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Best export format to send RED footage to AE?

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Philippe Gariepy
Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 3:01:35 pm

Hello all, this is a follow-up to a previous post I sent last week.

I'm in the process of editing a music video shot on RED. The editing is all done, I now need to send the finished edit to After Effects in the highest resolution possible (which would be 4K).

I followed what the RED white paper explained : I made an offline sequence, I re-ingested all the RED footage instead of the Apple Pro Ress 422 that I used to edit, and I now need to send it to Color to export it in 4K.

The white paper thant gives me three possibilities of exports : export in DPX if I'm planning on printing to film; export in ProRes 422 HQ if I'm planning on exporting on YCbCr 4:2:2 tape; export in ProRes 4444 if I'm planning on exporting on RGB 4:4:4 tape.

However, this is not for exporting right now on tape, it's strictly for AE. Which compression would be the best one? Also, if I re-export in ProRes, won't there still be compression in the file, with the color range changed and everything. We are planning on colorizing the final video after the AE modifications, so we want to keep the colors as neutral as possible until the end.

Can someone help me with this? Thanks again to everyone.


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Brian Miller
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 5:16:29 pm

you should export SGI image sequences from FCP...there will be a color shift if you use a quicktime.



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Philippe Gariepy
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 5:22:52 pm

And how do I do this? Do I need another application or something like this?


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Brian Miller
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 5:57:20 pm

nothing else needed - hilight your sequence in FCP, export using QT conversions, select image sequence and in options set it to SGI.



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Philippe Gariepy
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 6:04:10 pm

Ok, I just found it. And then, I take this SGI sequence in Color and render it in 4K to, then, bring it back in FCP? Right?

And finally, is there any preference to which compression would be better out of Color? If I go with ProRess 422 HQ, will there be another color shift? Am I better off with uncompressed 10 bits? And will AE run smoothly with an uncompressed file?

(I'm not the one doing the AE work and I know nothing about it, I wanna make sure that everything works when I give the project to the guy).


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Brian Miller
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 6:21:58 pm

ok let me see if i follow. you say u want to send it in the highest resolution to AE. the highest resolution you have is going to be the largest Red file. If your "F" red file is 4520x2540 then you are good. if your source footage is not, why go to 4k, your just upconverting and not adding an more 'quality'. so set your FCP sequence to be the same size are your largest Red file, then reconnect your clips. then from your FCP sequence you can make your SGI files. The SGI file will be as big as your sequence frame size. i am not sure why you were going to color, sounds like just to uprez it?



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Philippe Gariepy
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 6:49:46 pm

My biggest Red file is 4096 X 2304. Yes, i was going through Color only to upres, I was pretty sure that Final Cut wasn't able to manage 4K footage.

Now, I seem to have a problem to relink my files. At the beginning, I used Log & Transfer to compress my footage in ProRes 422. Now, to relink, I was pretty sure that I had to create an offline using the media manager. But when I do this, I end up with only 2K footage. Is there a reason for this?


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Brian Miller
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 7:05:39 pm

hmmm. yeah i never convert RED footage, i just cut with the proxies straight. my relink process if i was working on your project would go like this. file in offline sequence is named XXXX_M.r3d. I would media manage that into a custom created 4096x2304 project. then i would relink file XXXX_M.r3d to XXXX_F.r3d. now did you convert each entire clip to pro res or just the parts of the sources you needed? if you have the entire clip converted to pro res it's the same length as the hi-res Red file so you should still be able to reconnect in the manner above...



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Philippe Gariepy
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 7:22:46 pm

I tried to do this, but at the first step, something doesn't work for me : in my offline sequence, I don't have .r3d files, only .mov files (the 422. How can I reconnect those ProRes files with the r3d ones?

Just to make sure, here is how I did my offline sequence :

- Right-click on the sequence I want to export --> Media Manager
- Create offline
- Set sequence to (custom created 4096 X 2304 preset, REDCODE compressor --> not too sure about this part)
- Base madia files names on : existing file names
- OK

After this, I open the Log&Transfer window, ingest all my original RED footage in the browser window. I then right-click on my offline sequence and Batch Capture.

What that does is give me 2048 X 1152 ProRes files in a sequence of 4096 X 2304. I assume I did something wrong along the line, or I'm completely off the road on this one. What do you think?


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Brian Miller
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 8:15:00 pm

For a test what happens if u skip log and capture. Instead in your new 4k media managed sequence can you just right click and choose reconnect media. What happens then?


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Brian Miller
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 8:23:22 pm

For a test what happens if u skip log and capture. Instead in your new 4k media managed sequence can you just right click and choose reconnect media. What happens then?


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Brian Miller
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 26, 2010 at 8:29:36 pm

For a test what happens if u skip log and capture. Instead in your new 4k media managed sequence can you just right click and choose reconnect media. What happens then?


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Philippe Gariepy
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 27, 2010 at 8:17:25 pm

Alright, I found a solution, having nothing to do with what we were talking about, and it worked. I found it on the RedUser forum deep down in the middle of a 15 pages topic. Here's how I did it, if someone else has the same problem. It's probably far from perfect, but so far, it has worked for me.

I start by exporting an XML of my sequence.

I then bring it in Clipfinder and click Tools --> Run Conform On FCP XML File.

In the "XML Input File", I choose the XML I just exported. In the "XML Output File", I save the new one. Choose "Replace clips with : R3D" and adjust the sequence to the size of your biggest RED file (or basically, the size you want to work with). You now have an XML file of your FCP sequence, but with all the r3d files reconnected

I then import the XML in Adobe Premiere and from there, I can send it to After Effects.

Of course, you need both Final Cut and CS5 to do this, and you can't send the sequence back in Final Cut afterwards as a sequence, but it works without any problem for me right now.

Thanks a lot, Brian, your help was greatly appreciated.


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Brian Miller
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 27, 2010 at 8:21:48 pm

Wow, now that's one heck of a workflow!!! Glad you got everything straightened out


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Philippe Gariepy
Re: Best export format to send RED footage to AE?
on Jul 27, 2010 at 8:47:02 pm

Honestly, I'm pretty impressed that that's the solution I found that worked the best for me. From the moment I start my first XML export to the open project in AE, it takes me 10 minutes. Extremely easy.

I'm also quite happy to not have bought Automatic Duck, since the only thing it would have done for me would have been to save two minutes and one third party app.


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