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2; 08/19/2008)
by: Brandon Kraemer


This document is intended to be a work in progress, much like the RED camera system is. With the recent release of
the Software Developers Kit for the RED camera and future 5k cameras in development, the post production pipeline
for RED will continue to evolve quickly over the next coming months and years. Most of the software described within
are in BETA release and are prone to bugs and frequent revisions.

The RED camera itself has software builds that can be updated. BEFORE YOU BEGIN A SHOOT, CONFIRM WITH

Current documentation for the post production workflow is hard to come by and there is no centrally organized
location to get a full workflow explanation. This document will hopefully bridge that gap for the time being. At the end
of this document are links to useful resources, and a diagram of what the RED file names mean.

The RED workflow is unique and will require some adjustment in the way it is approached. RED is more than just a
camera, it is also a software telecine pipeline. It is an extremely flexible file format capable of working in virtually any
sized format up to 4K resolution, any pixel aspect ratio, any frame rate and most any file type or codec. How the
pipeline is approached is also flexible and will depend on factors that include the final medium and the amount of
footage to be ingested. An important consideration is that anytime a RED camera is used, color correction must be a
part of the workflow because of the color space that the RED camera captures in. More detailed information about
this is explained within.


RED media is created by the camera as a .R3D file. This is a proprietary RAW file format that has a tremendous
exposure latitude sensitivity and a definable format size, up to 4K resolution. From a cinematography perspective, the
RED camera is balanced to 5000 degrees Kelvin, or a little warmer than daylight balance and always exposes to the
RAW files as 320 ISO. Currently any adjustment that might be made on set to change the appearance of the camera
is simply for demonstration purposes. The raw files will always be 320 ISO and 5000K.

Also important to note is that the RED camera shoots in a 2:1 aspect ratio. In a 4K workflow this would mean the .R3D
files would be 4096 X 2048. The camera can also shoot in the 16:9 aspect ratio for a 4096 X 2304 frame size. This
would not really matter unless the final output was 4K. 2:1 is the standard setup.

The RED camera creates QT proxy files, which point to the RAW file and can be viewed with QuickTime 7.4.5 if the
RED QuickTime Codec is installed. These proxy files need to be stored in the same directory as the .R3D files to work
properly. The QuickTime proxy files can be used for viewing and editing, and they contain all the metadata of
the .R3D files with in them. The RED camera automatically creates 4 proxy files for each .R3D file and labels them
with the following nomenclature:

_F for Full, _H for High, _M for Medium, and _P for proxy. High is equal to 1/2 the .R3D file frame size, Medium is 1/4
and Proxy is 1/8 the .R3D file frame size. For an example, a RED 4k file has a frame size of 4096 x 2048, so the _H
file would be 2048 x 1152, _M = 1024 x 576, _P = 512 x 288.

While these proxy files may be large enough for the finished format and have no compression, they are NOT suitable
for final output. This is where the RED workflow is unique because of it's native .R3D file formats proprietary color
space. The proxies are used to make edit decision lists in the form of XML, and these XML files will be used to
navigate the process of transcoding the .R3D files using 1-light color correction into the final master clips. These
transcoded and color graded clips are then re-linked into the edit system and shared with other work-flows.


There are basically three ways to use .R3D media with FCP: FCP Crimson Redcine Workflow, FCP Redcine
Workflow, and FCP Log and Transfer Workflow. Each has it's up and downside. These work-flows are sure to change
as the software catches up, but currently these are the available options.


Note: Supports RED ONE cameras up through Build 16.

The best way of working in FCP with lots of media currently is the method known as FCP Crimson Redcine Workflow,
which takes advantage of the QT proxy files for offline editing, then roundtrips the XML metadata via an application
known as Crimson Workflow, and then uses Redcine software to transcode the .R3D files through a 1-light telecine
process. Redcine outputs as any number of QT codec formats, file sequence formats, frame dimensions and frame

These transcoded renders are then re-linked in FCP, again via Crimson Workflow's XML translation software, and can
be further color corrected or shared with compositing and animation artists. This method, while complicated, delivers
the best quality and takes full advantage of the RED cameras latitude. It also affords the ability to begin editing
immediately with out front end transcoding and speeder workflow by using lower res proxies.

The following is a detailed description of how to approach this workflow.

Step 1: FCP Import and XML Export

Import the RED footage by opening the finder and finding the parent directory that contains all the folders from the
shoot. Simply drag this folder into the FCP project. This folder becomes a bin. Each shot has its own folder and
contains 4 proxy files in each of the proxy sizes (F, H, M, P). Determine which proxy size you want to use, Medium
has the best system response. Edit as you normally would and export an XML file of the finished sequence using
Apple XML Interchange Format, version 4, choose save the project with latest clip metadata option. The resulting file
is named Sequence.xml.

Step 2: Crimson Workflow XML Import and Export

Launch the application Crimson Workflow. Choose the source sequence (Sequence.xml). Next, add to the Search
Folders directory the parent directory that contains the .R3D media for this project. Then select MATCH. This finds
the .R3D files and matches them to your XML metadata file.

Next, tab over to the Intermediate menu and make sure Use "Cowboy" intermediate is selected. This pre-cuts your
master clips so the following process in Redcine is based on your edit. Select the Add Prefix option as well.

Next tab over to Redcine and chose Export Redcine XML. This creates a file called Sequence_telecine.xml. It also
creates intermediate alias files to Crimson Workflow's working directory: Documents/Crimson Workflow Documents/
Intermediates/Project. You will use both the telecine.xml file and the intermediate alias in the next step.

Step 3: Redcine Import

Launch the application Redcine. Select Load All and navigate to the folder created by Crimson Workflow that
contains the Intermediates. These files look like .R3D files, but are alias that have altered metadata. Select this
directory and click load. You will now see the master .R3D files loaded into Redcine, but they are not yet matched to
the edit. To do that go to project settings, select open project and open the Sequence_telecine.xml file. This
conforms the clips in Redcine's library to your XML and now on the timeline you can see your shots in context as you
make 1-light color correction decisions, do repositions, etc. Please see the Redcine Workflow section for more in-
depth information about this step.

Step 4: Redcine Export

Once the project settings, shot settings, color settings have been made to the clips in the timeline you will need to
render these out to the appropriate file format. From the Output Settings select the file name specifications option from
the field that contains the default file name, From this pop up window, select Separate Folders and Input File
Name. This will create individual clips that match the originals when you render out that will be re-linked in FCP. If
you do not select separate folders, it will render out as one movie, which is not what FCP needs.

Next, choose your format. This can be any number of formats, but for FCP you will need to use QuickTime for the file
format as FCP does not support image sequences. (DPX workflow would require Glue Tools as a conversion tool.)
Next select the compression setting, Apple ProRes 422 HQ or Uncompressed 10 bit 422 are both good options. Set
Quality to Lossless and the Process level to Full.

Set the Output Path to the drives that you want the media to playback from and click the big red go button to begin the
transcoding. Redcine will create an event folder for each shot to be rendered, with in that folder is the actual render.
Be sure to save the Redcine project by overwriting the telecine.xml file with the Redcine project file. This re-links your
work in Redcine with Crimson.

Step 5: Crimson Workflow Roundtrip XML

Back in Crimson Workflow, select the Frame tab and select the output frame size to match the frame size you
rendered to in Redcine, such as HD 1080. Then click the Roundtrip tab and click Generate Roundtrip XML tab. This
will save an XML file called Sequence_roundtrip.xml.

Step 6: FCP Import Roundtrip XML

Back in FCP, go File, Import XML and select the roundtrip XML file. This creates a sequence that re-links the
transcoded media to this new timeline. From this point, you can further color correct, exchange media with graphics
workflow and other wise finish the project with in FCP.


Note: Supports RED ONE cameras up through Build 16.

An option for ingesting media into FCP for editing or ingesting plates directly into graphics workflow would be to first
transcode all the necessary footage first using Redcine and then import the files it creates directly into FCP. This
would be an appropriate workflow if there was a minimal amount of original source footage to work with. A 17 second
4K source clip takes about 8 minutes to transcode to SD 720 x 486, almost a 1:40 ratio of realtime.

This workflow would also be appropriate if specific .R3D files were to be ingested directly to a graphics workflow.
Various file sequence formats are available including .tiff and .dpx (cineon + metadata) formats.

For more detailed information, please see the Redcine Workflow section.


Note: Supports RED ONE cameras up through Build 15 v2.2.5.

The other process for working with RED footage in FCP is known as the Log and Transfer process. This uses a plug-
in that allows the Log and Transfer interface to transcode the .R3D files into Apple Pro-Res 422 HQ compression files
at 1/2 the native size. If the native size is 4k, the shots will be ingested as 2k. There are drawbacks to this method in
that there is no manual 1-light color correction to covert the color space of the RED camera to the REC 709 HD color
space, this is arbitrarily done by the ingestion tool. This negates a lot of the latitude that the RED format affords, and
creates 2k master clips that are VERY difficult for FCP to work with for the editing process with out powerful hardware
setups. 2K clips do not play easily in real time.

Expect this process to be improved as the software continues to develop, currently it is not a good option.

To use this method, you would select the folders that contain the .R3D files with in the Log and Transfer tool and add
the selection to the queue. Be sure that the preferences are set to Native and that remove advanced pulldown and
duplicate frames is left unchecked. Transcoding the clips is slow, 20 seconds of media takes over 3 minutes, so the
ratio is almost 1:10 what is real time.

There is a known bug using this method. Currently audio is only available from channels 1 and 2. This workflow
does not support channel 3 and 4 audio. Also, when setting the in point for ingest, the clip may not load into the
queue properly. Changing this point by a frame or two will usually correct this.

Note: Supports RED ONE cameras up through Build 16.

Redcine is a very powerful tool with the ability to transcode .R3D files into almost any sized file format, at most any
sized pixel aspect ratio and virtually any frame rate. It is the current tool of choice for changing the color space and
gamma curve from RED-space to 709 HD color space, adjusting white balance and manipulating RGB balance and
luminance curves for advanced 1-light color correction. It also allows for scaling and reposition of the 4K elements
with in the project settings format and other useful options. The following is a very general overview of how the
workflow with in Redcine is used for transcoding clips.

Before you use Redcine, make sure your monitors color space is set to Adobe 1998 or SMPTE-C with a gamma curve
of 2.2. This is the standard monitor setup for working with video.

The library is where you load clips into Redcine and you can organize them in order or stack them for version


The project settings is where you can save, load or create a new Redcine project file. You can also load clips from
this tool. Here you select the Format Settings of your project, this is independent of the 4K source resolution. If you
were going to finish in 1080, you would select that preset here. There are no standard definition presets but you can
manually enter any specific frame size like 720 x 486 and you can manually change the pixel aspect ratio to 0.9 for
D1 SD NTSC workflow.

There are also display and guide settings in the project tool. These allow you to put up a guide that represents any
certain frame size as reference. You can choose to show the borders or crop the image to this guide. This does not
affect your output, it is a reference tool alone.


The shot settings allow you to trim shots and adjust the shots framing. This can be applied globally using the ALL
option and then apply to change all your shots, or you can scale and reposition shots independently, with in your
project settings format.


The color setting allows you to do a wide range of telecine style exposure and color balance grading to the shots
including sampling WB, changing the color temperature, adjusting ISO, exposure curves and RGB exposure values
independently. These settings can be saved, recalled, copied and pasted at will. There is no apply all feature here,
but there is a Reset All feature in this tool.


As previously discussed in the FCP workflow section, the output tool can create image sequences or QT movies in a
wide variety of formats for most any work flow. It also has the ability to Burn-in data into the image like time-code, key-
code, shot name, etc.

There are video tutorials on Data/Library/Tutorials & Manuals/RED WORKFLOW that give a visual overview of


RED (for software downloads and some documentation) (a forum for the RED camera and its post-production workflow)

REDCINE (includes links to tutorial videos)

CRIMSON (the manual) (an outdated but decent tutorial)

Under development.