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Some Avid Questions

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Phil Radelat
Some Avid Questions
on Jun 22, 2014 at 6:01:08 am

Hi folks, I've been out of the Avid loop for many years now, but there is a possibility I may get some work at a local station that uses it. I would imagine they are using Newscutter, but a trip over to the Avid site seems to show Avid has discontinued Newscutter and are now consolidating everything into Media Composer. Never having used Newscutter I don't really know how it was different from the main app, and at this time I don't know if this station has updated to Media Composer 7/8 or are still running an older version of Newscutter.

So I'm not sure if I should just download the trial Media Composer and screw with it to re-familiarize myself with it, or try to find a copy of Newscutter and mess with that instead.

I'm curious about something however. It appears Avid is forcing you to re-render raw footage into their proprietary DNxHD codec in order to work within the editor, rather than work directly with the native footage. Is this correct? This strikes me as rather inefficient. I can't imagine networks actually putting up with such a time consuming process like this, so some clarification on this is appreciated.

I worked in the early part of the 2000s with Xpress DV, and I thought Avid was a great cuts-only app, really fast like that, although rather dismal if you really wanted to get sophisticated. Hopefully they've modernized the app to have better flexibility than the stuff I worked with.

So I'm curious to hear what present-day users have to say of these things. Thanks in advance for your replies.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Some Avid Questions
on Jun 22, 2014 at 7:35:52 am

It's only been relatively recent in Avid's history that they have allowed the use of non-Avid codecs (Avid 5? 5.5?). You can use what's called AMA to link to non-Avid codecs (ex. H.264 from a DSLR) but performance won't be as good and you'll miss out on some media management functionality since the clip will exist outside of Avid's media database.

Even FCPX, which is the most modern NLE in terms of codebase, prefers that you use ProRes even though it will accept a wide variety of codecs.

I haven't used Xpress DV in ages but from what I remember it was a pretty cripple version of Avid.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Some Avid Questions
on Jun 22, 2014 at 5:29:30 pm

[Phil Radelat] "but a trip over to the Avid site seems to show Avid has discontinued Newscutter and are now consolidating everything into Media Composer."

No. NewsCutter is sold as an option to Media Composer, just like Symphony. With the option activated, it's functionally the same as before.

[Phil Radelat] " It appears Avid is forcing you to re-render raw footage into their proprietary DNxHD codec in order to work within the editor, rather than work directly with the native footage"

Incorrect. Avid supports many native codecs via AMA and some via direct import. Generally this requires that you have a camera-specific AMA plug-in installed. While you can choose to edit directly with AMA-linked media, the optimal solution is to use AMA to boil down a ton of footage into selects. Transcode those to DNxHD and then continue from there. You get the best performance that way, without having to transcode everything.

Some of the native codecs supported include: ProRes, Redcode, XDCAM, XAVC, AVC-Intra, Canon XF, H264, EX and others.

- Oliver

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


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Phil Radelat
Re: Some Avid Questions
on Jun 24, 2014 at 4:30:25 am

Thanks for your replies. I can't say I agree about transcoding raw footage, it's obviously inefficient, but that's neither here nor there. If a network wants to put up with that, that's their business. I know I wouldn't.

So I noticed I could download a 30-day trail of MC, is it possible somehow to get a trial of NewsCutter if need be? Anytime I tried searching for NewsCutter on the Avid site it just brought me back to the MC page. Also, is there anywhere I can find videos on learning NewsCutter?

Thanks again.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Some Avid Questions
on Jun 25, 2014 at 8:13:12 am

Looks like News Cutter is now an 'add on' to Media Composer but, from what I can tell, only Media Composer is available for a trial download.


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