Canon C500 Avid work flow
I'm about to start a feature shooting with C500 and cutting on Avid. I'm and editor but will be on the on set DIT for the first time. I know I need a good transfer program for the files to a drive and a transcoding program. Can someone suggest some good ones? I don't want to cut AMA, would rather transcode the footage first. I'm running a MacBook Pro, and will be on location a lot...so I can't be lugging too much gear. Thanks!
I’ve been researching possible workflows for Canon C500 and Avid Media Composer. As you know, Canon C500 is an awesome camcorder. With it you can shot videos with Canon's XF Codec -a file-based MPEG-2 compression with an MXF File Wrapper. Since MXF is not a good editing format for NLE system including Avid Media Composer. If you make the recordings editable before taking to the Avid Media Composer program, the incompatible error won’t happen any more. Link to the tutorial Solve Canon C500 and Avid incompatible issues to find the best mxf transcoding program and the step-by-step instruction.
[chris king] "Since MXF is not a good editing format for NLE system including Avid Media Composer."
Well I wouldn't lump them all together like that... I think that's largely an Avid shortcoming. We edit with Premiere (CS6 in Matrox MX02 suites), and MXF files there edit like a dream (we shoot most everything on the C300PL now). They import fine, look great, and no rendering.
I know that doesn't help original poster Danielle, but just didn't want anyone else reading this thread to think that MXF isn't a great acquisition and editing format. It really is... just sadly not for Avid cutters... yet.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Re: the MXF file debate, it's worth mentioning that Avid actually uses nothing but MXF files behind the scenes! But there's a big difference between an Avid MXF files in the Avid MediaFiles folder and one generated by a C300 or C500. MXF is just a wrapper, like MOV or AVI. It can contain many different things.
For safely transferring the media from cards to hard drives, I highly recommend ShotPut Pro: http://www.imagineproducts.com/?main_page=product_info&products_id=2
It does extra verification that simply dragging and dropping the CONTENTS folder would not include. It also makes it easy (and reduces the chance of human error) to copy to multiple drives at once, which of course you need to do! Don't wipe a card before it's backed up in AT LEAST two places, three to be truly safe.
EDIT: To address your other question, so far I've worked as an assistant editor on three TV documentaries shot with the C300 and cut on Media Composer. As far as I know, there's no workflow difference between the C300 and C500, though I've never personally worked with C500 footage. So here's what I do. Apologies if you know this already--but maybe someone else will read this and find it useful. So here goes:
1) Use the Link to AMA Volume command and point Avid to the folder with the full C300 media (the CONTENTS folder with intact card structure. This is very important--if the card structure is damaged in any way, you will have real problems). Link all the cards' clips in one bin.
2) Once all cards are linked, Avid will automatically "stitch together" any spanned clips (say, for example, that you have an interview in which a subject's answer was kind of long, and/or a card was nearly full, so the camera automatically switched to recording to another card during the recording. In that case, you need to link to both cards via AMA in your bin to ensure Avid sees all the parts of that long clip and combines them into one single clip in Media Composer). When this happens, you can see the Media Duration number quickly getting bigger as Avid figures it all out.
3) Now, you have two options: you can either consolidate the footage or you can transcode it. Consolidation will take the clips and put them in an MXF wrapper and stick them into your Avid MediaFiles folder (on whichever drive you pick). What it will NOT do is change the codec used. I personally don't recommend this, because it seems a little slow and glitchy in my personal experience. But some people swear by it! What I do is transcode, using Media Composer. If you have MC 7, you can transcode in the background on your laptop while doing other things in Media Composer, so you really don't need a third-party app for transcoding.
Ideally, you have the space to transcode to DNxHD 175 or 220 (depending on your framerate) so that you'll be cutting 'online quality' clips and your final timeline in Avid will be ready for color correction, etc. But if you're space-constrained or there are other considerations that make it impossible, then you can transcode to an offline quality level, like DNxHD 36. Then when you finish the edit, you'll need to relink to the AMA clips. Only do that if you need to; it works, but it can be a bit of a hassle.
So I brought in the footage from the feature no problem, using ama link. All was great until today. We shot some B-Roll pick ups and I was not there to transfer the media. The person who did do it renamed the Contents folder to Contents w/dates. So I had trouble relinking to AMA. I tried changing the folder back to Contents but still it is not working. Is it possible once it's been changed the path is somehow damaged? I'm doing everything else exactly the same as I did before. I have the avid plug in as well as the canon plug in installed. I'm running MC 8.0 Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!