Avid Tech Talk Series



Avid Media Composer 5.5

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Avid is offering a series of free webcasts that address specific topics on Wednesdays from 11am to 12pm. Click HERE to register and see the schedule of topics in order to get some great information to help you navigate and become more familiar with other Avid products.


Welcome Back! Here Are New Things For Spring Term.

Spring has sprung and there are a few things you should know about the upcoming term. First, intermediate editing labs have returned to their home in room 032, complete with a new floor. The color lab and advanced editing lab will remain where they are (rooms 017 and 018 respectively) until after construction finishes up in 017 and it is returned to our control. Some of the updates that happened over break includes Pro Tools 11.3, Avid Media Composer 8.3, Redcine-X build 33, and I’ve added GoPro Studio and Wave Agent to the systems. Finally, space has dictated that we move down to two pre-production systems with Movie Magic software that are now located 018. One is located on the right inside the door and one where system 6 used to be on the right hand side of the lab. Have a great term!

Avid Audio Tip!

If you are having trouble with the audio output from Avid, there is an enable/ disable button by the timeline.  If you check the top window within Avid it should say Intensity Pro up top.  Try giving that a shot and see if it solves your audio output issues.  If not, please let us know!

Welcome Back!

Over break, we were very (this is an understatement) busy updating the computer labs and we wanted to share with you what is new:

What’s New:

  • Westphal Print Center is up and running, see http://printcenter.westphal.drexel.edu for more information; get stuff printed at a very, very lost cost
  • Davinci Resolve has been updated to the latest version. Note that this version includes GPU render; awesome we know!

Some Reminders:

  • Network storage (awexpress) is provided as a conveyance and although it is running on redundant hardware it is still susceptible to outages; so make sure to backup your data
  • The network storage devices are available for your use but be warned that they can be cleaned up at the end of each quarter. Also they fill up often so if you can delete any of your old data during the term we would appreciate it.
  • Please make sure to save all files to the local “Student Work” drive;, any data saved on the root/OS/C: drive is subject to deletion without notice, should a problem arise. Also note that the local Student Work drives are deleted at the end of the quarter without exception.
  • This website is our primary mode of communication with students; i.e. please make sure to read it and check it often for updates.
  • Finally, if you run into any problems, please make sure to let us know!

Formatting AWexpress_Students for Spring Term 2014

awexpress cinetv_studentsATTN: STUDENTS

In preparation for Spring term 2014, the AWexpress CineTV_Students folder will be formatted on March 27th, 2014 beginning at 9:00AM.

Make sure you transfer any important files to a hard drive because EVERYTHING will be deleted after 3/27/14.


LTO Backups

We are offering LTO backups to students and staff. This offline backup helps mitigate risk from ransomeware such as cryptolocker.

Why Tape?

LTO-6 is a tape format that holds 2.5 terabytes of data with a 30 year shelf life. An offline backup helps prevent data loss in the event that your primary and backup hard drive becomes infected by Cryptolocker.

Cryptolocker encrypts your files on infected drives rendering the files useless unless you pay a $2500 fee to the digital terorrists. All your data will be lost if your primary and backup drive is connected at the time of infection (unless you want to pay a $2,500 fee to digital terrorists). 

By taking incremental backups to LTO, students will have backups that are stored in a secure, offline location. LTO (and offline backups) come in handy if your house burns down, get in car accident where both drives are destroyed, are robbed while transporting both drives. LTO-6 tapes cost around $80 for 2.5 TB of data, so this is a minimal price to spend on a project that costs $2,000- $3,000 to shoot.

What to Backup

At absolute minimum, we suggest backing up your source material to tape. With tapeless media, you have no “physical” backup of your footage or audio files, so if you’re primary or backup drives get corrupted, you lose everything. By backing up your audio and card footage soon after acquisition, you minimize the risk of losing everything.

Backing up project files (Premiere Pro Project Files or Avid Bins) to LTO after each use would be incredibly tedious and time consuming. A balanced approach to backing up project files would be to do a File -> Save As before opening each project and append a new date at the end. Once you are done editing, upload the file to a personal Google Drive or Dropbox account. This way you have the project file stored in a “secure” location that can be used in conjunction with the footage on LTO. However, once you lock picture (or any other major milestone), you should save the project file to LTO.

Another good thing to backup would be any kind of graphics, VFX or color correction (rendered exports and project files with source files). These materials are extremely time consuming and can break a deadline if corruption occurs. Think After Effects and DaVinci Resolve renders and project files.

Once your project is wrapped and your “final” export has been spit out, place that file on the LTO tape along with any special codecs and players required to use the file.

How to Backup to LTO

Email Support.Westphal [@] Drexel.edu with the subject CineTV LTO Backup to schedule a backup.

Once a backup is schedule and you have procured an Ultrium LTO-6 tape, you will meet with Chip Murphy and he will supervise the backup session.

Please know exactly what directories need to be backed up, as this speeds up the process immensely. Make sure you have the proper USB3 or USB2 cables for your hard drive.

Initializing the tape and setting up the backup queue takes about 15 minutes, but the unsupervised backup process takes hours. Please plan on having some downtime on your project while the files are backed up.

JPEG 2000 support added for the Adobe Suite


We just added support for the wavelet-based JPEG-2000 within the Adobe Suite.

JPEG-2000 support will allow for reasonably sized 4k+ image sequences that can be used for final export from Resolve/Premiere and intermediate After Effects exports. Checkout this article from Broadcast Engineering on the advantages of wavelet based JPEG 2000 versus DCT based formats such as ProRes.


On-Set Digital Asset Management Training – Wednesday, November 6 @ 12PM

If you plan on shooting on the Red One, Red Epic or Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5K  EF, you are going to need a digital asset manager on-set to offload data.

This 1.5 to 2 hour workshop is required to gain access privileges for any field laptop or DIT rig.

This workshop will be covering:

  • Media storage best practices
  • Digital Mag ingestion with Adobe Prelude CC
  • DaVinci Resolve Live color grading over SDI
  • R3D look creation and management with R3D Data Manager
  • DNxHD proxy creation with DaVinci Resolve 10 for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera
  • Troubleshooting tips and tricks

Please RSVP by filling out the following form. Can’t make the scheduled time, then simply fill in a date/time that works on the form.

-Chip Murphy


Pro Tools 11 + Go Pro Studio

Pro Tools 11 was successfully deployed to the following machines in University Crossings. Please note that the McDSP plugin suite is also installed.

  • Room 032

    • 89-032-01E
    • 89-032-02E
    • 89-032-03E
    • 89-032-04E
  • Room 35

    • 89-035-01E
  • Room 26

    • 89-026-01E (Also has ProTools 10 for mixing in 5.1)

GoPro Studio was deployed to all workstation-class machines in University Crossings as well. This allows for the manipulation of GoPro RAW footage as well as decode support for the Cineform codec.

If you have any issues with any computer hardware or software, please email Support.Westphal@Drexel.edu

-Chip Murphy