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Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question

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Zoe Westley
Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:58:10 pm

Hi everyone

I am about to start a project and have a couple of questions about the Davinci - Avid route

The film is being shot on the Alexa Classic. Both picture and sound are being shot at 24fps and the project will be edited in MediaComposer 7. I've been informed that we will receive graded MXF files at DNxHD 36. The rushes will be graded and the DIT will sync audio with Davinci Resolve 10. I've not received sync rushes via this route before and was wondering if the Davinci system can create bins that avid can read or if it can create Flex files. Has anyone experienced any problems with this work flow?

thank you


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:12:37 pm

Resolve makes ALE files that ay or may not include ASC CDL values is used. You will want to make sure that the DIT/DAta Wrangler is correctly applying the filename metadata to the clips before creating the DNxHD proxy as I have seen way too many posts on forums where the REEL ID was wrong or missing entirely. I blogged about it a few months back:
http://24p.com/wordpress/?p=24

Are you providing specifications to the DIT/Data Wrangler? This would be specs for how things should be logged, burn-ins (which fields and where), camera reports, issues with framing and focus, etc. It seems more and more that the process is getting reversed and editorial is provided with whatever is the DIT/Data Wrangler is familiar with. Be sure to look at your clips when you get them and make sure you have metadata in either the TAPE or SOURCE FILE column. In this scenario, it will be TAPE. And because it is Alexa, you can have either the embedded REEL from the camera originals or the filename itself. This can impact how you do a conform downstream. If in Avid via AMA you will want one over the other. Is the DIT/Data Wangler familiar with the downstream workflows to ask and provide the proper REEL ID?

When working in this area, and all related to "what you pay for", is that a "dailies" provider has a spec sheet they hand out for what is needed. And these systems usually have a Media Composer on them so that they can verify essence and metadata in the bin before handing over to the client and sending everything ready to be dropped in and opened.

In what I can interpret for the above scenario, you will have to do some ALE merging and such to ensure all the metadata is there.


Michael


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:15:31 pm

And the previous response is not directed at Resolve directly, but any dailies service provider using whatever tool they choose to use, be it Resolve, Colorfront, MTI Cortex, Scratch, etc. I've just seen too many horror stories with dailies being provided by DIT/Data Wranglers that don't have a lot of Post Experience and think it is only applying a LUT and transcode.


Michael


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Zoe Westley
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:29:39 pm

sure, I totally agree and just want to make sure that i ask the DIT for the correct things


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Zoe Westley
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:28:29 pm

Hi Michael

thanks for replying so quickly. Much appreciated. I've asked for my usual burns ins to be in the masked off area n the picture, and the DIT seems fine with that. With regards to logging info, we have had some discussions, but i'll double check that we are on the same wavelength and make sure that everything is clear. Are graded MXF files the correct thing to ask for, or should i be asking for something else? I've mainly asked for MXF files on other systems.

you mentioned that the DITs logging system could have an impact on the conform. "you can have either the embedded REEL from the camera originals or the filename itself" - what would you recommend?
I just want to make sure i ask the DIT for the easiest most compatible system.

thanks again


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:43:35 pm

I just did a quick sync test in Resolve and as much a I love Resolve for everything it can do, and they have made huge efforts in the dailies side of things, there is still one important piece of metadata missing from the ALE file; namely the name of the original BWF audio file. I have brought this to Resolve's attention, but has not yet made it's way into a release. So that can have an impact on how audio will be conformed downstream. Should they ever need to go back to the original BWF for whatever reason, it will be a painful process. Which brings up another question - is the DIT/Data Wrangler syncing all audio tracks, or are they MIX + ISO tracks, and if so, how many? This is based on editor preference.

As far as REEL ID, you have to ask prducers, post super, or whomever is managing the conform and finishing process how they want to proceed. If it is to be done in an Avid via AMA then only the entire filename will work. If anywhere else, then they can use either embedded or filename.

Here is an ALE export from a single clip sync and you can see what is coming from a straight up timecode sync. Which raises another question - are they provided true sync dailies or just timecode sync dailies? If the latter, I have exact sync by timecode to be true, maybe 40% of the time depending on your definition of sync. This was covered in another blog I wrote: http://24p.com/wordpress/?p=16

Below is the ALE for 1 event with no additonal logging and syncing based on timecode only. Copy/paste into a new file which should retain the TABs. For easier column alignment, import into a bin (custom view to start so all columns are seen) or open in Excel.


Heading
FIELD_DELIM TABS
VIDEO_FORMAT 1080
AUDIO_FORMAT 48khz
FPS 23.976

Column
Name Tracks Start End Take Tape UNC FPS Reel # Scene Shoot date Manufacturer Source Resolution Source Bit Depth DESCRIPT Comments Audio SR Audio Bit Depth Auxiliary TC1 Soundroll TRK1 TRK2 TRK3 TRK4 TRK5 TRK6 TRK7 TRK8 Circled Take

Data
MVI_2550.MOV VA1A2A3A4A5A6A7A8 13:41:20:00 13:43:38:21 1 /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/michael/Desktop/Original Audio sync Test/MVI_2550.MOV 23.98 29 2010-08-05 DaVinci Resolve 1920x1080 8 Good take for Bobby 48000 16 13:41:20:00 08052010 MixL MixR Bobby_Lav Lucy_Lav Bobby_Boom Lucy_Boom Ambience_L Ambience_R TRUE


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Zoe Westley
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:47:17 pm

Great, that all makes perfect sense. Syncing via resolve is purely for crew dvds. I'll re-sync everything in the avid. I'll talk to the DI team now about delivery for the conform and iron out any issues with logging this week.

Due to camera and sound both being shot at 24fps i was going to set up the project as
1920/1080p 24fps.



Thanks again for all your help


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 3:18:42 pm

Are you in a PAL or NTSC based country? Just making sure that 24.000 versus 23.976 for ease of worklfows during post.

Michael


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Zoe Westley
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 11, 2014 at 8:51:37 am

We'll be bass in PAL based countries throughout, so I thought it best to stick at 24fps.

Thanks Michael and Job, your advice is much appreciated


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 11, 2014 at 1:31:09 pm

You are correct, just wanted to make sure.

Michael


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Job ter Burg
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:24:16 pm

I'd strongly recommend against data wranglers doing the syncing. Way safer to have that done in editorial.


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:31:13 pm

I agree with Job for a variety of reasons, especially for feature work. Televisions workflows have different turnaround needs and syncing dailies is the norm.

Michael


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Zoe Westley
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:40:44 pm

I agree, i always re-sync in the avid, but for speed on set, the wrangler will be syncing in order ti create dvdd for everyone, then they will be shipping rushes to us (we are in different countries for some of the shoot). I'll receive the MXF field and sound and then log and re-sync.


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Job ter Burg
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 10, 2014 at 10:58:22 pm

Ah, yes, that is what I meant.


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Zoe Westley
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 20, 2014 at 8:13:49 am

Hi Michael and a job

I have another question about this workflow, for time saving reasons production want the data wrangler to upload h264 QTs of the shoot to the cutting room overnight instead of mxf files.

I've always worked with mxf files so was just wondering what problems might occur. Obviously the upload and download traffic will be crazy.

Thanks Zoe


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Zoe Westley
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 20, 2014 at 8:25:27 am

I just wanted to add I know that h264 aren't native to avid and that in the past editing with QTs was sluggish and prone to crashes. That's why I'be always worked with mxf. I just wondered if it's still this way

Thanks


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 20, 2014 at 1:28:49 pm

Transfer times is one of those functions in the new world of digital delivery that is seldom considered ahead of time without the good, fast, and cheap (pick any two) rearing its head(s). Especially when sending over ordinary consumer type connections. Theoretical and practical limits are very different and productions always shoot more than they say they will (Oh, has that camera been running the whole time? They can just cut it out later...). Dedicated and accelerated connections cost money and have found that most productions do not consider these costs as the internet is everywhere and free if you go to Starbucks or form the hotel! ;)

That being said, H.264 can be an AMA linked for editorial, but performance will be questionable, especially in the amount of hours you seem to be hinting at. MC7 does have an 800Kps codec available when using Sphere, but have found no way (yet) to make it native and MXF wrapped from a third party dailies system. At best it would be an AMA link and consolidate processes, but I fear if the encoding specs do not match exactly, then it would be a decode/encode from a very compressed codec to start with. MC7 also support a 2Mbs H.264 codec, but for some reason not in 23.976/24/25 project types. I have asked why, but have yet to get a response.

The 800 Kps can be pretty ratty looking depending on complexity of detail in the image. It is designed to be used as part of the Sphere remote editing option that sits on top of Interplay which sits on top of ISIS.

Another consideration, but perhaps too late at this stage was to do the film in SD at 14:1 in an 23.976/25/25 type project where the file size is closer to 3x smaller than DNxHD 36.

There would be multiple steps that may or may not work to start with the H.264 and then relink to the DnxHD36 whenever it arrived. You would have to manage the metadata on the H.264 at the front end (the DIT) to possibly have a shot at it being a more seamless relink process.


Michael


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Zoe Westley
Re: Avid MC 7 & Davinci Resolve 10 workflow question
on Feb 21, 2014 at 9:06:06 am

Great thanks Michael, that's more or less what my thoughts are. I'm going to ask production to stick with the original plan. It's a solid workflow.

Take care

Zoe


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