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Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12

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Andrea Klipp
Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 4, 2016 at 5:54:14 pm

I was trying to Round Trip between Avid Media Composer 8.4 and Resolve 12. The Media from Media Composer was transcoded as Apple ProRes HQ MXF. The AAF was made from a timeline with Picture only and a single track of video. The AAF settings were set to "Link to Media" & the MXF files reside on the same drive as the AAF in the Avid Media File Folder. In Resolve when I import the AAF I get an error that says. " 147 out of 147 clips were not yet found. Do you want to select another folder to search?" I point it to the Avid Media File Folder > MXF > 1 folder, where the media resides, and the media still doesn't link. If I select no, the timeline opens properly with all of the edits and media offline - as I expected.

I tested with another Avid Project where the media was transcoded the same way and got the same issue.

I tried loading the clips manually in the Media Pool, and when I go to the Avid Media File Folder > MXF > 1 folder, where the media resides, it only shows the Audio Files. However, when you look in the folder on the drive you can see the MXF Video files.

I have successfully done this round trip from Avid with media that is transcoded with DNxHD 175x a number of times. Do you know if there is a know error for Media that is transcoded Apple ProRes HQ MXF? Or is there a workaround so that the media re-links properly?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Andrea


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Shane Ross
Re: Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 4, 2016 at 7:13:01 pm

Sorry, Resolve doesn't work with ProRes MXF...I got that tidbit straight from folks at Resolve. I found this out the hard way too. Ended up doing a video mixdown and exporting a ProRes 4444 Quicktime file and chopping it up in Resolve.

So you either need to transcode to DNxHD, or export as a QT file.

Shane
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Andrea Klipp
Re: Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 4, 2016 at 8:38:25 pm

Thanks for the response ~ that's what I was afraid of. I noticed in AVID when I prep the AAF, the option to Transcode the media is available. I tried a test piece and transcoded to DNxHD 175x - and it worked. My main concern is not over processing the footage. When you exported the Apple ProRes 4444 - did you notice a colour shift? In general we've been seeing a colour shift with the Apple Codecs at export - ProRes, as well as H.264 screeners. If you have any suggestions on how to limit that shift, or if transcoding again at the AAF stage, they'd be appreciated.

Thanks!



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Shane Ross
Re: Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 4, 2016 at 8:44:40 pm

I didn't...but the footage came from an Arri Alexa, so it was originally ProRes 4444 2K. The editor just consolidated in the Avid, making it into MXF, zero quality loss. But then we found out the Resolve issue. So re-wrapping back to QT in the video mixdown.

There is that legendary gamma shift when going from ProRes to DnxHD...but since this is going to be graded, I don't know if that will be much of an issue. They colorist will adjust for that.

As for H.264...that's a highly compressed format, and compression means losing image quality, and that means color information. So yeah, you will note that H.264's don't look exactly like the ProRes....because they dont have as much color information...in order to keep the file sizes smaller.

And if I were doing this, I'd transcode the sequence, THEN send the AAF. Not do it in the AAF. Why? Not sure...habit mainly. And so I have the sequence with converted media, rather than it only existing in the AAF.

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Bill Ravens
Re: Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 4, 2016 at 9:39:14 pm

It's true that Resolve doesn't import ProRes 4444 HQ.....BUT,
it does import Prores 4444. The only difference is the bitrate....and the codec ID(FourCC). There's a little utility that will change the codec ID from ap4x to ap4h available from VideoToolshed. After the change, Resolve(and Quicktime) will read the Prores 4444 HQ file without any negative effects.



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Shane Ross
Re: Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 4, 2016 at 10:20:55 pm

The issue here is that Resolve won't read ProRes MXF...only ProRes QT. The guy has the cut all done, and all the files are ProRes MXF...but Resolve won't read them. It's a feature Resolve lacks.

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Marc Wielage
Re: Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 5, 2016 at 3:59:28 am

[Shane Ross] "The issue here is that Resolve won't read ProRes MXF...only ProRes QT. The guy has the cut all done, and all the files are ProRes MXF...but Resolve won't read them. It's a feature Resolve lacks."
Often, I find the answer is to use the format the software supports, rather than complain about the software. There's a lot of color-correctors out there that can't deal with MXF's. Workflow issues like this are critical, and it's one reason you have to test the workflow -- even if it's just a minute of material -- to avoid going down a road that's going to turn into a dead end.


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Andrea Klipp
Re: Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 4, 2016 at 10:03:49 pm

That all makes sense ~ thanks for the feedback. The footage came off a KiPro utilizing Apple Pro Res. Transcoded into Avid using Apple ProResHQ MXF. When I tested AFF export setting with transcode selected, I had the setting set to Link to Media, checked the transcode box and then changed the setting to DNxHD 175x. It created the AAF as well as a new sequence linked to that media. That AAF opens w/o any issues in Resolve as expected. In the test I stared the sequence with bars. I compared the 175x AAF timeline to a Same As Source QT export (source media Apple ProRes MXF) - ussing the Bars, and they are reading the same on the scope.

So it theory if a Round Trip workflow using the DNxHD 175x is preferred, there wouldn't be any image loss transcoding it to DNxHD 175x vs using Scene Detect on the Same as Source QT. Agree?

Double checking before I commit, mainly because there are some dark car interior & night shots, and I don't want to introduce any unnecessary compression etc .. over processing the footage.

Thanks again for your feedback, much appreciated.



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Marc Wielage
Re: Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 5, 2016 at 4:04:57 am

DNxHD can be a terrific format at a high enough bitrate. DNxHD 175x is pretty darned close to ProRes 444. In theory, DNxHD 350x is a teeny bit better than ProRes 444, but to me the key is that they're both 10-bit formats. I've had very few problems with DNxHD, but you do have to be careful with Data Levels vs. Video Level settings in Avid. I would advise making sure the editor provides a second or so of color bars just to verify accurate levels within Resolve.


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Andrea Klipp
Re: Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 5, 2016 at 5:23:19 am

Thanks Marc, I appreciate your feedback & comparison between DNxHD & ProRes 444. We've been doing some test out of AVID, to try and rule things out. We've noticed color shifts between the AVID codec and the Apple Codecs on export from Media Composer ~ which is a bit frustrating, as other edit platforms (FCP & Premiere) don't seem to shift as much.



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Eduardo Serrano
Re: Apple ProRes MXF AAF Import into Resolve 12
on Mar 11, 2016 at 2:38:11 pm

One thing I found out just after they released PRORES as a viable codec is that one can export the sequence with little to no change in picture quality, if you export as source (using avid codecs) into quicktime, after you render everything. You can also use quicktime reference.

As long as you keep everything in Prores, I cannot stress this enough, it needs to be all prore, it will work. Also you cannot leave blanks in the timeline without any video, or effect, in beetween titles for example.

AND you need always to tell avid to keep it in 601/709, so it won't change the color space. They should have relabeled this option to "no change in color space" a while ago. It is really confusing.


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