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RED AMA->DNXHD transcoding workflow for passing to Resolve with no issues

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Roger Bolton
RED AMA->DNXHD transcoding workflow for passing to Resolve with no issues
on Nov 30, 2012 at 12:09:03 am

Hi, I'm just researching the best workflow for an upcoming job. We are going to edit in Media Composer, grade in Resolve, then finish in Smoke.

I did a test yesterday taking in R3D files via the AMA plugin, then transcoding to offline codec in the same framerate (tried a variety of different codecs). I'm duplicating the links to the redfiles to a new bin, doing the transcode, then using "relink" to link to the new lowers media as shown in this video:


Then did a simple cuts only single layer edit, then exported an AAF file with "link to media" ticked.

In Resolve then load the AAF with "link to camera files" ticked, some of the clips then had a "timecode extents do not match" error and they refused to re-link. After googling this issue, people suggest its to do with the specific way you transcode in Avid. I'm not an avid guy (I'm the online editor and will be doing the grade).

Anyone got tips on the best way to setup the avid project and do the transcoding inside Avid in order to avoid this? I would think all transcoded clips should have same metadata and timecode as originals especially if they are transcoded to same framerate.

Thanks

-
CoreMelt V2 plugins


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Michael Phillips
Re: RED AMA->DNXHD transcoding workflow for passing to Resolve with no issues
on Nov 30, 2012 at 1:48:53 pm

First of all, there is no real need to relink the transcode clip. Just edit with the ,new clips. AMA link, transcode, and edit with the .new.

In this scenario, the issue may be related to the fact that AMA puts the full filename (+_001 for spanned files) as the source name into a column called "Source File". That is what is used for REEL ID. When sending the AAF, it has the entire filename which won't match what it sees as REEL ID as it probably only uses the 16 characters without the spanned file extension (_001). It's something I wish Avid would address when AMA'ing to R3D file. That being said, try the following in your case:

Export an EDL instead of AAF. in EDL Manager select the File_16 character template. This will truncate the last extension looking like what Resolve expects for REEL ID. This should relink to camera masters.

Also, transcode for transcode. lost AMA in your workflow. Just export native MXF?DNxHD directly from Redcine X Pro and it will have proper REEL ID as expected by every application that uses the RED SDK for R3D support.

Export from Redcine X gives you three things for every batch process:

1. Folder of MXF files
2. Folder of AAF files
3. 1 ALE file

Copy/move contents of MXF folder to the Avid MediaFiles/MXF/1 (or any other numbered folder in there. Launch Media Composer, in your bin, import all the AAF files or drag and drop. This will create instant link to media. Start editing. Optionally you can import and merge the ALE file to the master clips. Here is a an overview whitepaper from Avid on working with Digital Cinema Cameras: http://www.avid.com/static/resources/documents/whitepapers/digital_camera/d...

Also check out video on http://www.avid.com/red for some more detailed workflow.

Michael


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Roger Bolton
Re: RED AMA->DNXHD transcoding workflow for passing to Resolve with no issues
on Nov 30, 2012 at 5:06:25 pm

thanks very much, ok will try that workflow of spitting out DNxHD directly from Redcine. sounds simpler

I did try using prores lt 720p proxies from Redcine into Avid... no luck, avid was changing the timecodes when converting the quicktime files into media composer and resolve spat out "timecode extents does not match" on every single clip when I exported an AAF.

we need prores proxies for other uses anyway, wish avid could work from those, but it seems its not to be so I need to batch both a prores 720p lt and an MXF from each R3D file.

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Michael Phillips
Re: RED AMA->DNXHD transcoding workflow for passing to Resolve with no issues
on Nov 30, 2012 at 5:36:49 pm

NTSC and 720p formats as defined by SMPTE officially have timecode of 30fps and 25fps. 24fps is "manufactured" via the addition or removal of pulldown. Since Media Composer adheres to these standards, as it is designed to fit into a broadcast delivert workflow, you will see the 30fps timecode equivalent of 24fps in NTSC 23.976 and 720p/23.976 projects. The actual 24fps timecode can be tracked in the TC24 column and takes into consideration the 2:3 pulldown cadence relationship in the starting frame of the clip.

You are far better served to work with 1080p as there is a true 24fps timecode for that (again as defined by SMPTE) and the START timecode column properly reflects that. SInce you are only using DNxHD as a proxy, DNxHD 36 is a smaller file size and data rate compared to 720p, looks almost as good, and all timecodes match up frame for frame.

The whitepaper link I sent you has a section of why you want to stay away from 720p as well.

Why do you need ProRes? For dailies viewing? If so, DNxHD codecs are free to download for both Mac and PC and do not have the same PC limitations as ProRes, and you can just send QT wrapped DNxHD out as needed.

Michael


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