for 4 hour long series that we won't finish/CC until a year from now. Typical work flow is AMA/consolidate except in cases - like RED or HDSLR footage - where codecs not native and then I transcode. Wondering if I'm losing anything picture/color wise by not upping the ante to MC 8 now for the ingest?"

Nope. Unless you have +HD footage you want to keep in its native resolution. Otherwise, what you're doing sounds fine.


[Nick Ravich] "*Really lost on Media Composer and color bit. Now that there's more and more 10 bit color option cameras, really unclear to me if MC is preserving the 10 bit color. Color bit doesn't seem to be an option in bin columns. And project settings don't list color bit either, just color space. FYI - Hope editorially lock in MC, but color correct in Resolve. "

If your footage is 8-bit and you consolidate it, it's rewrapped as MXF media and stays 8-bit. If it's 10-bit and you consolidate it, it should stay 10-bit. If it's 10-bit and you transcode it, pick a resolution with "x" at the end (220x, 175x, etc...). The x denotes 10-bit. Also, go to your render settings and you may want to render everything to a 10-bit codec. But if you're going to relink and send to a color, it shouldn't really matter, especially if they're going to relink to the camera originals. And I think Resolve calculates everything in 32-bit float, so that's a great way to go. Your colorist can spit out 10-bit deliverables from there to maintain the highest quality.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Nick Ravich
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 6:59:00 pm

Glad we connected Michael. Thanks for all the info.

Agreed MC8 has some nice additions. Esp that source side LUT.

Understood about MC7 vs MC8 ingest issues. So this new DNxHR codec is specifically for 2K & 4K frame sizes, ie above and beyond 1080?

Understood about maintaining 10 bit. Tho irritating AVID has no way of denoting what is or isn't 10 bit.

I realize I need to get my head straight on the MC-Resolve coloring workflow. Last finish process we went thru I delivered MC sequences and media in final HD codecs; onliner color corrected mainly in MC, and worked in Resolve on a couple of isolated moments. I think he outputted ProRes files out of Avid, brought them into Resolve, then outputted out of Resolve back into MC. No doubt cumbersome process, where we proly lost finer color grading potential of Resolve in all those translations.

Nick.

Nick.


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Michael Phillips
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 8:10:46 pm

If you're doing an offline proxy transcode and edit, keep in mind you don't need a full debayer (defaults to that) when transcoding. Usually whatever debayer just above your project size will do fine for offline. But for DNxHD36 I have done 1/4 debayer from 4K files and it was fine for editing. I recently did 1/8th from 6K sources and that was too. It's a hell of a lot faster.

Michael


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Eric Santiago
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 17, 2015 at 1:36:26 pm

Not sure if it was mentioned but friends dont let friends shoot 1080 with a RED :)

I can tell you that with my Scarlet anything lower than 3K is noticeable in quality compared to 4K and up.

Maybe when you scale it down to 1080 it would be fine but Ive done enough 1K/2kWS/2KFULL shoots that the EPIC is always on the back of my mind (that shoots 4K and above with HFR).

So honestly shooting lower than 4K is not the best with the RED IMHO.


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Nick Ravich
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 17, 2015 at 1:56:42 pm

Thanks Eric.
Love it - friends don't let friends shoot 1080 with a RED.
Will definitely keep in mind.
NIck.


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Nick Ravich
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 17, 2015 at 2:02:40 pm

Thanks Michael.
Just had to google "debabyer".
Basically a color space convertor?
Presumably I should work in an RGB Avid project when working with RED material? And YCBR for basically all else?
Nick.


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Michael Phillips
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 17, 2015 at 2:11:59 pm

No need to work RGB, Media Composer will do an RGB 12bit conversion to YUV 8 bit if going to DNXHD 36. Part of the debayering process based on the "similar to J2K" encoding used (not the same as) is the ability to decode lesser resolutions directly from the file. This can speed up the decode process. When doing a final conform and finish for example you will want to use either a full or 1/2 depending on final resolution of timeline.

Another consideration for not shooting RED at 1080 is that the sensor is windowed resulting in more depth of field when compared to shooting at higher resolution (less depth, or shallower depth of field). This is a creative choice and can be used to your advantage either way, but something to be mindful of if matching shots.


Michael


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Eric Santiago
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 17, 2015 at 2:18:05 pm

Uggh funny how this worked out.

I havent had to work in Avid for weeks due other projects and now Im asked to check into something with future projects.

Sorry if this is thread jacking but maybe itll help some of us.

Did some basic changes in RCX (ISO, FLUT, etc..) as well as sycned TC audio.

For some reason Avid MC 8.3.1 wont see the updates Ive done even after saving the RMD.

I ran into this years ago with some color updates and I dont remember what I did to fix.

The audio thing puzzles me more.

I guess Id have to AAF out of RCX instead.

Again sorry for post disruption :)


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Michael Phillips
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 17, 2015 at 2:54:13 pm

I assume you selected all the clips and reselected the RMD from the source side setting?


Michael


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Eric Santiago
Re: RED 4K to Avid 1080 workflow
on Jun 17, 2015 at 3:29:21 pm

Yes and even Reloaded the RMDs to see the results.

This only occurs with Avid.

THe last time I fixed this was to start a new project and use AMA again.

Basically starts a fresh batch.

It will not refresh as well as FCPX and Premiere.

Mind you those two have been finicky with same workflow and just as maddening but the audio at least comes in perfect every time.


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