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Can someone assist with an Alexa workflow - offline on FCP7, online on Smoke 2013?

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Gareth Randall
Can someone assist with an Alexa workflow - offline on FCP7, online on Smoke 2013?
on Feb 26, 2013 at 7:41:55 am

Hi guys,

I'm shortly to have my first experience working with rushes shot with Alexa. The promo will be offlined in FCP7, and then finished and graded in Smoke 2013.

We want to maximise quality and our Smokes cannot import ProRes. I'd be interested in opinions about which would be the best way to work:

1. Shoot ARRIRAW, offline using ProRes proxies, import an XML EDL into Smoke for reconnecting to the ARRIRAW files, or

2. Shoot direct to ProRes, offline, export the edit as an uncompressed QuickTime for import into Smoke for grading.

Obviously option 2 means I can take the rushes straight out of the camera into FCP without needing to transcode, but our Smoke guy is pushing for working with the ARRIRAW files.

I should point out that there will be no editing happening within Smoke, the edit will be fully locked in FCP.

And how do LUTs fit in to all this? The footage out of the camera will look like crap in FCP/Smoke without a LUT being applied, is that right? Can I apply that in FCP or would it need to be applied in Smoke, because that's where the grading will happen?

Sorry to sound like such a noob, but there appears to be a lot of conflicting information about this out there, and colleagues have had bad experiences in the past working with RED and Alexa due to inadequate or even downright wrong advice about workflows.



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Thomas Alexander
Re: Can someone assist with an Alexa workflow - offline on FCP7, online on Smoke 2013?
on Feb 26, 2013 at 11:38:31 am

If you will shoot with Alexa ARRIRAW i recommend you color grade with Da Vinci Resolve in Prores444 and copy your LUT's settings and apply them later onto the ARRIRAW. They won't be any issues due to the same timecode.

Thomas Alexander | Independent Cinematographer
Soulman Films | Nicosia Cyprus | +357-97697640


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Gareth Randall
Re: Can someone assist with an Alexa workflow - offline on FCP7, online on Smoke 2013?
on Feb 26, 2013 at 12:10:50 pm

Hi Thomas,

Due to our workflow here, the grade has to happen inside Smoke, it's just not practical (for various reasons) to grade the ProRes files before taking the ARRIRAWs in to Smoke.

I understand that Alexa will allow recording of ProRes proxies to SxS cards at the same time that it is recording ARRIRAW to the external recorder? In that case, there would seem to be no problem - I can immediately use the proxies to cut the promo in FCP (I don't need to apply a LUT to do the edit), using an XML to import the ARRIRAW files into Smoke for the grade.



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