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ALEXA workflow

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Daniel Neutzsky-Wulff
ALEXA workflow
on Mar 4, 2013 at 9:40:40 am

Hi,

I have a question regarding my workflow:

The applications used:

Avid Media Composer 6.
After Effects CS6.
DaVinci Resolve 9.

Workflow:

1. AMA link to ProRes 4444 files from the ALEXA camera in AVID.
2. Transcode to DNxHD 36.
3. Do offline edit.
4. Relink to AMA files.
5. Export AAF.
6. Import AAF in Resolve 9 and finish grading.

7. This is where I am in doubt. I am on Windows and since I'm not able to render out to ProRes 4444 from Resolve, which format would be recommended?

8. Parts of the commercial need to have screen replacements, which will be done in After Effects. Here I also need to know what format to render out to?

9. Finally, I will AMA link to the files from After Effects, import the mix, slap on the packshot or whatever.

10. Export master for broadcast in Europe. Which format?

That's about it I guess, any comments or suggestions are GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Best regards,
Daniel


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Jon Wright
Re: ALEXA workflow
on Mar 4, 2013 at 11:47:54 am

Hi there,

We have a very similar workflow for commercials here, I've found the most reliable thing to do is export the graded footage to full quality DPX files for after effects. If you need the whole sequence in after effects then generate an AAF and use Pro Import to get it all in, then relink your files to the DPX renders from resolve. I always make sure they render to separate folders shot by shot, then you can easily link them back in after effects.

Once any graphics work is done, render the files back to DPX and add them into your media pool. Insert them into a copy of your sequence and check the video. Then for delivery into avid we've always found that exporting to ProRes shifts the colour on Import (as is well documented) which screws appearance of the grade up and creates much profuse sweating and head scratching. To get around this, we just render directly to a DNX185X MXF file from Resolve, either shot by shot with and AAF or as a full commercial edit if it's definitely locked. Then use the media tool to get it into avid and drag it into a bin of choice.

This might benefit you as you can't output ProRes 444 from your windows box. We've done at least 10 ads this way since last year and it seems to work nice and smoothly every time.

Hope this helps,

Jon


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Daniel Neutzsky-Wulff
Re: ALEXA workflow
on Mar 4, 2013 at 3:16:48 pm

Hi Jon,

Thank you for your advice. I have recently swapped from Final Cut and Premiere Pro, so I really need to get this down before I mess things up during the post process. I've updated the workflow, incorporating your advice. Can you run through it and see if it makes sense?

Thanks a lot for your help,
Daniel

UPDATED ALEXA WORKFLOW:

LOAD & EDIT

1. AMA link to ProRes 4444 files from the ALEXA camera in AVID.
2. Transcode to DNxHD 36.
4. Add Arri Alexa LUT Color Correction to an empty track.
3. Complete offline edit.

PICTURE LOCK

1. Relink to AMA files.
2. Export AAF.
3. Import AAF into Resolve 9 and finish grading.
4. Render graded footage to full quality DPX files to separate folders.

VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Import DPX files to AE for visual effects work.
2. Complete visual effects work.
2. Render back out as DPX.

FINISHING

1. Add rendered DPX files from AE into media pool in Resolve.
2. Insert new DPX files into copy of graded sequence in Resolve.
3. Check for errors or inconsistencies.
4. Render out as DNX185X MXF for master.
5. Use media tool in Avid to bring the master into your project.

DELIVERY


1. Deliver final master DNX185x MXF to client.
2. Deliver previews in MOV/MP4 container to client.


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Jon Wright
Re: ALEXA workflow
on Mar 4, 2013 at 4:32:46 pm

Hi there,

That looks fine to me,

"1. Deliver final master DNX185x MXF to client." - once you have the MXF file in your avid sequence we've found you're fine to export from Avid into other quicktime formats as you need, or play out to tape etc. The point of using MXF to deliver from Resolve to Avid is just to keep that one time colour consistency, so you're not tied the MXF past that point.

Just partially used this workflow in the gap between replying, still working fine for me!

Good luck!


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Daniel Neutzsky-Wulff
Re: ALEXA workflow
on Mar 4, 2013 at 4:34:54 pm

Okay, thanks a bunch! I'll come back to this thread when the job is done and do an evaluation. :)


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