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Mike Kahn
RED Questions
on Dec 7, 2010 at 2:20:58 pm

Have a client that wants to work in 2K, possibly 4K. They do not want to go to prores and do no want to have any realtime problems (I know, lots of fun). They asked if I have a machine that would allow them realtime playback of REDCODE in 2K or 4K. After doing some research, I am pretty confident that my Nahalem 8-core could do the 2K in real time but want to make sure.

Also, I haven't been able to figure out if FCP has been integrated with the Red Rocket card to allow the processing to be handled with the card instead of the processor. It seems that the Red Rocket in the FCP workflow is for faster transcode and debayer, as well as playback to a 2K monitor. If the card does the processing then there should not be any playback problems or system hangs, right?

Any of this correct?

Thanks.

Mike


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Michael Kammes
Re: RED Questions
on Dec 7, 2010 at 3:54:22 pm

Yikes! Aside from the client needing an education....

FCP does not play the RAW RED file currently. You have to use the QT Extraction / Wavelets. Thus, the "H" Quality will be your choice.

I suspect your Nehalem will be acceptable for limited editing, but do not expect 100% success with RT playback. In addition, virtually none of your effects will be RT.

FCP cannot utilize the RR card at this time. You can, however, load up RED CINE-X, for example, on the same Mac to generate any other QT files you may need.

ALl of this being said...I can't stress enough the workflow to flip the RED to ProRes, for either an offline, or a high enough quality for it to be your master. Seriously. Hundreds of my clients do this - and thousands more around the world. THE FCP native workflow is very limited, and I find ends up tying the hands of the people during editorial more than helping.

Good Luck - you're gonna need it!



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com


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Mike Kahn
Re: RED Questions
on Dec 7, 2010 at 4:16:27 pm

After reading the white paper yesterday, I understood that I could import the RED footage using L&T and bring it in natively, with a QT wrapper. I knew that effects would be drastically compromised.

The workflow would be to bring in the RED footage, edit (it's a 30 second commercial), send to color, render DPX if 4K, render to ProRes4444 if 2K.

The reason to keep it RED going to color is to allow for the Red tab in the primary room to be available and if we transcode to ProRes we lose that.

This client is all about speed and needs RT performance from the machine and can't waste time transcoding or reconforming.


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Michael Kammes
Re: RED Questions
on Dec 7, 2010 at 4:27:59 pm

Using QT as the "conduit" will still not guarantee RT performance, it's a crap shoot.

You can always batch transcode to ProRes, edit, then send the sequence to Color after you relink to the RED files. I know you don't want to do it, but for ease in editorial, I still endorse it. You are, of course, editing a 30sec spot, so it may not be as torturous as lets say, a feature.

Remember the concept of "Pay Now or Pay Later".

Pay Now: Transcode to ProRes at the beginning and avoid the suffering of constant rendering or stutters during playback, and have a smooth output.

Pay Later: Deal with rendering for everything, and possible output problems when you have to transcode for the output later.

I find the most stress is at the tail end, not the front end...so I opt and recommend paying now.

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com


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Alan Okey
Re: ED Questions
on Dec 7, 2010 at 6:51:55 pm

If breakneck speed and uncompromising quality are what your client demands, why aren't they just cutting and finishing this spot on Smoke?

Oh wait, let me guess - they blew their whole budget on the RED and now they want the post done for next to nothing.

Have fun!


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Walter Soyka
Re: ED Questions
on Dec 7, 2010 at 7:33:28 pm

[Alan Okey] "If breakneck speed and uncompromising quality are what your client demands, why aren't they just cutting and finishing this spot on Smoke?"

I'm with you and Michael -- they could do an FCP offline, followed by a proper finish.

Mike, are there any VFX requirements for this spot? If so, have you got that workflow planned as well?


[Alan Okey] "Oh wait, let me guess - they blew their whole budget on the RED and now they want the post done for next to nothing."

This is the tragedy of RED. One of RED's core strengths is the option of image flexibility in post. One of RED's most glaring weaknesses is the requirement of a challenging post workflow. Combine these with low budgets and unrealistic client expectations... and you get the case for shooting on ALEXA.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Michael Gissing
Re: RED Questions
on Dec 7, 2010 at 10:22:45 pm

It is possible to edit ProRes Qt 2K and relink in Color to the 4K Red files for the grade. I did this recently on a short film and we had full access to the ISO and color temps in the RED tab as a result which is really useful. Playback was slow (I don't know if the Red Rocket card works with Color). None of this meta data is available until you get to Color so why try to edit with r3d?

The best workflow in my experience is to convert the RED footage to ProRes for editing. You get realtime, no rendering plus you get to grade the RED files in Color. After all you will not be able to monitor 4K. I monitor via the Kona3 which is down converting to my 1920 x 1080 monitor.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: RED Questions
on Dec 8, 2010 at 4:34:09 am

I am no Red expert as I am working through my first two RED projects, but there's no reason to edit native, you are going to be so severely hampered your client will think you don't know what you're doing. If you do want to edit native, you might want to think about CS5, and even then you will need the proper hardware.

I have chosen the clipfinder route. I make one light edit proxies in RedCineX (1080 ProResLT movies) which are very rt and allows cutting footage almost anywhere. I can then take the final XML out to ClipFinder, relink to Red proxies, send back to FCP, then send that to Color. At that point, color has full access to the R3D raw with Red tab. Although Color does not have the latest color science support.

RedRocket does not work with FCS natively at this time, although you can look around and find some beta drivers for Color that supposedly enable rocket support. As with a lot of things Red, it's not super tested or bullet proof as the Red system changes and updates pretty fast.

I'd suggest shooting 4k, even if you are finishing 2k.

Jeremy


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