A show has locked picture. A show that I started a looooooong time ago…Feb 2010. Now, I haven’t been working on it all that time…I worked on it for two months, then it went on hiatus for a couple months for a variety of reasons. Then I started up on it again in Sept…a week here, another week there. But now it has locked picture and we are ready to online. (I’ll be able to tell you what show as soon as I deliver it.)

The show was started on Avid Media Composer 2.8, but due to some issues in importing and linking P2 footage, we upgraded to Avid MC4 a couple weeks into the show, and used Avid Media Access (AMA) to better access and import the footage. The upgrade mid project was pretty smooth. Everything was shot on P2 and imported full resolution into the Avid…spread across a couple hard drives…one of them was a USB drive, and I suffered no stuttering or dropped frame issues, something that always happens in FCP. I have no theory why that is…just interesting to note.

Now, why do I want to go to COLOR to color correct? Well, more control over the colors, and because I can save more than 8 grades…and the saved grades have a good visual representation. I would be able to do this much faster. Even with the prep time it’d take me to get from Avid to FCP. I have more finesse with the footage, access to vignettes that are fast (the tricks to get these effects in MC take time).  Color correcting in Color is very fast.

To get the sequence from Avid MC to FCP, I use Automatic Duck Pro Import 2.0.

Well, getting the footage to FCP wasn’t as easy as I thought. First off, a lot of the footage was brought into the system via AMA…and NOT consolidated. Just referenced. And by doing that I cannot export an AAF for audio NOR for Automatic Duck.  On top of that, the last two Acts consisted of footage shot with a Panasonic HPX-3000…in the AVCIntra format.  Where Automatic Duck can wrap the DVCPRO HD 720p 23.98 footage (the majority of the footage) into QT wrappers with ZERO quality loss, there is no AVCIntra Avid codec, so the files came over as somthing the Duck couldn’t deal with.  So I had to transcode those order for it to work properly.

After I did the quick prep, I was able to get the sequence from Avid to FCP without a hitch. I recall trying Automatic Duck when it first came out (YEARS ago…5, 6?) and there was a lot it couldn’t deal with.  But now…speed changes, freeze frames, mixed codecs…it is solid.   I will have to recreate a few effects (paint effects used as transitions, animatte in a couple locations), but will be pretty painless.

I then sent it to Color.

I’m in the middle of the color correct now, and it is going pretty quickly.  90 min show…should take two days.  With the one day prep that is three days.  Then the 4th day to make the credits and lower thirds and re-create the transition effects, add the mixed audio and output the show.  And I’m sure that if I did the color correction in MC4, it would take me an extra day to color correct and prep for output…and I don’t think I could have made it half as good as I could with Color.

Soon I will be getting RESOLVE and the Avid MC plugin…and be able to take my Avid projects directly into a world class color correction app.  Can’t wait to be able to do that.