Red introduces image processing enhancements
Christine Bunish
January 9, 2017

Red introduces image processing enhancements

IRVINE, CA — Red has announced a suite of enhancements to its image processing pipeline which the company is calling “IPP2.” Once launched, the enhancements will extend across Red cameras, firmware and software and represent a significant evolution to the camera UI and overall user experience, offering a number of benefits as the industry migrates to HDR.

“We continually focus on technology advancement, and the introduction of HDR displays was a significant driver to the development of the new pipeline,” says Graeme Nattress (pictured), Red problem solver. Designed for HDR from the ground up, IPP2 features new on-set HDR monitoring controls and full support for the latest HDR standards.

The robust new color-processing pipeline includes better management of challenging colors, smoother highlight roll-off, improved shadow detail, more accurate mid-tone hues and enhanced resolution via a new de-mosaicing algorithm.  

Customers who own a Red camera body with Helium sensor (Weapon 8K S35 and Red Epic-W 8K S35) will be able to monitor and control the new color pipeline in-camera by installing a free firmware upgrade. “At the same time that IPP2 was being developed, Red was planning new camera bodies, so owners of cameras with Helium sensors will get the appropriate hardware in the body to run the new pipeline in its totality,” says Nattress.  “They can see the results of the pipeline while they’re shooting.”  

In-camera benefits include monitoring in SDR and HDR simultaneously, “a really practical thing” that gives shooters a feel for the lighting and environment on-set or on-location, Nattress notes. He also cites “better rendition of what the sensor sees in the image, better shadow detail and better color rendition,” especially for saturated colors.  
The ASC-CDL (American Society of Cinematographers’ Color Decision List) is now available as part of the new Red camera bodies so “grading decisions can be made on-set and carried through to post,” he adds. 

All Red customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of IPP2 in post with their existing R3D files via a Redcine-X Pro free software upgrade. “There are so many different post pipelines,” says Nattress. “We’ve tried to give everyone the tools to get the data they need for the way they want to work. Anything that reads the R3D files — any codec, any color correction system — will be able to access the CDL metadata.” 

All R3D files are now defined by a single color space and gamma that is well documented, standardized and camera agnostic.  

REDWideGamutRGB is a new color space designed to encompass virtually every color recordable by Red’s current and past cameras. It simplifies many workflows since all subsequent color operations have a common starting point regardless of camera, look or output.

Log3G10 is a new log-encoding curve, which precisely encodes the full tonal range from Red’s current and past cameras. The “3G” in its name represents the mapping of 18 percent mid gray to one-third of the maximum possible code value; the “10” represents the extent of the log curve encoding a linear light value up to 10 stops above mid gray. It serves a similar function as REDlogFilm and the Cineon specification, but allows for a greater dynamic range and HDR output standards.

Red teams have been touring post production facilities to make sure the IPP2 workflow will fit seamlessly into existing workflows. An updated Red SDK will support easy third-party integration, which all third-parties can use to decode R3D files, enabling tools and users to integrate IPP2 to fit their individual requirements. “We’ve dialogued with post houses about best practices for using IPP2,” says Nattress. “Working with them has been a critical part of the process in developing the workflow.”

Cinematographers have also been part of the beta testing process. “Some of the best feedback we’ve received has come from cinematographers who put their existing footage through the new pipeline,” Nattress points out.  “They were able to get the look they were going after much faster than before with less manual intervention. 

“Others have told us they’re happy with the color handling, skin tones and highlight roll off, which we were aiming for with the new system,” he reports. “They also like the more three-dimensional look of the image. We’ve enhanced the way that 3D depth cues are read in an image, which produces a very visually appealing image.”

With IPP2’s comprehensive approach Red has “tackled the technical and aesthetic aspects of the image as well as the workflow aspects of the image,” Nattress explains. “On the post side, there’s no guess work as to color and gamma space now. There’s just one best possible option.”

For further information about IPP2, a white paper is available at: