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AVID Resolve roundtrip

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Joseph OwensAVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Aug 31, 2011 at 1:30:30 am

I know this has been explored a couple of times, but as a total newcomer to AVID, I don't understand the MXF way of doing things, obviously. What I got out of Resolve in Source mode was still one big MXF-thing in ascending time code, which obviously doesn't resemble the original AVID timeline in any way -- it was a major triumph for me to find anything to look at at all -- none of the tutorials available to me deal with this in any way -- importing media into AVID is apparently only for graphic and audio files according to what is covered in some of them while MXF is .... no idea if its even on the list.

Did manage to get the AAF file into Resolve. Hurray. I did find the "Avid round trip" thread which is written in AVID-language, so it may as well be "Pict" for me, or Manchester-dialect (sorry UK friends).
So far, what I have back in Media Composer is just a mangled version of the original timeline. EDLs, XMLs, ALEs...what is AAF for and its not part of the Resolve return?? This is not how Final Cut is organized, that is for sure; its just alien.

If there is some kind of guide, I'd love to know about it. Apparently, ALE is a "breeze", but so far, the wind in Media Composer is blowing in a different direction.

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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michael stirlingRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Aug 31, 2011 at 10:19:40 am

Hi

We have more or less given up on an Avid round-trip for the next while. I tried quite a lot of experiments with an (decade+) Avid editor - we got close to getting it working with tape originated clips using render source with unique filename of the whole clip in the master session but without the whole industry suddenly going back to tape that ain't a workflow. Anything that came through the AMA (ie tapeless media) import in Avid never worked. ALE is just a bin xfer protocol according to my Avid guy to move taking clips into legacy versions but doesn't have timeline info so I don't see how it can help.

I'd say at this point that waiting for BM to sort a solid workflow is the best use of your time

Mike


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Vagelis LazarouRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Aug 31, 2011 at 1:41:02 pm

I tried resolve lite and the avid roundtrip worked more than perfect for me.
You just render from resolve using avid 1:1 mxf into an avid media folder
then in avid you find these renders using the media tool (the nice thing is that you find both media files and master clips)and you copy the master clips in a bin
after this you set the same source to all the master clips (as described in the other avid roundtrip thread here)
and relink the sequence to the imported master clips
the great thing is that you can change the sequence, export aaf and go back to resolve where the sequence is relinked again and all the unchanged clips automatically "relink" to their last color settings
I find this workflow more than perfect, there is nothing that needs to be added (except for more avid codecs like dnxhd to be supported in resolve).
And resolve lite is far more powerfull than any nle's color correction tools, which makes it the best free application ever for me.


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illya laneyRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Aug 31, 2011 at 2:00:28 pm

I think you need to get the Avid License for the DNxHD codecs.

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Dimitris VatsiosRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Jun 8, 2012 at 11:25:29 pm

Hey guys ..

We found a way to go from resolve to MC.. When you export MFXs from resolve you must take them VIA Media tool and drag em to your BIN.. Then you must modify the source and add same tape name to both...Original MXFs and Resolve MXFs... Then you simply relink the timeline with the resolve Media..

It works for me just fine.. I hope it helps you and make your life easier...


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illya laneyRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Aug 31, 2011 at 1:58:39 pm

michael stirling
"ALE is just a bin xfer protocol according to my Avid guy to move taking clips into legacy versions"

That's the first time I've heard that. You can save and open .avb files on legacy(i.e. ANCIENT) versions of Avid. There's no need to use an ALE as a "bin xfer protocol" when you can just save and open a bin file on pretty much any system you want(as long as that system supports the formats you're using). Performing a "save as" for a bin IS the "bin xfer protocol." The problem with your editor's logic is that an ALE contains "project settings"(resolution, frame rate, etc.) and if you create a bin in a standard def project and try to import an ALE with an HD header, Avid won't allow it. On the other hand, if you open a bin with HD clips in a SD project, it will work.

ALEs contain logging, metadata, and any custom info pertaining to events. If you open one in a text editor you can see what I mean. It's much closer to a .flx file than an .avb file. Check the import prefs in Avid to get a better idea of all the different things an ALE can be used for.

On to the original topic...
Avid cares about tape name and timecode. Without that info, things tend to go awry, so make sure all your events are properly filled out before sending anything to Resolve. When using a tapeless workflow it's easy to forget to fill out the essential clip info(tape names etc.) and that's when I've seen problems with the Resolve roundtrips. For example, tapeless clips don't come in with Tape info so you'll have to modify an event in order to insert a tape name into the tape column. There are Tape and Tape ID columns so keep that in mind. I haven't done it yet, but for AMA, I believe you need to transcode the sequence to MXF before exporting an AAF in order to work properly, and once again....make sure you've input a tape name.


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Josh PetokRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Aug 31, 2011 at 4:58:27 pm

Here's what I've been doing for a Resolve/Avid workflow. It's still a bit bumpy, but it's the best that I've come across for the types of tv shows I've been doing (avid fx, boris, PiP, speed fx, etc). I plan on putting this together in a tutorial soon.

For this to work correctly, be sure the checkbox for "Assist using Reel Numbers" is off.

AVID
1. Export a textless version of your show in a format Resolve can read. Exporting in "acts" will improve the performance in Resolve as well as making it easier to deal with changes.

2. Export an EDL of V1 using either the "file 16" or "file 32" templates

RESOLVE

3. Add your files to the media pool and preconform from the EDL

4. Grade and render in target mode

AVID

5. import or AMA your footage and overcut


But wait! What if the cut changes?!?! and it usually does...

1. In Avid, export the act(s) that have changes with an EDL for V1

2. Make a new project in Resolve, add the files and preconform again

3. Use the colortrace function to move all the grades from your previous project to the new project

4. color remaining clips, render, and import/AMA into Avid

This is my "beta" workflow. I'm open to hear how this could be improved.

Ideally, I'd like Resolve to work more like Film Master does, which has VERY tight integration with Avid. AFAIK, everything comes over in the AAF file: effects, boris, sapphire, you name it. That said, Film Master is significantly more expensive. The usual time/money/speed triad applies.

Josh Petok
Online | Color
JoshPetok.com
TheCurrentCut.com


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Mike MostRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 1, 2011 at 5:57:47 pm

That approach certainly works (it's basically how we do nearly all of the network dramas and comedies at Level 3 Post), but it's not the "round trip" workflow that's probably being requested here. It's basically a file version of a tape to tape workflow that's been the mainstay of post facilities for years. In a round trip workflow, clips would be produced by the color system that relink in the edit system. That allows for modifications to effects, cuts, and anything else, as well as a concurrent workflow. In our world (those network dramas I was talking about) a roundtrip approach is not really feasible, because clients have been brought up in the tape world, and the legacy of that is that they expect to see a complete show - effects, blowups, repositions, all in place - in the grading suite, and to see the completed version played out. They would be put off by shots that are supposed to be resized but aren't, or shots that are supposed to have effects on them that don't. So we use the "tape to tape" approach, but it's not the most efficient way of doing things.


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Clement HobbsRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 1, 2011 at 6:37:47 pm

We're been round tripping from our Symphony 5.5.2 to Resolve 8 and it's not bad but still has room for improvement.

We're using the same approach as Vagelis outlined above in this thread, the main issues we run into is that we're dealing with a GFX intensive show and simple things like re-sizes, speed changes, etc. don't come across at all into Resolve. So the Avid timeline clean up is extensive but not altogether surprising.

Video mix downs don't always relink properly when back in the Avid, and it can get messy with certain clips not relinking to the correct file in the avid timeline but this is usually based on the # of mixdowns that were needed on the way out.

The show was shot tapeless and we are making it work but ideally I'd like to see a proper way out from Resolve, something to rebuild the sequence as it was sent out but linking to the coloured files.
The process of changing tape names, although it works, is not 100% accurate every time and is rather unnerving.
The idea of having to mess with the original source media metadata just to get the incoming media working just creeps me out.

It would also help if Resolve saw more codecs. Our media shows up as MXF wrapped XDCam files so Avid sees them fine, but we have to transcode everything to DNxHD for Resolve. Although Resolve sees XDCam files, they have to be MOV wrapped with FCP installed to work.

So all in all, I'm happy we bought into Resolve for the feature set, but it is still in its early days for smooth workflows on the Avid.


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Josh PetokRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 2, 2011 at 12:28:39 am

Thanks for your comments Mike :)

I completely agree that a source file workflow would be much more efficient. Additionally, you would get all the benefits of working with the raw files (if it was shot). You lose that once it's compressed down to a DNxHD or ProRes file.

I'm hopeful that a strong relationship will be built between Avid and Blackmagic so we all can follow a sane workflow. As it stands today, I can't really use their source file method. I believe there are projects that it would make sense for, just not for the ones I'm working on presently.

Have you worked with Film Master on any of your shows? I've seen their Avid workflow demoed, but haven't used it on an actual production. It stands to reason if THEY can pull that off, Blackmagic should be able to as well, right? Wasn't there some relationship between Nucoda and Avid at some point?

Josh Petok
Online | Color
JoshPetok.com
TheCurrentCut.com


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Mike MostRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 2, 2011 at 1:15:13 am

I have not worked on Nucoda, but I have done many shows on Baselight, which has a multilayer timeline (which recreates the Avid or Final Cut timeline very accurately) and can bring in any transforms (i.e., resizing, repositioning) directly. Not quite as comprehensive as Film Master, but the transforms are a major part of what you want to be brought in, especially if you're working with things like R3D files. In that case, you're doing all of your resizing directly from the 4K image, a huge advantage.

Avid does have a partnership program, of which I believe both Digital Vision (maker of Film Master) and Filmlight (maker of Baselight) are a part.


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illya laneyRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 2, 2011 at 3:32:44 am

Fotokem's KMP uses a Nucoda/Avid workflow and it works well. A lot of work is shot with Alexa and follows the basic offline/online editorial routine.

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kim krauseRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 2, 2011 at 1:07:26 pm

i would just use the automatic duck to send the whole thing to FCP......then send to color! make it lovely , send it back!.....why don't things get any simpler than this? oh yeah, because tcp and color were made for each other.....


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illya laneyRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 6, 2011 at 4:03:45 am

kim krause
"i would just use the automatic duck to send the whole thing to FCP"

How will you manage to do that?

Joseph was using MXF and unless this footage is converted to some sort of Quicktime wrapped DNxHD, FCP can't read those files because it can't read MXF wrapped video/audio. Besides that, FCP/Color will be gone in a year or two and so will FCPX. Best to spend some time learning Avid workflows since a large part of the market is going to switch.

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kim krauseRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 6, 2011 at 10:37:09 am

joe mentioned aaf and i have on many occasions dragged avid projects into final cut using automatic duck and then sent it to color for grading and then after sending it back had fcp make me a new avid project as well....whats your problem? are you just scared to admit that color still has some merit and that despite its shortcomings there are still things that fcp and color can do that no one has managed to make as simple.and before you go off at me about davinci, etc.....i am fully aware of color and fcp being dumped by apple. that's just the way things go and i am sitting on the edge waiting to jump into davinci...however for most of my projects and clients i see no advantage.....for instance, one project i am working on, i am sending color project files to my client so they can render it on their side and link it back to final cut. this is only possible because everyone who has fcp also has color. i don't have to render out shows and copy huge files to drives and send them half way across town anymore. i just email the color project and i'm done. try doing that with davinci! oh wait ya can't because not everyone has resolve on their mac! oops....


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illya laneyRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 7, 2011 at 6:28:11 am

kim krause
"joe mentioned aaf and i have on many occasions dragged avid projects into final cut using automatic duck and then sent it to color for grading and then after sending it back had fcp make me a new avid project as well....whats your problem?"

FCP and Color can't read native MXF files so you must have been using something else. AAF has nothing to do with what codec you're using.

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kim krauseRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 7, 2011 at 2:16:32 pm

you don't read very well....joe mentioned that he tried AAF which is an avid format that automatic duck can send to FCP. once in fcp you can easily go into color, in case you hadn't noticed. from color back to FCP. then using automatic duck export, create an avid project that you can open in avid. i have done this many many many times and it works flawlessly......don't take my word for it tho...try it for yourself or ask around before you show off your lack of knowledge.....sheesh!


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illya laneyRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 8, 2011 at 2:24:42 am

Most of our shows are Avid, so my studio uses a variety of AAF and custom ALE workflows with Terabytes of Alexa/Epic footage everyday. : )

I should have made my last post more clear. I've been using Automatic duck since 2005-2006 and I know for a fact that even if you rebuild the Avid sequence in FCP using an AAF, you can't relink the clips in FCP to MXF files and therefore can't grade and edit off of the original MXF files created in Avid. The keyword here is MXF. Maybe that's where you're getting confused.

Automatic Duck "discards" the MXF container and re-wraps the Avid video and audio into Quicktime so FCP can read those files. This is not an instantaneous process and in the case of online quality DNxHD codecs, it takes a significant chunk of time. Quicktime re-wrapping is also buggy and can produce weird gamma issues with Avid codecs.

The original post was about working with MXF files, not re-wrapped Avid codecs, so being able to recreate an Avid sequence in FCP is useless if the intention is to work directly and quickly with the MXF files. Either way, re-wrapping Avid media or creating Avid Quicktime codecs to online an entire show or feature is a huge waste of time unless the client really wants to work that way and is willing to pay for it.

Like I said in my earlier response to you:
"Joseph was using MXF and unless this footage is converted to some sort of Quicktime wrapped DNxHD, FCP can't read those files because it can't read MXF wrapped video/audio."

twitter.com/illyalaney

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Joseph OwensRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 8, 2011 at 3:07:41 pm

Stepping back into the original conversation...

yes, MXF is the trick, and no, Automatic Duck is a non-starter here. Been down that road, and Quicktime is a non-starter as well. I have an AVID-MXF AVC project (series) and I am massively disheartened by the lack of insight into this workflow which seems to be confined to "speculation" and workarounds.

So, am I correct in assessing that there is, in fact, no return trip out of Resolve to AVID? Why... if this is the case, is there literature taking about it, or is this a classic Microsoft bait-and-switch that states, yes, you can do it, but how, we don't know? Its "their" (the other manufacturer's) fault it doesn't work.

My client is not interested in re-cutting the show, for whatever reason (imagine)... I'm not that excited by the prospect, either. "Send To... Final Cut" its not.

The other issue is that I cannot seem to be able to see the actual cut of the show in any of the master/source/color/conform windows and so on and so forth sort-modes no matter how many Record/Target/Source modes I toggle -- its always the whole shot flash-to-flash in all timelines. I would dearly love to be able to just see the show as cut -- like the project looked when we exported the AAF from the AVID. I really really don't care about the handles. This is not even tape-to-tape mode, its rushes. I thought I would be correcting a finished episode, not the entire source clip bin. I would really prefer to be able to grade in-context as-edited.

I'm probably missing something rather basic, but reading the manual 4 times with the application in front of me, pressing all the buttons is obviously not enough.

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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Clement HobbsRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 8, 2011 at 5:34:46 pm

We ended up bailing out on our workflow that got Resolve footage back into the Avid linked to a timeline.
We were having too many issues with files not linking properly and simply don't have the time to hand hold the process that much with episodic work piling up. I never did like the idea of changing tape IDs anyway.

In the end, we're sending one MXF file out to Resolve for the entire episode and using an AAF file to represent the cuts. On the timeline we mix it down to one track and then use the Symphony's reformat tool pan & scan with subdivide to create the matching edits into the mixdown track. This then shows up in Resolve exactly as it would if we used the original MXF media through AAF except we've lost the handles and are dealing with much less media.

From Resolve we'll render out one file representing the colour corrected mixdown track and bring that back into the avid. It mirrors our traditional tape to tape process, with one video track coming back in, which is what we're used to dealing with anyway.

Not what I was hoping for but still way more economical for our series budgets and I trust the workflow will improve over time.


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illya laneyRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:34:10 am

How did they label the Tapes in Avid? The Tape column should actually be relabeled as Source since everyone and their momma is using tapeless cameras now. The key to a "solid" roundtrip is making sure everything in Avid is set up right in the first place and typically each camera roll/card or file should have it's own unique tape name to prevent any timecode conflicts. This problem arises more often when using DSLR footage though.

If their tape names are bunk you'll have to modify the source/tape name. After a Master Clip is linked to a file, you have to "unlink" the clip in order to re-label the source/tape name and the only way I know how to do that is by holding Shift + Control and RIGHT clicking on a clip then selecting unlink. I think it's Shift + Control, but it could be Shift + Command. I won't have Avid in front of me until later tonight(the sweet dailies Graveyard Shift) but I'm sure you can figure it out by button mashing.

Hopefully Avid MC 6 will make relinking a whole lot easier.

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Clement HobbsRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:55:46 pm

We receive consolidated edits from an offline setup out East for conform, grade and package here for commissioning broadcasters and int. distribution.

In this tapeless (XDCam) series, having a number in the tape column is hit & miss when the projects arrive, so there is clean up work that could be done here if we had time but we don't. The method we've used to have files relink is by putting all master clips (source and Resolve renders) into one bin and modifying all tape names to be identical, then relinking the old sequence to the Resolve renders. Seemed odd to me but it works although I don't like the idea of changing anything on the source master clips (even if we don't have tape #s in there)
Other then mixdowns not linking back up, we see approx 10% of shots not linking correctly back in the Avid. Not huge but still time consuming to pin point them and manually sort it out. All i/o with Resolve is with DNxHD mxf files.

We also noticed that Resolve seemed to blow away the reel ID information in the clip metadata when it rendered out. We tried a few different settings but didn't find one that preserved the incoming ID information through to rendered file. If you know of a way to do this I'd love to hear it.

As I said previously, working with one long file for the entire show seems to be the sweet spot for us at this time due to time constraints on the show.
I'm sure if we had more time to fiddle we could find a way for this to work better than it currently does, but the series landed only a week after we had Resolve up & running so we've been through trial and error on the fly while trying to maintain schedule.

I am hopeful that with Blackmagic & Avid collaborating more, a thorough round trip will be developed. If you have a cleaner way for round tripping I'm all ears!


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Josh PetokRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 9, 2011 at 3:20:52 pm

This thread just became a little obsolete :)

http://vanhurkman.com/wordpress/?p=1361

Curious to see how this new AAF export works.

Josh Petok
Online | Color
JoshPetok.com
TheCurrentCut.com


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Clement HobbsRe: AVID Resolve roundtrip
by on Sep 9, 2011 at 3:28:31 pm

Yeah I read about it a short while ago in another COW thread about Resolve on the PC.

Although I don't think I'll change midway through our series now if the single output/input file works well enough, but I'll definitely keep an eye on the new AAF process.


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