Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Topic: Editing RED Footage in Adobe Premiere CS4

Alright... I've been gone for a long, long time. Before my blogging hiatus, the major topic of discussion was hacking up the Samsung Omnia i910, and while I will continue to tinker with that toy (nay, superior smart phone) my new topic of choice is video editing and post production for "film!"

I am getting ready to edit a feature film in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.

"Really? Shouldn't you be editing in Final Cut Pro, like everyone else?" you might ask.

Well, we shot our film in full resolution (4K) RED. Final Cut hasn't addressed the format as well as Adobe, so I'm going with Premiere. Premiere is simply at the forefront of editing native RED footage.

The new version of Final Cut Pro released last week touts the ability to edit RED better than it's previous version, but FCP still forces you to wrap the .r3d file in a Quicktime wrapper, thus you aren't really accessing the RED files natively (you have to go through that workaround).

The RED plug-in for Adobe Premiere is just the best way to go in my book.

So much of post is done in After Affects (no matter what platform you're on and what software you're using), and the integration and flow of Premiere and After Affects is superior (vs. FCP or AVID) to say the least.

Yes, there are issues with editing in Premiere (not the least of which is Adobe's apparent REFUSAL to address syncing and linking audio and video files --more on that later). But each leading platform (FCP and AVID being the two others), have their issues as well.

Other than sound, the biggest problem with Premiere (and it's admittedly a big one), as that it's a youngster in the field. Pretty much anybody who's been doing anything with film on a serious, professional level, has been using either AVID or Final Cut Pro. Thus, the knowledge base for Avid and FCP is much more vast. Finding answers for your problems with Premiere takes a lot of work. Hopefully my posts on the topic can help people find the same answers I was looking for a little quicker (a couple issues we had took weeks to find an answer to --some of the problems we still haven't found answers to, which leads me to believe that there might not be answers yet).

Bottom line, you're going to have problems (big or small) with any program you go with, so you just need to make sure you're doing what's best for you and your particular project.

Next up, the build (what I learned from researching for weeks before putting together a computer for the specific purpose of video editing).


Anonymous said...

Hello Invisible,

What if you do not want to use AE in your workflow, just Premiere as an offline edit? There are other vfx solutions as well as audio solutions.

Currently looking at this option to put together a work-flow option.

The Invisible said...

Hi, Robert.

I'm not sure I understand your question. Of course anyone is free to use (or not use) any program they want.

I think AE is probably the best tool for the job (both Final Cut and Premiere work flows almost always us it), so I'm not sure why you would want to avoid it.

I'm also not sure what your end goals are.

Linda Nelson said...

I'm also editing a feature, shot on RED (4K) with CS4 on a tricked out PC (4 Dual Quad Intel processors, 32 gig of ram, 8 terabyte RAID). So far, so good, except for an experiment with Matrox MX 02. Would love to talk more with you about how you set your project up. We broke our film up into five 1080p projects, just to keep everything manageable. We are about to lock picture and are struggling with now to approach special effects and color correction. Would love to talk more about how it's going for you. You can see our project at

The Invisible said...

Special FX could be a pain, depending upon how much you have to do and how you're going to go about doing it. Robert, the first post in this thread, actually does a lot of FX, from what I understand, and might have more information on how to go about it in Premiere/After Effects.

Color should be less of an issue... that said, we're waiting to hear back from our color guys this weekend. [smile]