Avid: Xdcam ex's MXF for NLEs or AMA/ Consolidate
July 23, 2011 02:55PM
Hi guys,

What's the current defacto workflow for this... I'm cutting xdcam ex, and I'm hoping to work low rez so I can keep the media on a portable and edit on the move (at Starbucks). I know the most recommended workflow is to transcode to DNxHD, but I need a light codec for offline editing due to storage concerns, so I hope to keep everything either as XDCAM EX or dnxhd36 (preferably the first).

Should I use XDCAM Browser to export MXFs for NLEs and import that as Avid media or AMA the files and consolidate media (not transcode) onto the portable drive? I will probably transcode to DNxHD on picture lock.

Re: Avid: Xdcam ex's MXF for NLEs or AMA/ Consolidate
July 26, 2011 01:46AM
An update here. I decided to go with Export MXF for NLEs because it works. Not fancy great, but it works. With that option, I can go back to the source camera files, do an export MXF for NLEs and do a batch import. Good news is that it is lossless and relatively fast, and the process is like fcp's log and transfer. Bad news is that the process is like doing the log and transfer process twice. Once for the op1A mxfs, then a second time for Avid's op-atom mxfs. And the process happens in the foreground. For both processes. So if you have 20 XDCAM EX cards, you have to export them out as OP 1A MXFs 1 card at a time, then bring them into Avid and convert them to Avid's OP-Atom MXF format 1 folder at a time (unless you had all the mxfs in the same folder and you want to import them into 1 gigantic bin and sort them out afterwards).

AMA still doesn't seem to be half as stable or speedy as native Avid media. The other method is to AMA the files into Avid, and consolidate the files so they become Avid files. Problem is that I wasn't sure if you can re-link the consolidated Avid media back to the Sony XDCAM EX source files. If you can't you may as well throw away the Sony media, since they are now basically useless.

Now I am wondering if there is a way to run the Export MXFs for NLE command via Terminal, so it can work on multiple cards at a time.

Re: Avid: Xdcam ex's MXF for NLEs or AMA/ Consolidate
July 27, 2011 12:17PM
Strypes, there are plenty of gotchas and problems working with AMA. I have done several projects with it and it can be some kind of mix of pleasure and pain.

Since the use of AMA has come up here several times I have been meaning to write up a short entry regarding the problems I have ran into and the workarounds involved. Just so people know going in and can avoid some of the pain.

I have not had time to gather my thoughts and write something out but I will try to do so this week.

But, to address one of your comments. AMA can slow the whole system down if you have got a lot of files. One thing we discovered was that keeping the raw media organized in many separate folders seemed to slow AMA substantially. So I would not recommend organizing the media by creating a lot of folders with the media spread out amongst them.
Re: Avid: Xdcam ex's MXF for NLEs or AMA/ Consolidate
July 27, 2011 09:33PM
Thanks Sprocketz, I always found AMA to be slightly less responsive than having them as avid media. Bad news is that I haven't found a way to skip either of the foreground processes with regards to importing XDCAM EX.

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