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#1 Rob Webster

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 06:19 PM

Hi Guys,

Got my first big (ish) RED gig starting tomorrow night. I've 1st'ed with RED but on that occasion the 2nd and DIT did a majority of the menu work, sorting the menu's and dealing with the data. I was very much left to the lovely job of handling the lenses.

However, this time I've been informed that the 2nd is less than capable with the camera and the DIT is a glammed up editor who just sits at his desk and awaits cards or drives to be given to him.

So, firstly, I was pining for some general tips on good practice with the RED as a 1st (along with the responsibilities I may have to pick up for the second). I'm aware of 90 second reboot times for card changes and batteries, but can anyone think of anything particular I should be looking for in menu's, or any useful shortcuts that can be programmed to hotkeys? Obviously this all depends on what the DOP is used to and how he likes the beast to be set up, but surely there are some fail-safe conventions that people adhere to? Any settings on the menu that I should double check every morning?

Secondly, How does the file naming convention work with RED? I'm aware of the menu layout and the fact that you can change the "reel" number, but when should this be done? Every time a drive is changed, as if each drive is just a mag and once formatted it becomes a new roll? What about TC set ups?

And lastly, I've read that card's/ drives can only hold files of one consistent frame rate (i.e. only 24fps), and data must be dumped and formatted before other frame rates can be used. Is this true, or has this been sorted out in a recent firmware update?

Anything useful would be much appreciated. Obviously I've sprawled this forum, reduser and the rest of the web for information already, but anything you guys can think of would be of great help.

Cheers,

Rob
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#2 Markus Rave

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 05:15 AM

Hi Rob,

I will try to answer what seems noticeable to me. First card changes don´t take 1:30 but can be done in seconds. Powering up does. Always make sure you eject the card properly since just pulling may erase the last clip. Not all data of the camera can be stored on the card you find below the side start button. In my experience all settings once established stay in the camera as long as you don´t change firmware. Means last setting stays.

check for baseframerate i.e. 24, 23,98 and so on
check for sensor area to be used 2:1, 16:9 etc.
check for framing area
check datarate i.e. Redcode 28, 36, 42

All other setting don´t really affect the picture since the CMOS is daylight sensitive and I rated it 200 ASA nighttime and 320 ASA daytime. Lower ASA because the camera produces noise which will be more noticeable in dark areas. 320 in daylight pays attention to Jannards "protect your highlights". Noise is reduced with the MX sensor, so you may be able to even shoot higher ASA now without noise.

The only shortkey I found indispensable is the UNDO-EXIT to eject the CF cards or the RAID. Make sure the timecode vanishes and the cam says safe to remove media before pulling the cards. All other buttons are user selectable and for me following assigments were usable.

1. meter (which ever the DP wants)
2. view RAW (you might want the client to look to video gamma but prefer to view RAW when shooting)
3. color (check for over RED or under PURPLE)
4. zebra (fully adjustable as the DP wants it)
5. magnify (pixel CMOS to monitor go 1:1 for checking focus) the monitor can switch that too with the on/off button

You will use free running timecode and use the RED as master or slave. Both works. So the TC always will show actual time and will be discontinous between takes. Reset reel number and treat all CF cards like you would treat film i.e. eject, put them into a cover and tape that red. The DIT needs to not only save but check the saved data when transferred and then mark the card green. If you want to check, just put the card back into the camera and use the playback function to check what is recorded onto the card. Saves time and your ass in some cases :-) The camera will count reel numbers from the number you first entered and I would not change those except for good reason. So mostly this starts with 1.

Whenever you change datarate or timebase you need to format the media. If you plan to change that often, make sure you have enough media. Normally this is not the case. Varispeed or differing shutter speeds may be recorded to the same media. If something does not match the camera will tell you and you just need another media to go on. So you actually could have 25fps timebase but record 24 or lower fps on the same media using varispeed. This is not the same as changing the baserate of the project!

Filename convention is easy: A004_C006_0216GG.RDC means
camera A, roll 004_take 6_*.RDC. All takes will be in different folders and those will be in a reel folder.

If you want to see what happens when you apply tungsten balance to the sensor you need to check video out. RAW will stay RAW and whatever you do will not have any affect except be recorded into the metadata and makes editing easier. So don´t get worried when you push buttons and nothing happens. Just flip to Redspace or Rec709 output.

I strongly recommend checking reduser.net for anything I missed to tell you. One last thing: Maker sure you have something to check back focus. Mitch Gross from AbelCine has some excellent tutorials on the web on how to do that and which screw to tighten first. Great advice. If you can´t afford an FDC or any other check back focus always with a wide angle in closer distance.

Shoot safe

Markus
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#3 Rob Webster

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 07:44 AM

That's great advice Markus. Thanks ever so much. So every time I put a new "mag" in, the reel number should automatically advance?

And presumably the clip number resets to 001 every time the reel number is changed?

How does this work with logging and slating procedure?
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#4 Markus Rave

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 11:50 AM

That is correct. You will enter the desired reel number on the camera and then format a media with this number. From there on it will work as a counter like A001....A002...A003 until you reach A999. The card will have a reel folder and for each time you record it will add another folder inside the reel folder, always starting with A00X_ and from there counting upward, too.
A001_C001...A001_C002...A001_C003 and so on. When changing the CF card the takenumber starts counting from 1 continously again, as you correctly assumed. I found it very important to have the DIT make a folder for each reel and beside the reelnumber record a date like: Reel_001_10_10_09 for todays date. So even if someone takes over and resets the reelnumber you still know were you are.

Logging works very easy nowadays. I think FCP can already work with the data without redigitizing but I may be wrong here. Logging worked well using normal slates despite you may work with synced TC just to make sure everybody can work with the material. So name your take and let someone write down takenumber with the coding of the take. This way you don´t have to match recorded data with scene or takenumbers. If you stick to the workflow you know from film you are pretty much safe.

Shoot safe

Markus
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#5 Markus Rave

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 11:57 AM

PS:

It can not said often enough. There might be copy errors since firewire or USB do not work failsafe all the time. Make the DIT check ALL! takes on the media he has saved the CF card to before you get the card back. While the data can be recovered with Redundead directly after formatting it is unrecoverably lost when recorded and thus written over.
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#6 Evan Luzi

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 04:49 PM

Hi Rob,

I think Markus covered all of the stuff you asked in great detail and he gave some great advice. I am going to shamelessly plug my own blog post I wrote about this very topic because it's relevant and I'm too lazy to type it all out again here. It's the 10 things I think every AC should know about the RED camera. (see here: http://www.theblacka...the-red-camera/) It's much more general than what Markus responded, but I think you may find one or two pieces of info in it to be useful for you.

The important thing with RED is to not let the process change because it's digital. That means don't let production steal rehearsals or marks away from you as a camera assistant. Make sure you have a good workflow worked out with your 2nd AC and DIT, even if the DIT is just sitting at a computer, it's important for you guys to work something out where the other knows which cards are and aren't downloaded and safe to format at any one time. Lastly, download the RED manual online and read through the menu maps it provides. Print those out and bring them to set. That will allow you to find an option in the menu quickly if you don't know where it's at.

Good luck!

Evan
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 08:49 PM

Take advantage of the ability to set the user definable buttons on the side of the camera, the viewfinder, and the back of the body. Use the side and viewfinder buttons for things the DP or operator may want to see such as false color mode, edge enhancement mode, etc. I like to set the back buttons (the A, B, and C) as shortcuts to the framerate menu page, the shutter angle menu page, and the ISO menu page. That lets me change the most common on set adjustments quickly without fumbling.
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