Saturday 20 June 2009

Red FCP-Color workflow

I got this tip from the Indie4k blog Its a simple workflow for editing Red camera shot material in FCP and grading-finishing in Apple Color. Or using Apple Color to make DPX or CIN files for finishing on other systems like Smoke/eQ etc 

For this you need the following... 
An Apple FCP 6 or FCP 7 vsystem with the entire Final Cut Studio installed. 
The system needs to be an Intel Mac - MacPro or iMac, or MacBook Pro. 
The latest version of Red software - Redrushes, RedAlert, RedCine All correctly installed. 
A free software called Clipfinder . 
A word on Clipfinder. Its made by a German scientist called Hans-Georg Daun and it free. But there's a PayPal button on his site. 
If the software works for you, I urge you to donate generously. Remember, this software can do what others do for no less than US$ 150, so donate accordingly. Link at end. 

You start by making Quicktimes of the Red files using RedRushes or Clipfinder itself. You can make Quicktimes of any resolution even 720p and set the resolution to Quarter. These settings can give you even real-time exports out of a new MacPro. 

These Quicktimes will carry timecode from the R3D. Provided you set it that way. You then edit them in FCP. Make an XML out of FCP. Run Clipfinder and point it to where the Red files are located. Clipfinder makes a new XML now referring to the R3D files. 

Actually referring to the _H files which are 2048x1152. You then send this sequence to Color In Color you can grade to your heart's content Then come back to FCP for further editing etc. Or from Color you export to DPX or CIN Set handles as you wish. 

Take the DPX to Resolve eQ, smoke/Flame Lustre etc.

Some things to look out for...

The XML that Clipfinder makes after re-linking to _H files, creates a sequence in FCP that has the same name as the original sequence. So quickly rename it to avoid confusion. DPX files out of Color work fine in Shake, Resolve and iQ/eQ. But some versions of smoke/flame/lustre can't open them. For these systems better to use Cineon. 

Color does only a half-res De-Bayer so if your needs are 4k and or full-res De-Bayer film then this workflow may not be for you. This is for FCP ver 6 and Color 1.0.5 or older. FCP 7 and Color 1.5 and later does De-bayer in full res, even 4k Red to 4k DPX.

If the Red files are on a FAT32 or other non-Mac drive, Clipfinder may not work for making a new XML. Copy files to a MacOSX HFS drive and it will work fine. 

How about editing on Avid? Can we have more details on FCP XML or Color settings? Can you do this for us? Or, we tried and ran into serious problems. Or even, our Red workflow was a disaster, we eventually rendered out Red files to Digibeta, captured them and worked like a normal video. Red camera has been a nightmare for us. etc etc. 

Hey, nothing's easy. and nothing's free. Press that yellow 'Donate' button on the right and I'm brimming with answers and help. Especially if you're in Mumbai, India. 

The origin of this tip is the Indie4k blog archive. An excellent resource for simple common-sense answers to India film-making problems. the original link is here. 

I am grateful to those bloggers and give them full credit for this excellent idea. I've only amplified it a bit. 

Clipfinder can be found here.

And you can mail me any time with the link below. 
Or at
neil (at like e-mail at) sadwelkar (dot like full-stop) com