Using different formats in an FCP style way
this is two questions in one, sorry to be cheeky :D
I'm very new to AVID, trying to learn 6.5 after what I consider to be Apple's abandonment of the professional industry. So my question is, is there a way to use Avdi in a similar manner to FCP7 regarding external footage, ie without having to transcode it to AVID's native format every time I want to edit something? Because with that workflow, I assume each AVID project would take up lots of duplicate space? For example, If I shot on an EX Sony camera I' have a BPAV backup, an imported version of everything with the XDCAM codec (which I could natively edit in FCP) but in avid id have yet ANOTHER version in their codec, within the project folder somewhere?
Also I work in an office with another editor in another room, and our current workflow is that we have all of our projects on a RAID connected to the network. This means we can both access it, even if we only need to look at an offline sequence. All of the scratch is on a whole bunch of hard drives. This means we can throw hard drives at each other, and if one is broken/ lost in a fire, we have backups of the footage in tape format or on other archive drives, but the projects will always be safe because the RAID is very secure. However the RAID is not big enough to store AVID projects, with all of the media in them- which from the tutorials Ive seen is how AVID stores/organises for you.
Ive started the tutorials which are on here somewhere, but need answers to the above quicker because we are going to start client work with AVID very soon, but I need to know if it's definitely the best tool for our workflow.
Thanks in advance!
[Thomas Morter-Laing] "So my question is, is there a way to use Avdi in a similar manner to FCP7 regarding external footage, ie without having to transcode it to AVID's native format every time I want to edit something?"
AMA - Avid Media Access. Avid marketing says you can use it to work just like you did with FCP (it accesses the footage directly where it lies, without converting it to Avid's native .mxf format), but it's not the most reliable. For P2 footage and XDCam I've worked entire projects with AMA and had no issues. For stuff like Quicktime files (from the Alexa, for example), Red footage, .h264 from DSLR, etc...I recommend you AMA the footage in, sort it and pull the selects you need then consolidate/transcode. Avid is much happier this way and working with the software is a much more pleasurable experience (faster response, no losing links to media, etc...). You'll need to install the AMA plugins though. I believe you can go to Help -->AMA Plugins within Avid and it will take you to the download page. Might be under a different menu heading - not in front of a system right now.
[Thomas Morter-Laing] "However the RAID is not big enough to store AVID projects, with all of the media in them- which from the tutorials Ive seen is how AVID stores/organises for you. "
You can definitely store your projects on your RAID and your media on external drives. When you start a new Avid project, click External in the project window, then click the Folder icon across the top. Navigate to the RAID and pick where to save the Avid project. When you're importing/transcoding footage just be sure to check your external drive to put the media on. It will be put in a numbered folder within this folder structure:
All Avid media goes in a numbered folder in that structure, and always at the root of the drive. You can also hit Cmd+5 (Mac) or Ctrl+5 (PC) and set your media creation settings to always go to the external drive so you don't accidentally put media on your central RAID.
That said, if you do end up putting media on the RAID just open the Avid MediaFiles/MXF/[numbered folder] and copy the media in it to your Avid MediaFiles/MXF/[numbered folder] on your external. Plug the external into your system, Avid scans and relinks and you go back to work.
Hope this helps. Let us know if you have more questions.
An important thing to realize is that you will have to 'pay up' at some point. Either you have quick access to footage without transcoding, or you have fast renders and exports. Avid MC allows you a choice. Either AMA for direct access (may require fast CPU and drives), or transcode immediately after access. Flexibility is key.