Using Vantage with your Avid system

An overview of the Vantage tool set that can be used to increase the productivity of your Avid editing systems.

The tight integration of Vantage with Avid systems enables significant gains in productivity for almost every type of Avid user, from small production houses to large broadcasters producing national news programs. These dramatic productivity gains are made possible by making file-based import and export processes faster, more automated, and less reliant on operator action.

Vantage products can be integrated into a variety of simple and complex Avid workflows, to support users utilizing everything from standalone edit solutions to multiple resolutions Interplay/ISIS shared storage systems.

 

Vantage Transcodes Media for Ingest into Avid Systems

Supported Avid Platforms and Products

Vantage workflows can be integrated with the following Avid system implementations:

  • Stand-alone Avid editing systems with local, direct-attached storage (DAS)
  • Avid editing systems with network attached storage such as Avid ISIS
  • Avid editing systems with Interplay Production Asset Management (PAM).

Vantage workflows can be integrated with the following Avid products:

Avid Interplay Transfer Engine (Interplay | Transfer)

Avid Interplay Transfer Engine (often referred to as Interplay Transfer or Transfer Manager) automates the transfer of media files in and out of Avid environments.

Avid Interplay Asset Management Products

Vantage inter-operates with Interplay asset management products—PAM (Production Asset Management) and MAM (Media Asset Management)—for both import and export applications.

Vantage seamlessly integrates directly with PAM. Vantage workflows can also ingest media exported from MAM. Contact Avid for further information about submitting media from MAM into Vantage.

Avid ISIS

ISIS—Avid’s shared storage environment, a proprietary NAS device—uses Ethernet for networking and file access. The term ISIS as used in this document should not be confused with older Avid Unity products.


Vantage to Avid—Delivering Media to Avid Systems

In today’s fast paced world, media and its associated metadata can arrive in many ways, and in often unpredictable formats. An ever increasing challenge is keeping up with content arriving from:  

  • News agency feeds, bureau and stringer file deliveries
  • Tapeless cameras
  • Archive retrievals
  • User-generated content (crowd sourcing) enabled by  the ubiquitous camera phone

Most media arrives in a format that must be transcoded or re-wrapped before being ingested for use in Avid editing systems. Some media may require aspect ratio or frame rate conversion as well.

Vantage automatically discovers, transcodes and prepares media for Avid editing systems. Vantage ensures high quality video encoding and can intelligently convert media format, frame size and frame rate to meet your target profile.

In addition, Vantage offers a comprehensive set of components that you can combine and configure in workflows to solve these media transcoding challenges, from simple to complex Avid media processing systems.

Certain Vantage components are designed specifically for use in workflows to encode and deliver media for use in specific Avid products, as shown in the figure below:

Avid AAF Encoder

The Avid AAF encoder is implemented in Vantage in the Flip action. You can use the Avid AAF encoder to produce Avid-compatible MXF OP-Atom media files containing video, audio and SMPTE 436M data. The media can be added directly to a Media Composer bin or checked into Interplay PAM.

The AAF encoder can be configured to operate with Media Composer or Interplay.

Media Composer—the AAF encoder creates Avid MXF

Op-Atom media (video, audio and data) files along with an accompanying AAF file. The media files can be added to a project bin by importing the AAF file or  by using Media Composer’s Media Tool.

Interplay—you can encode and save Avid MXF

Op-Atom media files directly to ISIS shared storage and automatically check them into Interplay. Avid  Frame Chase can be supported enabling Edit While  Ingest.

Note: There are some limitations as to which formats and workflows can support Frame Chase (Edit-while-ingest) editing. Please refer to the Integration Guide for more details.

The AAF Encoder requires an ISIS 5000 or 7000 client on the Vantage system. The AAF Encoder’s H.264 Proxy codec does not support the preservation of ancillary data within a SMPTE 436M data track.

Transcode/Direct Convert Formats

  • AVC Intra 50/100 720p & 1080i
  • IMX 30/40/50 NTSC/PAL
  • DV25 & DVCPRO25/50 for NTSC/PAL
  • DNxHD 720p/1080i/1080p
  • XDCAM HD 4:2:0/4:2:2

Transcode-only Formats

  • H.264 Proxy 800K/1.5M/2Mbps
  • JPEG Interchange Format (JFIF) NTSC/PAL

TransferManager/Transfer Engine Encoder with Deploy Action

The TransferManager/Transfer Engine encoder, implemented in the Flip action, is a legacy encoder for creating temporary video, audio and data files for delivery to Avid TransferManager or Transfer Engine, without requiring Avid Interplay. Delivery is performed via a Deploy action in the workflow, and requires an additional Telestream Transfer Manager component to be installed.

Transcode/Direct Convert Formats

  • AVC Intra 100 720p & 1080i
  • DNxHD 720p/1080i/1080p
  • DV/DVCPRO PAL/NTSC
  • DVCPRO HD 720p/1080i
  • IMX 30, 40, & 50 NTSC/PAL
  • XDCAM HD 4:2:0/4:2:2

Note: An Avid data track is not generated by this encoder.

MXF Encoder

The MXF encoder is implemented in the Flip action. The MXF encoder creates media that can be imported into an Avid editorial environment.

Files created by the MXF encoder in Generic OP1a, IMX (D10), or Sony XDCAM HD MXF containers can be added to an Avid bin using Avid’s MXF AMA plug-in.

Ancillary data in source files can be preserved as an MXF (SMPTE 436M) data track.

Avid’s AMA MXF plug-in reads SMPTE 436M and places it in the clip’s data track.

MXF Formats

Note: These may be restricted by your container

selection.

  • AVC Intra 100 720p & 1080i
  • DNxHD 720p/1080i/1080p
  • DV/DVCPRO PAL/NTSC
  • DVCPRO HD 720p/1080i
  • IMX 30/40/50 NTSC/PAL
  • DCAM HD 4:2:0/4:2:2

Final Cut / Avid QuickTime Encoder QuickTime (Telestream)

The Final Cut / Avid QuickTime and QuickTime (Telestream) encoders are implemented in the Flip action to create QuickTime media. Files created by these encoders can be added to an Avid bin through the Avid QuickTime AMA plug-in or via an Import function. The Avid QuickTime AMA plug-in does not read or import Closed Caption tracks.

Transcoding and Direct Convert Formats

  • AVC Intra 50/100 720p & 1080i
  • DNxHD 720p/1080i/1080p
  • DV/DVCPRO PAL/NTSC
  • DVCPRO HD 720p/1080i
  • IMX 30/40/50 NTSC/PAL
  • ProRes 422
  • XDCAM HD 4:2:0/4:2:2
  • X.264 (H.264)

Notify Action

The Notify action’s Interplay Notifier type enables you to perform operations within an Interplay environment using Avid Web Services. Functions include the Creation of a Master Clip, Moving an Interplay asset, Copying an Interplay asset, Deleting an Interplay asset, Extracting an Interplay asset’s metadata, and Adding metadata to an existing Interplay asset.

The Interplay Notifier supports the following Interplay Web Services functions:

  • Create a master clip in Interplay
  • Add metadata to an Interplay clip
  • Extract clip metadata from an Interplay asset for use in Vantage workflows (Vantage 6.3 or later)
  • Set a head frame in an Interplay clip
  • Copy a clip in Interplay
  • Move a clip in Interplay
  • Delete a clip from Interplay

Avid to Vantage—Exporting Media to Vantage

Once an edit is complete, the finalized sequence is ready to be sent to a play-out system, to syndication, or for online publication as quickly as possible. Vantage can be used to create media in all distribution platform formats for Broadcast, cable/VOD, IPTV, online/mobile, and multi-screen viewing.

The output of the Avid edit process can be processed in Vantage workflows in a variety of ways. By exporting media directly to Vantage, you can easily automate the creation of all required file types.

Export from an Avid Unity folder to Vantage 

Avid Unity access is implemented in Watch and Associate actions by configuring them to use the Avid File Detector.

You can use these to ingest QuickTime, OMF, OMFI, and MXF files from Editorial for processing in Vantage.

(The Avid File Detector automatically ensures correct file paths within QuickTime reference movies.)

Interplay Send to Playback via Transfer Engine

The Telestream Playback Service for Avid Interplay Transfer Engine is a Windows service installed on an Avid Transfer Engine server. Telestream Playback Service enables editors using Avid Media Composer/NewsCutter with Interplay Transfer Engine to save edit sequences as Telestream Intermediary Format (TIFO) files so that they can be immediately picked up by a Vantage Watch folder and processed by Vantage while being transfered.

Avid Data Track Support

  • 608/708 captions
  • XDS data– Program Name, V-Chip/Content, Advisory Information, Ratings
  • Active Format Description

Supported Formats

  • AVC Intra 50/100 720p, 1080i, 1080p
  • DNxHD 720p/1080i/1080p
  • DV/DVCPRO
  • DVCPROHD 720p/1080i
  • IMX 30/40/50 NTSC/PAL
  • Up to 16 audio channels

Note: 10-bit mastering quality video is processed as Full Quality (8-bit) by Vantage.

Exporting QuickTime Movies from Avid Media Composer

You can export clips or sequences from Avid edit systems as fully-contained QuickTime movies or as QuickTime reference movies for transcoding in Vantage.

  • QuickTime Reference Movie Avid Export Requirements:
  • Audio is restricted to 2 channels
  • Enable Flatten Video Tracks
  • Enable Fill Spaces with Black
  • Enable Render All Video Effects
  • Enable Premix Audio Tracks
  • Clips and sequences must contain a single video or audio essence type—mixedcodec sequences are not supported.
  • The timeline must not contain long-GOP media, such as XDCAM clips.

Note: Data tracks are not exported in Avid QuickTime movies.

Exporting MXF OP1a Files from Avid Media Composer

Vantage can process clips or sequences exported from Avid edit systems as MXF OP1a files contained in the following video essences. Use a Vantage Watch action to automatically submit jobs for processing.

Avid Export (Media Composer 7 and later)

  • XDCAM HD, with 8 channels of audio. Avid AMA  File Export (Media Composer 8 or later)
  • AS-11, AVC-I
  • DNxHD

Note: The Avid Data track is included as a SMPTE 436M track.

Extracting Interplay Clip Metadata in Vantage

In Vantage 6.3 and later, you can extract basic metadata, plus optional User Property and Locator metadata, from an Interplay asset for use in a Vantage workflow, by using a Notify action. You can transform the metadata into a label or a set of variables, or an XML file.

Convert the metadata into a label by using a Transform action configured with an Attachment to Label function— you provide and specify a style sheet, and a suitable metadata label. You can also transform the label into a set of variables, using the Populate action configured with the Variables from the Label Parameters function.

Exporting a Simple AAF from Avid Media Composer

You can export Avid Simplified AAF files from Media Composer for processing by Vantage workflows using Post Producer Compose and Conform actions.

The Post Producer Compose action configured with a Simple AAF composer parses the Avid Simplified AAF files and the Conform action transcodes the video, processing audio and data track (D-Track) MXF Op-Atom media referenced in the file ingested from ISIS storage.

With Post Producer, a Simple AAF allows final rendering to be performed by Vantage. It also allows the creation of templates for content assembly, allowing you to automate repetitive tasks with a single AAF master. See the Post Producer Developer’s Guide for more details.


Additional Vantage Information

Licensing Requirements

Certain components in Vantage require licenses to enable them:

Vantage to Avid

  • AAF Encoder—requires the following licenses: – For Media Composer: Vantage Transcode Pro – For Interplay: Vantage Transcode Pro Connect with Avid Advanced option
  • TransferManager/Transfer Engine Encoder with Deploy Action—requires Vantage Transcode Pro Connect with Avid Advanced option.
  • MXF Encoder—requires Vantage Transcode Pro
  • Final Cut/Avid QuickTime Encoder; QuickTime (Telestream) —requires Vantage Transcode Pro

Avid to Vantage

  • Submitting Avid generated QuickTime and MXF OP1a files—supported in all Vantage products
  • Telestream Playback Service—supported in all Vantage products
  • Notify Actions Interplay Notifier—requires Vantage Transcode Pro Connect with Avid Advanced option
  • Post Producer Compose and Conform Actions—requires Post Producer

International Character Support (Multiple Byte Characters)

Vantage’s underlying internal architecture fully supports multiple byte characters. However many third party components or interfaces used within Vantage do not.

AAF Encoder – The Avid Media Toolkit within the AAF Encoder does not fully support Multiple Byte Characters.

Notify and Deploy Actions – Some Avid Interplay components have restricted Multiple Byte Characters support. See Avid’s Interplay documentation for more details.

 

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