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Relinking to AMA for colour correction in Media Composer - preferred workflow?

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Aynsley Baldwin
Relinking to AMA for colour correction in Media Composer - preferred workflow?
on Aug 6, 2015 at 6:51:50 pm

Hey there,

Wondering if anyone out there can provide some DIY colour workflow advice. I'm working on a couple projects in DNxHD 36 1080p, transcoded from AMA. One project was shot in Sony AVCHD, the other Canon XF.

I'd like to do basic colour grading in Avid for both projects on the original media as opposed to the DNxHD. Wondering if it's best to simply relink to the AMA files, or if I should try to do some sort of batch import in ProRes 422 HQ (our delivery format), before starting any grading.

Also, we ultimately have to transfer the finished, graded sequence to Adobe Premiere for another editor to do cut down versions of both edits. Can a simple AAF export from Avid do the trick, and maintain the colour work that has been done?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Cheers,
Aynsley



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Shane Ross
Re: Relinking to AMA for colour correction in Media Composer - preferred workflow?
on Aug 6, 2015 at 7:54:25 pm

Best thing to do would be to AMA link back to the originals, and then either transcode to a higher end DNxHD format, like 175 or 220, or grade the originals. And then either export as ProRes HQ, or do a video mixdown to ProRes HQ, and then export.

The tricky part is the last thing you mentioned...exporting via AAF to Premiere so that the color corrections stay. Because if you grade in Avid, the grade is, in essence, a "plugin." An effect applied to the clip. If you export an AAF that references the original media, and Premiere opens that...the color correction effect might not (realy likely that it won't) transfer.

So, your best bet is to do the mixdown, and then export that via AAF. That way the effect is baked in, and you have one video file, but still have all the separate audio clips....and that's really important for doing cut downs.

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


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Aynsley Baldwin
Re: Relinking to AMA for colour correction in Media Composer - preferred workflow?
on Aug 6, 2015 at 8:58:37 pm

Thanks for your help, Shane! If I remember, I'll try to update with what we end up doing and how it goes :)



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Pat Horridge
Re: Relinking to AMA for colour correction in Media Composer - preferred workflow?
on Aug 7, 2015 at 8:07:48 am

You can't batch import content that was originally AMA linked. You need to re AMA link the needed sources. (Copy of seq in a fresh empty bin. Bin Display. Show media relatives. Then have source oath column active and sort by that. You then have a location list you need to AMA in.)
Relink seq to AMA sources. May happen automatically. Transcode to finishing resolution.
Grade etc.
Shame to send to Premiere and flatten the sequence.

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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Aynsley Baldwin
Re: Relinking to AMA for colour correction in Media Composer - preferred workflow?
on Aug 14, 2015 at 12:23:03 am

Thanks for the insights, Shane and Pat!

In the end, our needs changed a bit for the grading and we didn't do it in Avid, or send the project to Premier. Partly because onlining itself, regardless of any consideration of colour, proved to be the biggest headache and time suck. This was due to a perfect storm of factors, some of which were user error during the system setup and original AMA linking process, but the big one that was out of our control was the fact that MC 8.3 doesn't seem to like Canon XF footage. I found this out from a few editors after we were already underway, and proved it the hard way for myself.

We ended up having to move the project to another system with OS 10.8.5 and downgrade MC to 7.0.4. Then everything ceased being quite so terribly hellish. The workflow that we ended up using was the one that you suggested, Pat. I really preferred relinking only the referenced clips to relinking our entire library of dailies, as is recommended on so many of the online tutorials I came across.

After that, we did migrate the project in a very crude manner to FCP 7 to do the grading there. I tried using a Boris/Axle Transfer software to convert the Avid AAF to XML, and had insufficient success getting the media to relink in FCP 7 (I think again possibly due to some project setup issues). But it did provide us with a correctly constructed offline sequence in FCP at least.

So in addition to that, I exported a single ProRes HQ QT from our transcoded Avid sequence, lined it up to the offline sequence in FCP, and then relatively painlessly was able to insert cut points for all the shots, cut in our titles graphics etc, and have it ready to go for grading. Definitely not an elegant workflow, but it got the job done.

I would still like to find a "real" way to migrate a project from Avid into FCP 7 and or Premier. Partly because I am now a little distrustful of AMA relinking and am interested in finding a way to online outside of Avid altogether. Perhaps the subject for another thread :)

Cheers!
Aynsley


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Shane Ross
Re: Relinking to AMA for colour correction in Media Composer - preferred workflow?
on Aug 14, 2015 at 12:43:22 am

[Aynsley Baldwin] "but the big one that was out of our control was the fact that MC 8.3 doesn't seem to like Canon XF footage"

Not sure where you are getting that. For over 2 years now I've cut shows, using Avid...shot with the C300. I just did three episodes that with that camera, using 8.3 specifically...and cutting native. Not AMA...but AMA and then CONSOLIDATED...not transcoded. But full res, just in the Avid media file structure. And it was pretty slick...no issues.

[Aynsley Baldwin] "
I would still like to find a "real" way to migrate a project from Avid into FCP 7 and or Premier. Partly because I am now a little distrustful of AMA relinking and am interested in finding a way to online outside of Avid altogether."


Use Resolve. Either use it to convert the footage and sequence to FCP...if you must. Or grade directly in there.

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


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Aynsley Baldwin
Re: Relinking to AMA for colour correction in Media Composer - preferred workflow?
on Aug 14, 2015 at 12:58:41 am

Hi Shane,

All I can say about the issues with MC 8.3 is that three out of three editors on this series ended up having to downgrade to work with the C300 footage. I'm pretty sure we all had been transcoding as opposed to consolidated so maybe that is a factor, but if I remember correctly, some clips/volumes wouldn't even link in the bin correctly out of the gate before I could even think about consolidating or transcoding.

I am definitely interested in incorporating Resolve into the Avid AMA workflow, regardless of where we do or don't grade.


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