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Affordable External Drive for Avid Work?

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Benjamin Gadberry
Affordable External Drive for Avid Work?
on Sep 13, 2013 at 3:03:38 pm

Greetings folks,

I am a student filmmaker who is looking to learn Avid. I generally edit using Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro, but many pros use Avid and I want to know that suite as well. I purchased the student edition, but have come up against a problem. I need to purchase an external drive to edit with.

I have a new Macbook Pro Retina that can handle Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc well.

The question is whether a portable drive like the one below can handle Avid Editing or not:

http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Portable-External-Storage-WDBY8L0020BBK-NESN...


I like these drives because they are small, portable, and don't have an external power cable. Could a drive like this handle Avid editing? What about Avid editing of AMA footage from a Canon DSLR?

Much thanks,

-ben

-Benjamin Gadberry Productions

http://bengadberryproductions.tumblr.com/


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Shane Ross
Re: Affordable External Drive for Avid Work?
on Sep 13, 2013 at 4:27:43 pm

A USB 3 drive should work fine...but bus powered means that the drives are slow (5400 RPM), and it is best to have 7200RPM...BUT, I have edited DNxHD 145 and 175 footage from portable, USB 3 drives just fine.

And you really should transcode that footage. Avid isn't strong when it comes to editing DSLR footage accessed via AMA. AMA to access it, but then transcode to DNxHD 145.

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


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Benjamin Gadberry
Re: Affordable External Drive for Avid Work?
on Sep 13, 2013 at 4:56:05 pm

Thanks Shane! I'm new to Avid but need to learn the workflow...with Premiere it is almost too easy for DSLRs. The H.264 files coming off of the Canon DSLR can be imported directly into Premiere and you don't have to copy the files.

I apologize for my "newbie" status with Avid. I really haven't found a great explanation for the AMA workflow.

Doesn't transcoding produce an Avid Native file and then you are left with your original files and the transcoded files? That seems like it would take up considerable space on a drive, unless I am mistaken.

My concern with transcoding would be a perceived lack of quality loss? The Canon H.264 codec compresses video too much already, wouldn't transcoding result in further loss?

-Benjamin Gadberry Productions

http://bengadberryproductions.tumblr.com/


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Shane Ross
Re: Affordable External Drive for Avid Work?
on Sep 13, 2013 at 5:11:24 pm

[Benjamin Gadberry] "Doesn't transcoding produce an Avid Native file and then you are left with your original files and the transcoded files?"

Yes. When you transcode, Avid will move the media to the file structure it prefers, and be able to track it better. Although MC7 does make database files for AMA footage now too. But H.264 is pretty processor intensive, and for Avid MC, best to make it Avid media. And also best to work with transcoded media, rather than the originals. If you lose the hard drive, which does happen, then your media is gone. But if you have a backup drive with the media, and a media drive...you have the footage in two locations. always smart to do that.

[Benjamin Gadberry] "That seems like it would take up considerable space on a drive, unless I am mistaken."

You are not mistaken. It will increase the file sizes, yes...but also makes it easier to work with. H.264 is highly compressed, and takes a lot of resources to deal with it. Which is why Adobe craves RAM and powerful graphics cards that enable the Mercury Engine...they throw resources at the footage in order to deal with it natively.


[Benjamin Gadberry] "My concern with transcoding would be a perceived lack of quality loss?"

It won't be noticeable...if you choose higher end DNxHD options like 145 or 175...220 is the highest quality, but also takes up the most space. Unless you are going to play this on the big screen, or deliver for broadcast, I'd stick with 145 or 175.

What is your intended delivery? Web? DVD? TV? If the web, I'd use Adobe Premiere. Avid is best for broadcast TV and film workflows.

[Benjamin Gadberry] "The Canon H.264 codec compresses video too much already, wouldn't transcoding result in further loss?"

DnxHD is really good compression. You won't notice the difference, especially after you compress for final delivery. Don't focus too much on the quality of the footage...your main focus should be on the quality of the story. Great crystal clear footage with a crappy story is no match for great story and footage that might be grainy, or slightly more compressed. AVATAR vs Hurt Locker. Unless you liked Avatar.

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


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Benjamin Gadberry
Re: Affordable External Drive for Avid Work?
on Sep 13, 2013 at 9:10:50 pm

Hi Shane,

Your response is pure gold! So much info, thank you!

I primarily am producing content for the web, however, as a student looking to break into the industry upon graduation, I want to be able to say that I am proficient in Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, and Avid Media Composer, and be able to back it up.

As for which movies I like, hahaha! I actually enjoyed Avatar and Hurt Locker both! For different reasons, of course.

-Benjamin Gadberry Productions

http://bengadberryproductions.tumblr.com/


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sundar vanchinathan
Re: Affordable External Drive for Avid Work?
on Sep 16, 2013 at 9:46:33 am

hello friend u can use any external hdd no problem but if u use external hdd with external power it works well when adopt more footage while edit. u can use ama to import canon slr files u have to download canon ama supporting files frm avid all the best


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