Post Magazine

August 2011

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review By BRADY BETZEL Assistant Editor Burbank has to purchase a used Avid Adrenaline and an old version of Media Composer to really learn the Avid Media Composer suite. Avid, AJA and Matrox have come to- gether to embrace Media Composer's newly developed third-party hardware sup- port. AJA's involvement, announced at NAB, is the IO Express — a powerful input, out- put and monitoring solution. Working as an independent editor when T not at my day job, I built my own editing bay to continue learning the craft of editing. I often use my Canon T2i H.264 footage to edit and play with, but with an Adrenaline SD I haven't been able to monitor my footage on my HD television.With the AJA IO Express I was able to monitor my footage as soon as I installed Media Com- poser 5.5.2. I use the AMA feature to quickly look at the footage without having to fully import it (I would suggest fully importing the footage to a nice DNX codec.). UP AND RUNNING The affordable AJA IO Express works seamlessly with Avid Media Composer 5.5 and above. For those who do not need the additional hardware acceleration that the Nitris/Symphony DX provide, the AJA IO Express comes to the rescue. It is connected via Express Card slot on a laptop or PCIe card Avid Media Composer 5.5.2 and AJA IO Express VITAL STATS he day has finally come where some- one like me — who is always trying to expand his editing skills — no longer monitor my After Effects projects, too. The IO Express harnesses 8- or 10-bit HD/SD SDI and HDMI 1.3a (a = audio) input and outputs in addition to the compo- nent and composite outputs.There is also great 10-bit hardware downconversion that supports anamorphic, letterbox and cropped outputs. Audio I/Os include embedded 8- channel 24-bit SDI, 8-channel HDMI embed- ded audio and 2-channel unbalanced RCA outputs. There is RS-422 machine control and color black or tri-level sync. MEDIA COMPOSER 5.5.2 After the quick AJA installation I installed Media Composer 5.5.2 and its production suite of software of compression,music and effects.Avid has trimmed down the packaging to a small box and one small manual; love to see less carbon footprint with PDF manuals! A hot commodity today is tapeless work- flow, which Avid is taking a lead on (while not forgetting legacy tape-based workflows). With MC 5.5.2, I Linked to AMA File and mounted a few Red-based R3D files, Quick- Times — including Apple's ProRes wrapped H.264s, even Canon's 5D,7D and T2i flavored H.264s.To help future-proof the AMA archi- tecture with new technologies, we are now able download additional AMA plug-in up- dates from — I down- loaded and installed the Red R3D plug-in quickly. I was using R3D files via AMA within five to seven minutes — no reboot needed. Being new to the Media Composer 5 fam- ily, I found the updated trim tools very intrigu- ing.They include rolling trim (classic Avid trim style) or a ripple edit, more of a style seen in Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. Further- more, Media Composer 5.5 has added a transition tool — visually they look like audio keyframes in the timeline — the transition in and out points can be adjusted within the timeline, no The Media Composer and IO Express: a happy pair. for a workstation, and if you have both it could be a great field-to-edit solution. I was able to install the supplied PCIe card within minutes, attach the external input/output box and install the AJA IO Ex- press software and drivers.The IO Express installation was easy. Immediately I moni- tored my work in Adobe Photoshop CS5 on my HD TV via the HDMI output; I do not have After Effects CS5.5 but if I did, I could 48 Post • August 2011 need to draw up the Transition Dialogue, but if you do, you will find a new sidebar allowing the editor to select the tracks to apply the transition to, i.e.V1,A1, etc. For those who do not know, when using the segment tool (within MC 5) to move a clip in the timeline, transitions of old Media Composer projects would be deleted, but transitions now stay in time — it seems miniscule but is very handy. PHRASEFIND Avid's breakthrough of PhraseFind and continuation of ScriptSync have furthered the PRODUCTS: Avid Media Composer 5.5.2 and AJA IO Express WEBSITES:; PRICE: Avid: Media Composer shippable box, $2,495 with the production suite. $2,295 without suite. Download-only, $2,295. Buy production suite separately on Avid store for an additional $295 PRICE: AJA: IO Express, $995 Avid Media Composer: · Updated tools and interface · Robust media management combined with Unity ISIS and Interplay environs · Updated AMA plug-in architecture AJA IO Express: · Third-party I/O and monitoring solution compatible with variety of tools · HDMI v1.3a I/O · Portability via Express Card and/or PCIe card (purchased separately) sport of editing inside Media Composer. PhraseFind, a feature that can be added for an additional price, has helped the dynamicity within the Media Composer application. PhraseFind allows the editor to find (Short- cut: ctrl+F) a phrase that was spoken on any clip that was imported/digitized into Media Composer, a giant time saver for the reality/news editor within us. ScriptSync is a great feature that allows a "paper" script to be imported into Media Composer and ana- lyzed against the footage to align with what is said. Click on the script where a line is said — timeline will jump to that point on the clip. FINAL THOUGHTS The post industry is in a strange flux — currently bridging and trying to complete the transition from tape to tapeless work- flows while still upholding legacy tape for- mats, undertaking resolutions that mimic film and embracing tons of processing cores and GBs of RAM. Media Composer still has room for advancements but those are com- ing. I recently attended an event Avid held at Warner Bros. where they showed DNX 4:4:4, 4K and higher projects, a 64-bit ver- sion and further third-party integration. Avid Media Composer is a rock solid, re- liable platform that editors trust in an in- dustry that evolves and advances minute by minute. Lopez T onight

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