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XDCam footage in FCP

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Roger Lansing
XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 18, 2008 at 7:06:05 pm

I just posted this to the FCP forum, but was hoping that I might find help here. This thread on the FCP forum was started back in September and has gone on for some time. This is what was posted:

I have been dealing with this same issue for a week now and am at my wits end. Good to hear that I am not the only one. I have two nearly identical, brand new edit suites and both are having the random crash problem as noted by all of you.

Here is what I have:
Edit One:
2x2.8 GHz Quad Core Intel Xeon
10GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-Dimm
OSX 10.5.5
FCStudio latest release
QT 7.5.5

Edit Two:
2x2.8 Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon
6GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-Dimm
OSX 10.5.5
FCStudio latest release
QT 7.5.5

both suites sharing a 3.64 TB Apple XServe Raid controlled by a Dual 2.3 Ghz Power PC G5 and Xsan Admin 2.1.1

Neither machine will remain stable in any project using the XDCam footage. Sequences have been set to match the footage exactly, yet this hasn't helped. I have tried creating new projects and starting from scratch by reimporting using the XDCam import within FC and the computer locks up while setting inpoints for subclips, it locks up while opening new clips, it locks up while scrubbing through clips. I have also tried importing the footage using only the Sony XDCam software without using FC and the same issues happen. When editing within FC, crashes happen while scrubbing, while rendering, when dragging clips to the timeline, at random times and on random clips.

I have completed three projects on both of these brand new edit suites in the past two weeks that did not involve any XDCam footage. The suites ran beautifully while ingesting, editing, exporting, etc.

It puts my mind at ease (a bit) to know that I may not have gotten two identically bad Intel Macs, but I hope that we can get some answers to these problems soon. I have a rapidly approaching deadline on the current project that I cannot even keep open.

Roger C. Lansing

Multi-Media Production Coordinator
National Baseball Hall of Fame

Cooperstown, NY


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Stephen May
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 19, 2008 at 2:06:54 am

What was the resolution of the media that both systems handled without issue? What is the resolution that you recorded in with the XDCAM project? Do you have the latest Sony XDCAM Transfer software?

Would you be willing to send all of your XDCAM media to compressor and upconvert each clip to ProRess422 if necessary?

-s

Stephen May
Keystone Media Productions
Freelance Videographer


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Andy Mees
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 19, 2008 at 2:19:25 pm

Roger

Is the project / workflow any more or less stable if you change the timeline codec to ProRes 422 and work with the native XDCAM HD clips in that timeline? I appreciate this doesn't necessarily address or identify the root of the problem but it may be a relatively painless and effective workaround.

Apologies if you've heard this same advice before ... you noted that you posted an earlier thread in the FCP forum so chances are I had a bash at it there too!

Cheers
Andy


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Roger Lansing
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 19, 2008 at 5:16:34 pm

I may have an answer to the problem, although it requires some new additions to the computer. After very long phone conversations with Mac Tech Support, it seems that the XDCam files may be too robust for use with a RAID, or external storage. After running through some exercises with the Sony software and FCP, the suggestion has been made to upgrade the amount of local storage and saving the media and files to that drive instead of using the external RAID/XSan network. I have a handful of those media files now saved on my internal HD and can edit and scrub and such inside FCP using that media. I am hoping that this will solve the issues and I can at least complete this project and then rethink the whole set-up.

Thanks to all that provided some assistance. Gotta love The Cow!

Roger C. Lansing

Multi-Media Production Coordinator
National Baseball Hall of Fame

Cooperstown, NY


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Michael Palmer
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 19, 2008 at 5:20:44 pm

Is there an AJA Kona Card involved here with driver 6.1?

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Stephen May
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 19, 2008 at 6:19:27 pm

Roger - I'm really not getting the part about XDCAM clips being too 'robust'. I have been editing in FCP6 without issue using XDCAM media taken via Sony XDCAM Transfer software in two ways: (a) directly by inserting my SxS media into my Express Slot 34 on my Macbook Pro, and (b) by connecting the USB cable to my Mac Pro.

In the case of (a) I used a regular LaCie firewire external hard drive as the media location for each file I transfered, and in the case (b) I used an internal software RAID striped 0; (bay 2, 3, and 4).

No issues, no problems. Now, I'm actually using a DAT Optic RAID with 16 terabytes, and my process is a little different as I am up-converting all of my old and new footage to ProRes422 and working in ProRess422 sequences. But the bottom line is that you should not have had any issues, and from the experience I've had, described above - I'd have to think that your drives have not been the issue. In fact, your two studios sound very nicely appointed.

That said, all of my arrangements are direct access and I am not running any of my drives through a switch or network, except to pull from an older Dual G4 system which has a DAT Optic E-SATA external RAID - and even then, I am simply mounting those drives on my Dual Quad and dragging anything I need over to my new system or my internal RAID.

I really do not believe that your issue is in the drives not being able to handle the XDCAM files. The initial questions I asked in my original post, if answered, would really help to begin to understand what is going on. Finally, a real possibility is looking at your sequence properties (cmd - 0) and checking what your Quicktime Video Settings are under General. That can be the true issue. -s

Stephen May
Keystone Media Productions
Freelance Videographer


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Roger Lansing
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 20, 2008 at 4:23:08 pm

Stephen,

I do understand that others are and have been using XDCam footage stored locally and externally. I cannot give a reason that it seems to work for me if I store the XD files on the local drive and not on the external RAID. I just know that yesterday, it was the only way that worked. Maybe I do have deeper issue with the RAID and/or XSan through the G5 Dual. I don't know.

Anyway, to answer your earlier question, the projects that I did get done prior to this used various SD and HD footage:
-720x480 29.97 fps DV/DVCPro NTSC 4.5 MB/sec CCIR601
-720x486 29.97 fps Uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 NTSC 26.9MB/sec CCIR601
-1280x720 29.97 fps HDV 720p30 Square pixel aspect ratio

One project was strictly the HDV footage, one was a mix of the DV and Uncompressed as well as some 620x480 SD archival media that has resided on the RAID for years.

Don't know if you can infer anything else from this. I appreciate all of your help and have gotten a crash course here in how things work (or don't work....)

Roger



Roger C. Lansing

Multi-Media Production Coordinator
National Baseball Hall of Fame

Cooperstown, NY


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Don Greening
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 21, 2008 at 4:53:40 am

Well, I'm not ready to consign this to the cold case filing cabinet just yet. Roger this might be just a really long shot but do you have any 3rd party Quicktime components installed? the reason I'm asking is because several days ago another FCP/EX user was having real issues with the Sony Transfer Tool crashing/freezing etc. when trying to import EX media. Turns out that a 3rd party QT component was interfering with the EX codec component in FCP. Thanks to Aiden Finn for a very timely post and solution.

Roger, I know you're not having import problems but perhaps a 3rd party QT component is causing issues with EX media and FCP. Wouldn't hurt to check.

Here's the link to the other thread:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/142/861284#861330

- Don


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Roger Lansing
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 21, 2008 at 12:44:14 pm

Don,

Thanks for the info and for the link to the other thread. I read with interest what was in the other thread, and though my initial problems were not happening during the import process, I am very curious to see if there is a third party Quicktime component trying to break up the happy marriage of Final Cut and Sony XDCam. We loved the camera here at the Hall and it was certainly high on the list of consideration for addition to our gear. This major issue, though, was beginning to cloud that judgement. Maybe this will turn things around.

Again, thanks.

Roger

Roger C. Lansing

Multi-Media Production Coordinator
National Baseball Hall of Fame

Cooperstown, NY


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Michael Palmer
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 21, 2008 at 3:30:48 pm

roger is there a Kona card and the 6.1 Kona driver involved in the system? Our production found we had 2 unstable mac pro edit baysans Aja told us that they have had issues with this driver version.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Rafael Amador
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 22, 2008 at 2:43:06 am

Hi Roger,
We don't you just try to edit something from an external FW drive?
I thing this could give you some clues about if is an storage problem or not.
Cheers,
rafael


http://www.nagavideo.com


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Roger Lansing
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 26, 2008 at 2:09:36 pm

Sorry that I have been absent from the board here lately, but there is a good reason. I am putting the finishing touches on the project that has been holding me up for two and a half weeks with various XDCam issues. After much discussion with Apple Tech Support, a solution was offered about installing internal HDs and editing off of those instead of off of the external RAID. This didn't actually work until I disconnected the Mac Pro's fiber channel card. Not sure why that solved my issue, but I have been editing now for 6 days straight, pushing the FC Studio system as hard as I can to get this project done under deadline, and not a single hiccup in the system. I moved all of the media off of the external RAID and onto the internal drives and I am going to get this done and delivered before the initial deadline, despite all of the setbacks. I can't explain why this fixed it, but I would love some theories, if anyone has them.

Have a great holiday weekend, at least those that celebrate. I give thanks to this great board full of experts and people willing to share from their experiences.

Roger

Roger C. Lansing

Multi-Media Production Coordinator
National Baseball Hall of Fame

Cooperstown, NY


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Michael Palmer
Re: XDCam footage in FCP
on Nov 26, 2008 at 3:50:16 pm

Roger,
I'm no expert on fibre storage but I do know that the interface card for any raid solution needs to be placed in the right PCIe slot of the Mac allowing the device to work at the maximum performance. If you need to expand the internal esata raid (want more drives/more storage) then I highly recommend http://www.maxupgrades.com
I added 2 more drives (6-total, 5-stripped together, 1-system drive) to my Mac Pro placing them into the upper DVD optical drive area giving me even more total overall transfer speed. Syed is the owner and he will give you all the personnel support you need to take even more advantage of your Mac. Syed has also supplied my Animal Planet production with all the external esata raid solutions and they all have been amazing work horses at ridiculously low costs.
I highly recommend you speak to Syed as he could even help you with your current hardware.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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