Davinci to AVID to Davinci Issue
So we have shot a lot of footage using the Panasonic Varicam 35 at 4K RAW/29.97p, and our final delivery is in 4K/25p. We generate HD Proxies for the edit using DaVinci, before relinking it back to the 4K rushes for grading. The problem I encountered at first was exporting HD proxies at 25p from DaVinci messed up the timecodes, so nothing linked up.
The fix I have found for this is to import the 4K Raw footage into DaVinci, export HD proxies at 29.97p, then import those selects into a 25p timeline in Premiere Pro, and then right click the proxies in the project window and choose Modify--> Interpret footage as 25p. Then I can do an edit, export an XML, make a new 25p project in Davinci, and open the XML. Everything links up to the rushes and it's all good.
HOWEVER a guest editor is coming in to edit some projects, and they only use Media Composer. So is there a way of doing the "interpret footage as 25p" in Media Composer, like you can do in Premiere Pro? Does media composer need to transcode stuff before the edit can take place, and so will this mess up the timecodes and give me the same problem?
My knowledge of Media Composer is pretty limited to if anyone could shed some light on this or on the correct workflow for Davinci--->AVID-->Davinci that would be amazing. Thanks for the help!
First off, you should NEVER alter the frame rate of the footage if you are making proxies. Proxies need to match the frame rate if you are to link back. You did find a nice work-around, so there is that. But don't do it in the future. Make 29.97 proxies, cut 29.97, online 29.97...then deliver 25p. Although really, you should be shooting in the frame rate you are delivering if you can help it.
(I thought "interpreting" the 29.97 footage as 25 in Premiere would slow it down..make it slightly slow motion...was that not the case?)
Avid does need...well...REALLY LIKE...the media to be Avid media...MXF. So yes, it would be good to transcode it. Why not transcode it to the matching frame rate so you don't have to deal with relinking issues? I'm not sure the "interpret frame rate" option in Avid will accomplish the same thing that it did in Premiere pro.
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Hi Shane, thanks for the reply! Yes the footage plays back slightly slower but we are filming ants so it's fine for us (audio is all replaced too so it doesn't matter if it sounds slowed)
We don't want to cut in 2997 and then just render it at 25 as that will yield dropped frames (I think?) But instead we want to conform before/at the stage of the edit, so that the 2997 footage plays back slightly slowed in a 25p timeline with no dropped frames. As I said, on PP this was easy as we had the program interpret the footage as 25p so it played slightly slower, but I need to find a workflow to do the same thing but with AVID.
I just can't think how its possible to cut/edit in 25 and still link back to the 2997 rushes without doing the method i described in my first post, as as you said in your reply "Proxies need to match the frame rate if you are to link back"
Any other imput from you or anyone else would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Your other option then is to take your 29.97 rushes and convert them to full quality 25 fps rushes. These then become the clips you link back to at the end, and the clip you use to make your proxys with. If necessary, you could go old school, and create a pull list, after the edit, and retransfer the shots you need for the final edit only, recutting the shots in.
As Shane posted, you really are doing this incorrectly, and although the work around is working for now, at some point, which you are now basically hitting, things will start to fall off the track. If your offline and online programs aren't using the same timecode, you are asking for trouble. Timecode is pretty much the most important aspect of these types of workflows.
Hi Glenn, sorry for the slow reply, I didn't get a notification for some reason.
The reason we can't convert everything right now is 1: Storage. We'd have to have the original rushes kept as well as the 4K/6K/8K transcoded new copies. 2: We'd have to bake in a grade to the footage when we convert it to 25p, as it is currently RAW footage, and we don't know what the final grade is at this stage.
I fully understand the significance of Timecodes in this kind of workflow, which is why its proving to be so frustrating trying to work out how to conform raw MXF rushes to 25p from 2997p. Our RED Epic W can have a 25 timebase which is fine, the a7s's shoot at 2997, as do the Varicam 35, and the GH4's, so it's a big mix of footage!
Where I'm at currently is trying to export DNxHD Dailies from Davinci Resolve at 2997, import them into Avid and then highlight them in a bin, choose source settings, the choose play at timeline framerate (25). This allows the 2997 footage to be played back/edited at 25p, with their timecodes remaining intact. The only struggle i'm having now is actually getting these DNxHD files to appear properly in AVID.
I'm exporting from Davinci as MXF OP-atom, which I believe is the correct type, but AVID is still having a problem importing it which is annoying. If you or anyone could shed some light on that that'd be great. Cheers buddy