This page provides a step-by-step guide to the Assistant Editing workflow for Avid Media Composer, providing instructions for how to:
- Configure the Media Composer project
- Link, modify, and transcode footage
- Import audio
- Synchronize audio and video
- Organize footage in bins
- Assemble a dailies string out
- Export and upload to Frame.io
Media Composer Project
Make sure your “Show Volume” is mounted and navigate to your show folder and launch the media composer project.
When it opens you will see the project template. These folders and bins must be maintained and kept organized.
Before you begin double check the “Media Creation Settings”. Go to preferences, project tab, and then Media Creation.
In the Media Creation window make sure you select:
- DNxHD SQ for Video Resolution
- Your Show Volume for the Video and Audio Drive
Select Apply to All for everything and then click Okay.
Link, Modify, and Transcode Footage
Open the Linked OCF bin.
Right click inside the bin and select Import – Source Browser.
Inside the Source Browser navigate to to a days worth of OCF, make sure the Link icon is selected, and then click Link.
This will “Link” all of the select footage into the bin. Notice the icons a linked chain letting you know this is not Avid Media yet but only linked to the OCF on the CMPAFilmPost Server.
Highlight all of the linked files in the bin by hitting “Command + A”. Then right click on a clip and select “Source Settings”. This will open the “Source Settings” window. You will use the Color Encoding tab to apply a Look Up Table (LUT) to the OCF which is in Log. Then you will use the FrameFlex tab to set the proper aspect ratio.
In the Color Encoding Tab set the Color Adapter Type to “User Installed LUTs”
Then select your shows LUT from the list. Unless otherwise instructed by production you will use the default LUT which is Medium Contrast and Medium Size shown below.
Then click “Add” and then “Apply to All”. This will change all of your linked footage from looking like a LOG video file (washed out and without contrast) to looking like a 709 video file (saturated and with contrast). This is what the DP would have been viewing on set.
Next use the FrameFlex Tab to set the proper aspect ratio. The only two options you need to modify are the “Frame Aspect Ratio” and the “Reformat” drop down menu shown with red arrows below.
The “Frame Aspect Ratio” will be set to one of the three approved aspect ratios of either 1.85:1, 2.39:1, or 1.375:1. Check with the production to see what aspect ratio they framed for.
The “Reformat” drop down should be set to Pillarbox/Letterbox.
Click “Apply to All”.
Changing these two parameters will ensure that when new Avid Media is created that is 1920×1080 it will have the correct aspect ratio burned in.
Now that all of your linked media has the proper color and framing its time to transcode to Avid Media. Highlight all of the linked files in the bin by hitting “Command + A”. Then right click on a clip and select “Consolidate/Transcode”.
This will open the “Consolidate/Transcode” window.
Study the options with the red arrows shown below. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT as it determines the kind of media that will be transcoded and used for editing in Media Composer.
The radial button in the top left should be set to “Transcode” You should select your show volume under target drive. DO NOT SELECT CMPAFilmPost. Then double check all of the red arrows on the right.
Once everything is set properly you can click “Transcode”. This process will take a few minutes as it generates new Avid Media so take a break and relax.
When the transcode is finished you will notice that now you have two versions of everything in your bin. One is a linked OCF and the other is Transcoded MXF Avid Media.
Move the Transcode MXF media to the proper bin.
Open the Transcoded Production Audio bin.
Use the source browser like before and navigate to the proper folder on the CMPAFilmPost Server and select all the production audio. Only this time you will directly “Import” the audio instead of “Linking” to it first. Make sure you study the red arrows below and then click “Import”
Before it begins transcoding it will ask you about audio start times. Make sure it is set to “24” and then click “Okay to all”.
When the transcode is finished you will have Master clips of all your production audio.
Synchronize Audio and Video
Too synchronize Master audio clips and Master video clips they need to be placed in the same bin. Move the days worth of audio and video together into the “Synching Bin”.
Select all the audio and video clips in the syncing bin and then right click and select “AutoSync” from the dropdown menu. The “Sync Selection” window will appear. Make sure you have “Source timecode” selected and then click okay.
This make make a sub clip out of every audio and video clip that had matching timecode. Anything that did not sync because it couldn’t find a pair with matching timecode will be left highlighted.
Change the clip color of these to make it easier to keep track of.
In the example below. You will see two audio master clips that didn’t sync to anything because they are Room Tone. One Audio master clip taht didn’t sync to anything because it was a bump take. And two Video Master clips that didn’t sync to anything because they are MOS.
Move the Master clips out of the synching bin and into their proper bins.
This will leave only the sync sub clips in the synching bin. If you did have any MOS Master clips make subclass of them in the Synching Bin.
Now you need to check the sync of each clip by opening it in the source monitor and scrubbing through the slate. It you switch the timeline to reflect the source monitor using the button shown below it will be easier since you will be able to see the waveforms of the punch sub clip.
As you go through checking synch on each subclip you should cross reference them against the physical camera report to make sure you have everything. This is also the time taht you cane rename the subclass to reflect the shot name as written on the slate.
Organize Footage in Bins
Once everything is renamed you can move the subclips out of the synching bin and into the appropriate scene bin.
Switch the view in the scene bin to the thumbnail view.
Then drag the thumbnail around and organize each scene bin into rows of setups and columns of takes.
Next you will need to change the thumbnail for each one. By default the thumbnail is the first frame of video which is not helpful to an editor as its normally blocked by the slate. You can change the thumbnail by single clicking on the clip and then scrubbing with the JKL keys. Wherever you stop scrubbing that thumbnail will bye saved.
If a setup has only one take set the thumbnail to what the majority of the shot represents. If a setup has multiple takes set the early takes to the beginning of the action and the last takes to the end of the action.
In this way the editor can see at a glance what the motion of the camera or changing of the blocking is by looking across the different takes.
Assemble Dailies String Out
Open the correct dailies stringent sequence based on the day of production you are working on.
Assemble the days rushes into the dailies string out in shooting order. To do this reference the physical camera report and insert each shot into the sequence in the same order as it says it was captured on the day of production.
Insert a 5 second slate at the begin of the sequence and using the Avid Title tool fill in the slate with all the information shown in the example below.
Inside the Avid Effects Bin you will find a Dailies Timecode Burn-In effect.
Apply this effect to the fill in the labeled video track and make sure you are monitoring on that track as well.
You will see in the Program Monitor that your Dailies string out now has timecode and shot names burned in.
Export and Upload to Frame.io
Mark in to out for the entire timeline and select all the video and audio tracks.
Right click in the program monitor and select export.
Check that the name of the file is correct, that its going the proper folder on your show volume, and that you are using the correct export setting.
When the export is complete you should open it in quicktime player and check to make sure everything is correct. Then upload to the proper folder on frame.io.
When you are all done save your bins and close the project.