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Forums Avid Media Composer Seeking Tweaks/Advice Regarding Offline/Online Workflow and Relinking Pitfalls

  • Seeking Tweaks/Advice Regarding Offline/Online Workflow and Relinking Pitfalls

     Glenn Sakatch updated 1 month ago 2 Members · 2 Posts
  • Sean Campbell

    January 19, 2021 at 8:02 pm


    I’ve been media managing and creating workflows for our company for around ten years with the help of my colleagues, and I’ve grown weary of what I am beginning to think could be cracks in our offline/online workflow that are leading to issues with relinking/upres’ing.

    Typically, as we often do, we write off the issues to “Avid being Avid.” Sometimes, relinking to HD media goes swimmingly, and other times it’s a massive headache demanding setting sources, modifying timecodes, and many other creative transcoding and/or database tricks to sort of force the Avid to do things it will at other times do without blinking an eye.

    In short, I’m hoping for some general ideas about how your offline/online workflow works in comparison to mine, which I’ll list below. Is there a more fool-proof method that could be considered from ingest to transcode to conversion of media to match project settings (frame rate mostly) to relinking?

    At my company, we edit in H264 800Mbps proxy (HD raster), and we online/upres to DNx145/DNx175X depending on the frame rate (29.97/23.976).

    My typical workflow is as follows:

    1) Receive drive with media from all manner of cameras from pro to pro-sumer to consumer to Skypes and cell phone media, etc. The usual.

    2) Organize and rename all media with show prefixes, etc.

    3) Transcode all media to H264 800Mbps in Avid for offline edit.

    3.5) If any media has a different frame rate or a format that isn’t compatible with Avid, that media is re-created in Adobe Media Encoder so there is conformed and compatible new source media for the online/upres. This media is always output as DNx145/DNx175X and typically 10-bit.

    4) Our editors work from a sync map/multi-cam groups, etc. They don’t change timecodes or file names along the way unless someone does something they shouldn’t, of course.

    4.5) Edited sequences are sent back from the editors to our facility, relinked, color-corrected, etc.

    5) Probably 2/3 or more of all this media relinks without much extra labor. Many clips in the final 1/3 or so have to have sources set, timecodes modified, etc. until the Avid is able to relink.

    6) Any media that is so stubborn that it will never relink automatically is simply hand-placed using a three-point edit.

    7) Issues with relinking: often what we’ll see occur (when Avid will relink but badly) is that Avid will “overwrite” media with an entirely new file name, necessitating moving back to the original sequence prior to the overwrite. We try to mitigate this by setting source names on a per-camera basis to narrow Avid’s relinking “considerations,” if that makes sense. That usually works, but not always, and the process is laborious, especially in a longer sequence with hundreds and hundreds of edits/clips.

    Does anyone care to share any thoughts on what they’ve done or issues they see in this workflow?

    I appreciate any input you may have.

    Edit: I forgot to add a very important part that I hope will be remedied in the next year: namely that across our two locations, we do not have Avid version parity. I can explain further on versions, if that is a massive red flag that supersedes other concerns about the list above.

  • Glenn Sakatch

    January 24, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    I always use the same procedure when relinking doesn’t work.

    – where is the source file from? I’m guessing footage that doesn’t relink is often material created in adobe media encoder?

    -what information does Avid have to try to do the relink? Tape or Tape ID column info? Timecode info? File name info? Avid doesn’t typically care if the files have been renamed inside Avids bins, as long as the metadata for the files is complete. This again usually comes down to the transcode process.

    If the computer can’t do the relink, ask yourself what it is or is not seeing that is confusing it.

    Often this comes down to timecode or clip name confusion/repetition.

    In response to your mismatched Avid versions, it depends how mismatched they are. Avid has done a lot of changes in the last couple of years. I would be hesitant to mix a current version with a version from 2013, although it wouldn’t surprise me that the actual sequence opens. If you are doing no live linking for the edits, i would be less worried however about a version that is a couple of years out of date. Other functions in the timeline may not work however.

    You mentioned multicam in your original post. Are you always committing multicam edits before trying to relink? Not doing this will certainly cause a clip to not relink.

    In my experience, if the media is transcoded properly outside of Avid, or when possible, inside Avid, there are rarely relink issues.

    MP4 sources, with the same starting timecodes and pesky names that are constantly repeating would be the first thing I would address before transcoding. (items that are named clip001 with a 0:00:00:00 timecode never make it into my system) They are renamed according to shoot date, and if necessary camera model, and shoot time of day timecode is added to the files through an external program. I find this issue to be one of the main reasons people have trouble relinking media, or having the wrong clip relinked.

    I find very few file types won’t come into Avid anymore, but i do typically do my transcodes in Resolve because of the speed. Again, making sure timecode and tape name metadata is set up correctly.

    If it was as common as a problem for me as you seem to be having, i would probably start charting which files are not relinking, and start tracing back their origin, and perhaps their use in the timeline.

    It is true, I will get a clip or 2 that for what ever reason just won’t relink, and it is way faster to simply manually edit that shot back into the timeline, but I find those cases to be quite rare.

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