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  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 5:54 AM

    • PerroneFord
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    Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    Ok,

     

    I have been considering jump to Avid from Sony Vegas for a couple of years now.  MC looks to be getting better and better, and next fiscal it looks like I might be able to swing this.  BUT before I jump I really need some advice and answers from those who cut on Avid daily or regularly.

     

    Ok, here's my scenario:

     

    I generally cut Govt/Corporate work and indie film. I am PC based.

     

    My source include:  XDCamEX, DVCam, AVCHD (Canon 7D), and potentially DVCProHD and AVC-Intra.

    I need to combine footatge, usually with the same frame-rate but occasionally without, and sometimes different frame sizes (720p/1080p) into something cohesive.  I am usually doing separate sound, either 24bit or 16bit WAV or BWF.

     

    My deliverables are:

    1. Blu-Ray with menus

    2. DVD with Menus

    3.  VC-1 / Windows Media Player for internal streaming both HD and SD

    4.  Archive is done to MJpeg2000.

     

    What I am looking to know is this.

    1.  With Vegas, I can drop all these disparate frame rates and frame sizes on the timeline, and simply go to work.  What conversion scenarios will I be facing on Avid MC to do the same thing.

     

    2.  My work often has me working with Mac/FCP folks.  I generally use DNxHD as the intermediary.  However, Mac users can give me ProRes files and sometimes do.  What convsion challenges will I face in MC?

     

    3.  Right now, I am using DNxHD inside a .MOV container as an intermediate.  Will that Change with MC?  I am hearing that I will move to the .MXF container? 

     

    4.  What is Avid's support for the .AVI container?  Some of my 3rd party tools only work in this container.  Can I export/import to and from that container?

     

    5.  I understand there is a 30day trial.  What happens at the end of 30 days?  Will the program cease to run, or can I still use it to learn my way around and just have it not output or be hobbled in some way?

     

     

    I'll close this for now, and hopefully folks can shed some light on these questions for me.  Thanks in advance for your time and answers.

     

    -Perrone

    Work Edit: Lenovo P700 32 GB RAM Running Win7 64bit 1 TB internal / 16TB of G-Tech External NVidia Quadro K4200 BM Intensity Extreme 2xHP L2045 20"... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 7:58 AM In reply to

    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    1. In Avid, all you need to do is make sure that you capture into the format of the source. So you capture 30i SD into a 30i SD project, you capture 720p60 into a 720p60 project. Then you can access this footage from any project in any format, use it on the timeline, in realtime, and playout or export. You can even take your sequence to another project type, and the framerate will be automatically converted. Looks pretty good, too.

    2. Your main challenge will be that Apple does not make a full Windows ProRes QT codec. You can read ProRes on your PC, but you cannot create ProRes on your PC.

    3. Don't know about plans to have MXF exports, they are not present at this point in time (other than through an embedded AAF).

    4. The AVI export section (Windows only) will allow you to either export as Cinepak, Microsoft Video, or Uncompressed (Full Frame). Not sure what you can and cannot import.

    5. After 30 days, you will not be able to fully launch MC.

    Media Composer /w Symphony option | PT-HD | Win7Pro64 HP | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 | Nitris DX | Artist Mix & Transport & Color | AJA T-Tap | Decklink... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 5:35 PM In reply to

    • PerroneFord
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    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    1.  I have to profess my ignorance here.  I am not certain what you mean by capture.  I am typically using non-tape based sources, and for those I would hope that Avid would recognize their format.  For the tape-based stuff I understand what you're saying.  Do I understand you correctly?

     

    2.  I am aware of the limitations of ProRes on the PC.  However, I am able to simply drop ProRes files into my timeline now and cut.  I cannot render back into ProRes, but this hasn't been an issue for me.  I have read, at least in the past, that I could not simply drop ProRes into the Avid timeline without converting first.  I am just trying to figure out if that's true.  And if so, what the preferred method of moving files back and forth with Apple FCP users is.  My DNxHD workflow is working very well right now, as long as Avid will support that in the .MOV container.

    3.  What is my export container if not MXF?  Right now, I a use either .MOV (primarily) or .AVI (when required)

    4.  Hmm, that seems terribly thin for export.  So I have to abandon my lossless .AVI export formats?  Lagarith, HuffYUV, and MJpeg2000?

    5.  That's what I needed to know.  Guess I better be truly ready before I make that leap!

    Work Edit: Lenovo P700 32 GB RAM Running Win7 64bit 1 TB internal / 16TB of G-Tech External NVidia Quadro K4200 BM Intensity Extreme 2xHP L2045 20"... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 5:46 PM In reply to

    • mjolnarn
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    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    PerroneFord:

    4.  What is Avid's support for the .AVI container?  Some of my 3rd party tools only work in this container.  Can I export/import to and from that container?

     

    What 3 d party apps are you using, seems weird to be limitated to only avi wrappers, there are better high q options regarding export  from Avid

    Mac: 17" Macbook Pro i7 2,66 ghz with 8Gb Ram, 500gb 7200rpm drive___ PC_NEW Win10 Pro Mbo Asus Rampage IV Black CPU Ivy Bridge-E 4960X ( = 12 x 4... [view my complete system specs]

    Tomas 

     

  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 5:56 PM In reply to

    • PerroneFord
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    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    VirtualDub works only in AVI.  Well, that's not STRICTLY true, but it works best with AVI files and there are a number of hacks to allow it to work with other containers.

    I don't consider it weird at all.  VFW is the officially supported container on Windows machines, as unfortunate as that is.  So it makes sense to support that container first and best.

    While I don't doubt for a moment that Avid has excellent output formats, it's rather hard to beat lossless export.  Even if it is only 8-bit.  I move to the .MOV container when I want 10bit codecs as I have many more options there, but it does mean my external tool can't work with the footage then.  Since I am originating in 8-bit, moving through a lossless workflow in preparation for edit and later grading doesn't cost me anything but time.

    It is my hope, that in moving to the powerful tools Avid has, I can eliminate using outside tools and do everything in the Avid suite.  I won't know the viability of that until I can get through the Avid trial.

    Work Edit: Lenovo P700 32 GB RAM Running Win7 64bit 1 TB internal / 16TB of G-Tech External NVidia Quadro K4200 BM Intensity Extreme 2xHP L2045 20"... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 6:08 PM In reply to

    • mjolnarn
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    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    Avi containers might have been best in the old happy Sd days, today, when we are editing HD, we use the DnxHd codec, propably the best codec in the editing world and the main reason for me to switch editor once upon a time.

    If you want even higher resolution, not likely in my opinion, you can always go uncompressed in Avid

    Mac: 17" Macbook Pro i7 2,66 ghz with 8Gb Ram, 500gb 7200rpm drive___ PC_NEW Win10 Pro Mbo Asus Rampage IV Black CPU Ivy Bridge-E 4960X ( = 12 x 4... [view my complete system specs]

    Tomas 

     

  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 6:23 PM In reply to

    • PerroneFord
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    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    Not meaning to be argumentative, but are you familiar with the Lagarith codec?  I use DNxHD as well, and while it's excellent and I use it as an intermediate, I use Lagarith when I need lossless.  It's not that much larger than DNxHD 220 either which makes it very convenient to move around for different projects.

    I am not a fan of the .AVI container either, and there are certainly many more forward thinking codecs in the .MOV and even the .MXF containers, but I am able to make the best of my current situation with a few well selected tools.

    Anyway, I was just curious what I'd gain and lose in the transition to Avid.

     

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Work Edit: Lenovo P700 32 GB RAM Running Win7 64bit 1 TB internal / 16TB of G-Tech External NVidia Quadro K4200 BM Intensity Extreme 2xHP L2045 20"... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 6:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    PerroneFord:
    I am not certain what you mean by capture. 
    Capture/Digitise/Ingest from Tape or live source. But the same goes for import.

    PerroneFord:
    non-tape based sources, and for those I would hope that Avid would recognize their format. 
    No, you will have to import NTSC clips in an NTSC project and 720p60 clips in a 720p60 project. If you try to import 720p60 files into a 30i project, you will be downconverting upon import, which is not as nice, and will not be able to handle certain metadata correctly.

    The mix&match feature of the Avid assumes bringing in footage in corresponding projects. After that, you can instantly access that footage from any other project (or project type), and playback in real-time.

    PerroneFord:
    I have read, at least in the past, that I could not simply drop ProRes into the Avid timeline without converting first.
    Avid works mostly with its own codec, and with some other codecs. Not with ProRes.

    PerroneFord:
    My DNxHD workflow is working very well right now, as long as Avid will support that in the .MOV container.
    Avid will most certainly accept that in a MOV container, but will always generate new MXF mediafiles when you import these MOVs into the system. The Avid won't cut external files, except for a few file systems that support AMA.

    What is my export container if not MXF?
    Usually: mov. Or perhaps AAF, depending on the destination.

    PerroneFord:
    So I have to abandon my lossless .AVI export formats?  Lagarith, HuffYUV, and MJpeg2000
    You can get MJPEG2000 in Qucktime container. AVI is very limited.

    Also bear in mind that you get Sorensen Squeeze 5 with Avid, which means that you can do a QT Reference from Avid, then use Sorensen to convert to nearly anything you like. The Avid is an editor, not an encoder. Squeeze is an encoder.

    As for lossless exports, you could always do a Same As Source QT export. You will end up with the same compression type as you are using in the Avid.

     

    Media Composer /w Symphony option | PT-HD | Win7Pro64 HP | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 | Nitris DX | Artist Mix & Transport & Color | AJA T-Tap | Decklink... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 7:45 PM In reply to

    • PerroneFord
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    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    Thank you for that EXCELLENT post!  I do forget that I am moving from an all-in-one solution, to a Suite.  The reference export is something I simply don't have in my workflow and that will be very handy and save me a lot of time.

     

    I think that once I wrap my mind around the different workflow, I am going to enjoy the new tools.  It's just been a LONG time since I've played with cutting this way.  I'm nervous about it in some ways, but excited too.

     

    Thanks to everyone for the responses.  Hope to be seeing you around this time next year as an Avid cutter.

    Work Edit: Lenovo P700 32 GB RAM Running Win7 64bit 1 TB internal / 16TB of G-Tech External NVidia Quadro K4200 BM Intensity Extreme 2xHP L2045 20"... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 9:17 PM In reply to

    • Marianna
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    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    This thread is exactly what this Community is all about!!!!    Aiding, assisting, guiding members forward.

    Thanks Job and mjolnarn - well done!

    Marianna

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  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 9:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    Job ter Burg:

    No, you will have to import NTSC clips in an NTSC project and 720p60 clips in a 720p60 project. If you try to import 720p60 files into a 30i project, you will be downconverting upon import, which is not as nice, and will not be able to handle certain metadata correctly.

    The mix&match feature of the Avid assumes bringing in footage in corresponding projects. After that, you can instantly access that footage from any other project (or project type), and playback in real-time.

    Job ter Burg:
    The Avid won't cut external files, except for a few file systems that support AMA.

    Job, I don't have 4.0, so I hope the information I provide below is accurate, but I just want to clarify this for someone who doesn't use Avid.

    Perrone,

    "Import" is used for file types that can't be accessed via AMA (Avid Media Access). There are two types of Importing: fast and I guess what I'd call slow. Fast Import rewraps the file in an MXF container, but it does not transcode, so it takes very little time and there is absolutely no quality hit. "Slow" Import is necessary when the codec is not natively supported inside MC or one of the import settings dictates a transcode, e.g. going from 601 to RGB color levels (hard remapping all colors so 16 becomes 0 and 235 becomes 255). Slow importing can take time.

    AMA, on the other hand, allows you directly access the media file and immediately work with it. You can later-on copy the file to another drive or make it part of Avid's internal media management file structure. While many formats are not supported by AMA, a lot of professionally used ones are. The good news is that all of the formats you've mentioned are able to be accessed via AMA or Fast Imported into MC except for the 7D's AVCHD. Combined with the "Mix and Match" functionality added in version 4.0, AMA does not require any kind of project type to source file matching; you could have a 60i project access a 25P file (even of a different supported codec) w/o problem. And everything displays and plays back properly.

    I hope that's clear and accurate.

    As for moving from Vegas to Avid, I think you will find the speed improvement quite astonishing. There are many things about Avid that are improvements. But you will also find things that are implemented better in Vegas, most notably audio and the effects interface.

    "When I spent 60k on a discreet edit digisuite system 10 years ago someone came up to me to offer fcp 2, I said it was a scam too." -Ric

  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 9:31 PM In reply to

    • PerroneFord
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    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    Thank you for that reply.

     

    All of my corporate work uses normal pro formats.  So that shouldn't be too tricky with the Avid.  It's the stuff coming in from the creative work that could get dicey.  Like the AVCHD stuff.  Since most of my workflow is DNxHD I expect AMA will make short work of that.  However, I archive to Jpeg2000 for governmental records reasons.  So I was trying to see how to both continue to write to that format from the Avid, and to read from that format should I be charged with bringing in some formats.

    Funny you should mention the fact that effects are better implemented in Vegas.  I don't generally do a lot of effects for my corporate work, so that won't slow me down too much.  But what started me on this path to Avid in the first place was the ability to title.  To put it succinctly, the title capability in Vegas is shockingly bad.  I also have little use for audio post other than basic cleanup, so no worries there.

    And yes, I get you on the slow import/transcode.  Vegas' mismanaging of color space is the stuff of legend.  I have a workflow that keeps me out of trouble, but it can be a minefield to navigate.

    I guess I should ask what my performance is going to be like without using hardware assist.  I've got a new 8-core machine with a very high-end NVidia graphics card.  Getting real time performance with a few filters applied would be most welcome.

    Work Edit: Lenovo P700 32 GB RAM Running Win7 64bit 1 TB internal / 16TB of G-Tech External NVidia Quadro K4200 BM Intensity Extreme 2xHP L2045 20"... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 9:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    Avid's basic title tool is superior to what Vegas has, and it's much more advanced integrated title app, Marquee, is mind blowing. It was originally supposed to be a full fledged 3D DVE (FWIU) so it's abilities for titles are sick (in a good way). Also, Boris Red, which comes both standalone and plugin with MC has excellent title capabilities.

    I can't comment on a JPEG2000 workflow, but the codec is excellent, FWIU. As for speed, your machine should be plenty fast w/o any kind of hardware assist. Speed wise, Avid is in entirely different league than Vegas.

    "When I spent 60k on a discreet edit digisuite system 10 years ago someone came up to me to offer fcp 2, I said it was a scam too." -Ric

  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 9:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    Hi,

    PerroneFord:
    I guess I should ask what my performance is going to be like without using hardware assist.  I've got a new 8-core machine with a very high-end NVidia graphics card.

    Just in case you haven't seen it, here's a link to the system requirements.  If you tell us what specific processor and graphics card you've got, we can give you an idea how well it'll work.

    good luck,
    Carl 

    Media Composer 2018.12.1 w/Symphony/SS/PF options, HP Envy 17t-j100 Quad Edition laptop, Windows 10 Pro, Intel Core i7 2.4GHz, 16 GB RAM, nVidia GeForce... [view my complete system specs]

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who only consider the price are this man's lawful prey."  - John Ruskin (1819-1900)

     

    Carl Amoscato | Freelance Film & Video Editor | London, UK

  • Thu, Dec 17 2009 10:03 PM In reply to

    • PerroneFord
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    Re: Should I buy? Lots of questions, lots of details

    I bought this last computer with the Avid specs in mind.  But here is the general idea of the machine

     

    Dell T5400

    2x2.67Ghz Xeons (8 cores)

    8GB RAM (can move to 16GB next year)

    Running Win7 64bit

    2 TB of onboard Disk Space

    NVidia Quadro FX4800

    2xHP L2045 20" Monitors (moving to 24" next year)

    JVC TM-H1700 Broadcast Monitor for NTSC color check

     

    How's that work?

    Work Edit: Lenovo P700 32 GB RAM Running Win7 64bit 1 TB internal / 16TB of G-Tech External NVidia Quadro K4200 BM Intensity Extreme 2xHP L2045 20"... [view my complete system specs]
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