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Author Topic: How to learn RED?  (Read 4378 times)
BJNY
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« on: March 28, 2012, 01:31:37 PM »
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How did everyone go about learning how to work with RED cameras?
I bought a book from Amazon a while back, but never cracked it open.
Now, EPIC & Scarlet are available to rent at practically all the photographic rental houses in NYC,
but I wouldn't know what to do with them.
Are there training DVDs?

Thanks in advance.
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Guillermo
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 05:41:58 PM »
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You know,

A camera in the end is just a camera. This is not like sitting in an unknown 747 cockpit and you'd have to take that off. (alhough sometimes some camera menus...)

The Arri Alexa commands and menus for example are completly intuitive, superbly implemented and simple in use.
In fact simplier than a 5D2 or GH2 consummer cameras and it's understandable for the target that will use those gear.
No messy, hidden, over-complicated things here.

Arri has an on-line simulator if you want to get familiar with the camera operation, don't think Red has one.

IMO, the very best is to jump, like you'd jump on the water from 10 meters, at first it's intimidating then when you're in the water you have to swim; start from scratch. In a question of hours you got the thing working, then it's practise and practise.

The best training way is to learn doing. Making mistakes, or assisting. A DVD could even be counter-producing.

Best luck.

 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 05:54:32 PM by fredjeang » Logged
BJNY
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 07:31:52 PM »
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Thank you for advice.
Cool that Arri has a simulator.

I definitely want to jump in,
but how does one get their hands on a camera to play
short of renting camera + proper workstation at $1500+ for the day?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 07:35:11 PM by BJNY » Logged

Guillermo
fredjeang
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 03:47:41 AM »
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I'm not sure this is the path.

The RED ONE on the second-hand market has gone down considerably since the Epic-Scarlet. It reaches now "affordable" prices and would be better than renting.

But I think that if you want to go motion, Red or Arri kind of equipment aren't really camera to start from sratch in renting blind. You'd rent within an assignement that covers the costs of renting. You may or may not need those actually.

Or you have enough revenues to spend directly and purchase it all with no immediate return, wich would be simplier.

A more logical approach IMO is to shoot motion with more humble, but also very good, HD cameras. There are a lot affordable on the market in different systems. Start to produce good footage and good content with a camera you can own. If it grows, then the renting or buying of a Red camera and all the other costs asociated with it will come naturally by itself.

Best luck.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 03:50:01 AM by fredjeang » Logged
bcooter
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 12:54:07 PM »
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How did everyone go about learning how to work with RED cameras?
I bought a book from Amazon a while back, but never cracked it open.
Now, EPIC & Scarlet are available to rent at practically all the photographic rental houses in NYC,
but I wouldn't know what to do with them.
Are there training DVDs?

Thanks in advance.


Billy,

You've been around cameras your whole life and it'll take you a day to learn the scarlet or the R-1.  A camera is a camera.

if your going to buy I strongly suggest either a used R-1 and a back brace, or a Sony FS200 that you must underexpose 5/8's of a stop.

The Sony is good, easy to use and honestly when we're cutting, if we've got all of our setting down shoot as good as the RED for 99.9% of all of our work.

If you were in El Lay I'd loan you one for a few days to get use to it.

iMO

BC
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 01:44:15 PM »
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Epic and Scarlet are very easy and intuitive to use, especially if you have the touch-screen. I think any competent rental house could get you up to speed on how to use one in less than 20 minutes.

Graeme
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Hywel
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 02:03:11 PM »
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I hired a RED One and read the manual (which is available online at RED's site). There were a few gotchas, but it was pretty self explanatory.

When my Scarlet arrived, I again read the manual and was up and shooting in 30 minutes. The only things which caused me a bit of head scratching were fitting the top plate (I needed the right tools, Amazon sorted that out) and figuring out the right sort of audio cable (quick trip to Maplin sorted that out). The information on the Reduser forum was helpful here, although I do think RED should consider adding to the FAQ section of the main site or adding FAQ to the manual.

On set, the Scarlet's touch screen is very well laid out, with sensible assignments of functions to buttons (and the ability to customize to your heart's content). The things you need to change most frequently are all on the "main" screen. If the hire shop helps set you up you'll probably not need to go any deeper into the menus on set anyway.

  Cheers, Hywel.

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Hywel
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 02:04:39 PM »
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P.S. Graeme - lovely job on REDColour 3. Significant improvement on skin tones, thank you!

  Cheers, Hywel
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 02:10:46 PM »
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We're really focusing in on better RED education, so ideas for aspects to cover (like fitting top plates) or audio cables are great for us to pursue. I'll point the guys at RED at this thread so that they can be sure to see what are the "first time RED gotchas" for them to cover.

Glad you like RG3/RC3 - a lot of work and R&D has gone in to them.

Graeme
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fredjeang
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 02:46:01 PM »
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Congrats.

That was one of the known and debated as exhaustment differences between the Alexa that has (should I say had ?) a better skintone render, and the Red. If you managed to enhance the transitions in tones it's a strong point.
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BJNY
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 09:55:03 AM »
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Appreciate the replies, and generous offer from bcooter, thank you all.

I won't be buying this type equipment any time soon,
so I guess I'll have to attend many demos Roll Eyes to get some hands-on time,
but that still leaves the questions about workstation/workflow.

Someone please invite me on a project in NYC Cheesy
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Guillermo
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 01:54:43 PM »
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RED has their own training courses, called REDucation. Looks like you are in NY. If so, you may be in luck. Just saw this at Red User in a discussion about a course in NY:

"Looks like we are headed to Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard - http://www.steinerstudios.com/

Hotel information will be posted shortly ."
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BJNY
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2012, 08:12:26 AM »
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Found this informative article http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/296/17690#17717 ,
gave me glimpse into what's involved on set.

Any other interesting links?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 09:00:37 AM by BJNY » Logged

Guillermo
bcooter
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2012, 04:48:42 PM »
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Billy,

As much as cameras are important, the most important thing is what kind of file you shoot and what you do with it after you've shot it.

My goal is to make digital video look like film, not be limited by the camera.

This week, prior to going to Moscow, we tested our FS100, the scarlet, our two RED 1's.

With the RED's we tried all kinds of gammas, (and there is a bunch) and different settings because the workflow of the RED is 1. process the file in CineX, #2, Send to Apple Color and process the file out in finished out look., #3 supply the file to our editor in prorezz 422.

With the Sony we do the same except we skip the cine x (cine x only works on RED) and go straight to Apple Color.

With the Sony we went through a range of pre set settings and they are quite complicated though once you get a handle on it, you can get a good look.

We shot the scene on a white background lit with one single 1x1 lightpanel leds.  I find LED lighting to be the most difficult to use as something about the LED's tend to easily cast on skin tones as you move things around in post and LED's have very fast falloff.   I purposuely did not add any fill cards or lights, as I wanted to get a difficult file to work with.

My results were the RED files are great, I like the Scarlet, love the R-1's, but the Sony completley held it's own.    In fact it probably was a 10% difference in highlight holding.  One thing you must do with the sony is slightly underexpose by 1/2 to 5/8's of a stop (though there really is no stops) and get accustom to all the menus and buttons.

In fact I like the Sony so much, especially with amazingly great autofocus that I used it last week in Munic for about 30% of the A cam work, will probably use it in Moscow for 60% of the A cam work.

You'd be amazed how much detail you can pull out of Apple color and though Apple color is a dead in system, I believe it is the easiest color grading suite to learn and offers so much it's amazing to me that Apple has essentially ended it's development.

So, what I'm really saying is if youi want to learn how to work a camera from start to finish, get your hands on a sony with a kit lens and start shooting.  Be very attentive to leaning your preset looks, (not too flat, not too crushed) and have a blast.

With that RED Rock shoulder mount kit, a Led filter holder for ND's when outside, it's a fast running, great system that won't break the bank.  I have two Zeiss zooms that manually focus and I only use them 10% of the time as the kit lens has Image Stabilization and the lens zooms from 18 to 200.  It is not a constant f stop, but you get past it and you'll get a very good look.  For the not video look, try shooting at 24fps, and running the shutter at around 100th of a second.

Doing this and doing this well will be a lot easier than learning a RED and honestly at the end of the day nobody will know the difference and understand as much as I love the RED's I can't tell you how impressed I am with the Sony.  It makes the 5d and the dslr videos a true waste of time.

With sound the sony has an on board mixer, two xlr inputs and you can sound sample with Bars and by headphones.

IMO

BC

P.S   Thank you Morgan Moore for telling me how much you like this camera.  You were right.

P.S.2., Billy, You should have a lot of contacts in No York, but if you don't I know some companies that will probably let you rent one dirt cheap.
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billy
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2012, 04:56:42 PM »
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are there any prime sony lenses that will autofocus with the FS100? any coming? a 35m?
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BJNY
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2012, 07:01:40 PM »
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Thank you bcooter....I will digest.

New Sony being announced according to http://www.eoshd.com/content/7710/the-sony-nex-fs700-4k-for-8k
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Guillermo
bcooter
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2012, 03:22:46 AM »
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That's the million dollar question.  I bought some fast A mount lenses with the first adapter which allowed exposure control but no autofocus.

I'm told there is an autofocus adapter but can't get a real answer to this.

Sony has a few E mount lenses, I think 1 or 2 primes, though I'd like to see some 2.8 (at least) constant zooms in a few ranges that would autofocus.

Billy,

In regards to the 4k Sony it looks good though shooting through an hdmi cord to a separate box is kind of a pain.  The real deal of the fs100 is the form factor (think modern square hasselblad) and it's light weight.

We run it on a lightweight shoulder mount, on small sticks or on a lightweight steadicam.  My favorite is the look from the shoulder mount.  It's fairly smooth with the image stabilizer on, but also a little gritty and real.

Think the show Southland and you'll understand.

IMO

BC
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digitaltechnyc
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2012, 03:27:38 PM »
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RED has their own training courses, called REDucation. Looks like you are in NY. If so, you may be in luck. Just saw this at Red User in a discussion about a course in NY:

"Looks like we are headed to Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard - http://www.steinerstudios.com/

Hotel information will be posted shortly ."

REDucation is a great course, I know, as I've been assistant instructor for the first 5, (REDucation #1 thru REDucation #5).  For filmmakers (DP's AC's, editors, even producers) this is a must have.  While the RED is not that complicated, it has a learning curve.  To pick one up and get the same results you get from your still cameras, takes that same kind of practice, use and re-use, test this, test that, push the camera to know what it can and cannot do, that you cannot learn in 20 or 30 minutes.  That is why REDucation is a total of 5 days, three days production (on camera), two days post.

The difference between the RED and almost all other cameras is that is shoots a RAW file. There are others (Arri Alexa, SI2K, Sony F65) that shoot RAW, but their workflow is workslow, and not as fluid as RED.  To me RED is like a Canon or Phase, you shoot watching your scopes (histogram, waveform), and you finish with a very good 4 or 5K file, that is over 4 times larger than HD to begin with, and now you process it to your specifications (like you would with Capture One or Lightroom).  You have total control over your image, like you've always had. 

I've been working on a web series for the past couple of months, they shoot with a Sony F3, and we use a Ki Pro Mini recorder to capture ProRes 422HQ to CF cards.  Clean look, but still very crushed.  I do on-set grading (Davinci), and I always have to start with an inverse curve to give the image a chance.  The F3 has an option for ProRes 444 Log, but the production company chose not to buy the upgrade, in a way their loss, because that would get the file more in line with what a RED provides, the room the make the picture very pretty.

The RED camera has gotten both good and bad reviews.  The bad reviews I find come from inexperienced users of RED.  There is no reason that anyone can't learn how to shoot this camera brilliantly, actually the only negative thing I said about the original RED, was it's size and weight.  After years of caring around a Hasselblad with a Phase back, to go to a RED, was OMG! 

A year and a half ago, I taught my last REDucation, then began teaching my own RED classes and workshops.  The film board in Ireland (FAS) brought me over to instruct a 3 day intensive (2010/2011), and I'm currently lining up to teach a RED for Still Photographers workshop in New York.  While some of the same general topics as REDucation will be discussed, this workshop will be centered around the still photographer.  As a photographer for over 30 years, there is a slightly different dynamic to my class.  More and more billboards will be going motion, just as you've seen on stores like Best Buy (big vertical moving signage), or if you've ever seen the (vertical) ads in the Underground in London, this is the future.  Shooting a RED in portrait orientation is very cool, imagine your iPad full of vertical ads to show your clients, this is on the workshop menu, and I'll show you how to do it quickly and without a lot of fuss, if I can do it, you can do it.

I don't have any dates as yet (hopefully May), but if it's ok with the LL powers, I'd love to post the workshop here when I have a venue, and schedule worked out.  The cost will not be as pricey as REDucation ($2500.00 for 5 days), so relax knowing this is for you, the still shooter.

Von
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BJNY
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2012, 10:41:19 PM »
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This thread is kinda like a R.G. Forum reunion Wink


I don't have any dates as yet (hopefully May), but if it's ok with the LL powers, I'd love to post the workshop here when I have a venue, and schedule worked out.  The cost will not be as pricey as REDucation ($2500.00 for 5 days), so relax knowing this is for you, the still shooter.

Sounds like a good match for me.
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Guillermo
bcooter
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« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2012, 10:42:20 PM »
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Though i've never met Von in person, we've corresponded through the years.

Von will be one of the perfect instructors for a photographer adding motion imagery to their repertoire.

He began as a fashion photographer, morphed his business into a still - digital tech company and now has experience in motion from the RED to the 5d2 and I assume everything in between.

To add to everything Von mentioned, which is mostly on the technical side, one of the most important differences from stills to motion is the ability to tell a story, whether it is 10 seconds or 97 minutes.

When we do parallel projects in motion and still, even if still imagery has priority, I always start with either an outline and/or storyboard (for mos) and a script if dialog and we shoot the motion sequences first, scrub through them quickly, Identify which style imagery will work in stills, then usually recreate the stills to have continuity.

My suggestion is when you test, shoot a story.   It may be as simple as two people walking and holding hands, dodging traffic at a cross walk, laughing, then walking on, but with motion you'll be amazed that once you get into the cutting room, all that footage you thought you had covered probably is only 1/2 of what you really need.

As every editor and director will tell you, you can almost never have enough footage, angles, takes and coverage.  An editor is only as good as the imagery provided and if it's a stylistic on trick pony, it gets old fast, if it's just visuals we lose interest quickly, but if it's a good story, regardless of how it's shot we will watch it and remember it.

Also understand that not every production is going to be big budget or in the case of parallel production enough time to really go deep into the storyline.  Time on set is the main enemy, budget obviously sets the time on set.

I suggest shooting a story, then editing it yourself, whether it be in i-movie, or all the way up to avid.  You'll learn more about shooting and directing once you try to cut something worthwhile than you ever will just learning how to shoot a camera, even if your plans are only to work as a camera operator or dp, because a great dp really is part director, sometimes the dp is the director.  

I also strongly suggest taking one of   Dov Simens' classes.    http://www.dovsimensfilmschool.com/

You'll learn more about how hollywood really works than you will working in hollywood for 5 years.  Dov pulls no punches and gives it out straight. If you can't take the class I think Dov sells dvd's or tapes.

Now when it comes to cameras I'll say it again I love the RED, but a lot of cameras in the right hands can do amazing things, even the 5d2.   In regards to shooting vertical, I've personally done some of that in testing but never been asked to do it on a paying gig.

Most video for web will be in 16x9 format, some 2 to 1, but video or motion or cinema has no real standards, regardless of who you talk to.  There are as many formats for the screen (any screen) as their are workflows, editorial systems, color correction suites and even file types with different codecs (compression/decompression).

Ask 4 editors or color houses what they want and you'll get 4 different answers.

Our studios work mostly in house will dedicated people, so we are in a closed loop system.  Even with that our system is in the process or changing.

Just remember there is no exactly right camera, right style, right way of working other than this.  With motion you must plan ahead, be very, very exacting and cover more than you'll ever think you need.

IMO

BC

P.S.   if you want to see the best interactive magazine for the i-pad type of delivery I suggested subscribing to GQ.  You'll see vertical ads become horizontal and every type of interaction imaginable.  GQ has it down and is a great place to open you mind to what is coming.


P.S.2  One thing about a still photographer adding motion imagery to their services is it's not mandatory, it's an elective and without a business model it will be like setting up a facebook account for no reasons other than everyone else is doing it.  It may get you attention, it may be fun, but at the end of the day you can spend you life doing something that doesn't move your business forward.  Business model first . .  . then start looking at cameras, screens, editors, etc. etc.

Motion imagery is like most "new" things, especially in technology.  At first it's over hyped, then later it's under estimated until it levels out and just becomes another standard of our industry.

I think all of us should understand that advertising and editorial is changing.  Prior to the web most media was a monologue, but with the web and it's thousands of forums, replies to the editors, facebooks, twitter, etc., the communication industry is learning how to merge content  from monologue to dialog successfully.

So, in summary unless you have a burning desire to shoot motion imagery, a passion to tell a  great story and a way to profit from it, stick with what you know until the industry settles down.

Once again IMO.



« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 11:30:06 PM by bcooter » Logged
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