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The DaVinci -> Avid -> DaVinci proxies roundtrip that's been driving me crazy for years

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Noe Dodson
The DaVinci -> Avid -> DaVinci proxies roundtrip that's been driving me crazy for years
on Jul 5, 2018 at 9:40:12 am
Last Edited By Noe Dodson on Jul 6, 2018 at 1:09:03 am

Dear all,

This is my first time writing on this forum. I've found many great posts on here and so I hope that someone can help me elucidate this 2 year standing problem.

Every time I have to edit using a new camera, I run into the same problem, but unfortunately the specific fixes I have found do not apply to each situation... and now I've reached a dramatic climax, as I have spent all day trying to relink my footage without getting even close to finding a solution.

So, first things first: I am not a trained editor. I do not have a lot of technical knowledge. I am a decent editor when it comes to rhythm, and that is why I am hired, but I am very bad at all the technical stuff (I never intended to be an editor).

Here's the workflow: my footage comes from an Alexa Mini. It's Cinemascope, RAW MXF files. I open DaVinci, select the Project Settings, Use TimeCode Embedded in Source Clip + Assist using reel names from the: Source clip filename. I then add to timeline, change Clip Attributes to Cinemascope, add LUT, then Deliver to MXF OP-Atom, DNxHD 1080 36 8-bit, Filename: SourceName, Individual Clips. I link that into Avid, I edit the clips, I export as AAF, and when I import that AAF into DaVinci, I get the dreadful error message "The Clips Were Not Found". I've tried a bunch of different things, including each "Assist using Reel" option one by one, I tried the tutorial found on this very forum by duplicating the column "NAME" and "START" into "LINK" and "AUXILIARY TC2". I tried all the options when importing into DaVinci, but again nothing worked ("Link to Camera Files", check, uncheck, etc). I've really run out of ideas... luckily this is just a test before the real editing, but I would really like to find a solution as soon as possible... if anybody has an idea of something I could try, that would be hugely appreciated.

Thank you so much!


EDIT EDIT EDIT EDIT:

I tried the same workflow with ProRes 422 instead of MXF and it actually worked flawlessly. So my problem lies on the MXF format... which I realize now I had never tried to do before. The reason I chose it is because I'm doing on set editing for a feature so I thought MXFs would be faster to make and not as heavy as 422... so if anybody has an idea on how to make MXF proxies work in this workflow, please let me know! Thanks!


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Marc Wielage
Re: The DaVinci -> Avid -> DaVinci proxies roundtrip that's been driving me crazy for years
on Jul 7, 2018 at 11:07:51 am

What kind of camera? What specific type of MXF? MXF is just a container, and there can be damned near anything in there.

You are doing the right thing: testing the workflow thoroughly before a big shoot or a big editing project destined for final color. Believe me, Resolve is generally flawless dealing with Avid AAF files. Speed ramps and varispeed are still a bit of an issue, but I've even seen dynamic repositions come in flawlessly.


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Michael Gissing
Re: The DaVinci -> Avid -> DaVinci proxies roundtrip that's been driving me crazy for years
on Jul 9, 2018 at 2:06:58 am

When importing in an offline/online workflow like yours there are two things I do to make sure the relink is as good as possible. Firstly on the media page I import all the camera original media into the project before importing the AAF. I do not import the DNx proxies!!! Then when importing the AAF (or xml) I uncheck the automatically import media and check the link to camera originals box. I then point the import to the master level of the imported media that I have already imported into the project. I also check use sizing info. The reason to check the camera originals check box is so the file extension is ignored as it may well be different between camera originals and proxies. (I also think it prompts the software to search in the likely sub folders).

I'm doing that on an 8 part series shot with Sony cameras in different locations and before the proxies are made the post supervisor is getting all files renamed with unique file names as the Sony F5's keep repeating the file names in each new folder. For me unique name is the most important thing. Of course the proxies must have identical timecode to the camera originals. With Alexa, you shouldn't have repeating file names. Out of the first four eps that I have relinked I am getting about 98% perfect relinking. The odd speed ramp shot needs to be manually relinked (after taking the speed info off) and there have been a few where media was genuinely missing.


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Mike Most
Re: The DaVinci -> Avid -> DaVinci proxies roundtrip that's been driving me crazy for years
on Jul 9, 2018 at 3:23:25 am

I suspect your main problem is that you have never worked with anything but file names. In Avid, file names mean nothing unless you force them to, but that's not how the Avid workflow normally works if you're making "native" Avid media.

If you are exporting MXF OP-Atom, that is Avid's "native" file format. You should not be "linking" those clips in Avid, you should be putting them in a folder under the Avid MediaFiles tree (Avid MediaFiles/MXF/NumberedFolder), which Avid will then scan when you open the program (or when you change anything in there). You can then either use an ALE generated by Resolve to populate an Avid bin and relink the clips, or just drag the .mdb file Avid creates in the numbered folder directly to a bin. File names mean absolutely nothing to Avid, the important items are in metadata: tape name (called Reel in Resolve) and time code. You can change the actual media file names at any time and it won't affect anything in Avid. To check that you did things properly, look first at your dailies project and look at the Reel Name column in the Media Pool (either on the Media page or the Edit page). If it's not populated that's your problem. If it is populated with anything that doesn't look like "C040C001_160929_R2IX" then you haven't set the Assist Using options correctly. You should see those same names under the "Tape" column in the Avid bin. When you make the AAF to go back to Resolve, you need to check the correct options there as well. The main one is "use AAF edit protocol". You should also make sure you check "link to video files".

When you're trying to relink in Resolve, you should put the media in one place and bring it into the Media Pool manually. Then, when you import the AAF from Avid, uncheck "automatically import source clips into media pool". That will force Resolve to look only at the files you have brought in manually. As long as you've enabled the reel names correctly, this should work.


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Eric Santiago
Re: The DaVinci -> Avid -> DaVinci proxies roundtrip that's been driving me crazy for years
on Jul 9, 2018 at 6:59:31 pm

Not sure if this helps but for me I have always started in Avid before Resolve.
Sure I've had (posted here and there) numerous issues with round-tripping but most of the time, I manage to get it working in some capacity.
Is this normal for everyone else where you start with the NLE first before Resolve?
And yes back to Avid from Resolve seems to be fine here.


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Noe Dodson
Re: The DaVinci -> Avid -> DaVinci proxies roundtrip that's been driving me crazy for years
on Jul 20, 2018 at 9:01:14 am

Hello there,

Thank you so much for your quick responses! I didn't think of copying the mxf straight into the Avid folder, I will see if that solves the problem. Thanks so much!

N.


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