Note that this guide focuses on post-production knowledge that is relevant to using this camera. For the full camera manual from the manufacturer, see the very bottom of this page.
There are many parameters to take into consideration when shooting on the F3. Make sure that your resolution and frame rate are appropriate for your project. 1920x1080 is considered standard HD footage, so you likely don’t want to shoot in a lower resolution than that. You’ll also likely want to record audio at a sound sample rate of 48kHz.
The files recorded on the F3 are in MPEG-2 Long GOP format and use MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression. The MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video codec requires a lot of processing power for real time playback, so it is suggested that you transcode your footage before editing to reduce rendering time and drain on the processor. See the steps below for how to transcode.
Starting a Project
- Open Avid Media Composer and start a new Shared Avid Project.
- Navigate to the Settings tab in the Project Window and open “Media Creation.”
- Select the “Import” tab.
- Select your desired resolution. Standard HD footage can be converted to DNxHD 115; reference the chart below for Then select your drive from the drop-down menu.
- Select “Apply to All” to make sure that all media created within your project is saved to your drive at this resolution.
Linking Your Media
- Create a bin for your media, right-click inside it, and choose Input > Source Browser.
- Navigate to the "BPAV" folder on your hard drive, not your card and select it.
- In the bottom left of the Source Browser window, select "Link" instead of "Import".
- In the bottom right, select "Link".
- It may take a while, and Avid may appear to freeze, but give the program time and all of your clips should appear in the target bin.
Transcoding Your Media
- The linked clips you just created are linked to the original camera files. In order for smooth editing within Media Composer, you must transcode these clips to an editing-friendly Avid codec.
- Select all your linked clips, right-click and select "Consolidate/Transcode."
- Check the bubble beside "Transcode."
- Select your hard drive in the "Target Drives" box. It should be the same drive you selected in Media Creation.
- Select the appropriate video resolution. It should be the same DNxHD resolution that you set in Media Creation.
- Select "Transcode."
- Depending on the amount of footage that you’re bringing into the program, this step may take a while.
- New clips will show up in your bin with the file suffix “.new.01.”
- It’s good practice to separate your linked source footage and your new Avid video files into separate bins.
Using Source Settings
- Once you’ve linked to your original media, you can use Source Settings to change your framing or add LUTS.
- To change your frame aspect ratio, use the Frame Flex tab. To add a LUT use the Color Encoding Tab.
- Right-click your file and select Source Settings to access these options.
Adding a LUT in Avid
- Right-click on a clip in your bin and select “Source Settings.”
- To apply the LUT to multiple clips, select all the clips in the bin and then right-click and select “Source Settings.”
- With the “Color Encoding” tab selected, make sure the appropriate “Source Color Space” is selected for your footage.
- To add a LUT, under “Levels scaling” use the drop down menu to select the LUT you would like to apply and hit “Add.” To remove a LUT, simply hit “Delete”
- To apply the LUT select “Apply” and then “OK” at the bottom of the window.
Adding a Custom LUT in Avid
- To add a custom LUT, select the “Color Management Settings” button.
- Select the “Select a LUT file” button and navigate to your LUT. You have the option to save this LUT within the project, in the Shared folder, or both. We recommend you save it in your Project.
- Avid accepts .cube and .lut files. Make sure you know if these are 1D or 3D LUTS.
- Here, as well as in the Settings tab of the Project window, you can set a preference that will automatically add a LUT based on metadata information when you link to AMA. We recommend you have this setting off to prevent confusion.
*If your sequence doesn’t update with the LUT simply right-click and select “Refresh Sequence>All.”