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  • Sat, Apr 5 2014 6:22 AM

    Avid Symphony v6.5 - v7 / Resolve v9 - v10 | framerate independent metadata relink to essence by scott freeman

    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. This is an example if the User used the Avid Symphony to create the mxf media files with handles and the user would like to color correct using Resolve and then finish the online edit in the Avid Symphony all with handles.

    In the Avid Symphony Version 6.5-7.0.3 --- As of 4-27-2014 ---, Material Exchange Format (MXF) Video file is the only High Definition Video file that the Avid can read the embedded "Tape Name" metadata from. I am using this Avid Embedded "Tape Name" metadata as the main gear for this example.

    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.



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





    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.



    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.


    - 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:


    Resolve 9 Configuration Settings:


    Step 4) Import AAF





    - 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: 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):


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




    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:





    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.




    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. So 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).

    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.



    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” 

    – 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. and 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 2 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. Where 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 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 move 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 accurite. 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 to stay away from using video mixdowns as sources for online conforms.
    *Alpha Channel mxf media files 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. 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 an 24:00:00:00. For those events I have to 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 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 in the Avid Bin there is "Source File" metadata for a master clip, 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 a 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 ver 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 made 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 thou I can make this happen I am staying away 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:
    – The source (found in set bin display) if it 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 these days 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")




    just 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. Another reason why MXF is great for Resolve, so far every frame is making it in the media pool.
    - In Avid if you select a master clip in a bin and choose the Avid "Batch Import" command: Avid first, confirms the framerate of the master clip matches the project. Second, 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 choose 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. 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.

    Scott Freeman

    http://www.metadatalinks.com [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Apr 7 2014 7:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Roundtrip? AAF Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve/Avid Symphony

    Thank you Scott for your comprehensive guide.

    Printed out and laminated.

     

    Symphony 7.06 OS 10.9.5 QT 7.6.3 Mac Pro 2x2.66 6-core 32GB Ram Aja Kona Lhi. MC 7.0.6 OS 10.9.5 Mac Pro 5.1 2x2.97 6-core 32GB ram Aja I/O express, Apple... [view my complete system specs]
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