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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old October 1st, 2008, 05:19 PM   #1
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EX/AVID Workflow

Hi,

I have MC3.0 on Windows. I haven't figured everything out yet. But as I understand it, I should be exporting AAFs in Clip Browser 2, then importing those AAFs in MC3.0 (which point to MXF files placed in your AVID Media Files folders), then transcoding the XDCAM video files to DNxHD145 (virually no loss in quality) so that I can edit efficiently (without the jerkyness of GOP) and then output a quicktime reference (now possible since the video is DNxHD) to eventually make a DVD.

The problem is that if you transcode both video and audio to DNxHD145 (or to DV25 for example because you want to save space, take advantage of your SD MOJO, or not need HD for awhile) you lose the link to the XDCAMs in the Avid. The drag with this is you also lose link with the originals. In other words there is no such thing as batch transcoding as there is with importing or capturing.

Transcoding upon import would solve this I would think. You could import/transcode to DV25 then when you have your sequence you could import/transcode to DNxHD145 for final outputing. Will this be corrected in a future MC or have I got something mixed up?

Thank you
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Old October 6th, 2008, 01:33 AM   #2
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Richard,

I am an AVID user as well. Using XPRO, but have the MC upgrade...just need to install once I am not in the middle of a project. I have an EX1 on the way. I am anxious to get the workflow worked out myself. Best of luck. Hope all goes well.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 12:17 AM   #3
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Richard,

I have had no luck with this workflow at all. I have gone back to just exporting my EX1 files as .mxf - which import as DNxHD185X without a problem.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 06:48 AM   #4
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Stick with MXF, otherwise you cannot batch import the files again if your media drive fails.

Graeme - how do you manage to import MXF-files to DNxHD? No matter what I select on import it stays native XDCAM EX...
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Old October 7th, 2008, 08:21 PM   #5
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Ola,

I just copy the clips into the Avid Media bins directly on my video hard drive and then export them from clip browser as mxf. When I import them into a bin in Media composer it gives me the option of what format I wish to import as - so I use DNxHD 185X MXF - which produces very good results. Conversion is very quick and they play back from the Avid timeline perfectly.

THe critical step for me was copying the clips straight into the Avid MXF media bin from my storage drive using Clip Browser V2.0 - then doing the conversion in there.

Hope this helps.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 08:48 PM   #6
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Graeme - Like Ola I wonder how you get Avid to transcode on input. Whether it is AAF indicators or MXF files, my inputs are always XDCAMs. I have to transcode to get DNxHD clips (and thus lose the trackability). I tried exporting from CB2 generated MXFs directly into AVID Media Files/MXF/1. And then import them into the project (which is what happens in a way with AAFs).
Still XDCAM.
Why can you do it and we can't? Is there a setting I need to change?

Richard
PS I have Media Composer 3.0
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 04:36 AM   #7
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Richard,

You have to copy the media files into the Avid media directory first, then export them as mxf into the same directory. Avid then gives you the choice of how to encode them on import - at least on my system thats how it works.

All the best,

Graeme
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:09 AM   #8
 
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I import the SxS files with Cineform Neo HD, to any directory I choose to create.
Then from within Avid, import the .avi into a bin. At the time of import, I can choose from many options, including what intermediate codec to convert to, usually it's DNxHD. The default value can be specified in the SETTINGS tab, I think under "import".

edit: see my post below. I wrote some misinformation and have corrected my post.

Last edited by Bill Ravens; October 22nd, 2008 at 11:55 AM.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 10:45 AM   #9
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Graeme & Bill,

As you write, it appears that Avid gives you a choice as to what flavor to import to. However, regardless of what we select, the clips always come in as XDCAM HD; when viewed under the bin heading, it is always XDCAM, never the DNxHD choice made upon import. Neither our Symphony Nitris nor MC 3.0.5 plays the clips 100% smoothly, so typically requires an additional step to transcode to the appropriate DNxHD flavor.

Can you confirm that upon import of the mxfs, your bin heading reads the selected
DNxHD choice, and not XDCAM?
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 10:48 AM   #10
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Bill,

For me there is no converting on import. The files imported remain as XDCAM. I have to do transcoding afterwards and that is where I lose the trackability.

Ideally I would like to import/transcode mxf files generated with CB2 to a standard definition format and later batch import/transcode those same mxf files (after some editing) to a DNxHD format. This is both to save space and to enable me to rough edit while monitoring with my SD MOJO.

Richard
PS I have Media Composer 3.0 on a PC
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 10:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
I import the SxS files with CB2, to any directory I choose to create.
Then from within Avid, import the mxf into a bin. At the time of import, I can choose from many options, including what intermediate codec to convert to, usually it's DNxHD. The default value can be specified in the SETTINGS tab, I think under "import".
Yes I have seen that box but no matter what I select they stay native XDCAM EX. Are you sure it transcodes when you import? I doubt it. Although I don't fully understand what Graeme means when he says to "first copy the media files and then export them as mxf into the same directory" it sounds to me like he is transcoding when moving the files frome media tool to a bin. I cannot see any other way than transcoding within Avid.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 11:50 AM   #12
 
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My apologies for misleading you. Upon opening Avid to confirm, I realized that the files I've imported to DNxHD were converted to Cineform intermediates before importing. I can confirm that attempting to open a CB2 converted mxf file will result in XDCAM 35mbps files, exclusively. Once again, I'm sorry, I was wrong. My normal workflow is to convert with Cineform Neo HD, not with CB2.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 12:08 PM   #13
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Bill,
Can you tell me a little about "Cineform Neo HD". Maybe this is the solution to my desired workflow which Avid seems unable to fullfill on its own.

Thank you, Richard
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 01:16 PM   #14
 
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CineForm Home Page

Everything, technical, you want to know is on their website.
Cineform will export the native files right out of the BPAV folder on the SxS card to wherever you wish on your system. Files are transcoded to CFHD, placed in a Windows(avi) or MacIntosh(mov) wrapper, which makes it a great intermediate for cross-platform work. For myself, I've found Cineform intermediates to be outstanding for their quality. They have outstanding support right here on DVINFO.NET. Importing from Cineform to DNxHD allows a QTReference output, while importing from mxf does not. This, alone, is a huge timesaver for me. Neo HDv is good for resolution up to 1440x1080. You need Neo HD for 1920x1080. It's a bit pricey, but, well worth it.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 02:10 AM   #15
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Can you confirm that upon import of the mxfs, your bin heading reads the selected
DNxHD choice, and not XDCAM?[/QUOTE]

Keith,

I am not sure what you mean by bin heading - when I import I am given the option of DNXHD185 - so I select it and the files are imported. They play perfectly on my hardware and edit effortlessly. If I try to transcode them DNxHD185 comes up greyed out and I cannot transcode them to this - which I thought implied that they were already in this format.

How do I find out if this is not the case? I have only been working with Media Composer for a few months - so I am still "wet behing the ears" on this one.
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