15 Replies Latest reply on Dec 6, 2010 6:49 PM by shooternz

    Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?

    davidbeisner2010 Level 3

      I've just been called in to teach editing with PPro CS5 on an iMac here at the school where I work, at 9:30 tomorrow morning. I've not used macs very much, and I've never used PPro on the Mac.

       

      The class had been using FCP (that was the editor of choice for the prof) but he (the prof) just found out last week that the reason all the RED 4k footage they've been trying to edit has a greenish tint is because FCP doesn't support the latest RED colorspace... so he tried transcoding everything using CINE-X to ProRes422 over the weekend, but on his iMacs only got 21 out of 141 files transcoded in nearly three days. He doesn't have time for it to finish transcoding, so he's asked me to come in tomorrow and teach the class how to use PPro CS5 so that they can finish their projets there and use the RED footage natively.

       

      I don't know the specs of those individual computers, but I'm wondering if anybody has any input on how well an iMac will handle RED 4k footage...

        • 1. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          The footage that I use for basic functionality testing on my somewhat old Mac at work is 4K RED footage, and I don't have any problems.Without knowing the specs of the iMac computers that you'll be working with, it's hard to say anything certain.

           

          One tip is to work with your playback resolution set to something other than Full. If your footage is 4K across, but your Program Monitor is only a thousand or so pixels across, you may as well set playback resolution to 1/4; otherwise, you're wasting a lot of time processing pixels that just get thrown away when fitting the image into the viewer. See this page for details of setting playback resolution.

           

          I'll be in my office with a Mac in a few hours, so I can answer more questions then if needed.

           

          BTW, here are some posts from my blog about the new RED color science and how to make it all work in Premiere Pro CS5:

          http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/05/cs5-mysteriumx-red-update.html

          http://blogs.adobe.com/premiereprotraining/2010/09/premiere-pro-cs5-5-0-2-update.html

          • 2. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
            davidbeisner2010 Level 3

            Thanks a ton for your quick response, Todd...

             

             

            I do have the playback resolution set at 1/8th and the paused resolution set at 1/4, and the footage seems to handle just fine. I don't know the specifics of the computers, but I did notice that they had only 4GB ram, a single HD, and they don't have a GPU enabled graphics card installed.

             

            I played around a bit with some of the footage on one a little while ago and it seems to play pretty smoothly (though certainly not as good as my editing system in my office!)

             

            I don't think I've got any further questions, but if I do I'll be sure to let you know.

            • 3. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
              Todd_Kopriva Level 8

              > but I did notice that they had only 4GB ram, a single HD, and they don't have a GPU enabled graphics card installed.

               

               

              Those certainly aren't the specs that I would expect for a production machine, but with some care and thought (such as remembering to set the playback quality as we just discussed), you should be able to get some work done on even these machines. I wouldn't be surprised to see them bog down some with only one hard disk if you're working with lots of footage items at once, since reading such large source files from the disk can be a bottleneck. Also, the lack of CUDA acceleration might make working with effects slower than you'd like with such large frames on such minimal machines.

              • 4. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                tclark513 Level 3

                Single hard drive??  Bummer!

                • 5. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                  davidbeisner2010 Level 3

                  Yeah... unfortunately we're working with an IT department who oversees all technology purchases over $300, none of whom are video editors, and none of whom understand the needs of a proper production machine. When we had them build my first system (which was later dumped in favor of a professionally built system by BOXX) I was told by the director of IT that my 32bit, 2.8GHz P4 system with 4GB of Ram, a low-end ATI video card, and three disks totaling 2TB was by far the biggest, fastest, and most hi-tech computer on the college's campus! And they never could understand why I needed something "so powerful" to edit HDV and AVCHD...

                   

                  For any of you who may be interested, here's a link to a PDF version of a powerpoint I created as the lesson plan for teaching those students tomorrow morning. Any feedback would be appreciated, but if you want to feedback on that, please use this string I created for this tutorial over in the Lounge.

                  • 6. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                    by far the biggest, fastest, and most hi-tech computer on the college's campus!

                     

                    10 years ago, maybe.  Things change fast in this business, though.  IT guys really should know that.

                    • 7. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                      davidbeisner2010 Level 3

                      Yes, I agree for sure. I went through nearly 3 years of fighting with them to get equipment that would work for me, and finally convinced my VP to just pull my department out from under IT when it came to purchasing. Now I choose and purchase my own equipment, which is wonderful!

                       

                      In some respects our IT department is wonderful and up with (even ahead of) the times... and in other respects they're way behind...

                      • 8. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                        davidbeisner2010 Level 3

                        And these new iMacs loaded with FCP and CS5 Master Collection, which were purchased this past summer, replaced P3 PCs with 1x 500GB HD, 768MB of Ram, and Premiere 6.0... So they're a huge step up from what our students were working with last spring!

                        • 9. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                          shooternz Level 6
                          Now I choose and purchase my own equipment, which is wonderful!

                           

                          ...and of course David...you then get the benefit of the equipment for your "moonlighting" activ

                          ities.

                           

                          Cool.

                           

                           

                          • 10. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            In very general terms, IT departments are pretty good at getting programs, like Office (or the Mac equivalent) to work, probably at setting up a Domain and possibly even a network, but when it comes to production, either graphics, or video, they just never seem to "get it."

                             

                            I feel your pain. I used to have a client in a law school's advertising department. She was the only person in the entire school (three campuses), who did graphics work, and her IT folk fought her tooth and nail. She would sneak me into her office after about 7:00PM (think Mission Impossible here), and I would completely set up her workstation for Quark, AI, PS and a few other such programs. As her IT dept. hid all manuals, I would load her mine. After doing this several times, only to have IT sneak back and break everything, I finally set security in her BIOS, and she just told IT that she had forgotten the password. They never broke that code - one of her dog's names, plus age at the time. My last trip down the "rope" was to reset that BIOS security, when she left to open her own design shop.

                             

                            Good luck,

                             

                            Hunt

                            • 11. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                              davidbeisner2010 Level 3
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                              shooternz wrote:

                               

                              Now I choose and purchase my own equipment, which is wonderful!

                               

                              ...and of course David...you then get the benefit of the equipment for your "moonlighting" activ

                              ities.

                               

                              Cool.

                               

                               

                              Yeah, it's nice, but unfortunately any money that comes in from that just goes back into my own equipment budget... so I don't get to line my own pockets, but at least I do get the experience and the added funds for my equipment budget!

                              • 12. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                                davidbeisner2010 Level 3

                                Nice! Our IT is a little better than that, but not too much...

                                • 13. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                                  shooternz Level 6

                                  Equipment budget must be reasonable if you are shooting 4K RED.

                                  • 14. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                                    davidbeisner2010 Level 3
                                    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

                                    shooternz wrote:

                                     

                                    Equipment budget must be reasonable if you are shooting 4K RED.

                                     

                                    Unfortunately my equipment budget is about $2k/year plus whatever extra I bring in from outside work...

                                     

                                    The 4K RED footage we shot was for a big series of promo films we shot a few months ago where, instead of giving me the cash to go buy better equipment and do it in-house, they hired an outside company (owned by a grad from our school--one of the guys who helped start our film program) and he came in with his RED, 2-ton grip package, Fischer dolly, and the works...

                                     

                                    I guess that sounded bitter... I'm not bitter towards him at all... he's a good friend, and I'm really glad I had the opportunity to work with him because I always learn more when I work with him, and he's done a good bit of pro bono work for the school, so he deserved the good paying gig.

                                    • 15. Re: Anyone have experience with RED 4k on an iMac?
                                      shooternz Level 6

                                      Keep up the good work David.

                                       

                                      Sounds like you enjoy what you are doing very much despite the adversity.,