From Flix 6.4.0 onward, camera moves done in Storyboard Pro (abbreviated to SBP in this article) will be automatically imported to Flix when using the built-in integration for SBPZ/SBOARD project import.
The camera animation can then be previewed in the Panel Browser, but most importantly, it is now also included in the publish to Avid.
This article will describe the differences between the two possible options for sending this animation to Avid, outline expectations for each, and give suggestions on which to use depending on the desired behaviors.
In this section of the Preferences/Studio Settings/Show Settings, you may notice a note under Use Flix Timing stating: When “Use Flix Timing” is disabled, panels with camera moves will be sent to Avid as MOVs”
This is necessary because keyframes are strictly linked to specific frames, so in order to have them available in Avid in a 3D Warp, the timing that Flix received from SBP needs to be used. Disabling Use Flix Timing means using PNG & 3D Warp is not a viable option so Flix overrides it automatically with MOV.
If you are unsure of the workflow with disabling the Use Flix Timing option, regardless of the presence of camera moves in a sequence, please refer to Q100440: Setting AAF panel durations with Mark In and Mark Out points in Flix 6
PNG & 3D Warp
This option gives Editorial full control of the camera keyframes set by the artist in SBP. The AAF from Flix will present a sequence where panels with camera moves have a 3D Warp effect containing those keyframes in the Scaling, Rotation and Position parameters. The values of the keyframes can be changed or even removed by the editor, and the changes will be reflected when importing the AAF to Flix and reconforming back to SBP.
The GIF below shows what the original SBP camera animation was, and what the Flix AAF containing keyframes looks like once imported in Avid:
- A panel with camera move will present itself as the full canvas without any animation in the Avid bin. More information on the full canvas can be found in Q100623: Why panels from Flix might not have the correct aspect ratio in Avid
- The 3D Warp containing the animation is only present in the automatically generated sequence
- There will always be a keyframe at the beginning and the end of a panel with camera moves, irrespective of when the animation actually starts (other keyframes can be present between the beginning and the end)
- Panels that came from SBP with a layer transform animation will always be sent to Avid as MOVs, as the PNG & 3D Warp option only applies to panels with camera moves at the moment
- Panels that came from SBP with both a camera move AND a layer transform will currently always be sent as a MOV and keyframes will not be available to the editor
Warning: Changing or removing the keyframes in Avid while also using any of the other parameters of the 3D Warp will result in a ref version of the panel in Flix. In this case, the keyframe metadata in Flix will not be updated and reconforming to SBP will result in a flat image without any keyframes.
With this option, Flix sends the camera move animation to Avid as a pre-rendered MOV, without including the keyframe data. Editors will therefore not be able to directly amend the keyframes.
The below GIF shows what the same SBP camera animation from the previous example looks like when the Flix AAF created with the MOV option is imported in Avid.
- When Use Flix timing is disabled, panels with camera moves and panels with layer transforms from SBP will both be published as MOVs
- Trimming an MOV in Avid and sending it back to Flix should result in the panel ID and revision staying the same. The panel will present the new duration set in Avid and the trim will be available in the Panel Properties - SBP keyframes are maintained
- Adding a 3D Warp using the Scaling, Rotation and/or Position on a panel with SBP camera moves or layer transforms that was sent to Avid as MOV will result in the panel being versioned up in Flix, with the new keyframes being saved against it so SBP can receive the change when reconforming
- Adding an effect other than 3D Warp (or a 3D Warp but using parameters other than Scaling, Rotation and Position) will result in the panel being a versioned up ref in Flix, while the reconform to SBP will ignore the effect and simply relink to the original panel as to avoid any layer flattening
Which option should my team be using?
PNG & 3D Warp - We recommend using this option if Editorial is expected to be making a lot of changes to the shots, especially those with camera moves. For example, if all panels from SBP have a 1 second duration, and the artist only adds a rough camera animation: editors are the ones that retime every panel and match it to the audio so they will need to have access to the camera keyframes.
MOV - This option is only recommended if Story is the primary owner of the camera moves, and little to no retiming is done by Editorial. For example, this is a good option to use if most of the audio matching is already done in SBP, with camera moves and panel durations all done by the artist; editors in this case may still need to change some shots, but the bulk of the timings are expected to remain the same.
For tutorials on how to use the complete Storyboard Pro integration, please refer to the Flix & Storyboard Pro series on our Learn website.
To learn more about the SBP <> Flix <> Avid camera move workflow, we recommend watching Storyboard Pro to Avid Animation Roundtrip | How to Edit Camera Moves on Animated Panels
There is also a standalone tutorial with examples on the Use Flix Timing option: Preserve Sequence Timings from Story to Avid and Back | Get a Head Start in the Edit
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