During my last RED camera workshop a couple of useful points concerning colour grading were brought up. Firstly the difference between linear, log and RAW filming. Linear is very basic where the relationship between intensity and black/white information is systematic, it doesn’t provide much information to play with in the grade. Log introduces additional information in the black and white values as the intensity curves, this provides a lot more in the grade to manipulate, however it will provide an overall ‘washy’ look, so it is important to monitor linear (i.e. Rec 709). Finally RAW covers all areas of intensity to all values between black and white for pretty much full image control.
RED will record in RAW, and when exporting the files it will automatically apply a Rec 709 linear curve as camera metadata, this can then be changed to relate to logarithm look up tables. This really supports the idea of filming in RAW for increased image control when it comes to the grade.
In terms of data management Dave Neal suggested the file structure of the exported files can actually be changed without harming the video. With most cameras you tend to copy across all the data (i.e. thumbnails) as everything is referenced, if you start dragging out individual clips you risk corrupting the data. The theory with the RED is the .R3D files sit separately from the proxy folders and files, so you can copy this across by themselves to get rid of unnecessary files that fills up data space. This needs to be tested before committing to the cause, however if this is the case it will save a lot of time throughout post production and will speed up the process of relinking media in DaVinci from the XML file.