Unbreakable Conform for Avid Symphony & DaVinci Resolve

Creative COW by Scott Freeman

Avid is a tapeless beast that I want to tame. Victorious: here is a working step by step example of my workflow-solution using an Avid Symphony Online Sequence Metadata to relink to Resolve Video Essence with handles using MXF media files.

The techniques I have come up with for roundtripping between Avid Symphony or Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve save incredible amounts of time. What used to take 8 hours to color now takes 4. What would take 40 hours of Avid media management for a tapeless online now takes seconds. They also make possible things that most users were sure were impossible.

A brief history of why I developed these techniques: in today's offline/online post production world, the online is often delivered as MXF files with handles along with the online sequence. These delivered MXF files are the equivalent of digitized master tapes. This can be tough to round-trip using "Tape" metadata, because each MXF file's name becomes the tape name. To create a multi-group, all the takes need to be from the same tape name. This is the kind of thing that creates a media management mess.

And it still doesn't solve the problem of handles. One of the biggest Hollywood post houses told me they had been working for two years on a solution to roundtrip between Resolve and Symphony keeping the handles intact. Clients want to deliver already digitized master files with handles at a mastered DNxHD quality for online in the Symphony. The clients would then like to color using DaVinci Resolve. The post house could not get the footage back into the Symphony with handles. My process now makes this possible for them.

There are many other things that become possible by following these steps. For instance Avid does not realize it, but through AMA, Avid is resolution and frame rate independent until you render or transcode. I have also come up with workflows where strange framerates using Resolve can create a MXF file of that framerate to match the camera framerate. Avid would otherwise force the user to use the Convert command. read more...

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