No more RED proxies necessary?

September 11, 2014 Tags: , , ,
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Sam here…

I’m noticing RED proxies may no longer be needed in FCPX. So… way back when 10.1 got released there was a little feature in the release notes that’s actually a big deal, but no one really talks about… and I’m not ever sure anyone really noticed it:

If you have transcoded RED RAW files to ProRes through a third-party application, you can relink to the original RED files within Final Cut Pro.

For me the Proxy workflow with RED stuff always worked fine… but last week, I did a little test. Basically, I brought some RED files into FCPX, did a quick batch rename, some prep, etc. Then, I went and transcoded out a 1:1 5k prores LT file from the Epic footage in REDcine-X. I went back into FCPX to relink from the R3D to the RCX prores file… relinked with no problem.

It would seem that you don’t need proxies anymore to be offline/online with RED footage… you can import your RED files right into FCPX, get prepped, etc… in the meantime, you can be trancoding that same footage through RCX to whatever codec you want (I’d typically recommend Prores LT for offline)… and then when you’re done transcoding, just relink to your to your transcodes, edit away, and when you’re done, relink back to your RED files and then finish. There should be no downtime and your relink should be almost as fast as flipping from proxy, except that you won’t be stuck with the prores proxy codec for your offline, and you can work with other non-RED formats in the same timeline in optimized/original mode largely without issue. Kind of awesome.

One small caveat – when you’re transcoding your RED footage, make sure your timecode setting matches the timecode displayed in FCPX. I did a test that had the timecode set to Edgecode for some reason, and it caused some relink issues until I noticed that my timecodes for the Prores transcodes weren’t matching the timecodes for the RED files in FCPX. Once I was on the right timecode setting, I was able to relink without issue.
RED proxies
Anyway, for smaller RED only projects, I’m still going to use the Proxy workflow, only because it’s so easy and I can transcode in the background right in FCPX, and flip modes as necessary… however, for longer form work where I know I’ll be working offline for an extended period of time, the flexibility of being able to easily relink to RCX transcodes is great.

Now… here’s the million dollar question that I haven’t tried… will this relinking business work with non-RED formats? If anyone has a chance to check, let me know in the comments…


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