Tips for Editing and Finishing RED Raw Files with Adobe CS4 Workflows
In order to use RED media in Adobe applications, the first thing you’ll need to do is get the latest updates for Premiere Pro and After Effects. The steps in this guide require that you have Premiere Pro 4.0.1 or later and After Effects 9.0.1 or later. The easiest way to update your CS4 applications is to choose Updates… from the Help menu in Premiere Pro or After Effects.
Next, download the REDCODE for CS4 installer (RED Adobe CS4 Installer) from www.red.com/support. Run the installer and follow the drag-and-drop installation instructions for adding the RED Settings plug-in to the After Effects application folder. A detailed workflow guide is also included in the materials you can download from Red.com.
To create a new RED Sequence, open Premiere Pro, specify a project name and select Sequence settings that match your desired working resolution. When the RED Importer is installed, you will see a new folder called RED R3D in the Available Presets. 1K, 2K, 3K and 4K presets at various frame rates and aspect ratios are provided, which lets you work with all common RED file types.
You can assign your RED media with a working resolution by using the RED Source Settings dialog in Premiere Pro or After Effects. Most of the settings in this dialog are global, which means the settings affect both Premiere Pro and After Effects. You don’t have to change the settings in two places every time you make a change.
To access the RED Source settings in Premiere Pro, select a RED clip in the project panel, right-click to bring up the contextual menu and select: Source Settings. (The Source Settings menu item is also available in the Clip menu.)
To access the settings in After Effects, choose RED Settings… from the Edit menu.
When working in Premiere Pro, a low-resolution setting, such as 512 or 1K, can be assigned to RED media with a higher native resolution. Lower resolutions will give you increased playback performance during editing. Later, when you are done editing, you can create a higher resolution sequence and reset your clips to higher native resolutions, such as 4K, for high-quality export, grading and effects workflows.
In After Effects, you will notice that the resolution choice is disabled. This is because you can use the normal Composition resolution setting to temporarily lower the resolution for better performance.
RED media can be imported directly into After Effects. Using these files in After Effects is very similar to using other types of footage. You import RED media into After Effects like any other type of media. Simply choose Import > File… from the File menu or drag media directly into the project panel. That’s it! You’re good to go.
By setting your After Effects project to 32-bit (float) color depth, you will preserve extended range color information for more accurate compositing and color correction. There are also several workflows you can use with Premiere Pro and After Effects together for integrating editing with effects. Using them together will give you expanded output options from Premiere Pro. Don’t forget that you can access the settings in After Effects by choosing RED Settings… from the Edit menu.
To keep the color of your R3D files consistent when moving between After Effects and Premiere Pro, you must change the way After Effects interprets R3D files. If your previous workflows relied on Color Management in After Effects (for example, if your Project Workingspace is set to something other than None), you should change is to assign the HDTV (Rec. 709) color profile in the Color Management tab of the Interpret Footage dialog.
Assigning color profiles on a clip-by-clip basis can be time consuming, however. After Effects can make this change automatically with a small revision to the After Effects “interpretation rules.txt” file. This file is located at:
Vista64: C:Program Files (x86)AdobeAdobe After Effects CS4Support Filesinterpretation rules.txt
Vista32/XP32: C:Program FilesAdobeAdobe After Effects CS4Support Filesinterpretation rules.txt
Mac: Applications/Adobe After Effects CS4/interpretation rules.txt
Add the following 3 lines of text directly above the line “# this soft rule should be the last in the list of soft rules”:
# rule to make red raw files available as Rec709
# with Gamma encoded 32bit float data
*, *, *, “R3D “, * ~ *, *, *, *, “r7hf”, 0
Once this change has been made, After Effects will automatically interpret the colors provided by the R3D plug-in correctly. It’s a good idea to use the HDTV (Rec. 709) Project Workingspace when working with After Effects and Premiere Pro together on the same project.
Tip 6 Import Premiere Pro into After Effects
Premiere Pro projects containing R3D files can be imported into After Effects. This creates a similar project in After Effects and preserves timeline edits and some effects. For example, color correction added to individual clips in Premiere Pro can be refined in After Effects. To do this, choose the Import > Adobe Premiere Pro Project command in the File menu.
Tip 7 Integrate with Adobe Dynamic Link
Dynamic Link allows content from one application to be shared with another without exporting intermediate files or even copying projects. Edits and other changes are automatically updated across applications.
You can use a Premiere Pro sequence as footage in After Effects. In After Effects, choose the File > Dynamic Link menu command. In After Effects, you’ll get a single linked clip that represents the duration of your Premiere sequence; you can still go back to Premiere Pro to refine your edit. Changes will be updated in After Effects. Premiere Pro sends a complete frame with all effects, transitions, etc. Nothing is lost.
Another advantage to using a Dynamic Link from Premiere Pro to After Effects is that you can then use After Effects’s render queue to export to a wide variety of image sequences and formats: 4K 2K, extended color range DPX, 16 ‘ bit Tiff, TGA, and so on. Our initial tests have shown this option to be faster and more robust than using Adobe Media Encoder. This workflow is pretty straightforward – complete your edit in Premiere, then as a last step, import the sequence into After Effects, add to render queue, and export.
Note that Adobe Dynamic Link is only available in Creative Suite Production Premium.
Tip 8 Export from Premiere Pro
The best way to export Premiere sequences through After Effects is to use its Render Queue. This path requires the least amount of memory and provides the highest performance for render-intensive exports. After Effects is also required for exporting extended range color and to formats like Cineon, DPX and TIFF.
When you’re ready to export, bring your Premiere Pro project into After Effects by using project import or Dynamic Link as described above.
Importing our Premiere Pro project into After Effects is the simplest workflow for exporting. All you have to do is close Premiere Pro and use the After Effects Import Premiere Pro project command described above. Some Premiere transitions and effects are not supported when importing a project into After Effects, so this method is most useful for simple edits without transitions and when most of your effects will be applied in After Effects.
If you choose to use Dynamic Link, you should first set the RED Source Settings to the full resolution of the media for high ‘ quality export, something that is typically performed as one of the final steps in Premiere Pro prior to the export process. This provides After Effects with full access to the native resolution and deep color of the RED media. In addition to changing the RED source settings, you must create a new sequence that matches the desired output resolution of the project. For additional details, refer to the workflow guide that comes with the REDCODE installer.
Tools Used: RED ONE camera; RED Adobe CS4 (REDCODE) Installer; Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, After Effects CS4 and Dynamic Link, part of Production Premium CS4
Product Manager, Adobe After Effects
Adobe Systems Incorporated
Michael Coleman is the product manager for Adobe After Effects, responsible for product strategy and incorporating customer needs into product plans.
Coleman previously served as the lead user experience designer for Adobe’s professional video and audio products, including Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Encore and Adobe SoundBooth.
Michael Says Keep in Mind…
The RED Importer plug-in for Adobe products provides full native support of RED raw files (R3D) including the ability to work with RED media at resolutions from 256 up to 4K. RED files can be imported directly into Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe After Effects. You can choose from a variety of frame rates, aspect ratios and resolutions and have your choice of using the media on Adobe products on the Mac or Windows.
Bear in mind that with Adobe CS4 products, native RED media can be imported directly into Premiere Pro without the need for time-consuming transcoding or logging steps.
Since After Effects and Premiere Pro are very well integrated, you can use features such as Dynamic Link to serve frames directly from Premiere Pro to After Effects and sequences can be exported using the Render Queue in After Effects. Dynamic Link is available as part of Adobe Production Premium CS4.
Special thanks to cinematographer Dino Georgopoulos for the stock footage featured in the screenshots in this tutorial.
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