Red One R3D File Conversion (Mac)

 Introduction

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ReMaster is a Mac (only) application that converts RED ONE™ R3D files into numerous CineForm MOV formats for editing and mastering at spatial resolutions up to 4K. Resulting CineForm files are compatible with all Mac NLE/compositing applications that support QuickTime including Final Cut Pro, Motion, Adobe Premiere Pro, and After Effects.  ReMaster is located in the /Applications/CineForm folder when Neo 4K or Neo HD is installed.

 

Features

•  CineForm output formats:

CineForm Master: 10-bit YUV, 12-bit 444, 12-bit RAW
CineForm Express: 10-bit 1K "Mini-Me" versions of CineForm Master files

•  Spatial resolution:

SD up to 4K (Neo 4K)
SD to HD (Neo HD)

•  Encoder curves:

Gamma, Log (applied prior to CineForm compression)

•  Aspect ratio:

Unrestricted from 4:3 to 2.35:1 and beyond

•  Region of interest cropping:

Including 4000-wide rasters for support of Final Cut Pro

 

System Recommendation

Hardware: Intel Mac Only.
     - Minimum: Core 2 Duo processor --> slow for 4K but pretty good for Express files
     - Recommended: Dual Core2 (or single Quadcore)
     - Preferred: Dual Quad Core

Memory: 2GB (Minimum); 4-8GB (Preferred) for 4K workflow

MacOS: 10.5 (or greater)

QuickTime: 7.5 (or greater)

Final Cut Studio: 6 (or greater)

 

Using ReMaster

ReMaster is located in the /Applications/CineForm folder when Neo HD or Neo 4K is installed.  Upon launch, the window below appears, allowing you to navigate to the location of your R3D files.  Select the files you want to convert and click on the 'Open' button.

(Graphic shows individual files within a single folder selected=
(Graphic shows individual files within a single folder selected for conversion)

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Alternatively, if you prefer to convert all files below a specific "root" folder, including files in subdirectories, you can do the following:

Step 1: Navigate to the root folder, in this case "Susannah".

Step 2: Click the mouse in the search field in the upper right, and type ".RDC" as shown. The top of the window will show fields that allow you to refine the search. In the example, you can search the 'Computer', 'Home' or the "Susannah" folder. Make sure the folder is selected.

Step 3: Click on the first file in the list as shown. Use either the "Edit" menu or the command-A keystroke to select all the files in the window.

Step 4: Click on the "Open" button. After a few moments, all the selected clips will appear in the work queue.

After you have selected files for conversion, the files will appear in the work queue window (below).  ReMaster retrieves a thumbnail and descriptive information about each file you have selected.  The following clip properties are displayed in the work queue:

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- size: number of frames
    and clip length
- file name
- beginning timecode
- spatial resolution
- frame rate
- Recording data rate.

NOTE: The recording data rate is deduced based on observation of the file. There is no specific metadata stored in the source file that provides this information.
The window can be resized to show more of the list.  If you decide to remove a clip from the work list, click on the line which highlights it and press the Delete key - the clip will be removed.

You can choose the Open file menu to add more clips to the list at any time before starting the conversion.

 

Choose Conversion Parameters

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Select one or more clip(s) as shown above, then press the “Parameters” button which will open a series of panels that allow you to choose the conversion parameters.

 

Preset Panel

Although shown on the right side of the list of panels, the Preset Panel will likely be the most often used. At installation the Preset panel comes installed with a number of commonly used presets for R3D conversion as shown in the figure below.  You can always add your own preset(s) by manually choosing individual parameters in the Source / Processing / Output panels and saving as a new preset.  You can also select one of the predefined presets, modify it, and save it as a new preset.  We'll discuss manual parameter selection towards the bottom under Advanced Panels - Parameter Discussion.

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To see the description of any preset, simply select it.

NOTE: The Preset will NOT be applied to your clip(s) until you press the "Apply" button at the bottom of the Preset panel.

The following predefined presets are somewhat self-explanatory by name, but we'll offer some comments anyway plus the manual parameters that are selected in the Processing / Output panels.

•  1K Express Files: Intended for online editing at lower resolution.  Express files will be replaced with CineForm online master files later.
     - Color Matrix: RedSpace
     - Decoder Resolution: Automatic;
     - Encoder Resolution: 1024 x 512;
     - Encoder Frame: Match
     - Chroma Format: YUV
     - Encoder Quality: Medium
 
•  HD 4:2:2: Used for onlining at traditional broadcast resolution and chroma
     - Color Matrix: RedSpace
     - Decoder Resolution: Automatic (Note: Automatic chooses 2K decoder resolution whether source R3D is for 4K or 2K);
     - Encoder Resolution: 1920 x 1080;
     - Encoder Frame: Center Crop
     - Chroma Format: YUV
     - Encoder Quality: FilmScan1
 
•  HD 4:4:4: HD Online with 4:4:4 chroma and 12-bit precision
     - Color Matrix: RedSpace
     - Decoder Resolution: 1;
     - Encoder Resolution: 1920 x 1080;
     - Encoder Frame: Center Crop
     - Chroma Format: RGB
     - Encoder Quality: FilmScan1
 
•  2K 4:4:4: 2K Online with 4:4:4 chroma and 12-bit precision
     - Color Matrix: RedSpace
     - Decoder Resolution: 1;
     - Encoder Resolution: 2048 x "V" (Note: For 2:1 source vertical (V) is 1024; for 16:9 source vertical (V) is 1152)
     - Encoder Frame: Match
     - Chroma Format: RGB
     - Encoder Quality: FilmScan1
 
•  4K 4:4:4: 4K Online with 4:4:4 chroma and 12-bit precision. Consider instead using 4K CineForm RAW because of smaller files.
     - Color Matrix: RedSpace
     - Decoder Resolution: 1
     - Encoder Resolution: 4000 x "V" (Note: For 2:1 source vertical (V) is 2048; for 16:9 source vertical (V) is 2304)
     - Encoder Frame: Center Crop
     - Chroma Format: RGB
     - Encoder Quality: FilmScan1

NOTE: 4K 4:4:4 default is 4000-wide raster because of FCP limitation.  4000 is achieved by cropping from 4096 during conversion, not scaling.  You can easily change this to a 4096-wide raster and store as a new preset. 
 
•  4K CineForm RAW: 4K Online with 12-bit CineForm RAW.  Recommended for 4K online.  Approx 50% - 60% smaller than CineForm 444.
     - Color Matrix: RedSpace
     - Decoder Resolution: 1
     - Encoder Resolution: 4000 x "V" (Note: For 2:1 source vertical (V) is 2048; for 16:9 source vertical (V) is 2304)
     - Encoder Frame: Center Crop
     - Chroma Format: RGB
     - Encoder Quality: FilmScan1

NOTE: 4K CineForm RAW default is 4000-wide raster because of FCP limitation.  4000 is achieved by cropping from 4096 during conversion, not scaling.  You can easily change this to a 4096-wide raster and store as a new preset.

 

Convert

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After you have applied your preset or your manual parameters to your clip(s), select the Convert button and all selected files in the work queue will begin conversion.
Prior to the conversion launching you'll be prompted for a destination location for all of your files.  NOTE: The destination location will contain all of your converted files.

ReMaster is threaded, so based on the Preferences setup for the number of simultaneous conversions desired, you may see a display like the one immediately below for which 2 simultaneous conversions were defined.  See Preferences description below for more details.

 

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If you select the "Stop" button during conversion you'll be asked whether you want to complete the current conversion(s) before halting.

 

You're done!  If you want to read more about Preferences or Advanced panels for manual parameter selection, read on....

 

Preferences

Source Panel

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The Source panel allows you to specify the color space applied to the R3D file as it is extracted. The default for all conversions to CineForm files is to use RedSpace.

 

Processing Panel

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Discussion About Decode Resolution versus Encode Resolution: It is important to understand that there are two different spatial resolutions that need to be defined in this panel: The first we call Decode Resolution, and is the spatial resolution that is extracted from the R3D source file.  Because of the nature of Wavelet algorithms, it is easy to extract sub-resolutions of a full-resolution image that are a power of two smaller in the horizontal and vertical dimensions.  The second spatial resolution is the target resolution of the encoded CineForm file.  That is defined under Target Width/Height.  There is a relationship between the two that is important to understand if you define your own presets.  Take two examples:

In the HD 4:2:2 preset, by default we i) extract 2K RGB spatial resolution (often 2048 x 1024) from the R3D file, then ii) we resample the 2K extraction to HD (1920x1080) RGB, then iii) we resample chroma from RGB to YUV.

In the HD 4:4:4 preset we extract full 4K spatial resolution from the R3D file and then resample from 4K to HD. 

Notice the difference in the extracted resolution - 2K in the case of HD YUV, and 4K in the case of HD RGB.  Of course you could change the HD 4:2:2 preset to also extract 4K, but normally if you're satisfied with an HD 4:2:2 workflow you won't necessarily need the full 4K extraction.  But...there are no absolutes, so you can perform your own experiments and make your own decisions.  Just realize there is a tradeoff of additional conversion time if you choose to move up to a 4K extraction. 

Automatic box: The "Automatic" check box allows pre-defined rules to be used for the extracted resolution.  Those rules include the two examples above about automatically choosing 2K extraction for an HD YUV conversion, and a 4K extraction for an HD 444 conversion.  If you want to be in charge, deselect the Automatic box and feel free to choose your preferred extraction resolution from the R3D file as mentioned:

Decode Resolution: Defines the spatial size extracted from the R3D source:
     - 1:    Extract full source resolution. If source is 4K then the extracted spatial resolution is 4K.
     - 1/2: Extract 1/2 horizontal and vertical resolution. If source is 4K then the extracted spatial resolution is 2K.
     - 1/4: Extract 1/4 horizontal and vertical resolution. If source is 4K then the extracted spatial resolution is 1K.
     - 1/8: Extract 1/8 horizontal and vertical resolution. If source is 4K then the extracted spatial resolution is 0.5K.

The Image Size Change parameters allow you to define the desired spatial resolution of the converted file. 

Letterbox: Observing the panel above, in this example the desired output is 1920 x 1080 (chroma format is defined in the Output panel). If our source is 4K with a 2:1 aspect ratio, selecting the Letterbox control maintains the active region aspect ratio of 2:1 but embeds the active region inside a 16:9 frame with black letterboxing top and bottom.  In this case the full width of our 4K source is preserved but resampled to 1920 horizontal with black letterboxing on the top and bottom.

Center Crop: Again observing the panel above, when we select Center Crop instead of Letterboxing, we will perform a 16:9 center crop with full vertical height and left/right edges equally cropped to 16:9.  The resulting image is resampled to 1920x1080. There is no letter or pillar boxing for 2:1 source in this example.

Note About Decode Resolution in this specific example: In the example above we chose a decode resolution of "1".  For a 4K source this means a 4K extraction from the R3D source file.  We did this because on the next panel we have chosen a chroma format of 4:4:4.  As discussed above, we prefer to oversample from a higher resolution source when coding to a final output of HD 4:4:4.

 

Output Panel

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Quality - Defines the CineForm encoder quality to to your converted files.  There is no "perfect" answer to which is correct, but the defaults for all presets included in ReMaster use FilmScan1.  FilmScan1 is the quality level used in the quality comparison that showed CineForm compression exceeded the visual fidelity of HDCam SR by 3-5 dB PSNR in the following quality comparison: StEM Quality Comparison.

The exception to the default of using FilmScan1 is for the Express Files preset in which we choose Medium quality.  The assumption is that Express files are not intended for final delivery, so Medium allows these files to be a bit smaller.

What about FilmScan2?  Do your own tests....  Files are larger, and for some very complex scenes you may prefer to use FS2.  It is unlikely that you will see any visual difference, but sometimes the difference can be measured.

We have additional discussion about CineForm Quality Settings here: Understanding CineFrom Quality Settings.

Chroma: Select from 10-bit 4:2:2, 12-bit 4:4:4, or 12-bit CineForm RAW.  NOTE: You can ONLY choose RAW when you are doing a full-resolution extraction from the R3D file as defined in the Processing panel.

Discussion about Encoder Curves versus Decoder Curves: First of all, they can be applied independently of one another.  You do NOT have to use the same curve for viewing the material as you used for encoding.

Encoder Curve: This can be a long discussion, but in simple terms you will generally choose an encoder curve because of its efficiency for compression.  The default curve we have chosen is Log 90.  We believe it offers an excellent balance of detail from Highlights to Lowlights.  You can of course choose different curves, but please be sure you know what you're doing beforehand!

Decoder Curve: The decoder curve is non-destructive and is written into the encoded file to give the decoder an indication of the user viewing preference.  It can be changed later for purposes of viewing.  The default is to use a curve that matches the encoder curve. 

By way of example: If you do NOT use RedCine for any of your processing, we would recommend using a Log 90 encoder curve and the default decoder curve that matches the encoder.  However, if you have done some processing in RedCine and want your CineForm files to closely match the viewing curve from RedCine, then you would choose R-Space for the decoder curve.  Why R-Space?  Well, the "RedSpace" curve parameters are proprietary to Red, so we have approximated RedSpace with what we call R-Space - it is a very close match.

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