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Migrating from Final Cut Pro 7 to Avid Media Composer 5.5 is a thorough comparison of the interfaces, concepts, tools, and workflow behind each of these two programs, covering the key differences video editors need to know to master Media Composer and make the switch. The course covers the basics of editing in Avid Media Composer, including sequence creation, project organization and navigation, importing and linking media, timeline editing techniques, and how to work with audio and add transitions and effects.
Taking what we've learned about AMA linking, importing, and media management to a new level, we're going to simulate offline-to-online workflows for both some AMA-linked media and for some imported media. If you've worked in the Media Manager inside FCP, then what I'm about the cover should be fairly familiar. Offline-to-online workflows can be desirable for many different reasons. One reason may be that you just don't have enough storage space or the system bandwidth to bring all of your project media online at full resolution at the same time.
One way to achieve an offline-to-online workflow with AMA-linked media then is to first link to it, make any metadata adjustments you wish--such as adding a disk label and renaming clips--and then transcode the AMA clips to smaller, more compressed resolutions for offline editing. In order to simulate an offline-to- online workflow, let's go back to the 04_05 subfolder, and inside the Transcode bin, we have the two clips that we transcoded earlier. Let's make selections from these clips as if we were actually editing. There we go! An In point an Out point, and then let's look at the next clip.
(clip playing) Okay. So we just created two clips there and marked them up in the Source viewer. And now what I'm going to do is I'm going to switch over to my offline_to_online Bin. Right-click, create a New Sequence called offline_online. You can see I have a blank sequence down in the Timeline area, and I'm going to take this clip, drop it into the sequence, and then I'm going to go back to our other clip, go down to GOPRO500.new.01, because we want the transcoded version, edit that into my sequence, and now we've got a couple of different clips, both of them at offline resolution.
I'm just going to do one quick thing here. I'm going to come up to our Tool palette, into the area that we carved out for effects manipulation, and then click on the Quick Transition button. All I'm going to do here in the Quick Transition dialog is choose to add a dissolve centered on the cut for 6 frames. Choose Add, and now we've added the dissolve and an audio fade to our transition point. (clip playing) There we go! So now let's pretend that we're zooming forward in time and this is the picture lock. This is the final result of all our work.
And now what we'd like to do is link this sequence back to the high-res original camera media that it came from in the first place. To do that, I'm going to come back over to my Bin area, return to my transcode bin, select my two transcoded versions of my clips, hit the Delete key on my keyboard, and delete the four associated media files. Choose OK and Delete. I left the original clips in the Bin there and if I go to Script view then they of course are offline, just like the sequence itself is now also offline.
This is pretty much the state you'd be in if say you've done your offline at home with the proxy material and now you'd email your bin to the online facility and turned out with a bunch of drives in a big cardboard box. You'd open up your bin, load up your sequence, which would be offline like this, and because you as the editor and the data wrangler and the PA on set and a whole bunch of other good folks did their jobs correctly, we know exactly where to find the original source file. With the sequence in a bin, use the AMA dialog to point back to the parent directory that you know contains your AMA media.
With the Bin highlighted, File > Link to AMA Volume, back on the Media Drive, in the catalyst_CONTAINER, inside the catalyst_SRC_Camera folder, we have the catalyst_SRC_5994, and in there, we have the 7D material. You can see that that's now come back online in our bin. Let's also right-click in the bin and Link to AMA File(s), and let's choose GOPRO500 and make sure that that's online as well. Great! Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to take these two clips and drag them and drop them into the offline_to_online bin.
In the offline_to_online bin, I now have my two original AMA-linked files and my offline_online sequence. If I select them all and now right-click, I can choose to Relink. I can look across all available drives. I'm going to uncheck Relink only to media from the current project, which will widen the net of my search, and I'm going to allow relinking or importing of AMA clips by Source File name.
And I'm going to uncheck Match case when comparing tape and source file names-- that's for a tape-based workflow. Next, I'm going to say choose Any HD video format, Highest Quality and create a new sequence, a new copy sequence. Click OK. Now you can see a new sequence has been created in my bin. There's the original offline_online. Here's the new one offline_online.relinked.01. If I load that up into my Record viewer, I pressed O, there's my media with the Dissolve, and there's the second clip.
So now we've gotten rid of our offline media and relinked the results of our work to the pristine camera original files. Now after relinking, there are then three different options open to you in terms of producing a master. First, you could take the sequence and create a QuickTime Reference and render out a final master in a third-party app. This doesn't work for every single codec, but where it does, it makes for a killer-fast workflow. Second, you could take the sequence and consolidate just the media needed for the sequence, perhaps with some small handles to the Avid MediaFiles folder.
Or finally, you could transcode the sequence to a new resolution for finishing and final output. Okay, so that was offline-to- online workflow for AMA-linkable media. Now let's turn to the same up-res workflow, but with the imported media instead. In Chapter 04 part 2, we imported some graphics at XDCAM HD35 megabits resolution and created a sequence called graphics. Let's go back there now, 04_02, import.
Here's our graphic sequence right here. The sequence is offline, as are the source graphics in the bin here. Let's go back to Text view and select just the source graphics themselves. Now, from the Clip menu, choose Batch Import, offline clips only, and now we get a list of all of the different clips that we're choosing to batch import, along with their last known import file location.
If this location is still the same, leave it like that, and now choose Video Resolution. Now at the moment, I'm still looking at the choices available through the medium raster in the Format tab. I'm going to cancel out of this, go back to the Format tab, and choose Full 1920x1080, so I can have the full-resolution codecs available. With the clips still selected in the bin, return to the Clip menu, choose Batch Import, Offline only, and this time I could choose AVC-Intra 100, or if you have a more powerful system, choose DNxHD 220 10-bit (DNxHD X).
We're going to go to the Media Drive and Import. Now our graphics are all live in the bin and our sequence here has refreshed. And in fact, if we zoom in, we can now see the new resolution of our sequence, DNxHD 220 10-bit. Unlike the first example, where the up-res sequence was still linked to AMA media, this sequence is now linked to Avid MXF media in the Avid MediaFiles folder.
That means there are no caveats about output. We can choose whatever output mechanism we would like, including outputting to tape. So, rest assured, if you do need to do an offline-to-online workflow using baseband signals instead, no problem. You could either capture the material at a lower resolution in HD and then recapture at full resolution later on, or you could even capture a down- converted, anamorphic version of your HD master, edit at SD, and then flip your Format tab up to HD and then recapture.
So, in summary, whether you're using AMA-linked files, imported clips, or even clips captured from tape, there is a standard procedure in place for allowing offline-to-online workflows in Media Composer. Knowing which workflow options, codecs, and formats can facilitate the most efficient path for your production, will save time, money, and stress.
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