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instant RED on a MacBook Pro - kit spec

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Aldo Palumbo
instant RED on a MacBook Pro - kit spec
on May 14, 2010 at 2:42:29 pm


Dear Editors

I recently had a very smooth experience cutting RED on my Mac Pro, and I'd like to repeat the experience whilst assembly editing on location using a MacBook Pro.

My previous workflow involved no transcoding. I just copied the rushes to my drive, and started editing with the 1k proxies immediately. An orange render bar appeared in the Apple ProRes timeline, but without the attendant dropped frames. This was particularly useful for allowing the director to get a quick assessment of coverage at the end of a day. My next director would like this kind of feedback on coverage throughout the shoot.

I would add that a few people warned me that my untranscoded rushes would not export well, but I had no problems producing viewing copies.

My kit was as follows:

MacPro 3 GHz, 8-core, 4GB RAM

4 internal drives - 3 striped as RAID 0

Final Cut Pro 7

Radeon XT1900 graphics card


For this job, I'm more interested in speed than picture quality, so I'm fully expecting to use the '_P', 1/8th size proxies.


What spec MacBook Pro would I require?

Would I need to add Mobile Rocket or an alternative?

Would the AJA IO HD help?

Has anyone cut on RED without a RAID?

Am I right in thinking that that 5400rpm portable drives just won't be fast enough?

Am I unwise to connect external drives using anything less than eSATA?



All thoughts welcome.

many thanks


Aldo



Aldo Palumbo
http://www.aldopalumbo.com


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Gustavo Mendes
Re: instant RED on a MacBook Pro - kit spec
on May 14, 2010 at 5:20:06 pm

I have not tested the new laptops, but the old Core 2 models will not handle Red footage really well in FCP.

The Aja IO HD can help you to monitor, but the picture size will be non standard ( as you are aware) and the laptop will have to do the first pass of th scaling, and that usually does not go really well.

I always used Esata drives, but might be doable on FW 800, I\'m not sure about it.




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Michael Sacci
Re: instant RED on a MacBook Pro - kit spec
on May 14, 2010 at 9:34:46 pm

There is a mobel RedRocket that would make it super smooth. The HDs for this are not an issue since the files are small but there is a ton of computing power needed to handle the RED codec, and MBP fall short. That is where the Rocket comes in.


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Richard Cooper
Re: instant RED on a MacBook Pro - kit spec
on May 15, 2010 at 6:55:37 pm

Here is a link to Maxx-Digital page that sells the Mobile Red Rocket:
http://maxxdigital.com/shop/index.php?cPath=147

Richard Cooper
FrostLine Productions, LLC
Anchorage, Alaska
http://www.frostlineproductions.com


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Aldo Palumbo
Re: instant RED on a MacBook Pro - kit spec
on May 17, 2010 at 8:40:19 pm


Gustavo, Michael and Richard

Thanks for the replies. All points good to know. I shall hope that we can get hold of the Mobile Rocket. In the meantime, I've done some tests with my 4GB 8-core Mac Pro with RED footage on an external 7200rpm drive.

It played the rendered sequence perfectly over USB, FireWire 400, FireWire 800 and eSATA. Un-rendered, the sequence dropped frames (on tracking shots with detailed backgrounds only) over all four connections. But I would say that such stickiness of playback is an acceptable compromise for the benefit of the quick turnaround. And if we can render, so much the better.

Given your comments, I shall be repeating this test with a Mac Book Pro soon; but with a quarter of the processing power, I'm not entirely optimistic.

many thanks again


Aldo





Aldo Palumbo
http://www.aldopalumbo.com


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Aldo Palumbo
Re: instant RED on a MacBook Pro - kit spec
on Jun 23, 2010 at 5:43:31 pm


Just to say that these fine guys had this instant RED workflow running on a 4GB Mac Book Pro rather well for me without the Mobile Rocket:

http://www.freak-works.com/


Aldo







Aldo Palumbo
http://www.aldopalumbo.com


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