You'd probably have to ask someone who uses Avid software. Perhaps asking in an Avid forum?
In the video that Dave Helmly did for the 4.1 release, there is a section on going back and forth between PPro and MC. Check out the video http://tv.adobe.com/#vi+f1510v1005. I can't recall if he goes through the precise steps in Avid, but it might get you started. I believe it's in the latter half of the video, so after it loads, you can probably skip toward the end to find it.
Yeah - I'm a RED user so I was all over that video, but he sort of skipped the part about how to set up Avid for an export if you are starting there. I'll just have some Avid friends help with teh trial and error, I just know that Avid's export settings are unintuitive, IMHO; I haven't been on one for a couple of years, thank goodness, but I was an Avid editor from 1990-2003, and last I looked the app has changed very little.
Well, the face of Avid hasn't changed, that's for sure I cut on Avid for 10 years or so before going to Premiere, and whenever I get the chance to even look at Avid, it feels like home. Good times...
Seems to me there is simply an AAF option under the File > Export command in MC. The one thing I remember Dave Helmly mentioning in the video (though he didn't explain why) was to check the "legacy AAF" option when exporting from PPro to go to MC. I'd guess that this applies when going from MC to PPro, as well. I do recall that being an option in the AAF export from MC, too.
Another more drastic approach would be to download the Media Composer trial and see how it works. That way you can fully hammer out the workflow before prescribing it to others.
Hey-thanks! Good idea! Time to back my system up and get ready for the crash!
Ha! That's the spirit!
There's basically two steps that your MC user will need to do:
- perform a consolidate operation on the Avid project to a new drive location;
- export an AAF out.
If the consolidated media is either QT or MXF files that are DV or IMX encoded, you can move the media over as well to your Premiere Pro copy, import the AAF, and it'll be able to relink to the media.
That's actually one of the new things in 4.1 that's not very well documented - PPro now supports Avid style MXF files with DV or IMX content (read: SD only. There's no support for any of the DnxHD formats at this juncture). So if the Avid_Mediafiles folder is available, you don't need to transcode the footage to QT anymore.
That's pretty cool, I've got to say...
I see there's no support for DNxHD right now, but what about tapeless footage that's brought in to Avid using the newish Avid Media Access capability? Unlike the old-school Avid approach of importing/transcoding everything, I guess it works similarly (though not as elegantly) as PPro's native media access. Would such files be parsed correctly in the AAF and follow through to PPro cleanly?
Since you seem to know more about it than I, do you happen to know, in regards to the "SD only" statement, if they can export an AFF WITHOUT MEDIA for a HDV-based project, allowing me to batch re-capture the clips in HDV with my PPro system? Thanks again for the reply and any more info you can provide.
I would say that probably is doable. I had done that in the past with a DV project I was working on in Avid Xpress Pro. Using AAF exports, I migrated the project from AXP into PPro 2.0 (at the time), and then recaptured off of the DVCAM master tapes. That was two years ago, and everything worked just fine, if I recall. I wouldn't see it being any different with HDV, presuming you have timecode and that PPro lets you batch capture HDV (I think it does). The AAF, at that point, is really nothing more than an EDL. In fact, if an AAF doesn't work, you could probably spit out a CMX-compatible EDL from AMC that PPro will ingest, assuming that your edit isn't too complicated. That's where AAF has its advantages--whereas EDLs are pretty basic, and really only work with a track or two, AAF (at least in theory) have the capability of transferring much more information about your project/sequence.
The nice thing about either of these formats is that they're easily sent via email. If you've got the source tapes or clones, the Avid op could send you AAFs or EDLs while you try to get the process sussed out.
Yes - I'm hoping that's how we could do it, although we did try to do something a couple of months ago where we went from their Avid laptops to my PPro CS4 and all hell broke loose. However, that was with an EDL, because with their particular flavor of Avid (might have been some ******* version of Xpress) we couldn't find any export to AAF capability. They do have new AMCs now, so hopefully all will go better. Both sides want to tout their AAF capabilities, and I don't know if you've noticed this, but NEITHER company wants to include any directions on how to use it with their apps. Dave Manley is the very first resource I've seen that will give any kind of step-by-step at all, and even he leaves out the part about exporting from Avid in the beginning....sure do appreciate that guy though, as many RED/Adobe users would be screwed without his how-tos, and he even gave me a personal lesson once via a web-meeting. Anyway, thanks for letting me know about your experiences. I'll post my experience once I go through some of it. The production I'll be using the workflow on is fairly high-profile, so it might be of interest to many other people once we succeed or fail.
I just cracked open the Avid installer here and dug out the manual buried deep inside. Basically, all you'd really have to do is:
- Select your sequence in the Avid bin.
- Go to File > Export.
- Select AAF as your format.
- Select to Include All Video Tracks in Sequence and to Include All Audio Tracks in Sequence.
- Select to Link to Current Media in the Export Method dropdown. You can copy or consolidate the media here, optionally, but since the HDV stuff isn't going to work, there's no point. You're only after the sequence.
- Hit Save.
The AAF file generated will link to the media on the Avid system, which is obviously of not much use to you, but would ordinarily be used if you were going into Protools or DS or something like that. As said, you just want the AAF file to recreate your sequence in PPro. Once you import it into PPro, it'll probably gripe at you about missing media, but you can just specify it as all offline, and then go about batch capturing the sequence. That should be about it.
Now, one thing to note is that this is going to be a one-way street. You won't be able to send the project back to the Avid editor unless they want to recapture all over again; the same would apply if it was sent back to you. Right now, SD only works because PPro can actually read the Avid-generated OMF files, if I'm understanding it correctly. So, don't plan on shipping back and forth between the system, but once should be OK.
A thought just occurred to me: if you did need to go back and forth between the systems, I'll bet you could capture all the HDV into the Avid system, and then transcode it into offline media, like DV. Both systems would be able to use this media as offline proxies, and you could freely ship the AAF back and forth. Then, at the end of the project when you've got picture lock, you could recapture at full-resolution into the Avid, and I think you could get PPro to do this as well. Hmm... interesting things....
Wow, man. Great ideas! I think what I would condone to my Avid-usin' freaks is that they lock the thing before delivering to me, except for potentially very small changes that we can make with my system after re-capturing the media. BUT your idea for having them transcode to DV and going back and forth that way is very intriguing. It's an NLE tinkerer's dream! Or nightmare... :|.