At the end of each shooting day, in most cases, the data needs to be transferred to postproduction to start the transcoding process. Of course, exceptions are always possible: e.g. editorial happens on-site or after principal photography when shooting in a remote location.
Head over to data handling if you're wondering, "Can I copy and paste?"
Post houses offering a HD or UHD editing pipeline should not have issues handling the original camera negative (OCN) that was recorded on Codex Drives, SxS cards, or CFast cards. OCN shot as QuickTime/ProRes can be edited natively in most editing tools and does not need further transcoding. For editing with high-resolution OCN, we suggest using the latest high-level hardware (GPU and CPU) to get the best experience. Usually, OCN shot in ARRIRAW is transcoded into a different codec and container e.g. Avid DNxHD, Avid DNxHR, or Apple ProRes (*.mxf or *.mov) for editing.
For a smooth editing workflow, we suggest transcoding all OCN data into lower resolution proxy files. This workflow typically is called the “offline workflow." For the final finishing it is then necessary to link back to the original high-res files in a later step of postproduction. There are various codecs for different editing tools, which are supposed to be used for editing and offline workflow, e.g. DNxHD, DNxHR (for UHD & HDR content), and Apple ProRes.
There is metadata within the proxy files that must match the high-res OCN files after the transcode to offline or lower resolution files:
- Source timecode
- Clip name or reel name
With the introduction of ALEXA 35, we updated the typical ARRI file naming. Of course, our classic file naming is still widely used. Both naming schemes will coexist, as will the new and older cameras.
New File Naming (ALEXA 35 and later)
ALEXA 35 introduces a new, extended file naming to accommodate the needs of productions, based on feedback we have gathered over the years. The new naming provides 704 different options to set a camera index, 9,999 reels, and clips. In addition, an extended time stamp has been added, as well as a “Codec Identifier” to differentiate MXF/ARRIRAW and MXF/ProRes already on a file system base: