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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:

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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:

Link: RED EPIC CS5.5 Importer – Adobe

[via Wide Open Camera and 2-pop]


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  • Koo,

    What color grading software did you used or suggest when it comes to DSLR + premiere pro cs5.5?

    • Hey,

      If you got a strong rig, I suggest you try the now free Davinci Lite. You can get it from the Blackmagic website. Although it’s very picky about its codecs, it’s pretty unmatched once you get to know it.

      Another option would be to use Firstlight, if you are working with Cineform.

      After Effects is good, but it’s a little slower when it comes to some of the options you have in native CC programs. Colorista 2 is a good plugin, along with Curves, Hue/Saturation and the other built in effects. You can use Color Finesse to work with those waveforms for primary CC.

      And finally, in Adobe CS6, there will be an added Color Correction program called Speedgrade. It seems to be pretty good, so keep an eye out for that one.

      • Davinci, at least on it’s new Window’s version, requires a CUDA-enabled card to run. Just a heads up.

      • In addition to this, Cineform’s Firstlight works just like RedCine X Pro : the changes you apply to the shot in Firstlight appear directly in your editing software. When dealing with DSLR files and Cineform, it’s kind of a reverse proxy system : your source files are of (rather) low quality and conformation with the transcoded Cineform files which are obviously bigger.
        There is one big problem with Resolve Lite : no full screen HD playback unless you have a $500 internal or
        external card.
        Note about Cineform : files are more than twice bigger, up-sampled chroma from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 and 10 bits instead of 8.

        • @SimonL

          If you have Neatvideo plugin for After Effects, you can transcode the DSLR files to cineform 4:2:2 10 bit. Then import the cineform file into AE and use Neatvideo noise reduction on it AND add some a hint of sharpens back to the image. You may want to add back some noise as well (About 0.2-0.5). Then export as Cineform from AE… and you got yourself a 4:2:2 10-bit video file from a Canon DSLR.

    • Try Magic Bullet… Colorista and/or Looks.

      • Thanks so much guys. Definitely gonna try colorista. Can’t handle DaVinci Lite on my Macbook Pro mid 2010. :-(

      • Koo, how do you feel about the whole conversion of dslr footage to 4:2:2 10 bit. Is it necessary?

  • Do you know of a good workflow in using Red Cine X with Sony Vegas?

  • We gotta put this as a link to our website. Video camera rental house like us handles so many queries about RED Epic workflow and such and you guys just make it so simple for us. A big thank you for the good work.

  • Thanks for posting, this was very helpful!

  • Any suggestions for getting this to work with CS5.0? Red Cine-X works perfectly, and if need be I could convert all the footage to quicktime as a workaround but I’d rather not (trying to avoid a final cut style workflow and work seamlessly in premiere). I’ve been looking for the codecs I would need to edit natively in premiere CS5, but everything seems to be only for CS5.5 and above. Any help would be great! Thanks!