|Creativecow.net Avid Xpress Pro Tutorial
©Alex Alexzander and Creativecow.net. All rights are reserved.
Offline editing started as a way to save disk space when hard drive-based storage carried a considerable premium. These days, although fast hard drives are not very expensive, there are still good reasons to use an offline editing workflow, provided certain conditions are met. Perhaps the most common situation is when so many tapes are involved that you simply don't want to devote so much of your storage to a project that will ultimately be cut to a mere fraction of the sources captured. Another reason is the use of a laptop for mobile editing in the field. A laptop's hard drive does not provide the needed bandwidth or capacity to edit more than a few hours of footage in the field if needed.
Offline editing provides a method of capturing footage at less than one-tenth the storage requirements of DV 25 411 media. Offline can be used with other formats as well, such as using DV 25 411 as an offline for higher formats such as uncompressed or HD.
With Avid's 15:1s we can expect to fit an hour of footage for every 1.5 gigabytes of storage we have. This makes editing hours of footage on a laptop quite easy. Later the finished edit can be decomposed and recaptured at DV 25 411 or whatever resolution your Avid offers.
In this document I hope to show you how to configure and use your Settings tab to toggle between Avid's 15:1s and DV 25 411 for capture, editing, decomposing, and recapturing.
Avid's 15:1s resolution consumes just 1.5 gigabytes per hour of captured footage. Compare this with DV 25 411, which stores 13 gigabytes per hour of captured footage. This makes capturing whole tapes at full length off a camera or VTR in the field a viable workflow. Avid's offline resolution can be used with Avid's titles and effects as well as other imported media. These other assets have the option of being created and stored at DV 25 411 and coexisting on the same timeline while you work on your rough cut.
Once the rough cut is achieved, we can decompose our sequence and capture only the used portions of our sequence footage at full resolution, saving us a lot of storage space.
Open the Settings tab and use the fast menu to select All Settings.
Right-mouse click on the Media Creation setting and select Duplicate.
Double-click on the new Media Creation setting. Once inside, click on the Capture tab, then use the pull-down menu to change from DV 25 411 OMF to 15:1s OMF.
Select the Apply to All button as indicated by the white arrow in the graphic below.
Select the OK button.
Once you press OK, you can reopen this setting and check each of the tabs therein. These will all reflect the 15:1s settings you just made.
Next you'll want to name your settings to make it easier to select exactly the settings you wish to use in the future.
Name your 15:1s setting 15:1s offline, and name your old setting DV 25 411.
Later as we toggle between these two settings, we'll know exactly what setting to select just by looking at the names here in the Settings tab.
You can now toggle the resolution of your capture just by changing from one of these two Media Creation settings you now have. Select the 15:1s when you wish to capture new footage at Avid's 15:1s resolution. When you wish to recapture later, we'll switch resolutions by changing the selection here to DV 25 411.
Select the Capture Tool using CTRL-7 or the pull-down menus by selecting Tools, Capture. The Capture tool toggles into a LOG tool by hitting the CAP button as indicated by the white arrow at the top of the graphic below. The second window on top of the Capture tool has a pencil with the word LOG taking the place of CAP in the prior window. We're now ready to mark our in and out points for multiple clips as we prepare for a batch capture at 15:1s.
If you properly selected the new 15:1s setting we have made in the Settings tab, you should see the Res set to 15:1s OMF now as indicated by the white arrow near the center and right of the top window in the graphic below.
Here is a quick tip: When you use the LOG tool, the upper left-hand button changes from a capture button to a mark in button. Once you use this button to mark in a clip playing, the button toggles into a mark out and log clip button. This makes logging clips easy as the tape can run continuously.
Whenever you plan on logging more than a single tape in a single project it is extremely important to name each tape before you start logging your clips. Later as you batch capture as well as recapture your sequence, you will be asked to insert each tape as needed.
Once all your logging has been completed, select the offline master clips in the bin, then use the pull-down menus to choose Bin, Batch Capture.
The Capture tool will open along with an option prompt. Make sure your capture setting is still set to 15:1s OMF. Using the option prompt box, make sure Offline media only is selected and then press the OK button to begin the batch capture.
One of the great features of Avid's Offline resolution is the ability to add titles and graphics at the full resolution in the same timeline, in real-time.
Once you have finished assembling your sequence, you're ready to recapture your sequence using DV 25 411. For this we will use the decompose option rather than simply recapturing the offline resolution master clips. Using the Decompose function offers us a few more benefits:
- Create new master clips
- Create handle durations for our new master clips
- Recapture only the clip and durations we used in our sequence
If you like, just before you decompose your sequence, create a new bin and make a duplicate of the original sequence. Store the duplicate sequence in the new bin. When you decompose the original sequence, it will re-link to new master offline clips in the original bin. However, if you make a duplicate before doing this, the duplicate will retain its links to the original 15:1s offline master clips. Since decomposing re-links to new offline media master clips, your old offline resolution sequence and clips are completely safe, should you want to go back to those for any reason.
Select the sequence in your bin and use the pull-down menu to select Bin, Decompose. You will be prompted with a Decompose options window. Since the sequence is currently online you'll need to un-check the Offline media only check-box, which is checked by default. Now you're ready to press the OK button.
You will be prompted with an information box that states "Selected sequences will be relinked to new offline master clips". This will create new offline master clips in your bin of any of the clips used in your sequence. Anything not used will be ignored, so you may see fewer items created than you originally had in your bin.
Once the decompose is complete, the items in the timeline will now show as Media Offline. The sequence itself is no longer linked to the 15:1s master clips. Instead, the sequence is linked to a new set of offline master clips.
Note the bin now shows a new set of clips with the added "new.01" at the end of the original clip names. The original 15:1s clips are still in the bin, and if you made a duplicate of the original sequence, that sequence remains linked to the original 15:1s master clips.
Before we recapture the sequence we should change the capture settings to DV 25 411. Earlier we created a toggle switch between Avid's offline resolution and DV 25. We are now ready to switch to DV 25 411.
Go back to the Settings tab and select the DV 25 411 Media Creation setting.
Now we're ready to batch capture our offline sequence.
Inside your bin select the sequence we just offlined, and then, using the pull-down menus, select Bin, Batch Capture.
You will be prompted with a batch capture option box. Make sure the Offline media only check-box is checked, then press the OK button.
You will now start to recapture footage used in the sequence as new master clips with the handle duration you defined.
Once your batch capture has completed, you will see in the bin that you now have new master clips linked to your timeline. Your timeline is no longer showing the message Media Offline but instead is linked to your new DV 25 411 master clips. You will need to re-render any effects you have added to your timeline.
The green marked area shows our new master clips, which you can see are now DV 25 411. Just below that, we have the offline master clips we created with the decompose option. Below that are the original 15:1s clips. At this time, only the 15:1s clips used in the sequence have been onlined at DV 25. You're now free to delete the offline and/or the original 15:1s media from your bin if you feel they are no longer needed.
Offline resolution provides the benefit of mobility and considerable space savings. With offline resolution, whole projects can be stored in offline resolution and left as viewable backups ready for inspection at any time. Choose any of the clips that have reuse value or even make modifications to your projects months later much more quickly than starting completely over again.
©2004 by Alex Alexzander & Creative Cow
All Rights Reserved
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