RED Cameras and Wacom Cintiq Pro Workflows

Some of the most aesthetically spectacular film and television projects have utilised RED camera systems, including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Squid Game, and The Queen's Gambit. Wacom visited RED Studios in Los Angeles to learn more about RED cameras, their accompanying software, and how the two work well together with Wacom's Cintiq Pro 27. They spoke with Dan Duran, Head Post Production and Workflow Specialist at RED Digital Cinema, Director C. Craig Patterson, and Cinematographer and Director Kathryn Boyd-Batstone about their workflows and how they use these tools.

RED Cameras, RED Control Pro, and Wacom Cintiq Pro

When discussing the benefits of RED cameras, Dan says that "they're not only incredibly small and compact but also incredibly powerful cameras, combining high-resolution raw capture with ultra-high dynamic range," giving filmmakers a lot of flexibility when filming during productions.

RED Control Pro, which comes with RED cameras, allows customers advanced control over their V-RAPTOR or KOMODO cameras. RED Control Pro provides an upgraded experience, featuring a unique customisable interface, live streaming from the camera, menu navigation, and extensive LUT, CDL, and PRESET manipulation. The software has also been completely revamped for larger displays and simultaneous viewing of live streaming from several cameras. On MacOS, RED Control Pro may be installed as a native version, which contains additional features such as clip auto download and detachable and resizable windows.

So, how do these tools relate to Wacom? For on-set use, RED cameras and RED Control Pro are an ideal complement to the Cintiq Pro 27. Viewing footage on the Cintiq Pro's high quality screen with 100% Rec 709 and 98% DCI-P3 coverage, cinematographers and directors may then pick and make modifications in RED Control Pro using a Wacom pen or their hand right on the touchscreen.

“Having a tactile monitor you can interact with, like a mobile command center, can completely change the experience for creatives. On a recent production, I saw a cinematographer and director collaborate in a way I’ve never seen before. Normally when adjusting camera settings, there is one person reviewing the image, and one person actually changing the settings, but with the Cintiq Pro 27, both technical and creative merged into one, and the cinematographer and director were able to make real-time adjustments and collaborative decisions faster than ever.” -Dan Duran, Head Post Production and Workflow Specialist at RED Digital Cinema

“A lot of productions will have multiple ways to monitor as well as control the camera. With the Cintiq Pro 27, I’m able to see all the settings and controls as well as the image all right in front of me, which makes it easy and intuitive to work with my production team.” -Dan Duran, Head Post Production and Workflow Specialist at RED Digital Cinema

Cinematography and directing on-set with RED Cameras and Wacom

C. Craig Patterson and Kathryn Boyd-Batstone collaborated on Fathead, a recent short film project that used Unreal Engine and Wacom technology to push the frontiers of virtual production methods. This film was also honored at this year's Cannes Film Festival's Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, winning in the Student Short Film category.

From their work on Fathead, C. Craig and Kathryn are well-versed in technology’s role in time-saving workflows.

“Kat and I tend to work on sets where days are expensive, right? So like if days are expensive, time is expensive. So if there’s something that’s even cutting seconds off, that’s an advantage, right? That’s more time spent in a take – I’d rather spend that time in a take.” -Director C. Craig Patterson

“Especially as your teams get bigger and there’s more people to communicate with, being able to move efficiently is important. To visually have everyone on the same page by looking at one of these beautiful monitors and everything that’s listed there on the RED Control app, and then just tap the screen to make slight adjustments helps us move more efficiently. From a DP standpoint, I sometimes have to memorize so many different menu settings and everything is always different, which can be a challenge. Working on [the Cintiq Pro 27] was so intuitive.” -Cinematographer and Director Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

When building the latest Cintiq Pro with the great color accuracy that permits for usage on virtual production sets, efficiency was a primary incentive. Matching volume to set pieces is a significant difficulty in virtual manufacturing.

“Being able to have color accuracy and being able to match those things was so important to make rest of [Fathead] believable and not take the audience out of the film. It took a lot of time, but having a tool with the color accuracy of the Cintiq Pro, we could have gotten to it so much faster,” -Director C. Craig Patterson

The RED Camera and Wacom Cintiq Pro combo seems potential for Kathryn in some tough filming conditions. When tinkering with the configuration

“I can see this being used for car shoots and when cameras are rigged in situations where it’s hard to reach overhead – with this setup, it’s just so easy to make that shot happen, and make subtle changes to the setup.” -Cinematographer and Director Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

The configuration aims to address some of the issues that directors and cinematographers have with multicam settings, such as a lack of control and the loss of the personal touch of a single camera setup.

“Tools like this give you so much control in the multi-cam space – like one of the things with multicam is that people worry about that you lose the specificity and intentionality that you tend to get in in filmmaking – what tools like the Cintiq Pro and RCP does is give you ability to like, re-inject that intentionality back in on-set.” -Director C. Craig Patterson

Read the full article from Wacom HERE

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