RED AND FCPX
COW Library : Apple Final Cut Pro X Tutorials : David Battistella : RED AND FCPX
Editor's note: FCPX can now handle R3Ds natively.
I have been a big advocate of this workflow which has worked beautifully in the FCS suite. That basically entailed the following.
Apple has released a version of software that does not allow XML import or export and that cripples many of the best quality professional R3D workflows. To make things worse there is no EDL support in this release making it impossible to use FCP X as on offline edit tool for an R3D finish.
But this article is for someone who is using FCP X version one and wants to use footage shot with RED in their project, and it's not impossible. I am going to provide a couple of different possibilities which you can use for your projects which require some or all RED footage.
Basically FCP X is a closed system in the sense that it assumes you are finishing within the software. That means you are grading, doing your sound work and exporting to a file format for delivery. So this article will give you a few ways to deal with that new reality.
Red's free software REDCINE X is available for download at RED.com. You will need this software if you are going to be doing the transcoding on your own.
WORKFLOW ONE: EDIT the R3D in the FCP X timeline
I do not recommend this workflow and for the record I did not recommend this workflow in FCP 7 either. If you really want to edit R3D then I suggest you try Premiere Pro. FCP uses a quicktime wrapper file to translate the r3d media into Quicktime, a format that FCP understands.
To use this workflow do the following:
I know how much the import iMovie offends people.
Then you will see this dialog box where your QT wrappers reside:
Notice I leave all of the auto analysis unchecked and this is an option with any media you create.
Click import and rock and roll.
You will get this error message because FCP does not recognize R3D files as media, just the QT Wrapper files.
Go ahead and continue Import. And then you will see four versions of each shot:
To edit you want to pick one version of the proxy file.
For 4K material I suggest the H proxy and for 2K material I suggest the F proxy. In the 64 bit architecture you will find that M proxies playback best to edit with.
If you insist on going this route then I suggest you edit with H proxies. You might be able to pull it off for a short spot but not likely for longer pieces.
For this lesson I have suggested the H proxy file. Here is a nice feature in FCP X.
—Select all of the files that are not _H.
—Once selected hit the delete key to reject the files.
—Then sift your viewer to hide rejected.
—you now work with the media you want.
WORKFLOW TWO: The one I recommendIf you are going to use FCP X and RED footage and know that you are not going to be accessing your r3d RAW media files, then I recommend this workflow.
I'd like to state very clearly that the whole purpose of capturing RAW media with RED is to have the POWER and Flexibility to manipulate RAW image files at the final polish stage of color grading.
We do live in the world of post and that requires some people to compromise, but my advice is to compromise in the best possible way.
Here is what to do.
Open all of your files in REDCINE X (the program I mentioned at the start of the article.
Set the Color, ISO and GAMMA settings.
Exporting with these settings will give you a flatter image without clipped highlights or crushed blacks that will be easier to grade. I like to use a 5600K balance for daylight footage but it is recommended to white balance the footage prior to exporting.
Select the Clips in the bin and select the Prores 4444 Render Preset and click export.
After the renders are complete you are now ready to import into FCP X. So follow the same guides as before to navigate to your rendered footage to hit import.
What you will find is that the footage is quite milky. We like this milky look for grading. Here is an example with the color correction off.
And here is a quick S CURVE style correction with the NEW Color board. Here, I dropped the blacks and raised the whites in a quick primary luminance correction. See how the waveform filled out and the image is punchier.
In this method you are free to edit and to intercut the footage with other material but you will never be going back to the R3D file, you are limited to the twelve bit data you burnt into the Prores 4444 file.
Just to close.
These are the two ways to incorporate RED footage in your FCPX projects. I do not feel that either of them is by any means ideal, but until updates are announced these are the ways to use RED footage inside FCP X.
To view the movie that these samples were pulled from, watch Calcio Storico Fiorentino, the thrilling game that has been played in Firenze, Italia for centuries.