Compositing & Working With R3D Footage With C4D & Linear Workflow
So. I've just been working on a project for a client which mixed live action and 3D. In the past the studio I now work for have just smashed the footage down and worked in 8bpc but I wanted to do things different and utilise the footage from the red epic to its' full potential. This meant a steep learning curve about working in a linear workflow (LWF) and overcoming a few hurdles.
So i'll start by outlining the settings i've managed to figure out.
C4D, simply leave LWF checked. I've been rendering to 16bpc png's with a linear colour space.
After Effects. Set the project settings to rec 709 and check the linearise working space.
Also make sure the footage that is coming in is interpreted correctly (for C4D renders, they were interpreted as sRGB and the red footage was interpreted as rec709) Interpret as 32bpc was turned off.
We have a sony broadcast monitor connected via an AJA card too which wouldn't display the gamma properly either, it wasn't listening to the 'view/output simulation/rec 709' like the default monitor would. I managed to get around this by using the color profile converter on an adjustment layer as mentioned at the creative cow, 'http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/202/891878' . This was set as a quide layer too so that it didn't affect the render as colour correction is enabled. This is simply a little workaround for the display.
Output profile was set to rec 709, convert to linear light was off.
So, they're the settings which, to what i can figure out are right. Correct me if i'm wrong.
So apart from checking if these settings are right, i'm curious to know what the correct process for this workflow is.
I was using a new fairly high spec machine to do the 3D using C4D with team render and compositing my multipasses with a proRes proxy of the red footage and then collecting the project to take over to our mac pro, which has the broadcast monitor on for grading. This is where all of the compositing, keying, post and grading was done. Even with a 7tb stardom external raid capable of playing 2k footage in realtime, the mac was struggling by the end. The footage in fairness, was shot at 5k and cropped where needed for different shots but the project is just so heavy. Obviously you want to keep the raw footage to grade after compositing but we have been almost tempted to render out the project to proRes and do the grade on top of that.
So i'm interested to know how you guys would go about the whole thing?
Also, was i doing the right thing by compositing my 3D with the ungraded footage for it to be regraded together? As it is colour correction on top of another colour correction essentially, for the 3D at least.
Thanks in advance!
[james lashmar] "Obviously you want to keep the raw footage to grade after compositing but we have been almost tempted to render out the project to proRes and do the grade on top of that."
That's worth considering. The visual difference between ProRes and uncompressed is small, but the bandwidth difference is big.
If you render to ProRes, make sure you set the output module's depth to "Trillions of Colors" instead of the default "Millions of Colors." ProRes 422 can accommodate 10-bit video (and ProRes 4444 can go higher), but the default settings would truncate to 8-bit.
[james lashmar] "Also, was i doing the right thing by compositing my 3D with the ungraded footage for it to be regraded together? As it is colour correction on top of another colour correction essentially, for the 3D at least."
If the 3D roughly matches the ungraded footage, then grading them together is fine. In general, grading composited elements together in a single pass works nicely to unify the images if they are somewhat close to begin with.
If they are really far out of whack, you might want to export mattes for the 3D elements so that the colorist can easily manipulate them separately.
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