Media Composer 8.3 Now Available with Avid Resolution Independence

By in Media Composer Updates, Video Editing

The following is a guest contribution from editor, Wim Van den Broeck. With more than a decade of Media Composer editing experience, he has a huge passion for Avid video editing, his main tool to achieve the best possible results for his clients. You can follow him as @editorbelga on Twitter.


As of today, Media Composer | Software allows for native 2K, 4K and UHD editing and DNxHR, all part of Avid Resolution Independence. This latest update was announced at Avid Connect Europe 2014 and is all about High-Resolution edit, output, export, and the new DNxHR codec.

If you have a Subscription, Floating License or Perpetual license with an Upgrade & Support plan, you get this new version included!  Customers connected to the internet will see notifications of an update in their Application Manager. Just click “Update” in the Application Manager to start downloading this latest version. If you don’t have an internet connection on your edit system or if you wish to manually install the software, go to your Master Avid account or the Video Download Center to obtain the Installer files.

You can find more details about these new features and other changes in the Media Composer | Software Documentation. Also, check out the new High-Res Workflow Guide to get familiar with these new, “under the hood” changes and updated High Resolution workflows.

Get ready to start editing 2K/4K/UHD media natively, reduce transcoding tasks, spend more time on creative storytelling, and deliver your projects from start to finish in High-Resolution. Check out these powerful new features and more in this update of Media Composer | Software.

High-Res Project, Formats and Output Support

Avid Media Composer | Software now supports higher than HD resolutions. Edit and playback UHD, 2K, and 4K sequences on your timeline, as well as transcode, render and output high-resolution formats. That means you can export high-res masters directly from Media Composer. Link via AMA to DPX, XAVC-1, RED or QT ProRes files and transcode to the new Avid codec, DNxHR. This new codec family includes the following flavors, giving you the flexibility to meet your workflow, storage, quality and bandwidth needs:

  • DNxHR LB (low bandwidth)
  • DNxHR SQ (standard quality)
  • DNxHR HQ (high quality)
  • DNxHR HQX (high quality 10-bit)
  • DNxHR 444 (cinema quality)

Color Management

Besides the existing Rec. 709, Media Composer now supports BT/Rec. 2020 and DCI-P3 color spaces. The source and record viewers also support these color spaces if your monitor has been calibrated for them. Additionally, you can expand the color levels to show full scale video levels (0-255) by right-clicking and selecting the Display Color Space > … [full range] option in the list.

New Frame Rates

The following high frame rates for progressive media are now supported: 47.952, 48, 50, 59.94, 60 fps. When editing with these high frame rates, you will have the choice of editing within standard editing rate boundaries. Media Composer will accommodate frame rates that are divisible by 2 in order to avoid artifacts when moving high frame rate projects to lower standard rates. For example, when editing with 50p and 60p frame rates, the editing timebase is set to 25p and 30p, respectively.

The new Two-Frame Safety is especially useful for projects that will be downconverted to interlaced media for broadcast, such as 29.97i from a 59.95p project, to ensure that you maintain your cuts on the right field.

Change Playback Rate in Source Settings

Choose whether you want a master clip to play at the original frame rate or at the project frame rate. Project rate playback provides frame-for-frame playback, effectively achieving a perfect slo-mo without any frame interpolation depending on source material. Achieved by selecting Playback Frame Rate from the clip’s source settings.

Transcode to original Frame Size and Frame Rate

You are now able to transcode to the Frame Size of your original high-res media, regardless of the project you are working in. You can transcode to the original1/4 or 1/16 of the Frame Size. (Transcoding to 1/16th will result in even lower than HD resolutions)

Also, when transcoding, you can choose to keep the media at its original Frame Rate. This will allow you to relink back to the AMA source material after editing with the transcoded media.

LUT Workflow Enhancements

In the Color Management settings, it is now possible to install LUTs that will either be available across projectsor private to the current project. Additionally, a new effect allows you to apply a Look-up table (LUT) to clips on the timeline. There are also LUT’s for viewers and external monitors.

Play and Render Sequences in Proxy

Working with the new “Proxy Mode” will improve your editing and playback experience significantly when working with native high-res media. Use the Proxy setting in the Project Format dialog to play your sequence at 1/4 or 1/16 of the current project resolution. This will allow smoother playback and more fluid editing from your original media. In proxy mode, effects render to the selected proxy resolution. Switch proxy mode off, and you just need to re-render the effects to high-resolution.

For best performance with high-res media, you can first transcode your media to 1/4 res (or 1/16) and set your proxy mode to playback at 1/4 (or the corresponding 1/16). By matching the proxy modes of the transcoded media and the timeline, there is no on-the-fly processing required when these clips are played.

DPX Export

Media Composer will initially provide the following file-based output types that support greater than HD resolutions: DPX export through the Avid File Sequencer and QuickTime ProRes (ProRes 444 is supported on the Mac only). To export as DPX just select the clip or sequence you want to export. Right-click and select AMA File Export and select DPX as File Type from the drop-down menu. Set location and file name and fill out the profile options. Find more in-depth details of DPX export settings in the Media Composer Documentation. Additional export formats and options will be added in the new year.

Quick Filter in Bin

All bins inside Media Composer now include a quick filter text box that allows you to quickly filter out items that match your filter criteria. This is helpful when you have a large number of items in one bin and want to quickly filter for specific items.

If individual columns are selected, the search is performed on the information/metadata in the selected columns. If no columns are selected, the search is performed on all displayed columns.

List Tool

You can now generate EDLs, Cut Lists, and Change Lists inside Media Composer. The new List Tool provides one tool to create these lists. The options within the tool change depending on the output format you select:

        • An EDL is used for exchanging information between editing systems. This list can include cuts, wipes, dissolves, fades, and black edits. It lets you take a project from Avid Media Composer to other online editing systems.



      • Cut List is generated to conform a work print, negative, sound track, or optical effect to match the sequence.



      • Change List is generated to simplify the process of updating conformed cuts to match and compare changes in versions of the sequence or sequences.


Color Info Tool

The Color Info Tool allows you to see the RGB values for the pixels located under the pointer on the screen. This is helpful if you want to see a color value without having to go to Color Correction Mode. You can choose to see the color values before and after applying a Display Color Space option (LUT). The Color Info Tool can display the values in RGB 8 bit, RGB 10 bit, RGB Percent, IRE or mVolts.

You can access the Color Info tool by clicking the Color Info button in the Color Correction Tool.

More New Features in Media Composer | Software

High-Res 4K Monitor Support

If you work with a 4K computer monitor, you can preview your media at Full Size through the “Full Screen Playback” option. Adjust your desired Reformat and Display Color Space options through the Full Screen Playback settings.

High-Res Output to Client Monitor

Avid is currently qualifying the following 4K I/O hardware from third-party partners:

  • AJA Kona 4
  • AJA IO 4k Thunderbolt 2
  • Blackmagic Design BMD Decklink 4K Extreme
  • Blackmagic Design UltraStudio 4K Thunderbolt 2

NewBlue® Titler Pro for High-Res projects

Media Composer includes NewBlue Titler Pro. You can use the NewBlue Titler to create titles for high-res projects directly within Media Composer. NewBlue Titler is replacing the legacy Title Tool for larger than HD projects or with HD projects with the new frame rates (30, 50, 59.94, 60).

Additional Column Headings

The following column headings are now included with the editing application: Frame Count Start, Frame Count End, Frame Count Duration, and Reel. The information in these columns applies to clips and subclips. The information does not apply to sequences or group clips.

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I'm Social Media Manager for Avid and editor-in-chief of Avid Blogs. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as @editorbelga.