In January our team at Nomadic Creatives took part in the first ever online REDucation course, and it’s safe to say it was a BIG success! From technical know-how, to getting the most out of the REDCODE RAW format, the range of available content was staggering. Let us take you through our breakdown of the 4 day course.
Day 1 & 2 - Let’s get technical
Knowing what’s going on inside the camera is often best explained by those who were involved in making it. The first two days saw the experts diving straight in to the technical deep end, breaking down the internal makeup of the camera and further explaining its unique features; such as REDCODE recording and how to best set-up your camera. As the course was conducted over Discord, these mechanics were explained further with helpful diagrams and visual examples, making it possible for users with even the most basic understanding of RED to easily follow. Our biggest takeaway from this section was gaining a deeper understanding of RED colour exposure; specifically getting to grips with its peaking and false colour exposure features. Armed with a greater comprehension of the Komodo’s abilities, we immediately put this new knowledge to the test with our first REDucation homework task. We were assigned to tackle multiple lighting scenarios, both indoor and outdoor, and we were quietly confident with the results!
Scenario: Interior Wide Daytime
A great method to understand how just one or two stops either way can drastically change your final result, is to shoot in your go-to settings and then export two versions from post production; one a stop over and one a stop under, to see exactly how much the image can be pushed. We also looked at the difference in framing sizes when working with 2K, 4K and 6k. We are moving to a 6K raw workflow and the reason we are doing this is so that we can offer more to new and existing clients.
Below is our examples of both of these experiments.
f2.2 ISO 800 35mm
Day 3 - Image Compression and Post-Production
This section saw an abundance of useful content, tackling the wide variety of methodological approaches to camera set-up. Our DOP Tom was very impressed with the useful tips on LQ to HQ compression, the recommended process for downsampling and the importance of blackshading before shooting. Since our completion of the course, these top takeaways have transported his technical approach to new levels and have saved him endless hours of self exploration. This segment also introduced us to REDCINE-X PRO; a free application from RED which allows you to make image adjustments whilst preserving the original RAW format. Our in-house editor Billie was fascinated with the flexibility of RED’s new colour processing system IPP2, which is based on a REDWideGamut (RWG) and LOG3G10 specification. In terms of its management of colours, especially those accurate mid-tones, and the full range of highlight roll-off flexibility, it is truly a game changer for those involved in post-production.
Day 4 - Set lighting with a model
On day 4 we were introduced to American cinematographer Peter Lyons Collister, whose instrumental creative abilities have seen him work with the likes of Adam Sandler, Sean Connery and Marc Webb from The Amazing Spider-Man. His relationships with directors, assistant directors and talent alike has ensured a successful 30 year career, and his latest projects such as Wandavision are no exception in his outstanding portfolio.
He joined our Discord session to provide an insight into the world of professional cinematography, with a lifetime of captivating anecdotes and insider knowledge. He also conducted a comprehensive beauty lighting set-up direct from his family home, which we found highly informative and wide-reaching.
Overall, we found the course to be very thought-provoking and we learnt immeasurable amounts in only four days. Despite it being the first time RED have conducted this course through an entirely online means, it upheld its promise on being a hands-on training course from industry professionals. We would recommend this REDucation to any tech-savvy camera addict whose looking to get the most out of their new RED cine-camera and save them months of experimenting.
Be sure to check out our next blog on why we bought our shiny new RED camera, which is dropping next Friday on our website. And as always, please contact us for any project enquiries to see our RED working its magic firsthand!