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In this final chapter I want to discuss a few other useful user interface improvements that they have gone ahead and put in After Effect CS5. One has to do with handling of RED footage. Now those hardcore RED users probably know that RED released a beta plug-in for After Effect CS4 and for Premiere CS4 that allows you to read R3D files. Couple problems. You did have to manually install it. It was a beta, and it only supported RED up through build 18, at least as of the time I'm recording this video.
Well, as of this time, people already have builds 20 and 21 in their camera so this is already old. But the good news is they've built this into After Effects CS5 and the even better news is it already supports latest builds with the RED camera. So let's go and play with it. I am back at After Effects. I have selected a piece of RED footage R3D. RED Code file, floating Point, raw files. So I am in 32-bit mode so I can get everything out of this file. I've got it selected. I am going to open up its Interpret Footage settings.
They add a little button down here in a recent version, by the way, to go ahead and directly open Interpret Footage. I've got it open, I click on the magic More Options button at the bottom and here I am in my R3D Source Settings dialog. We have got a preview of the shot. I can scrub through it in time. I can change many, many different things about this shot. I can change the ISO after the fact. I can change the white balance, the color temperature after the fact. Tint, saturation, exposure, individual color channels, brightness, contrast, gamma curve even, decoding such as the Debayer Detail, Chroma Denoise, I might slip that up to minimum for this this particular shot, etcetera.
But there is a gotcha with working in these colors and RED's color science versus After Effect color science. Let me show it to you. I'll cancel out for now to get back to where I started. Here's a composition that includes our shot we were just looking at. This may look familiar when I talked about Color Finesse a few movies ago. I suspect there's some over-brights going on around this window and this pool of light on the floor. The problem is the way that After Effects handles any raw footage is that it converts to a 0 to 1 value before After Effects processes it.
It happens at the Interpret Footage level. So you can see even I got this really bright window, over my Info Panel, I'm not going to any values higher than 1. I cannot recover those highlights. I want to go ahead and take a snapshot of this to remember what it looked like, and let's go back and play around with some exposure settings. Open Interpret Footage, open More Options. The way I typically recover more detail from raw shots is in the raw dialog, I'll knock it down one or two stops, let's say -2 to be really extreme and then in After Effects, I'll apply Effect > Color Correction > Exposure, and bring my stops back up in After Effects.
I can use Exposure, I can use Levels, any way that I want to recover those levels. But the problem is exposure in After Effects is different than exposure in RED, at least as at the time I am recording this. I hit 2 to go two stops back up again. I didn't get back to the same shot. I'll compare my snapshot. That was the original footage. This is the result after knocking it down 2 stops from the RED dialog and bringing it back up 2 stops here with the Exposure settings.
So there are some tricks you can't do because RED's colors science is different from After Effects' color science. On the other hand, if you don't care how the raw footage looked and you are intending to color correct things in After Effects anyway, this is a good way to go. By reducing my my exposure a couple stops in the RED dialog and bringing them back in After Effects, I have access to these over-brights now. You'll see that I am getting a values higher than 1. I can play around with these over- brights and use Levels, Curves, Color Finesse, whatever I want to recover these details.
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