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Creating swappable offline edit media versions for Avid

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Ben Insler
Creating swappable offline edit media versions for Avid
on Dec 20, 2013 at 7:22:05 pm

Hi COW! I've posted on some Avid and Blackmagic forums and received little to no feedback, so figured I should come to the pros!

While I've graded a number of locked projects in Resolve, I'm new to using it at the beginning of post for processing Dailies. I'm running into a workflow issue and everyone on the Avid side of the conversation says what we're setting up should be working, so I'm thinking the issue may be in the way the edit media is being created in Resolve (most likely user error, let's be honest). Thanks in advance for the help and education.

All dailies (Arri Alexa 23.98 ProRes4444 2K) have been brought in to a master timeline, processed, and output using two outputs, picture only, no audio, using source filenames, non-unique:

MXF DNxHD 115 1080p no window burn
MXF DNxHD 36 1080p with burn in

The resulting MXFs have the same file names and are presumably seen as identical to Avid except for their codec. The idea is to edit in DNx36, both to use a light codec and preserve burn-in information for finishing. But we would like to be able to switch to the DNx115 media when making screeners or submissions prior to final color correction, utilizing the higher quality codec as well as removing the burn in.

After render, each set of MXF media is placed in its own hidden Avid MediaFiles archive. Then, to set up the edit, I move the DNx36 Avid MediaFiles folder to the root of the media drive, open the Avid media tool, and pull all the master clips into a bin. If I now save and close Avid, swap the Avid MediaFiles folders so that the DNx115 media is now in the root, and reopen the Avid project, I get a CORE_CONSISTENCY_CHECK_FAILURE error and black source monitor if I try to open any media. Swapping the Avid MediaFiles folders again brings the DNx36 footage back online in Avid without an error. (This error occurs regardless of whether it's the DNx36 or DNx115 media initially imported).

I've tried multiple rendering approaches in Resolve, multiple "Assist using reel names" options, even turned Assist off before rendering. All attempts result in the same error when the media is swapped.

I must be missing something. What is the appropriate way to prep this workflow for Avid so that these two formats can be swapped during the edit?

Thanks again for help! I'm totally stuck in this hole and very much appreciate the helping hand throwing a rope down.

Ben

OSX 10.8.4
Davinci Resolve 10.0.2lite.001
Avid Media Composer 7.0.2

Mac Pro 4,1
2 x 2.93 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
16GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048 MB
Blackmagic Decklink Extreme 3
Avid Artist Color Control Surface


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Marc Wielage
Re: Creating swappable offline edit media versions for Avid
on Dec 24, 2013 at 6:56:29 pm

I'm just musing out loud here. What if you created the deliverables within DaVinci instead, and conformed the picture and sound there?

My other thought is: what are the exact file names you're using for the clips? Can you provide a short list of a few of the originals, a few of the DNxHD36's, and a few of the DNxHD115's? My suspicion is that this is an embedded metadata issue that Avid is not seeing.


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Ben Insler
Re: Creating swappable offline edit media versions for Avid
on Dec 27, 2013 at 1:30:04 am

Thanks Marc,

Good suggestions, but this workflow doesn't have to do with a syncing issue. I'm concerned with making a set of burn-in and clean media that can be swapped so that I can choose, when making a screener, whether or not to include the burn-in information.

The filenames are identical for the DNx36and DNx115, so there is a set of each group of media. The filenames are as follows for each set:

A001C001_131010_L2Q2.mxf
A001C002_131010_L2Q2.mxf
...

I've since discovered that rendering each set of dailies from Resolve as DNxHD QuickTimes solves the problem somewhat. I make two sets of identically named QuickTimes (named from the source filename) and then fast import them both into Avid, one set at a time. I can then reconnect my master clips to either resolution without a problem. When these QuickTimes are imported, the MXFs created by Avid are given a unique filename rather than the same filename as is the case with the Resolve generated MXFs. It thus appears that the error I was running into is a result of the master clip finding a mismatched resolution of the same filename when the media is swapped. It seems that we are not allowed to swap MXFs of different resolution with the same name within the Avid MediaFiles folder - it causes master clip and database confusion.

While this QuickTime approach works somewhat, I have to reconnect media in this case - I can't simply swap media and have everything online when opening my project. This is unfortunate, and I'm still convinced there is a workflow that will allow this... somewhere.


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