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Chaos in the Avid: clips with media present offline, media pointing to non existent drives

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Rupert van den Broek
Chaos in the Avid: clips with media present offline, media pointing to non existent drives
on Aug 6, 2014 at 12:00:30 pm

Hi all,

I have just been brought in to work on a drama series that has just brought back its first location rushes and I am having some difficulty getting all of the media happy with where it is. To break down the tale of how I got here:

1. Series shot interviews with subjects of drama on C300.
2. Files brought into Avid as Canon 422 50mbps.
3. Preparation for location shoots began. As part of this on set editors required the interviews. The team transcoded them to DNX36 and put them onto location edit drives, for some reason the in-camera audio was not brought across as part of this transcode so we lost all the in camera sound, an external recorder was used and was the main audio source so this was no big deal but I would be interested to know why a transcode from Canon 422 to DNX36 would lose the sound. This is not actually the issue but kept in the story in case someone thinks it's relevant.
4. Workflow for location is setup to be shoot on Amira and Alexa, run cards through resolve to apply a lut and spit out DNX36, put the media directly into the location edit drives MXF/1 folder then put the Resolve generated AAF into a bin which brings the clips online. These clips are then autosynced with the external recorder which creates subclips, the guys edit, all is well.
5. At the end of the location days drives come back containing all of the raw rushes, these are backed up, all of the project files, these are copied onto the ISIS to replace the old, pre-location projects, and all of the avid media files, these are dragged into waiting avid media folders on ISIS partitions.
6. While the editors wait for everything to be copied and relinked they work from the projects on the ISIS pointing towards the media on the location drives.
6. Once everything is copied the location drives are removed, the ISIS drives are scanned by Avid, most of the media comes back on, BUT NOT ALL.
7. The plot thickens hard from here. There's multiple issues. First thing, that I have mostly solved, is that media that has been relinked to the ISIS partition will occasionally decide to go back to looking for the location drive. Media will go offline until I relink it once again to the drive it is now actually on. This would happen at random intervals until I re-ingested some of the most problematic files from the raw rushes. Why would this keep happening? I don't know.

8. Biggest confusing issue was that one lot of rushes had gone through Resolve and exported as 185X rather than 36. This wasn't noticed by the DIT until the files were brought into AVID, synced up and cut with. Upon return to home I transcoded the clips to DNX36 and relinked, seemed fine, everything worked, went away, came back, the synced clips are offline. I bin display and see that despite that the source media clip for the sync clip has reverted to thinking it's 185X. I try every combination of relink and nothing works. On the ISIS drive the media is definitely there, Avid just won't relink to it make matters more annoying media tools can't see it. Go for lunch, come back, try relink again, it works! On my computer. Go to the editor's machine and the files aren't relinked. Saves, off and ons, everything done in between but for some reason it stays offline on his machine, online on mine despite both being on the same ISIS. Confused.

Tried deleting the media form the Avid Media Files folder, running the raw rushes through Resolve, putting them in the Avid Media Files folder again and relinking. 3 or 4 of the 20 or so clips are recognised as now being DNX 36 and on the right drive, the rest remain thinking they are 185X and on a non connected location drive.

I decide to delete the database files for all the folders. Get a whole reindex done. Do that, open up AVID, pretty much all the media now says it is kept on the non-connected location drive. YET IT IS ALL ONLINE. The only files having problems are ones pointing to drives they are actually on. Clear that lot up by doing relinks that scan all attached drives. Every time the scan finds media, brings it online, the drive column points to this frigging non-attached and now non-existent drive. But can be cut with and worked with. Go next door to the editor, loads of his files are offline, do relinks, they connect to the media on the right drives. So across the two computers both have online media but both are pointing to different drives as the place the media is held, one of which doesn't exist anymore. Off and ons of the computers changes nothing.

Go back to the 185X stuff, that has remain stubbornly unaffected by the everything else that has gone on and affected every other clip in the project. Delete it all, remake the sync clips from the raw rushes, it's fine. The editor had to recreate his sequences where he had used that footage but it wasn't an end of the world scenario.

Can anyone shed any light on what is going on? We have the next lot of location rushes and edits coming in within a week and while I don't want to have to go through this horror every time I wouldn't mind too much if I at least understood what's happening. How is Avid getting so confused?

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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Chaos in the Avid: clips with media present offline, media pointing to non existent drives
on Aug 6, 2014 at 3:38:14 pm

are all your isis boxes naming your drives with consistant drive letters, or is drive "D" on box 1 the same drive that box 2 is calling "E"? ie: check your assigned drive letters against the media drive names on each box.


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Rupert van den Broek
Re: Chaos in the Avid: clips with media present offline, media pointing to non existent drives
on Aug 6, 2014 at 4:08:45 pm

Yep, all boxes are referring to the same drives with the same letter path. In good news a further reset of my machine and the editors made mine start to see everything on the correct drives. So all is up and running OK.

The only thing that still befuddles me is why the clips from one card (the one that was brought in to AVID at 185X and then got transcoded to 36) would fail to relink properly. Some would, some wouldn't, then they all would on my machine but none would on the editors, then this morning 3 of them would, the remaining 10 or so wouldn't, then the ones that would relink changed to another 3. It isn't a life or death to the edit question anymore but if anyone could shine a light on this question it would be great for my sanity.

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