With the release of Final Cut Pro X, many were anticipating that there would be NATIVE FULL RED R3D integration in the new software. When that was not part of the release, especially after Apple talked about up to 4K resolution at the Supermeet, it left many people wondering how to integrate RED footage into FCPX projects. The purpose of this tutorial is to help you figure out how you might be able to incorporate footage captured with RED cameras into a project you are editing in 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.
- Transcode with RCX or RCX with REDROCKET to DVCPRO HD 720.
- Edit the footage in FCP 7
- Lock the Cut
- Export an XML of the Final Sequence
- Open the XML sequence in clipfinder and relink to the R3D media
- Save a new Clipfinder XML
- Open the Clipfinder XML in FCP 7
- send the sequence to Color
- Close the color project
- Open Clipfinder and run the "fix Color looping bug" with Clipfinder
- Open the Project in Color
- Grade from the R3D data in COLOR
- Export to anything from HD to 4K DPX as the project required.
None of these steps are going to happen with the first release of FCP X.
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:
- Open RCX
- Load all of your RED material in a bin
- In the export tab of RCX chose EXPORT QT wrappers. (this places the Qt wrapper files in the R3D folder and makes them importable into FCP X
- Open FCP X
- Chose import files in FCP X
- Navigate to the folder containing the R3D media and QT wrappers.
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:
|F_PROXY - Full resolution of the r3d file
||4K r3d= 4K QT file.
|H_PROXY- HALF the frame size of the r3d file
||4K r3d = 2K QT files
|M_PROXY - QUARTER of the frame size r3d file
||4K r3d =1K QT files
|P_Proxy - EIGHT the frame size r3d file
||4K r3d = .5K QT files
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 recommend
If 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.
|Related Articles / Tutorials:|
Apple FCPX - Final Cut Pro X
FCPX: Ready or Not, Here it Comes...
We knew that Gary Adcock was the perfect person to deal with an app that aspires to meet the needs of the hardest-core, highest-end pros. Or does it? What if Apple told you that Final Cut Pro X wasn't meant for you? Gary goes beyond his own knee-jerk reaction to the release to get under the hood of FCPX, and he likes a lot of what he sees. In Part 1 of his look at FCP X, he starts with an area FCP has historically struggled most, yet that matters most to editing professionals: media management. For an additional look at the subject of this article, see FCPX: Hardware changes - PART Two.
Apple FCPX - Final Cut Pro X
FCPX - First Cut with the new Final Cut Pro X
David Battistella, ever willing to engage in new adventures in film and digital capture, has taken the leap toward editing his latest work with the new Final Cut Pro X. When you watch the clip from Calcio Storico Fiorentino, you will feel drawn in to the action, taste the dust in your mouth, feel the strength and violence of the game, and be washed away by the sheer power of this centuries-old sport. That's how well FCPX worked for David.
Apple FCPX - Final Cut Pro X
FCPX: Three Camps - The Pro vs. Non-Pro Debate
Three camps of thought seem to be quickly emerging in the forums and the excitement surrounding the release of FCPX. Step back and take a broad look at all of the information in the mighty deluge that has flooded the Final Cut Pro X Forum. Which category do you fall into? Use this to help make the critical decisions for the future at hand right now.
Apple FCPX Techniques
FCPX - Using Match EQ in Final Cut Pro X
Match EQ is a welcome addition to the audio functionality in Final Cut Pro X. Adopted from Logic Pro, this tool is as easy to use as it is powerful. While Soundtrack Pro provided a similar function, this new implementation in FCPX has more options. If you aren't obtaining your desired results using the automated match, you can delve in deeper to get the custom results you are looking for.
Tutorial, Video Tutorial
|Recent Articles / Tutorials:|
Production Designer Hannah Beachler on the Go Creative Show
Film and broadcast production designer Hannah Beachler talks with Go Creative Show host Ben Consoli about her work on Creed, Moonlight, and the upcoming Black Panther. Hannah Beachler is a prolific production designer with an affinity for realistic design that emphasizes emotional drama. Over the past few years, Hannah’s designed some of the hottest films like, Miles Ahead, Creed, Moonlight, Beyonce’s Lemonade, and the much anticipated upcoming film Black Panther. Hannah and I discuss the role of a production designer, how she collaborates with the camera department, working with director Ryan Coogler and how she finds inspiration for each of her films.
Feature, People / Interview
The Other Side of GoPro's November 30, 2016 Announcement
When GoPro announced on November 30, 2016 that they would be cutting 200 full-time jobs, closing the entertainment division, and that their president would be leaving the company, the internet came alive with those who were predicting the company's demise. But there really is another side to the story and as is often the case, the loudest voices are not always the ones with the real story. In this article, Creative COW's co-founder, Ronald Lindeboom, looks at GoPro's announcement and gives his thoughts from his point of view. As Lindeboom concludes at the end of the story, "That GoPro stumbled is not surprising to me, what is surprising is that they had such a remarkable unbroken string of success until 2016."
Editorial, Feature, Business
Letters to the COW Team
Creative COW's Brand New News Dept. Features and Functions
Creative COW's co-founders have been quietly at work cleaning up and rebuilding the Creative COW News section. While they've been at work, they've been adding new features and functions that will make the news department much more useful in the days ahead. If it's been a while since you've visited the news section, visit it soon but read this short introduction to what it is and how things are working. We hope these new changes make your research and keeping on top of industry news much more productive.
Editorial, Feature, Business
Business & Marketing
12 Things I Know About Business at 55 That I Wish I'd Known at 25
12 Things I Know About Business at 55 That I Wish Id Known at 25 appeared in Creative COW Magazine and was one of our most popular articles. It is a true timeless classic in which COW leader, contributing editor, and Senior Business Adviser to Creative COW, Nick Griffin shares wisdom he's learned the hard way in over 30 years in business. His experience will help you to avoid mistakes, manage clients, and prepare yourself to achieve your greatest success.
Editorial, Feature, Business
Don Burgess aligns with Light Iron and Panavision for ALLIED
Don Burgess, ASC trusts Light Iron. His last seven films can attest, so Burgess chose Light Iron to support him again with digital dailies and post finishing services on Allied. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, the World War II-set film sees an intelligence officer's romance with a French Resistance fighter tested when high command thinks a double agent might be in play.
Editorial, Feature, People / Interview, Business, Project