RED Scarlet-X Test

 

 

So a lot of people have been asking me what I think about my new RED Scarlet-X camera. Words cannot express how absolutely in love with this camera I am. All of the problems I was worried about having are not problems at all.

 

My biggest concern was that I wouldn’t be able to easily edit it natively, and that transcoding the footage would be annoying. Also, transcoding would force me to either finish without the magic of my 16-bit raw data, or it would be a pain to reconnect if I just used the transcoded footage for an offline edit. People said Premiere could playback raw RED files natively, but that wasn’t the case on my system. Premiere choked on the test clips I got from the RED forums. I am a Mac user, and I don’t have one of those Nvidia cards that Adobe has been pushing like a crack dealer lately. I have a rock solid ATI card with 1 GB of memory, and I didn’t want to switch over to Nvidia because they apparently hate Mac users and really suck at taking care of them. So I thought I was stuck.

 

HOWEVER, I have been editing with a pre-release (BETA!) version of Premiere Pro CS6, and I gotta say – it’s the greatest thing to ever happen to the world of editing. I’m currently preparing a blog on my favorite new features, and there are like BILLIONS of them! But the biggest one is that my 4k 16-bit RED footage from my Scarlet plays PERFECTLY in its native format. And there’s this A M A Z I N G workflow using RED’s free grading/transcoding tool Redcine-X Pro with Premiere. AT ANY POINT in the workflow, I can grade in Redcine-X and just reload the footage in Premiere, and my Redcine grades show up in Premiere. It’s incredible. I also experimented with Adobe’s new app, SpeedGrade, and was pleasantly surprised that it also easily handled my 4k raw footage without transcoding. Adobe is doing some amazing things these days, folks.

 

So, I decided to create a little camera test. In case it totally sucked, I didn’t want to bring anyone else into this. I also wanted to see what I could do with this Scarlet without some great cinematographer that knows what they’re doing, or with any kind of assistants or grips or anything. And I also wanted to test my ability to improvise story points in writing, and also in editing. So I cast my 25 MONTH OLD BABY to play the lead character. So with all of those requirements, and without any help or crew (or even cast, outside of my wife and kids), I set out to play with my Scarlet, and this is what I made. It’s called GODLIZZA (watch it in 1080p for the full effect). Enjoy.

 

About the author

Chad Perkins has written 20 posts for Movies & Computers

Creator of Movies & Computers. Filmmaker. Author of How to Cheat in After Effects, The After Effects Illusionist, and of several video training series on Lynda.com, Video2Brain, Total Training, and VTC.


10 Responses to "RED Scarlet-X Test"

  1. Steve Henwood says:

    Awesome production Chad! I love it when a disaabused starlet takes her revenge, like Jennifer Lopez in Enough! Hey , can you tell us more about Redcine-X Pro and SpeedGrade and how they work together or separately with Premiere? What is the workflow exactly? I have Premiere 5.5, and will upgrade to 6 when it becomes available. Is SpeedGrade Part of Premiere 6?

    I was thinking of either getting a Red Scarlet or Sony F3. Maybe your words of wisdom will help me make up my mind.

  2. Chad Perkins says:

    Ha ha! Thanks, Steve! SpeedGrade was just acquired by Adobe, and it used to be sold for $65,000 (yes, SIXTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS). Adobe is selling it as a standalone. I don’t think Adobe has released the pricing publicly, so I can’t divulge how much, but it’s a lot for an Adobe app, although nowhere near what it used to go for.

    BUT it does come with the Production Premium suite or with the Creative Cloud.

    I have some SpeedGrade training coming out soon, and I’ll probably do a tutorial here on how to work with RED files in the Adobe workflow in a few months. It’s too much to describe here. But the short of it is that Redcine and SpeedGrade are kind of competitive apps, in a sense. But I might use Redcine to do my initial color correction and then edit, then output from Premiere to SpeedGrade to do my final color treatments.

    FWIW, I’ve used high end Sony cameras, and just hated it. Aside from the tech specs (which the Scarlet easily wins, with RAW footage, 4k, and HDRx), I find Sony stuff to just be a really closed environment. Sony doesn’t play well with others at all, and their flavor of MPEG2 is just a beast to edit with. It’s way easier to edit 4k 16-bit raw Scarlet footage than to edit compressed, 10-bit 1080p Sony footage (from my experience).

    1. Steve Henwood says:

      Please do tell us where and when you come out with training for SpeedGrade, Redcine, and how to work with RED files in the Adobe workflow.

      Just to clarify, you were not saying we get SpeedGrade if we buy Production Premium, you are saying that if you buy SpeedGrade, Adobe will throw in Production Premium as a extra bonus? Is that correct? And that probably the cost of buying SpeedGrade will be much higher than just buying Production Premium?

      1. Chad Perkins says:

        Oh no – SpeedGrade DOES in fact come with Production Premium now! And actually, the price is public now, so I can tell you that it is $999 if you buy it on its own. But again, it’s just part of Production Premium which is, at most $1899, or you could buy it as part of Creative Cloud which is $49/month (for ALL Adobe products). These prices are all assuming that you’ve never purchased any Adobe product before. If you have, it will probably be significantly cheaper in both cases. It’s amazing!

        1. Steve Henwood says:

          Great! I have Production Premium 5.5, so when I upgrade to 6.0, SpreedGrade will be part of the package? If this is true, we can only hope you will help us out with some training as only you can do: happy to pay for it too. Will you do it via Lynda, or her on this website, for some other venue?

          1. Chad Perkins says:

            Yep, it absolutely will be part of the package when you upgrade to CS6! I will definitely post some SpeedGrade training. Lynda didn’t want me doing any CS6 Essential Training titles, so I had to go to another company for that. But it will be cheap. I also recorded a really long tutorial for Adobe TV about how to get up and running with SpeedGrade that will be free and get you started. Should be out soon. I’ll keep you posted via this site! Thanks for asking, Steve!

  3. domenic says:

    where did you get the cs6 demo? link?

    1. Chad Perkins says:

      Sorry I was late responding to this, but I was part of the Adobe prerelease program, so I had access to the CS6 software before it was released.

  4. Karlold says:

    Just watched your Godlizza video. I thought it was great.

    1. Chad Perkins says:

      Thank you so much, both for visiting the sites and your kind words about my little movie!

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