RED: Make Bleeding Edge Cutting Edge

RED: Make Bleeding Edge Cutting Edge

The RED camera system has revolutionized the industry, however, with every revolution there are speed bumps. Decoding the REDCODE file (natively, or utilizing the camera generated wavelet proxy files) can be a lengthy process. A solution is to bring the bleeding edge down to cutting edge. Merge old with the new.

Let the cinematographer use the RED camera, but instead of relying on the RED digital files, run a HD-SDI line out from the RED camera to an HDCAM deck. Then, run a line from the production mixers recorder to the HDCam deck. Viola! You now have your “telecined” dailies – utilizing RED glass – with audio. HDCAM is obviously HD, and is no slouch in the quality department. The metadata embedded in the digital files, coupled with a well marked slate can be used to matchback from the HDCAM footage later if it’s determined that you need the 4K image. Most RED shot projects rarely are projected above HD, and thus will not benefit from a larger frame size which the RED file gives you. The only exception would be an effects heavy project, which always benefits from more pixels.

  • John
    Posted at 11:30h, 14 April Reply

    I believe the HDSDI output on the Redcam is still 720P. It was in August when I last worked with the camera. Also, having timed two Red features using the native data in Color, and one feature by pre-rendering everything to a 10-bit uncompressed YUV HD codec first, the amount of timing latitude you get by using the native data is far higher than in the pre-rendered files. This is especially important and noticeable in exterior day shoots, where shadow detail can become unusably grainy.

  • admin
    Posted at 12:56h, 14 April Reply

    Good tip, John, thanks!

    Given this, would you still recommend HDCAM for an offline and matchback from the tape captured footage to the R3D files for finishing? Best of both worlds?

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