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How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?

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Joseph Herman
How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 6:31:10 am

Hello,

I am an After Effects user and I have some Avid DNxHD files with a .mxf extension on them which I would like to bring into After Effects for effects work.

I've never done this before. I also notice that the audio left and right are separate channels. But I don't even care about the audio, I just want to bring in the video.

How would you do this?

Thanks for your help!


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Shane Ross
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 9:52:56 am

You wouldn't. You need to export out of Avid as DNxHD Quicktime files. Bring those into AE (after you download and install the Avid codecs) and work with them. You don't work with the MXF files directly.

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Joseph Herman
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 6:59:09 pm

Thanks. I am just learning the Avid now.

If you know of any tuts on how to do this, I would appreciate it.

Happy New Year.


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Shane Ross
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 7:36:49 pm

Tutorials? Not that I know of. Just export as a QT movie...same as source, make sure the dimensions are correct, and if they are not, make them so.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Joseph Herman
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 8:23:08 pm

Thanks.

I tried to right click on a bin and choose "Import" to bring in the MXF file but got an dialog saying that I needed to look up how to "transfer media" in the manual.

As mentioned, I am just getting started in Avid and know little (more like nothing).

I have Media Composer 6, and was hoping it would be as easy as just importing into a bin (as it is in Premiere).

I guess I need to start studying!

If you know a quick way to bring it into the Avid let me know, otherwise I need to start hitting the manuals.


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Shane Ross
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 8:30:49 pm

I thought you needed to get the MXF into After Effects. WHy are you trying to import the file into Media Composer?

Avid is VERY different than Premiere in how it deals with media. The MXF files need to be inside a very specific file structure. ON the root level of the drive, in a folder called Avid MediaFiles - then inside that is a folder called "MXF." Then in that, numbered folders. "1," "2," etc. Media needs to be in there.

Avid MediaFiles>MXF>1

Then, you use the MEDIA TOOL inside the Avid to locate the media. OR...once you launch Avid MC, and it builds a database for that media folder, you can drag the database file into a bin and that bin will be populated with the media in that folder.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Joseph Herman
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 8:39:03 pm

Hi Shane,

> I thought you needed to get the MXF into After Effects.
> WHy are you trying to import the file into Media Composer?

True, I just need to get them into After Effects, and that is what I would like to do.

However, from what I understood, you can't just bring them into After Effects, but you need to export them from Avid based on your statement:

> You need to export out of Avid as DNxHD Quicktime files.
> Bring those into AE (after you download and install the
> Avid codecs) and work with them. You don't work with the
> MXF files directly.

Are you saying now that there is some way to bring them into After Effects without first bringing it into the Avid to export them as Quicktime files?

Thanks for your help.


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Shane Ross
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 8:43:49 pm

So...you have .mxf files, but they are not in an Avid project file? THey are just MXF files? So now you need to get them into the Avid so that you can export as a QT file to get into AE?

Wow.

Why not ask whoever provided these to you for either the QT export...or the bin or project file that includes this media, IN the proper folder structure? I mean, to just give someone, with very little knowledge of the inner workings of Avid, raw Avid media files, is not the best idea in the world. THey need to provide you with what you need in order to work properly.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Joseph Herman
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 9:46:14 pm

These files were generated by Blackmagic capture hardware from a camera that has an option to write directly in DNxHD (or uncompressed quicktime).

The Blackmagic capture hardware just writes it to the DNxHD MXf format. It didn't come from an Avid system.

It sounds like the only way I can do it is by creating that directory structure above in order to bring it into the Avid.


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Shane Ross
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 10:21:30 pm

Ooooohhh...These were recorded on a Hyperdeck Shuttle? As MXF? I see. Yeah, in order for Avid to see them, you need to put them into that specific file structure (if you want Avid to make this structure for you, just open Avid MC, import any MOV file, direct it to the drive you want this structure to be on, and hit IMPORT. You can cancel the import...and you will have the complete Avid mediafile folder structure).

And then you can use the MEDIA TOOL to find that footage, or, as I said before, drag the Media database file ("msmFMID.dba") into an open bin.

Next time it might be easier to record to uncompressed QT if you want to go directly into AE.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Joseph Herman
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 4, 2012 at 3:25:21 am

Shane,

Thanks for all of your valuable help, I appreciate it.

I did what you said, and dragged the mxf files into the Avid MediaFiles>MXF>1 folder. I then ran the Media Tool and it was listed in the list.

From the media tool window, I dragged it into a bin and voila. Thanks! Couldn't find anything called msmFMID.dba, however. Where is that? Or if it isn't necessary, it doesn't really matter.

The only thing I have to do now if figure out how to get it out of the Avid and into After Effects without losing quality. Any clue?

Thanks again for your help!


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Michael Hancock
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 4, 2012 at 3:28:08 am

Export a Same as Source Quicktime or export a Quicktime Reference file.

Same as Source is nice because it gives you a Quicktime you can take to another system. Quicktime Reference is great if you're using AE on the same system because it references the original Avid media and is super fast (and the file size is super small - maybe a couple kilobytes versus megabytes or gigabytes).

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Joseph Herman
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 4, 2012 at 3:32:22 am

Wow. That is really smart. I think I will try to export a Quicktime Reference in that case! Looking forward to try this.

Thanks for your help!


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Michael Hancock
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 4, 2012 at 3:39:19 am

Quicktime Reference was always my preference when I was also doing the graphics, but it does have a drawback - reopening your AE project in the future if you ever need to do revisions and you've backed up your Avid project.

Since Quicktime Reference looks back to where the Avid media is currently stored, if you back that project up that link is broken. Even if you put the footage back in the Avid MediaFiles/MXF/1 folder, it may not relink in the Quicktime Reference. I've only had an issue with this a few times, and that was when I had to take the raw Avid footage and AE projects to another system. I ended up opening Avid, re-exporting a Quicktime Reference, and doing a Replace Footage in AE to bring the footage online in AE.

Otherwise, Quicktime Reference is awesome.

Another idea!!! I just remembered this - Automatic Duck is now free. Download Pro Import AE to import Avid sequences into After Effects and retain all of your edit points, etc.... Get it here: http://automaticduck.com/products/piae/

Automatic Duck is probably the best choice unless you just need one or two clips in AE. But if you need a ton of them from a sequence, AutoDuck the sequence over to AE. It's awesome.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Joseph Herman
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 4, 2012 at 3:52:34 am

Wow, again.

That is a really good tip. I tried the QT reference and it works great. For now it will do, and I will keep in mind what you said about backing up.

I will definately download automatic duck and use it in the future if I need to.

Thanks!


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aaron shadwell
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jan 4, 2012 at 3:58:37 am

automatic duck free plug in

google it- works great...works via quick time ref files....I use it for my Color correction phase .

best A

thanks for reading!!!
check out my rock band

shadwellmusic.com


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Adam Lutz
Re: How do I bring Avid DNxHD .mxf files into After Effects?
on Jun 26, 2012 at 5:45:21 am

I enjoyed all the very useful information given prior to this. I believe my problem is somewhat similar, except that I do not have Avid or access to the original file. All I would like to do in import the Quicktime file into AE and not get a white screen. I have downloaded both the Codecs and the autoduck in hopes that those would magically solve my problem.

I hope that it is just an exporting error on their side and nothing to do with my system itself. Any help would be fantastic.


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