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True colours: how Media Composer 2019’s new pipeline offers more

The new version of Avid’s flagship software was released this June – and its 32-bit floating point colour pipeline has plenty of benefits for video professionals.


Mike Laskey

Among the big changes in Media Composer 2019 is a “significant” update to the Avid Media Engine designed to ensure colour information is never lost or altered. The idea is to let editors focus on making their video the best it can be, without having to worry about colours being affected by setting changes. To that end, the resolution timeline can now support raster sizes up to 16K while processing images and effects in a 32-bit floating point pipeline.


Clever codecs

The software features Avid DNxHR, a codec that allows for media to be tagged at any colour space, any frame rate and any raster dimension with a 12-bit resolution, as well as the new DNxUncompressed boasting full 32-bit float support for effects and colour.

In fact, DNxUncompressed allows editors and post supervisors to exchange high bit-depth, high-colour MX files with collaborators, meaning there’s no longer a need to generate huge image sequences to simplify transport and management. Media Composer 2019 can also read OpenEXR files, so colour data can be transported easily when projects are received from a different finishing or grading system.


Flexible functions

Different manufacturers and broadcasters have different requirements, so Media Composer 2019 makes sure users can cater to them. Both HLG and PQ encoding are supported, and settings allow for either PQ/2020 or Hybrid-Log Gamma/2020 to be selected as the project colour.

Media Composer 2019’s colour management system and source settings can now handle non-destructive conversions automatically if the identifying colour space metadata exists in the media, with no new media created.


IMF ability

The Interoperable Master Format (IMF) is an incredibly popular solution to the ever-increasing challenge of delivering content in large volumes and to multiple destinations. It streamlines the management and processing of multiple versions of material – for example, one with English subtitling and another with Arabic – so effectively that big players like Netflix, Disney and Hulu currently require delivery as an IMF package or will soon do so.

Media Composer 2019 can export a sequence directly to IMF by producing a compliant JPEG 2000 file at resolutions up to 4K 60p. Users can add descriptive and technical metadata to their IMF packages in order to meet delivery requirements, too.


Learn more

These are just some of the new features and advantages Media Composer 2019 has to offer. The new version is already proving popular with early adopters, with more and more video editors upgrading from older iterations.

Avid has covered the advantages of its 32-bit floating point colour pipeline in more detail, releasing a paper you can download below that takes a more in-depth look at Media Composer 2019’s specific technical advancements.



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