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Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve

COW Library : Avid Media Composer : Scott Freeman : Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve
CreativeCOW presents Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve -- AVID Editorial


Los Angeles California
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Avid is a tapeless beast that I want to tame. Victorious: here is a working step by step example of my workflow-solution using an Avid Symphony Online Sequence Metadata to relink to Resolve Video Essence with handles using MXF media files.

The techniques I have come up with for roundtripping between Avid Symphony or Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve save incredible amounts of time. What used to take 8 hours to color now takes 4. What would take 40 hours of Avid media management for a tapeless online now takes seconds. They also make possible things that most users were sure were impossible.

A brief history of why I developed these techniques: in today's offline/online post production world, the online is often delivered as MXF files with handles along with the online sequence. These delivered MXF files are the equivalent of digitized master tapes. This can be tough to round-trip using "Tape" metadata, because each MXF file's name becomes the tape name. To create a multi-group, all the takes need to be from the same tape name. This is the kind of thing that creates a media management mess.

And it still doesn't solve the problem of handles. One of the biggest Hollywood post houses told me they had been working for two years on a solution to roundtrip between Resolve and Symphony keeping the handles intact. Clients want to deliver already digitized master files with handles at a mastered DNxHD quality for online in the Symphony. The clients would then like to color using DaVinci Resolve. The post house could not get the footage back into the Symphony with handles. My process now makes this possible for them.

There are many other things that become possible by following these steps. For instance Avid does not realize it, but through AMA, Avid is resolution and frame rate independent until you render or transcode. I have also come up with workflows where strange framerates using Resolve can create a MXF file of that framerate to match the camera framerate. Avid would otherwise force the user to use the Convert command.

What is great about my process is that it even was able to take all the files for their show that was missing "Tape" name metadata and "Source File" metadata (AMA), and in one second, link 1195 clips to not only have "Tape" metadata, but always link. Always. These perfect round trips for the MXF files keep the handles, and clean up what looks like an impossible media management mess.

Plus, my technique makes everything from what I can tell Avid compliant. This is the closest to what I would call Avid Qualified, Resolve Qualified workflow that I could come up with. I was an ACSR-Elite for many years and was staff tech support / online editor for a facility that had more Unity storage than anyone in the world. Plus, I was their Asset Manager, and manager of all digitizing online and offline. I love the entire linking to essence process.

I have always wanted a way to just say "Yes" to anyone, and make their art come to life no matter what.


Here are the steps:

Step 1) Make an Avid Bin, click on the Avid Bin Name in the Project Window and title it "Send_To_Resolve".

Duplicate the Avid Online Video Only Sequence into that Avid Bin.



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Step 2) Select the sequence in the "Send_To_Resolve" Avid Bin and export it as an AAF.





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Select the following:
  • Activate "AAF Edit Protocol"

  • "Include All Video/Data Tracks in Sequence"

  • "Include All Audio Tracks in Sequence" – In an Avid sequence this setting has nothing to do with audio tracks for me, if you have more than one effect on a video segment, the user must activate "Include All Audio Tracks In Sequence"

  • Export Method select "Link to (Don't Export) Media"


Here is an example of my actual AAF export settings.


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In DaVinci Resolve Version 9-10

Step 3) Click the "Gear Icon" living in the bottom far left corner of Resolve v9 - v10 and select the following: - For this workflow in Resolve I like to first set-up configuration settings before I import an Avid AAF.



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  • Click "Master Project Settings" Panel - Under "Conform Options" "Use Timecode:" Activate "Embedded in the source clip"

  • Put a check mark activating "Assist using reel names from the:"

  • Activate "Embedding in source clip file".
  • In Resolve 9 for non-drop/drop frame timecode support, activate "Handle Mixed framerate material". Resolve 10 has default non-drop/drop frame timecode support for exports.


Resolve 10 Configuration Settings:


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Resolve 9 Configuration Settings:


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Step 4) Import AAF





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  • The default selections are great except Resolve 9 for non-drop/drop frame timecode support activate "Handle mixed framerate material". Resolve 10 has default non-drop/drop frame timecode support.

Resolve 10 AAF Import Settings:




Resolve 9 AAF Import Settings:




An example of the Avid Online Sequence exported as an AAF then imported as a Resolve Timeline:




Step 5) In Resolve color all the cuts in the episode/movie.

Step 6) Resolve 9, I would render out the Master Timeline, this way I will have an exact metadata match including all handles. Also note that if I choose a timeline that is not the master timeline, the selected timeline if containing unsupported segments like titles the Resolve will needlessly render out files and this is avoided for me by rendering out the Master Timeline.


  • Deliver using "Render to:" "MXF". Depending on interlaced or progressive source needs, select the proper MXF 1080 (i) or (p) Codec.

  • "Render timeline as" activate "Individual source clips" – this tells Resolve to render the native framerate of the original mxf media file.

  • For File Name, activate "Use source filename"

  • For Output options, activate "Render each clip with a unique filename" – this way Resolve will not delete individual files when rendering.


Resolve 10 MXF Render Settings (this settings example would be for 23.976 1080p):


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Resolve 9 MXF Render Settings (this settings example would be for 59.94 1080i):


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In Avid Symphony Version 6.5-7.0.3

Step 7) Make 3 new Avid Bins and title them "Resolve_Essence", "Tape", and "Source_File". For some camera types or situation I might need to make an additional 4th bin and title it "Name".





Step 8) In the "Send_To_Resolve" Avid Bin make a custom bin display with the following headings/columns: "CFPS", "Offline, "Tracks", "Start", "End", "Duration", "Project", "Source File", "Tape", "Format", "Video". Make a "custom column" by clicking in the blank column area in the upper right of the Avid Bin and title it "link". Save the Avid "custom bin display" and title it "link". (By default the Avid Bin has the icon and "Name" heading/column visible.)



Here is an example to make a custom column:








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Step 9) In the "Send_To_Resolve" Avid Bin go to Bin menu, choose "Set Bin Display". Activate only: "Master Clips", "Show clips created by user", and "Show reference clips".




Step 10) Master Clips using "Tape" metadata, move those into the "Tape" bin.

Step 11) Master Clips using "Source File" metadata, move those into the "Source File" bin

******* For some Avid transcodes of C300/other file types/PDW-F800 masters to Avid mxf file AMA workflows, the metadata populated in the "Name" column is the match, move those into the "Name" bin. *******

Step 12) In the "Tape" bin, bring up the custom bin display titled "link" and click on the "Tape" heading. The entire column is selected. Use the duplicate command. The Avid "Select" window is revealed. Choose the column "link" and click on the OK button.




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Step 13)
In the "Source File" bin, bring up the custom bin display titled "link" and click on the "Source File" heading. The entire column is selected. Use the duplicate command. The Avid "Select" window is revealed. Choose the column "LINK" and click on the OK button.




******* For some Avid transcodes of C300/other file types/PDW-F800 masters to Avid mxf files AMA workflows, I have seen situations where I use the "Name" metadata. *******

For these I open up the "Name" bin and bring up the custom bin display titled "link". Click on the "Name" heading. The entire column is selected. Use the Avid duplicate command. The Avid "Select" window is revealed. Choose the column "link" and click on the OK button to close the "Select" window.


Step 14) In the "Send_To_Resolve" bin, go to "Set Bin Display"





and select only "Sequences" and "Show clips created by user".





Step 15)
In the "Resolve_Essence" bin go to the file menu and choose "Import".





Import the "msmMMOB.mdb" (msmMMOB.mdb is the Avid Media Database and this step creates links).



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Resolve delivered mxf files need to live in an Avid write-activated folder where the Avid will create the Media Databases.
[Keeping this to a limit of 1200 mxf media files per numbered folder Avid will run at maximum performance/speed. Once you reach 1200 make a new numbered folder. For Unity land the first part of the folder name will be the computer name then the number that would change to continue write access for Media Databases creation].

For local storage, the folder would be a numbered folder that lives inside the MXF folder, and that MXF folder lives inside a folder that lives on the root directory of your media drive titled "Avid MediaFiles".


Step 16) In the "Resolve_Essence" bin, bring up the custom bin display titled "link" and click on the "Tape" heading. The entire column is selected. Use the duplicate command.



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The Avid "Select" window is revealed. Choose the column "link" and click on the OK button.





Step 17) Move your sequence from "Send_To_Resolve" bin and move it to the "Resolve_Essence" bin.

Step 18) In the "Resolve_Essence" bin select all and go to the clip menu and choose "Relink"



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»  The "Relink" window appears – In the "Relink" window, Activate "Selected items in ALL open items", "Allow relinking to offline items" and Under "Relink by: Original" choose "Timecode" "Start" and choose "Source Name" and choose the custom column "link", activate "Ignore extension", put a "." in "Ignore characters after last occurrence:" click enter.


Here are the settings that I have created where they seem to be fail-safe so far:




The user should now has a linked Online Avid Symphony v6.5 – v7 Sequence to the Resolve v9 – v10 new mxf essence.


I have been on a 18-year quest to give Avid file-based footage the Avid "Tape Name" metadata for linking calmness in one click for the cleanest offline to online editorial workflow possible when it comes to having all the footage at the highest quality desired by the artist and linked quickly.

Computer programs can have a common command implemented to have the metadata link to essence. Achieve 2 Avid Media Management tasks looking for common ways these computer programs replicate each other for an online edit Sequence.

  1. Easy Relinking using the original Avid Online Sequence

  2. Use an Avid sequence to batch modify links that were master clip tapeless sources to master clips using "Tape Name" metadata linking.


Metadata linking to essence using Resolve and Avid is one of these common commands. With 3 pieces of metadata, the artist can make the art come alive. I love that two of the pieces of metadata needed for linking metadata to essence are defined by design. Avid MXF Media Files in this workflow show how in-common these computer programs are and how metadata linked to essence is just a liquid in a glass   the liquid is the video essence and the glass is the metadata container holding the duration placement for any essence that the Artist designs.

Skip giving the DaVinci Resolve 1 tape, instead give Resolve everything:

Back in the day for a DaVinci Color Correcting Session, I would output from an Avid Symphony Online Edit a non-color corrected textless master tape and an EDL. The non-color corrected textless master tape was the source for DaVinci to color and the EDL was to tell the DaVinci where video segments began and ended, these edits are events in the EDL. A DaVinci Resolve configured can now look at the Avid Sequence and Avid Media Files. Just switch from the Avid User Interface to the Resolve User interface and then back to the Avid U.I.


The user has at least these choices:

  1. use Resolve to access the master footage.

  2. use Resolve to access the Avid master mxf footage with handles.

  3. attempt to use everything and anything.


With computer editing, less is more. A current technique used to be an Avid console command. Before, I moved the online Avid Sequence into the "Send_To_Resolve" Avid Bin. I am currently right-clicking on an Avid Symphony Online Sequence and choosing the "Commit Multicam Edits". By slimming down the amount of Avid media objects, I am getting a faster computer experience.





Avid "Relink Selected" command might need to (re)establish a link relationship of the Sequence and Master Clips before relinking using a custom column will work:

  1. Duplicate the original Avid Online Sequence into the "Sent_To_Resolve" bin. – this would be the Avid sequence used to export the AAF.

  2. Select the Avid Bin and go to the "Bin" menu and choose "Set Bin Display"

    •   "The Avid "Set Bin Display" window appears

  3. Put a check mark next to "Master Clips", "Sequences", "Show clips created by user", and "Show reference clips"

  4. Close the "Set Bin Display" window by clicking OK.

  5. Select everything in the bin – Now you have all master clips and the sequence selected in the bin to clean-up links.

  6. From the "Clip" menu choose "Relink"

    •   The "Relink" window appears


  7. Under "Relink selected items to:" Activate "Selected items in ALL open bins" and put a check mark next to "Allow relinking to offline items"

  8. Under "Relink by:
    Original
    "Timecode" – select "Start"
    "Source Name" – select "Tape Name or Source File ID"
    and deselect "Match case when comparing source names"


If the Avid Symphony is crashing when exporting an AAF and you know you do not have any corruption in the sequence. A quick solution might be to quit the Avid and then delete the Avid Settings: MCState, Site Settings, and Site_Attributes. After deletion of those settings the Avid was able to export the sequence as an AAF.





Avid 6.5-7 Sequence Metadata linking to Resolve 9-10 mxf essence with handles gotchas:

*Before using Avid AMA and the transcode command to create MXF media file for preparation when using Resolve v9-v10 test out your Avid AMA/transcode command making sure that the start timecode metadata stays intact/frame accurate.


I have seen different versions of Avid create start timecode that is one frame early. Different results depending on codec or QuickTime Reference of Flattened QuickTime Movie. Understanding how important tests are of workflow and metadata, here is an example of preparation of C300 spanned Avid mxf media files for Resolve v9-v10. This media needs to be prepared special for the Resolve Media Pool. I handle using the Avid to prepare the media only by exporting a quicktime reference file of the master clip and name the file the master clip's source found in "Bin Menu>Set Bin Display>Souces". I AMA these and transcode the quicktime reference file so I end up with a pretty exact non-spanned mxf media file that will now link and playback in Resolve v9-v10.


Here is an example of the workflow-solution for creating one mxf file instead of the spanned mxf media files from a CANON C300. The workflow is keeping the "Source" the exact same name for this all to work.





  • Resolve Version 9-10 does not seem to export both progressive and interlaced codecs at the same time (At least as far as I can tell). Rendering progressive or interlaced mxf files must be done by sorting and done in 2 render passes in Resolve 9-10.

  • An Avid collapsed effect – the video on the lowest number track will be pulled only.

  • Resolve v9 if 720p source in 1080p project settings can render out 1080p with the other individual files and have an unexpected Avid codec, I am still testing out mixed frame sizes.


Here is an example test result of how resolve 9 delivered 720p in a 1080p project setting




  • Some Avid "Fast Import" created mxf media files are not supported in Resolve v9-v10.

  • I recommend that you stay away from using video mixdowns as sources for online conforms.

  • Alpha Channel mxf media files are not supported as far as I can tell yet.

  • Resolve version 9 – if a single frame was imported using file import in the Avid.


The first frame of the Avid .mxf file is video and the rest is blank. In the Avid and Resolve version 10 seem to be filling in the blank and playing back these .mxf files as a still frame.

In Resolve version 9, only the first frame will have video when played back.

  • Resolve version 9 timeline can have a clip that will not link to the "Media Pool" if in the Avid that master clip's "Source" name metadata found in the "Bin Menu>Set Bin Display...>Sources" is missing a suffix in the name and the media was offline at the time the Avid created the AAF file.

  • In Resolve version 9 – If the user changes the name of an Avid created .mxf file on the media drive, Resolve 9 will not be able to find or see the .mxf file in the library. Resolve 10 can see and use renamed .mxf files.

  • As far as I could tell on the last version of Resolve v9-v10 I was using, there did not seem to be an "import an AAF as a new video track" on a current timeline support. Resolve v9-v10 has support for an "EDL to new Track".


My workflow has built-in EDL support by default. Export an EDL as a Video Track. Use the Resolve V9-10 "EDL to new track" command that imports the EDL as a new video track. No additional editing needed. Use that same EDL to pull those additional mxf media files into the "Media Pool". Resolve's video tracks and edits in the timeline continue to be a match to the Avid Symphony Online Sequence.

Currently, EDL Template File-32 supports up to 32 characters in a name. If a master clip's start timecode was shot starting at 11:59pm and rolls past 12am, Avid EDL Manager will give that event 00:00:00:00 and Resolve v9-v10 will want 24:00:00:00. For those events, I manually edit the EDL so additions or edit changes for an Online Edit can come on a new video track in the Avid Sequence.

These additions can be edits at various parts of the sequence with huge gaps. If these edits do not alter the timing of the sequence – meaning the duration of the sequence stays intact – these tracks and media can be part of the online conform/finishing process.

This workflow is designed to be metadata link to essence wise, at anytime for example: Resolve v9 Timeline might need the Avid to prepare mxf media files that the Resolve can link and playback because the Media Pool previously had spanned mxf files that Resolve from what I can tell doesn't playback smoothly for the second spanned event. In Resolve 9, export a "Missing Clips EDL..." so that in the Avid you can now have that list to take care of it. In the Avid create mxf media files that are Resolve v9 compatible, bring into the Resolve media pool when done. Resolve's Timeline should link in theory to that new mxf media file essence because of the embedded tape name configuration with start timecode and duration makes the link happen.


Here is an example in Resolve v9 of exporting an EDL of missing footage only:




Notice how that in the above example, the name in the upper left corner is the name of your timeline. Even though it says XML to the left of the name, this is actually how I have seen Resolve 9 display the timeline. In Resolve v10, I think it will say "AAF" next to the timeline name.

For HD, the mxf file is the only video file that I know of that the Avid can read the embedded "Tape Name" metadata. Embedded "Tape Name", start timecode, and duration metadata is what is allowing these links to be the most solid links I can come up with.

If there is "Source File" metadata for a master clip in the Avid Bin, the Avid will not display the populated "Tape Name" metadata embedded in the Avid mxf media file. All Avid created mxf media files have embedded "Tape Name" metadata that is an exact metadata match to the master clip's "Source" by default.

Embedded "Tape Name" metadata in an Avid mxf media file can be an exact metadata match populated in the following columns in the Avid Bin: "Tape Name", "Source File" (Except most default AMA imports will be missing the suffix. For some cameras could be missing the spanned numbering. If an AMA clip was transcoded and an Avid framerate conversion command happened the Avid will give the "Source" name a suffix. If the Avid "file>import" command was used to import a clip in the Avid the "Source" name will have a suffix, except for some "Avid Fast Imports".), or "Name" column in the Avid Bin.

Avid embeds metadata into an mxf media file when Avid creates the mxf file only. All other edits/changes to metadata after the Avid mxf media files was created is just saved as side-car metadata. The metadata changes are not embedded into the mxf file unless you have the Avid create new mxf files. The side-car matadata changes/edits are saved in the Avid Bin and the Avid Media Databases to name a few places. For Resolve the metadata populated in the "Reel Name" column gets embedded as "Tape Name" metadata in the delivered mxf files.




Above – I attempted to discuss using an Avid Bin and importing an Avid media database to create the links to the Resolve delivered mxf media files with handles.


For the most part Below – I am testing and re-testing importing a Resolve v9-v10 AAF into an Avid Bin.

Example: Resolve Version 10 exports an AAF and the user import it into an Avid Symphony Version 4.0.5 - V 7.0.3.


If an Advanced Authoring Format File (Also known as an AAF Export) is imported that was created by DaVinci Resolve Version 10 and the original Online Avid Sequence Bin that contains the Avid sequence is open at the same time, an error can occur in the Avid Symphony causing for example, the video to play back with green and static hits and other splendors.

Is this an Avid media object conflict?


Quit the Avid and delete the corrupted media databases for the mxf files in question (Since version 7 of Avid Symphony, I have had to delete the AMA media databases if there was one of these master clips imported with the AAF). Avid creates new media databases next time it is launched.


I made this workflow to avoid Avid media object conflicts (MOB conflicts) from importing a Resolve Version 10 AAF into an Avid Bin.


Step 1) Close all Avid Bins

Step 2) Quit the Avid Symphony

Step 3) Launch the Avid Symphony

Step 4) Make a new Avid Bin

Step 5) Select the new Avid Bin and import the DaVinci Resolve Version 10 AAF.



I created this workflow to avoid Avid media object conflicts (MOB conflicts) from importing a Resolve Version 9 AAF into an Avid Bin.

Step 1) Load the original Avid Symphony Sequence that made the original AAF into the Avid Record Monitor by double clicking the sequence icon in the Avid Bin.

Step 2) Import the Resolve Version 9 AAF into an Avid Bin


The user should now have a linked Online Avid Symphony v4.0.5 – v7 Sequence to the Resolve v9 – v10 new mxf essence from an AAF.


Importing a Resolve Version 9-10 Generated AAF into an Avid Bin issues:

  • I can technically modify an Avid Video Mixdown's "Start Timecode" and "Tape Name" metadata. This AAF import is so powerful that it can now allow me to do what I call "Source". After sourcing, I consolidate the video mixdown media file to bake-in/embed the metadata to allow less confusion down the line. Even though I can make this happen, I stay away from this for my online conforms.

  • Non-drop timecode metadata support only.

  • All drop frame timecode metadata master clips will by batch modified to non-drop frame timecode metadata upon import.

  • Non-standard metadata batch renaming of "Source" metadata for every master clip. The Avid user can end up with source metadata that has been renamed only an exact metadata match to the name of the AAF that was the import plus a number appended to the name.

  • All master clips might become batch modified to "Tape Name" metadata linking instantly.

  • May not be able to use the Decompose command on the AAF imported sequence.

  • Some master clips used in the AAF imported sequence have locked side-car metadata.
Importing a Resolve version 9 Generated AAF into an Avid Bin issues:
  • If the source (found in set bin display) is not populated with start timecode metadata of 00:00:00:00, those master clips will have their start timecode metadata modified to 00:00:00:00 instantly.

    (For most master clip's source start timecode metadata if the Avid User uses the File Menu > File Import command, the Avid assigns this metadata the same metadata found in the Start Timecode of the Master Clip.

    AMA for the most part will give the "Source" Start Timecode metadata of 00:00:00:00 just like "Tape Name" metadata "Sources"
    )


An Avid media management heads up:
  • If the Resolve User creates mxf files that are missing "Reel Names" when delivering mxf files a blank is in the embedded "Tape Name" metadata. The resulting mxf files if using an Avid Media Database as the import method in the Avid bin the "Tape Name" metadata can be the name of the media database plus a numbered appended at the end of the name. If the Avid user used the "MediaTool" to create the links a "Blank" "Tape Name" is revealed. If the Avid user imports an AAF from Resolve to establish links the "Tape Name" metadata can be the name of the Resolve AAF that established the links in the bin.

  • In Resolve version 9 and I think in Final Cut Pro 7, but not in After Effects, if the source is a 1080p 23.98 QuickTime Movie exported from the Avid, the last frame of the QuickTime Movie is not available, so the quicktime movie is short one frame at the tail. This is another reason why MXF is great for Resolve – so far every frame is making it in the media pool.

  • If you select a master clip in Avid in a bin, and choose the Avid "Batch Import" command: Avid first confirms the frame rate of the master clip to match the project.

    .... and any file user selects will be imported regardless of metadata, ignoring start timecode / duration metadata except for the new name of that file will update the Avid metadata in the "Source File" column. So if the Avid user chooses the wrong file to batch import, the Avid does not worn/prompt the user ahead of time that the wrong file was selected for batch import.

  • Also, I think it is worth noting that if the Avid User would like to use the decompose command in the future to redesign handles for relinking of new Resolve Essence on an AMA direct link sequence currently the Act of using the consolidate/transcode command on the sequence making Avid MXF media files will allow the user to decompose the sequence and avoid this message.






I love to analyze codecs, files, cadence, and mxf file sources, and create a perfect media file match to the originals with all fields, frames, and pixels being a high quality duplicate or uncompressed duplicate that can continue to (re)link and point me to the original sources.

My point with all of this is that I am trying to create workflows where anything is possible. As people follow these steps, I hear again and again that, yes, they are doing things they never thought possible.

My plans for the future: I will continue to help as many people as I can, and test and test and test. My goal is to make everyone look good and feel great with post production. I love art and want artists to spend their time doing what they love.







Comments

Re: Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve
by Vince Masciale
So I can't seem to get the sequence to relink to the new Resolve rendered footage. I am editing with footage from an Alexa created in Resolve and imported into Avid. The names of the clips have been renamed in Avid, but there is no TAPE or SOURCE FILE in the metadata.

In Resolve, I use the AAF created from AVID but link it to the RAW footage, not the MXF media used in AVID. When I color and render back out, they have TAPE metadata.

What can I use to copy to the LINK column that will match the footage rendered out from Resolve?
Compose Embedded Metadata for reconform in Media Composer for metadata ripple downstream to DaVinci Resolve
by Scott Freeman
Compose the Embedded Metadata, a possible metadata solution to your reconform problem. This is a super important, and I many people are going through this around the world.


Vince Masciale Reconform Question Problem 01: "So I can't seem to get the sequence to relink to the new Resolve rendered footage. I am editing with footage from an Alexa created in Resolve and imported into Avid."

Scott Freeman: I suspect in Resolve at the time of Rendering out MXF OP-Atom files from the Alexa clips, "Reel Names" was not activated (configured) for the metadata display in Resolve Media Pool.




Vince Masciale Reconform Question Problem 02: "What can I use to copy to the LINK column that will match the footage rendered out from Resolve?"

Scott Freeman: There might be good metadata in the Master Clip Name column. Use the master clip "Name" metadata to populate the "LINK" column creating the Metadata Match.





Vince Masciale Reconform Question Problem 03: "The names of the clips have been renamed in Avid, but there is no TAPE or SOURCE FILE in the metadata."

Scott Freeman: Recover the Original Master Clip Name Metadata because it sounds like the Master Clip Name Metadata is embedded in the MXF OP-Atom Media Files just waiting for re-extraction. The Avid is using non-destructive editing techniques for assets.





Vince Masciale Reconform Question Problem 04: "In Resolve, I use the AAF created from AVID but link it to the RAW footage, not the MXF media used in AVID. When I color and render back out, they have TAPE metadata."

Scott Freeman: The Reconform Strategy, reconform Alexa Camera Original in Avid Media Composer rippling the correct reconform metadata downstream.




After walking you through this on the phone - I thought I would log it here as a document for others to hopefully learn from:
Clean up reconforming metadata by extracting Master Clip Name Metadata from the Resolve Rendered (AMT)MXF OP-Atom media files. Within Avid Media Composer, reconform using AMA-Link-to-Alexa footage. Correct Reconforming metadata can ripple downstream for a perfect seamless reconform for both resolve and avid.


1 In the Avid Project Window click on the "Info" Tab, click on the "Clear Bin Memory" Button

2 Clear and then Create new media databases for the Resolve Rendered MXF OP-Atom Media Files (AMT) to have a fresh sidecar database

3 Import into a new bin the new "msmMMOB.mdb"

4 Duplicate the Metadata Populated in the "Name" column into the "LINK" column for those new Master Clips that were created by importing the "msmMMOB.mdb"

5 AMA Plug-In "Link to Media" the Alexa footage, Avid creates Master Clips

6 For the AMA Alexa Footage Master Clips, duplicate the Metadata Populated in the "Name" column into the "LINK" column

7 Click on the Avid "Clear Bin Memory" Button

8 In the Avid Bin select the AMA Master Clips and the Sequence at the same time

9 Go to the Clip Menu and choose the Relink Command

10 In the Relink Command Window select the "LINK" column populated metadata

11 Export the Sequence as an AAF from Media Composer

12 Import into DaVinci Resolve the AAF with matching configured "Reel Name" for display in the Media Pool and Edit Index Events

13 Render out the desired color baked-in MXF OP-Atom Media Files (AMT) from Resolve for Avid by placing in a numbered folder, having the Avid create the "msmMMOB.mdb"

14 Create a new Avid bin, selecting the bin, and then going to the File Menu > Import command to select the new "msmMMOB.mdb"

15 Duplicate the Populated Metadata in the "Tape" column into the "LINK" column

16 Click on the Avid "Clear Bin Memory" Button

17 Relink Sequence to the Resolve rendered footage with the Avid Relink Command choosing the "LINK" column





I was able to rescue the sequence for a reconform because the mxf media files created in resolve embedded the alexa asset name, here is further thoughts about this issue:

Compose the Embedded Metadata: Reconform Render versus Dailies Render, get either 1 metadata value identifier embedded or 2 metadata value identifiers embedded into the MXF OP-Atom AMT Media File.

When Resolve Rendering MXF OP-Atom AMT Media Files for Avid Media Composer one should always activate "Reel Names" throughout the entire DaVinci Resolve graphic user interface.


  • Resolve Renders Reconform purposes setup: "Render unique filenames" avoiding possible media files deletion if clip was used more than once in Resolve Timeline. DaVinci Resolve Rendered MXF OP-Atom Media Files (AMT) only has embedded "Reel Name" exact character name match that in Avid appears as Populated Metadata in the "Tape" column. This is to further point out how critical it is to turn on "Reel Names" by activating Reel Name Metadata in DaVinci Resolve.


  • DaVinci Resolve Render Setting For Reconform Processing: - please always have Reel Names turned on
    • Format to "Individual source files"
    • Video Format to "MXF OP-Atom"
    • Codec to Choose the desired supported codec
    • File to Save as "Use Source Filename"
    • Activate by selecting "Render unique filenames"



  • Resolve Renders Dailies purposes setup:For Processesing Dailies in DaVinci Resolve for Avid Media Composer the Video Format that I have been testing out is "MXF OP-Atom" AMT Media FIles. In DaVinci Resolve "Deliver" Page there are some Render Settings that I find help enable further Embedded Metadata Identification Protection onboard the Rendered MXF OP-Atom Media Files (AMT) in the form as Populated Metadata in the Master Clip Name Column and Reel Name column for 2 levels of embedded protection for downstream reconform Identification. It is critical to turn on "Reel Names" by activating Reel Name Metadata in DaVinci Resolve.


    DaVinci Resolve Render Setting For Dailies Processing: - please always have Reel Names turned on
    • Format to "Individual source files"
    • Video Format to "MXF OP-Atom"
    • Codec to Choose the desired supported codec
    • File to Save as "Use Source Filename"
    • De-Activate by deselecting "Render unique filenames"



Re: Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve
by Drew Lahat
Hi Scott,
A somewhat related question, that I couldn't think of a better person to ask than you:

I have a timeline I inherited with references to double-system production sound. Some have a TapeID that matches the source file name, most don't. Avid does know the source file and path for ALL the clips - I can see it with Batch Import. However "Source File" and "Source Path" are blank for all of them (as is UNC Path). It looks the same whether I'm looking at reference clips or decomposed ones.

How do you explain it, and how do I extract that info so I can bring it into the bin columns (to do some useful metadata manipulation)?

I made a little bin with representative samples of the audio clips (both subclips and master clips), which you can take a look at to inspect the metadata (if you have the time and/or desire):
drewlahat.com/misc/DecomposedAudio.avb

I may be able to run more tests tomorrow - I'm currently at home so I'm looking at the offline project without access to the media.

The big picture (the "what are you trying to do?" question): converting a timeline from Avid to Premiere CC. I know the latter is not your expertise, but Resolve is indeed a handy middleman and I already managed to conform the video this way - now looking into the audio.
@Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve
by Ernest Savage
You my friend are a genius. Has anything changed for this workflow since the release of resolve 11 and avid 8.3? See any changes for resolve 12? Also, I have some ideas for speeding up the color process on shows coming out of avid into resolve. In particular around fixing import/naming/metadata problems that prevent resolve from grouping all clips from a scene/camera/take in source mode. I often find shots that should be right next to each other in source mode, separated by half a timeline.

I have a few shows coming up, and I'd like to integrate this workflow.

You seem like you would have more work than you could possibly handle, but I'd love to hire you to help implement this workflow. I know your busy, probably wouldn't take more than a day.

I don't see your email listed, so if you can spare the time, please email me at whitebalanceinc@gmail.com. Thanks for this incredible workflow.
@Ernest Savage -----> answer for unbreakable reconform control <-----
by Scott Freeman
DaVinci Resolve v11.3.1 with Avid Symphony v8.3.1 thru v8.4

  • "A" Mode and "C" Mode Sorting the DaVinci Resolve Timeline
  • "Source" Name Relinking Metadata Tag Match Embedded Metadata Tag in MXF OP-Atom Media Files (AMT too)
  • Video Media Frame-Handles both sides of every event
  • Width and Height Resolution Independence with DNxHR Codec (Following rules of Current Versions of Resolve and Avid)
  • Frames Per Second Independence, Mixed Rate Clips. Noticing Resolve and Avid Media Composer can use MXF OP-Atom Media Files that are Non-Standard Frames Per Second Rates. Auto-detection of the Frames Per Second is not always the exact same between the Resolve and Avid Boxes observed under "FPS" column heading in the Resolve Media Pool and the Avid Bin. For the relink in Avid Media Composer to work both clips need to be the same frames per second.



Ernest Savage Question: "Has anything changed for this workflow since the release of resolve 11 and avid 8.3?"


Scott Freeman: Here is an update for you that is hopefully helpful

Original Step 6) Resolve 9, I would render out the Master Timeline, this way I will have an exact metadata match including all handles. Also note that if I choose a timeline that is not the master timeline, the selected timeline if containing unsupported segments like titles the Resolve will needlessly render out files and this is avoided for me by rendering out the Master Timeline.

Updated Step 6) Resolve Version 11, to render out a Resolve Timeline of only the Avid Media Composer Supplied MXF OP-Atom Media Files with frame-handles using Remote Grading, please configure the following:

Turn on Remote Grading, deactivate "Use local version for new clips in timeline" settings.
"Project Settings > Color > Timeline Settings >"



Create New Timeline




In the "New Timeline Properties", deselect "Empty Timeline". The new timeline is now created populated with all of the Avid MXF OP-Atom linked clips in the Resolve Media Pool.
Re: Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve
by Denzil Egan
Hi Scott! First off, I want to say thank you THANK YOU immensely for this! It is extremely thorough and massively helpful, and I am sure it took you quite some time to put this together, so thanks a million. With that said, I could still use some assistance.

I am having some real issues round-tripping. My lack of experience with AVID aside (I really need to have someone walk me through the basics of AVID media management and structuring...), I believe my issues are being caused primarily because of my workflow setup. I am working in-house at a facility setup with AVID Isis and Interplay. I believe that is the real reason things are not going so smoothly. Ever since installing ISIS, we have had a non-stop flow of errors and media management mishaps that as of yet still have not been resolved (even with AVID support). I am hoping that you have had some experience with both ISIS and Interplay, but either way I think you may be able to help figure out a work around.

I have read and re-read your workflow several times, and it seems that I'm able to keep up until step 15 where things really get off, as the way we are set up (currently) importing the AVID database file (msmMMOB.mdb) is not very straight forward, and, additionally, all of the source files in a given sequence are not always necessarily on the same ISIS drive as several may be mounted at once and referencing media (this was caused by an editor that is no longer with us creating lots of separate drives for different projects; see:

I recognize that this is not the best workflow and that essentially what I am dealing with is a media management nightmare while attempting to establish a solid round-trip workflow AVID to DaVinci, but it is what it is right now, and I must try and make do (or fix it! If you can help with that too, that would be the absolute best case scenario!).

With that said, I haven't been able to get past step 15 even when I am working with a consolidated project and am disconnected/offline from ISIS, so there may be a deeper issue here. I am honestly not sure if it makes much difference at this point, but I did just want to mention that we do have a DaVinci UltraStudio 4K deck, so perhaps that will prove to be useful in setting up a solid AVID->DaVinci->AVID workflow.

I am probably leaving out some details that would help you know what is going on, but please just let me know and I will try and get you whatever information you need. Again, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
*EDIT/UPDATE
by Denzil Egan
Just and update on my findings: it seems that ISIS doesn't utilize the .mdb file at all, which leads me to think 1) if ISIS doesn't need it, then why does AVID? and more importantly 2) what in the world am I supposed to do now?
@Denzil Egan
by Scott Freeman
thank you so much for checking out this method. I understand that you are using Avid Interplay. I have not used Interplay yet, and understand that it is different for managing media in the Avid with some form of checkin asset. I have used MXF OP-Atom Media FIles on Unity Avid Shared Systems that have shared projects and shared managed volumes. When I supported Unity File Servers the Avid created a Folder Structure for the Managed Media where instead of just a numbered folder name, the name of the workstation is also in that name. I have noticed that for these systems Media Databases are created for the Resolve Rendered MXF OP-Atom (AMT) Media Files.


Avid Media Composer System creates folder structure to manage MXF OP-Atom Media Files. Here is an example of local storage with the Avid default created folder naming structure:
Avid MediaFiles > MXF > 1

Media Databases for MXF OP-Atom Media Files lives inside the numbered folder contains a list of the media files in that folder. This media database list of these media files contains metadata about those media files too. Some of that metadata in the media databases are sidecar metadata that mimic the sidecar metadata in an Avid Bin and thus not embedded metadata in the mxf media files contained in this numbered folder.







Avid Media Composer when playing back a Master Clip, the Master Clip points to the Media Databases. The Media Databases loads the Media Files into Random Access Memory.

Avid Media Composer when playing back a Rendered Effect, the Sequence points to the Media Databases. The Media Databases loads the Precompute Media File into Random Access Memory.



Technical Trouble Shooting Tip For Isolating Corruption in the Sequence Pipeline: This can be helpful for isolating corruption on a sequence where an error message is displayed when playing back a sequence.
The Sequence plays back Master Clips or Rendered Effects. In the Avid Media Composer when playing back a Sequence, the Sequence Pipeline is loaded into the computer's RAM.


If playing a Sequence using the "Play IN to OUT" button

The Avid "In and Out" Marks and the "Play IN to OUT" Button defines a new Sequence Pipeline that gets loaded into RAM.

Re: Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve
by Michael Wolf
In Step 15 you say import the MMOB file. Is that the MMOB file from the original Avid MXF essence that was sent to Resolve? Is this just making empty master clips to then relink to the new Resolve essence?

Michael Wolf
http://www.mikewolfpost.com
@Michael Wolf
by Scott Freeman
Michael, thank you so much for checking out the resolve / avid workflow article.

step 15 is for importing the "msmMMOB.mdb" that lives with the Resolve MXF delivered essence media files.



Step 15) In the "Resolve_Essence" bin go to the file menu and choose "Import".

The Resolve exported mxf media files currently need to live in a numbered Avid activated media files folder with-in the "MXF" folder with-in the "Avid MediaFiles" folder. The Avid will create the media databases for the resolve essence.

The only Avid product I know of where the user could organize with-in this Avid Activated Folder was Avid AudioVision.
@Scott Freeman
by Michael Wolf
OK, to be clear. In step 15 we are now in the "Resolve_Essence" bin to receive the graded essence back from Resolve, but for the MMOB file, we are going back to the Avid MXF folder holding the Avid essence delivered to Resolve in Step 1.

Michael Wolf
http://www.mikewolfpost.com
@Michael Wolf
by Scott Freeman
Michael,

I hope after speaking with you on the phone that it makes sense to have the Avid create a new media database for the resolve essence. I then import this new media database that is a list of all of the new resolve essence. I then relink the sequence to this new resolve essence. You are welcome to call me anytime. I love to help.
Re: Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve
by Tom Strachan
Sorry Scott, I'm outside the US so a phonecall is difficult. The post house say that by having the clip name in the tape ID column it makes it harder to relink at batch import. Not sure if they are just having to do a bit more clicking or if it is genuine problems.

Tom Strachan

Video Editor

http://vimeo.com/23625570
Re: Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve
by Tom Strachan
Thanks for that, it's very helpful. I have a question that you might be able to help me with.

We're adding a grade in Resolve then using AAF import into Avid for offline. Our online say they have issues in conform due to the tape name column in Avid matching the clips. Would we be able to get around this using any of the steps you mentioned above?

I read it all, but as an Avid man, and my DIT knows resolve, some of it was a bit Greek to me! I've tried googling this issue but I'm not entirely sure how to phrase it.

Any help or responses really would be a fantastic help.

Thanks,
@Tom Strachan
by Scott Freeman
Thank you for reading the article.

I love relinking Avid sequence metadata to essence. This relinking workflow is unstoppable if you have Avid master clips with 3 pieces of metadata matching.

start timecode
duration
and custom column
I am specifically looking for metadata relinking to essence problems to solve
by Scott Freeman
As of Media Composer | Symphony version 6.5 metadata relinking essence elegance. Gear locking metadata to relink using a custom column to the video essence. If Start timecode, duration, custom column, can be a metadata match then reconform the sequence.



Relink AMA clips to what were file import clips in a sequence:
I am seeing with Version 7.0.4 of Avid Media Composer Symphony, I can use the relink selected command using a custom column with AMA master clips sources and with a sequence can relink to what were "File Menu >Import..." ingested master clips.




I can completely relink back again and again. That is what my tests are revealing.

I continue to test out relinking and playback in the Avid keeping in mind how Avid sees and uses embedded metadata versus side-car metadata versus both. Attempting to uncover the most essential metadata for relinking to essence. For playback I need relinking gears to be locked into place.


4K XAVC and XDCAM Proxy situation

4K XAVC filename: B001C001_1308213D.MXF
XDCAM Proxy filename: B001C001_1308213DS02.MXF

The Problem: relinking the 4K XAVC files replacing the XDCAM Proxy footage because the XDCAM Proxy footage has "S02" at the end of the name.


The Solution:This workflow can support this particular XDCAM Proxy footage / 4K XAVC online conform relinking situation.

1) In the Avid Proxy Bin, click on the Name column and then use the duplicate command


2) Select the LINK column




3) AMA ingest the 4K XAVC into a New Bin and then duplicate the metadata populated in the Name column into the LINK column


4) Select the AMA 4K XAVC master clips and the sequence at the same time and then go to the Clip Menu, choose the Relink command




5) Make the following selections in the Relink Window

  • Place a check mark next to Ignore extension
  • Under the words "Ignore character after last occurrence" copy and paste "S02" in to the box


Now the Avid Sequence is prepared to make the AAF/EDL output for Resolve.



When Avid creates the default metadata for some files using AMA, and the user uses the consolidate/transcode command the metadata populated in the "Source File" column is not always a metadata match to the embedded "Tape" name metadata in the resulting MXF media file.


Here is an example of AMA Direct Links and the lovely custom "LINK" column works to relink an Avid sequence that had master clips with AMA direct links metadata to the Resolve delivered MXF files:




Some Avid Media Access (AMA) default naming metadata populated in an Avid Bin:



Some Configuration Settings in Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Version 9-10

- activate "Embedded in the source clip"
- activate "Assist using reel names from the:"
- activate "Source clip filename"





Here is some RED .r3d Source file AMA direct link default naming metadata:



Some AMA default name metadata can match the "Reel Name" in the Resolve "Media Pool":




Here is some Alexa Source file AMA direct link default naming metadata:


Some AMA default name metadata can match the "Reel Name" in the Resolve "Media Pool":




Canon C300, the folder name of where the actual C300 source file can be used to create matching metadata for Resolve.

Some configuration Settings in Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Version 9-10

- activate "Embedded in the source clip"
- activate "Assist using reel names from the:"
- activate "Source clip file pathname" "Pattern */%R/%D"




Here is some C300 Source file AMA direct link default naming metadata:


Some AMA default name metadata can match the "Reel Name" in the Resolve "Media Pool":





notes----->>><______------- testing and re-testing picture file sources for Resolve to use.

avid codec wrapper test quest ---

OS: Windows 7 - Avid Symphony v7.0.4 / DaVinci Resolve v10.1.4

---> MXF created using the Avid.

---> MOV created using the Avid "Same As Source" export command.



Avid Project Type: 1080i/50

Avid "Codec" 1:1 10b RGB
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" 1:1 10b
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" 1:1
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DNxHD 185 X
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DNxHD 185
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DNxHD 120
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DNxHD 85
MXF - Resolve was not-able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DVCPro HD
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" XAVC Intra 100
MXF - Resolve was not-able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" AVC-Intra 100
MXF - In Resolve the file was pulled, the video played back blank
MOV - In Resolve the file was pulled, the video played back blank

Avid "Codec" XDCAM HD 50Mbits
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" XDCAM EX 35Mbits
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" J2K 1080i 50
MXF & MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec



Avid Project Type: 25i PAL

Avid "Codec" 1:1 10b i
MXF - merged fields
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" 1:1 i
MXF - fields merged
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DV 25 411 i
MXF - merged fields
MOV - merged fields

Avid "Codec" DV 50 i
MXF - merged field 1 and field 2
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" J2K PALi 25 i
MXF & MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" AVCIBP-BLL2.0 i
MXF - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" H.264 1500Kbps Proxy i
MXF - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" MPEG 50 i
MXF - Resolve was not-able to use this codec



Avid Project Type: 25p PAL

Avid "Codec" DV 25P 420
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec



Avid Project Type: 1080i/59.94

Avid "Codec" 1:1 10b RGB
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" 1:1 10b
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" 1:1
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DNxHD 220 X
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DNxHD 220
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DNxHD 145
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DNxHD 100
MXF - Resolve was not-able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" XAVC Intra 100
MXF - Resolve was not-able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" AVC-Intra 100
MXF - In Resolve the file was pulled, the video played back blank
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DVCPro HD
MXF - merged fields
MOV - merged fields



Avid Project Type: 1080p/23.976

Avid "Codec" 1:1 10b RGB
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" DNxHD 444 350 X
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" 1:1p 10b
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
MOV - Resolve was not-able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" XDCAM HD 50Mbits
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec

Avid "Codec" XDCAM EX 35Mbits
MXF - Resolve was able to use this codec
Re: Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve
by John Mitchell
A very interesting and thorough tutorial Scott. Just wondering if Avid gave you the facility to quickly assign a "tape name" or something similar to a bunch of AMA clips would Resolve be able to read that successfully and bypass part of this headache?

I too have seen many relinking issues with AMA managed media. For example sometimes you can have a bunch of a clips in a bin from the same source that are not linked on the particular workstation your on - you use the re-link to AMA command and sometimes after choosing the first clip it will relink the lot automatically (although not particularly quickly) and sometimes it will ask you to do each clip individually. I have found when the latter happens the workaround is to AMA all the clips again and then relink and the first clip only is needed. Volume managed media seems less of a hassle - you just AMA the volume again and it all comes online.

For my money Avid still has some work to do to smooth AMA out and give editors the tools they need to do their job quickly and efficiently.

Re: Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve
by Micah Rix-Hayes
Thank you, so so much.


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