Editing 4K Raw Feature

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ScottJared33, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. ScottJared33, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014

    ScottJared33 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    #1
    Hey all.

    I have these specs for a new computer. I can trade my 2012 mac for 425 bucks store credit. I am curious on if the cheapest is still my best bet? Has anyone done 4K RAW on any of these spec systems? Am I missing something that's needed besides a huge 16 or 18 TB drive?

    Specifications $2,399.00
    • 3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    • 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4X8GB
    • 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M 1GB GDDR5
    • Apple Magic Mouse
    • Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    • Accessory Kit


    Specifications $2,549.00
    • 3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    • 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4X8GB
    • 3TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M 1GB GDDR5
    • Apple Magic Mouse
    • Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    • Accessory Kit




    Specifications $2,599.99
    • 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
    • 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4X8GB
    • 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5
    • Apple Magic Mouse
    • Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    • Accessory Kit

    Specifications $2,749.99
    • 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i4, Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz
    • 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4X8GB
    • 3TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5
    • Apple Magic Mouse
    • Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    • Accessory Kit

    Specifications $2,799.99
    • 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    • 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4X8GB
    • 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5
    • Apple Magic Mouse
    • Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    • Accessory Kit

    Specifications $2,949.00
    • 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    • 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4X8GB
    • 3TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5
    • Apple Magic Mouse
    • Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    • Accessory Kit
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    You're going to need a pure-SSD setup (for pure speed), along with an i7 processor and the best GPU you can get (for rendering).

    For the non-retina iMac, I'd suggest a 3.5GHz i7/8GB RAM/512GB SSD/4GB GTX 780M setup, and for the retina iMac, I'd suggest a 4GHz i7/8GB RAM/512GB SSD/4GB R9 M295X setup. In both cases, upgrade the RAM to 32GB yourself. Apple's pricing for RAM upgrades is daft.

    I've both setups and they both work well in 4K editing.

    HDDs will never suffice for 4K editing (unless it's in a 6-drive RAID 0 setup), and a Fusion Drive will be pretty lacking too.
     
  3. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #3
    You might be able to edit using Premiere's lower resolution settings. Alternatively, most people transcode to edit 4K or perhaps use a proxy edit. Anyhow, you need to go the highest end you can afford including the 295X and i7 processor and a 512SSD. Then it's a matter of proper external storage depending on how you decide to edit and finish.

    As an independent filmmaker, I'd be curious about your expectations for release because shooting 4K RAW will be a huge burden in production, post and ultimately delivery. Unless you have some serious stars or a large production budget, you are hindering your ability to get the film shot, finished and delivered. You need to really think about where your production resources are going. 2K RAW (still difficult, but maybe appropriate for the right shoot) or 4K compressed/Pro-res might be better options for your workflow.
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #4
    On my two iMacs, I use proxy edit. Using RAW would be too hard.

    4K RAW is done on my two Mac Pros (both are identically specced with 12 cores, 64GB RAM, dual D700s and 1TB SSDs). They're pricey, but the returns are worth it.
     
  5. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    #5
    I want the sharpest image possible. Releasing doc in 2017 and know that updates and advance will be made. What would you suggest as far as the two options that you gave me? I want the sharpest image possible.
     
  6. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    #6
    Can you link me up as to what external hard drive set up you would suggest? I know you said Raid 0 but a link would be great thanks.
     
  7. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2014
    #7
    My expectations for shooting in RAW is to have a great and sharp image and to downscale to 1080. I have an 8 bit fs700 and I feel that it's time to upgrade my system and my camera to 4K.
     
  8. Chippy99, Dec 9, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014

    Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    <post deleted>
     
  9. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #9
    If you are truly editing 4k *raw* video, you need the most powerful Mac available, with an extremely fast hard drive. I'd be tempted to say only an 8-proc or above nMP with D700s, 32 or 64GB RAM, and a big Thunderbolt array.

    OTOH if you mean 4k compressed video, e.g, H.264, then a high-end iMac can handle that. Even in that case I'd recommend the 4Ghz retina iMac with 32GB, M295X, SSD and a pretty fast external hard drive, probably RAID0 or RAID5 depending on your workflow and backup situation.

    If you are using FCP X, it has good proxy support so it will transparently edit on a smaller transcoded set of files. This helps some but you still have to deal with moving around lots of data.

    If your final customers will receive web-distributed 1080p H.264, then the iMac has a big advantage in final rendering -- its CPU has Quick Sync which is about 5x faster at single-pass MPEG-2, MPEG-4 or H.264 than the nMP. I don't know if that works for 4k H.264 rendering. Quick Sync only works for single-pass rendering but in my experience this is adequate quality for most things. If you ever must do multi-pass rendering, then the iMac would become significantly slower than a nMP.

    Re disk, you want something like the G-RAID/G-SPEED series, Promise Pegasus R4/R6/R8, or the OWC Thunderbay 4, or similar Thunderbolt arrays. There are various RAID configuration options for each one. For a less-expensive solution maybe a two-drive RAID0 might work but a two-drive 12 TB G-RAID in RAID0 is almost as expensive as a similarly-sized four-drive Thunderbay 4 in RAID5, which would probably be faster.

    Even with RAID 5 it should be backed up on yet another set of drives, so factor that into your budget.
     
  10. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    #10
    Wow a lot of great information thank you.

    My final export will be 4K Blu-ray.

    My concern is exporting it and the quality of it looking as good as it does on the computer. Especially since it's going to be such a huge file is there a capacity to what the file size would be on a Blu-ray?

    My main goal is to play on a theater screen with a 4K projection. This is going to be my first feature and I've done many short films and started doing standard definition and had moved up to high definition with my camera but now I want to take the next step since documentary film work is going to be much easier to budget location and character wise and let's say trying to do a fictional feature.

    ----------

    Also in your first paragraph with the items that you mentioned included in the computer how much would we be looking at? Is there any system in particular that you can link me up to?
     
  11. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2014
    #11
    So this is what I came up with under 5k.

    Let me know if this is good for 4k raw video feature length. If there are any additions I need to add for Mac Pro let me know.

    32 GB of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
    512 GB PCle based flash storage
    Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPU
    6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM
    3.76 GHz quad-core w/ 10mb of L3 cache (may have written this down wrong)
     
  12. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #12
    As for storage, the most cost effective solution will be three ThunderBay 4 enclosures with 20 TB of drives in each. Here's how I would set it up:

    1) ThunderBay 4 20 TB RAID 0 array. Primary working storage location.

    2) ThunderBay 4 20 TB RAID 0 array that is RAID 1 copy of the working dive above. Stored on-site. Continually running in the background.

    3) ThunderBay 4 20 TB RAID 0 array that is stored off-site, preferably at least a mile or two from your working location. This will protect you from theft, fire, and most natural/man-made disasters. Bring it in once a week and mirror it to ThunderBay #2.

    Make sure all of these are plugged into a very good UPS.

    This is the minimum you'll need, and if sourced carefully, you can get all of this, including the UPS, for approximately $4,100 USD.

    Cheers,
    Bryan
     
  13. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #13
    I don't think 4k Blu Ray exists yet although it is scheduled for release *late* next year. They will require a new HEVC/H.265 codec, so the authoring software must support that. Disc capacity will range from 50 to about 100 gigabytes, depending on the data rate.

    The data flow would probably be acquisition in 4k raw video, transcode to some lower res mezzanine format for editing, then final render to 4k (maybe ProRes), then transcode to the specific HEVC codec as input to the 4k Blu Ray authoring software. That probably doesn't exist yet.

    Only a very few cameras can shoot 4k raw, e.g, Red Epic, Canon C500, Sony F55 and F700. The Blackmagic Production Cinema Camera can but it's not a whole system. I think some cameras like the C500 can only do 4k at 10 bits per color channel, vs HD at 12 bits per channel. So in that case you're trading spatial resolution for color resolution.

    The required acquisition data rates are roughly 300 to 500 megabytes per second.

    Another problem is the front-end workflow for each raw format is different, conversion tools differ, as does the ability of each edit suite to handle those.

    The data rates and volume for 4k raw typically would require the highest-end editing workstations you can get. This would be a 12 core New Mac Pro, not an iMac. To see examples and prices, just go to apple.com, pick Mac Pro, select the highest end one and pick all the options.

    For documentary work, the shooting ratio is high, often 20:1. This means for a 90 min. feature, you'd shoot 30 hr of material. This might be about 50 terabytes, not including scratch space, temp files, work space, etc, so figure 100 terabytes. The original material and all intermediate cuts must be backed up, so figure at least 100 more terabytes for that.

    Just to manage the storage, you'd need much higher end solutions than something like the Thunderbay 4 or Pegasus R6. Something like multiple 32 TB Pegasus R8s: http://www.promise.com/promotion_page/promotion_page.aspx?region=en-global&rsn=100

    Cameras capable of raw 4k video: http://wolfcrow.com/blog/the-battle-for-4k-raw-a-red-epic-vs-canon-c500-sony-f55-price-comparison/

    Philip Bloom commentary on 4k raw: http://philipbloom.net/2013/10/10/4kraw/
     
  14. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #14
    A 6-core might be more suitable, along with a 12GB D700.

    The GPU is a non-upgradeable part, although it isn't soldered, because the D-series FirePros are Apple-only.

    The CPU, on the other hand, is an easily upgradeable part.

    You can find an E5-2697 on the market without much difficulty. So upgrade to a 6-core first and then only buy a 12-core when you've saved up more or when you need it.

    ----------

    Mate, I shoot 4K for a living. You think I like having to burn a hole in my pocket with these two trashcan Mac Pros?
     
  15. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2014
    #15
    I will be using fS700 raw 4k yes.
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #16
    By far the lowest cost option is to use your current system but tell FCPX to edit with proxy media.

    If yu are editing 4K directly then get a big SSD. You are going to need lots of fast storage

    And of course at least two ways to backup all that data.
     
  17. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #17
    The OP is talking about a *documentary* feature film, not a 5 min Youtube video. You can edit a "scripted narrative" HD feature film shot with a compressed codec on regular Macs. Those have much lower data rates and lower shooting ratios: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_ratio Here the assistant director of the recent Will Smith movie Focus talks about his experience editing that using FCP X on MacBooks and iMacs: http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/new...ind-editing-a-major-hollywood-feature-on-fcpx

    However -- you cannot practically edit a documentary feature film shot in 4k *raw* on a 2012 iMac. He's not talking about 4k compressed, but 4k raw video. That doesn't mean raw as in unedited, but raw as in uncompressed -- similar to a raw still vs jpg still. Each video frame is a raw still. Just transcoding that to proxy would take a huge amount of CPU, I/O and elapsed time, plus he has to handle hundreds of terabytes of material. Typically this would take the highest end workstation available with the most CPU cores, the fastest GPUs, the most memory and a huge, very fast disk array.

    I don't see how SSD is relevant here, except for the system drive. The material is far beyond what would fit on an affordable SSD, even if you broke it up into pieces. Also SSD performance isn't much better (if any) than a Thunderbolt RAID of the required size. E.g, the Pegasus2 R8 in RAID5 does about 1,000 megabytes/sec on read and write: http://kb.promise.com/KnowledgebaseArticle10394.aspx There would be no need to move little slices back and forth to an SSD that isn't appreciably faster.
     
  18. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #18
    Absolutely go for 4K compressed. Shooting with a GH4 or perhaps a Blackmagic direct to Pro Res. But for a doc, you should consider 2K compressed and here's why: Not only is theatrical a pipe dream, it's a fools errand these days. About 1-2% of films get theatrical distribution and only half of those make any money. For theatrical, traditional distribution to happen, you generally have to run the film festival gauntlet forking over a ton of money for sub-standard results. A lot of waiting around, hoping for a Sundance premiere (not gonna happen), hoping for a sales agent (you might get one, but go back to that 1-2% figure), and hoping for a proper release. But perhaps VOD anyway.

    Your aim for delivery should be for the web and specialized screenings focused on your target audience. Unless you have a track record, make it efficiently, inexpensively, and don't hamstring yourself with debt and technical problems that will make it difficult to make your next feature. (Unless you just want to make this one, then by all means, do what you want).

    Get yourself a great DP who is as passionate as you are, spend money on lights and a small grip/sound crew. That's where the money should go.
     
  19. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    #19
    Those are all good reasons; note he already has a Sony FS700 which can shoot 4k compressed. Another advantage of 4k compressed is the savings permits buying other cameras and equipment.

    E.g, the OP could add a GH4 shooting 4k, a Blackmagic, a drone for aerial shots, a camera slider, a GlideCam, several GoPros, LED lights, etc. Overall that will provide a much richer set material to pull from.

    If distributing in HD, 4k allows re-framing the shot in post, imparting camera moves, etc. E.g, this video was shot from a single locked-down GH4. All the camera moves are done in post, since that allows an HD window into the larger 4k frame that can be repositioned without loss of resolution: https://vimeo.com/channels/humcrush/101051502

    He can probably edit a 4k compressed feature on a top-spec retina iMac. He'll still need a pretty good disk array, but the entire package will be much less expensive than what's needed for 4k raw.

    As the OP probably already knows, "content is king". The story and composition are what count, not little technical details. If the story is compelling nobody will notice whether it was shot in 4k raw or compressed. They might not even notice HD vs 4k depending on the playback environment. However burdening yourself with 4k raw can prevent achieving the desired story, just due to logistics.
     
  20. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Solid points. Is 4K compressed less sharp than raw? I ask because I am open to it. More so than 2k.

    I saw 4K raw and was amazed. I use my fs700 now with 8 bit compression 1080. I hate how muddy it looks on DVD. I am going to be making a doc mid next year and it will probably take two to three years to shoot. Want to keep up with technology to a degree. 6K may be the next big thing at some point. Who knows?

    Will be investing in the Odyssey 7Q to get the 4k visuals.
     
  21. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2014
    #21
    Should I shoot 2k Raw or 4k compressed? What is sharper?
     
  22. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    #22
  23. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #23
    4K has more detail. Even down sampled to 2K or 1080P, it will be sharper. However, a lot depends on the lens and your focus puller and/or cameraman. A prime lens will be sharper than most zooms. But for doc work, a zoom can be really, really helpful. Again, you have to tell a compelling story. And that takes a hell of a lot of practice and common sense. Training (film school or on the job) is helpful too.

    Shooting raw means color correcting each and every shot. That's a massive amount of processing power and time. Just huge. It doesn't make sense for a doc. You can still color correct a compressed image, but only if necessary. And the time is usually less because it is shot closer to what you want in the end. A raw image needs to be shot 'flat' and it looks like crap when you're editing because it has no punch. That's no fun.
     
  24. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2014
    #24
    Great points. What I will need to do now is look at footage online even though I know it's going to be far more compressed to a degree potential he on YouTube and other sites and I need to watch it and look at the difference between 2K and 4K compressed. It seems like rise becoming less of an option only for the fact that the cost is going to be far more expensive.

    Does anyone have any website information or forum posts or anything of that nature on the differences as far as space that raw vs 4k compressed is file size wise? Is there a break down online?
     
  25. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #25
    It is true raw requires a lot of workflow steps but I disagree with the part about not color correcting compressed video.

    IMO every final clip should have basic correction for color and exposure. It's not that much work relative to the total time and labor of planning, shooting and editing the product. E.g. I recently corrected a 20 min. documentary for color and exposure, including audio processing with Izotope RX3, stabilization, sharpening, skin processing, masking, auto-tracking, etc. I didn't use Resolve, just FCP X and a bunch of plug-ins. It only took about 2-3 days and it made a huge difference. By contrast the project itself was months of effort by several people.

    You only correct the final edit which is a tiny fraction of the base material. It's true the producer/director and lead editor (if different from the colorist and/or finishing editor) must understand this sequence and not discard clips because of poor color, lighting, sound or stability. They must be familiar with and able to visualize typical achievable corrections and make edits having faith in this.

    Not color correcting a video product is like not doing any post processing on a still. It leaves on the table a lot untapped artistic potential and doesn't present the huge investment in the best light.

    It's also true there's no substitute for getting it right in the field. Fixing things in post can be very time consuming. Sometimes it just can't be fixed to the degree needed in the available time. However that's different from just not polishing it at all and only using "out of camera" footage unless it's really bad. E.g, if you go over the footage with the waveform monitor, almost every clip can be improved for color and exposure. It doesn't take that long if restricted to the final edit.
     

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