I am in the process of finishing a feature film shot on Red. An angel came down from heaven and talked a post house into doing our color grading FOR FREE. That post house uses DaVinci 2K, and I need help getting the film onto an SR tape so it can be brought into the DaVinci.
The film is in Final Cut Pro. We edited with 2K ProRes proxies. Obviously I need to go back to the original r3d footage that was shot in order to do the color grading. Could someone tell me what the process would be for taking the DPX frames from the film and putting them onto an SR tape that can be ingested into the DaVinci with an EDL?
I’m not asking for specifics for linking back to the original Red files. I have that taken care of. I just need to know how to give the post house what they need. Obviously we want to maintain the highest quality possible with a 10-bit, 4:4:4, DPX image sequence.
If you edited in 2K and you want to maintain that, you will want to find one of the new slash/2 SR-5800-series machines which are now capable of this dpx workflow. Good luck with that, they were just introduced two weeks ago at NAB, and the new proud owners, if they exist, may want to charge for their services.
Otherwise, it will be a Play-out from FCP in 1920×1080 (Kona3 supports Dual-Link) in either 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 — if you can find an SR deck with the Dual-Link I/O option, and that will be as near to uncompressed as it will be physically possible to achieve.
I obviously want to maintain as high of quality from the original as possible (2K timeline, 10-bit, 4:4:4). If I render DPX sequences of each clip of the whole film and reassemble them in an Avid timeline (Because Avid allows import of DPX), I should be able to play out to the SR in the highest quality possible, right?
Also, what about dissolves and other transitions? On the playback timeline, those all have to be removed, right? Can they be rebuilt in the DaVinci? Can DaVinci handle speed changes?
Only the new slash-2 versions of the SR deck will be able to record 2048×1152, and they operate more as data recorders than videotape decks in that mode. So your first hurdle is the resolution — it will not be 2K unless you can come up with the latest tape deck.
You will only be able to record 1920×1080 with a 5500 deck and only in 4:2:2 unless the deck is optioned with the 5003 4:4:4 Dual Link processors. 4:4:4 is standard on the slash-2 versions.
DaVinci does dynamic color transitions, but does not do dissolves as you have come to expect them on an edit timeline. It functions similarly to the keyframe transition on a “baked” transition in the FCP/COLOR workflow.
I don’t anticipate daVinci to be able to handle speed changes the same way that COLOR now does.
daVinci is a more-or-less linear tape-to-tape workflow, but operates in a quasi-NLE model when pulling media from a server.
Your free services will be compromised in these two issues — your resolution will be limited by carrying the media on videotape, and your EFX will have to be dealt with separately.
That’s my read with the available data.
Thank you. This is helpful. When I was talking workflow in our first meeting with the post people, they were talking about archiving the film to the SR tape in 2K and using that to feed the DaVinci. We would then output from DaVinci to another SR tape at 2K. We do have the latest decks capable of 2K apparently.
you want the best quality, but you can’t afford to pay for it? sounds like you’re expecting way too much. why not just grade in color then export to tape…..someone really likes you if you’re getting all this for free…..too bad it kills it for the rest of us trying to make a living from our craft. good luck! maybe i’ll send my clients your way for free work!
If you were using a Resolve you could read the native r3d, conform with the FCP EDL and grade in real time. Unfortunately this is not the case with the old DaVinci 2K as it is real time at up to HD rates.