Join Robbie Carman for an in-depth discussion in this video The RED workflow: Ingesting as ProRes, part of Color 1.5 Essential Training.
Let's talk about ingesting RED footage as Apple ProRes files. If you've planned to color correct in grayed footage and you're using a video workflow, or only need to support a 2K resolution, then I would suggest using the workflow we'll describe in the movie. The RED ProRes workflow is identical to the standard round-trip workflow, but I wanted to spend a moment to explain ingesting RED sources as Apple ProRes so we can then send that file to Color. We're going to start here in Final Cut Pro and go ahead and open up the Log and Transfer window, by choosing File>Log and Transfer. I've already mounted a disk image that represents a RED Flash card.
The disk image contains a few RED 4K clips. Now if you have access to the exercise files, to follow along, you'll need to download the RED footage disk image and then mount the disk image to have access to this footage. For more information about this, be sure to check out the movie at the beginning of this title called Using the Exercise Files. One more thing about ingesting RED footage. To be able to access RED footage here in Final Cut Pro in Log and Transfer window, as well to have access to the RED tab in Color, you must first download and install the RED Final Cut Studio plug-in from red.com/support.
Okay, so with the Log and Transfer window open, my RED media appears here in the browser of the Log and Transfer window. But what I want to do is come up to the Action menu and that's just little guy up here that looks like a cog. So I'm going to click at that and I'm going to come down to Preferences. In the Import Preferences dialog, we can choose how to treat RED media on ingest, by clicking in the Target Format column right here. I can choose any of the Apple ProRes codecs as well as this option called Native. We'll talk about using Native to import RED footage in the next movie. As I said, I can choose any of the Apple ProRes codecs but for the ultimate in quality, because there is no chroma subsampling, I'm going to select Apple ProRes 4444, and then let's click OK.
Before I actually select a clip here in the browser area to transfer, there is one more thing to consider. Back in the Action menu, if I come down to the RED FCP Log and Transfer plug in, I have the ability to choose the color temperature of the transformed footage. These options coming into play when you transfer footage to ProRes. Essentially what you're doing is a first light color correction. The thing about these options is that it affects every clip in the Transfer Queue. There is no way to select a single clip for processing. So, I chose Sepia and notice that all of my clips here in the browser of the Log and Transfer window now have the sepia tone to them.
So, I think in most cases your best choice is to use to the option, As Shot, unless you're willing to commit to one of these processing looks. So, let me change this back to As Shot. All right. Let's go ahead and select a clip to transfer, I'll select this one. I'm not going to worry about any of the login information in this movie, but in your own projects you want to go ahead and fill in the log-in information, things like Scene, Shot/Take, Angle and so on. So, with the clip selected, I'm going to click the button here, Add Selection to Queue, to transfer this clip. Just keep in mind, when you transfer this clip it'll be transferred to whatever Final Cut Pro scratch disk you have setup.
Okay, the file is done transferring and it took a while. That's because the RED footage has to be transcoded to Apple ProRes, specifically the Apple ProRes 4444 codec that we chose. Let's go ahead and close the Log and Transfer window. Then here in the browser, let's select the clip that we just transferred and right-click on it and then choose Item Properties>Format. Okay, and you'll notice that the file is, in fact, an Apple ProRes 4444 file but it's frame size is set to 2048 x 1024.
Anytime you transcode a 4K file to an Apple ProRes codec, Final Cut Pro makes the file a 2K file. That's because the 2K resolution is the maximum resolution that the Final Cut Pro Realtime playback and effects engine supports. So, let's click OK here to close the Item Properties window. Next, let's edit this clip onto a sequence. I'm going to come into the Ch 3 bin and then choose the sequence called 03_04_the RED workflow - ingesting as Apple ProRes and double-click on that to open it up. I'm then going to take the clip that we just ingested and drag it onto the sequence and Color will prompt you to change your sequence settings to match the clip and we'll go ahead and click Yes.
Now that we've added this clip onto a sequence, let's go ahead and send it to Color. But first, you need to make sure that you have the sequence selected before you try to send the sequence to Color. So my sequence is selected, then I'll come up to File>Send To, and Color. I'm fine with the default naming of the Color project, so I'll just go ahead click OK. Okay, so Color opens up here and let's go ahead and click on the Setup room which is the first tab here in the top of the Color interface, and then let's go ahead and click on the Project Settings tab which is down at the bottom of the Setup room.
Here on the Project Settings tab, this is where I can see technical information about my project, things like frame rate and resolution and notice this project is 2048 x 1024 or a 2K file, matching the sequence in the clip that we sent from Final Cut Pro. All right. Let me go ahead into the Primary In room, which is just the second tab at the top of the Color interface. I want to do a basic primary correction. Don't worry if you don't know how to use these controls here in the Primary In room, that's what the rest of this title is for. For now, I simply want to show you the workflow when working with a RED ProRes file.
The one thing I want to mention though is this tab right over here on the right-hand side of the Primary In room. It's called the RED tab. The RED tab actually only comes into play when we're working with RED QuickTime files or RED native files and that's what we're going to do in the next movie. We can't actually use this RED tab for RED files ingested as Apple ProRes. Let me perform a simple correction on this clip. I'm going to use the color balance controls here at the top of the Primary In room.
Okay, now that I've made a correction, let's go ahead and add the shot to the Render Queue. Remember, there are two steps in finishing any project in a Final Cut Pro to Color round trip. First, rendering new QuickTime files and then sending the project back to Final Cut Pro. So let's go ahead and do the first step by clicking on the Render Queue and then pressing the button, Add Selected, then finally clicking the button, Start Render. This will render the file. Okay, the shot is now rendered and to get this project back to Final Cut Pro, the next step is to simply to choose the File menu, down to Send To, and choose Final Cut Pro, and Final Cut Pro will open back up in just a second.
And at the top of the browser here, notice that I have a sequence that has a suffix, from Color, in parenthesis. Let's double-click on the sequence and this is our color corrected sequence. I'll scrub through it and everything looks pretty good. As you can see, this workflow is very simple and I would recommend it in probably about 98% of cases, as ProRes 4444 or even ProRes 4222 workflows with RED footage 4K will be sufficient to get quality results and files that are suitable for 2K and HD output.
- Round-tripping with Final Cut Pro and Color
- Ingesting RED footage for color grading
- Understanding the Color interface and navigating Color's Finder dialogs
- Performing primary corrections in the Primary In room
- Applying secondary corrections using HSL keys, vignettes, and curves
- Using the Color FX room
- Keyframing corrections in a clip
- Preparing for rendering and output from Color back to Final Cut Pro
Skill Level Beginner
Q: I’m having trouble producing the cage as the author instructs in the "Making luma adjustments to specific colors" video. Double-clicking in the preview only changes the size of the preview. How can I make the cage as the author does?
A: Instead of clicking or double-clicking on the preview, perform a click-and-drag to produce the cage. If you select one of the buttons under the preview (the small swatches), then click and drag, you can also sample or "cage" multiple values (different cages) on the preview, which can help you if you're trying to sample multiple colors or luma values for secondary correction.