This is a question a customer has asked me recently and I thought the answer could be beneficial to more than one person – ContentAgent can be a powerful time-saver when dealing with media preparation before editing. In this example, we were working in an Avid environment (Media Composer / ISIS-5000) with a matter of extracting the media ingest work out of the Non-linear Editing System (NLES), for time saving purposes. ContentAgent is capable of transcoding your media into any Avid file formats and dropping them at the right location, so that they are importable into Media Composer in 3 clicks, without any additional processing.
“How could you import ContentAgent generated Avid MXF files into Media Composer?”
There are two ways to achieve this; and they work regardless of which version of Media Composer you are using.
- The Avid OP-Atom node will create as many media files as there are tracks in your input file (by default, but it can also output an AAF file). In this case, the footage will then be importable via the Media Tool in Media Composer.
- The Platinum Media Engine node (using Avid MXF or DNXHD settings) will create as many media files as there are tracks and will add an AAF file which makes the link between these media files. This AAF file is the one you will want to import in Media Composer, using the menu File > Import.
In both cases, the Avid MXF files generated via ContentAgent will have to be dropped into an existing Avid folder structure (which already contains the 2 database files: msmFMID.pmr and msmMMOB.mdb).
In Media Composer, you can set the Media drive you want to work on in the Media Creation menu (Tools > Media Creation)
An easy way to get this folder structure created, when starting a new project, would be to import a Test pattern file. This will automatically generate the Avid folder structure with the two Database files that we need.
You will notice that, once these files dropped into this location, Media Composer will scan the media locations and update the related Database files.
This will make Media Composer aware that there are new files present in its Media location (Avid Mediafiles/MXF/1 when working on local; Avid Mediafiles/MXF/NameOfTheClientMachine.1 when working on your shared storage).
To import the media files generated via the OP-Atom node, open the Media Tool, choose your project and the drive in use for your Media location. Only tick ‘Master Clips’.
Click ‘OK’, you should end up with your previously imported file (used to create the Database files, here it is SMPTE_Bars.pct) and the MXF file generated via ContentAgent
Note: Depending on the size of the Media file linked to this AAF, it can take a bit of time for Media Composer to show the video in the Composer window (occasionally, some users may witness ‘media offline’. Do not be alarmed, the video will re- appear after a few seconds).
I hope this post will help you understand how ContentAgent can be an efficient way of ingesting your media in an Avid post-production environment. This particular workflow is widely used by the majority of ContentAgent users.