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Arri Alexa vs RED workflow.

Henrik A Meyer

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There is always more than one workflow for each camera, even for the RED you might do things a different way depending on the project and budget. Some ways are easier some are harder.

Alexa might be considered easier because it shoots ProRes files that can go straight into editing and grading without converting, but then again you could shoot arri Raw which is more of a pain in the arse than RED raw because of the size and the external recorders and whatnot. Also ProRes 4444 files are very heavy to edit, so one might make proxys anyway and the workflow would be similar to RED.


Some people (me included) feel the Alexa shoots nicer skin-tones than RED and has a better overall color-rendition (strictly personal opinions). That might save you some time in grading since the picture is kind of nicer from the beginning and doesn't need as much work to it as Red.

One of the most experienced colorists here where I live told me he felt the easiest footage to grade was 35mm followed by Alexa because it only needed one or two passes of cc, whereas Red almost always needed a separate pass for the skintones.

Red is always developing their color-space though, so this might change over time.


Just some thoughts, hope it helps!

Edited by Haris Mlivic
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if you shoot Alexa, shoot RAW. The Gemini is a very budget concious tool, relatively cheap to hire, and very reasonable to purchase, convergent design have an offer at the moment of 2 free 512gb drives with every Gemini 444 purchase!. It really will give you more flexability in post and your colorist will thank you for the RAW files. I'm assumming you will be grading on a system that will be happy to ingest and rip through .ari files with ease. The .ari arriraw files actually take less space than Prores 444 a 512gb SSD on the gemini will give you 50mins of arriraw @ 24fps. There is a lot of hot air spouted regarding the handeling of raw data, it tends to be from people who have very little experience of using it, ( no offence intended to any posters on this thread ) it's just my experinece. Don't get me wrong 4444 is good, but raw will give you more flexability and choices, and that to me is always better.

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I should also add that the Red Raw workfow is also fine, we are over the terrible wobblies we had a few years ago. We recently graded a feature i shot on Red MX on baselight system, no problems at all, very straight forward. Skin tones, yes to me the skin tones from the red sensor seems to have a bit of a chroma issue, and the Alexa skin tones do feel smoother, more....well, skin like, pleasing, but most colorists will be ready for that when you walk through the door.


I find it a little strange that people more commonly consider shooting and grading prores on the Alexa, however very few people shoot Red then convert to pro res and grade from there. Much more effort seems to be put into grading Red Raw as a workflow than Alexa, probaly Arri's fault for making the Prores look so damn good in the first place. :-)

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