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Working with RED camera footage

From: After Effects CS5.5 New Features

Video: Working with RED camera footage

If you work with RED camera footage, you now have more latitude than ever to get the color settings of a RED R3D clip correct before the clip ever ends up in a composition. So here we have a folder containing a single RED R3D file along with the MOV placeholders that go along with it. It's important to note when you get started that you want to work with this R3D file. I'll dragged that one in to the Project panel and let's take a look at it before we adjust it. So it's big and takes a moment to come up and you can see that it's looking a little dim.

Working with RED camera footage

If you work with RED camera footage, you now have more latitude than ever to get the color settings of a RED R3D clip correct before the clip ever ends up in a composition. So here we have a folder containing a single RED R3D file along with the MOV placeholders that go along with it. It's important to note when you get started that you want to work with this R3D file. I'll dragged that one in to the Project panel and let's take a look at it before we adjust it. So it's big and takes a moment to come up and you can see that it's looking a little dim.

So obviously some color correction is needed to get started here which I could do directly in After Effects. But in fact, the most powerful way to do it and the one that could then be applied to a number of clips from the same shoot is to actually adjust the source R3D file. So let's do that. With the clip selected in the Project panel, I'll just bring up the Interpret Footage dialog. Down here at the bottom is More Options and that brings up this panel. Now these panels existed in previous versions of After Effects but it's got a lot more in it now.

There is a histogram and that will respond to any adjustments I make anywhere else. So for example, if I raise the exposure, you will see the result of that. There are also just a number of settings in here. Some of them quite powerful. The FLUT effect along with the Shadow edfect is one way to get what might otherwise be a contrast setting in, and if I like these all tidy, I can twirl them closed. I can also work with this new Curves control and I can see the result here interactively and I don't have the stay on this frame.

Go to a different frame as well and of course I can also see what's happening in the histogram. Now when I click OK and clear this dialog, those settings are now reflected in the source footage. But wait there's more. I'll go back and in fact, I can save those settings. So one thing that Red R3D files now offer is an RMD sidecar file. So if I say Save to RMD and go back, there's now an extra file in here and it's holding those settings along with that file.

So now if I go and mess with the settings some more, I can always reload that and I'm back, or if I were to re- import the file I've got them again. If I really like some settings and want to just apply them in many different places, I can save a preset. I could name this one Flut & Shadow with Gamma. And it appears under this pull down menu here, ready to be applied to any shot.

Also if you have a RED Rocket card you can access it from this panel. So we don't have one. It's grayed out, but if we did, we could select it right there. So RED is sometimes called the postproduction camera because of the amount of flexibility you've to change footage that's already been shot. After Effects finally has an import interface that makes direct adjustment of raw R3D files intuitive and artistically driven.

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After Effects CS5.5 New Features

30 video lessons · 9152 viewers

Mark Christiansen
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