Avid AAF/OMF Export

In This Section:

Details provided by Avid

What is an AAF?

An AAF is a sequence format. AAF’s can refer to OMF’s or it can have them imbedded within them. ProTools will import and playback AAF’s that refer to external media
files. ProTools does not support imbedded AAF’s. of any kind whether it is embedded audio or video

What is an OMF?

OMF is a MediaFile and a sequence format. OMF’s can contain audio and video, ProTools will take in OMF’s with audio and video, however it will not export OMF video. ProTools will only export OMF audio. ProTools can import a sequence with imbedded audio but not video. Often users try to import and will get an error message about the video. This is why. Also using an OMF 2.0 is more compatible across the board than an OMF 1.0, so whenever possible use the OMF 2.0.

Exporting from Avid

When exporting from Avid whether you use OMF or AAF, your export options won’t change much, but there are some differences between the 2 formats that we will cover.

Keep in mind that the software will have different tabs for the audio and the video, so you can export each one in a similar way or in a unique way. Let’s look at the export options:

Avid-OMF-Export-Screen

Avid Media Composer OMF export settings

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Link to Current Media

This will not copy anything and will not consolidate anything. All this setting will do is use the same references that were being used in your projects. If you have aspirations about moving your project to a different system or facility this may not be the setting for you. Also, keep in mind that this setting may be good for you if you are low on drive space, as none of the media will be canceled. You must bring the audio files with you to the ProTools system. It will not be saved within the OMF.

Copy Media and Link to Copied Media

This selection will copy the media where you choose to, and it will relink the media to the newly created copied media. This function will copy all media clips involved without consolidating. So for exa mple, if you have an hour long clip that you captured and only use one minute of it, when you copy, it will copy the entire hour of media. Keep this in mind, for some situations this could be useful, other times it just uses up too much drive space on you. You must bring the audio files with you to the ProTools system. It will not be saved within the OMF.

Consolidate and Link to Consolidated Media

This selection will duplicate the media that you have used only and link to this newly created media. So the first thing you will notice is that your bin will create new clips of the media you just consolidated. When you consolidate, you will see a selection called “Handle Length”. This setting will save the extra footage (in frames) at the edge of the clips that you do not necessarily see, but may later need in create dissolves or other effects.

So for example, if you have an hour long clip that you captured and only use one minute of it, the software will only copy the minute that you used plus the supplemental handle length that you specified in the export options. This setting is useful if you are trying to conserve drive space, yet want a copy of the media used in the project. You must bring the audio files with you to the ProTools system. It will not be saved within the OMF.

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Embed Media

This setting will include the media within the OMF file itself. The file size of the OMF will be much larger than if you are just linking to the media. Also keep in mind that this is not a consolidated embed, so the same rules are there from “Copy Media and Link to Copied Media “. If you have an hour-long clip it will duplicate the entire hour and not the minute that you used. Also keep in mind that it is a good idea to keep your OMFs under 2 Gigs in Size. This setting is useful if you want all of the media copied, regardless of what was used in the timeline. ProTools will not take in embedded OMFI media. This is the only file where the audio files will live within the OMF.

Consolidate and Embed Media

This selection will duplicate the media that you have used only and link to this newly created media. So the first thing you will notice is that your bin will create new clips of the media you just consolidated. When you consolidate, you will see a selection called “Handle Length”. This setting will save the extra footage (in frames) at the edge of the clips that you do not necessarily see, but may later need in create dissolves or other effects.

And remember from before, the embed will include the media within the OMF
file itself. The file size of the OMF will be much larger than if you are just linking to
the media. Also keep in mind that this is not a consolidated embed, so the same
rules are there from “Copy Media and Link to Copied Media “. If you have an hour-long clip it will duplicate the entire hour and not the minute that you used. Also keep in mind that it is a good idea to keep your OMFs under 2 Gigs in Size. This setting is useful if you want all of the media copied, regardless of what was used in the timeline.

This setting is useful for situations where you may need the media to fit in a smaller storage capacity. But also keep in mind that ProTools will not import embedded video. You must bring the audio files with you to the ProTools system. It will not be saved within the OMF. This is also the most commonly used setting that editors use.

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