Avid MC: Offline-Online Basic Idea

Previously I posted “Avid Media Composer: Offline-Online Basic Instructions”, at http://blog.davidesp.com/archives/315.  But that approach seemed a little quirky, what with renaming Avid subfolders etc.   By accident, while searching on Avid MC AMA-linking to Cineform-encoded video, I stumbled upon a forum discussion http://community.avid.com/forums/t/94905.aspx not only covering this but also how to go about (instead) using MXF ingest initially to small files (DNxHD 36) for cutting and subsequent re-ingest/replacement (DNxHD 128) for grading and final product etc.  The advice given in the forum was that the AMA approach was faster but more fragile than the MXF approach.  I guess the best of both worlds would be a workflow initially using AMA (eg for rush-edits) but then migrating to MXF for the full professional treatment.

Below I attempt to paraphrase (and quote) the advice given (by JoeM) in the mentioned forum discussion.  But I am still an Avid newbie, “floundering around”, so currently I treat it more as conjecture than certainty.  Will just have to try it out!

  • If you need high quality editing material for final product (especially suited for color correcting and/or 30i to 24p conversion):
  •  Step 1 – File Conversion:
    • Convert AVCHD original video to Cineform Codec – using AVI codec if you are using Neoscene (set to Hi Quality, Higher Quality or Film 1).  Then, take this Cineform codec and convert to a HI Resolution DNxHD format that is 10 bit (ex. DNxHD 220X).  This is a two step conversion process… AVCHD (8bit) to Cineform (10bit) to DNxHD “X” (10bit).
      • The only reason you would do this is if you want a high quality 10 bit final video.  You can now delete the Cineform video if you like… but, if you have the disk space… I would hang on to it… just in case.
      • If you do not care to have a high quality 10bit format (or will be posting to the web and/or using SD DVD)… then, skip the converstion of AVCHD to Cineform and use only DNxHD conversions… a simplier and less time consuming conversion.
  • Step 2 – Working Off-line:
    • Now you want to work “offline” (or sometimes also called proxy editing format).
    • Import the Cineform or DNxHD X Hi Quality video as DNxHD at the lowest quality available into a 720 or 30i format created sequence.  You will now EDIT in this lowest (ex. DNxHD 45) in the 1080×720 (or 30i) format sequence.
    • Do your basic editing (cutting etc.)
  • Step 3 – Working On-line:
    • Duplicate the sequence and move to a new bin.
    • Decompose the sequence with a format setting of 1920×1080.  Make certain you change the format setting BEFORE you decompose.  You now have a 1080 size sequence.
    • Finally, batch import using the DNxHD Hi resolution qualilty video created in the first step using AVC> Cineform > DNxHD Hi Quality (e.g. DNxHD 220X or 1:1X).
    • Color correct the video.
    • Then, render all effects.
    • Export for final viewing…. You now have a VERY high quality finished video.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.