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RED Workflow Redux

I might be just winging it, but darned if it don't work!

By Art Adams | September 14, 2008

I haven't yet found a manual for working with RED footage. The methods that I've discovered have been cobbled together by searching through thousands of posts on (which has a very low signal-to-noise ratio), hundreds of posts on the Cinematography Mailing List, and just making stuff up.

I recently shot two very low budget political spots on the RED, and as our editor was tied up with another project for a week I took a stab at doing the rough cuts. It wasn't nearly as painful an experience as the first time I tried to cut RED footage, but there are still some basic bugs that have to be worked out of the workflow.

The biggest annoyance is that RedCine, RED's earliest batch-processing color correction and conversion program, doesn't do anything with sound. I cut in Final Cut Pro, and Apple has decided that they only want to support RED footage by forcing us to convert it into ProRes. That means using a tool like RedCine to do basic color correction on each clip and then render those clips into ProRes, a process that usually takes several hours.

Unfortunately, RedCine is not completely bug-free. The most annoying bug is one where you discover, after several hours of rendering, that your first clip rendered fine but all your other clips were rendered out as still frames from the first clip. This is a bug that I've run into numerous times, and the only apparent solution is to trash that RedCine project file and start again. Not very time effective.

RedAlert is much more stable but only handles one file at a time.

How I solved the batch processing dilemma on the next page...

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Adam Wilt: | September, 14, 2008

Thanks for the report, Art. But surely you mean *low* signal-to-noise ratio on Or has it suddenly become a fast and efficient way to find out what you need?  [grin]

Art Adams: | September, 14, 2008

Yes, thank you, Adam. I made the change. I must’ve been crazy to write that. Crazy! smile is a great resource as long as you have infinite amounts of time.

By the way, Deanan of RED tells me that as of 9/2 RedRushes does transcode sound. I checked; I downloaded it on 8/31. Argh! The article has been updated to note the new audio capability.

George Kroonder: | September, 15, 2008

At the LAFCPUG Supermeet at IBC yesterday, Apple demo-ed RED support in FCP for the upcoming update.

FCP will be able to work with the RED files directly. It will allow you to create 2K projects using 4K RED footage.

Log and Transfer will rewrap the 4K R3D in a QT (no transcode) and preserve all metadata (as well as what you add). On the (2K) timeline FCP will do on-the-fly downrez.

When you send a timeline into Color all RAW parameters are available in the Primary Room in a “Red” tab. There you can edit the RAW parameter like WB, exposure, etc.

Should be something to look forward to…


Adam Wilt: | September, 15, 2008

I wonder, will that be FCP 6.0.5, or FCP 6.1… or FCP 7.0? Did the Apple folks give any hints? (I know, I know: “Apple does not comment on unannounced products”, but still…)

George Kroonder: | September, 15, 2008

As I understood it’s the next FCS point release, so 6.0.5 I suppose. It seemed pretty much “finished” to me. It was the only new feature demo-ed.


c-pup: | April, 27, 2009

I have found that Redrushes, even at a half resolution, renders moves at a snails pace.  25 hours of render time for 2 hours worth of footage.  The log and transfer window within Final Cut does the rendering for about an hours worth of footage in 4 hours time.  Soooo much faster.  And the color is identical to what was shot whereas Redrushes washes out that color.  So, I don’t understand why you would use this program?

Adam Wilt: | April, 27, 2009

“I don’t understand why you would use this program?”

Sure, it’s slow, but it allows you to change the gamma space and color space settings of the imported clips, which FCP will not (see If you prefer to use ProRes as an online format (as opposed, say, to using ProRes offlines, then conforming REDCODE in Color), the RED Alert! / REDrushes combo gives you much better control over the conversion process.

It also has the advantage of being free and unlicensed. You can set up a conversion workstation or two and have REDrushes grind through your clips while your editing system remains free to run FCP for editing tasks.

That’s not to say it’s a better way to go than FCP’s Log & Capture; it’s just different. Different workflows for different needs, that’s all.

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