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Keep or Toss original media

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Daniel Schultz
Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 27, 2014 at 1:23:15 pm

I'm working on a long-form documentary, and I'm wondering whether it's worth keeping the original camera files once I consolidate to MXF in Avid.

Here are the details.
Camera/recorder are recording directly from a Canon C100 to a Ninja2 in DNxHD 115.
Then I consolidate to the same in Avid—MXF DNxHD 115.

Is there any benefit in keeping the original quicktime DNxHD files from the Ninja2?
Would there be any added image quality if, at the finishing stage, I want to conform to the original files during color correcting? Or are they the same? Trying to save some Hard Drive space, but don't want to if I'll regret it later on.

Thanks, Dan


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Michael Phillips
Re: Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 27, 2014 at 1:58:07 pm

From a picture quality perspective, there will no difference in your final conform using the consolidated, MXF wrapped DHxHD 115 or the original .mov wrapped version other than the unpredictability of QuickTime as a wrapper.

But you do want to follow recommended procedures for backup and archive. If the only copy of the media is what is in your Avid MediaFiles folder, then that would make me very nervous. So either backup/archive your camera originals, or backup your Avid MediaFiles folder. And remember the rule of thumb when backing up: 2 is 1, and 3 is 2. Keep sets of drives at different locations.

Once you've mastered the program, then you can decide the value of the backup archive and perhaps keep one backup of all originals and one of the consolidate program.


Michael


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 27, 2014 at 9:00:50 pm

Hi Michael,

Thanks so much for your helpful reply.
Yes, I have everything backed up on 3 disks (one mirror RAID and one separate drive).
It would be great if I could just backup the MXF files to the three drives, rather than camera media AND MXF. And it sounds like there's really no advantage to saving the camera files, as long as I have sufficiently taken care of the MXF files. And my druthers would be to use the mxf files as my 3rd backup.

If something went wrong with the other two drives, it would be infinitely easier for me to relink the MXF files, rather than deal with the nightmare of batch reimporting and relinking the other media, which are not part of my timelines. Don't you think?

But one last question (before I do the scary deleting thing).
If I want to color correct in Da Vinci at the finishing stage, will the MXF files work fine in that process and round tripping?

Thanks again,

Dan


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Michael Phillips
Re: Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 27, 2014 at 9:30:44 pm

You will be fine sending an AAF to Resolve and point to your Avid MediaFiles folder in the Media Pool. When rendering back out of Resolve, just create a new numbered folder in the Avid MediaFiles/MXF/ to better manage the corrected media from the uncorrected version.

And seeing as you have three versions of the media, and other than wrapper, there is no difference, then grab a shot of your favorite libation and delete away.


Michael


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Shane Ross
Re: Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 27, 2014 at 9:57:10 pm

DO NOT DELETE YOUR CAMERA MASTERS!!!

I'm on my phone now so can't type out the reason as it takes a while. I'll explain it better later.

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


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Michael Phillips
Re: Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 27, 2014 at 11:32:49 pm

I agree that you always keep camera masters, but in this case, the situation is a bit different where the only difference is the wrapper and nothing has changed to the essence. In this case, you can recreate the "camera masters", or in this case, the "ninja masters"by exporting SaS of the master clips to .mov and duplicating the Source File values into Name beforehand.

So in this very specific case, and the fact that there are three sets of MXF media backed up, I think it's a safe bet.

But... am always willing to be wrong and find out if I am missing something in this particular situation.


Michael


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 28, 2014 at 1:13:57 am

Nothing deleted!

Standing by!

(thanks)


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Shane Ross
Re: Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 28, 2014 at 1:30:39 am

First off, if it doesn't exist in two locations, it doesn't exist. My boss' motto. You have it in three...so good.

Second, you never know what the life of any give NLE will be, so saving ONLY the media of that specific NLE isn't good. For example...FCP 7. Gone. All the footage shot on HDV and DVCPRO HD and imported into that as QT files...you can ONLY access those files if you have FCP or some other ProApp like Motion or Compressor installed. If you decided to move away from Macs and go PC...you'd be hosed. And some people have been. Instead of having access to the camera raw that pretty much ANY NLE can access, you are up a tree.

Second...I know more than a few people who only kept the media from projects on older ABVB Avids...on IS drives. This is a 12-15 year old edit system, and media format that is very difficult to access. They had to find someone with an old Avid system to get to it.

Camera masters are more open...more accessable by edit systems. And you won't be stuck with a folder of separate MXF files with long perplexing names like GHSIDH12348538SDKXS_V.mxf Files that who knows IF you'd be able to access in the future. If you did switch to say Premiere if Avid goes under (not an impossibility)...then you'd be able to access this media, sure. But the numbers are really long, and the video and all the audio files are separate...opposed to the QT files you recorded that have them tied.

Rule of thumb....back up the camera masters in two locations, and import/transcode them to working media. You only need one copy of the edit media...you can always batch import if something happens.

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


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Pat Horridge
Re: Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 28, 2014 at 12:37:18 pm

I'd agree it's better to keep the original masters.
AMA linking and re-consolidating if worst case the Avid media vanished isn't that big a deal.
Its always possible an issue may come later that relates to an error in the consolidate and not having he original sources to refer back to would be an issue. And as said keeping NLE specific media is a short term solution only.
I don't even consider 2 copies to be enough. The BBC require 3 copies and on 2 different mediums. So LTO backup is one sensible option.

Pat Horridge
Technical Director, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951
VET
Production Editing Digital Media Design DVD
T +44 (0)20 7505 4701 | F +44 (0)20 7505 4800 | E pat@vet.co.uk |
http://www.vet.co.uk | Lux Building 2-4 Hoxton Square London N1 6US


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Michael Phillips
Re: Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 28, 2014 at 1:10:41 pm

As mentioned, I too agree that it best to archive camera originals, but in this very special case, other than the file name, the essence is exactly the same and can easily be recreated by a SaS QuickTime export. Naming is a matter of a column duplicate before export.

That being said, the work to back up Avid media is the same as backing up camera originals, overall process wise, a bit easier and faster to back up camera originals and can be done as part of the organization process. I would also suggest using a tool like ShotPutPro that does a copy verification, or as in your case, you have QC'd all the camera files as part of the consolidation process.

The costs of backup and archive is more challenging based on many factors, size of media, cost of media and storage, occasional maintenance of media (spin those drives up from time to time!), and project's budget to deal with that as it is rarely considered as part of the bid.

In some cases, the shooter (if a different person or group) will also do backups of the camera originals.

I am a solo producer/editor and I do the following for content that I own:

- 2 set of hard drive backup of all originals at one location. This is my quick access when and if needed.
- LTO of all hard drive back up of originals and all final elements of program (media, graphics, audio, mixes, etc) stored at a different location and is my medium length archive. LTO support for any one version is ~ 14 years and keeping a tape reader that supports it, etc.
- Program only assets also stored in Amazon Glacier as my deepest and offsite storage.: http://aws.amazon.com/glacier/


Michael


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Keep or Toss original media
on Jul 29, 2014 at 12:50:58 am

Thanks to all for the generous words of wisdom.
Needless to say, I am keeping my camera original files!


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