RED IPP2 Workflows

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 11.17.19 PMBy Kevin P McAuliffe (doddleNEWS)

In this article, I’m going to get in and scratch the surface of RED’s new IPP2 workflow. The first thing that’s important to understand, especially if you’re new to RED’s cameras, is what exactly does IPP stand for? IPP is RED’s Image Processing Pipeline, which will help guide you and your image from when it hits the sensor, to when you see the final product on screen. What RED is doing with the move to IPP2 is to separate the technical process from the creative process, as well as improve image quality and workflow.

The first thing that’s important for me to point out in in the IPP2 workflow is that there are two ways that you can take advantage of it. The WEAPON 8K S35 and EPIC-W cameras, both of which have HELIUM sensors in them (as well as future cameras) and can monitor and control the workflow in camera.

RCX_RED-IPP2_screengrab

If you don’t currently see the option for IPP2 in your camera’s settings, you can download and update via a firmware update to take advantage of IPP2, or you can access IPP2 through REDCINE-X PRO. The current release, version 42.0.0 (released 10/11/2016) doesn’t support IPP2, so you’ll need to use the beta version, which you can download here.

So, what are the big enhancements that you now have at your disposal by updating to the IPP2 workflow? Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Better management of challenging colors
  2. Smoother highlight roll-off
  3. Improved shadow detail
  4. More accurate mid-tone hues
  5. An improved demosaicing algorithm to achieve higher detail at the same pixel resolution
  6. Simpler and more intuitive workflow
  7. A workflow designed for HDR from the ground up
  8. Industry-standard naming
  9. Standardized color space and gamma

So what does all that mean? Well, to break it down in much simpler terms, let’s use the color red as an example. As every editor and colorist knows, the color red is the absolute worst color, especially if it’s coming from something like a light. Or even worse, the tail light of a car, as it bleeds and blends into all the colors around it. The below image is an example of what I mean.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 11.24.35 PM

To be honest, most people won’t notice that much of a problem, because this is what we’re accustomed to seeing when we normally look at a shot like this. The RED IPP2 workflow handles these colors in a totally different way, to give you a much more naturally saturated look when it comes to the reds, or the colors around red on the color wheel.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 11.23.29 PM

One thing that’s also important to point out, and it’s a little bit difficult to see in the images, but the RED IPP2 workflow will also enhance the fine details in your image(s). A good example is when my displays go crazy because someone has subtle lines on their shirts!

One of the bigger changes in moving towards the IPP2 workflow is that RED is moving away from the “one off” color spaces like DRAGONCOLOR or REDLOGFILM, and moving your workflow over to RED Wide Gamut RGB and LOG3G10. What this is going to do for you is give you a common starting point to begin your workflow, no matter which camera you are shooting with. These new workflows have been designed specifically with HDR in mind.  

In cameras that support the IPP2 workflow, you’ll have two modes when selecting your Image Pipeline options. Legacy, with the option to get in and choose both the Color Space and Gamma Curve. And IPP2, which will lock out the color space, as it’s now locked into RWGRGB/LOG3G10, as mentioned earlier, and you can then get in and decide your output color space (for QC on set).

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 11.29.33 PM

When working with your footage in REDCINE-X (RCX), head to the Image Pipeline preference to choose whether to work with your clips/footage and projects in legacy or IPP2. Keep in mind that RCX will default to whichever pipeline you selected in camera, assuming your camera supports this workflow. Of course, you can override the camera’s settings in RCX if you want/need to. You can then select your Monitoring color space (REC709, etc) and Gamma Curve (BT1886 for SDR, SMPTE2084 for HDR for example).

When you open a clip, you’ll now notice that you now have a new three step process at your disposal. Image Primary (Camera settings such as White Balance and exposure), Image Grading (import your 3D LUT’s here, or create your own), and Output Transform, which is fairly self-explanatory.

Again, much like I mentioned when talking about the camera, when working in Image Primary, your Color Space and Gamma Curve will be locked to RWGRGB/LOG3G10, keeping with the IPP2 workflow. One thing to note: All the information you’re working with is Metadata, so this process is completely non-destructive.

IPP2 is all about image quality, and with the move to HDR displays and outputs, if you haven’t switched your workflow over, now’s a good time to get started! For more information on IPP2, you can check it out at www.red.com.