No Source On Clips

Something that comes up a lot, and I see it on many forums, is the creation of Avid media in third party applications that end up with neither a TAPE or SOURCE FILE reference.

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To me this is a combination of errors - one of which is user error and not understanding how to properly set Source or Reel ID in the application being used. I have seen several “how to” videos online that clearly jump this very important step in the process. Not having a either of the sources defined will result in EDL not having any reference as well as every edit being flagged as a dupe. And if the user ever changed the clip name to something more useful, then you have lost all reference to the original camera sources. As an editor, I much prefer changing the name to something like “scene-Take” if working on a scripted program or a description if non-scripted. This all works quite well when the dailies are properly created. I can tell when an FCP user moves over to Media Composer as the clip names all stay as the original filenames. In the above scenario, if you cannot go back and redo dailies, the first thing to do is duplicate the NAME column into Labroll or Camroll so that it can be used in an EDL. You will still have the dupe detection problem, but better off to have a conform when stuck between a rock and a hard place.

This could be prevented by either the manufacture of the application, or by Avid. Most of these applications license Avid’s AMT (Avid Media Toolkit) which allows third parties to easily integrate the creation of native MXF wrapped DNxHD to their software offerings. It seems that a simple “REEL” check on either the host application, or more importantly, as part of the Avid Media Toolkit that a check be done to never allow media to be created with that field being blank. This alerts the host application there is an issue which they can then prompt the user that the field needs a value. And while we’re on the topic of AMT feature requests, I would also like to see:

  • Project Name being inserted at time of media creation
  • Ability to create either TAPE or SOURCE FILE - currently everything is always TAPE with more and more conforms being done via AMA
  • Create proper media for Film Based projects. Most notably,  the ability to enable audio to be slipped by 1/4 frame increments when in a 35mm-4 perf project.
  • Media created by third parties via AMT should be indistinguishable from media created by Media Composer for all project types.

So check your media as soon as possible for a value in either the TAPE or SOURCE FILE column upon receiving it. If both are blank, let it be known immediately.

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