Sony F5 & AVID 7 workflow
Following question, since I did not encounter this specie workflow before.
I'm about to grade a music video, shot on F5, edited in AVID 7, with AMA link.
There is a lot of scaling involved (since final output is 720p), many many speed FX and some others.
AVID often has problems on round tripping preserving these.
Would be a render of the offline in highest res and then import to DaVinci, splicing it up again the best option?
Thanx for your thoughts,
TIME BANDITZ Productions
From my experience (and others here will likely have more), it usually comes down to two routes.
The first is to conform the edit in your coloring system to the camera originals, and send the graded shots back to Avid.
The second is to create a 'baked master' inside of Media Composer, exporting to a high quality format (DNxHD 220X / ProRes 422 HQ for primarily 4:2:2 sources, or Avid DNxHD 444 / Apple ProRes 4444 for 4:4:4 primary sources). Then, using an EDL as a guide, you then splice it up in the color suite, grade it, and send the program back to Avid.
The advantage of the first option is that you can obviously grade from the camera originals, allowing you access to things like camera raw control. The primary disadvantage is that many effects don't translate from NLE to color system, so you usually have to remove most effects before sending an AAF, grade it / render it, then re-apply them in the NLE to the graded footage.
The advantage of the 'baked master' is that your effects are all applied as-is, and that you are only sending what you need to the color system, mostly ready to go. As a result, however, this may make certain grades trickier, and all transitions are baked in, without a 'handle' on either side. So you need to take a little extra care, doing things like keyframing transitions.
What kind of format did the camera acquire in? There may be an advantage to doing the re-framing and scaling in your color system, but if your mastering to a 720P output, there may not be. All depends.
Please feel free to hit me back or PM me. Always happy to share some advice.
Best wishes, and good luck with your project!
Thanx for your detailed answer.
We finished the project doing your second way. There were many many re timings in the AVID backed in (all shot on 50 or more fps), so it would have been a nightmare to get them back afterwards. For the future I'd be interested how you can access SONY F5 original card data directly in DaVinci.
Here is my workflow I did on this one...maybe it's worth for somebody else in similar situation:
The finished clip, was rendered out in AVID, uncompressed 10bit 422, then out into an AE project 720p with heavy resizing on most shots and digital dolly moves, since there were not enough CUs, and cleaning up unwanted things in the frame. I output the final from AE again as Uncompressed 4222, then imported into DaVinci, Split it up with EDL, graded the whole thing, then rendered it. Imported the final result to FCPX where I used Neat Video's brilliant DeNoiser, to work on some of the slow motion shots, since AVID's Fluid morph retiming often produced ugly digital grain. And from X I did the final output in 720p.
Despite the record companies first announcement that they wanted 720p, they suddenly asked 1080p. Cause we could not do that for all the zoom in shots, I took the whole finished 720p and upscaled it with Red Giants Instant HD. Wow, very nice result. I can really recommend it. Good piece of software.
Et voila, finished is the dish!
TIME BANDITZ Productions
I am glad to hear that you got the project out okay. It's funny you should mention shooting the entire piece at 50FPS. I am currently working on an action film, and we are shooting quite a lot of our VFX wire-removal shots at 44 and 48 FPS for samples, speeding back up in Media Composer.
If you are shooting in raw-format on your F5 / F55 / F65, the image capture metadata can be manipulated in post production, such as ISO, white balance, etc. If you are shooting in the XAVC / HDCAM SStP formats, it will not have these functions. But you certainly don't need the raw format to produce great images, especially given that you can capture SLog to all formats, and countless shows I have worked on have bypassed raw completely. And you know what, they looked great.
I had a quick look at some support documents for DaVinci Resolve. It can very much support either the XAVC or HDCAM SStP formats that the Sony F5 shoots on-board. I also found a great chart in the Resolve manual, detailing which effects Resolve can import via AAF from Media Composer. Included among them are position, scale and rotation, as well as linear and variable speed changes. Could be worth noting for the future, if you decide to go the conform route.
Now that I think of it, Sareesh Sudhakaran over at WolfCrow.com wrote up a great piece on the Avid to Resolve workflow, which I details quite a bit of these processes. I'll paste a link below.