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Advantages to finishing in 4K??

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Aryn LeighAdvantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 1:03:12 am

Hi all,

I am working with a producer who is getting ready to shoot for a full length documentary feature.

Most of her footage will be shot on a RED camera, 4k. She's also working with XAVC footage (also 4k) and some 1k DSLR footage.

3 questions:

1. She wants to edit in 4k, but I'm wondering if there is an advantage to this- considering there aren't too many outlets to screen 4k.

My second question is- has anyone had any experience editing full length features on Premiere? If so, would it benefit us to convert all of our footage to something like ProRes HD before we begin editing?

Third- should the timeline be set up as a native .R3D sequence? Or is Pro-Res a better option?

My thanks in advance...

- AL


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Alex UdellRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 3:14:26 pm

kudos to asking at the outset….researching a pipeline for chunky project should make you confident and pay dividends over the course of post!!

here are my thoughts…(opinions only….so ask more ppl, plz)

1) while editing 4k does give you some future proofing, I'd consider the quality hit you'd take upconverting the non 4k material.

2) editing HD gives you reframing capability of the 4k material. sometimes this cane helpful to cover something or reposititon something to better emphasize the subject matter.

3) native versus transcoded….as premiere does support native, it's not "necessary" but it's my understanding that sometimes performance can vary with formats as projects get heavier. ( And the hard drive space and horsepower necessary to work with it. (particularly R3d native).)
You might consider a common codec simply due to the fact that this is likely a long term project and you may not know yet where your entire pipeline is going to take you….it may not be to "finish" in the adobe suite. So I'd ask about which codecs perform best with a large volume of material, and balance that against the finishing team. A saving grace is that now PPro offers the ability to transcode and consolidate a sequence right from the timeline to a different codec…so if you get to picture lock and want move to a different pipeline for grading….it should be easy to get to a common acceptable codec. You MIGHT look into PPro's new support for the GoPro Cineform Codec.

All of this is discussed here:
https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/how-to/consolidate-transcode-mixed-for...
and here:
http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/gopro-cineform-codec.html


4) PPros timeline presets are really to give you a starting point based on the material you are starting from. PPro really doesn't care about the codec as much as you deciding on a frame rate and resolution. From there it can handle everything. Some things to note though….check you prefs carefully about how you want to handle importing material and upscaling and sown scaling when you place it on the timeline. Much of this flow should be decided before you start committing material to the timeline…because it bad be tricker to globally change later if you decide you want to handle it a different way.


hope this helps arm you with knowledge towards a decision that works for you.

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX


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walter biscardiRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 3:50:35 pm

[Aryn Leigh] "1. She wants to edit in 4k, but I'm wondering if there is an advantage to this- considering there aren't too many outlets to screen 4k.
"


Yes absolutely. Once you're finished in 4k you're ready for Netflix/Amazon and other UHD outlets today. You're also ready for 4k digital cinema projection. We're cutting 4k UHD right now for a new digital OTT network I'm developing. While the majority of our audience will watch the programming in HD, for those who have UHD will get the full quality and we're ready for the continued rollout of UHD sets.

Down converting from UHD to HD is easy and results in no quality loss.


[Aryn Leigh] "My second question is- has anyone had any experience editing full length features on Premiere? If so, would it benefit us to convert all of our footage to something like ProRes HD before we begin editing? "

We edit everything natively. If you have HD material to incorporate into the UHD timeline, up convert the footage in realtime in your timeline during the rough cut edit. Then when you've got a locked picture edit, up convert ONLY the used footage. No sense in converting everything if you won't even use it. Just keep the footage to be converted later color coded so you can easily spot it in the timeline. Alternatively, keep it all on a specific video track. We have a Teranex converter in house now for this very purpose of conversions and we'd be happy to help you out.


[Aryn Leigh] "Third- should the timeline be set up as a native .R3D sequence? Or is Pro-Res a better option?
"


R3D should set you up in a native UHD 4k timeline so you're fine there. Just change your Video Previews over to ProRes and you'll be fine. That's pretty much what we do.

Just make sure you have PLENTY of storage on hand with PLENTY of overhead. If you need 3TB of storage for your raw footage, you should have at least 6TB of storage available to ensure space for graphics, renders, audio and to make sure you don't fill up the array. Poor performance comes from overfilling your media arrays. I like to have at least 25% of my storage array empty at all times.

As for cutting long forms, we just completed a documentary project on PPro in 4k with no issues and have been cutting 30 minute episodic for a couple of years now. Great tool.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Alex UdellRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 4:12:43 pm

Awesome reply Walter!!

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX


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walter biscardiRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 4:30:02 pm

Thanks Alex. The big thing we've learned from our 2 years with Adobe Premiere Pro is not to be afraid of any new changes. PPro just seems to handle everything in stride.

Cutting 4k UHD is no different in Premiere than cutting HD. You just need to plan for larger graphics and larger storage capacity. But inside the app, just load and cut.

So incredibly nice to have Adobe allow us to just concentrate on the creative and get the technology out of the way.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Alex UdellRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 4:44:44 pm

Agreed!

I enjoy the fact that when deadlines are furious and I have footage coming at us from all over the place from every camera….

I can just prep the project. pass it to my artist and they can just work.

I am almost never concerned about how material was shot.

:)

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX


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Chris BorjisRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 5:08:19 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Jan 12, 2015 at 5:10:12 pm

Ya great post Walter.

I'll just add to make certain you have a fairly high end edit
system with at least 32 gb of ram and a good GPU (ATI or NVidia) with 4gb of ram
on board.

I did some 4k a few months back and found those two items made things
easier to to deal with in 4k workflows.




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walter biscardiRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 7:06:53 pm

[Chris Borjis] "I'll just add to make certain you have a fairly high end edit
system with at least 32 gb of ram and a good GPU (ATI or NVidia) with 4gb of ram
on board."


Yes, this would be ideal, but I will say I edit UHD materials at home quite often with a base MacBook Air with only 4GB of RAM off a single 1TB USB 3 bus powered drive. Putting the resolution at 1/8 on the viewer and master allows me to cut quite well actually, it blows me away.

This is cutting native files from the Panasonic GH4 and ProRes 4k files from the Blackmagic 4k Production camera primarily. We shoot 4k / 23.98. It's a brave new world for sure.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Aryn LeighRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 5:10:57 pm

Hi all,

Excellent responses, thank you all very much! I'm used to working at, (or usually "fixing" issues) at the online stage, so I've learned to be pretty anal at the onset.

Walter- how does 1080 look in a UHD timeline?? I'm assuming, even with a teranex upgrade, there is quality loss if viewing in UHD. And is it then still possible to do clean-looking punch-ins with the 4k footage?

Alex- Thank you for turning me on to the consolodate-transcode feature. Brilliant! I wonder how well it works when you're conforming mixed frame rates? I'd take a wild stab that waiting to do this after broadcast picture lock would not be the best idea. :0D

Thank you guys again.


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walter biscardiRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 7:04:37 pm

[Aryn Leigh] "Walter- how does 1080 look in a UHD timeline?? I'm assuming, even with a teranex upgrade, there is quality loss if viewing in UHD. And is it then still possible to do clean-looking punch-ins with the 4k footage? "

If it's progressive, it up converts very nicely. If it's interlaced, you really want something like the teranex to do the up convert.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

Blog Twitter Facebook


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Mike JacksonRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 14, 2015 at 7:59:20 pm

I'm just about finished cutting a feature with Premiere CC 2014, and (as others here have said) my experience has been excellent... but a a little different.

We shot 4k on the RED, but are finishing at HD. Some advantages of this have been mentioned already (reframing chief among them), but what hasn't is that in general, 4k RED footage looks a little soft at full-res. Down-rezed to HD, it always looks sharp and clean.

As for cutting the R3Ds, I find that it technically works, but never well enough for the way I like to cut. Your system needs to be very powerful, or you need to work at 1/4 or 1/8 resolution. I'm not fond of this, as its easy to miss small details in the background that can ruin a take, like an extra pulling a face or looking right down the barrel.

So we transcoded everything to HD PreRes files, and we'll link back to the 4k R3Ds for the online. Performance is MUCH better, files are smaller, and everyhting worked very smoothly, even on my old MacPro with 16Gb RAM.



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Erik LindahlRe: Advantages to finishing in 4K??
by on Jan 14, 2015 at 11:06:33 pm

For Gone Girl they had the same workflow, sort of.

- Shot with RED DRAGON @6K
- Converted everything to DPX. This was their master / intermediate format they did VFX / finished in.
- For editorial, ProRes files from the DPX-files at roughly 2.5K was used.

Choosing an intermediate codec I'd say ProRes is you best pick if you're OSX based. If not, Cineform is a decent runner up from the various tests I've seen. A film like Gone Girl used DPX yes but for most that's crazy overkill.

From my experience, even with modern hardware, the overhead of "all native" isnt worth it IF you can afford a transcode workflow. It will eat some time on the front end and it will eat HDD space potentially but it does ease up thing from my experience.

Also be very careful about mixing frame rates. Yes, premiere handles mixed frame rates but the end result will look like garbage.

Scaling HD to UHD works decently in Premiere where After Effects really shines in terms of quality (with the side effect of longer rendering times).


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