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Editing with AMA (real life, not AVID advertising)

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Francisco Antunes aka Chicão
Editing with AMA (real life, not AVID advertising)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 3:04:17 am

The company I work at has a solid workflow: all material (Alexa, R3D) is transcoded to an offline media (DNxHD 36) were is given to us editors. Depending on the job this can take a lot of time. I want to try the workflow AVID is pushing to the Media Composer users: editing directly with AMA files.

I've tried to work with 4K R3D files using a MC 8.1 in a Retina MacBook (2014 model, 16 Gb Ram etc). As soon as I add a dissolve or add another video track I start to have some issues. The video won't play without frame drops (the "red line" appears on the timeline, indicating frame droping). So I was wondering where the problem is:

- The connection of the material with the computer?
(I tried both USB 3.0 and Firewire 800 externals HD. I also tried copying the footage to the mbp's SSD, but that also didn't solve the problem).

- The hardrives / SSD?
(maybe they are too slow to handle 4K media without frame dropping issues, and I should use an expensive/very good model with RAID0 and stuff )

- The hardware?
(even if it is a brand new Retina mcp that’s not enough?)

- The media?
(I’ll never will be able to work with a raw 4K footage, and maybe even an Alexa 2K one, using AMA, despite the promises of Media Composer’s new features like Dynamic Folders, etc)

Thanks in advance for any advice!


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Shane Ross
Re: Editing with AMA (real life, not AVID advertising)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 4:51:57 am

Don't believe Avid marketing. Avid doesn't edit footage accessed via AMA all that well. Especially 4K. It'll handle some formats that are already in the MXF format...P2, C300, XDCAM. Anything that isn't in an Avid codec...best to transcode. Everyone other than Avid says this, because in real life, editing via AMA is rife with issues. Especially H.264, AVCHD or 4K files.

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


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Francisco Antunes aka Chicão
Re: Editing with AMA (real life, not AVID advertising)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 12:43:13 pm

Thanks for getting back to me.

The things is: Since MC 6.0+ Avid keep launching great things for the AMA workflow: Dynamic Folders, Frame Flex, Color Space setting, an many other things... But it seems they can't beat the solid, fast-paced and trusty "transcode-to-avid-enviroment" workflow. Editing is much faster and render-free once you just transcode everything. That's how thing have been for me so far.

But as an editor I really want to get my hands in everything an AMA workflow has to offer. I'm tired of Resizing a transcoded 4K-image with 3D-Warp an tell the director "oh, this blow up here will be correct once we get to Post". I want to Frame Flex-it in MC, as AVID is advertising.

So far I was concerned with data rate and bandwidth issues. I guess I have run more tests to really find a good way of AMA-ing the workflow. Or, as you are saying, maybe AMA will never be as quick and solid compared to transcoding media to MC's enviroment.


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Michael Hancock
Re: Editing with AMA (real life, not AVID advertising)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 12:53:24 pm

[Francisco Antunes aka Chicão] "I'm tired of Resizing a transcoded 4K-image with 3D-Warp an tell the director "oh, this blow up here will be correct once we get to Post". I want to Frame Flex-it in MC, as AVID is advertising."

I expect the next release of Media Composer to address this. It' due to be released before the end of the year. It will have support for 4K and a new DNxHR codec (I believe the HR stands for High Resolution) that I'm hoping will allow us to transcode the 4K footage to a low bitrate compression, but at 4K, so we can frameflex off the entire image and not just blow up a 1080p downconvert.

Regarding AMA and editing - listen to Shane. It's Avid Media Access and should be used to access the media, select the clips you want to transcode, then transcode them. Especially with Red files. They're terrible via AMA (fighting with some in an edit right now).

PS. We follow the same general workflow you guys do - transcode to DNxHD36, edit, then uprez at the end. I've run a couple of projects as all AMA and the lag and instability wasn't worth the time saved waiting for the transcode. Especially since you can transcode in the background now.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Francisco Antunes aka Chicão
Re: Editing with AMA (real life, not AVID advertising)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 1:48:53 pm

Support for 4K and a new DNx format. That sounds great! Looks like the best of both worlds: using the brand new tools for dealing with large-than-HD frame files but keeping the solid workflow of transcoding.

Thank you guys for replying me. I'm always questioning the current workflow (I think it's a good idea to do that from time to time), so it's good to know most people keep doing the old fashion way. You are all correct, so far the AMA isn't quite good and reliable as the standard way of doing things in the MC's native enviroment. As you said, it's much better to trancode in background and keep like that. Let's wait for the MC 8.3, when it's said to be the one for the 4K-DNx-thing.


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Michael Hancock
Re: Editing with AMA (real life, not AVID advertising)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 2:13:11 pm

Here's a sneak peak at the 4K stuff in the next version.







----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Editing with AMA (real life, not AVID advertising)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 3:18:33 pm

As tough as some AMA is...h264, I've had great success with others.(prores) Infact I'm using a series of Thunderbolt/usb drives AMA'ing
a total of some 20 TBs of AMA and it runs fine...but it is mostly prores.

You unfortunately have picked one of the heaviest codecs to try it with. (R3D) Without a red rocket card, I wouldn't expect much of anything within avid...and I'm not sure Avid recognizes the Rocket.

R3d's are big beasts. They push the limits of most boxes in their raw form.

I have a Windows box running MC, DS and Resolve, with a Cubix and 3 total graphics cards. With this setup, Resolve will get real time playback on the r3d,at half good debayer, but it doesn't take much to slow that down.

Glenn


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Francisco Antunes aka Chicão
Re: Editing with AMA (real life, not AVID advertising)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 4:40:20 pm

Yeah... R3D is a tough one. And so ProRes is a good example of a successful AMA workflow.

I guess the key is having a workflow that best suits your work.
(and let's wait for the 8.3!)


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Brunda Kumar
Re: Editing with AMA (real life, not AVID advertising)
on Dec 9, 2014 at 3:18:24 am

HI please find below link its going to come on 8.3

Master the Art of 4K Editing (Series Preview):





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