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Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time

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andrew smith
Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 11, 2011 at 11:20:16 pm

First time poster in this forum, follower of the Cow for bit...thank you for all the Color / FCP help in the past!

I have my very first Red Epic job with a whole bunch of footage expected...obviously Color will not work for this job because some of the footage will be shot 5K and ultimately its time to move on from Color for us anyways. I would like to still be able to use Color for other work, but I need to get a fast system up and running immediately to handle this job right now. I am getting a final total still on the footage but I believe it will be at most roughly 130 hours to grade in a 7-10 day period of time.


Here is the equipment I currently have:
MacPro 4,1 OSX 10.6.8 / FCS3 / CS5
2.26 ghz 8-core / 24GB RAM
Nvidia GT 120/285 combo
AVID MC Color control surface
Panasonic calibrated monitor

What I think I will need after reading the config guide and this forum:
Resolve 8 software obviously
BMD3D+ Extreme

1) Should I add a Cubix expander and if so which Cubix model?
2) What graphics cards would I need to add in addition to the 120/GTX285. I was looking at x2 285's or 470 Nvidia cards from ebay?
3) Is RedRocket overkill in that I dont know how much it will be needed after this big job?
4) How much am I looking to spend if I expand and how best to purchase all of this quick fast?

Anything else I am missing?

Thank you

Andrew


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Kevin Cannon
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 3:11:04 am

Is this dailies timing/transcoding? I ask because you might have different needs than if you are looking at supervised finishing sessions...

The GTX285 will do an admirable job keeping realtime for basic grades (like one might do with dailies) so I don't imagine that would be your first bottleneck. If you start to get into lots of blurs, soft keys, etc, it might become a limitation.

Your 8-core likely won't get you real-time RED decoding without a RED Rocket; I have a 12-core that just barely does real-time for 4K RED at 1/2 res "good" debayer. If you need to render 130 hours in a week, I would definitely consider that a likely limiting factor, and the RED Rocket would help you there, especially if you need "premium" quality debayer.

You can put a Red Rocket, Decklink, GT 120 and GTX285 in one Mac Pro without a Cubix (I think, check the config guide) if you don't need a slot for storage interfaces. I imagine that would be a practical set-up for getting through a lot of RED footage with basic grades... if you need more GPU grading power or storage interfaces, you might need the Cubix there...


KC

prehistoricdigital.com
hardworkingpixels.com


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andrew smith
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 3:26:13 am

Hi Kevin
thanks for the reply!

Ok forgot to mention we have a Fibre card in there too going to large office RAID in machine room. So right now you can account for these slots already:
Nvidia 120/285
BMD Extreme 3D+
Fibre Card

Just to clarify sorry i am a newbie on this but its for broadcast and most likely wont have many nodes you are correct about that. What will be the differences in quality between those debayer settings you mentioned? I know I will be rendering out 1080p 23.98 files for delivery. It seems you are more considered about a Rocket card than having 2 more GPU cards in a Cubix is that because of the timeframe and hours I have total. Not sure how many Red jobs will come after so I need to also justify the purchase unless maybe I try to rent one for the week?

I assume we will be grading with the r3d's and not for example transcoded ProRes 4444 files but I want to be ready for either or both just in case any crazy requests happen.

Any info you can provide or expand upon here for a newbie to Davinci would be great!

Thank you


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Kevin Cannon
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 4:03:44 am

Here's my understanding of the way Resolve works with the hardware to render RED footage into HD quicktimes is this:

1. It reads the RED file from the storage.
2. It feeds the compressed RED into the decoder (which is kind of separate) and decodes it using the CPU or RED Rocket card. This sends a completely uncompressed RGB image to Resolve.
3. It takes that uncompressed RGB image and applies your grades using the GPUs.
4. It takes the final image and sends it out to the decklink card for monitoring.
5. When rendering, it does all the above and also encodes to your specified format
6. And writes the file to the storage.

So you have a fiber card and large array, so steps 1 and 6 should be performed quickly. For step 4 you really only have one choice, the Decklink Extreme 3D+. Step 5 is based on your CPU (I think).

The trick is to make sure that you have a good balance between step 2 and 3... there's no point in having three GTX285s if you can only decode RED at 12fps... the GPUs will be no help whatsoever and you'll be limited by the CPU.

As far as RED decoding, I can't speak for the Epic, but my project today was 4K and I was grading in "half-res, good debayer" and there were some pretty ugly moire-pattern artifacts. Before rendering, I switched to "half-res, premium" and they we solved. I personally would definitely never create something for broadcast at "good" debayer, but it might be acceptable for offline editorial if they intend to return to the Red files for an online color correction.

But just to be clear, are you delivering 130 hours of graded footage, or receiving 130 hours of ungraded footage and conforming for a 1 or 2 hour program?

prehistoricdigital.com
hardworkingpixels.com


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andrew smith
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 5:13:09 am

thanks for the breakdown Kevin.

So its a grade on all of the footage to be used for multiple things not just offline editing...it will need to look polished and graded of course but probably not require a bunch of nodes like you discussed.

Debayer will follow your advice and keep it half premium - what happens when i select higher qualities besides slower renders?

So how does having multiple GPU's in a Cubix help then if for this Epic job the only that matters is a rocket card? Is it just the amount of nodes that GPU enhances speed for or is r3d really just the problem requiring a Rocket card for debayering? Comparing for example other formats like h.264, alexa, log, ProRes, etc? After this Red job I do want this box to continue to be decent for whatever formats I throw at it in the future but nothing too crazy.

thank you

andrew

MacPro 4,1 OSX 10.6.8 / FCS3 / CS5
2.26 ghz 8-core / 24GB RAM
Nvidia GT 120/285 combo


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Kevin Cannon
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 5:42:13 am

Having extra GPUs might not help you much on this job if your grades are fairly few nodes and you are not using the noise reduction or other GPU intensive functions... Having multiple GPUs helps to ensure that you don't run out of resources as your grade gets more and more complicated.

Yeah, the R3D is a unique problem that requires a Rocket card or a very fast processor. The other compressed formats (ProRes, h.264, Alexa) all benefit from a faster processor, but are easier to decode and don't require their own cards usually.

Definitely try running some tests as soon as you can - even with Davinci Resolve Lite if you can - to see how quickly you can decode Epic footage at half res premium without a Rocket Card on your workstation...

KC

prehistoricdigital.com
hardworkingpixels.com


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andrew smith
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 2:53:46 pm

Thank you for your time Kevin!

Can you possibly explain the different debayer settings in Resolve? I believe I will need to deliver proRes4444 1920x1080 23.98 quicktimes for broadcast use but I am not sure what will make the most sense for render settings in Resolve. Total newbie question i realize sorry. any help would be great in understanding output render setting.
Thank you
Andrew

MacPro 4,1 OSX 10.6.8 / FCS3 / CS5
2.26 ghz 8-core / 24GB RAM
Nvidia GT 120/285 combo


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kim krause
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 8:54:44 am

how can anyone be expected to grade 130 hours of material in 7-10 days.....that's insane.....unless its all the same setting, but then you still have to render and that would take around about 2 weeks


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Eric Santiago
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 12:59:08 pm

As a first month Resolve user this thread has been very helpful :)
Keep up the conversation, I'm really enjoying this ;)


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andrew smith
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 1:56:14 pm

I am sorry I should have been a little clearer Kim.

So its going to be general location settings with different subjects so it will indeed be a lot of setting all one location with a look created and adjusting only slightly as needed with the new subject in the frame. again not many nodes should be required as more of a general grade is needed.

Also if they don't decide its necessary to go back to the the r3d's but instead use prores4444 1080 files transcoded by an on set DIT with a Rocket card how best would I configure my system to handle that if need be. Could Color do the job or would it go much faster with Resolve still?

More and more it seems a Rocket card rental might be needed - how about if I get the Cubix desktop expander 2 that allows for 2 more cards i believe (maybe one 285 & a Redrocket rental for this job and then after just a 2nd additional 285 totaling x3)?

thank you for your help

MacPro 4,1 OSX 10.6.8 / FCS3 / CS5
2.26 ghz 8-core / 24GB RAM
Nvidia GT 120/285 combo


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illya laney
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 6:02:22 pm

Without a Rocket card I don't think you can finish 130 hours of Epic footage in 7-10 days. If you manage to render everything out in real time, it will literally take over 5 days for 130 hours of footage. We use our own software for dailies and a custom made chassis with 3 Rocket cards. It's the fastest on the planet and it can only get about 48FPS transcode speeds with 5K stereo 3D(on a Mac). That's full res debayer resize with a basic color correction(or RMD) applied too.

For your needs, the only thing I can think of is using two Resolve systems and then rent a couple Rocket cards. One system for color and the other strictly for transcoding. If you go the DIT route and they're using shuttle drives, make sure to leave a day or two available for copying over the 17 TB of ProRes 444 footage to and from the drives.

twitter.com/illyalaney

nextLAB Mobile
SpeedGrade DI
Resolve
da Vinci 8:8:8 Renaissance
Color
Truelight



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Sascha Haber
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 6:32:14 pm

And dont forget to charge them for all of this ;)

A slice of color...

DaVinci 8.0.1 OSX 10.7
MacPro 5.1 2x2,4 24GB
RAID0 8TB eSata 6TB
GTX 470 / GT 120
Extreme 3D+ WAVE

http://www.saschahaber.com


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Joseph Mastantuono
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 13, 2011 at 8:47:00 pm

Amen sacha.

Joseph Mastantuono
Online Editor - Colorist - Post Consultant
Brooklyn based finishing at reasonable prices
917.969.1583


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andrew smith
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 12, 2011 at 6:49:04 pm

Thank you for the responses guys.

Unfortunately it seems we will only have one system to use in that 10 day period and we are hoping it is less than 130 hours that was like worst case scenario but still being prepared is better in the long run. Also hoping to not have to go back to the r3d's and instead will already have ProRes4444 1080 transcoded quicktimes to grade with - in that case we might not even use Resolve if Color will do...i digress.

Just to clarify about Debayer Illya you mention "Full res debayer resize" - does that mean highest quality w/ 1080 resizing? sorry i am totally new to this Epic stuff & Resolve.

Also another question about what you said "two Resolve systems and then rent a couple Rocket cards. One system for color and the other strictly for transcoding" as far as we know right now it will come already transcoded but we want to be covered in case they do in fact ask us to grade off of the r3d's and not 1080 4444 files. Why would i need to Resolve stations if I am only grading either 4444 or r3d?

I appreciate your help and patience...i realize its a lot to quickly understand!
thank you
andrew

MacPro 4,1 OSX 10.6.8 / FCS3 / CS5
2.26 ghz 8-core / 24GB RAM
Nvidia GT 120/285 combo


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Kris Anderson
Re: Finally making switch from Color - First big Epic job with little turnaround time
on Aug 14, 2011 at 10:20:31 pm

I have an Epic and shot some test footage of my kids at 96fps... just 20 (x96fps) minutes worth. It took about 2 days to process out Avid DNX185 rushes without the Rocket.

From a client pov, I would suggest you DO NOT use anything other than full debayer quality settings. That's a big sacrifice and if your client doesn't understand why (which is likely) they may just associate your work with "not full quality". Know what I mean?

If you're able to do this job smoothly, word will get around and you'll get more work. Don't forget that in about 8 weeks there's going to be a lot of Epic-X's hitting the market. Demand will go up if you're equipped and can deliver. The Rocket might be a daunting investment but it's going to make your life so much easier. Just factor a small additional cost into your hourly rate to cover it. Clients will like the words "real time Red rushes".

FYI... here's my set up:

Mac:

8 Core Mac Pro - 16tb RAM
Slot 1: ATI Radeon something or other
Slot2: Cubix PCIe Card
Slot3: HBA Adapter for RAID storage
Slot4: AVID DX Card

Cubix:

Slot 1: Quadro 4000
Slot 2: Quadro 4000
Slot 3: BM Video Card
Slot 4: Red Rocket

Once you get going it's going to be heaps of fun. I'm really enjoying getting into Resolve as it's a substantial step up in terms of features for me, especially with the ability to shoot specific things and "try stuff out" off the clock.


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