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5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA

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Shawn Swetsky
5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 17, 2012 at 6:53:27 pm

I'm the AE on a big project. I have footage in an Avid on my Unity. I'm working with 8 Avid MC 5.5.3 stations on both PC and Mac. I have latest of plugins.

I have brought in the 5D footage using the AMA and then transcode to an offline resolution of 14:1. I can't use the AMA clips because I'm working on Unity with multiple editors. I would like to avoid having to create new files from the original files because I have a lot of them and storing new file types or full resolution DNx MXF files along with offline resolutions and original camera files is out of the question.

So now I'm testing the uprez - relink process and it's not relinking any of my 5D footage. My XDcam footage links fine. At first the 5D footage gave me a relink option. It linked up and then if I closed the bin it unlinked the AMA to the original file. I figured I'd just do the relink AMA again but relink wasn't an option this time. If I AMA link to file it brings in a new file and doesn't link my old file to the master original footage.

Right now the method I am using is to AMA link, then transcode to 14:1. Then I relink the original AMA clips to the offline resolution 14:1 media so I am not working with the ".new" clips. I've never had good luck with ".new" clips. Then I provide the original AMA'd clips that are relinked to the 14:1 media to the editors for editing use. Then relinking the original footage via AMA with my sequence up also and the footage in the sequence links right back. I can then consolidate or transcode that sequence in full hirez to an online house when needed.


Now I have a huge amount of 7D footage that arrived and I don't want to make the same mistakes if I did any previously. I'd like to catch it once and for all and get the footage in correctly. Does anyone have a good 5D/7D workflow they can provide me???

Much appreciated,
Shawn


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Stacy Lincoln
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 17, 2012 at 7:32:28 pm

I work with these files a lot. In looking here...it may be that you transcoded and did not consolidate. Transcoding gives you newly created files and will not link to the originals. At least to my understanding. Consoliating gives you new files within your bin...but will relink. In my experience, that is the difference. I'd like to hear from other pros as well! I never transcode because of this very risk.


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Shawn Swetsky
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 17, 2012 at 7:35:07 pm

Well my whole point to transcode is to work with a lower resolution clip and a lot smaller of a file size. I have over 1000 hours of footage for this project and can't keep hirez files of everything on a Unity or that would take forever and cost way too much. With other formats like XDCAM it allows you to transcode down, edit and then link back. I'm hopping Canon DSLR footage can do the same thing.


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Stacy Lincoln
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 17, 2012 at 7:42:36 pm

That makes great sense. Will it consolidate at a lower rez? I've never tried that.


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Shawn Swetsky
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 17, 2012 at 8:20:38 pm

Well a consolidate only moves the footage that I'm aware of and does not transcode to a different resolution. It may make it to an MXF file but it won't make it any smaller and then I'll have a second master file for all those clips. I have a lot of footage overall and that's why I'm trying to make small files to edit with. I have well over 1000 hours of footage total so I need offline workflow files to edit with.


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Richard Sanchez
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 17, 2012 at 9:26:41 pm

How are you attempting to relink the 5D? Are you decomposing and trying to relink to the master clips? That won't work. The way I do it is, is I'll separate all my 5D from tape based material and move it all onto one track. I'll sub sequence that track out so that I now have one timeline with only 5D based material.

Move that sub sequence into it's own bin, and use the "Set Bin View" option to show all reference clips, and open the bin column for "Source File". Granted, the 5D file structure tends to make all clips MVI_001 and such, but this will give you a list of source files you need.

Take the drive with your low res media offline.

Then, AMA the source files. In the bin with all the AMA clips, highlight them all. In the bin with the subsequence, highlight it. Right click the sequence and select "Relink" In the top half of the relink box, select the second option which is "Selected itms in ALL open bins". Just below that, make sure the enable the box that says, "Allow relinking of imported/AMA clips by Source File name". I generally uncheck "Match case when comparing tape and source file names" and I also uncheck "create new sequence". Your 5D clips should be relinked.

Here's were it gets tricky, if your files aren't uniquely named, it might cause problems. If you have multiple 5D cameras, and therefore potentially have various files called MVI_001, that will confuse the Avid. I have two suggestions to take care of that, but they have to be done before you originally AMA your clips and transcode for offline. I use QTChange (which is available at videotoolshed.com) to add the timecode data from the THM file. This will embed the timecode into the quicktime. If your data wrangler didn't include the THM, you're out of luck here, however, my suggestion might still help. Once I've added the timecode data to the quicktime files, I rename them to something unique. For example, if I've designated the 5D as C cam I might rename the file MVI_001_C01_051712. You can use the free mac application "NameChanger" to quickly change names.

This will get your AMA clips relinked to the sequence. Right click the sequence and select "Consolidate/Transcode" and transcode to your finishing resolution.

Whenever possible however, I try to lay my 5D back to tape. On my current show, I take all 5D footage and lay it back to XDCAM discs and then create my offline media from those XDCAM disks. It made our workflow very smooth. Here is a link to my XDCAM workflow that might be helpful for you.

http://f1.creativecow.net/3954/xdcam-ama-workflow-guide


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Shawn Swetsky
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 17, 2012 at 11:20:15 pm

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the lengthy response. I appreciate the time. My whole show is files based footage. 5D, 7D, XDCAM, CanonXF C300, RED, etc. The only ones I can't reconnect back to is the Canon DSLR footage (quicktimes). I have been trying the AMA Relink and it's usually not an available option. I'll try just "relink" with what you mentioned. I think for this new batch of 7D I'll use the QTChange program.

Thanks,
Shawn


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Bouke Vahl
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 18, 2012 at 5:39:42 pm

Shawn,
Thank you for your interest in QTchange (i'm the developer) but:
QTchange won't help you that much, since timecode isn't involved in AMA relinking. Filename is!
I'm not sure how far the pathname is involved (i'm still fighting with AMA relink myself for another project.

If the pathname is involved, and you keep that intact, you should be able to relink to AMA even if you have multiple clips with the same name.

However, you could try another approach (perhaps a bit late now)
If you use QT change to add timecode and add a Reelname (that has to go over ALE or you have to set it yourself per folder),
you could do an old fashioned tape relink.

Same goes if you use my Offloader program. That can transcode Canon material straight to Avid DNxHD, including timecode and tapename.
This could be repeated for online (just the shots used) to get the HQ stuff.

Now to find back the stuff that needs to be imported for relink, i've got some other code (not public yet.)
Drop me a line off list if you want to toy with it.
(but keep the AMA relinking workflow here, as it will be interesting for everyone!)

Last but not least, you could import (not ama) the Canon stuff at DNxHD 36, and re-import at a higher quality. That's a proven workflow...

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Shawn Swetsky
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 18, 2012 at 6:49:07 pm

Hi Bouke,

I've brought the footage in from a Avid Unity workspace. I get a batch of footage and put it on the Unity so I can then have a night person get it in using all the machines we have. Otherwise a hard drive hooked to one machine would take forever to get 100 hours of footage per episode. Then after it's all in I delete the raw footage from the Avid Unity and have it also stored on a large hard drive. So I brought in from Unity and will have to then relink back to the same raw footage but on an external hard drive. Of course there is footage with the same names though. I wouldn't mind having to go clip by clip to relink and show the path if it would work. But right now it won't even let me do that. I sometimes get the relink to AMA option and sometimes don't. The regular relink method isn't doing anything on relinking it.

I'll look into the Offloader program. It works a lot better relinking AMA to MXF then MOVs. But I've been reading stuff about the color and quality maybe not being as good in the converting process. Not really sure as I didn't read into detail. If I have to then I will make new master clips (the MXF files) but would like to avoid that if I can because that will eat up a lot more space.

Thanks


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Bouke Vahl
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 19, 2012 at 9:14:10 am

Shawn,
for Offloader and color, i don't know. In my experience Canon stuff imported over AMA comes in a bit washed out.
When i do a regular import with input levels set to RGB it's better to my liking.
Offloader uses QT and the avid codecs to convert to DNxHD, (or any other codec) so it's pretty much the same as a 'normal' avid import.

Only advantage for you at this stage is that you can put mulitple computers at work, and they don't have to have Avid installed.
But it's also a very unsophisitacted way! (I made it so to be simple and highly versitile, without having to know all the specific codecs that are around. In this case, 'if it's qt compatible, it works..')
So it could be done in a more efficient way.

Nevertheless, AMA relink should work. I just toyed around with canon clips with the same name, moving files, renaming them, and it seems to be quite solid if you keep them in their unique named subdirectory structure.
Also, the MediaPath in the bin reflects the original, even after a transcode. That should be something that comforts you, as you can restore that path if needed (but again, i could link to several different drives / locations where the files have moved, without a glitch. I Did not switch platforms though...)

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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David Powell
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 18, 2012 at 1:25:46 pm

I was just trying to wrap my head around this Richard. Are you saying after you have finished an edit you identify all the 5d footage and move it to a new track? Or you purposefully edit all the 5d footage to a separate vid track from the beginning?


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Richard Sanchez
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 18, 2012 at 2:47:41 pm

I separate all the 5D footage, because the process of relinking 5D and transcoding is so different fro tape based footage that you'd want to decompose and batch capture. It would make the process easier to edit 5D on a separate layer from the get go, but as an AE I never get timelines that are separated for the conforming process so I generally split out the timeline after the fact. Also, if you have 5D at varying frame rates, you'd need to separate all frame rates since those will have to be relinked in a project of their own respective frame rate. The file names of 5D tend to be very distinctive, they're not hard to identify. It's basically the same process as splitting audio for mix.

Richard Sanchez
Los Angeles, CA

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


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Shawn Swetsky
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 18, 2012 at 6:56:18 pm

I see what you are saying Richard. But it sounds like you have bins that have AMA linked clips always stored. That would be the perferd way of course.


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Shawn Swetsky
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 18, 2012 at 6:56:36 pm

I see what you are saying Richard. But it sounds like you have bins that have AMA linked clips always stored. That would be the perfurd way of course.


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Richard Sanchez
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 18, 2012 at 7:16:36 pm

You don't need to necessarily keep the AMA clips stored. If you lose those clips at any point, all you need to do is relink those AMA clips, whether individually or mounting an AMA volume, and again, modify those AMA clips to include the tape names, and you're good to go.

Richard Sanchez
Los Angeles, CA

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


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Job ter Burg
Re: 5D (Canon DSLR) in Avid MC 5.5.3 via AMA, can't link back via Relink AMA
on May 19, 2012 at 6:19:34 am

Pretty sure that the OP's problem was that the transcoded Avid media was still available / visible to the system.

If you need to relink to AMA, it is best to hide the transcoded Avid mediafiles from the system, since Avid prefers to link to transcoded media over AMA-linked files.


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