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Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?

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Sean Sartori
Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 13, 2012 at 5:52:50 pm

Hi,

I have an episodic TV client that built a lovely Resolve suite, but now the producers won't use it and are demanding to use Symphony. They cite problems with mixed frame rates, and the ability to make changes. The truth is their shows are packed to the gills with effects and they have some amateur camera operators that routinely shoot at the wrong frame rate, etc etc.
So the long and short of it is I need to get up to speed on Symphony if I want to keep that client. Any suggestions for training? I'm in new york.

Is anyone out there working on episodic/reality tv in Davinci? Is it unrealistic of me to expect that these shows can be pushed thru a Resolve workflow?

Thanks!


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Josh Petok
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 13, 2012 at 6:27:29 pm

Have you considered using a preconform workflow? All the effects and frame rates would come across just fine. As far as changes go, using ColorTrace will get you similar results to merge color in Symphony.

However, you'll give up the ability to tweak the effects "in context". For example, you wouldn't be able modify an effect once its been flattened. Also, every time the cut changes, you'll need another full QuickTime file of your sequence to preconform.

Josh Petok
Online | Color
JoshPetok.com
TheCurrentCut.com


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Eric Johnson
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 13, 2012 at 8:28:05 pm

To add to what Josh is saying:

For single shot fix's/replacements you don't need to re-export the whole show every time, as long as you have Sequence TC that matches you can bring in the new clip and the DaVinci will ask to resolve "conflicts" based on TC, and then you just need to readjust your grade.

Also, if you lean towards this, the Preconform workflow yields great results in Pro Res and DNxHD workflows. To the point where if you didn't tell the client, they wouldn't know.... not that you would do that.


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Sean Sartori
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 13, 2012 at 9:04:42 pm

Preconform was my method of choice, and I went thru this with them in detail. I explained to them that they can still make changes, and if they are not sure about an effect they can just take it off and I can grade the original shot, then they can re apply the effect and tweak it.

They decided it was too scary to have to "bake" the whole show, and they just want to stay in Avid. I am not sure how this relates to the frame rate issue they cite, as a preconformed show has only one frame rate. In any case, they are working in Symphony and if I want to work with them I have to work in Symphony as well.

I run into this a lot in network shows, they are on tight timelines with inexperienced crews, and the edits have often been done in such a way as to make the conform difficult. And they are terrified of last minute changes from the network. I've actually been asked to color a show in FCP, because the producers were afraid of changes. se la vie

anyone know of good Symphony tutorials?


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Knut Jansohn
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 13, 2012 at 9:41:11 pm

[Sean Sartori] "and they just want to stay in Avid"

Well, in this case: http://www.filmlight.ltd.uk/store/fl_product/baselight-for-avid/
could help you out :)
I like resolve pretty much, but I think it's worth to have a look at this plugin.

K.


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Peter Berg
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 13, 2012 at 6:40:15 pm

Hi Sean,

It's true that for shows like you describe, it's most likely faster to stay within the Avid world. It does add at least a few hours per sequence every time we send out to Resolve. While I can do more advanced color work faster and Resolve gives better color results, I can online and color a show (with just basic color correction) faster by just staying in Avid.

Have you used Avid at all before? Symphony and Media Composer and really the exact same thing, except Symphony has a few extra features that make finishing a little easier. Plus the color corrector is much improved from Media Composer to Symphony.

If you do know Avid at all.. I bet you could figure out Symphony pretty quickly. The tabs are pretty straight forward and do give you a pretty good amount of control. Secondaries are quite weak in Symphony and that is where it falls short.

I'm sure there is some good training out there. I know Avid does have some classes which might be helpful. Did you check out their site?
http://www.avid.com/us/support/training

Hope that is helpful to you.

-Peter


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Joseph Owens
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 13, 2012 at 9:18:47 pm

If you are a Final Cut editor, there is a Steven Hullfish AVID-for-FCP-editors series that was bundled with the FCP-->Media Composer "crossgrade":

http://www.classondemand.net/media/avid-training/mcforfcp.aspx

Too bad they are choosing the devil they know. I've gone a couple of seasons in a last-minute Media Composer epsiodic, and although occasionally exciting, workflow-wise, not exactly death-defying either.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Ronen Pestes
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 13, 2012 at 10:22:23 pm

It is unfortunate that Avid does not offer any real training any more for the Symphony and that nobody ever created a class for it.
I will start with the Avid manual ... it is not the best but gives you the basic instractions for the tools. Steven Hullfish books are great as well as alexis van hurkman.
A wise man said once that its RGB after all... the tools are the same with the limitation of power-windows that are tricky to build in avid.
However, for a TV show using the Master clip option in the Avid and other specific technics you can move very fast and get great results. I think your client it correct, it is instant way to see the program and make adjustments and corrections, especially if the show is using alot of plugin's and transitions.
If you have any specific questions feel free to email me directly.

Ronen Pestes
Film Editor
http://www.ronenpestes.com


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Joseph Owens
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 14, 2012 at 2:44:21 am

[Sean Sartori] "ey cite problems with mixed frame rates, and the ability to make changes."

It actually sounds like this group isn't really up to speed with the latest version, but can't blame them for trying to avoid the bleeding edge.

Your other alternative might be to explore a piggyback plugin corrector like Baselight for AVID which will work inside the timeline.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Sean Sartori
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 15, 2012 at 3:02:30 am

Thanks for the replies.

I will check out Baselight. I know Avid pretty well, though its been a while. I gather the grading tools arent that complicated, so maybe I will just sit down with it for a weekend. Avid has training, but only one course targeting the color correction tools, and its not being offered right now. I can learn it on my own, but I love a good training video series.

Yes they are green producers who are pretty stressed out. I am hoping that in the future they will be willing to try out Davinci, at the moment it will be some weekends getting friendly with Avid again......


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Paul Provost
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 15, 2012 at 5:39:07 am

Coming soon
http://www.amazon.com/Color-Grading-Media-Composer-Symphony/dp/1285181417/r...

http://www.4Kfinish.com | owner-colorist | Hollywood, CA


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dermot shane
Re: Episodic clients are demanding Symphony, suggestions for Symphony training?
on Sep 17, 2012 at 2:53:36 pm

i don't grade episodic (my focus is indie features and MOW's), but a facility i freelance at does, the workflow there is to use AFE to Avid|DS and grade in that... it keeps the timeline and effects floating, and gives you real tactile feedback with the surface, real secondaries & node based gradeing for more advanced stuff

Works for the producer's who stay inside the Avid familly (AFE is by far the best conform from MC, it takes a ton more information than an AAF that resolve {and everyone else but DS} uses), and gives you better gradeing tools.... although of what i've seen of episodic there's not alot of time for much beyond dammage control and a title seq...

Baselight would be worth exploring too.. as soon as it's on w7, i'll be there

d


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