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XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro

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Craig Seeman
XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Feb 3, 2009 at 6:47:01 am

XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow in Final Cut Pro PDF



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Mark Raudonis
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Feb 4, 2009 at 4:20:03 am

Craig,

Thanks for posting this. Very good information.

I was disappointed however, that nowhere in this entire document is any reference to the
classic "Off-line to online" workflow.

Mark



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Don Greening
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Feb 4, 2009 at 4:58:01 am

[Mark Raudonis] "I was disappointed however, that nowhere in this entire document is any reference to the classic "Off-line to online" workflow."

Unless I've completely missed your point about your statement, the author may have assumed that working "offline" may serve no useful purpose these days with less expensive available storage. When you consider that the only viable "offline" codec with less storage requirements than the EX 35 VBR setting would be DV25 most users wouldn't be able to justify the time to down convert just to save maybe 35% on hard drive space. I would have to agree with that logic.

- Don



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Mark Raudonis
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Feb 4, 2009 at 6:01:51 pm

Don,

Believe it or not, there are some projects where the huge amount of media dictates the classic "off-line to on-line" workflow. I work in reality TV. One show of ours can generate approximately 4,500 HOURS of media. Do the math. You want to buy a SAN that big? We often have six shows of that size in house simultaneously. Therefore, staying "full rez" all the time is NOT an option... despite the lower cost of storage.

"No useful purpose!" Puhleeze.

It's pretty myopic to dismiss something as unnecessary without direct knowledge of the situation. You say the only "viable" codec is DV... well we've been using "off-line RT" for years now. Do I like it? No.
Does it fulfill our need for "low bandwidth/low storage"? Yes. For us, the cost/benefit equation works.

My criticism of the "workflow document" is that it simply does NOT address this "off-line" workflow. The Sony "proxie" concept is brilliant... in theory. In practice, there are MANY issues that hamper it's usefulness with FCP.

mark



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stephen may
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Feb 4, 2009 at 6:25:22 pm

Good point Mark. The other thing that Sony doesn't mention, and never has, is copying the BPAV folder as a workflow practice. Yet here at COW, it is kind of a big idea, and to not be doing it can result in a series of long threads of responses from some of the top contributors.

I draw on my 'library' for multiple projects, so I have not been very good about bringing my SxS media in via FCP: IMPORT > XDCAM - and by not doing that I lose the ability to use 'notes' etc. I've been using XDCAM Transfer Software to bring in my clips to a folder in my video library, and then managing that folder after I'm finished with each batch. It looks like I need to make much better use of the Clip Browser Software.

How do you feel about the suggested workflow that omits the whole BPAV copy?

Stephen May
Keystone Media Productions
Freelance Videographer


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Craig Seeman
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Feb 4, 2009 at 7:03:18 pm

[stephen may] "The other thing that Sony doesn't mention, and never has, is copying the BPAV folder as a workflow practice. "

Page 34 in the Sony FCP Workflow guide

Using XDCAM EX Clip Browser
To archive media from an SxS card to hard disc or other media, the Sony XDCAM EX Clip
Browser application must be used. Copying individual clips via the Macintosh Finder will
result in unusable media on the target drive.

XDCAM EX Clip Browser provides a unified interface for folder navigation, copying, moving,
previewing and transcoding clips


Not that it's easy to find or interpret. Sony documentation covers quite a bit but the organization is abysmal and it has been that way since I first read a Sony BVH-1000 and BVE-5000 manual. Sony seems to have no idea how to present things in a way that shows the natural progression of a workflow. Sony describes functions without explaining their importance. BTW note the MUST in the above manual quote.

Sony gives NO CLUE about offline/online workflow. It's not just the proxy situation. Imagine taking a project offline. There's no explanation about how to relink.

Consider this. BPAV to hard drive. BPAV to MOV for use in Final Cut Pro. Project completed and BPAV is archived, MOV is deleted. Open FCP project and one must go from BPAV to MOV again since FCP only looks for MOV. So how does one correlate BPAV to MOV when clips have been joined, files trimmed, MOV files renamed? There's NOT A CLUE as to how to help FCP (or any other NLE) correlate a MOV (or MXF in other NLEs) to the source BPAV. I've heard that the UMID info is carried over but haven't tested this. Why should I even have to "test" this? It should be in the manual somewhere!



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rene hazekamp
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Feb 4, 2009 at 9:11:48 pm

So can you elaborate on your offline-online
workflow.

What works best for you ? How do you make back-ups, on what media and keep track of them,
Do you only use ex-3 camera's or did or do you use ex-1 camera's

How do you synchronize the stuff ? On what system are mixing how many audio tracks.

How do you edit this program (in a multicamera suite or just on a NLE)
just curious


René A. Hazekamp
portfolio http://www.renehazekamp.com



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Mark Raudonis
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Feb 4, 2009 at 10:10:33 pm

Rene,

You have a GREAT website! I enjoyed viewing your work. "Stampede" was particularly interesting.

It would take a lot of time and space to answer all your questions in great detail, so here's a quick overview. If you want more info, you can contact me off-list.

We shoot primarily on the XDCAM disc format (35 MbsVBR), but we also have a fair amount of media created on the EX-1. Our post is all done with Final Cut Pro attached to an Apple X-SAN shared storage setup. For XDCAM disc material, the disc itself is the final, archive media, so no back ups are made. For the EX-1 media, we copy it onto an XDCAM disc as a "data file" only, and back it up that way.

Not sure what you mean by "synchoronize stuff". We currently take the ful rez material and transcode it to Off-line RT using compressor. We're able to take advantage of distributed rendering and use a cluster of approx 35 computers to do this... it goes fast. We edit, lock picture, then conform the final.

Audio for some shows is recorded "dual system" to either a DA-98 or a file based recorder like the Fostex PD-6 or the Zaxcom DEVA. That audio is then imported and "synced" to the video clips.
(There's different workflows for single cam vers multicam shoots). Off-line editors usually edit with no more than 12 trks. Final conform and mix is done with Protools.

All picture editing is done with FCP. If it's a multicam shoot, we create "multiclips" and work with them. HOpe this answers your questions.

mark






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rene hazekamp
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Feb 4, 2009 at 10:29:16 pm

Okay I see

With synchronize, I meant how do you get things in sync. But I think / or understand that all your xdcams have the same timecode. So I guess that's clear.
What I never could figure out (but maybe I didn't invest enough time in it) how you could make an online version of your program, with your offline clips. It always seemed to be a very tedious workflow and prone to many failures.
But I guess you found your solution. I just copied the darn xdcam disks to multiple harddrives (raid 5), but I had only 300 to 350 hours of material. (10, 50 minutes shows)

thanks for your insight

René Hazekamp

portfolio http://www.renehazekamp.com



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Don Greening
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Feb 4, 2009 at 10:17:32 pm

[Mark Raudonis] "It's pretty myopic to dismiss something as unnecessary without direct knowledge of the situation."

It was never my intention to trivialize your obviously important need to employ an "offline-online" workflow. I was simply offering a possible reason why the topic wasn't touched on in the Sony document. Since the subject the document does talk about is specifically about working with EX HD footage there isn't a huge space savings when compared to DV25 which many consider to be an "offline" codec.

I therefore retract my suggestion and will offer no other suggestions to you in the future.

- Don



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Éamon Little
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Mar 26, 2009 at 11:48:43 am

Hi,

I'm just about to start an edit of a dance show shot on three Sony EX1 cameras at the 1080i50 setting. I have used multicam editing on five or six shows before, all shot on DV and it all went very smoothly. For this project, I upgraded to Final Cut Studio 2 and all applications are updated to the latest versions (FCP = v.6.0.5)

I am using a Dual 2.7GHz Power PC G5 with 4.5GB DDR SDRAM, OS 10.4.11 and the media is on an external drive connected by Firewire 800. I have an JVC broadcast monitor with SDI interface via BlackMagic Declink Extreme card.

For the current project, I have done the import to FCP using the XDCAM Transfer tool and have started to play with a six minute retake we did at the end of the shoot on the three cameras before deciding on my ultimate workflow. I dropped a multicam clip onto the timeline and allowed FCP to alter the sequence settings to match the footage. I am a bit shocked to find my machine (or is it my settings?) struggling to handle the footage. I have had to reduce playback video quality to Low and switch off external video altogether to prevent frames being dropped. And still, after I have set the sync to open in the viewer window, it won't playback the multiclip live but instead plays the active angle and then jumps back to multiclip viewing when playback is stopped. This clearly will not work for me. I do not like having to view playback quality at Low, especially on days when the client comes to sit at my shoulder.

Can anyone suggest a workflow which will not reduce the finished quality? I want to keep the project at a quality where I can master out to HD tape, even though at present the budget only allows for a playout to DigiBeta.

Thank you,

Éamon Little



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Michael Palmer
Re: XDCAM and XDCAM EX workflow for Final Cut Pro
on Mar 26, 2009 at 1:44:01 pm

I'm wondering if the firewire 800 is your issue. Is the drive more than 70% full?

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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