I AM AN IDIOT!  I am a moron!  I made a STUPID mistake!  What incompetence!  What lack of mental ability was I suffering?  A complete brain-fart!  GAH, I feel stupid.  But hey, we all make mistakes sometimes, right?

Two posts ago I talked about needing to deliver a project offlined with FCP as an Avid project file with Avid media.  So my plan was to convert the project with Automatic Duck Pro Export 4.0, recapture with Avid and then color correct with the Avid so that I had an Avid Project with Avid media to deliver.  Yes, I knew that the Avid Media Composer didn’t have the best color correcting controls (well, ones that I am really not familiar with), as they lack secondaries and the ability to do vignettes.  But, I thought I could manage this anyway.

I didn’t online this in FCP then convert to Avid because I had this strange notion in my head that converting the project to Avid from FCP didn’t bring the media over…not exactly.  When you go from Avid to FCP with media, Automatic Duck Pro Import will make Quicktime reference movies of the Avid media files…it doesn’t convert the full files.  For this reason you need to have the Avid codecs installed so that you can read these files.  You can then get the project, and the media to work on FCP…although the media is an Avid codec, like DNxHD or Avid DV.  This won’t go into Color as Color doesn’t recognize the Avid codecs, and your capture card won’t output that either… but that’s another story.  There’s a workflow for that.

ANYWAY…I had it in my head that a similar thing happened when you went the other way.  That Avid somehow made MXF reference files that pointed to the QT movies so that they’d work in Avid.  Because of that thought, knowing that the deliverables called for an Avid project and Avid media…FULL media, I didn’t just do everything in FCP and then convert when I was done.

This is where I am a moron.  A complete idiot.  Because I didn’t watch the  “FCP to Avid 2,” how to get from FCP to Avid with media recently.  Which was STUPID because Wes says, RIGHT THERE, clear as day, that when you go from FCP to Avid with media, it converts the FULL MEDIA over.  So you end up with MXF files and AIF files that Avid reads.

Why am I smacking myself…kicking myself…over this?  Because I am struggling to color correct with the Avid.  When you are used to the color wheels, and the smooth blacks, mids and whites levers, CURVES throw you.  Very different controls those.  And I couldn’t save color corrections in any visual way so that I knew by looking what saved grade could be applied to a reoccuring clip, or source file, later in the cut.  And I didn’t have secondaries to deal with the shots with the really blown out background, yet subject sitting in shadow.

I was slowed down…a lot.  By the end of one day I had color corrected 20 min.  Something I can do a full 44 min show in Color.

I was talking with an editor friend of mine who was going to be in the same boat in a couple months. Offline (well, edit full online quality) in FCP, but need to deliver Avid project and Avid media.  In that conversation, where I was telling him what I was doing, he asked, “Can’t the Duck just convert everything in the end, when you are done?  That’s what we were planning.”

“Huh…no, I don’t think so…lemme check on that.”

So I did, and I watched the video…and now I am kicking myself.

The plan now is to go back and capture/online/CC in FCP and Color, then use the Duck to convert.  That conversion might be just a test, to see how well it does.  But I hope to use it, and then be able to do the same for my friend.  I do have a backup plan.  Since I already converted the sequence to Avid, and captured all the media as Avid media…I have that to deliver.