Thread: RED 4K for Final Cut Pro

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  1. #1 RED 4K for Final Cut Pro 
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    Dec 2009
    Austin & San Antonio, TX
    My employer is looking to create an edit suite solely dedicated to RED footage, purposed mainly for clients who either want to edit their own work or employ a third party editor.

    Final Cut Pro running out of a Dual Quad 3.2g Mac Pro G5 is our editing center of choice for our RED room because of Final Cut's wide popularity and relative ease of use. But, we need to be able to edit and playback 4K in realtime out of both Final Cut and Color or we'll have to go with something else.

    Anyone have any experience trying to get Final Cut to playback 4K in realtime? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Jim Geduldick's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    NY & LA
    Currently FCP does not handle full 4K nor does it do it in Real Time same for Color.
    There are only a few hardware/software combos that handle RED in Realtime. Like DVS Clipster,REDCineX and RocketCineX w/Red Rocket Card,Scratch(most of the time) etc.
    Your best bet is to look into a Rocket card w/ RED apps. Currently there is no real editorial app that you would cut in that can handle real time 4k .
    Your going to need some very fast storage over fiber to as well .
    Not many people work in full 4k or deliver in 4k most of Hollywood currently is 2k delivery so why the need for 4k ? You need to have a pretty solid infastructure to handle 4k with machines and storage.
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  3. #3  
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    Not that it fits the budget, but isn't a full-blown Quantel iQ/Pablo capable of 4K editorial? You also would be doing finishing and not creative editorial on such a system, of course.

    Zachary - you need to clarify details on the computer. Is the Mac you mentioned one you have or one you want to buy? Current Mac Pros are Intel machines and not G5s. Also the dual-quad 3.2 are no longer made. Top end is 2.93GHz using a newer chip.

    What you are describing needs to run with top-notch performance with a dedicated editor or technician who can support and fine tune the operation. Making this an open room that any freelance editor can come in and work is a recipe for disaster.

    - Oliver
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  4. #4  
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    Dec 2009
    Austin & San Antonio, TX
    No, this is why I'm in the learning stages I suppose.

    The Mac Pro is an intel machine. I put "G5" in there without thinking. Its a workstation that we already have.

    Turns out that editing in 4K is not as big a priority as I originally thought. Although my employer likes to edit in 4K, its not a 'must' for this system anymore. Editing 4K footage in a 2K timeline is the bottom line goal. What would be my minimum requirements for editing 4K in a 2K timeline with the workstation we currently have (a Dual Quad 3.2g Mac Pro)?

    Thanks for replying.
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  5. #5  
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    SoCal Camarillo / LA baby
    Hi Zachary,

    This may help.
    Nobody in a practical or normal workflow edits or works in a 4K world, definitely not real time.
    Thats not to say that you cant use 4K for special effects or to deliver 4k for film print.

    If this is your first system and its designed around RED.
    Take it in realistic steps and grow your system as needed on a per project basis.

    It can get highly expensive to handle 4k RED footage in any real-time application.
    Sure you can get a Pablo or DVS but until you truly do projects that pay for that dont let those things bother you.
    2K is plenty of resolution and Films deliver 2k most of the time.
    Most post houses deliver 1080p which is a touch smaller than 2K
    so with FCP and Color your fine.

    Start off with your intel mac and if you use AE make sure you have plenty of RAM scaled per project.
    Download all the free RED software and get familar with R3D raw footage and see how you like it.
    Do a small project that will not hurt your company when you have a slow delivery.
    Music video, perhaps a commercial.

    Learn about
    and you will become much more familar with what you will need down the line.
    these are all free programs. You cant beat that its NUTS.

    Then work in FCP in 1080p and Color in 1080p
    If you need more than that go 2K if you need more than 2K
    Hire someone who knows the RED workflow DI and save yourself lots of potential errors.
    Hire that person to consult you on your edit bay not to do the work youll be in much better shape.

    That will help you make an educated decision on weather you need an aja card, or REDRocket, or Scratch, or Scratch lite so on and so fourth.

    Dont worrie about 4k seriously its usually used for FX work but not for editorial.

    Best of luck to you.
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  6. #6  
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    Thanks, I appreciate the help.
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  7. #7  
    I agree with BigLu but I would like to add, I wouldn't even worry about editing in 2K.

    The fact that you finish in 4K is the most important, the journey there can just be low res/low bit rate prores files that WILL keep you from having any bumps in the road, keeps your system running faster and just makes editing smoother.

    It's my personal preference to edit with prores and finish in 4K via color, then output a master file in any format/resolution I need.
    Casey Schendel
    "Pick a job you love & you'll never work a day in your life"

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