Latest post Sat, Aug 13 2011 1:03 PM by SteveK. 21 replies.
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  • Wed, Feb 16 2011 8:34 PM

    • Chrisedit
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    Is AMA worth it?

    So far working with AMA has been a real problem and as far as I can tell has been a marketing scam.  If anyone has any solutions, work arounds or explanations I would love to stand corrected.

    If you use AMA for video and audio its great to work right away and it does work, but my experience is that it chews up Bin memory even faster than it already does.  The even bigger issues is when it comes time for finishing and working outside AVID.  When its time to prep for the mix you can't make an AAF or OMF with AMA clips.  If you want to make a quicktime reference from the sequence well you can't do that either.  You cannot transcode sequences with audio.

    It seems like digitizing, importing and or transcoding is still the only way to work efficiently and properly, otherwise you could get really screwed done the line.  If AMA can't work in all these scenarios doesn't seem worth it to use it which is unfortunate because at initial setup it saves a ton of time.

    Let me know,

     

    Thanks

  • Wed, Feb 16 2011 8:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    I see AMA as being very early days still. It started off clunky and has improved and I'm sure the next few years will see big advances.

    But for me it has to be treated with care.

    I see AMA as the FCP element of editing. Quick and easy but messy and fraught with problems down the line.

    For a quick in out job it's fine to AMA cut and export (not QT ref)

    For anything longer I use AMA to get quick access and make subclips and then Transcode to an Avid friendly media. Then it's rock solid Avid media management.

     

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  • Wed, Feb 16 2011 9:10 PM In reply to

    • ddowner
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    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    I have been working in a full tapless environment for over 2 years now and I was VERY hesatant to switch, but now I can online an entire half hour show in under 3 hours.


    We are on an Unity with only 4 TB Storage, so we can't really just move the AMA files to the Unity, link then work. We downconvert EVERYTHING to 10:1m.

    AMA is still early and you have to figure out a workflow that works for your situation. Here's what we do:

    Copy your AMA Media from the Source tape to a "Master" hard drive.

    Copy the same AMA Media to a "Backup" hard drive. (we had a master fail week 1, so we implimented the backup system.)

    Make sure your file structure matches on both Master and Backup Hard Drives. I use Date Folders on the root of the drive and inside are all of the tapes shot on that date:

    exa: 

    Master Hard Drive 1

       - 0216 Shoot

              -CARD0126A01

              -CARD0216A02

    and so on.

     

    Once the Master and Backup are done we verify that the contents of the Source, Master and Backup are the same. (Get Info works well. If the file number and Bit/Byte size match you are good to go)

    Then we link to AMA, selecting the DATE folder. You get a pop up in Avid 4 and 5 called "Bin Selection" (version 3 has the Bin selection settings in the AMA settings) Chose Bin(s) Based on Subfolders. All of the Card Folders inside of your date folders will be created as bins. 

    Next step is to make a new bin and call it "TRANSCODE_0216" (The date of the shoot is better than the day you transcode for orginizational purposes, that way you can find your media later if you ever need too, but I rarely go into the Transcode section anymore)

    Opt+Drag all of the media from your new bins created by AMA Link into the Transcode bin, select all clips and Transcode down to the resolution you want to cut in.  When transcoding, make sure you select all 3 of the audio options or your audio won't go to the Unity, or source workspace.

    When the Transcode finishes, make sure all of your original AMA Bins are opened, and unmount your Master Hard Drive. The AMA Media Goes Offline. Select Offline Media in your Transcode bin and relink to the drive you transcoded too.

    Now your original AMA Bins are all relinked to lower resolution media that you can cut from. This should save bin memory because you aren't using your link as source.

     

    The Uprez process is this:

    Link to AMA for all Dates in your sequence. If you are using P2 the Media in your sequence will all just come online after the link is established. If you are uisng Quicktimes you have to relink your sequence. Make sure you select "Relink to Linked AMA Sources" 

    Then we export a Video AAF of the entire sequence. In the AAF settings select the handles you want your master clips in sequece to have and make sure to select the transcode option and set the resolution you are using. I uprez everything to DNxHD 220 or 220x depending on the layoff tape. If it's an SR I go 220x.

    The AAF is not embedded, we send the media to an online workspace.

    The AAF that is created will basically be a "reverse Decompose" Instead of Decomposing you are exporting new master clips with handles. We do an AAF becuase the media that is still offline stays in your sequence with an AAF allowing you to link to another AMA Hard Drive, and another until your uprez is done. The new sequence created after your AAF will be called .exported

    DO NOT DECOMPOSE YOUR SEQUENCE BEFORE YOUR AMA MEDIA IS ONLINE it is my experience that you wil never be able to relink the AMA media.

     

    I understand that this workflow doesn't allow you to start working right away, but it saves bin memory and you can online faster than you will ever be able to with tape.

     

    Hope it helps!

    Mac OSX 10.6.3 2x3.2GHz Quad Core Xeon Processor 6GB 800 MHz DDR2 RAM Avid Adrenaline 5.0.3/Symphony 5.0.3 [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Feb 16 2011 9:13 PM In reply to

    • ddowner
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    • Burbank, CA
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    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    By the way, we use ONLY eSATA connections for all hard drives and it speeds the entire process up.

    Mac OSX 10.6.3 2x3.2GHz Quad Core Xeon Processor 6GB 800 MHz DDR2 RAM Avid Adrenaline 5.0.3/Symphony 5.0.3 [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Feb 16 2011 10:49 PM In reply to

    • hbrock
    • Top 25 Contributor
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    • Santa Monica, CA
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    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    AMA should be defined as "Avid's Marketing Alternative" to FCP's Log and Transfer, IMHO.  Best to be used for small, quick projects.  For anything other than those, it's a quick Viewer that allows Transcodes to Avid Media and a more stable workflow.

    MacPro, MacBook Pro and a Cube (masquerading as a kleenex dispenser). [view my complete system specs]

    Must think of something clever to go here...

  • Thu, Feb 17 2011 4:20 AM In reply to

    • Brickwad
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Simsbury, CT
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    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    I only make :30 commercials, but AMA is rockin' for me! All my P2 clips appear instantly. I give each clip I use in the finished timeline a red clip color. Then I transcode the red clips to DNX, unmount the P2 drive, and relink the sequence to the transcoded clips. I coudn't be happier. The P2 cards are backed up to inexpensive USB drives, and the only media taking up space on my unity are the clips I actually used. I still have to digitize tape every once in a while, but tapeless aquisition and AMA have changed my life for the better!

    1 MC4 Nitris DX on 12 core 2.66 mac pro 6 Gigs of Ram, 2 Symphony Nitris DX on eight core mac pro with 12 gig ram, 3 MC7 on Mac Pro, IMAC, and Macbook... [view my complete system specs]

    WWLD?

  • Thu, Feb 17 2011 5:12 AM In reply to

    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    hbrock:
    Best to be used for small, quick projects.
    With 2 on air commercial 1 hour projects here raw footage exclusively from EX cameras (40 to 50 cards each project ) I have a different view on limiting it to small projects.  Both went through to picture lock whilst remaining in AMA format and both without a glitch. Audio went to Protools and the vision was transcoded here before going to an online facility.

    (I do appreciate this experience has been limited to using AMA with the EX and I have limited experience with some of the formats people seem to have trouble with using AMA)

  • Sun, Jul 31 2011 7:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    AMA Plug In Question?  

     

    When I click on the Canon links on the Plug Ins page - it redirects to the Canon site (fine) but I can't find any plug-ins over there.  I do a search for plug ins, and get nothing.  Are there plug-ins for the Canon products, or...?  If yes, anyone got a direct link that takes you to the download?

    How hard is that?

    Filed under: ,
  • Sun, Jul 31 2011 7:43 PM In reply to

    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    Here's my assessment of the value of AMA:

    If you are on a stand alone platform, AMA is great when you're racing the clock, need to cut and finish a story FAST and output a final timeline, and you just don't have the time to wait for a traditional import. However, once that sequence is finalized, to be fail safe, you must consolidate it, creating Avid media files, before moving on to export.

    If you are working in a shared server multi-room environment, AMA is virtually useless, especially if you have Interplay managing the media database. Close out an AMA bin, and you will get an error telling you AMA clips cannot be checked in to Interplay. Therefore, the AMA media cannot be shared across the network.

     

    Newscutter Nitris DX 9.5.3.5 * Media Composer 5.5.3.6 (At Home on PC running XP Pro) * Symphony 6.5.2.1 (At home on MacBook Pro3,1 running 10.7.2) * Interplay... [view my complete system specs]

    Larry Rubin

    Senior Editor

    The Pentagon Channel

    www.pentagonchannel.mil

  • Sun, Jul 31 2011 7:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    Larry is correct, AMA-link footage doesn't work well with either shared storage or Interplay.

    But, to clarify, AMA can be helpful in a shared environment, but only to organize and load footage onto the shared storage.  We have Isilon for non-Avid, primarily teapeless, assets.  Thee include P2, XDCAM, CF & SD cards, GoPro, Flip, etc.  Isilon is where all these assets are first stored.  From there, that which "needs" to be shared is transcoded or imported onto ISIS.  Once there, Interplay can manage it.

    And, as others have mentioned and in my opinion, AMA-linked footage should only be used for direct editing with short or non-CPU intensive codecs.  Long clips and/or CPU-intensive footage should always be transcoded to a native Avid codec.

    Symphony 8.8.x w/Avid Nitris DX, HP z420, Windows 10, QT v7.7.x, Hexa Core 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, nVidia Quadro Series 2000 w/353.82. 2TB Boot, 2 x 3TB internal... [view my complete system specs]

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  • Sun, Jul 31 2011 8:19 PM In reply to

    • MichaelP
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    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    Performance is also based on whether the codec itself is native the Avid codec library - DNxHD, DVCPRO100, DV25, etc. allow for better peformance than non-native such as H.264, ProRes, R3D, and any codec that QuickTime Player happend to decode.

     

    Michael

    24p.com

  • Sun, Jul 31 2011 8:40 PM In reply to

    • hbrock
    • Top 25 Contributor
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    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    aphollywood:
    When I click on the Canon links on the Plug Ins page - it redirects to the Canon site (fine) but I can't find any plug-ins over there.  I do a search for plug ins, and get nothing.  Are there plug-ins for the Canon products, or...?  If yes, anyone got a direct link that takes you to the download?

    Select "Mac OS" in the pop up menu.  Don't select Mac OS 10.x or anything specific like that, just Mac OS.  It will show up under Software.

    MacPro, MacBook Pro and a Cube (masquerading as a kleenex dispenser). [view my complete system specs]

    Must think of something clever to go here...

  • Mon, Aug 1 2011 10:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    Randall L Rike:

    And, as others have mentioned and in my opinion, AMA-linked footage should only be used for direct editing with short or non-CPU intensive codecs.  Long clips and/or CPU-intensive footage should always be transcoded to a native Avid codec.

    Some of my colleagues who are AMA devotees look at me like I'm still cutting tape with a razor blade when I tell them I'm not using an AMA workflow.

    I shoot and edit XDCAM EX footage.    I have a very conservative workflow.   I export from the EX1 as MXF files and then reimport into the Avid.  This creates separate MXF files as "camera footage" backup, which I keep on a separate external harddrive.   Then I also make a backup of my Avid Media Files, again on a separate external HD.   It takes a bit more time and storage space, but if a meteor hits my Avid, I'm covered with two levels of backups.    Since I work on long format projects, these extra steps are miniscule compared to the hundreds of hours of shooting & editing devoted to each project.

    MC 2018.4 with Symphony, Matrox MX02 Mini Max, Win 7 Pro, HP Z800 2x6-Core 3.2Ghz Xeon, 48GB ram, Quadro K4200, SanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD as system drive... [view my complete system specs]

    I have a fantastic editing assistant.  He stays by my side when I edit...doesn't talk too much...and thinks I'm a genius!    Check him out here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQVkYaaPO6g

  • Mon, Aug 1 2011 11:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    When I work with any tapeless media that can be used via AMA I always copy the entire contents of the disk, card or hard drive to a folder strucutre I've developed on my local drives.  

    ~\AMA_Media\ProjectName\MediaType\

    I've also worked with AMA footage (mostly EX and XDCam) on shared storage and I think the key is to create a separate unique partition to house your disc/file contents.  You can't have the AMA footage and your Avid media on the same drive because when you Consolidate/Transcode the footage, the same clips will still potentially point to the AMA links rather than the Consolidated version.  

    MacPro dual 2.66GHz 6GB RAM nVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT Storage: 2TB G-Speed eS with controller card 3x1TB Hitachi SATA-II internals, various external FW/USB... [view my complete system specs]

    Kenton VanNatten | Avid Editor (for hire)

    "I am not obsessed... I'm detail-oriented"

  • Tue, Aug 2 2011 2:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Is AMA worth it?

    Terry Snyder:
    It takes a bit more time and storage space, but if a meteor hits my Avid, I'm covered with two levels of backups.
    For EX 3 projects here Terry I use Shotput Pro software to make 3 simultaneous copies of the camera original disks (or hard drives). The first is on an internal SATA drive (not part of my normal Avid media drive setup)in an old (4 years) MacPro that will be my AMA source. The other two are my backups on SATA drives in external cages. I keep the directory structure on the three hard drives identical.

    I edit with the AMA media till I get the project to a picture lock condition, then render or mixdown the whole sequence to a DNxHD resolution ready for output, if the project is finished here. Or consolidate to DNxHD for onlining and audio post.

    In a non share media environment this works well for both long and short form projects,

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