Avid has announced new technology called NEXIS | EDGE that is being touted as an “innovative new software option enables post production teams to work from any location, delivering secure, remote access to media and metadata.”
This video does a great job of explaining a lot of what NEXIS | EDGE is. But you will be left with some questions.
One thing that is repeated in that video above over and over is this: “there is no relink, there is no conform.” This is in reference to the new NEXIS | EDGE proxy mode which is just a button away, in what looks to be tucked into the corner of the Media Composer playback button.
This might come as a surprise to non-Avid users as other NLEs have had this ability for years now. Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve all have a workflow for easy proxy generation directly from master clips as well as button or menu access to switch from proxies to full resolution media. I don’t think it’s any surprise that Avid is following up the rear on this kind of workflow as it often takes Avid longer to implement features that becomes a standard with other tools.
What Avid usually does do is integrate new (some might say catch-up) features in very solid and reliable ways (Titler+ not with standing). Leveraging Media Composer’s rock solid and legendary media management should eliminate Premiere’s proxy relinking randomness or Final Cut Pro’s proxy relinking nightmares. It is going to work and become second nature to Avid workflows.
The video introduces a new NEXIS | EDGE proxy format that is calls a “sibling media format.” This seems different than current low resolution media formats like DNxHD 36 and it remains to be seen if this is NEXIS | EDGE only or if this new proxy format can be generated outside of a NEXIS solution. Or whether transcoding and DIT apps like Pomfort SilverStack or even DaVinci Resolve will be able to one day generate this new proxy format. My gut tells me no.
NEXIS | EDGE is more than just proxy workflow but proxy workflow seems to be the focus, and is needed
Yes, Media Composer has long had the ability to work with lower resolution proxy media and DNxHD 36 was one of the first and still the best proxy formats. What hasn’t been easy is relinking to and from proxies back to full resolution media. Media Composer’s relinking is legendary (this post tries to help) for not ever working no matter how hard you try so this will be welcome. There has been another proxy-editing option in Media Composer for dynamic relinking to proxy media as well as lowering the timeline resolution for better playback but these are clunky at best and not a true proxy workflow like what is being introduced.
Having “preferred” resolution options as seen in the image up above means you can mix and match media formats. Some clips may live locally as you’ve brought along a hard drive with full resolution media while new proxy media might stream from a NEXIS server. That is mixing and matching proxy and full resolution media from different locations with the click of a button. This will allow a lot of great workflows as media requirements change throughout a job.
This isn’t just Media Composer specific with this new update as a lot of NEXIS | EDGE relies on NEXIS storage and updated to things like the NEXIS client software. There is also the NEXIS | EDGE browser which will let assistants, producers, etc. work with media on NEXIS shared storage right a web browser. From there, organization can happen such as logging and creating rough edits.
I looks like you can do some truly useful things right from a web browser.
Also of note when working on NEXIS |EDGE storage there is a new copy workflow that lets you move media to a local hard drive.
This is where Avid’s media management will come into play to make this copy workflow rock solid. Think how bad Adobe Premiere Pro’s Project Manager is if you’ve ever tried to use that thing and imagine it working well and rejoice in the proper moving of entire projects for offline editorial.
What about cost? And will the proxy workflow be software only?
Cost wasn’t mentioned in the video or materials that I have seen. Avid NEXIS storage can be tens of thousands of dollars depending on size and features so it is an enterprise level solution. Since the video mentions a new version of Media Composer I wonder if the new proxy workflow will be available to Media Composer only subscribers without NEXIS storage.
The video exactly says “Media Composer, even when in standalone mode, not connected to the internet, still allows you to create proxy media on set or near set as part of a dailies workflow.” That sounds like to me this new proxy workflow might just be part of an upcoming Media Composer update. But then again that part of a dailies workflow means they might lock that into NEXIS customers. There are many reasons to use proxies as part of a regular post-production workflow that doesn’t involve a traditional dailies process.
It could be incredibly useful to create Media Composer proxies and copy them to cloud storage like Postlab Drive or LucidLink and let a remote editor to go work, only touching those proxies. Proxy workflows can be very robust so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what this new Media Composer proxy workflow really does offer outside of NEXIS.
The full press release is below as well as link to a webinar on February 9 about NEXIS | EDGE:
- Work from anywhere — Content creation teams can work remotely, accessing existing Avid NEXIS systems from anywhere. Collaborators can change location without changing their workflow, even when disconnected from the internet.
- Leverage a global talent pool — Media producers can now tap into the global talent pool by securely extending their workflows to skilled workers around the globe. Teams can be scaled flexibly, as projects ramp up and down.
- Create with industry-proven tools — With Avid NEXIS | EDGE, there’s nothing new to learn. Professionals can continue to work with the tools they are used to, while connecting from anywhere. Avid NEXIS | EDGE provides seamless integration with Avid Media Composer®, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Avid NEXIS shared storage, which now includes a new Avid NEXIS Client Manager that supports connection via secure VPN over Wi-Fi and WAN networks.
- Uncomplicate workflows — With a cutting-edge, zero-relink workflow and high-quality proxy media, Avid NEXIS | EDGE enables users to switch from working with proxy to high-res media (and vice versa) with one button click, enabling editors to easily move from working in-facility to remotely.