We have a short-form project shot on EPIC, 5K and 3K (150fps) footage. We've been offlining with 1080p ProRes proxies from RedCine-X. Our usual NLE of choice is (still) FCP7.
After the requisite hours of reading white papers, discussions, and trying different tools, here's where we are:
1. There are some recurring themes on lots of discussion threads which are no longer relevant, it seems:
1.1 ClipFinder is no longer available.
1.2 Color DOES work with Epic files, however it seems to open them in half resolution, so 5K files become 2.5K.
1.3 I don't see the point of the log&transfer plugin, since the ProRes transcodes it generates are 3K or above. As a result, editing in FCP with those files is just as slow and clunky as, say, using the RED proxies - everything stutters and requires constant renders on our beefy Mac Pros.
2. We need a simple, high-quality workflow that accommodates VFX and is revision-friendly. This might be a one-off so I'd rather avoid major investment in RED-specific tools.
2.1 Finishing on Resolve is not an option at this point since we don't have the requisite Blackmagic and GPU boards.
2.2 Finishing on Speedgrade/CS6 is not an option at this point since Kona3 drivers aren't yet available for CS6.
2.3 FCP7 and Color: XML to RCX to reconform the footage to 4K ProRes4444 files, and off to Color.
* We'd lose some quality and resolution due to the conversions. We do blow up multiple shots so I'm concerned about resolution loss.
* I need multiple layers and RCX has one.
2.4 CS5.5: I was finally able to AutoDuck the XML from FCP into AE, which is especially useful since we're doing VFX in AE CS5.5 and need the full quality in there. My main concerns right now are:
* All the position & scale information is messed up (and there's plenty of it), since the proxies were 1080 and the R3Ds are not.
* Quality issues I still have to investigate, the R3D's look very soft/crappy in AE despite being on FULL.
3. What am I asking after this whole brain dump:
3.1 Any way to keep the scaling information through? Perhaps an AE script that multiplies the values by the size difference. Are we stuck with a fully manual reconform?
3.2 Your experience on finishing EPIC with CS5.5?
3.3 Which part of this is where RED workflow is touted as "easy"? :-)
If you've read through all this you already earned a Thank you.