Checking workflow options
I wanted to be certain before I started editing I had the right workflow down to upres later on.
Using Symphony 6.0, I'll be ama'ing Canon files by volume, creating bins based off of the folder names. The reason this is important is that the footage was taken over a period of 2 months and I would like to have everything chronologically in the same order as the folders are named. I'll create another bin to add in subclips. After renaming the subclips to my naming convention, I'll transcode the subclip files to a low res MXF file for offline edit.
Transcoding creates 2 files: a master file with the .new extension, as well as a subclip with the .new extension. I found that the .new subclip links back to the .new master clip.
Later on, I shouldn't have trouble linking this back to the canon raw, correct?
I just finished a project very much like this. I'll outline what I did - it's similar to what you did but I didn't subclip then transcode. Here's my workflow:
I had source footage from a 7 day event. It was all from DSLRs - a mix of 29.97 and 23.976 footage. There is no reel name or timecode on these DSLR files, either, so I fixed that first. Note, the Canon MarkIII does record timecode now, but these files were from 7D and 5DMkII.
First thing I did was use QTChange (buy it - it's awesome. http://www.videotoolshed.com/product/42/qtchange) to add a reel name and timecode to each of the files on a per folder basis, setting the reel name to be the source file, and generated an ALE. Opened the ALE in a text editor and changed the "Reel" heading to "Source File". This way I could merge the ALE with the transcoded clips from AMA. It also allowed me to add comments to the clips while they were transcoding - see two paragraphs down for that workfow.
Second thing I did was AMA each folder of footage into its own bin, like you're thinking of doing. I transcoded every shot to XDCam 17.5mbps. I did this because it was such a small file I could just bring everything in and need very little disk space.
Since I had about 40 hours of source footage to transcode I let Avid run the transcodes in the background and previewed the DSLR footage through Finder (I'm on a Mac). Since I was AMAing and transcoding on a folder by folder basis, and had generated an ALE for each folder's clips, I was able to open the ALE in a text editor and add comments as I previewed the videos. To do this, open the ALE and go to the headings across the top, hit Tab after the last one and type "Comments" without the " marks. Now go to the first clip, end of the row, and hit tab. Preview the movie in finder, type notes in the text editor. Preview the next movie, go to the end of the second clip's row and hit tab, type notes. Rinse, repeat. Save when done, and when the transcode complete just select all of the transcoded clips, import and merge the ALE and the comments column will populate. Saved me several days by being able to create comments while the transcodes were going on.
In addition, adding custom names and keywords to the Comments column kept the clip name of the transcoded file the same as the AMA clip name (and merging the ALE to the transcoded clips removed the annoying .new tag). This was nice because the transcode name always matched the AMA clip names. This may not have been important but made it very easy to track that clips relinked properly to the AMA clips at the end.
Once all the footage was transcoded I took all of the transcoded clips and sorted them into their own bins so I wouldn't have to deal with the AMA relinking all the time (I guess I could have just turned AMA off, but didn't think about it then). Made subclips off the transcodes when needed. Edited with the transcodes, locked the edit, then made a new bin where I just AMA'd all the original source footage back into it (this took a while but I found it easier/faster than opening each bin separately). Went to my my media drive and changed the Avid MediaFiles folder to xAvid MediaFiles to throw everything offline. Duplicated my sequence, selected all the AMA clips and my duplicated sequence (added AMA to the end of the sequence name to keep it clear what it was linked to) and chose Relink. I believe my settings were to relink to selected clips, allow to relink to AMA files or something. This was about a month ago and I'm going off memory on these exact settings. Everything relinked to the AMA clips.
Transcoded the AMA sequence to full quality DNxHD (I believe I did 175x). Now I had a locked edit at DNxHD, ready to take to Resolve or grade in Symphony. Only issue I had was one file relinked to the wrong AMA clip - not entirely sure why, but I think both clips had the same name and timecode. Was an easy fix - just load the AMA clip into the source and overwrite the one that relinked wrong.
That was my workflow and I had no issues other than one file not linking properly, and because XDCam 17.5mpbs is so incredibly lightweight and small it made editing fast, smooth, and took up very little space.
You may be able to subclip, transcode that and relink but I haven't tried it. I don't know if the Master clip will relink to the AMA clips but the subclip might. I'd either bring it all in as full clips or test, test, test to make sure it works.
That was my workflow, and the project I finished sounds very similar to yours. Hopefully this helps.
Thanks for this Michael.
I did some tests myself. AMA'ing the subclips just doesn't seem to work for Symphony 6.0, when it comes to relinking. I will look into using some of your methods there. And yes, I do have QTChange. The files are Mark 3 so they have TC, but changing the tape/reel name would help a lot too.