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NVIDIA and RED bring 8K video editing to the masses

CUDA-powered decoding will make it snappy and fluid.

In case you needed another reminder that your 4K TV will soon be obsolete, RED and NVIDIA have unveiled software that will make 8K video editing feasible for more creators. The NVIDIA CUDA-powered REDCODE RAW SDK will enable apps that can play back 8,192 x 4,320 files from RED's Weapon and other cameras at 24 fps with no need for caching or proxies. Best of all, it can run on relatively cheap systems and NVIDIA's consumer gaming graphics cards.

There aren't many 8K projectors, TVs or monitors, but that doesn't mean 8K editing isn't useful. As NVIDIA explained when it first announced its 8K collaboration with RED, "there's more flexibility for image stabilization, or panning and zooming to reframe a shot without losing image quality in the final [4K] delivery format. For visual effects, high resolution can provide more detail for tracking or keying. Downsampling high-resolution video can help reduce noise as well as maintain a high level of quality."

If you're still not convinced, NVIDIA said the technology works equally well on 4K, 6K and other more commonly used formats. The two companies demonstrated the system using 8K RED RAW footage and a $6,300 Quadro RTX 6000 installed in a single-CPU HP Z4 workstation, but the same 8K performance is also available on NVIDIA's much cheaper (relatively speaking) $2,500 Titan RTX or $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti.

While that might still seem like a lot of cash, NVIDIA's 8K tech eliminates the need for a pricey multi-CPU computer or RED's own $6,750 RED Rocket solution. "As GPUs advanced further, this has empowered content creators to receive these performance gains in much more modest systems," said RED collaborator and cinematographer Phil Holland. "A few years ago, things like real-time playback or real-time encoding when exporting [RAW] footage was not even possible."

FX and color correction company Colorfront said it planned to integrate the SDK into its systems, and Adobe, DaVinci and others will likely do the same. The first apps will start to come out at the end of the first quarter in 2019.