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AAF Round Trip Problems

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Dave Williams
AAF Round Trip Problems
on Mar 27, 2014 at 1:45:23 pm

I am working at a facility that has gone from FCP to Avid and does long format shows. The XML round trip worked fine even though they had to media manage the footage. What they now would like me to do is to bring in a AAF of the show approx. 700 clips, grade and send back. Here is where I am running into a problem. They would like to not have to media manage the footage but rather have me bring in the AAF and point it to the server that has all of the footage in one location. There is quite a large amount of footage and I have tried with no luck. Down side for me is I get the dreaded spinning ball for a long period of time only to find out it has not worked.
Question: Is this a good or bad way to do this AAF round trip or is the only answer here to media manage the footage which they would rather not do.
Anyone have any luck doing it this way? The file names have not changed and we did manage a small amount of clips and it worked but not when I point it to the server with all of the footage for more than one show.

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Joseph Owens
Re: AAF Round Trip Problems
on Mar 27, 2014 at 4:09:18 pm

A topic of some interest to me as it may be something I will have to implement at some point. One would think pointing to the source footage on a server would be more time and resource efficient.

In AVID terms, what you are looking to do with a "Media Manage" is a "Consolidate/Export with Media", but not imbed the media in the AAF. This is what I have been doing for a couple of years now, but the main mitigating reason was that the source footage was Panasonic AVCHD for starters, which Resolve9 did not like. So it made sense to make a DnXHD project and move that around, which we've been doing via local ethernet. That said, you can consolidate and export AAF packages with or without media, but (but) I have always had more success with AAF round trips when I export my own AAF file out of a local instance of Media Composer or Symphony (on my workstation in the Grade Suite, rather than use the one the editor has exported, its just a thing).

There are some other advantages with that approach -- its another backup, for example.

There isn't much in the user manual about setting up shared source media --
The configuration guide has a couple of pages overviewing SAN solutions, and some advisories that you should be working with the storage provider to make sure you have an optimum data through-put situation. It is probably working through the Resolve database configuration to make sure that your SAN is deliberately part of the storage array.

If small projects do work... perhaps it is worthwhile trying to work up to a full-length project by creating "Acts" to see where the project-size horizon is.

One thing to definitely check is whether you could actually load the project successfully in your AVID NLE, whichever you have on your system for checking the round trip. You are doing that, right?


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

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Glenn Sakatch
Re: AAF Round Trip Problems
on Mar 28, 2014 at 2:10:37 pm

What kind of footage are you working with? R3d's are going to be a lot tougher than c300 or something like that.

Is it all in one central folder on the server or broken up by project/episode?

Are you bringing in media first, or having resolve look for media when the aaf is brought in?
(I usually bring in media first, but this would seem to be a time when looking only for specific footage is warranted)

Can the footage itself be subdivided so that Resolve isn't trying to index 1 million clips at at time?
That is when i have these types of issues, too many sources in the Storage area Resolve is looking at. Rather than pointing it to the root of the Z drive, that may have multiple projects worth of footage on it, can you point it to a subfolder that only has footage for this episode?

When you say server, are we talking about a proper shared storage unit, or are we talking about a shared network location? Obviously your throughput is going to be key for this type of workflow.


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Massimo Alberto Croce
Re: AAF Round Trip Problems
on Mar 29, 2014 at 5:45:12 pm

I'm grading a reality show with similar to your with 1000 cut, i had the same problem, my workaround was to first import media files from the avid mediafiles folder in the mediapool and after import aaf.

Massimo Alberto Croce
Video Editor, Colorist, Pro Tools Editor

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John Sellars
Re: AAF Round Trip Problems
on Mar 30, 2014 at 9:50:40 pm

See this thread for the problem I'm having currently with AAF's:

Try to export an EDL from AVID and use that to import your media (Resolve 10 manual p112). You will have to eye-match any push-ins and deal with speed changes manually, but at least it works!

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