Blender, Linux, and R3D

Convert with FFMPEG?

If you’re wondering how to edit r3d on linux, you’ve come to the right place. This post is inspired by an official, yet very under-the-radar release of something called REDline Linux released back in mid 2018. As a fan of Linux as well as continuing my quest to discover a complete replacement for the Adobe Creative Cloud, I ran into this question: Can Linux handle R3D raw? After just a little bit of research, I discovered that ffmpeg can actually decode an early version of the R3D codec! The downside is, as of the writing of this article, ffmpeg isn’t capable of decoding the latest version of the R3D codec. However, this could change if someone comes along and reverse engineers the new R3D codec.

Yet the question still remains. How can I work with RED footage and use Linux at the same time? Enter Resolve. (Opinion alert!) Blackmagic Design has positioned themselves in a way that could completely dethrone the current king of postproduction software, Adobe. Adobe makes a great suite of programs. One of the biggest advantages they have is that their software can not only ingest and work with project files from other software within the suite, but it also does this seamlessly across Mac and Windows. For example, I can save a Photoshop project on a Mac, and open that same Photoshop file inside of After Effects on Windows (and still have access to all of the Photoshop layers). The biggest disadvantages of Adobe CC is that it’s a fairly expensive monthly subscription model that doesn’t support Linux.

Blackmagic Resolve

Blackmagic Resolve has been the industry standard for color correction for a very long time. Recently, Blackmagic Design revamped Resolve to be able to handle much more than just color correction. In a lot of situations, Resolve can be a sort of one-stop-shop for all you postproduction needs, providing basic edits, basic audio workflow, and some basic VFX. The biggest news is that Resolve is free to download, and upgradable to the full version for a one-time purchase of $300. So after your first 6 months, you’re already saving money over the standard Adobe CC subscription.

Anyway, point being, Resolve is quickly becoming the powerhouse one-stop solution for professional post video. Handling R3D files is as simple as importing them off your RED mini mag, opening up Resolve, and grabbing them from inside the Media Pool tab. Pretty much like using the Media Browser inside Premiere Pro. Except better.

R3D in, TIFF out

From there, you can make the edits you need and export to whatever format you want, even image sequences like TIFF and others. What’s more, is that you don’t have to convert your footage with FFMPEG or something similar before importing. You can just import raw R3D without a hitch. Happy editing and Blendering!