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Avid Media Composer 8 AMA vs Transcoding

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William Franklin
Avid Media Composer 8 AMA vs Transcoding
on Aug 21, 2015 at 6:36:12 pm

Wanted to get a general consensus of other peoples workflow in which Is AVID powerful enough now to work solely in AMA or is transcoding still the best option.

We have been for the past year or so working AMA. Usually whatever camera was used we get the footage transcoded to Apple ProRes (Proxy seems to be great for a small but still relatively nice quality file for Offline purposes). But as directors can sometimes shoot alot of footage I am noticing the AVID is "chugging" alot more, getting hung up while searching through melts of footage, and the time the AVID takes to save is dramatically increasing.

Im cringing at the thought of going back to transcoding everything into AVID media because it seems like such an outdated practice. And you lose to just dive into editing as soon as you get the footage.
Other NLE's thrive on the fact you can work immediately off of files with no need for transcoding.

Is it better to take the time transcoding in the beginning to get a smoother Edit session.

What is everyone's opinion on the AMA workflow nowadays?


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid Media Composer 8 AMA vs Transcoding
on Aug 21, 2015 at 6:53:08 pm

Lots of factors, and mileage may vary. But the more footage you have, the more likely you will need to transcode. While there are some improvements from version to version, overall the rule of thumb is if you want "smooth" editing, then you need to transcode to Avid's native and optimized codec - DNxHD/R

Michael


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Shane Ross
Re: Avid Media Composer 8 AMA vs Transcoding
on Aug 21, 2015 at 7:47:26 pm

IN my experience, transcoding is best. AMA to access (now called LINK), and then transcode. OR...if it's a codec Avid deals with, like ProRes, or XDCAM MXF from Canon C300 and Sony cameras...AMA to access and CONSOLIDATE. because XDCAM and ProRes are native codecs...Avid simply re-wraps them and puts them into the Avid file structure.

But MANY formats, like H.264, MP4, and AVCHD...are not well suited for editing native. And even Premiere Pro has issues with those formats, even though it "thrives" on native media. Real world experience with Premiere also has me, and many others, converting AVCHD, H.264 and MP4 (GoPro) to less, compressed, easier to deal with formats, like ProRes. And Adobe solves the "work native" by making you buy hugely expensive computers with fast processors and expensive graphics cards...throw resources at the footage. Some projects allow for native editing on short form, but long form still requires transcoding, even in Premiere.

So yes, for Avid...AMA to access, and then consolidate or Transcode. And you can do that in the background, while you look at your footage.

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


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Mike Harper
Re: Avid Media Composer 8 AMA vs Transcoding
on Aug 22, 2015 at 3:33:21 pm

Interesting question and response. What are the resource AMA primary uses RAM? I would venture to guess some formats are more CPU intensive
Any one know?

Mike Harper
http://www.editscore.com/


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid Media Composer 8 AMA vs Transcoding
on Aug 22, 2015 at 8:18:08 pm

It's a plug-in architecture that accesses then decodes, then passes it off to the player pipeline. This in itself has some ever so slight overhead. Codecs considered "native" is a more direct decode, but others go through a two step process.

And Media Composer does not do a lot with GPU if anything in the decoding process, so it is all CPU related for decoding.


Michael


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