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AMA Workflow in Media Composer 6

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Tom Nelson
AMA Workflow in Media Composer 6
on Mar 20, 2012 at 6:23:15 pm

I'm working on putting together a workflow process for my post house - we work 4-6 Avids at a time on a Fibre-channel Facilis Terrablock server. We deal with mixed source media - XDCAM, DSLR, Hero, PIX240, etc.

We eventually want to have each project (including all of its source media) reside on a single LTO tape, archived on a shelf. This way, we can easily revisit the project without re-digitizing.

I'm attempting to make this happen with the help of Avid AMA, and it's not going as smoothly as I had anticipated.

While working on the project, an editor works on a single Terrablock (similar to a Unity) drive - to begin, he copies all source media to that project drive, creating a folder for each source media (each XDCAM disc, for example, gets its own folder). In Avid, he simply creates a corresponding bin for each source and "Links to AMA files" within that bin. Quick process, but when I try to view various clips, I get the error message "cannot create the AMA sample mapper to play this clip."

I've have yet to warm up to AMA, but if I get it to work it would save us plenty of time and money. If it isn't completely rock-solid, I'm going to simply import all of the media instead of linking via AMA. It obviously takes more time and space.

Has anyone else had any success actually relying on AMA for a trusty workflow? Any idea how to get rid of the error messages?

Tom Nelson
Videographer/Editor
Essex Television Group


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Ricky Barrow
Re: AMA Workflow in Media Composer 6
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:08:10 am

We also have many Avids on TerraBlock and follow the same workflow - the difference is we always, at the earliest opportunity, transcode all AMA to Avid Media. We use one computer for ingesting where we put all P2 and AMA linkable files onto one "Ingest" partition. This partition is read only to all other Avid machines. We link to the files we need, transcode AMA or import P2 to our exclusive project writable partition. When the project is complete, we return to the ingest machine and archive the original files from the "Ingest" partition and all other assets (photo's, audio files etc) and Avid Media from that project's partition. This allows us to delete the files from Ingest and the project partion to keep TerraBlock clean and manageable.

I do not know about your AMA error message - could it be codec related?

Ricky


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Ben Wilson
Re: AMA Workflow in Media Composer 6
on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:04:35 pm

I have never seen that AMA error either. Does this error occur with any particular type of AMA source footage? e.g XDCAM or DSLR, etc?

Are all of the AMA plugins on the edit stations the correct versions for the installed AVID software?

Ben Wilson
Engineering Project Manager
SCETV


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Richard Sanchez
Re: AMA Workflow in Media Composer 6
on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:20:32 pm

You really should transcode. Working with those different formats, namely DSLR, and by Hero are you referring to the Go Pro Hero? Those formats are extremely resource intensive. Also, you're going to need to transcode your media to MXF if you want to send your project to pro tools.

I'm currently working on a show shot on XDCAM and DSLR. We're linking to XDCAM and immediately transcoding it to 8:1m for offline. Without DSLR, we use QTChange to marry the timecode to the quicktime and then we lay it back to XDCAM, and same as before, link via AMA and transcode. It's a little more work upfront, but it will keep your offline process smoother since it's all Avid native media.

Richard Sanchez
Los Angeles, CA

"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution." - Bill Hicks


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Tom Nelson
Re: AMA Workflow in Media Composer 6
on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:54:28 pm

I've re-visited the project after unmounting the volume, shutting down, and restarting Avid, and all of my AMA linked clips show up in the correct bins and play properly (it was XDCAM MXFs that were giving me a problem). I'm going to have to go to each Avid and check that all of the plugins we will need are there and updated.

Ricky - I'd definitely be a bit more comfortable with your workflow, as I try to make everything bulletproof, and transcoding the AMA-linked media files ensures that you've got that tried-and-true Avid media files and folder to work with in the software, instead of working directly with the AMA-linked file. I am going to give AMA a good run, though, because skipping the transcoding step, if successful, would save tons of time. I'd need to be absolutely sure, though, that any Avid would be able to easily see all of the AMA linked files, regardless of the drive letter associated with the project drive, and the editor could work with all of the linked files quickly and effeiciently, as if they were Avid native. If it's not 100 percent reliable, I'd think that transcoding would be the way to go.

Thank you guys for the valuable info. I'm all about researching and testing before I push the Beta version of the workflow out to the editors, and you've been very helpful so far.

Tom Nelson
Videographer/Editor
Essex Television Group


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Ricky Barrow
Re: AMA Workflow in Media Composer 6
on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:06:10 pm

We have a Multi-write, mirroed partition for all Avid Projects and have told each Avid TB Manager to "auto-mount" as "write" that partition forcing it to mount as drive letter "P" (for projects) and have told our common "Ingest" partition to "auto-mount" as "read" forcing it always to the same drive letter "I" (for Ingest). that way all files should stay linked.

Ricky


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Hunter Leachman
Re: AMA Workflow in Media Composer 6
on Nov 21, 2012 at 3:22:08 am

I want a million dollars...and for AMA linking to actually work the way Avid claims it does. The fact is the technology just isn't there yet, there are too many tapeless workflows, each with its company and therefore proprietary influence. There will have to be some consolidation of tapeless file types/ structures before AMA can be reliably counted upon in a professional setting.

Hunter Leachman
Editor/Assistant Editor
Los Angeles


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