Friday, October 31, 2008

Editing Red Camera on FCP

Here is a view on a short project edited by Paul Trejo and assisted by Ian Kezsbom, shot on the Red Camera at 4K, and edited on FCP.

Ian Kezsbom:

We were working off two systems. We primarily transferred the footage on a G5 Mac OS X system. As a secondary machine we used my laptop, which is a 17" hi-def Macbook Pro, with a 2.6ghz processor and 4 megs of RAM.

We went to the Red Camera site - and downloaded the Red Log and Transfer Plugin.

This was an add-on that allowed us to log and transfer the Red footage to the Final Cut ProRes footage. This did take a long time - for a little less than 2 hours of footage it was more than half the work day. But it wasn't terribly surprising since we were taking high-def footage and down converting it - not much different than making a compressed Quicktime of 2 hours of footage, I suppose.

The advantage of course was that the Red camera logged each take as it printed them to a drive and we were able to start viewing some of the takes once they had been loaded since the main machine was a multi-processor unit.

This method ended up being the best result for us, since we knew that we were not going to be finishing in anything of higher quality than the ProRes

We had originally prepped to either upconvert to 4K or cut with the 2K footage. We downloaded the Red Quicktime codec, which in theory allows real time playback of the reference movies the camera creates. We ended up not going this route since the research I did suggest that the 2K footage would either not play smoothly or at all on the laptop. We went the conversion to ProRes route.

The outputs for the web were of no problem (one version of the edited project was for broadcast, another for posting on the web). In fact, once the footage was all converted to ProRes files, it was no different than working with any Final Cut project. Essentially, we had created new media - which still retained a fairly high quality (though not high enough for a film output.


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