Assistant Editing Workflow

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.

Import Audio

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.

Offloading Media Cards


The CMPAFilmPost Server is where you will offload all of the Original Camera Files (OCF) and Production Audio. Every computer the Post Hall has ShotPut Pro installed as well as a Red Mini Mag reader and a multi card reader attached.

ShotPut Pro is a software which not only copies video and audio files but will also verify the copies afterwards and make reports documenting that the offload was successful. These reports will be uploaded to Frame.io so that the production can keep track of when the media was offloaded and verify that the offload was successful .Every media card used on a production must use ShotPut Pro for offloading to the proper folder tree on CMPAFilmPost to assure the productions video and audio assets are safe.

Mounting Media Cards

The Assistant Editor (AE) will retrieve the Red Mini Mag (containing the video), the SD card (containing the audio), and the camera reports from the ingest room cubby and bring them back to their assigned suite on the post hall for offloading. Production should have applied red tape to show live media was on them and labeled them as shown.

Remove the tape and insert the cards into the corresponding readers, they will mount like an external hard drive and appear on the desktop.


Offloading Media with ShotPut Pro

After both media cards are mounted launch ShotPut Pro from the dock.

When it opens it will appear as shown below. Notice how the media cards and the Server are shown on the left of the screen.

To offload the entire contents of the Red Mini Mag drag the disk icon and drop it in the box labeled “offload from”.

Next you will need to tell ShotPut in what folder on the CPMAFilmPost Server you would like to offload to. Navigate down into the folder tree on the left hand side until you find the proper Show and Day folder for your production. Then drag the folder icon and drop it in the box labeled “offload to”.

In the field labeled “Job Identifier” fill in the information for this offload in the following format: Production#_Day#_Card#.

Before starting the offload you will need to check a few settings. First under “Verification Options” make sure the type is set to “MD5 Checksum”. This is a good balance of speed and security.

Next make “Report Preferences” and make sure that all the options are check as shown in the example below. This won’t effect the actual offload at all but it will dictate how the pdf that is generated after the offload will be formatted.

When everything looks good you can start the offload by selecting the Blue Arrow.

On the right hand side you will see the progress bar appear and you can monitor how long it will take. It will go through several phases as shown below and ho long it takes is dependent on how much media was on the card.

While the video is being offloaded you can go ahead and set the audio offloading at the same time. Just repeat the same process as you did before. To offload the entire contents of the SD Card drag the disk icon and drop it in the box labeled “offload from”.

Next navigate down into the folder tree on the left hand side until you find the proper Show and Day folder for your production. Then drag the folder icon and drop it in the box labeled “offload to”.

In the field labeled “Job Identifier” fill in the information for this offload in the following format: Production#_Day#_Card#.

You can click the blue start arrow again and it will sue up your next offload. When both media cards have finished offloading and are verified it will appear as shown below.

The media is now safely offloaded to the CMPAFilmPost Server.

Verification Reports

You can find the verification reports alongside the media in the folder that you pointed ShotPut Pro toward.

The Verification Reports should look like the examples below.

After checking the reports upload them to the appropriate show folder on Frame.io.

Wrap Up

The SD card will need to be erased after you have verification from ShotPut Pro that the data was transferred safely. Remember to empty the trash after deleting the sound card media as that is the only way to free up space on the card. You do not need to erase the Red Mini Mags as they will be reformatted the next time they are put in the camera. Return the media cards to their cases and return them to the shows cubby in the ingest room. Now that the tape has been removed production will know that they are clear to be used again.

Mounting Servers and Show Volumes

Mounting CMPAFilmPost

CMPAFilmPost or “the post hall server” should always be mounted on the desktop of your machine and will look like the example below.

If for some reason it is not mounted type “Command” + “Spacebar” on the keyboard.

This will bring up the Spotlight Search function.

Type in “cmpafilmpost”. This will find an app that will mount the server. Hit “Enter” and it mount and you will see it on the desktop.

This is the main post hall server. This is where your Original Camera files and Production Audio will live.

Mounting Show Volume

Each film will have its own individual “Show Volume”. This is where your Media Composer Project and ProTools Project will live. You will need to mount the volume specific to the film you are working on.

To do so type “Command” + “K” on the keyboard.

This will bring up the “Connect to Server” prompt. Type in the address:

This will show all the possible show volumes that are available to choose from. Select your show number and then hit OK.

It will mount on the desktop and will look like the example below.

This is the folder structure inside.

Mounting TestShare

TestShare or “the Z Drive” is the server used for VFX and Animation work. If you need to mount it type “Command” +”K”.

This will bring up the “Connect to Server” prompt. Type in the address:

You will need to enter your FSU ID and Password.

After that it will let you choose “TestShare”. Click OK to mount it.

It will mount on the desktop and will look like the example below.

This is the folder structure inside.