Avid to Daylight Roundtrip Workflow

Josh Petok Jan 19, 2016

  1. And with the free read-only version of Editions, your client does not even need to buy an Editions license. You send them BLG files (or an AAF with embedded Baselight effects) and they can just play it in their Avid.

  2. I think that is a good approach. Recent history shows that cut down versions of software have a way of slowly taking on more and more of the features that were cut out of the first release, and ultimately winding up much closer in capabilities to the original "full version" product. Examples of this would be Colorfront Express Dailies, Resolve (the free version), Avid Express DV (a while ago, but a similar story), and others. At this point, Daylight does not have any of the higher end conform capabilities and none of the timeline editing capabilities of Baselight. But going forward, who knows. I could see them releasing a "non-rendering" (or limited rendering) Baselight version that basically does everything full Baselight does, but requires you to render in another program (Avid, for instance). Coupled with Avid, that would make for a potentially compelling workflow and approach for broadcast work that could likely be released at a much lower price than the current Baselight One, if they chose to do so. Hmm, come to think of it, maybe I'll pass that suggestion along.....;)
  3. I would never think about sending an aff with blg grades to a another facility and expect the grade to be what I intended.

    There may be differing workflows, but there lots of gotchas when workings with ble, certainly for me in broadcast.

    Some of the these issues may be fixed, but certainly weren't 2 months ago and have been using the plugin for over a year.

    If you grade in a full Baselight and send to ble, any colour transforms do not travel in the aaf. That means on a programme with 1000 cuts, with slog3 footage for example, you would have to individually change each of the inputs to slog3 in the ble. It gets pretty tedious, and the workaround I got from filmlight didn't work. Unfortunately you can't render in Baselight from media on Isis, so the media needs consolidated first to the Baselight raid. So using the plugin would be great and save time, but rendering is the only option for now.

    At least it's quite easy to tell something is wrong when transforming between slog to rec709. But if you let the full Baselight determine the input from the metadata in a scene, sometimes the difference is less obvious, like legal video. This also will not pass on in the aaf. Again, the grade will not be as intended, and the editor may not notice that something is wrong. And in a mixed format programme where there are lots of possibilities, fixing it is certainly not fun.

    If you use the arri photometric transform v2, this requires a manual install in ble. And again, the grade will not look correct if this isn't installed in the Avid system, and you have to go into the input strip before it lets you know that the transform is missing.

    This may be fixed now, but the opportunity for things like this to happen, would mean I wouldn't send a aaf with grade to another facility and expect them to work.

    Not being able to render would not be something I would be interested in. The render time in avid is way longer than the time needed in a full Baselight (my facility doesn't have great avid hardware so probably a bit unfair here).

    The ble is great for adding shapes in avid, grading difficult shots, and great for re-applying a grade to new versions of gfx (or for textless versions of the gfx for worldwide delivery). It's good for adding grain, the blur is excellent, great tracker. It's got great colour tools but difficult to grade a 1 hour programme in, although definitely possible. I use the plugin all the time and would massively miss it in the avid.

    Some workflows will, I'm sure, be fine. But best to thoroughly check the results. And it probably needs managed, with the editor realising the potential problems.
  4. Josh Petok

    Josh Petok Original Member

    You're absolutely correct. I've heard this many times before and I'm hoping FilmLight comes up with a solution in the next rev. What was the workaround they proposed?

    I'm very curious to hear what your Avid config is. I know BL Editions currently works with AMD cards. Do you have one installed? I'm testing on a retina Macbook Pro and getting decent performance.
  5. The workaround involved adding a colour space operator below the shots in baselight and then choose identify colour space and then choose the correct colour space - so the conversion is completed in the layer and not the input strip.

    We are running windows, z800s, but can't remember the spec. I'll take a look tomorrow. It's unfair for me to compare our Avids to our Baselight in render times, especially as they are probably going to be replaced soon, but there is quite a difference. To be fair, the render times for the ble are a lot better than many avid plugins.
  6. I should also say, the render time is not the reason we don't use exchanging grade via the aaf - it's because of the colour space issues I mentioned, and things like a missing arri photometric v2 drt, where it's not obvious that the grade is not being applied as intended.
  7. I am currently running Editions on a free license, so can't absolutely verify the colour spaces, but I just tested an AAF round trip with a timeline with mixed colour space sources, and they appear visually to come back correctly into Avid. The Update AAF dialogue box in Baselight specifically has options to include the input and viewing colour spaces, which would suggest they are supposed to come across:

    Incidentally, there is no reason to use the ARRI photometric V2 DRT unless you are using the inverse transform (using it to map a display referred source to an ARRI LogC working space). The forward transform in the V1 and V2 DRTs is (I believe) identical.
    Josh Petok likes this.
  8. That's great it's fixed. It was a bug that filmlight were aware of, and it has only been recently fixed then.

    From what I remember, you don't get the option to choose which version of the arri photometric drt you use on the full Baselight, but could be wrong. If it used v1 in ble that would be fine, but it simply states that it is missing, and no transform is completed.
  9. Somebody with a full editions license needs to confirm that. I don't see any reference to fixing this in the recent release notes.

    You can choose the version of the DRT in the scene settings. In fact I believe it defaults to V1, which under most circumstances gives an identical result to V2.
  10. Ah cool, I couldn't remember if you had the option to choose. But either way, I guess the point is that there are opportunities for there to be problems when sending to another facility, without checking that everything is working as it should. Which of course is always a good idea.

    I should be able to check before the end of the week. I was given the workaround I mentioned on the 8th October, so was after that.
  11. Absolutely. It's always worth checking, not assuming.

    Also, you'll notice in my screen-shot above I have legal <> full scaling LUTs enabled in my Update AAF settings. This works for the way I work in Avid but others have their setups configured differently (particularly those who worry about the Avid UI image and the SDI monitor image not matching). You need to verify this too, and not assume that just because it looks correct in your Avid it will look correct in somebody else's too.
  12. I don't mean to hijack this thread but it seems like asking here rather than starting a new thread would be OK....
    Based on the tutorial vids on the Filmlight site and "quick start" guide, I get the impression that Daylight cannot background render when being used as the dailies application it's nominally designed as. Is that correct? I really want to like it...I've been wanting to like it since Filmlight started making noise about it a couple of years ago, but no bg render is a deal-breaker I'm afraid...
  13. Not quite true. The render queue is persistent and active even when you're using the program. However, it is automatically suspended whenever you do anything in the main program, such as hit play, change color settings, etc. So it's "background rendering" of a sort, but not quite as fast or efficient as some other programs that don't completely suspend render operations when things are being done in the foreground.
    Jason Myres likes this.
  14. Ah, copy that. But rendering A camera while I'm syncing and grading B camera isn't possible. Perhaps in a future release...
  15. Tried the ble workflow with avid at our facility and it totally failed. Do I miss anything or is there no option to import BLGs - either manually or via lens - if you are running the free version of ble4avid? So the only viable workflow would be to work with an aaf roundtrip.
    Unfortunately I always got an error when I tried to export an updated AAF from baselight ("can't update EDL" or anything like that). Support said it is a bug on their side and that they gonna fix it. But reading this thread it seems that the workflow works for others. Do you have to set up your avid timeline in any specific manner? Right now I just dropped one Baselight-Effect over the entire timeline and exported an AAF. Do you have to apply the effect to the clips separately?

  16. You don't actually "import" the BLG's in Avid. Here's what you do:

    Export all of your BLGs from Baselight into one folder. In Avid, create a new video track and put a single instance of the Baselight plugin on it. Go to effects mode and open the Baselight interface. There is a pulldown menu for BLGs. You will need to create a new Lens, then edit that lens to point to the folder of BLGs you created. You then activate that lens. Provided the metadata matches (very important, you must select the proper criteria for tape name and it must match the Avid tape name) all of your grades will be applied to the proper shots. If this doesn't work, you're going to have to explain what you're doing in more detail if you want assistance.

  17. It is possible. The render queue is completely independent of any cursors you may or may not have open. The caveat is that background rendering gets automatically paused and restarted depending upon what you're specifically doing at the time. So assuming you're pretty busy in the interface, the rendering might be paused more often, causing the render to take longer. Hence my statement about efficiency. The ideal situation is to have two Daylight computers and use one for rendering only, but that's a rather elaborate and expensive (for individual users) solution.

  18. The problem is that you can't open the Baselight interface with the free version. You immediately get a prompt to enter your SN for the full version. Thats why I tried the AAF workflow which does not work on our system. Tried it with multiple Avid Projects / AAFs and always got the "can't update EDL" Error when I try to export an updated AAF from baselight.
  19. You need to create an aaf in avid to populate a timeline in baselight. Once your done grading you use that aaf as a base and baselight injects its plugin information into the original aaf to create a new graded aaf. Baselight can't create its own aaf, it needs avid to do that first.

    If it doesn't work there's probably something in your timeline that's not compatible with that process. I.e. they don't match. Current software should give a warning when this happens.
  20. Are you using Daylight or full Baselight? I have not had issues doing an AAF Avid to Baselight round trip with the free version of Baselight for Avid, as shown in the screen shots in my earlier posts. I haven't tried (and don't know if it's even possible) with Daylight.

    By the way, the AAF round trip is not a BLG workflow, as such. You just export an AAF (no embedded media) of your Avid timeline, with no Baselight effects applied. Import and grade in Baselight, then choose "update AAF" from the shots view (from memory - I'm not in front of Baselight right now). When you bring the AAF into any Avid with Editions installed, including in free mode, the shots have a per-clip Baselight effect. This is obviously a different workflow to the one this thread was originally about.

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