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Converting Arri Alexa Log c footage to Avid DNXHD

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Chad Tingle
Converting Arri Alexa Log c footage to Avid DNXHD
on Jan 16, 2012 at 4:16:50 pm

I'm getting ready to shoot a job on ARRI Alexa and the client is asking if we can transcode the footage on set to Avid DNXHD. Are there any utilities available to handle that but still retain the timecode and metadata from the original log c file. We're usually working with the log c footage in FCP or we transcode to Apple Pro res LT for offline. As always thanks for your time... your help is greatly appreciated.

Chad Tingle

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Michael Phillips
Re: Converting Arri Alexa Log c footage to Avid DNXHD
on Jan 17, 2012 at 3:52:57 am

You can use the free version of Resolve (Lite) to apply a LogC to REC709 LUT and create native MXF wrapped DNxHD of your choice with filename as source ID in Tape column for all offline/online conform processes.


Michael Phillips

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Job ter Burg
Re: Converting Arri Alexa Log c footage to Avid DNXHD
on Jan 17, 2012 at 8:05:53 am

Cheapest solution (free) AFAIK is Resolve Lite. The latest version even includes the MXF option. Downside is you cannot do burnins. I'm not sure it will do sound from the Alexa, my projects have all been double system and synced up in Avid.

Quick rundown:

In Preferences, add your source and destination drives, or Resolve won't see them.

In CONFIG, Project Tab, choose 32 bit floating point, DaVince YRGB, 1920x1080 square pixel.

In CONFIG, Project tab, Timeline Conform options, choose the right timecode speed for the project, check "Embedded in the source clip", check "Assist...", check "Source clip file pathname" and use the pattern */%R.* . Apply

In CONFIG, LUTs tab, click “Load 3D Input Lookup Table” menu and select the Arri Alexa LogC to REC709 LUT. Apply.

In BROWSE, Media Storage, select your source drive/folder/clips, right click, and choose "Add Folders and Subfolders to Media Pool".

In BROWSE, Timeline Management, click New (+), and click OK (you may rename, not required though).

In COLOR, select all clips (click first thumbnail, shift-click the last one), then choose Session->Render.

- Render properties, check Use Prefix, Suffix...from Source
- Output mode, select MXF, DNxHD, for offline you can use DNxHD 36 1080p
- Rendering mode: Source, you can optionally check to Render Clip with Unique Filename
- Data Level: Normally scaled legal video
- Choose a Destination Path.
- Wait till the render is done. On a 3-year-old XW8600, I got like 17fps of transcoding speed.

You will now have a folder with resulting MXF mediafiles.
On the Avid side, they need to drag these into a MediaFiles folder, in the right path (X:/Avid MediaFiles/MXF/n). They can number (number, not name) each folder (n); I use number 101 for shooting day #1, 102 for shooting day #2, etc. After adding them, launch Media Composer, wait for it to index the folder on launch. This will create media databases. They can then drag the 'msm.db' file from the folder with MXF files into a bin, and than bin will be populated with the clips.

Hope this helps.

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Jay Mahavier
Re: Converting Arri Alexa Log c footage to Avid DNXHD
on Feb 28, 2012 at 5:32:02 pm

I am completely new to this Resolve. Never touched it before. But I'm giving your workflow a go. What I'm interested in is if there is a way to apply a burn-in of the original file TC to the MXF that is being created. I'm guessing that it's not necessary, but it's one of those tape based hold over comfort things for me.

Thank you,

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andrew thompson
Re: Converting Arri Alexa Log c footage to Avid DNXHD
on Jul 29, 2012 at 1:51:25 pm

Thanks guys! I'll give this a shot tomorrow with our test footage.

If you have a second, please give this some thought: I recently worked on a small Avid 6.5 project where we were working with R3D files shot on the RED MX. I do not believe it was shot REC709 but the footage linked via AMA without any degradation to color. In the cutting room we did not apply or import any kind of LUT. Do you know why this RED footage would look as good as it did without us having taken additional steps? Is RED doing something with Avid that Arri is not?

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Nicholas Bertram
Re: Converting Arri Alexa Log c footage to Avid DNXHD
on Jun 25, 2013 at 9:51:18 pm


I have a similar question.

I will be shooting on an Alexa Plus, at 120fps to the internal SxS. You can only record pro res 422 at this frame rate.

Will I be able to convert the pro res 422 files using this resolve method?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, I have never worked in Avid.



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