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Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer

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andrew thompson
Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 20, 2012 at 5:56:49 pm

Very stuck right now. In the middle of a 5 week shoot production has decided to change workflow and has removed our post house from the equation. As a result we are now receiving Alexa ProRes footage transcoded on to Rec709 DNX115 with ALE's, XML, and AAF files. Here is my problem, after importing the ALE none of the MXF files link up. Thanks in advance, all information is greatly appreciated!


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 20, 2012 at 6:51:49 pm

Import AAF first, then merge ALE into the newly created master clips. ALE only as a relink is an additional relink process, and does not work well for audio if there is sync audio with clips. What are you using that is making MXF, ALE and AAF from ProRes?

Michael

Michael Phillips


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 20, 2012 at 7:04:46 pm

Our DIT is transcoding the Alexa footage using "3cP".


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 20, 2012 at 11:53:32 pm

OK - I haven't tested many files out of 3CP, but I believe it is using Avid AMT to create the AAF and MXF wrapped native DNxHD. With that being the case, as mentioned, import the AAF first, then merge the ALE into the masterclips.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 12:01:55 am

I tried merging and was unsuccessful.

I've moved in another direction; Copying MXF files to the media drive then bringing them up with the media tool and dispersing into individual tape bins from there. Does this sound like a workable approach to you? Can you think of any pitfalls I may come across?


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 12:16:14 am

That works - If you import the AAF files into the bin, they relink automatically and you don't have to go looking for your clips in the MediaTool.

Merging an ALE is done by hilighting all the clips from that batch process, selet file->import, go to options and check "merge based on known sources" and then select ALE.


Michael

Michael Phillips


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 12:27:18 am

Every time I tried to import the AAF file it dumped out into an error message. Also, each AAF file is 126kb. Does that seem odd?


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 12:33:21 am

Sounds like 3CP and/or Avid AMT is not properly creating the AAF files. That shouldn't be the case. But the AAF file itself will be quite small as it is only the metadata and points to the MXF media.

MXF files copied to the Avid MediaFiles/MXF/1 (or other numbered folder)
AAF import or dragged and dropped into the bin.

If you have a small file, I can take a look at the MXF/AAF/ and ALE.


Michael

Michael Phillips


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 12:45:36 am

Thats kind! The smalled MXF file I have is 400mb. I can put it in a dropbox with the AAF and ALE.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 12:55:21 am

Sounds good. email: michael(at)24p(dot)com


Michael

Michael Phillips


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 1:00:59 am

Thanks Michael - On its way.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 2:23:44 am

Thanks for the files. Here is what I found:

1. MXF file plays fine
2. AAF imports and directly links to MXF file as expected
3. ALE will not merge because it is not correctly structured. As you can see in the frame grab that compares both the MXF/AAF and the ALE file, the reference to the source is incorrect. The AAF shows it in the TAPE column which is what the Avid AMT does, but the source name is the name of the AAF file and not the original ProRes file. The ALE file is incorrect as Source File is used for files referenced under AMA and there is no value in TAPE which is needed in order to merge. There needs to be a match - either Source File to Source File or Tape to Tape.

Someone from 3cP needs to get a hold of someone at Avid, or hire me (;)). I consult with manufacturers on these types of issues.




Michael

Michael Phillips


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 2:42:28 am

Wow - you're very good at this.

For the short term im trudging along using the media tool. When i get my head above water Im going to attempt the AAF option again.

I will absolutely pass your name along to 3Cp people.

Thanks again Michael!


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 3:02:18 am

Glad to help. And 3cP should remember me... ;) Haven't spoken to then in a while though.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 3:34:01 am

You should also be aware that the files as they are being created now can never have an EDL generated from them that would make sense to any system out there. If you look at the frame grab I did, the metadata in the Tape field shows as:
B030C002_120819_R1XC_3cP_DNxHD_MXF
and not
B030C002_120819_R1XC

So either some text editing in the EDL or some expression work for source relink will need to be done. They really need to change that ASAP. In the meantime, you might want to hilight the NAME column, so a command-D or contrl-D and select Labroll or Camroll from the pop-up dialog box. This way you can generate an EDL on the proper filename.

Michael

Michael Phillips


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 4:25:18 pm

The reason I was not able to import AAF's was because our DIT had the media buried in a series of folders of which some contained forward slashes. Once I replaced those with periods the AAF's imported fine and linked with the media.

Regarding EDL, I made one from a sequence comprised of footage we received before and after our new workflow and sent it off to the facility that will be handeling our DI. I can't wait to hear what they say!


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 7:20:24 pm

The reason I was not able to import AAF's was because our DIT had the media buried in a series of folders of which some contained forward slashes. Once I replaced those with periods the AAF's imported fine and linked with the media.

Regarding the EDL, I made one last night and sent it off to the facility that will be handeling our DI. I can't wait to hear what they say!


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 8:24:53 pm

Which EDL template did you use? You would need to use the File_32 to get the entire string in the EDL as currently define in the Tape column.

Michael


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 8:27:08 pm

CMX 3600.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 8:31:20 pm

Well that will only grab the first 8 characters from the Tape field which would take:

B030C002_120819_R1XC_3cP_DNxHD_MXF

and make it

B030C002

Which may or may not work assuming its the only file with that start to the filename. Usually the 8 character representation of a ProRes file as done by the camera and listed as REEL in the QuickTime header would be:

B030R1XC

It will be interesting to see what you hear back.


Michael


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 21, 2012 at 8:40:38 pm

Indeed.

Im operating off a spec sheet they gave us. We did a conform test a few weeks ago when we did our camera test and everything linked up without any issues. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for the tip about the 32 character file name.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 23, 2012 at 1:22:07 am

Andrew - I just got a response from Gamma & Density and they fixed the "Tape" metadata to be correct in v5.1.2. You may want to start using this version in order to have a better reference to the source file.

Mchael


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andrew thompson
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 23, 2012 at 1:24:57 am

That's what they said yesterday - Albeit it not quite like that.

Our DI conform test worked but Im waiting on a picture reference to double check.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Unable To Link Transcoded Alexa Footage in Media Composer
on Aug 23, 2012 at 1:34:18 am

Then they must have used a syntax in the conform side to only look at the first 20 characters to go from:

B030C002_120819_R1XC_3cP_DNxHD_MXF

to:

B030C002_120819_R1XC


Michael


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