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TOPIC: OPEN LETTER TO LIGHTWORKS ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH MAC VERSION

OPEN LETTER TO LIGHTWORKS ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH MAC VERSION 4 years, 8 months ago #86081

  • markatkin
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LETTER TO LIGHTWORKS TEAM;

I'm writing to pass on some feedback about the Mac version of Lightworks that I attempted to use on a major Australian television series.

I'm a freelance editor based in Melbourne, Australia and an accredited member of the Australian Screen Editors guild. Over the past 25 years I've worked in various areas of film and television, but most of my credits are in TV documentaries and drama. These include series screened in the UK and the US such as "The Slap" and "Mrs Biggs".

I have been a fan of Lightworks since the early 1990s - it was the first NLE system I used. During the 2000s, like many others, I was obliged to use Avid and later used FCP. I became comfortable with both systems, but have always preferred the UI and console of Lightworks. So when Lightworks announced plans for a Mac version I was delighted.

Recently I began work on a series that only required one editor and I realised this was an opportunity to use the new Mac version of Lightworks. My assistant embraced the chance to learn a new system and researched it. This included getting advice from Jill Bilcock's (internationally renowned feature film editor who has always used Lightworks) assistant. My company, Uncut Pictures, purchased 3 "pro" licences and the Avid DNX plug-ins.
In the Avid dominated world of TV drama, the decision to use Lightworks was considered by many of my colleagues to be a surprise and a risky choice. But given that Lightworks had held off releasing the Mac version to get it right, I was confident we wouldn't have serious difficulties and relished the chance to use it. Unfortunately, those hopes have proven misplaced.

During the first two weeks of syncing and assembling rushes the process of working with the UI and a console was delightful despite some teething problems with crashes and difficulties sharing of projects over our network.
But the major problem was the exporting of EDL and AAF files. When we ran a work-flow test exporting these files for the final conform and grade to both the Avid and Flame systems we discovered that elements of the edit did not translate correctly.

The following is a quote from the online editor:

"…None of the timeline VFX are present in the AAF timeline, i.e. the re-sizes and time-warps (speeds changes) are absent. The wipes and dissolves are on the timeline, but need a little work to match the QT reference. I think the problem is the FX plugins used in Lightworks are not translating or are simply incompatible with the Avid or Flame environment. For instance, the Timewarps are visible on the clips, but the information within them does not translate correctly, i.e where Lightworks applies a 500% speed up, Avid reads it as a 500% slo-mo!! Similarly the wipes were disregarded by Avid as being unreadable / unknown effects and there were no resizes visible on either Avid nor Flame systems. For conform sessions we will still require an AAF of the timeline from Lightworks to link all the media and edits needed for the session, but we will need to manually reapply all the Timewarps, Resizes, Dissolves and Wipes in the conform edit. One last thing, the AAFs translate as being 720x576 PAL aspect ratio. I don’t know whether this is just a “mistranslation” in the AAF between Lightworks and Flame and we can adjust it without any issue here."

Ryan Howard, the assistant editor, adds the following; "In regards to the 720x576 PAL aspect ratio, I could see this problem in LW before sending anything out - see attached screen shot. These are identical file types (mxf) and are ingested in an identical manner."


These problems may have been solvable with enough time to consult with Lightworks (including signing up for the service plan) but under the pressure of time and concern from producers, we were forced to abandon LW and move across to Avid. We also understand that these issues could have been fixed in the final conform process, but the producers were understandably anxious about the extra time required to attend to these "fixes". These days we expect the effects and adjustments made in the "offline" to migrant to the conform faultlessly - making the process more efficient. This is particularly important in the television where, compared to feature films, there is generally greater pressure on time and budgets.

This experience has left me feeling dismayed and let down. Despite that, I have faith in the Lightworks team and software and hope this feedback will be taken on board.

Yours sincerely, Mark Atkin



Mark Atkin ASE
Un-Cut Pictures Pty. Ltd. & Time Machine Pictures
Suite 4, 67 Inkerman Street
St Kilda, Victoria, 3182, Australia

Re: OPEN LETTER TO LIGHTWORKS ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH MAC VERSION 4 years, 8 months ago #86099

  • jwrl
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Mark, this is obviously very serious. Could you send this directly to Editshare please. Use the Help > Contact us function at the top of this and every page.

I'm not convinced that this is a Mac only issue, and if I get the chance I will attempt to test it on one of my systems. At the moment I'm pretty flat out, but I'll see what I can do.

JL
Last Edit: 4 years, 8 months ago by jwrl.

Re: OPEN LETTER TO LIGHTWORKS ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH MAC VERSION 4 years, 8 months ago #86102

  • markatkin
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Shall do. I have also sent it to the web support team email address - not sure if that's the same thing.

Mark

Re: OPEN LETTER TO LIGHTWORKS ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH MAC VERSION 4 years, 8 months ago #86131

  • jwrl
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No, it isn't but it can't hurt to let them know too.

Re: OPEN LETTER TO LIGHTWORKS ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH MAC VERSION 4 years, 8 months ago #86137

  • markatkin
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I've had a constructive response from Matt Stanford - the Product Manager of Lightworks. He's taken the feedback on board and will keep me in the loop about developments.
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