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SHOOT>EDIT with RED and FCP X

COW Library : Apple FCPX Techniques : David Battistella : SHOOT>EDIT with RED and FCP X
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CreativeCOW presents SHOOT>EDIT with RED and FCP X -- Apple FCPX Techniques Editorial


director, editor, www.davidbattistella.com
Toronto Ontario Canada

©2012 CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


Embracing FCP X and the RED Camera System from the earliest releases has been proven a successful choice for filmmaker David Battistella, whose enticing respect for the RED/FCPX workflow shines through from detailed explanation to his finished work. Everything we dreamed RED could be in post is beginning to unfold with the new FCP X update.



FCP X 10.06 puts 5K REDRAW power in your hands

Let's face it, I have not made any bones about how much I love FCP X. Just two days after its public release, I chose to embrace it as the future of post production, and I presented a film edited and graded with the then new tool in less than 48 hours using features in the set. [See my previous COW articles about this experience.]

I can't say it has all been smooth since day one, but I do think the latest update for FCP X adds a very important component for RED EPIC, RED ONE and SCARLET users, as it marks a significant milestone with NATIVE RAW R3D support built into what I believe has matured into an evolutionary piece of post production software.

Most of you understand that I am an early adopter of the RED camera system as well. I had an original (number 758 RED ONE) and now have EPIC-X as a base camera system. When I got into these camera systems, I committed to using them as the replacement for any camera and any genre of film I make. I am a firm believer in RAW and I have too much great material shot in HD or SD (which has almost been rendered unusable now with the 4K age upon us).

Why do I feel that the integration of RED R3D footage natively in FCP X is such a big deal? Well, because it is. It will change post again and it will change production.

The knock on RED (wrongly enacted, in my opinion) has been that the footage is hard to deal with, that it is difficult to post, that the data loads are heavy and that post requires additional tools to work efficiently. All of this has been true at different times, but now, five years into the whole RED RAW thing, we are seeing the great benefits of RAW coupled with the native editing in modern advanced editing systems on equally robust operating systems.

In short, everything we dreamed RED could be in post is beginning to unfold. The coolest thing along the way is that the very first 4K shots on my RED one today actually look better than the day I captured them -- and the evolution of RAW de-bayering through software has allowed for this.


REDCODE RAW AND THE EFFICIENT WORKFLOW
I'm going to focus on REDCODE RAW and how you can incorporate an efficient workflow in FCP X to quickly and efficiently produce stunning image quality from your RED rushes.

The latest FCP X is a powerhouse under the hood in that it is 64 bit and leverages GPU and CPU power from your Mac. I am still blown away by how well it functions in my octocore Mac, with 8GB of RAM and an updated ATI Radeon 5770 graphics card.

The workflow for editing with RED footage is DEAD SIMPLE and you have three basic choices.

1. Import R3D files and edit them natively.
2. Import R3D files transcode proxy media and switch back to high res only on finish.
3. Import R3D edit natively with REDROCKET CARD


OPTION ONE (low budget, high quality, asking for headaches).
Import R3D files and edit them natively. My opinion: we are not quite there yet, and we are not with Premiere, either.

I recommend this option only in a pinch and only on a short term project. The reason is simple: computers and GPU's are not quite fast enough yet to handle the real time decoding of R3D material. It will payback for a while, but soon you will experience skipped frames and other problems. If you had to do a very quick turnaround with a short timeline and a few events, you might be able to tolerate this workflow. If you are trying this on a laptop and a FW drive, well, forget it. I know that people will disagree with me on this, but I have to much post experience to tolerate these kinds of things, I want all my frames, a don't want to fry the fan on my machine or GPU and overtax it when there are better (albeit more patient options).


OPTION TWO (low budget, offline/online workflow, requires rendering)
Import R3D files transcode proxy media and switch only on finish.

To me, this is the way to work. This is a great workflow if you are doing a short documentary or commercial or drama. It is particularly excellent if you are staying in FCP X for sound and picture finish. Believe me, I know most of you out there do this and as you become more familiar with FCP X color and sound tools, you can get a "very decent" product out this way. I tend to move to Resolve to finish picture and for sound, "ahem, how do I say this (APPLE: GET YOUR SH*T TOGETHER with getting sound out of this application)"

Seriously, FCP X still does not create an OMF, nor does it interface with LOGIC, Apple's high-end sound Application -- this is a massive gap and unacceptable, but I digress.

The FCP X RED workflow just went from zero to 100% and it could not be simpler.


1. Import your R3D files



Click image for larger view.


2. Choose create proxy media



Click image for larger view.


3.Render proxy media (this is going to take about 1/2 hour per 64GB drive)


4.Edit with proxy media




Click image for larger view.


5. When finished editing, turn on High Quality and the files all relink to the R3D, for final render and output


Click image for larger view.


That's it!

Offline/online, just got that simple, one mouse click! Credit where credit is due, Apple and RED -- the wait was worth it. Granted, there will be front end time to render the proxy media, but I calculated about 1/2 hour render per 64 GB of data -- with that, FCP X .0.6 is a very fast rendering machine!


OPTION THREE: High End Post Facility with fast turn around (requires additional hardware).
You want it fast, you got it. If you have a REDROCKET card, then you can work in Full or half resolution comfortably and without any stress. Dead simple.

1. Import R3D media
2. EDIT Native R3D
3. OUTPUT media

It doesn't get much simpler than that. This is really a preferred way to work.

There is another thing I should mention, because it is significant when working with RAW files. You get almost full control over your RMD files in FCP X, which means that you can control RAW data like ISO, Color temperature, exposure and contrast and brightness in that same non-destructive way you have become accustomed to in REDCINE X.

Some of you might not like using FCP X color tools, but that poses no problem at all. Just open up your R3D files in RCX and make the adjustments to the picture as you wish, and all of those changes will be reflected in your FCP X timeline. That does not mean you will have secondaries, and all of the pro post picture tools we are used to in software like Resolve, but it does mean you can carry your basic look over to FCP X.

As an example, if you are a DP and you set your looks in RedCine X, FCP will open the R3D files they way you left them on set. That is pretty cool and efficient.

One thing I must not leave out is that one thing I want to pinch myself over. That is that I can now, from my laptop or desktop, very easily and simply directly output finished 4K material. Just to put that in perspective, most of you who may have recently watched BATMAN, or SPIDERMAN or any other Digital Cinema Projection at your local theater just watch it in 2K, and that is not half the data of 4K, it's ¼ the resolution of 4K. That is correct -- a 2K frame fits into 4K four times, not twice.

So go out and make your next feature, and if you capture a 4K or 5K format, you know you have resolution to burn, and that you are on par with the technical image quality of the big boys.

Just sharpen your filmmaking skills, because there is a mountain of talent behind every frame of a Hollywood movie.


For more information, the RED -- FCP X workflow video: The plugin allows you to work with .R3D files natively within Final Cut Pro X. Topics covered are importing files, the file inspector sidebar, .R3D metadata, modifying RED RAW settings, playback quality, exporting XMLs and enabling RED Rocket for FCP X.

RED Apple Workflow: Introducing the FCP X Plugin from RED Digital Cinema on Vimeo.

And from Apple Final Cut Pro X Resources, The RED Workflows White Paper

 


 

David Battistella, Creative COW Magazine David Battistella
Italy


David Battistella is a Writer and Film Maker. Visit www.davidbattistella.com to learn more.







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  Apple FCPX Techniques Tutorials   •   Apple FCPX Techniques Forum
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Re: SHOOT>EDIT with RED and FCP X
by Chad Smith
Using a G5 I would transcode to ProRes Proxy 1080 instead of 422HQ. You MAY be able to transcode the footage faster in Redcine-X however I am not sure the current build of RedcineX Pro will even run on a G5 so you may have to transcode all footage with FCP 6. Once you are at picture lock you would export an XML or EDL and bring that into a program like Resolve for conform and color correction for your final deliverable.
Re: SHOOT>EDIT with RED and FCP X
by David Battistella
FCP 6 is a tough one. I have not run an FCP 7 Workflow in with RED for about two years.

What you could do.

Render all material with original file names and Time code.
EDIT
Send FCP XML back to RCX and grade and re-render.

If you made the jump to FCP X you could do the whole edit and then flip one radio button to get back tot he 4K resolution.

David

______________________________
The shortest answer is doing.
Lord Herbert
http://www.davidbattistella.com

Re: SHOOT>EDIT with RED and FCP X
by Jack Mosor
Great Article David,

Thanks for sharing this information with us.

Jack M
Re: SHOOT>EDIT with RED and FCP X
by Chad Smith
Hey David

Do you have a workflow for RED and two system sound? In the past I have transcoded the RED footage to ProRes Proxy and synced up the footage in FCP7 then re exported the merged clips so the audio is baked in. Then finish in resolve with the R3Ds Is there a better way to do this in FCPX ?

Thanks!
@Chad Smith
by David Battistella
HI Chad,

I am testing a double system workflow now. FCP X is very intuitive at syncing sound. When I have some results I will let you know.

David

______________________________
The shortest answer is doing.
Lord Herbert
http://www.davidbattistella.com

Re: SHOOT>EDIT with RED and FCP X
by Axel Arzola
Great article David, I also agree that FCP X is giving us a taste of the future of editing. There is just one thing that Adobe has to offer, and it is called Creative Cloud.
You can not compete with a full suite of high end software that covers the entire gamma of tools we need as professionals.
I wish I could change to FCPX but even when the editorial process looks better, you can't forget about After Effects, Photoshop, Encore etc.
Why should I pay and learn a software just for editorial when I can get the whole nine yards of Adobe and have my entire workflow connected?

As I said, I like FCP X a lot, but it can't compete with a band of brothers.
Thanks for the article.

Axel Arzola

https://twitter.com/AxelArzola
https://www.facebook.com/arzolafilm
http://www.linkedin.com/in/axelarzola

Re: SHOOT>EDIT with RED and FCP X
by David Battistella
I agree Alex.

Adobe make an essential set of professional tools. I never felt Premier (although it has come a long long long way) was ever the greatest option out there for film editing.

Apple had that "cloud concept" roundtripping, whatever you want to call it with the creative suite of apps, color, soundtrack, fcp and motion while adobe had all the photo and design stuff.

If they had not buried shake into other apps it could Rey well have been an after effects killer...alas, I digress.

Two great companies, with storied history, who have made great software.

David

______________________________
The shortest answer is doing.
Lord Herbert
http://www.davidbattistella.com

Re: SHOOT>EDIT with RED and FCP X
by Cristhian Andrews
Hey there!

This is kind of an off topic question but it would make my year if you can help me out.

I am currently working on a G5 on FCP 6 and was wondering how to successfully edit. Should I get the .r3d files import them into fcp6 and in log and transfer transcode them to apple prores 422 HQ, or should I get redcine x pro and transcode them to prores 422 hq there THEN import the files to fcp6? And how do i export back to the original 4k resolution once i finish editing? Do I do that from fcp6 or do I export prores 422 hq in fcp6 and then convert them back to r3d in redline x pro?


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