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Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???

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Soren Balle
Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Feb 22, 2013 at 1:34:55 pm

So, we've been shooting hours and hours of footage on the Alexa, ProRes 4:4:4 setting. The original plan was to convert to ProRes LT, edit in FCP, then reconnect to the 4:4:4 within FCP, and export a full-ress online for grading...

BUT: The editor, recently hired, now refuses to edit in FCP, and will only work in AVID. Fine, he gets his way - but only now are we realizing how this drastically changes our workflow.

We have been doing a few tests of the new workflow, but no succes yet. So far we've tried:

1) Importing the ProRes444 directly in AVID via AMA. Then transcoding to DNxHD36, and relinking back to the QT ProRes for output. BUT; It seems unstable, all converting must be done within AVID, and sometimes the footage will not relink back to the High-Res !!

2) Converting from ProRes to DNxHD36 in QT-wrapper via 3rd party app. Fast import in AVID. Then outputting an EDL CMX3600. Open FCP, import EDL and reconnect media! BUT; For some reason AVID misses the reel-metadata when fastimporting DNxHD36 in a QT-wrapper. Thus; FCP will not automatically reconnect to high-res files, since there is a reel-mismatch. It could be done manually file-by-file, but for at 90 min. tv-show, this is a lengthy process!!

We are pretty much out of ideas just now!! Any help on any stable reliable workaround really appreciated!!

Is there any way to make AVID import the reel-meta-data from the QT-files? Or other ways to online this beast?

Thx!!


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Mark Spano
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Feb 22, 2013 at 7:26:08 pm

Do you have to go back to FCP for any real reason? Are you grading in FCP? Otherwise I don't understand going back to FCP. You can offline in Avid (as in your option 1: AMA link to ProRes 4x4, transcode to offline res) and don't even bother relinking to high res. Once offline cut is done, export AAF of sequence from Avid and supply AAF and original source footage to color grading. File names and TC match, color grade can assemble the cut with the 4x4 footage using the AAF and grade away.

If you insist on going back to FCP, you can probably do the same AAF export of sequence from Avid, then use Pro Import FCP (Automatic Duck) to import AAF into FCP, and relink to 4x4 footage.



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Pat Horridge
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Feb 23, 2013 at 10:06:22 am

Your option 1 should work. you do want to have the current MC version 6.5.2 for the best results but this is a known and used workflow that the finishing post house should be able to manage.
You can also add additional metadata to each batch of imports of course.

Pat Horridge
Technical Director, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
VET
Production Editing Digital Media Design DVD
T +44 (0)20 7505 4701 | F +44 (0)20 7505 4800 | E pat@vet.co.uk |
http://www.vet.co.uk | Lux Building 2-4 Hoxton Square London N1 6US


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Michael Phillips
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Feb 23, 2013 at 2:34:32 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that Avid Media Composer AMA to Alexa created ProRes does not read the REEL from the QuickTime header which is what FCP wants to use. If you are getting the complete files from the shoot, there is an ALE that is created by the camera that has that information in it. That ALE file can be merged into the master clips created by AMA to get that information into the bin. If you don't have access to the ALE file any longer, then you can use "MetaCheater" still available via a google search to create an ALE that extracts the REEL info and do the same merge process.

I hope Avid will one day allow REEL extraction via AMA to Alexa ProRes to eliminate a lot of these relink issues.


Michael


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Sean Bale
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Feb 23, 2013 at 5:38:36 pm

Thx for the replies...

1) Any real reason to go back to FCP?
Well, I see your point. The only real reason is, that we made a deal with the post-house, that we would deliver a 4:4:4 ProRes file ready for grading - no need for them to online. And since we were planning on doing this from FCP, this was an easy deal. Now with AVID involved it is getting complicated...


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Michael Phillips
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Feb 23, 2013 at 6:36:18 pm

You can still deliver a ProRes 444 file from Media Composer. It's no less complex - the only complexity added is trying to go back to FCP just to deliver ProRes.

Michael


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Sean Bale
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:45:49 pm

Thx for the replies again - we're getting a little closer to a solution :)

We have abandoned FCP completely, decided on offline in AVID, exporting an EDL or AAF, letting the post-house do the online...

Still, we would like to convert all the prores.mov material ON SET to DNxHD36.mxf. The thing is, we're away on a shoot for 8 weeks, and would like to return home, and be ready to edit straight away...

And, we dont have an AVID setup with us.

Is there any 3rd party apps, that does this? Easy to convert prores.mov to dnxhd36.mov - but preferably we would like to have all the material in MXF...


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Michael Phillips
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Feb 27, 2013 at 3:43:34 pm

I would look to Resolve as your dailies prep station while on the road. It can apply a LUT to 709 should the sources require one, and create native MXF/DNxHD of any flavor. It can also sync double system sound, but I still prefer syncing directly in Media Composer. I would suggest in setting REEL ID to select: "use filename".

Take a look at this whitepaper from Avid which includes ProRes and Resolve workflows. Here is the direct link as finding it on the Avid website directly is near impossible:

http://www.avid.com/static/resources/documents/whitepapers/digital_camera/d...



Michael


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Sean Bale
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Mar 1, 2013 at 5:32:54 pm

Thx Michael!! This seems like the sure-thing way of doing this workflow... especially since AVID themselves recommend it as an option in the white paper (although I dont get why MetaFuze is PC-only)

Could you direct me to a tutorial on batch-converting thru Resolve ? (Google hasnt been much help)

And why would you recommend using the filename as the reel-id? Are you talking about in the Alexa-settings? Or in the transcoding?

Sean.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Mar 1, 2013 at 6:12:59 pm

If you want to conform back in Media Composer to the original ProRes files via AMA which will work fine, AMA uses the filename as seen at the directly level. That is why you want to use that in Resolve during the transcode portion. Alexa ProRes also offers an embedded REEL ID in the QuickTime header that is an 8 character subset of the filename. AMA does not pull that out when accessing, so conform becomes problematic. So filename works well for everyone.

MetaFuze is PC only because it is the import section of Avid DS broken out as a standalone. Avid DS is a PC only product. There are only very special cases where I see using MetaFuze anymore compared to a Resolve which gives you so much more control over image, REEL ID, and additional metadata via an ALE export.

For starters, I would look at the Resolve User Guide. It is very well written. I have seen some Resolve dailies videos online, but they all skip the ever so important REEL ID and when I look closely at the screen, I see REEL ID's that don't match anything which will cause trouble downstream.

The guide will walk you through it, once you do it, it is very easy, repeatable, and streamlined.


Michael


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Sean Bale
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Mar 1, 2013 at 6:40:41 pm

Thx again!

One last thing - I just stumbled upon an article about Sorenson Squeeze, where the new version has integrated AVID conversions - letting your convert all formats straight to dnxhd.mxf ... it seems like a much simpler method.

Do you have any experience with this? Does it keep all the metadata intact?


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Michael Phillips
Re: Workflow: ALEXA PRORES -> AVID OFFLINE -> FCP ONLINE ???
on Mar 1, 2013 at 6:58:04 pm

I haven't tried it, so my answers may be wrong but... I don't believe you can apply LUTS, nor does it export any additional metadata such as scene, take, and additional user entries. It appears to me that it is only a essence (video file) to DNxHD encoder/transcoder. So if your input file is anything but Rec.709 422, then you are out of luck. In your scenario, I suspect it will be a 444 with LogC.

From a "dailies" perspective, it does not have in addition to the aforementioned, has the ability to sync audio, color correction, deal with RAW formats, assign REEL ID other than file name, etc. You can also work with CDL color correct values to pass along what those color decisions were downstream should they be needed.

Sorenson: $899
Resolve: free


Sorenson has its place, but at this time in my opinion would be for specific workflows as "dailies" such as Canon 5D, etc. Even though Resolve handles that just as easily and you can use the CineStyle LUT if used.


Michael


Michael


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