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Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?

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Scott Clements
Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 22, 2013 at 9:33:39 am

Hi,

I edited a project using Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid Media Composer 6.5. I would now like to make an AAF for the colourist (the colourist for the project isn't chosen yet, so don't know what system he'll be using). What would the best way of producing the AAF be? The film is about 10 minutes long.

My thought is to export an AAF with a transcode to Avid DNxHD 185x. I wish I could export an AAF that easily links to the original ProRes files, but this doesn't seem possible - Avid doesn't allow the "link to" option with AMA files. I don't think I should loose any information transcoding to the DNxHD 185x , but am not 100% sure about this. On the other side, I don't have to go 1:1 10bit, do I?

I think that the colourist could use the AAF to link up to the original ProRes files, but from my own limited experience trying to link files to an AAF in Nucoda, this can be a little tricky. Can anyone think of the best workflow for the simplest, most high quality AAF delivery? Thanks!

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 22, 2013 at 12:14:01 pm

Not all colorists will accept AAF. EDL is still the most widely accepted format, especially with those using Linux workstations. I have had success with AAF and Baselight in a similar workflow. These were the steps.

1. Edit ProRes via AMA
2. Transcode the AMA files to DNxHD and put them in a separate MXF folder
3. Export a linked AAF
4. Copy and send the MXF media and AAF to the colorist
5. He rendered back to MXF and generated a new, corresponding AAF
6. Place the new MXF media in a MediaFiles folder and import the new AAF

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Clements
Re: Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 22, 2013 at 2:50:04 pm

Thanks for the detailed breakdown of your workflow, Oliver. It's funny you mention EDL as being the most widely accepted format. I've heard a lot of people say "Who uses EDLs anymore?".

I'd like to be able to create an AAF that links directly to the original ProRes files. I figured out if I checked the 'AAF Edit Protocol' option, Avid would let me make a linked AAF. But even still I had problems relinking the AMA ProRes files to the newly created AAF. I'm not confident that the colourist wouldn't struggle with this as well.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 22, 2013 at 4:05:08 pm

[Scott Clements] "Thanks for the detailed breakdown of your workflow, Oliver. It's funny you mention EDL as being the most widely accepted format. I've heard a lot of people say "Who uses EDLs anymore?". "

The reasons EDLs are still popular is because they are easily manipulated. Often labs and transfer facilities manipulate the lists you send and it's easier to do with EDLs because these are text documents.

I would double-check with whomever is doing this for you, as they may have specific guidelines for submitting material. One issue could be the codec. For example, not all color correction systems work with ProRes or it may be an extra-added option that they may or may not have purchased.

The last outside color correction I had done was at a shop running Linux-based Resolve systems. I sent untrimmed ProRes files with a matching EDL. They in turn used the EDL to ingest the QuickTime files (trimmed only to the in-out+handles during the ingest). In that process they converted these to uncompressed DPX image sequences as the internal working files that were used for the grade.

Other shops have completely different routines. The workflow steps I listed were at a different shop running Baselight, which seems to do a better job with AAF than Resolve.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Clements
Re: Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 23, 2013 at 9:36:41 pm

Thanks for the explanation re: EDLs. Makes sense.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Michael Phillips
Re: Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 22, 2013 at 12:25:30 pm

I would try two things in this scenario. Depending on version of MC you sre using, ProRes is a native codec, so a consolidate to MXF managed media then try an AAF. Test on a short sequence.

Otherwise, try checking the "edit protocol" box on AAF export options with your linked AMA files.

Michael


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Scott Clements
Re: Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 22, 2013 at 2:53:40 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, Michael. I eventually figured out that I had to click the 'AAF Edit Protocol' option. Unfortunately, I had relinking issues afterwards though.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Michael Phillips
Re: Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 22, 2013 at 3:03:41 pm

Relinking issues such as...? Are you doing this in Resolve? One you open the AAF what do the sources say in EDL view on the conform tab? AMA uses the entire filename + extension and does not use the embedded 8 character REEL ID (I wish they would - long time feature request). But many systems default to the embedded REEL so linking will not work. If Resolve, try "use filename" or the syntax to bring in entire filename.

Michael


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Scott Clements
Re: Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 23, 2013 at 9:57:53 pm

Hi, Michael. The relinking issues were actually with Avid. After creating the AAF, I created a new Avid project, brought in the new AAF and had issues getting the original AMA linked files to connect to it. I tried every search permutation. I eventually got everything to connect through various permutations, but it was a real struggle and even still I had a PMM error once everything did connect (apologies, I can't recall the exact error name) . I'm not sure why.

I'm fairly new to Avid. I've heard many people complain about the uncertainties of working with AMA and their fears about things all of a sudden not linking. That has been my experience with Avid AMA thus far. We currently don't know who the colourist will be, so don't know what grading system will be used - most likely Nucoda though. The Nucoda does accept AAFs and I've had some limited experience linking an Avid produced AAF to Alexa ProRes files, but it was very difficult.

Perhaps an EDL is the way to go, as this is a simple cuts and dissolves project.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Michael Phillips
Re: Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 23, 2013 at 11:45:12 pm

It is not so much the file type that describes the composition - be it AAF or EDL or even XML (for other systems). It is about managing the REEL ID to be consistent from, to, and back again. Also, AMA always wants to use "Source File" for managing the source ID, and every third party creating Avid media can only use "Tape" to manage that. So knowing how to link between "Source File" and "Tape" is essential is starting off AMA. As mentioned in my previous post, Alexa ProRes also adds the 50% chance that the embedded 8 character source ID was used versus the entire filename. Once you make that consistent, it becomes more straightforward.

AMA can be a blessing or a curse. In my world off offline editorial and conform elsewhere be it for color correction or full on mastering, I tend to create dailies as a separate process and skip AMA altogether as it creates a more consistent and expected process by all applications in the process. In this scenario, I would just create the offline dailies first in Resolve to create source ID in the "Tape" field which everyone understands.


Michael


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Michael Phillips
Re: Edited ProRes 422 (HQ) via AMA in Avid - Best Method for Exporting AAF for Grading?
on Mar 22, 2013 at 3:32:25 pm

I just did a quick test with AMA link to Arri created ProRes files in Media Composer, exported V track only as AAF with Edit Protocol enabled.

In Resolve I loaded original camera files in Media Pool. See pictures for settings and rend result.

Michael


5702_screenshot20130322at11.28.04am.gif.zip

5703_screenshot20130322at11.27.18am.gif.zip


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