Posts Tagged ‘DI Workflow’

Avid goes mobile

Avid, maker of high-end digital video and audio production tools, is bringing its “pro-sumer” video editing software to the iPad.

The app is available starting Thursday as part of the Avid Studio suite. The app will run on iPad only, though Avid says it’s exploring other mobile operating systems.

Avid Studio for iPad costs $4.99 to start; after 30 days, the price will jump to $7.99.

That’s still much less than what other current desktop editing applications cost, including Avid’s own Avid Studio ($129.99), Adobe Premiere Elements ($99.99), Apple’s Final Cut Pro X ($299.99), and Sony’s Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum ($59.95).

The iPad app marks the Burlington, Mass.-based company’s first video editing application for tablets. Video editing software generally requires a substantial desktop system or a bulky laptop; using video editing apps on relatively small smartphone screens can be cumbersome. Avid is hoping its app hits somewhere in the middle.

“We’ve seen a shift in how creation is happening, and it’s really happening on almost any device,” said Tanguy Leborgne, vice president of consumer and mobile technology strategy at Avid. “We think the tablet is more than just a consumer device; more and more people are creating on it.”

While Avid says the app captures most of the editing capabilities available on its desktop system, there are some obvious areas in which an iPad editing app would be lacking.

For starters, pro-level editors accustomed to using a large screen for edits will likely feel a tablet doesn’t provide enough screen real estate for real edits.

Also, with Avid Studio on a PC, video editors can export a Flash video file, and burn video files to a CD or DVD. On the iPad, neither of those functions is an option.

Users also likely won’t want to export lots of large, high-definition video files to the iPad and take up storage space on the tablet.

Fortunately, full projects and video files can be transferred to and from the Avid Studio app via iCloud and iTunes. Finished movie files can also be shared directly from the Avid app to Facebook and YouTube.

The idea is that the iPad app and the desktop software are complementary, Leborgne said, so that users who want to create and edit projects on the go can do so, but ultimately preserve them by taking them to the PC.

The Avid iPad app does have some nice features, including an interface that includes a storyboard area and an editing timeline. And while some video editors rely heavily on customized keyboards or a mouse, others might appreciate the ability to pinch and squeeze videos and images to scale them on the touchscreen of the iPad, or the ability to move text and titles around with their fingers.

Avid’s new product comes just a couple days after Apple released an update for its Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) video editing software, which addressed video editors’ complaints about the software’s lack of professional-level bells and whistles. Now FCPX includes multicam editing, advanced chroma-key features and the ability to open up old FCP projects in the new software.

While Adobe Premiere is considered the first popular digital video editing application, it was Apple’s Final Cut Pro, which launched in 1999, that eventually chipped away at the market of video editors using Avid’s high-end system.

Apple’s FCPX also comes at a significantly reduced price from previous iterations of Final Cut Pro, which used to cost around $1,000. Both Avid and Adobe responded to Apple’s new software by offering discounts to users who switched over to their software.

“Both Apple’s product and the pricing strategy were the same thing we’re trying to address here,” Leborgne said. “But for professionals, it relayed to them that Apple was not really focused on the higher end of the market.”

As evidence that some professionals were disappointed with the new FCPX, Leborgne pointed to Hollywood production company Bunim/Murray — the reality TV pioneers dropped Final Cut Pro in favor of Avid.

Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing Avid Media Composer 6.0

Full 64-bit power Full 64-bit power

Fast gets even faster with native 64-bit operation, so even when you layer together the most complex effects, things will still feel snappy. Experience smoother playback, faster rendering performance, and better handling with large bins—and say goodbye to the old memory limitations of the 32-bit operating systems.

Experience the "waitless" workflow Experience the “waitless” workflow

With AMA (Avid Media Access), you can instantly access and edit file-based media—including new RED/RED EPIC, new AVCHD, ProRes, QuickTime (including footage from HDSLR cameras), XDCAM, P2, Canon XF, and other formats—without transcoding, importing, or rewrapping files (watch the video). Get a jumpstart on reviewing footage without the wait, and avoid bringing in unwanted material. And as new cameras and formats emerge, manufacturers can create and release their own AMA plug-ins independently from a Media Composer release.

Work with any media Work with any media

File-based media, analog and digital tape, stereoscopic 3D material, film — bring it on. Media Composer offers a wide range of features, workflows, and options that enable you to work with everything, from old-school media to the latest camera technologies. Experience the fastest tapeless workflows in the industry. Capture footage directly from digital cameras. Or add an Avid or third-party video interface to capture from other analog or digital sources. Plus, with support for 4:4:4 HD-RGB color and DNxHD 444, you can work efficiently while preserving the full-quality color detail from beginning to end.

Better performance—and 3D—with Avid hardware Better performance—and 3D—with Avid hardware

For the fastest capture/edit/monitor/output workflows, pair Media Composer with a Nitris DX or Mojo DX video interface and experience hardware-accelerated power that’s second to none. You can now even customize Nitris DX with up to two Avid DNxHD or AVC-Intra chips to fully support stereoscopic 3D and HD RGB 4:4:4 workflows.

Sleek new look and Avid Marketplace Sleek new look and Avid Marketplace

Modern, smart, and sexy. Media Composer has a whole new look, but its familiar editing workflow stays the same (watch the video). Work faster through the tabbed interface (no more window clutter!). Customize window configurations with Workspaces. Browse the Avid Marketplace for stock footage, video and audio plug-ins, software and hardware options, training materials, and more—right from within the app. You can even access user guides and other documentation without having to scour our website.

Work with 3D Work with 3D

Edit stereoscopic 3D material as quickly and easily as you do with standard 2D footage, with a full set of new features and workflows. Capture, edit, and manage the complete 3D end-to-end workflow. Mix and match 2D and stereoscopic 3D clips on the same track. Plus, work with full frame and frame-compatible sources, full-fledged editing tools, video effects, and more.

Go hands-on with Artist Color Go hands-on with Artist Color

Accelerate your color correcting and grading with Artist Color (watch the video). With its highly responsive feel, you can keep your eyes on the picture instead of the interface while you make adjustments. And since you can tweak multiple parameters at once, you dramatically gain more speed and efficiency to complete time-consuming tasks quickly.

Mix in surround sound Mix in surround sound

You want your audio to sound as spectacular as your video looks. Now you can record, edit, and mix studio-quality audio in up to 7.1 surround—right in Media Composer. Not only that, you can share mixes with Pro Tools editors (using AAF), and even record and monitor audio using a host of Avid audio interfaces. (watch the video)


  • Get better performance and speed to handle complex editing, now that Media Composer is a 64-bit app (Still need 32-bit? Learn more about Media Composer 5.5)
  • Work with the Avid or third-party hardware you want—with Avid Open I/O, third-party manufacturers can now make their I/O hardware work with Media Composer
  • Manage and edit stereoscopic 3D projects with a comprehensive set of editorial tools and workflows
  • Take hands-on control of all color correction and grading functions with Artist Color (watch the video)
  • Create 5.1 and 7.1 surround mixes directly within Media Composer, or import from Pro Tools
  • Work more creatively with audio with new mixer features and support for additional Pro Tools hardware
  • Work more easily and efficiently—but not differently—with the sleek and sexy new user interface (watch the video)
  • Get full native ProRes support on Mac (encode and decode) and Windows (decode only) for easy integration into any ProRes workflow
  • Instantly access, screen, and edit AVCHD clips and RED EPIC footage through AMA
  • Accelerate your RGB 4:4:4 workflow with Avid DNxHD 444, which delivers exceptional image quality in a low bandwidth format
  • Conveniently purchase stock footage, plug-ins, and more through the Avid Marketplace
  • Get direct access to user guides and documentation from within the interface
  • Access additional ancillary data when working with XDCAM HD material
  • Work more easily with animated effects with many keyframe editor improvements
  • Get Avid FX (Boris RED), Avid DVD, and Sorenson Squeeze in all versions of the software
  • Manage multiple licenses more easily with unified licensing

Universal Studios/EFILM Open Virtual DI Suite

Universal City, CA–In a joint venture, EFILM, a subsidiary of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, and Universal Studios opened a Digital Intermediate suite on the Universal Studios lot, in proximity to the studio’s sound mixing stages, soundeditorial rooms, picture editing suites and other sound services. Since both final sound mixing and the DI come at the end of the post production chain for feature films, having both services in physical proximity allows the director to walk from room to room, rather than get in a car and battle traffic from Burbank to Hollywood or Santa Monica to Universal City.

What makes this new suite stand out is that it is a virtual DI room. The room is connected to EFILM’s Hollywood facility via a secure, private fiber link that transmits uncompressed 2K 4:4:4 images. That means that, in the Universal Studios’ DI suite, there is no machine room, no scanner and a minimum of hardware and software actually reside there.

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group COO Warren Stein notes that the company has similar configurations of adjacent sound stages and DI rooms in Toronto and Australia. Deluxe also has a similar virtual DI suite on the Fox lot, for internal use. The Universal Studios DI suite is the first such virtual suite to be available to incoming projects.

According to Universal senior vp/sound services Christopher Jenkins, his filmmaker clients have been asking for this kind of set-up. “All the directors want a DI suite [on the lot],” he says. “As soon as they’re into final mixing, it’s a loss of their time and attention to have sound services on the lot but have to leave to do the DI. We’ve got the sound facility here, and now we have a DI suite for all comers.”

The DI suite features both film and digital projection, with a 2K digital projector, with capabilities of screening 3D for both XpanD and RealD 3D systems.  EFILM executive vp/GM Kevin Dillon, who also manages the EFILM virtual DI room, notes that EFILM uses a proprietary version of Autodesk Lustre for color correction. “We have worked closely with Autodesk to build out from the Lustre,” he says. “We have our own image science team and we’ve built our own LUTs for the variety of film stocks and film labs, as well as the new digital cameras such as the Canon DSLRs and ARRI Alexa.”EFILM also works with VFX houses for plate timing. “We providfe them with viewing LUTs, so they don’t go off in a different direciton,” he says, adding that the company works on testing with VFX supervisors at no charge.

The new virtual suite has no resident DI; DI artists from EFILM’s Hollywood facility will work on the lot, as requested by specific directors. The first films to go through this new DI pipeline on the Universal lot are Fast & Furious 5The Little Fockers and The Thing. Filmmakers who work in the room will have their films scanned at EFILM’s Hollywood facility, but can see the exact same images they’d see in the DI room on the Universal Studios lot.


RED ONE Workflow in detail

Dennis Alaniz is a Chapman alum and former student of mine who has been a very busy editor and on-set DIT.   As I have said many times, the new camera technology has created tremendous opportunities for young filmmakers to get hired and get on-set and go to town managing data, looks and how the final edit is going to be made.   It takes organization, discipline and passion because there is a mountain of raw data out there ready to be corralled and whipped into shape.   I think you will find his breakdown to be very useful.

RED WORKFLOW by Dennis Alaniz                                    August 5, 2010

DISCLAIMER: As an emergent technology, a RED workflow that works today will likely need to be refined in as short a time as a month. The workflow I describe below suited my particular situation at my particular time. It is my hope that what I learned will serve as a guideline for any future workflow using RED technology.

And remember, the newer the technology, the bigger the risk. It hurts living on the bleeding edge. Trust me! The list below is what we specifically worked with. If you can get better, faster machines, do it!


2 RED Cameras with Mysterium X Sensor (30.4 firmware and 30.5 firmware)

Please do what you can to have the same firmware on both cameras. It can save you a major headache later in the process.

6 16GB Flash Cards for RED Camera

You need more! Ideally, you would never reuse a card. We were stressed to keep cards clear so the film could keep shooting. An external drive is also an option, but moving parts make things much more precarious.

2 MacBook Pro Laptops for DIT

A laptop of decent speed that can connect to firewire or e-sata is necessary to keep cards copied and cleared. It doesn’t need to be laptops, but you should have one or two separate machines to copy the flash cards over to external drives. Laptops are more helpful if you need to stay mobile.

2 Flash card readers

As many as you need and can plug in to your machines. Just keep flash cards copied and empty IF the data has been verified by an MD5 after the copy.

Mac Pro (8 core, 16BG RAM) for Asst. Editor

You’ll need a fast machine to facilitate copying files, rendering video, and keeping several apps running. Most importantly, you need to stay as much in pace with the production as possible.

REDRocket video card

An extremely expensive accessory, but if you can afford it, it will keep you moving at an impressive pace and allow you to manipulate and play back the image with very little performance hit. Something your Director and Cinematographer will thank you for. Every single day!

E-SATA Card for Asst. Editor

The $20 from Best Buy will suit you just fine. As long as you’ve got a lot of very fast connections (that are hot swappable) to your Mac Pro because you’ll be shuffling a lot of drives.

6TB Redundant storage

8TB G-TECH RAID 5 with G-TECH E-SATA Card (not the same card as listed above)

6 2TB G-TECH External RAID 0 (Set Drives)

These six drives were broken into groups of three: A, B and C. When one card was copied off, it was copied to both drives in a group at a time. (ex. Card 001 was copied to Drive A1 and A2. What card was copied to what group depended entirely on availability. This redundancy will be explained in the Appendix 1 below. Exactly how much you’ll need depends on a great many factors. 6TB barely suited us. I would have been happy to have an additional 2.

6TB Work Storage

2 4TB G-TECH External Non-RAID

2 1TB External FireWire

The two 4TB drives were my personal raw RED storage, Import/Export, SFX Drives. Again, I’d have been happier with about another 4TB. This redundancy is also explained in Appendix 1. The 2 1TB were used as an emergency back-up to the editor’s drive and as a delivery drive respectively. Ideally, you’ll have a back-up drive onsite and offsite for every machine being used.

Optional Hardware

Laptop and USB External Drive (at least 500 GB)

Delivering low res dailies for use on set (more on this later).

Software: RocketCine-X (depreciated)

Viewing dailies and transcoding footage


Transcoding for upres (the official replacement for RocketCine-X)

FileMaker Pro

Maintaining a shot database

ClipFinder (2.2 and 2.5)

Exporting shot information and still images for use in FileMaker Pro. Different versions will be explained later.

R3D Data Manager

Used to verify the MD5 of your clips after they’re copied off the card. This program is a must!

Final Cut Pro (Or the NLE of your choice)

Shot organization and synching dailies


To reiterate the critical pieces of data from above, we shot on a newer model RED with a Mysterium-X sensor. That alone drastically altered my intended workflow. I won’t go into all the technology as to why, but simply say, know the color science of your camera! The Mysterium-X uses a new color science called FLUT and was the specific reason for this workflow.

Knowing the color and gamma space your finishing in isn’t necessary, but it saved me a step early on in the process. Whatever you choose, be consistent in it when transcoding from RED. We were working in a color space of Camera RGB and gamma space of REC709. (ADDENDUM: Changing post houses last minute may facilitate rerendering all the red footage with a different gamma space. This is still an unknown)

As the director was also editor for this film, I was required to work from a trailer on set. This made my job easier and allowed me to keep pace with the production. Equipped with the above hardware, our day-to-day workflow is detailed below.

On-Set Workflow:

Footage shot on the RED to Flash Cards.

Footage offloaded using R3D Data Manager to verify MD5 and to duplicate on two of the above 2TB set drives.

Data from one of the two set drives is copied to one of two 4TB G-TECH Non-RAID drives. I was always delivered only A2, B2 or C2. This was to ensure that, if I corrupted a drive, I never corrupted the other in the group.

Using RocketCine-X (Now depreciated), newly copied footage is transcoded to 720p Proxies and saved to USB external 500GB drive. Footage is then transcoded again to 2K and saved on the 6TB G-TECH RAID.

720p footage is loaded into Final Cut. Organized into bins and properly labeled.

Raw RED footage is again loaded into clipfinder to export an XML of all data along with highest quality screen captures, one every second.

XML is imported into FileMaker Pro. Cross referencing organized footage in Final Cut, missing data (i.e. Shot name) are filled in FileMaker Pro.

Up to 3 screen captures per shot are added to the FileMaker Pro database for visual reference.

At the beginning of the next day of shooting, audio from the prior day is delivered and copied to the 6TB RAID

All footage captured the prior day should be in its own daily Final Cut Pro project. The prior day’s media is then reconnected to the 2K media on the 6TB RAID. This “online” project is synced to the newly received audio.

The day begins again from the top.

In post, the workflow isn’t so dogmatic. Some shots have been pushed in beyond what the 2K image can handle and so is being reconformed to a 4K online. VFX shots are also being reconformed to 4K.

4K Upres:

Place all footage to be reconformed into a new timeline.

Export XML from Final Cut.

Using ClipFinder 2.5 (THIS IS IMPORTANT! ClipFinder 2.2 CANNOT handle the following steps!) import the XML using the Import FCP XML with relevant settings defined (ex: VFX requires 8 frame handles).

Replace the MOV with the R3D media.

Send everything to a RedCine-X Bin. (This, specifically, is what you need ClipFinder 2.5 for)

Double check the color settings are correct for each clip and export them as 4K files (VFX clips go to their own drive, online 4K shots go back to the 6TB RAID).

For footage to be reconformed in FCP, go back to ClipFinder and choose Run Conform on FCP XML file. Make sure you point the application to the folder with the NEW 4K FOOTAGE!

Import this new XML into FCP. The newly imported clips can now be dropped into the show timeline and will be pointing to the higher res 4K footage. Double check that your push-in, repositions, filters, etc., match the clip it’s replacing. Resting it above the 2K allows you to keep the 2K as a reference in case something goes wrong.

The advantages to this particular workflow (on and off set) are:

It allowed me to run onto set with the low res proxy to answer any continuity questions with great ease.

I was able to show the director, cinematographer, costumer, etc., high res footage approximately 1-2 hours after it was shot. Using RocketCine-X, I was also able to grade some shots on the fly to verify we were on the right track.

Finding shots in the FileMaker Pro database was easy as I could cruise the database looking for a particular image, or search by day it was shot, scene name, etc.

Editing online could begin immediately. While on set, I put together a teaser to show the crew incorporating footage shot as recent as the day prior.

The delivery file to the post house will require no reconform later down the line. They intend to take our semi-graded 2K ProRes file, with an EDL to notch out the shots, and do any touch-ups to that file.

Reconforming to a 4K image is extremely easy as I have the raw RED material handy and, since the file names were honored, sending it to RedCine-X is painless and the REDRocket cuts down transcoding time drastically.

Disadvantages to this workflow are:

As the 6TB drive is connected to the editor’s machine and not mine, streaming 2K over an ethernet cable is not reliable. Pulling that much data and hitting the drive from two machines can cause a massive performance hit.

Sharing Final Cut projects isn’t easily done. To solve this, any changes I made on my end had to be copied to the editor’s project by hand on his machine to ensure he wasn’t editing the same project at the same time.

Editing online takes a LOT of hard drive space and render times can escalate quickly. To create a DVD of the full timeline can take anywhere between 5 and 8 hours.

Here’s a link to the FileMaker Pro template I used on set. It’s hard coded to extract the reel name based on where I had the raw RED files stored, so that will need to be modified to suit your needs. The included XSLT file is to handle the translation from ClipFinder’s particular XML format into something FileMaker Pro can handle. When you import an XML file into FileMaker Pro, you’ll see where to use this XSLT file. (NOTE: This has not been tested with an XML from ClipFinder 2.5)

That, in a nut, is the majority of my workflow . There were a number of subtleties in variation I had to employ to accomplish any particular tasks (ie. uploading for web, creating specific screener DVD’s) and can describe any of those in greater detail if you need assistance with your own workflow.


The intent of our redundancy was to ensure integrity and safety of all critical data. After the film finished shooting, there were now 8 drives with 3 different copies of all the raw RED footage: one copy was split amongst drives A1, B1, and C1, another on A2, B2, and C2 and the third was split among my two 4TB drives Cold Storage – 1 and Cold Storage – 2. My two drives served as the drives I would use when, for whatever reason, I had to return to the RED footage to re-render anything. The two remaining sets were separated from each other and both put in a safe place in different parts of town. This ensured that the destruction of no one building would completely destroy the footage.

FileMaker Pro template

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