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Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?

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Henry BarrialWhy are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 2:24:54 am

I'm about to shoot a film on an Arri Alexa and my editor is an AVID guy but I'd like to edit natively in Pro Res. Now that I've discovered that MC 6 edits Pro Res I'd like to use it but why do I keep hearing that AVID editors/technicians are afraid of Media Composer 6 and that we should edit on MC 4 or 5? Is MC 6 buggy? Is it just the old guard that is afraid of change. I don't want to transcode pro res to DNxHD if I can avoid it. I'm only familiar with Final Cut so I'm a little in the dark here. Any thoughts?


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John PaleRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 2:47:38 am

MC 6 has some bugs and some interface changes that some people don't like. Generally it works fine for me and the good outweighs the bad...but not everyone's experience is the same. If someone has a system working well with MC 5.5 it's hard to convince them to change if it's doing everything they need.

That aside...Arri Alexa now supports shooting in Avid DNX...maybe you should consider it.


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Shane RossRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 5:15:01 am

Old guard editors hate the Smart Tool. I mean, HATE it. And can be adamant.

See if they can get the Alexa to shoot DNxHD.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Henry BarrialRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 11:48:38 am

Since we dont know of a production that's shot directly to DNxHD we have been advised it would be risky. We can always transcode later.


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chris northRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 16, 2012 at 1:32:12 pm

Hehe :-) True. I wish Avid would include a Preference to turn it off.


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Job ter BurgRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 7:54:35 am

The biggest downside of working with the ProRes files from Alexa is that they will likely be in LogC, so you would be constantly adjusting the image on your edits.

Far easier to use AlexICC or Resolve Lite to bake in a LUT and transcode to any relevant media type.

Not sure why you insist on avoiding a transcode. It's pretty fast.


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Henry BarrialRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 11:36:55 am

Job, what do you mean "constantly adjusting image?". My understanding is that mc6 re-wraps the files without transcode which is time consuming on these large files. I like the idea of staying in the native format but if it is a big headache for the editor I will reconsider.


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Michael PhillipsRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 11:54:41 am

Job is referring to using ProRes 444 with a LogC curve during acquisition which allows for the full dynamic range of the sensor to be captured. In order to do that, the levels of the image change where it looks "milky" or "washed out". This is an image that is destined for color correction giving the colorist as much information possible for creative choices later during the color correction process.

Typically, to make the image look normal. in this case REC709 for HD editing, a LogC -> Rec709 is applied making the black and white levels appropriate as well as all points along the curve to render a pleasing image. If that is not done prior to editorial, then the only time a color adjustment can be made is in the timeline when editing and a color correction is added to the top layer and constantly managed to ensure it covers the entire timeline while editing. Any source clip loaded and played with be washed out.

This is because Media Composer does not support the use of LUTs on the source material for anything other than RED with its own use of RMD file which is a variant on LUT. So dailies are processed prior to editing in a variety of program than can apply a REC709 LUT and transcode MXF wrapped DNxHD of your choosing. Offline will usually go with DNxHD36 for a great balance of great looking images and drive space.

Also the data rates of ProRes 444 LogC are much higher which will affect performance overall - such as real time layers, transitions, etc. And no multicam (if used) in real time. This can really cripple an editor creatively constantly having to wait, and not see interactively, as well as timing of choices if frames are dropped or constantly rendering to see it.

Being a feature, I will assume that the final grading and mastering will be done in a different system, so a "dailies" process should be considered as the master files are properly archived as they are your camera originals you don't want to be messing with at this stage.


Michael

Michael Phillips


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Henry BarrialRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 12:22:26 pm

Thank you Michael I will look into REC709.


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Michael PhillipsRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 12:41:07 pm

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting you shoot in REC709, just that dailies are done with a REC709 LUT applied. You do want to record 444 LogC to have the most control over image in the post process.

For quick turnaround work, and straight up television deliverable, I would consider shooting REC709 as either ProRes or DNxHD although DNxHD is a $5K option on the camera while ProRes is not. So make sure that codec is available when renting. But I would also add, if recording REC709 for television, there are plenty of other cameras that can do that as well that may be a better fit that could/should be considered.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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Henry BarrialRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 1:06:57 pm

I understand. I was aware of REC709. WE will be recording in prores no matter what. I'm just trying to decide what we will do after we capture the footage. Thanks


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Job ter BurgRe: Why are AVID editors/technicians afraid of MC 6?
by on May 11, 2012 at 3:05:40 pm

Like Michael suggested, if you do that, transcode to DNxHD for Avid creative editorial. Then conform from the APR originals on whatever tool suits your needs for finishing. In MC/Symphony-Mac, you could relink the cut to the originals via AMA, flip the project to RGB709, and then try to stay ProRes all the way from there.

If you stick to APR in Log-C during creative editing, everything will indeed look washed out, milky, soft. If you color correct your cuts, you can get a nicer picture, sure, but all source footage (when loaded into the source monitor) will have the milky look. Very uncomfortable during editing and obstructing to work around when reviewing/comparing takes. And that's a biggie to editors, producers, and directors, let me tell you that from experience.

Plus: transcoding is fast, and since you have to somehow bring the footage into Avid (you don't want to AMA-link to the originals for anything you'll be working on for more than a day or so), then why not bake in a LUT while you're at it?

And a pet peeve of mine: note that in this day and age, editors are expected to constantly adapt to new workflows for new formats, and they often manage that just fine. Now it's nice that you prefer an all-APR-workflow, but do realize that your editors need the right conditions (like proper looking images) to work their magic on your film. If that means an hour of transcoding time per shooting day, that should be manageable, in my opinion.

Hope this helps.


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