RED Workflow: How to Get REDCINE-X and Premiere Pro Working Together Seamlessly
One thing I've been wondering about since getting a RED was what I was going to do about workflow. REDCINE-X Pro is a really nice (and free) color grading application. But you're not going to do secondary color correction or really complicated masking/keying in it (yet). So how does one use it in conjunction with a NLE? Do you render out files, take them and edit them in Premiere Pro, and then color correct files that you've already rendered? Don't you sort of lose the whole idea of a RAW workflow by doing that? Turns out there's a better way.
If you have Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5, the changes you make to your shots in REDCINE update in Premiere Pro losslessly. Premiere Pro correctly interprets the metadata and you can then use, say, Colorista for secondary color correction on top of the native .R3D files. But while CS5.5 includes native RED ONE support, it does not include native EPIC/SCARLET support, so you first need to download and install Adobe's RED EPIC Importer. Here's Wide Open Camera's Chris Marino with a workflow tutorial; note the lossless CS5.5 integration isn't covered until the end:
Here's another look from Richard Harrington and Ian Robinson, who look at the tweakability that Adobe provides (though they sort of hide it behind right-click functionality) with RAW RED files in both Premiere Pro and After Effects CS5.5. Note that I find REDCINE-X Pro's controls to be more intuitive and exacting, thus sharing Chris's video above that shows the interoperability. Finally, Rich and Ian espouse the values of a RAW workflow, but don't think that you can just regains all highlights in an overexposed shot -- while RAW does give you some latitude, you still want to expose correctly (using aperture, shutter speed, ND filters, etc.).
Again, be sure to get the Adobe plugin for EPIC/SCARLET compatibility -- I'm still getting some sort of error upon importing my SCARLET footage, but the error seems to be in name only -- the files import and play back perfectly. You'll have to overwrite a few current CS5.5 files with the new ones:
The importer for RED EPIC consists of two files, ImporterREDserver and ImporterRED. These files need to be copied into the application directories. Note that on Mac the directories are located inside the application package. (Right-click on the application icon, then choose Show Package Contents.) These files replace the existing versions of the files in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5, Adobe After Effects CS5.5 and Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5. The 5K folder for Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 includes an all-new set of sequence presets for RED EPIC footage.
Finally, here's a MacBook Air editing 4K files at full resolution using an external RED ROCKET: