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#1 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 11:50 AM

So, I'm curious what do you all use for editing RED footage? What kind of computer and software can handle this kind of horse power resolution? Is there RED editing software? Do you use Avid? What kind of processing power must your computer need?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:19 PM

So, I'm curious what do you all use for editing RED footage? What kind of computer and software can handle this kind of horse power resolution? Is there RED editing software? Do you use Avid? What kind of processing power must your computer need?


You don't edit in 4K, you edit using lower-rez proxies, compile an EDL, and then process the footage used in the final cut.
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#3 Peter Moretti

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 04:59 AM

Red is definitely a work in progress esp when it comes to postproduction, and even more so when it comes to Avid. The Red camera records .R3D files, which are "RAW" files that no NLE can presently use, FWIU.

.RD3 files look like crap to the average viewer, but to colorist they look LOVELY. They are very gradeable. A philosophy of Red's is to remove image processing from the camera and put it into the computer.

You use another program, called Redcine, to convert .R3D files into ones that can be ingested into FCP or Avid. Redcine Quicktimes can be imported into FCP. Avid's MC can also import the Qicktimes, but the timecode will be gone. There is a program called Metacheater that fixes this problem, and Avid is supposed to be working on a fix.

Avid's DS can import Redcine's DPX files, so that's another route to take if you work with DS. I believe Assimilate's SCRATCH can import .R3D files directly.

This area is constantly moving, so I hope the info. I've given is accurate. I belive it is.
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#4 Thomas James

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:56 AM

According to Cineform you need a computer with dual quadcore processors that run at 3 gigahertz. I found a motherboard that has 2 processor slots for $649. Then you need to buy two each of the processors that will run you from $1400 to $2000 each. So we are up to 3500 bucks and we have not even considered the memory requirements. The motherboard will support up to 16 gigabytes of memory but I do not know if that much memory is required.
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#5 John Tissavary

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:43 PM

Frankly, all post production workflows are works in progress... but since Red is so new, there are definitely many questions to be answered about post production before any producer, DP, etc... can make an informed choice.

That said, the answers are there, and they're far simpler than one might think. We use FCP for offline edit and Scratch for online conform and color finishing, plus other packages as needed for vfx and other types of processing. Currently the redcode component of quicktime is only available on OSX, but that will change at some point. So, it's possible to edit offlines instantly using the camera generated (or RedAlert generated) proxy wrappers. Finishing needs to be done in a system that can do a full debayer on the .r3d raw files, right now Scratch, RedAlert/Redline, and RedCine are your best (and only) tools.

Our proven, end-to-end process is as follows:

Footage from Red cameras is copied/backed up onto at least two hard drives and two LTO-3 tapes. We do this as the cards or hard drives filter in on set.

LTO-3 tapes are saved in two locations for safety, and hd's go to editorial & finishing.

One HD is mounted on the FCP workstation (macpro dual core) and the proxies are used to create a complete offline edit. Once finished a cmx3600 EDL is generated.

This EDL is loaded into Scratch, where the second HD (with identical .r3d files and structure) is mounted, and the conform is processed very quickly. This is usually an automatic process, but there are times where manual intervention is required.

Once conformed we go through the grading/finishing process, including generating plates for vfx and then bringing those composited vfx shots back into Scratch. Then Scratch is used to either playback in real time to a tape deck, or to render out to dpx, exr, quicktime, or whatever is needed at whatever resolution and bit-depth is appropriate for the final deliverables. Rendering in Scratch will yield superior results since at this time it is not possible to do a full resolution debayer in real-time, and only a very few systems will playback 2k full mode in realtime due to the heavy cpu load from debayering.

As far as what systems are supported? For FCP, RedCine, RedAlert only intel macs, and I would suggest a quad or octo core.
For Scratch you'll need something fast and reliable, I suggest you contact Assimilate to get some idea of the requirements. But since it's a software based system you can configure your own, depending on your needs. Scratch requires an Nvidia Quadro FX 3500 minimum, but 4700 is recommended. This software does just about everything in the GPU, so there's no getting around this hardware requirement. Add to that fast processors for debayer (I use quad 3ghz intel, but octocore / skull trail is the latest-greatest). For RedCine & RedAlert you can check the Reduser.net boards - there are a lot of discussions detailing what does and doesn't work. I don't use this software, so can't be all that helpful.

Hope this helped.


cheers,

John T.

Producer / Director / Colorist
TRAkTION*
*commercials *music video
*digital post
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#6 Gary McClurg

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:41 PM

Frankly, all post production workflows are works in progress... but since Red is so new, there are definitely many questions to be answered about post production before any producer, DP, etc... can make an informed choice.

That said, the answers are there, and they're far simpler than one might think. We use FCP for offline edit and Scratch for online conform and color finishing, plus other packages as needed for vfx and other types of processing. Currently the redcode component of quicktime is only available on OSX, but that will change at some point. So, it's possible to edit offlines instantly using the camera generated (or RedAlert generated) proxy wrappers. Finishing needs to be done in a system that can do a full debayer on the .r3d raw files, right now Scratch, RedAlert/Redline, and RedCine are your best (and only) tools.

Our proven, end-to-end process is as follows:

Footage from Red cameras is copied/backed up onto at least two hard drives and two LTO-3 tapes. We do this as the cards or hard drives filter in on set.

LTO-3 tapes are saved in two locations for safety, and hd's go to editorial & finishing.

One HD is mounted on the FCP workstation (macpro dual core) and the proxies are used to create a complete offline edit. Once finished a cmx3600 EDL is generated.

This EDL is loaded into Scratch, where the second HD (with identical .r3d files and structure) is mounted, and the conform is processed very quickly. This is usually an automatic process, but there are times where manual intervention is required.

Once conformed we go through the grading/finishing process, including generating plates for vfx and then bringing those composited vfx shots back into Scratch. Then Scratch is used to either playback in real time to a tape deck, or to render out to dpx, exr, quicktime, or whatever is needed at whatever resolution and bit-depth is appropriate for the final deliverables. Rendering in Scratch will yield superior results since at this time it is not possible to do a full resolution debayer in real-time, and only a very few systems will playback 2k full mode in realtime due to the heavy cpu load from debayering.

As far as what systems are supported? For FCP, RedCine, RedAlert only intel macs, and I would suggest a quad or octo core.
For Scratch you'll need something fast and reliable, I suggest you contact Assimilate to get some idea of the requirements. But since it's a software based system you can configure your own, depending on your needs. Scratch requires an Nvidia Quadro FX 3500 minimum, but 4700 is recommended. This software does just about everything in the GPU, so there's no getting around this hardware requirement. Add to that fast processors for debayer (I use quad 3ghz intel, but octocore / skull trail is the latest-greatest). For RedCine & RedAlert you can check the Reduser.net boards - there are a lot of discussions detailing what does and doesn't work. I don't use this software, so can't be all that helpful.

Hope this helped.


cheers,

John T.

Producer / Director / Colorist
TRAkTION*
*commercials *music video
*digital post
Los Angeles


So basically how much will all this cost...
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#7 Peter Moretti

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 09:46 PM

So basically how much will all this cost...

Assuming you own the Red:

$16K for the Red version of SCRATCH
$10K for the SCRATCH workstation
$6K for the FCP workstation

$32K, IMHO.
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#8 Mitch Gross

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 10:07 PM

You forgot about all the memory.

And the grade-quality monitors.

And many other things.
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#9 Gary McClurg

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:31 PM

Assuming you own the Red:

$16K for the Red version of SCRATCH
$10K for the SCRATCH workstation
$6K for the FCP workstation

$32K, IMHO.


Not sure about the monitors... but its funny I posted on another site a long time ago that I was thinking by the time you purchased the camera... got all the goodies for the camera and throw in post costs... it was going to be around $80k... and that was including already owning FCP... and just updating... so really I wasn't far off...
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#10 Keith Walters

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:32 AM

...Our proven, end-to-end process is as follows:

Footage from Red cameras is copied/backed up onto at least two hard drives and two LTO-3 tapes. We do this as the cards or hard drives filter in on set.

LTO-3 tapes are saved in two locations for safety, and hd's go to editorial & finishing.

One HD is mounted on the FCP workstation (macpro dual core) and the proxies are used to create a complete offline edit. Once finished a cmx3600 EDL is generated.

This EDL is loaded into Scratch, where the second HD (with identical .r3d files and structure) is mounted, and the conform is processed very quickly. This is usually an automatic process, but there are times where manual intervention is required....

...For Scratch you'll need something fast and reliable, I suggest you contact Assimilate to get some idea of the requirements. But since it's a software based system you can configure your own, depending on your needs. Scratch requires an Nvidia Quadro FX 3500 minimum, but 4700 is recommended. This software does just about everything in the GPU, so there's no getting around this hardware requirement. Add to that fast processors for debayer (I use quad 3ghz intel, but octocore / skull trail is the latest-greatest). For RedCine & RedAlert you can check the Reduser.net boards - there are a lot of discussions detailing what does and doesn't work. I don't use this software, so can't be all that helpful.

Hope this helped.

So, do you have some sort of ballpark rendering timeframe for "per minute of 4K" after the EDL and so on have been compiled? Does this vary enormously from one installation to another, and can it be done cheaper if you're prepared to wait? And wait :lol:

Keith

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Edited by Keith Walters, 07 July 2008 - 06:34 AM.

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#11 John Tissavary

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 04:22 PM

So, do you have some sort of ballpark rendering timeframe for "per minute of 4K" after the EDL and so on have been compiled? Does this vary enormously from one installation to another, and can it be done cheaper if you're prepared to wait? And wait :lol:

Keith


Rendering the 4k depends on the machine - cpu number / speed & disk subsystems make a huge difference for sure.

My quad 3ghz machine w. a simple firewire 800 dual disk raid 0 (not sufficient for 4k dpx!!!!) renders @ 1 frame of 4k per second. I'd guess a large part of that is disk i/o. Put it on a san or local system that can do at least 1.3 GB per second so the disk writes are insignificant, and I'd guess under 1 second per frame. Add a skulltrail dual quad overclocked to 4.0 ghz and I'll bet it'll be faster :)

I'm confident that soon we'll see blade render servers w. gpu/cpu combos that work for systems like Scratch and can perform a distributed render to be able to pump out footage in better-than-realtime. That, to me, is the only realy production answer to processing Red. Doing this stuff on single workstations is very inefficient from a lot of standpoints.

And as far as the cost thing goes - you know the old truism: 'good, fast, cheap... pick any two.'


cheers,

jt
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#12 Peter Moretti

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:02 AM

You forgot about all the memory.

And the grade-quality monitors.

And many other things.

Come on Mitch, I gave prices for what I included. What I left out obviously isn't included.

And monitors good enough for grading is a whole can of worms that there is no way I can put a price tag on. Some people say you get away with some used CRT's on eBay for a few $hundred. Others say eCinema's LCD's are acceptable for $6K. Others say you need something like a Sony broadcast monitor for around $10K. And I have no idea if he's going to try to truly finish and make a DI himself or just do a really well CC'd offline.

And there is the whole audio side that we didn't even touch. I feel my prices were accurate for what I listed. If someone wants a detailed list for an entire post production facility geared towards Red footage, then I agree, there is a lot more to it than two computers and a copy of SCRATCH.

Edited by Peter Moretti, 08 July 2008 - 03:03 AM.

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#13 Chris Kenny

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:38 AM

The hardware/software needed for a Red post workflow can cost anywhere from around $7K up through $100K+. It mostly depends on how patient you are. And there really isn't a "standard" workflow -- you can transcode footage into formats suitable for video-like workflows, or into DPX for DI-style workflows, and there are workflows emerging that totally blur the lines. Discussing Red workflow in the abstract doesn't really get anywhere because of the range of options that exists. Any useful discussion should start with something along the lines of "I'm trying to do X and I have $Y".
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#14 Keith Mottram

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 07:29 AM

Come on Mitch, I gave prices for what I included. What I left out obviously isn't included.

And monitors good enough for grading is a whole can of worms that there is no way I can put a price tag on. Some people say you get away with some used CRT's on eBay for a few $hundred. Others say eCinema's LCD's are acceptable for $6K. Others say you need something like a Sony broadcast monitor for around $10K. And I have no idea if he's going to try to truly finish and make a DI himself or just do a really well CC'd offline.

And there is the whole audio side that we didn't even touch. I feel my prices were accurate for what I listed. If someone wants a detailed list for an entire post production facility geared towards Red footage, then I agree, there is a lot more to it than two computers and a copy of SCRATCH.


Yeup like skilled operators. why drop $26,000 on a workstation that will never make its money back? especially when as Mitch points out you'd need the same amount again for monitors- and you still wouldn't have an optimum viewing situation without spending a fair few quid on your room. oh and then you'd want control pannels and for a film out a nice 4k projector. so why not take an edl to a post house? who are all these damn fools buying copies of scratch? then again i have no idea why anyone would drop tens of thousands of dollars on a camera that will never make them money. not knocking red just knocking this lunatic one man band concept. I mean i don't have an edit suite and yet i seem to make money from editing. conversely at one dumb ass point in my career I had an avid, and an fcp workstation. i shudder to think how little money i made from my own kit.
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#15 Keith Walters

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 07:46 AM

Rendering the 4k depends on the machine - cpu number / speed & disk subsystems make a huge difference for sure.

My quad 3ghz machine w. a simple firewire 800 dual disk raid 0 (not sufficient for 4k dpx!!!!) renders @ 1 frame of 4k per second. I'd guess a large part of that is disk i/o. Put it on a san or local system that can do at least 1.3 GB per second so the disk writes are insignificant, and I'd guess under 1 second per frame. Add a skulltrail dual quad overclocked to 4.0 ghz and I'll bet it'll be faster :)

I'm confident that soon we'll see blade render servers w. gpu/cpu combos that work for systems like Scratch and can perform a distributed render to be able to pump out footage in better-than-realtime. That, to me, is the only realy production answer to processing Red. Doing this stuff on single workstations is very inefficient from a lot of standpoints.

And as far as the cost thing goes - you know the old truism: 'good, fast, cheap... pick any two.'


cheers,

jt

I suppose other questions are: "How tolerant are the output files of system crashes?"

And: "If you don't mind waiting, how practical is it to install the software on the minimum system that it can actually run on, and go away and leave it for a few hours, days, weeks whatever?"

And: "How many people have actually requested a 4K finish, given that unless you have an ultra expensive 4K projector, there is nothing you can really display it on?"

I get the feeling that most of the RED footage shot so far is simply being boiled down to 1080p and edited in the normal HD manner (which is perfectly fine for what it's mostly used for).
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#16 Keith Walters

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 07:50 AM

Yeup like skilled operators.

Huh? Whaddya mean? Thanks to "Digital," skill is now as outmoded a concept as film.
Isn't it? :(
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#17 Chris Kenny

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:40 AM

Yeup like skilled operators. why drop $26,000 on a workstation that will never make its money back? especially when as Mitch points out you'd need the same amount again for monitors- and you still wouldn't have an optimum viewing situation without spending a fair few quid on your room. oh and then you'd want control pannels and for a film out a nice 4k projector. so why not take an edl to a post house? who are all these damn fools buying copies of scratch? then again i have no idea why anyone would drop tens of thousands of dollars on a camera that will never make them money. not knocking red just knocking this lunatic one man band concept. I mean i don't have an edit suite and yet i seem to make money from editing. conversely at one dumb ass point in my career I had an avid, and an fcp workstation. i shudder to think how little money i made from my own kit.


Anyone who thinks along the same lines as Keith really needs to study the history of desktop publishing, and the evolution of that industry from non-digital, to using expensive custom digital hardware, to using, essentially exclusively, low-cost commodity hardware and software. And along the way, pay close attention to what those changes in technology have done in terms of lowering barriers to entry and changing the way people learn the trade.

As for the "one man band" stuff... it might not be so clever to assume one understands other people's business models better than they do.
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#18 Brian Langeman

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 10:19 AM

A lot of posts here assume that people getting into the RED have no equipment or anything to do with making films or videos. Maybe some people are getting into it that way, but I think most people buying a RED already have some investment, a lot of them possibly a Mac with FCP. The RED One is a relatively cheap alternative compared to a Genesis or Dalsa or F35. But it is in no ways a "cheap" camera.

A lot of people getting into the RED have probably been using prosumer cameras like the HVX or the other brands' HDV cameras. If they're editing that footage on a Mac with FCP then they already have what they need to edit RED footage. Not everyone needs to finish in 4K. A lot are probably finishing in 1080p, and that's a perfectly viable solution for many productions.

Some people like to point out the one extreme and make things look bad because you have to spend $100 grand for a full out 4K finishing and grading suite. It's only fair to point out the other extreme, which could be an HD, or even SD finish. It might be arguable that the proxies aren't the best quality for a 1080p finish, but if you're finishing in SD then you can edit and grade with the proxies that you have to work with IMMEDIATELY after you connect your RED Drive or CF card to your Mac. (I keep pointing out the Mac side of things because that's what it's geared towards currently. It definitely is a disadvantage for windows users looking for a cheaper solution at the moment, but it will hopefully change this Summer and Fall with the SDK) The only extra coin you have to spend if you're using a Mac already and are finishing in SD is some hard drive space for the R3D files. You don't need fast drives for that, and you should be working that cost into the budget of your projects. Your space needs dramatically increase once you demosaic the files into 16 or 10 bit image sequence files at either 2K or 4K resolution. You don't even need to go through that step if finishing in SD. Just render the final movie at the end.

There's a huge amount of flexibility in the RED workflow, and you can't really have a meaningful conversation about editing RED footage in general unless you have outlined the specific conditions that you need.
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#19 Chris Kenny

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:46 PM

Just to expand a little more on the cheap end of the possibilities...

You can trasncode to 1080p 4:2:2 10-bit ProRes HQ. This is pretty hard to tell from uncompressed HD, but can be played back off of a single desktop hard drive and is under 100 GB/hour. Do a one-light grade in Redcine before you transcode, do secondaries and final color tweaking in Color or Colorista. If 1080p for broadcast or Blu-Ray is your maximum quality deliverable (you know, like 99% of projects), you've got a workflow here that works on a laptop. (Well, with an external FW800 hard drive, and an external monitor when for the color-sensitive bits of the workflow.)

You can even finish at 4K with reasonably cheap hardware and software, if you're sufficiently determined. You'll need a lot of disk space, but that doesn't have to break the bank these days if you're not interested in real-time performance. Edit ProRes in Final Cut, conform DPX in After Effects.

Seriously, people buying this camera, for the most part, know what they're doing. They're not buying a camera for which they can't afford the post process, or dropping $100K on equipment they can't put to good use. I think some folks in this forum have the impression that RedUser is full of clueless people who have no industry experience and are buying the camera because they've always wanted to make movies. Maybe there are a few people like that, but what's much more common is to see working video pros and/or small production companies buying the camera to move up-market and expand the range of services they can offer. (And maybe work on their own feature projects on the side. Hard to avoid the temptation when you've got so much in-house capability.)

And as for the old renting vs. buying discussion.... with lower cost equipment buying is usually a better deal with a reasonable amount of use. Because there are fixed costs associated with stocking and renting an item, cheap gear rents for a higher percentage of its purchase price. People who think shootable Red packages will rent for $400 or $500 a day anytime soon are nuts. Sony's EX1 rents for $450/day and it's a $6500 camera. If a minimal shootable Red package stays at ~$1000 a day, buying gets cheaper than renting pretty fast for a reasonably busy small production company.
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#20 Stephen Williams

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 02:07 AM

People who think shootable Red packages will rent for $400 or $500 a day anytime soon are nuts. Sony's EX1 rents for $450/day and it's a $6500 camera. If a minimal shootable Red package stays at ~$1000 a day, buying gets cheaper than renting pretty fast for a reasonably busy small production company.


Hi,

As shown in a test on Reduser, an EX1 may well be good enough for many applications destined for television. The Red's additional resoloution is clearly an advantage for large screen viewing.

Stephen waiting to see Scarlet
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