MultiRez — How Not to Add a New Feature

I recently stumbled on a whole new set of features in Adrenaline, and now, having spent a couple of hours with the help files, I’m confused. Avid has obviously spent a lot of effort on this, but the new capabilities are explained so awkwardly that I’m not surprised nobody I know is aware of them. It seems that the features could work in a typical feature or TV environment, but not until more functionality is added.

MultiRez and Dynamic Relink allow you to create two sets of media files, one, say at 14:1 and the other at 1:1 — that apply to the same master clips. You can edit with the 14:1 media and just use the 1:1 material for output. The system will automatically switch from one to the other depending on what you’re trying to do. Sounds pretty good huh? Why didn’t anybody tell us about this?

The answer begs the question of how existing editors learn (or don’t learn) about new features in Media Composer. This applies to all kinds of new capabilities, many of which are underutilized in Hollywood. Examples include sophisticated effects like SpectraMatte (way better than the old Avid Chroma Key Effect) or the new motion tracker, or timewarp motion effects, as well as much more mundane stuff like volume graphing or clip colorizing (described here).

Avid’s help files are broken up into little chunks of information, with the result that you often have to wade through a lot of pages before you get an overview of a new feature and how you might actually use it. MultiRez is no exception.

MultiRez allows you to associate multiple media files with the same master clip, and, even better, allows you to have sections of a master clip available at various resolutions. That’s revolutionary and could be the foundation for a slick DI conforming engine. But one key feature appears to be missing — the ability to re-digitize a sequence without decomposing.

The docs imply that MultiRez is aimed at news environments and “is available only on Avid editing systems that have the Avid Interplay Media Indexer installed.” I guess that means that it requires Interplay, and that’s probably why nobody I know has heard of it.

I’m hoping that Avid makes this facility available to the rest of us. It sure would make the conforming process simpler. Meanwhile, the help files need some redesign. Most important, it’s time that we take a thorough look at how existing editors learn about Media Composer improvements. New features don’t help if nobody knows they’re there.

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4 Comments on “MultiRez — How Not to Add a New Feature”

  1. Steve Says:

    I’m guessing that making MultiRez available only with Interplay is Avid’s way of attempting to entice large facilities to buy their products. I also think it’s another example of Avid ignoring the small guys and focusing on where the money is.

  2. Alex Says:

    …or where they think the money is. If you have sales teams motivated to sell to TV stations, you’ll end up with a product range that mainly sells to TV stations. When new editors come on stream, the new young TV stations may want to save money and use the system the eager staff have experience with: stuff from Adobe and Apple.

  3. Frank Capria Says:

    Another possibility is that Avid believes the feature wouldn’t gain traction with the smaller-than-a-large-facility crowd. It’s become apparent to me that just as we’re often shut out from Avid’s thinking, Avid has shut itself off from the customers.

  4. multirez Says:

    Hotels Apertments


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