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4K RAW to 1080p Edit to 1080/4k MASTER - Workflow

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Nick Herron
4K RAW to 1080p Edit to 1080/4k MASTER - Workflow
on Aug 5, 2019 at 11:14:07 pm

Hi there, I've been reading up a bit on the forums searching for an answer but can't seem to find a specific explanation to match my particular workflow. So here it goes...

My RAW is shot in UHD 4K, on Sony FS7 at 23.98 so pretty straight forward. We would like to edit in 1080 (Most likely DNX 115 or similar) with the option to master in 1080 OR 4K. Currently the show is scheduled to air on Facebook but has the potential to be picked up by network who could require 4K delivery.

We are on 2019 iMac i9's with Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU and 32GB RAM with an AVID Nexis working via Cat6 connections.

My dilemma currently is that the primary goal for this project is to have 6 workstations taxing the Nexis at any given time, allowing for seamless playback and editing of 3 camera multigroups. (Tried working from AMA linked multi-groupings as a test and the machine chugs just enough to make an editor annoyed. Not brutal but not great either.)

So transcoding it is. Here's where I can't make up my mind on workflow. (It's been years since I've been in the AVID world so excuse my ignorance).

Should I, create a UHD 23.98 4K Project and AMA link my RAW, then open these bins in a separate 1080p 23.98 project and transcode from there? Or should I simply work in a UHD 4K project and choose a transcode option such as DNX HR LB/SQ?

Is there a huge difference between the two transcode options? Would a 4K project with transcodes in HR strain the Nexis system, even at SQ/LB? I've been recommended to transcode my 4K raw out of a 1080 project to (DNX 115) to improve performance but I'm genuinely curious if there are serious gains to be had there.

Of course the final question is back to mastering... If I need to be able to master any given sequence in 1080 and/or UHD 4K whats the best way to go? My interpretation is that I could go one of two routes.

1. AMA link UHD 4K footage directly into a 1080p project because it does keep the 4K resolution at AMA level and then transcode from there to say DNX 115? But then, can I master in UHD 4K from a1080p project? I tried and can export custom settings manually setting the frame size to match UHD but would that really be exporting at 4K or just upscalling 1080 to a 4K output? If a sequence is built in a 1080 project via transcodes can it even be linked back to a higher RAW AMA resolution such as UHD 4K and output?


2. Would it be best to AMA link to my RAW out of a UHD 4K project, then open those bins back in a 1080p project, transcode from there and later come delivery open a final sequence bin back in the 4K project, and link back to the RAW from there so that I can master in 4K or 1080?

Basically, trying to decide if I need to setup a 4K UHD AMA Project for mastering later down the line, or if I can work directly out of a 1080 project for everything. Also is there huge differences in playback efficiency between transcoding media at DNX HR SQ/LB vs DNX 115 in a 1080p project? I know AVID lists mb/s rates for various transcode options but I have a hard time translating those numbers to real world expectations.

Thanks for listening!
-Nick, Assistant Editor

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