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AMA vs IMPORT

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Danielle Warren
AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 24, 2013 at 11:00:10 pm

Hi all,
Despite reading and watching tutorials about ways to get media into MC, I'm still having trouble understanding the difference between AMA and Import.

I come from a FCP background where you can simply drag and drop any media you want right into your browser. Not having that capability is frustrating to say the least.

But back to the main problem. I think I understand that with import, you're essentially transcoding whatever footage you are bringing into MC. And with AMA, you're 'linking' to that media, but not creating a new piece of media (a la transcoding in Compressor first). Is that about right?

I guess where I get confused is why you would use one and not the other. And when it comes to transcoding for MC, what exactly is the best format?

For example, whatever media I am given, whether it be low-res QTs, or files from a C300, I always immediately just transcode to Prores 422. This is the easy, universal codec to use in FCP. What would be the equivalent in MC?

Right now, I wanted to start a project to play around with, so I just ripped a DVD I had to get some footage onto my system. It is 640x480, h264, 30fps, AAC 44.1. Not hi quality I know, but it was just to get something on there.

So what do I do with it? Is is best to use AMA and link to the source file on my drive? Or import and create another new piece of media? Transcode it as something?

I know this is slightly long winded, but I hope my questions are clear! I feel like I can't move forward in my process without first knowing and understanding exactly how to bring media in and what kind of media that should be.

Thanks everyone!


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Ryan Jensen
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:12:49 am

I also came from a FCP background, so I can understand your initial frustration. But the longer I've been in Avid, the more I appreciate the manner it does things.

First off, the import function does what you say - imports and transcodes the footage to the corresponding Avid codecs (DNxHD, 1:1 SD, etc). Then you would edit the footage from there.

The great thing about AMA is that it operate much like what you are used to in FCP. But instead "dragging and dropping" into your project, you "link-to" your media. You can then edit with the media right there, then transcode on the back-end. It's essentially the reverse of import.

Import: Transcode first, then edit
AMA: Edit first, then transcode

You can also just transcode in the media that you used. Say you only used the first 10 seconds of a 2 minute piece, you can set the transcode function to only bring in that first 10 seconds (and add handles to it if you like).

The equivalent codec to ProRes is DNxHD. There are different flavors of this, such as DNxHD 145, 220, or 220x. The numbers have to do data rates of the codecs.

You may be also wondering why you have to transcode at all - FCP or even Adobe Premiere allows you to just "drag and drop" like you said. But having a standardized codec within Avid prevents you from constantly rendering, it's an industry-standard codec and frame rates, and improves overall stability. If you are in a multi-user environment, also helps with dealing with bandwidth without any loss of visual quality.

As far as importing your test footage, you could try it both ways, import and AMA, to see the difference. When using AMA, once your finished you can right-click on the sequence and select "Consolidate/Transcode." Select transcode and whatever Avid codec you need. With something small like 640x480, your probably looking at SD codecs (1:1 is uncompressed, 3:1 is more, 9:1 is even more, etc). I'm not really sure though - haven't edited much with 640x480 footage.

Hopefully that helps!


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 2:06:02 am

OK...I need to clear a couple things up:

[Ryan Jensen] "The great thing about AMA is that it operate much like what you are used to in FCP. But instead "dragging and dropping" into your project, you "link-to" your media. You can then edit with the media right there, then transcode on the back-end. It's essentially the reverse of import."

While you "can" link via AMA and essentially start editing...it isn't wise to. Avid isn't designed to work with media natively, not in the way Adobe Premiere is. No, AMA is a way to ACCESS the media...you then need to transcode to DNxHD before you edit. You can then relink to the AMA footage later if you need to...say if you transcoded to an offline editing codec and now want to online. But no...never edit natively with Avid. It doesn't do it well.

As far as "dragging and dropping" in FCP...no, that was unwise too. Also something you didn't do, unless the footage was already in an FCP codec like ProRes. FCP, like Avid, requires that you convert the footage to an edit friendly codec. Where FCP has Log and Transfer, Avid has AMA and Transcode.

[Ryan Jensen] "You may be also wondering why you have to transcode at all - FCP or even Adobe Premiere allows you to just "drag and drop" like you said"

No...wrong. Adobe Premiere did...yes. FCP, not really. Sure, it might work on shorter things, or might possibly work a few times. But unless the files are FCP codec...like ProRes...you will have issues.

But everything else is right.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 3:47:42 pm

Wow! I can't thank you guys enough. It's one thing to read something in a book, but it's another to ask specific questions and receive information that creates a much better understanding, which I now have thanks to these replies.

My preferred workflow (with FCP) is to organize the project materials I have on the finder level, then transcode to prores, then set up a new FCP project. I'm quite comfortable with this, and it makes the editing, exporting, and rendering so much easier throughout when everything is uniform from the start. When I said I liked to drag and drop in the project, I meant AFTER I had transcoded footage, and also bringing in things like music, SFX, and GFX is much easier that way. Because I learned to edit by first organizing at the finder level, I would drag those organized files straight into my FCP project and then things stayed organized within and outside FCP. I'd like to essentially keep the same workflow as it's very quick for me and how I like to work for the things I edit.

So as I now understand it, it would be best to "import" rather than link to AMA even if that takes longer to start. It sounds like what I've been doing anyway, but the transcode now takes place within Avid as opposed to something like Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder. Or can you use those as well for the Avid preferred format, DNxHD ?

Thanks again fellas, it is much appreciated! I have been using FCP since 2001 and am struggling to adapt to Avid. But trying to understand one piece at a time. I know many people say try to forget what you've learned and approach it totally new, but that's not really that easy when you've learned and spent hours upon hours on another NLE system. But I'm getting there! This was actually a huge piece I was missing an understanding about.


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Neil Goodman
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 5:08:16 pm

i would actually link to AMA the files. Then transcode and edit with the newly transcoded files. Alot faster than legacy import, same resul, and legacy import has been known to change gamma on some quicktime files, especially prores.

Neil Goodman: Editor of New Media Production - NBC/Universal


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:22:27 pm

Hi Neil,
Not sure I follow you. I thought linking to AMA meant not transcoding before you start? So why would you link to AMA, then transcode and edit? Thought the whole purpose of AMA was to start editing and transcode later.


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:28:59 pm

[Danielle Warren] " I thought linking to AMA meant not transcoding before you start?"

Linking via AMA means pointing Avid to the media where it exists. From there you can view and pick and choose what you want to transcode...or transcode everything. It is a way for Avid to track where your originals are. But you really must transcode before you edit.

[Danielle Warren] "Thought the whole purpose of AMA was to start editing and transcode later."

No. Avid is hard pressed to work with footage natively. It's not designed to do that. That above statement is how Premiere Pro works. Edit native, transcode the final output. Avid needs the media to be transcoded to Avid media, and put into the Avid file format, in order to track it properly, organize it...work with it efficiently. Accessing via AMA and editing native needs to be avoided.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:34:16 pm

Ok I'm lost again!

"From there you can view and pick and choose what you want to transcode...or transcode everything. It is a way for Avid to track where your originals are. But you really must transcode before you edit."

So if you need to transcode before editing, which is what I want to do, how does that work with AMA? How do you pick and choose what you want to transcode?

Because here you then say "Accessing via AMA and editing native needs to be avoided." But you're saying you should link via AMA? I'm definitely confused now.

All I want is to keep my workflow the same as I do now, which is transcode the footage, then bring into Avid to work with it. How is it best to do that?


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:48:31 pm

[Danielle Warren] "
So if you need to transcode before editing, which is what I want to do, how does that work with AMA? How do you pick and choose what you want to transcode?"


AMA will put all of the clips into a bin. Call this the AMA BIN for the given media (I organize this by card name, or reel). Highlight all the footage you want transcoded...then go CLIP>TRANSCODE. Or, if you want to make selection...only parts of clips...then put what you want in a sequence and transcode the clips in the sequence. Put the newly transcoded clips in a new master bin.

[Danielle Warren] "Because here you then say "Accessing via AMA and editing native needs to be avoided." But you're saying you should link via AMA? I'm definitely confused now."

What I mean is...don't us AMA to bring in the footage...and then start editing those clips BEFORE you transcode. When you link via AMA, you are pointing the Avid to the clips where they exist, and they are in their native codec. Avid has a tough time tracking footage that isn't where it wants it, and when it doesn't have a database file to associate with it. I'm saying, DO NOT just do AMA...then start editing. YOu AMA...TRANSCODE...then start editing with the transcoded media.

[Danielle Warren] "
All I want is to keep my workflow the same as I do now, which is transcode the footage, then bring into Avid to work with it. How is it best to do that?"


DOn't use Avid. Use Adobe Premiere. Avid doesn't work the way you are used to working.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:52:58 pm

"AMA will put all of the clips into a bin. Call this the AMA BIN for the given media (I organize this by card name, or reel). Highlight all the footage you want transcoded...then go CLIP>TRANSCODE. Or, if you want to make selection...only parts of clips...then put what you want in a sequence and transcode the clips in the sequence. Put the newly transcoded clips in a new master bin."

Besides being able to grab parts of clips that you want transcoded, I'm still not understanding how this is different to Import, which I thought brings the footage in and transcodes it immediately. What is the difference?

All I want to do is work with what is transcoded already. So is that better to do with import or AMA?


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:59:09 pm

[Danielle Warren] "All I want to do is work with what is transcoded already. So is that better to do with import or AMA?"

Transcoded with what? Into what format? Are they MXF files in the Avid media format? Or say DNxHD Quicktime files? Or ProRes files?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 7:10:39 pm

"[Danielle Warren] "All I want to do is work with what is transcoded already. So is that better to do with import or AMA?"

Transcoded with what? Into what format? Are they MXF files in the Avid media format? Or say DNxHD Quicktime files? Or ProRes files?"

I don't know! You're supposed to tell me!

I have some QT files for a project. I want to work with them in Avid. What is the best way to get those files (whatever format they are other than Avid media) into Avid and work? They could be Prores files, h264, camera specific files, whatever. How do I bring them into Avid and work with them, transcoded and ready to go?

"AMA is Avid's way of tracking where the masters are. So if you ever wanted to reconnect to them, you could easily. This is done if people want to edit in an offline, low res, low space requirement, format. Then relink to the masters later. Or, if they work with say RED which was shot 4K, and they want a 4K finish. Avid doesn't do 4K. So you bring in your footage as say DNxHD 36 for offline editing, and then output an EDL for Resolve...Resolve will link to the Red originals.

AMA is basically a form of Log and Transfer."

I always work offline, so being able to re-link stuff later is not necessary for the editing I do. Does that mean import would just be a better option than AMA?

On a side note, I thought log and transfer was just a way to transcode from raw camera files. That's all I've ever used it for.

"[Danielle Warren] "And no offense to Premiere, but I have no interest in learning another piece of software that almost no one uses, lol!"

Premiere is VERY close to the way FCP works. So close it's amazing. You can even choose teh FCP keyboard setup and be all set. People dub it "the FCP 8 we were waiting for."

I've heard that too, but I don't know anywhere that uses it so it seems a waste to use if no vendors use it. I suppose if they started to like they did with FCP years ago, maybe I'd look into it. But everyone tells me Avid needs to be learned.

I'm still holding out hope that Apple will wake up and go back to updating FCP 7.


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 7:32:42 pm

[Danielle Warren] "I don't know! You're supposed to tell me!"

You said: "All I want to do is work with what is transcoded already." So I asked..."how was that transcoded?" How are you doing these transcoded files that you want to bring into Avid? But I see that you are still trying to apply your old work habits to a new system that works very differently. You have to stop trying that.

Here's how it works. You shoot your fantastic footage onto your tapeless camera. You back up that tapeless media onto a hard drive. Then, you use AMA to access that media and populate a bin with all the clip. This is how you point Avid to..."hey, this is all my source media." Then you immediately transcode the footage and when you do that, set the target drive for this media...your media drive. The AMA bin will now have the original files, and a bunch that say '.new.' Take those new files, organize them into new bins. THAT is the media you will work with. Take the card backup drive offline and work with the masters.

If you want to relink to the masters when you are done...then have the bin with the cut in it open...open all of your AMA bins...connect the drive with the backup card footage...then select the sequence, choose RELINK TO AMA and it will then make a new sequence that links to the master files. ANd it knows where they are because you used AMA to point to them before you imported.

IF YOU NEVER PLAN ON RELINKING TO THE MASTERS...and just want to import and edit full res...you can set your MEDIA CREATION settings to the codec you want...point it to the media drive of your choice...and drag and drop. Avid will convert the media to the codec you chose, and move the converted media into the Avid file structure.

[Danielle Warren] "I've heard that too, but I don't know anywhere that uses it so it seems a waste to use if no vendors use it. I suppose if they started to like they did with FCP years ago, maybe I'd look into it. But everyone tells me Avid needs to be learned."

At the last LAFCPUG meeting here in LA, all the questions we got for the tech support section were Adobe PPro related. It's being used on small side projects just like FCP started out. It's coming. But yes, if you work in LA, you need to learn Avid. BUT, if you just have clients who want a finished product...it doesn't matter what you use to edit it. IT only matters when employers dictate what you need to edit on, or if networks want project files from the show.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 7:52:23 pm

I think this is why this is so confusing. I'm used to doing and understanding things one way and this just makes no sense to me. But I'm trying. I appreciate your explanations and I'm sorry I'm just not understanding very well.

"Here's how it works. You shoot your fantastic footage onto your tapeless camera. You back up that tapeless media onto a hard drive. Then, you use AMA to access that media and populate a bin with all the clip. This is how you point Avid to..."hey, this is all my source media." Then you immediately transcode the footage and when you do that, set the target drive for this media...your media drive. The AMA bin will now have the original files, and a bunch that say '.new.' Take those new files, organize them into new bins. THAT is the media you will work with. Take the card backup drive offline and work with the masters."

That's fine, I definitely understand that. But then didn't someone else say that when you work this way, you can't export?

"If you want to relink to the masters when you are done...then have the bin with the cut in it open...open all of your AMA bins...connect the drive with the backup card footage...then select the sequence, choose RELINK TO AMA and it will then make a new sequence that links to the master files. ANd it knows where they are because you used AMA to point to them before you imported."

This is good to know, but I never re-link anything. So hopefully I won't have to worry about that.

"IF YOU NEVER PLAN ON RELINKING TO THE MASTERS...and just want to import and edit full res...you can set your MEDIA CREATION settings to the codec you want...point it to the media drive of your choice...and drag and drop. Avid will convert the media to the codec you chose, and move the converted media into the Avid file structure. "

So you're saying to use import here, correct? As I won't be needing to re-link anything. And when I say I don't know what codec I want, it's because I thought Avid has specific ones you need to use. The MXF and the other one. So why would you choose another codec in the settings?

And again, I just don't understand the difference between using AMA and importing. I wish it was a really simple answer, but I'm still having trouble understand the core difference between them when they both transcode.

"At the last LAFCPUG meeting here in LA, all the questions we got for the tech support section were Adobe PPro related. It's being used on small side projects just like FCP started out. It's coming. But yes, if you work in LA, you need to learn Avid. BUT, if you just have clients who want a finished product...it doesn't matter what you use to edit it. IT only matters when employers dictate what you need to edit on, or if networks want project files from the show."

I'm from LA, but live and work in NY now. I do work on projects on my own system, but also at different companies, so I'd want to learn something that is more universal. So far, I don't know anyone who uses FCP that's making the switch to Premiere. Seems most want to eventually go back to Avid. Having to learn Avid is a time consuming headache all on it's own, I don't know if I can possibly even think about trying to learn another piece of software just yet!

BTW, to give some background, I am a trailer/commercial editor. I never work in online, and everything I work on is short form. THis is why the ease and simplicity of FCP has been the best choice for trailer houses. There is no need for certain things that Avid offers, and for me, it just overcomplicates what I am trying to do because I'm not cutting features or shows, or doing any of the finishing myself. Does that help to understand why I'm not really understanding this stuff? If not, then I'll admit I'm just thick!

Thanks again for your patience. I really appreciate it.


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:48:14 pm

[Danielle Warren] "That's fine, I definitely understand that. But then didn't someone else say that when you work this way, you can't export?"

No. If you access the footage via AMA...and EDIT that AMA footage, without transcoding...THEN is when you get the issues exporting. You can't export reference files and the like. You'd have to do a video mixdown or transcode before you exported. And it really just slows the system down...depending on the footage type.

Some camera formats produce Avid native files. The Canon C300, for example, shoots to an MXF format that is XDCAM. No transcoding necessary. But, I still CONSOLIDATE, which means COPY, from the card backup to my media drive. Because I don't want to work from my camera masters, and I want the footage to be in the Avid file structure that it craves. It takes less time, as I am just copying from one location to another. BUT, because it is XDCAM and a GOP format, I cannot export a reference QT either. It has to be DNxHD for that...so I tend to do a video mixdown...which makes a single QT file of the sequence in the DnxHD format for output only.

[Danielle Warren] "So you're saying to use import here, correct? As I won't be needing to re-link anything. And when I say I don't know what codec I want, it's because I thought Avid has specific ones you need to use. The MXF and the other one. So why would you choose another codec in the settings?"

If you are planning on working full res only...importing is better for that, yes. And Avid does have specific codecs, like FCP did. ProRes 422 is akin to say DNxHD 145...and ProRes HQ is akin to DNxHD 220. There's a full sheet of options...lemme see if I can put a photo up here for you to see. It's pretty darn helpful. Shows all the codecs available for the given frame sizes.

[Danielle Warren] "And again, I just don't understand the difference between using AMA and importing. I wish it was a really simple answer, but I'm still having trouble understand the core difference between them when they both transcode."

TRACKING the footage. That's the main diff. If you plan on working full res only...feel free to import. It's faster. If you plan on every relinking to the original source media for any reason...use AMA. AND...there are some formats that you cannot simply import, like AVCHD. You MUST use AMA to connect to the card. It won't directly import the .MTS format.

[Danielle Warren] "
BTW, to give some background, I am a trailer/commercial editor. I never work in online, and everything I work on is short form. THis is why the ease and simplicity of FCP has been the best choice for trailer houses. There is no need for certain things that Avid offers, and for me, it just overcomplicates what I am trying to do because I'm not cutting features or shows, or doing any of the finishing myself. Does that help to understand why I'm not really understanding this stuff? If not, then I'll admit I'm just thick!"


No...this makes sense. This is one of the big reasons FCP was used heavily in commercial and trailer houses...it was the better choice. It was a lot easier than Avid. Avid is build with features and long form in mind. FCP did make in-roads there, and became great. Heck, many places still use FCP because it still works. I do too.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Kenneth Maultsby
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 30, 2013 at 10:07:15 am

DOn't use Avid. Use Adobe Premiere. Avid doesn't work the way you are used to working.


I have Avid and Premiere also and I was wondering the same between AMA and importing. I use a lot of AVCHD footage what our the advantages and dis-advantages in workflow between the two? I really don't have an issue about transcoding before I have to edit.


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 30, 2013 at 3:36:18 pm

As I said before, I appreciate the advice to use Premiere, but I'm not choosing Avid because that's what I want to use. I'm choosing it because most places either use it or want to start using it in the future, so I would like to learn it to continue working at these places. Trust me, I'd happily use FCP forever, but this is the reality and I think it will be a positive thing to know Avid as well.


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:02:35 pm

[Kenneth Maultsby] "I use a lot of AVCHD footage what our the advantages and dis-advantages in workflow between the two?"

Main thing is, if you want to relink to the original masters at any point in the future, it's best to use AMA to access the footage, then convert. The advantage is better relinking.

Importing, the advantage is that it is typically faster (slightly) and is better at retaining alpha channel information.

With AVCHD...you need to use AMA to access the footage, as Avid cannot "import" AVCHD's .MTS file format. That requires AMA

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:32:37 pm

Right, so I've started a new project with some footage I had lying around. It was all Prores as I had worked with it first in FCP.

I had about 12 clips all 1920x1080, some at 23.98 and some at 29.97. I set my settings to transcode/import at 1080 23.98. I used "link to AMA" to bring all the files into the Avid project. Then I selected them all and transcoded them. (I chose to convert the ones that weren't 23.98 as that's what I have in my settings. I'm assuming that's ok and the best option so all the footage is 23.98)

When it comes to those settings, I wasn't really sure what my target video resolution should be, so I just used what came up first "DNxHD 115 MXF". (Can anyone help explain the difference between all the resolutions they offer or why you would choose one over another?)

I then chose the drive I wanted to save the transcoded footage on and hit transcode. Took roughly 20 minutes.

So now my bin has the original files and all those files with the .new01 on the end. Can/should I delete the original ones from the bin and just use use the .new01 ones to edit with? It seems very cluttered, and I don't think I need the original linked files in the bin to work with, correct? But deleting them from the Avid bin won't have any effect on the original files on my drive, right?

Thanks guys! I'm getting there a bit at a time!


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Mike Jeffs
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:41:17 pm

Yes you can just delete the original AMA linked clips. It won't effect you new media or new media.

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator
BYU-Idaho


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Michael Phillips
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:44:22 pm

I just move them to their own bin and put all "AMA" bins in their own folder.

Michael


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:55:53 pm

[Danielle Warren] "(Can anyone help explain the difference between all the resolutions they offer or why you would choose one over another?)"

Some are high res...some are low res. And the ones you choose depend on the frame size and frame rate.

Here's a great mouse pad that Keycode media makes...



Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:44:38 pm

[Danielle Warren] "My preferred workflow (with FCP) is to organize the project materials I have on the finder level, then transcode to prores, then set up a new FCP project. I'm quite comfortable with this, and it makes the editing, exporting, and rendering so much easier throughout when everything is uniform from the start."

Avid doesn't work that way. Sorry. Avid needs the footage to be transcoded to DNxHD...and then IT will organize it where it wants it to go...into the Avid MediaFiles>MXF>1 folder. And it keeps a database in there to track it all. All the media organization is done inside the Avid software.

[Danielle Warren] "Because I learned to edit by first organizing at the finder level, I would drag those organized files straight into my FCP project and then things stayed organized within and outside FCP. I'd like to essentially keep the same workflow as it's very quick for me and how I like to work for the things I edit."

If you want to continue working with the above workflow, you need to explore Adobe Premiere Pro...it works like that. Use PRELUDE to transcode your footage, then organize it. Or, bring in the footage native and edit away.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:48:44 pm

"Avid doesn't work that way. Sorry. Avid needs the footage to be transcoded to DNxHD...and then IT will organize it where it wants it to go...into the Avid MediaFiles>MXF>1 folder. And it keeps a database in there to track it all. All the media organization is done inside the Avid software."

That's fine. So how do I do that? I thought I understood this but now it seems more confusing than before!

Do I just use import then? So that any files brought in can be transcoded first within avid? This is why I don't understand the purpose of AMA if everything needs to be transcoded to work properly in Avid and AMA essentially skips over that step.

And no offense to Premiere, but I have no interest in learning another piece of software that almost no one uses, lol!


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:58:49 pm

[Danielle Warren] "Do I just use import then? So that any files brought in can be transcoded first within avid? This is why I don't understand the purpose of AMA if everything needs to be transcoded to work properly in Avid and AMA essentially skips over that step."

AMA is Avid's way of tracking where the masters are. So if you ever wanted to reconnect to them, you could easily. This is done if people want to edit in an offline, low res, low space requirement, format. Then relink to the masters later. Or, if they work with say RED which was shot 4K, and they want a 4K finish. Avid doesn't do 4K. So you bring in your footage as say DNxHD 36 for offline editing, and then output an EDL for Resolve...Resolve will link to the Red originals.

AMA is basically a form of Log and Transfer.

[Danielle Warren] "And no offense to Premiere, but I have no interest in learning another piece of software that almost no one uses, lol!"

Premiere is VERY close to the way FCP works. So close it's amazing. You can even choose teh FCP keyboard setup and be all set. People dub it "the FCP 8 we were waiting for."

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Neil Goodman
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:31:54 pm

Wow i think your thinking into this too deep. Even im confused now. Lol. Import is known as a "legacy" feature. It takes forever. Thats whyvlink to AMA and then transcode is used now. Its way faster, more control, etc. The only thing i ever bring in with import is stuff with alpha channels.

Neil Goodman: Editor of New Media Production - NBC/Universal


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:36:33 pm

When to use AMA: When dealing with camera masters. Canon DSLR, AVCHD, P2, XDCAM, RED...

When to use IMPORT: When you have stand alone Quicktime files. Graphics with alphas.

How's that?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:38:56 pm

Brilliant! That is so simple and easy to remember!

And I'm sure I'm totally over thinking it, that is my unfortunate nature :)

Thank you, that's the best and easiest explanation yet!


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Bill Ravens
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 28, 2013 at 11:20:27 am

Shane has explained this at least once before, but, I think his point was missed, so I'll reiterate what he said.

Let's say you have 60 minutes of native footage in AVCHD. Now, let's say that when you're done editting, you'll only be using 20 minutes of that native footage.

So, if you import all 60 minutes to DNxHD, it will take Avid some time to import/transcode all 60 minutes.
Now, if you AMA link to the 60 minutes of native AVCHD footage, put it on your timeline and cut out everything but the 20 minutes you need, now you can transcode it to DNxHD, and the transcode time will be much shorter because it's only 20 minutes of footage instead of the original 60 minutes.

With the transcoded 20 minutes of .new footage, you can now edit and export to your hearts content.
Edit: Here's a new wrinkle. Avid is reporting that their algorithms are different depending on whether the workflow is AMA Link>Transcode or straight Import. There is a reported quality loss when Importing. Transcoding from AMA is also faster than a straight import.



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Michael Phillips
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 28, 2013 at 2:06:55 pm

Keep in mind that editing directly from a single 60 minute source clip via AMA (or any single clip longer than 10 minutes or so) can affect overall performance while editing just to get to that 20 minute timeline. This is why it is such a gray area for many users. There is a lot of different criteria that affects a transcode all before or after decision.

Michael


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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:26:57 pm

[Bill Ravens] "
Let's say you have 60 minutes of native footage in AVCHD. Now, let's say that when you're done editting, you'll only be using 20 minutes of that native footage."


I think you missed the point a little. In this description, you are editing the 60 min of AVCHD native in Avid. You need to transcode BEFORE you edit. So either transcode the full clip, or just the part you want to use.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Michael Phillips
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 26, 2013 at 5:04:04 pm

I would add any audio file, especially BWF also be imported to Shane's succinct rule of thumb.

Michael


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Danielle Warren
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 26, 2013 at 5:12:08 pm

Thanks Michael! Every little bit helps!


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Larry Asbell
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 26, 2013 at 9:12:21 pm

[Shane Ross] " When to use AMA: When dealing with camera masters. Canon DSLR, AVCHD, P2, XDCAM, RED...

When to use IMPORT: When you have stand alone Quicktime files. Graphics with alphas."


And when you have lengthy QT files from which you'll be using short segments, AMA is good?



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Shane Ross
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 27, 2013 at 4:28:28 am

[Larry Asbell] "
And when you have lengthy QT files from which you'll be using short segments, AMA is good?"


Yes.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Mike Jeffs
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Feb 1, 2013 at 4:55:35 pm

I just ran into a quirky issue

I looks like to me no matter what when you AMA link in a Clip that has stereo audio, Avid does not preserve it. It brings in the Audio as center panned mono files. even if you Consolidate or transcode

The only way I have found to preserve the true stereo audio is to do a import and in the options make sure and pair A1 and A2 as stereo

for you gurus out there is this true or did I miss something.

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator
BYU-Idaho


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Bill Ravens
Re: AMA vs IMPORT
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:00:01 am

In my workflow, I routinely output my edit session to Quicktime Reference files for use in a third party authoring or distribution application. AMA links will not export with QTRef. They must be transcoded before they can be exported via QTRef, so, there's no avoiding the transcoding process, anyway, with my workflow.



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