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Exporting out as ProRes 4444

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Blake Hester
Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 9, 2013 at 9:00:56 pm

Hi,

I have a feature film that we are trying to export for color and the color facility has requested a ProRes 4444 file of the entire film to use in Resolve.

The film was edited in Avid and I currently have access to all of the files, .mxf and raw (I was not the primary editor). I need to export the cut for the color house and it is currently linked to the DNxHD 36 MXF files. The film was shot in ProRes 4444 rather than ARRIRAW, so what is the best way to reconnect the raw files back to the timeline and export as ProRes 4444 for Resolve? I just need the files in flat 10-bit, and they currently look in the timeline much different than the raw files.

This is probably an easy fix, so apologies for my ignorance on the issue, I am rather new to working with Avid and usually work on FCP.

Also, I am working from Media Composer 7.0.

Appreciate any responses, thanks!


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Michael Phillips
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 9, 2013 at 11:29:18 pm

AMA to all your original 444 files while in an RGB709 project type. Duplicate your sequence and then higlight all your AMA then your sequence. Right-click your sequence and do a relink. In the relink dialog box, check "relink to selected". Other things to be aware of when dealing with ProRes -

How were the DNxHD36 file prepared the first time around? Via AMA or third party dailies?
If the latter, add Source File and Tape to a bin view and conform what REEL ID was used. It could either be the 8 character REEL from ProRes or the full file name under Tape, or the full file name under Source File if AMA was used. Depending on what you see, things could go easy or not depending on how original dailies were done.

Let us know.

Michael


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Blake Hester
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 9, 2013 at 11:54:59 pm

Hmm, it appeared to have worked. I now have a relinked sequence with the full cut. Although I still don't notice much of a difference on the look of the footage. The raw footage files, when opened separately are still much flatter than what i currently have on the timeline. Is that normal?

Also, the DNxHD36 files were prepared via third party dailies, when I sort a bin under Tape, I get the 8 character REEL

Thanks Michael


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Shane Ross
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 10, 2013 at 12:19:43 am

[Blake Hester] "Although I still don't notice much of a difference on the look of the footage."

You might not notice any difference, if you are looking at the footage in the Avid Preview and Program monitors. If you had an external monitor connected, you'd notice the difference.

[Blake Hester] "The raw footage files, when opened separately are still much flatter than what i currently have on the timeline. Is that normal?"

Yes. The footage is in the raw LOG form...wait til you see what the colorist does to it. The color information is hiding in that grey flatness, waiting to be brought out.

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


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Michael Phillips
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 10, 2013 at 12:41:54 am

Here's the painful process you are potentially going to go through - and when I say potentially, I mean most likely.

When you AMA to the camera originals for the conform process, AMA does not look at the embedded REEL ID that was used in the dailies process. I have been harping on this with Avid for over two years to support embedded REEL when AMA linking - but still nothing.

AMA: A001C001_120923_R33F.mov
Sequence source: A001R33F

And all clips from that same recording will all have the same REEL so clip two from that card would have:

A001C002_120923_R33F.mov

But also have A001R33F as the REEL with the timecode being the unique identifier. Much like tape-based workflows where you could have up to 24 hours of timecode for a given Tape name or REEL ID.

So... all that being said, you have a mismatch in the conform process, so nothing is being relinked to the camera originals. A trick I do, is change the clip color on all the new camera originals to an unused color then look at the timeline at clip color -> source.

But since you are not seeing the original LogC flat image files, that conforms it as well. This means you have some work to do as you are being the conform person at this point. Put the sequence in a bin by itself. Go to "set bin display" and show "reference files". This will now show you all the clips that made up the sequence. Sort by TAPE and you will have all the Arri files grouped and sorted. You can move these to another bin if you like. Then highlight the TAPE column and do a command-D and copy that into an empty column like Labroll or Camroll if not used, or a custom column. Then start editing each value in that column to look like the above - basically removing everything but the first 4 and last 4 characters. Once that is done, you can do the "relink to selected" but you have to change the source target to work... the one on the left will be Tape or Source File and the one on the right will be Labroll, Camroll or whatever you used. Both will be set to START for timecode. And then it should work...


Michael


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Blake Hester
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 10, 2013 at 1:48:08 am

Yeah, unfortunately it looks like this is what it's going to take. Hopefully this will do the trick though.

I'm away from my computer now, but I'll try it first thing tomorrow morning. Thanks for the suggestion, since I'm still new to Avid, I would have never figured that out.

So looking ahead, which I won't look too far until I know I have the files linked, what is the best way to export out the pro res? QuickTime reference, same as source?

I'll keep you posted on how the AMA linking goes, thanks again!


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Michael Phillips
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 10, 2013 at 2:23:26 am

Once you have the sequence conformed, make sure you remove any color correction effect you may have in the timeline. You want to hand over the full dynamic range of the camera originals. Once the sequence is ready, in an RGB project (switch project format to RGB) and do a video mixdown of the sequence selecting ProRes 444. export the clip with "same as source" with QT export.

Michael


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Blake Hester
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 10, 2013 at 10:57:27 pm

Ok, I started doing what you explained above and became a little puzzled by what I have. Maybe I am missing something or maybe I explained my original issue wrong,, I'm not sure, but here is what I have:



I realized that I have the full file name listed in the CamRoll, but I have the REEL coded file under Tape.

I went ahead and copied the Tape REEL names into another column, since I didn't need to edit them, but when I select all to Relink, its not allowing me to select the Target column that I copied the files into.

What am I missing here?

Thanks again for your help and time.


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Blake Hester
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 10, 2013 at 11:00:46 pm

Also, just as a side question, what is your experience or opinion on coloring with ProRes 4444? Is that preferred over an .aaf or .dpx sequence?

What are the pros/cons? and will any quality or gamma space be lost by doing it that way/

Thanks, just want to make sure that we are exporting it the best way possible, the film will be shown theatrically, so we don't want to lose any quality through the color process.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 10, 2013 at 11:48:00 pm

Starting with MC v6.5, you can relink to any column for source/REEL ID and any timecode column for timecode. Where it says Tape/Source File you can select other sources as well as way to get to any of the columns, including custom ones.

As far as what to deliver, ProRes 444 is great - COnforms and color to that codec has been done on many televison shows as well as feature films. The Iceman for example, that I worked on, was all ProRes 444 LogC. So no worries with the codec. It's usually the QuickTime wrapper that f***s things up, but the facility probably has plenty of experience dealing with that. When exporting to QT same as source, do so as "rec.709" so that nothing gets touched on its way out of MC.

You could always create a new sequence form the mixdown file and export an AAF with embedded media. Did they ask for the program in reels or the entire program as a single file?

Michael


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Blake Hester
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 11, 2013 at 12:03:12 am

Yeah, I'm seeing the option to relink to any column, but it's like all of the options are greyed out and I cannot select anything but "Tape Name or Source File ID" "Tape Name or Source File Name" and "Key Number". Also, at the top of the Relink tab, I can only select "Media on drive" and cannot select "Selected items in ALL open bins".

I've got all of the DNxHD 36 files in a separate bin and am trying to relink from there. ??


Also, yes they asked for the entire film as a single file ProRes, good to hear the affirmation. I've had people tell me it's great and some people have said that they wouldn't do it that way. I imagine that some people just aren't used to working with ProRes yet. But glad to know it' is or at least becoming an industry standard. This is the first feature I've done, so just want to make sure I do it the right way.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 11, 2013 at 12:12:06 am

You need to have all the AMA clips highlighted (the one pointing to the new LogC 444 files) and the sequence. Right click the sequence and try again.

Michael


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Blake Hester
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 11, 2013 at 5:02:46 pm

Ok, I think I'm missing something here. Let me explain what I have done so far:

- Copied the sequence and opened in a new bin
- Clicked "set bin display" and "show reference files"
- Copied only the DNxHD 36 files to a new bin, along with a copy of the sequence
- When I do the detailed sort, my Tape column has the 8 character REEL (A076R2N8)
- I went ahead and opened the Camroll and Labroll; columns and they have the full file name (A0761C002_120509_R2N8)
- I went ahead and picked an empty column, TapeID, and copied the 8 character names (A076R2N8) to that column
- Selected everything in the bin, right clicked and selected "relink"
- I have selected, Relink selected items to: "Media on Drive - All Available Drives"
- I have selected, Relink by: Original to Tape Name or Source File ID and Target to TapeID (I have also tried the labroll and get same results)
- when I select ok, it takes a few seconds to relink then I have a new sequence (or on some ways I have tried it, it says "no clips were relinked"), but the new sequence has the same DNxHD 36 files, not the ProRes 4444

????

I will also note that I have all of my Avid sequences, files, .mxfs on one drive and all of the camera originals (ProRes 4444 files) on 2 separate drives, however they are all connected to the same computer.

I am certain that I am missing something simple because I am still trying to learn my way around Avid, or I may have explained something in the wrong way initially.

Either way, any help is greatly appreciated, I just need to have this file ready by the end of the week.

Thanks!


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Michael Phillips
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 11, 2013 at 8:34:45 pm

Since the sequence contains clips that already have the full 6 characters, you are all set. The next steps get a little wonky as it is not as straightforward as one would want it to be. I have heard of the process being referred to as "needing to be a relink whisperer". It can be done with some tweaking. If you want to send me a zipped bin that has the sequence and all the clips you are trying to link to (AMA I am guessing?), I can try the relink to the clips and send back the bin. In theory, it would then relink to the media, but at the very least I can tell you what the settings need to be

michael[at]24p[dot]com



Michael


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Blake Hester
Re: Exporting out as ProRes 4444
on Dec 11, 2013 at 8:58:34 pm

Thanks. Just sent you an email.


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