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Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?

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Toke Trangbæk
Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 25, 2012 at 9:03:52 pm

We are about to start shoting a feature film. We used to work with prores files in fcp. Now moving to avid 6 on Mac.

Is the native prores support 100% as good as the dnxhd?

I know AMA support for prores in avid 5.5 was not working very good!

Best regards



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Shane Ross
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 25, 2012 at 9:24:01 pm

Use AMA to access. Then transcode to ProRes MXF. Then you should be fine. Fast, zero quality loss. Avid just works best with MXF files.

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


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Toke Trangbæk
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 25, 2012 at 10:13:34 pm

I know that works in theory... but does it also work in real life - with many hours of video.

Is the Prores wrapped as MXF just as fast an reliable to edit as good old fashioned DNXHD as MXF?

We are shooting on RED - so i can export just as easily to DNXHD as to Prores... But proves is just easier to work with - if you need some of the shots for a behind the scenes thing, a promo, fixing stuff in after effects etc.. But we will only do prores if we know that Avid will handle it just as well as native DNXHD.



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Shane Ross
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 25, 2012 at 10:20:24 pm

If DNxHD is just as easy to do as ProRes, why even consider ProRes? Always best to feed avid what it works best with. DNxHD.

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


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Toke Trangbæk
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 25, 2012 at 10:25:46 pm

Because prores fits the rest of our workflow better. This is what we are used to work with in FCP, After Effects etc... So if it works just as good a DNXHD - why not stay with prores?

I know I can do both. I am just looking for some real life experience from people who have worked on large projects with native proves in AVID 6. - I don't wanna be the first to try this... :-) So if nobody tells me otherwise we will of course go with DNXHD and then test the new native prores feature on a smaller project.

best regards



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Chris Harlan
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on May 11, 2013 at 5:55:25 am

Now, I've only been cutting promos with it, but the ProRes experience has been terrific in it for me.


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Tina Hedegaard
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 25, 2012 at 9:29:52 pm

Which camera are you using.
I can see the a reason to this question if you are gonna use Alexa and if you want to edit in proves 4444, which I don't think Avid is capable to run this without problems.

If you are using any other camera I would transcode to DNxHD directly instead of first converting to prores and then transcode the materials to something low res.

Yours Sincerely

Tina Hedegaard
Editor | Final Cut Pro 7 | Media Composer 5.0 -5.5
Mac OS 10.6.7


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Toke Trangbæk
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 25, 2012 at 10:18:51 pm

But does Avid 6 not change this? With the new native support for proves I should not need to re-encode it...



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Andrew McKee
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 25, 2012 at 11:17:55 pm

AMAing prores QTs into Avid and then consolidating to create MXF files is gonna take twice as much disk space. If prores QTs are useful elsewhere in the workflow why not create them from the camera so that you have them, but then transcode in Avid to DNxHD36 and use that for the offline. You can always link back to the full Prores footage and you have it all to send to AE etc.

Andrew McKee
Editor/Colourist
Avid Certified Instructor - MC5.5
Apple Certified Trainer - FCPX
Pixelwizard.net


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Michael Phillips
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 12:08:19 am

I haven't tried in a while, but I thought in order to rewrap ProRes as MXF in Media Composer, it is not via AMA (it always transcodes, even if selecting same codec, rate, etc.). Rewrapped ProRes is done via import and should be a fast import.

As far as overall workflow, are you intending to have the ProRes be your new submaster from which everything is derived and never go back to the R3D files for conform and mastering?

Michael

Michael Phillips


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Toke Trangbæk
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 4:03:20 am

No we will be going back to the original red raw files when onlining and grading.
Thinking of editing in 1920x1080 prores lt.



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Michael Phillips
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 4:11:08 am

Then I really see no reason to involve ProRes at all since DNxHD and ProRes are really equivalents to each other. DNxHD 36 would be the way to go directly from REDCINE X as native MXF.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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Toke Trangbæk
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 5:03:49 am

Ok i get it and i hear what you are saying in this scenario.

But i would really just like to hear from somebody that have worked with native prores in Avid 6 on a big project.

Let's say i have a documentary - 300 hours - prores - it was planned to edit in fcp - but the producer now wanna change to Avid... Will Avid 6 new native prores feature be solid enough to dó this?



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Shane Ross
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:23:20 am

The likelyhood that someone, in the very short time that MC6 has been out (2-3 months), has used MC6 for this specific workflow, AND who frequents these forums...is mighty slim. You might, indeed, be the first. There might be people who did short projects, but not long ones.

And Michael...If you AMA, then transcode, that is a FAST IMPORT as well.

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


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Job ter Burg
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:37:04 am

I don't think you should transcode but consolidate then, Shane.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on May 11, 2013 at 6:23:08 am

[Toke Trangbæk] "But i would really just like to hear from somebody that have worked with native prores in Avid 6 on a big project."

I don't know if I count or not, but this is what I've done so far:

I've done a season's worth of promos (13) for dramatic scripted, with all 42 min episodes on board in the same project at the same time. All were transcode rewraps of ProRes HQ. Everything ran smoothly, with the following two exceptions:

1) The automatic space allocator in transcode does not accurately assess the required disk space, generally more than doubling the actual amount of space required. The file transcodes accurately, but the allocator will not let you proceed if it thinks you don't have enough space. I do not know if this has been fixed in 6.5, but it is a consistent problem on 6.

2) Coming from PoRres Quicktime, there is the possibility of some sort of metadata mismatch that can throw off sync. This problem has only occurred for me @25fps, and is inconsistent. When it happens, it effects both MXF re-wraps and DNx transcodes. It is also visible with AMA, so its quickly spotted. My answer was to pass the files through Compressor, which ironed out the issue without fail. Since my source files all came from the same Post House, I don't know if this was an issue restricted to their setup, or something wider. I did notice that files processed on the same day, seemed to have the same problem.

Otherwise, re-wraped ProResHQ behaved flawlessly. I don't know if that helps you, but there it is.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on May 11, 2013 at 6:30:59 am

Oh, yeah. A year and a half late. Sorry about that


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Job ter Burg
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:35:53 am

Michael, I thought you could AMA-link to a ProRes file, then not Transcode but rather Consolidate, and that this would be a re-wrap rather than a retranscode.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 2:32:34 pm

Unless something changed in 6.0.1, I was told that the rewrap was done as part of the "fast import" process. During beta I entered a bug that my ProRes was being transcoded with AMA, and that was the response I got. I agree that an AMA "consolidate" logically, that's how it should work. I will try to test it again today. I would be glad to stand corrected.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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Michael Phillips
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 4:00:45 pm

Quick test under 6.0.1 on Windows 7. I understand the fact that it doesn't allow for Prores encoding... but since the incoming file is ProRes (HQ), the rewrap process should not invoke an encode process.

1. AMA to ProRes(HQ) file. Plays back fine. Highlight and click on consolidate/transcode. Go through first screen of settings, then second about linking master clips to target drive. Click OK. Get message to check error message in console. Lots of info about how codec being read not supporting, resorting to sample player. So no rewrap "copy" of ProRes file to Avid managed media. Logically, this would be the way to do it.

2. Since there is no encode on Windows 7, the "fast import" was not even a choice since I could not select ProRes(HQ) as a target resolution. Dead end.

So it seems, unless I am missing a step, that ProRes on Windows is AMA playback only. Select alternative codec (DNxHD) for render and/or transcodes. I will need to get a v6 on my Mac to test there.


Michael

Michael Phillips


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Shane Ross
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 6:14:50 pm

Yes, Windows machines have ProRes playback only...cannot encode or transcode to ProRes.

And I was told that AMA then Transcode was a FAST IMPORT. I THOUGHT I was anyway...could be that the CONSOLIDATE feature is the fast import. But I swear it was the transcode option.

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


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Michael Phillips
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 7:08:10 pm

Logically a "consolidate" is only a copy/rewrap to Avid managed media, but does not work that way on Windows for whatever reason since technically, it is still only doing playback.

I need to get on a Mac version to see what's it's doing, but then again, "logically" it would still be a copy/rewrap as part of the consolidate process - especially for entire takes (and not sub-spans of files). I remember doing it once as a transcode during beta, and while it "fast", it was decoding and encoding from and to the same codec. But I will test and get to the bottom of this. The Avid website didn't offer much detail on this specific process.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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John Pale
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:05:10 pm

Just tested on a Mac. Here's how it works.

Pro Res media linked as AMA does not Consolidate...you get an error message telling you that you need to transcode. It will not re-wrap as MXF.

ProRes media imported into Avid as Pro Res MXF will Consolidate...no need to transcode.

Have not tried with tape media captured as Pro Res, but I would guess it would be the same as imported media.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:13:47 pm

Thanks John. The question now is what where the times associated with either method? Was one fast than the other? Did the import process say "fast import" while importing? And if so, how did that compare to the transcode process?

Or another test; with AMA/transcode. Select the same codec as the source and time it, then select a different codec and time it. What are the times between those two? This will indicate whether it is a straight copy, or a decode + re-encode process is happening.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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John Pale
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:20:00 pm

1) Importing a Pro Res file as Pro Res MXF is NOT a fast import (just said Creating Video). Even with a 30 sec spot as a test it was quite slow (a little less than real time), which indicated re-encoding.

2) Transcoding a Pro Res file to Pro Res MXF was quite slow, similar in time to importing.

I think we can say its re-encoding, not just rewrapping.


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Toke Trangbæk
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:23:01 pm

Strange - it should just rewrap - not re-encode!!

I will try and find time to test it tomorrow with some alexa prores files.



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John Pale
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:23:03 pm

Toke, I think you are better off working with DNX HD, if possible.

You really don't get any real benefit working Pro Res, just more hassles. Avid and DNX are pretty bulletproof. Maybe down the line, Pro Res support might be improved, but with FCP's relevance in the post world becoming more diminished, I don't think it will be much of a priority for anyone in a couple of years.


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Toke Trangbæk
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:28:05 pm

If i have alexa assets shot in prores it would be nice not to need to reencode to dnxhd.

But i hear what you say!



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John Pale
Correction!! Fast Import works
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:27:09 pm

My mistake.

I neglected to change the import setting to 601/709 rather than RGB.

Now it fast imports...

Sorry for any confusion on my part.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Correction!! Fast Import works
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:33:29 pm

Thanks John - that was my understanding for Mac; Fast import is the way to get rewrapped ProRes from QT to MXF. AMA is for instant access and editing, but not as a means to rewrap via a consolidate to MXF to be "Managed Avid Media".

Maybe AMA/consolidate will be implemented in the future as it is more logical, allows for viewing and selection before the process as well as triage within the clips themselves.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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John Pale
Re: Correction!! Fast Import works
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:37:55 pm

Michael,

Interestingly, linking via AMA and transcoding was slower than Fast Importing. That seems to indicate its re-encoding.


Toke,

The Alexa shoots Pro Res 4444, correct? There does not seem to be an option to import or transcode to Pro Res 4444 MXF...there are only the other flavors of Pro Res. So you will be re-encoding no matter what.


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Hector berrebi
Re: Correction!! Fast Import works
on Feb 27, 2012 at 12:07:35 am

[John Pale] "
The Alexa shoots Pro Res 4444, correct? There does not seem to be an option to import or transcode to Pro Res 4444 MXF...there are only the other flavors of Pro Res. So you will be re-encoding no matter what.
"


*EDIT... did't see your other post where you figured it out... :)

if you open a project in RGB you get the PR4X4 MXF option



Hector Berrebi
prePost Consulting


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Toke Trangbæk
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:20:39 pm

What i see as the important question now is: how is to edit the prores wrapped as mxf? Is it just as fast as native dnxhd? Is it stable?

We have tried editing prores in ama mode in Avid 5.5 - that was not very positive!! Did not work! So hope this native prores feature is working the true Avid-way.



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John Pale
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 9:01:44 pm

As native MXF Avid media, Pro Res seems to work fine, however I am not editing a huge project with it. No difference is noticeable. This is not like AMA.


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John Pale
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 26, 2012 at 10:40:23 pm

Toke,

I just realized something else and did a quick test.

Initially, I was not seeing ProRs 4444 as an import or transcode option. ProRes 4444 only seems to be supported when your project is set to RGB. In FCP, it is supported in both RGB and YCbCr projects.

I you try to import into a ProRes 4444 file into a project set for YCbCr you will only have the other flavors of ProRes available, and you will not get a Fast Import, as you will be transcoding.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 27, 2012 at 1:05:03 pm

I would recommend a direct import of ProRes media into ProRes MXF. This is Mac-only and MC 6.0 or higher. This should Fast Import if settings match. However, set all render settings to DNxHD. There are some issues when mixing ProRes and DNxHD using "same as source" exports, mainly when the first clip in the timeline is ProRes. Alternatively, use AMA to link to the ProRes files, boil down your selects and then transcode these to DNxHD for cutting.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Daniel Frome
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Feb 27, 2012 at 3:41:54 pm

Working a lot with ProRes on 6.01, I feel that prores MXF is quite stable and relatively fast, but rendering effects and exporting is a little slower than DNxHD.


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Marc Pollon
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Mar 12, 2012 at 8:19:20 pm

I just happened upon this thread and have the same question and worry as Toke. The plan is to get prores(hq) from the on-set DIT and use those to cut in MC6. This will be a feature film about 100 minutes or so and need to make sure that AVID MC6 can handle the prorest mxf files and is stable when editing long form. In the 2 weeks since this thread opened has anyone gathered any further info or work experience regarding this? Toke, how has your experience been?
Thanks
Marc


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Toke Trangbæk
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Mar 12, 2012 at 8:41:53 pm

Sorry we chose to go with native dnxhd encoded files... I was not comfotable with the prores files in avid...



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white yufeng
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Mar 27, 2013 at 7:44:22 am

DNxHD is the native editing frmat for Avid, if you transcode video to it, you will can directly import it to AVID wothout AMA plugin.

-----------------------------------------------

Camcorder Video Tips


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Brian Berdan
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on May 11, 2013 at 12:58:30 am

Okay, a few months have passed... anyone else have experience with MXF-wrapped ProRes, especially in long form?

My producers wants the DIT to create only ProResLT QTs (shooting on Alexa in ProRes444LogC) that will be used for editing and for crew to view dailies. This need to be uploaded to an FTP so one flavor keeps things streamlined.

So first question- any problems in longform with the ProRes MXF? Renders in DNx? Quicktime exports (same-as-source issue?) EDLs? Linking back to the original Alexa files (ALEs should be provided).

Then, my assistant and I are in different cities so we'll both be downloading the ProRes LT files and then fast-importing. I want us to both have the same media (same filenames)... so here's the problem, we'll have different filenames (random gibberish added to end of QT filename.

Is that the only problem you can foresee?

Thanks

Brian Berdan
migrant filmworker

currently on a MacBookPro, Media Composer 5.0.3.5


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Shane Ross
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on May 11, 2013 at 1:04:04 am

Hey Brian! How goes it man? Your kid in college yet?

I haven't done the whole workflow, but I do know of one issue...

[Brian Berdan] "Quicktime exports (same-as-source issue?)"

You can only export SAME AS SOURCE if the codec used in the edit is an Avid one. So it won't work with ProRes. Solution is to Mixdown to DNxHD and then export same as source.

[Brian Berdan] "Linking back to the original Alexa files (ALEs should be provided)."

Linking back in Avid? Or in something like Resolve? You can't link to the original files in Avid unless you AMA the original in the Avid originally.

But I'll let more experienced people answer that and the other stuff. I just know that first answer for sure. And I wanted to say hi.

(I apprenticed for Brian YEARS ago...)

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


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Brian Berdan
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on May 11, 2013 at 1:48:52 am

Hey Shane,
Good to hear from you... son is not in college (but soon and I can't wait!).

The killer issue is my assistant and I not having the same media filenames, so I'll force production to create DNx, but I liked the idea of this... Tower of Babel, I''m sick of formats :)

Cheers

Brian

Brian Berdan
migrant filmworker

currently on a MacBookPro, Media Composer 5.0.3.5


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Brian Berdan
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on May 11, 2013 at 1:51:09 am

Oh, what if the DIT created DNx quicktimes for viewing dailies and editing... is there a way for my assistant and I to get those into the our separate Avids with the same filenames? I would think it would still be just a fast import in order to rewrap and I'd still have the same problem.

Brian Berdan
migrant filmworker

currently on a MacBookPro, Media Composer 5.0.3.5


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Chris Harlan
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on May 11, 2013 at 6:35:03 am

FWIW:

I've done a season's worth of promos (13) for dramatic scripted, with all 42 min episodes on board in the same project at the same time. All were transcode rewraps of ProRes HQ. Everything ran smoothly, with the following two exceptions:

1) The automatic space allocator in transcode does not accurately assess the required disk space, generally more than doubling the actual amount of space required. The file transcodes accurately, but the allocator will not let you proceed if it thinks you don't have enough space. I do not know if this has been fixed in 6.5, but it is a consistent problem on 6.

2) Coming from PoRres Quicktime, there is the possibility of some sort of metadata mismatch that can throw off sync. This problem has only occurred for me @25fps, and is inconsistent. When it happens, it effects both MXF and DNx transcodes. It is also visible with AMA, so its quickly spotted. My answer was to pass the files through Compressor, which ironed out the issue without fail. Since my source files all came from the same Post House, I don't know if this was an issue restricted to their setup, or something wider. I did notice that files processed on the same day, seemed to have the same problem.

Otherwise, ProResHQ behaved flawlessly. I don't know if that helps you, but there it is.


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Danielle Zorbas
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Dec 19, 2013 at 2:41:32 pm

Hi all,
I've read this thread and looked elsewhere for a clear answer.

I've got Canon 5DII footage I've been editing a longform project from in ProRes (HQ) in FCP. On mac.
Now moving to AVID Media Composer. On mac.

I want everything to come across- media, project...

Can someone please let me know which pathway to take?!

Many thanks,
Danielle


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Shane Ross
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Dec 19, 2013 at 5:33:06 pm

AutomaticDuck.com will have tools to get the SEQUENCE and footage used in the sequence over...but that's it. There is no way to port a full project and all the internal organization from FCP to Avid, or Avid to FCP.

I suggest finishing this show on FCP and doing future work on Avid if you plan on switching. Trying to switch now will just take time and cause a lot of frustration. If you can deal with both...have at it.

You'll have to reimport the footage into Avid and re-organize your bins. And then you can DUCK over the sequence.

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


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Christian Hart
Re: Is native prores stable enough to edit feature film? Or should we go dnxhd?
on Jan 4, 2014 at 2:12:41 am

HI Everyone - I wanted to resurrect this thread if that's ok?
Going back to the ProRes QT import process in MC i have a test i hope might be helpful.

I don't know if it is helpful truthfully but here it is anyway

I have found (on a mac, MC7.03, 23.976 project, straight ProRes files) that i could not use the consolidate function either. Even with Import color space set to 601/ 709 it did the rather weird thing of making new AMA linked clips (no new media) - rather than the error message people seemed to get with MC 6.5

If I AMA linked the ProRes and then transcoded, a 4m30sec file took 42 seconds to transcode & appear in a bin as mxf. (there was a .new appended to the file name)

If i fast imported (my resolution & frame rate is the same - i did get a "fast importing" confirmation box while doing this) the same 4m30sec file took longer - 48 seconds to import and appear in bin as .mxf (this time of course there was no ".new" appended - the filename had the exact same .mov name)

Both methods kept metadata intact (as far as "Source File" name & "Source Path" go anyway)
Both methods resulted in identical files sizes in the mxf folder as we'd expect.
Can anyone explain if there are benefits drawbacks to either method?
I'm thinking fast import (slower!) might be more robust when it comes to workflows involving other software due to the identical clip name (no ".new" ending)

I was wondering if anything has changed with MC7 and if i have missed out any useful new methods?
These days i get still get projects from people who are used to a FCP workflow, so they keep on making prores files before bringing me on - and as their editor wanting to work in MC i feel i should keep up to speed on all the ins & outs before i say - "let's do it".

ps. thanks to
John Pale for showing that fast import works - although i got exactly opposite speed results!
Chris Harlan for the info re stability / problem-free editing mxf wrapped ProRes with all but 25fps projects
Shane for reminding me that export same as source is not available should i ever AMA (not that I want to)
Michael Phillips for explaining all his thought processes - and being so thorough

best


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