Blackmagic Cinema Camera Metadata Import

Avid Media Composer has always been known to have great metadata support as well as the ability to create lists such as EDL’s, cut lists, change lists, which are very important to many workflows. And I would argue that before file-based formats it was the absolute best amongst all NLE systems. But in recent versions, source camera metadata support has been lagging just a bit, as file-based formats have brought an onslaught of new metadata compared to the tape and film-based formats of the last decade.

Cameras themselves allow for user metadata such as comments, description, scene, and take to allow logging to happen during production that will prove beneficial to postproduction streamlining some of the process. While the process described can be applied to most cameras and workflows, the following example and guide uses the Blackmagic Digital Cinema Camera.

One of the benefits of the camera is its ability to record not on a RAW DNG format, but an NLE ready codec as either Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD. These compressed codecs are wrapped in QuickTime with the metadata embedded in the file itself.

Following is an example of those metadata fields in Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve from a clip shot with this camera as DNxHD:


I can open this file in FCPx and see the same metadata just by opening the file as seen here in the FCPx Inspector window:



Unfortunately the same is not true for Avid’s AMA QuickTime Plug-in. Linking to the file only brings in the filename and timecode.
In order to repurpose the custom metadata, some additional steps are needed, such as opening those camera files in DaVinci Resolve and exporting an ALE file to be merged as described in the PDF below.


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