This article explains how to publish all Flix panels so that they always have a fixed duration in Avid Media Composer, by defining Mark In and Mark Out points in the Flix settings/preferences.
This article will assume that all editors working on the same Show want to/have to work with the same clip durations to ensure uniformity across the team. Therefore, examples will be given using the Show Settings enforcements, rather than the Client-bound User Preferences. However, all of the options shown in the below examples are available on all preference levels (Show, Studio, User) and can be enforced either at Show or at Studio level, as needed.
For more information on the differences between these types of Preferences, where to access each one, and their hierarchy, please refer to this short video:
Settings and Preferences
1. If all clips need to be the same duration when editors first receive them in Avid, the "Use Flix Timing" option needs to be off:
If "Use Flix Timing" is on, the duration of the clips in the AAF will be determined by the duration of each panel in Flix at the moment of publish. This means that if a panel is set to 53 frames, another is set to 12, and a third one is set to 5 frames, those will be the durations of their corresponding clips in the AAF.
2. Ensure that both the "Mark In" and the "Mark Out" options are enabled:
3. Lastly, define values for the "Mark In" and "Mark Out" which result in the desired clip length. The formula for which is: clip_duration = mark_out - mark_in
For example, if all clips in the AAF need to be 24 frames long, the "Mark In" can be set to 120, and "Mark Out" to 144. That gives plenty of space for editors to then extend the clip in Avid, from the front or back as needed.
The "IN-OUT" column in the Avid bin shows the duration of the clip that results from the "Mark In" and "Mark Out" options set in this step. This means that if the editor pulls a clip into the timeline from the bin, the preset duration for it will be 1 second (24 frames). This is also the duration the clip has in the sequence Flix automatically generated and added to the AAF.
4. Although it's not a requirement, if these options are being enforced like in the examples, it's good practice to also enforce a "Clip Duration".
This is to ensure that there is always sufficient media available for the "Mark In" and "Mark Out" set in the previous steps, no matter what value users had set their "Clip Duration" to be in their Local Preferences.
The "Clip Duration" option gives the total number of frames editors will have available to manipulate, as seen in the "Duration" column of the bin in Avid:
When setting all of these options, there are a few points to be aware of:
- Do not set the "Mark In" nor the "Mark Out" to a value greater than the "Clip Duration" - doing so will result in PMM_INSUFFICIENT_MEDIA in Avid upon importing the Flix AAF.
- If "Mark In" or "Mark Out" aren't enabled, the expected behavior would be for Flix to consider the "Mark In" as the beginning (frame 0 of the available media for the clip) and "Mark Out" as the very end (last frame of the available media for the clip).
- None of these options will have any effect on animated panels such as animated refs or panels created by importing a .mov, and their durations will instead be defined by the duration of their animation.
You can learn more about Studio/Show/User Settings and what options are available in the Flix for Production section of our documentation.
You can also find an exhaustive list of the Avid Media Composer specific options in the Setting up Flix with Avid Media Composer section.
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