Over in Amsterdam Avid held their most recent Avid Connect event and we finally got the Avid Media Composer news that many have been waiting for – resolution independence is coming to Media Composer. This wasn’t totally unexpected as it has been hinted at for some time but this was the official announcement with this new version hitting in Q4 2014. And we’ll get Avid DNxHR – “4K beauty without the bandwidth.”
Before we go any further a thank you to Wim Van den Broeck for all the good coverage from the event. UPDATE: Wim's Avid Blogs post is up with more info! And here's another one from Wim where he's got a couple of Instragram videos of the new version in action. I'm embeded them below.
Overall details are a bit scarce at this point so we have to look to the press releases for more information.
From the Avid Everywhere Brings Resolution Independence to Film and Television Production press release:
- Automate the process of transcoding and moving high-res media throughout the production environment
- View real-time 2K/4K media in its native resolution on a client monitor using third-party I/O hardware
- Deliver a high-res master of finished projects directly from Media Composer, eliminating the need to export to other tools for finishing
I hope that first bullet means there will be an easy and efficient way to take an entire project full of many bins of beyond HD media and tell Media Composer to transcode it all down to a smaller offline resolution. Even with background transcoding doing it to a whole project with many bins can be a pain. If there’s one thing that Final Cut Pro X has right it’s the ease of switching between Proxy and Native editing. Media Composer has always had a Relink option to move between low rez and hi rez editing but it’s a clunky process and doesn’t work unless you have all your settings just right … which can take some trial and error. UPDATE: From Wim's blog post it sounds llike we'll get a new thing called a Proxy Timeline which might be the easy low rez / hi rez workflow we've been looking for.
There’s a bit more that was revealed in the Avid-L2:
Coming really soon:
- Background rendering
- Favorite Bins
- Search across bins for markers
- 2K, 4K UHD project types (not resolution independent)
- LUTs as timeline effects
- Full-resolution monitoring of native high-res media via Open I/O hardware (BMD)
- DNxHR (y’know DNxHD? Now you know it in high-res…proxy to visually lossless mastering quality…MUCH better performance in 2K/4K…use your existing storage and network infrastructure to work in HD/High-Res with same performance and collaborative capabilities you enjoyed in HD). Media Composer is the first product in the Avid family to incorporate DNxHR. Transcode in the background from your native high-res media to DNxHR
- Exporting high-res project out as DPX
That’s a biggie with background rendering and favorite bins. I have no idea what Favorite Bins are but it sounds like something that will be useful for creative editorial and that’s where many of us was Avid to focus some engineering resources. I’m guessing they are like the recently announced Search Bins for Adobe Premiere Pro CC but who knows. More than those features I hope Media Composer becomes more fluid overall where we can do things like zoom the timeline without playback stopping. And I’ve love to see Avid’s response to Skimming and Hover Scrub. Since some of those features are marked “coming really soon” then I guess we’ll see some of this stuff sooner rather than later. Constant updates are a nice by product of a subscription model.
As for the other Avid Announces New Platform Innovations for Media Organizations and Creative Professionals press release:
Avid Resolution Independence will allow customers to:
- Save time by automating high-res media ingest and transcoding with Media Composer
- Accelerate high-res ingest for the whole facility using Media | Director
- Scale high-res files up and down using the new DNxHR codec, enabling easy proxy to mastering workflows
- Edit high-res material natively with Media Composer and extend workflows to Media Composer | Cloud, MediaCentral | UX, and Interplay | Production
- Deliver HD and high-res masters directly from Media Composer, eliminating the need for third-party finishing tools
- Deliver multiplatform versions of high-res content with Media | Distribute, minimizing the time from creation to consumption
That mention of “easy proxy to mastering workflows” gives me hope!
That was the word from IBC 2014 this morning about Avid Media Composer and more forward direction for the Avid Everywhere idea/platform/marketing strategy/philosophy. I still don't exactly get Avid Everywhere and I'm sure others don't either but at least we're getting a better Avid Media Compose. Maybe this slide from the Avid Connect event will help explain:
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