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MC6 (Symphony6) Nested Effects on V2 changing V1 as well

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Brian Horn
MC6 (Symphony6) Nested Effects on V2 changing V1 as well
on Jul 3, 2012 at 3:10:13 am

Hi gang,

Okay let me see if I can describe this accurately.

First off, I currently do a lot of storyboard editing for animation. I've used Avid for many years, but not for storyboards. There is a function that I am able to do in Final Cut and Premiere that I need to be able to do in Avid (trying to convince my studio to switch), but I just can't figure it out for the life of me. My network of Avid editor friends also can't figure it out.

If I am putting together a shot, say of a bicycle rolling down the street, it will typically be comprised of a background jpeg image (the road) and several panels on a top layer with alpha channels (typically TGAs) of the bicycle. These multiple panels of the bike are drawn so that when they're played one after another, the wheels animate. This looks fine in Avid, just as it does in Final Cut or Premiere.

Now here's the rub. Say I wanted to increase the size of the bicycle as it animates over the duration of the shot. I want to it to look like it's travelling at camera while it's rolling along. In Final Cut or Premiere, I would nest the panels of the bicycle, leaving the background image on V1 and the nest of the panels on V2. Then on the NEST, I would keyframe the scale of the bike and grow it from 80% to 120%, let's say. Now the wheels spin as the bike image grows in the frame.

In Symphony (or Media Composer), the background is ALSO affected by the scaling, even though the layer above it is the layer with the scaling effect (PIP, Resize, 3D Warp...all of them behave like that). It's as if everything is composited together first, and THEN the resizing is applied.

I know from past experience that the MC approach to effects is that they affect everything underneath them. I get that. But there MUST be SOME way of accomplishing this trick of having the bike resize and having the background stay the same. It's a staple of how we put these animatics together and we can't use Avid at all if we can't acheive this.

We've tried different file formats to see if the alphas were being interpreted wrong. We've tried using AvidFX with no luck; the problem still persists there. We've tried applying the effects in different orders. We've tried collapsing tracks and nesting effects. The only thing that seems to work is to apply resizes or 3d warps to every clip in the bicycle animation and do the math on how much each one needs to grow to acheive the overall look of a zoom from start to finish. This is totally inefficient and won't fly with how many iterations we do and how complicated our shots can sometimes get.

Anyone have any ideas on this?

I should also say that we've thought about staying in Premiere for storyboards and going to Avid after, but Premiere's AAF export is totally unusable in Symphony 6 and throws errors everywhere, ultimately crashing the system. We'd prefer to start and finish in Avid, since our animation and finishing and every other step can be done quite nicely in it.
We've also thought about bouncing these particular shots out to After Effects when they cross that complexity threshold, but this is cumbersome. Right now this might be our best option, but for office politics sake, we'd love to avoid pitching this particular downside to the decision makers.

Thanks in advance for any insight you guys might have!


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