Hi: I'm contemplating using Media Composer for a serious project after years of working with Vegas. I'd be grateful for a couple of answers here:
1 : when using a mix of MXF and MTS is it "safer" in terms of program stability to import the files rather than to use AMA?
2 : In the past I kept multiple versions of files so that I could go back to an earlier version in an emergency: is the best way to do this in Avid to duplicate then rename the sequence or is there a better way?
[Dave Edwards] "1 : when using a mix of MXF and MTS is it "safer" in terms of program stability to import the files rather than to use AMA?"
.MTS files are highly complex. But I won't say that ALL NLE's have issues dealing with them...Adobe Premiere does, as does Vegas. Avid does not work with the format well...it's too complex for it. So it's best to convert to the format Avid was designed around...MXF.
We will see what changes MC7 has in store in terms of AMA...as new announcements were made. But currently, Avid works best with Avid media. Because it's designed to.
[Dave Edwards] "2 : In the past I kept multiple versions of files so that I could go back to an earlier version in an emergency: is the best way to do this in Avid to duplicate then rename the sequence or is there a better way?"
Still the best way that I know. I do it almost daily.
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1. That's a loaded question because YMMV depending on what formats you are trying to use. It's safer to import because that process creates new media in an Avid codec, but that will consume more time. Many editors use AMA to select footage, then import or transcode only what will be used.
2. On a big project, I always duplicate the sequence at the end of each day, add the date to the sequence name, and then drag it into a bin used only for those backups. This helps when the client decides he really likes the version of the cut you did three days ago. To protect yourself further, copy the bin file ([name of bin].avb) to removable storage such as a thumb drive.
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Thank you both very much,- very helpful.
About the .MTS container, ( with avchd codec for ex)
Imo it's a very good consumer adquisition codec but That's it.
I know that a lot of "info" is circulating over the http://www that people are grading happily with it, but it's a very bad intermediate codec for big volume because it obliges to complex calculations, wich unnecesary stress the nle, and it's a very weak codec for image manipulation, cc included.
I've been doing testing using Nuke with original .mts and the same file converted to tiff and qt jpeg2000 and it's not the same story at all.
Without talking of the madness file structure.
The convertion of course doesn't ad any datas but it stops the bleeding.
The fact that Avid is not friendly with it is not Imo a weakness but a reminder that it's
Probably better to transcode.
I'd use AMA only for mts selection and transcode the elected clips, better at the very roots
(not even edit with) so you're sure
To edit stable in 36 and conform to
A robust codec but not the mts.
One further note about your backups. I duplicate at all important junctions in the project. But just as important, and sometimes easier is to learn how to use (and properly set up) the attic.
This makes it quite easy to go back and find old versions of just about anything, whether you remembered to make a duplicate or not.
I actually had a practicum student in the other day who was playing down his timeline, and stopped it and said "this isn't right...a whole bunch of edits are missing" He had no undos available to fix the problem, so instead we went into the attic, found the last 4 auto saves that were created, and found a version of his
timeline that was accurate.
Thank you all for your assistance.
If Fred would like to send me a few thousand dollars I'll be very pleased to update my AVCHD cameras..!
I do use too AVCHD cameras. My point was not at all about the economical side; we all do our best with the budget we have.
And within each budget, there are more or less limitations, and-or
more or less complications involved.
AVCHD has clear advantages, but also known "downsides" and we can always take decisions (that not necesarly involve investment) to minimize its "weakness" within the workflow.
(IMO it's neither weak nor has downsides in the sense that this is an adquisition codec that is concived to give an optimum relation compression-performance, low-cost storage etc... and therefore meets the requirements it was engineered for).
Avid has a great range of robust codecs flavours for tasks AVCHD has not been idealy made for.
Also, not all AVCHD implementations are similar (I'm thinking of the AF100 for ex that is more robust than the GH2 for CC).
To resume, I do use AVCHD codecs, but I transcode them after review, when time isn't a concern.
PS: talking about AVCHD, today, completly by accident I falled on some GH2 footage that surprised me a lot because it was more solid in CC that what I had seen before and made a little enquiry. It was a hack all INTRA and GOP1 at 150 Mb/s. Digging a bit into the hack saga, it seems that GOP1 has very benefic effects on robustness because each frame is fully rendered avoiding too much compression artifacts in the frames that are grouped (GOP3,6 etc...). I tried one on Scandisk Extreme 30MB/s and no freeze, perfectly stable in 24 and 25p. I think it's called something like "Cluster Moon V5".
But in the end, GOP1 goes "against" the philosophy of AVCHD, and intra needs at least 100Mb/s to render correctly. So it's like this hack is in a way saying to the camera: "you're not AVCHD any longuer", but it works and totally free.