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Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3

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Jason Harter
Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Aug 31, 2009 at 9:58:16 pm

Hi Creative Cow members, long time reader, first time poster.

I'm having problems with some very long clips that I recorded at an mma fight event I shot a little while ago. We were using the Sony EX3 and had a fight event that was suppose to last around 4 hours so we chose to shoot using a 32gig Transcend SD Flash Card to SXS SD adapter card and 16gig Sony SXS memory card with a 16gig Transcend SD Flash card as back up incase the event went too long. We were shooting 1080p 24p SP for data rate reasons and the final delivery system of web content.

Basically we synced our 4 sony ex3s to match timecodes and started shooting only to pause at the intermission, which basically gave us two clips that were about 2 hours and 1.5 hours long respectively. Everything went by fine and the cameras played the footage back without a hitch and had stayed synced the entire shoot.

The next day we tried to download the footage using the Expansion slot on the side of the Macbook Pro that we are going to edit on, and in Sony's Clip Browser (the newest version 2.7 or something) everything played fine. I used the CRC copying method in the Clip Browser to copy to an external hard drive for each camera's set of 2 cards. At this point I can watch all the footage in Clip Browser and it plays fine.

However when I try to import the footage into the Sony XDcam Transfer application (newest version 2.5 or something) I get the error message "IMPORT ERROR Exception opening XDCAM EX files (condition Failure - moov Existance)". Basically all the short clips from the cards of ring girls and advertising is fine, but the clips that are very long, like 1.5 and 2 hours and that ended up having to span over the two cards, are not able to be read by the XDcam software. I checked the files and made sure that I had the necessary smi file that is suppose to connect the clips that are spanned between 2 cards.

I've read that the XDcam Transfer application is suppose to automatically connect files that may be incomplete because they have spanned over two cards, and I've always had an experience like this while working with the ex1. However, I've never had clips that were two hours longer or more.

I read online about Sony's Clip Browser being able to re-generate new BPAV folders if you import the specific MP4 file from a clip and tried doing this with each 4gig chapter, or section if you will, of each extended clip so that each 4gig mp4 file became in effect its own self contained BPAV folder and would be read by Sony's Clip Browser as its own individual card.

However when I tried importing these make shift BPAV, card, folders into XDcam transfer, only the first two chapters would work for each clip and then the remain 3 to 5 would have the same "IMPORT ERROR Exception opening XDCAM EX files (condition Failure - moov Existance)" error message.

So I researched more online and tried to export each clip or chapter directly from Sony's Clip Browser to HD video by right clicking on the file, but I kept getting an error message saying "Invalid length" for chapter of the 1.5 or 2 hour clip.

Then I decided to use Sony's clip browser and combine each 2 cards from each camera into a single BPAV folder so that clearly Xdcam Transfer would have no problem finding the smi file or the footage that contains the spanned clip between them. However this did not work either.

I decided to go over to the production manager's office last night and try importing the cards directly through the ex3s we shot on to the XDcam transfer application, but the"IMPORT ERROR Exception opening XDCAM EX files (condition Failure - moov Existance)" error message continued to pop up.

Hopefully, we discovered that we could Log and Capture each card through Final Cut Pro by playing the footage off the camera and then running a 4 to 6 pin firewire cable into my computer using an HDV codec to compress the footage still at 1080: 24p, HOWEVER this means that the whole point of digital transfer and organization is totally useless to us and we are having to basically rely on 1998 technology and log and transfer like I had to do with old mini-dv tapes. As you can tell this is very disappointing since I have a minimum of 12 hours to manually log and capture through final cut pro.

So I come to you experts of Creative Cow and see if you have any brilliant suggestions that I could not find or workflow solutions that I overlooked.

Does anyone else have similar experiences with extremely long clips using sxs media and ex1 or ex3 technology?

We are hopefully planning to do these kind of MMA events again and would like to use these nice ex3s and digital cards to record, but not again until we figure this disaster out.

Could it be the mixed use of SD compact flash cards with an SXS adapater and sony's own SXS cards? The data is definitely on the cards and all the files and folders seem to be structured the same so I believe this mixing of recording media should work. Also the compact flash cards are level 6 at a very high data rate in order to record 1080:24p on the ex3.

I wasn't in charge of designing the camera to computer workflow and I had a feeling that I should have paused and started recording again between MMA bouts so that the camera could save each clip individually , but I trusted the owner of the production company that we rented from and didn't do my own tests.

Any help will be appreciated! And THANK YOU for reading this long post :) I just wanted give you guys all the info so you could make the best possible hypothesis.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Aug 31, 2009 at 10:10:47 pm

Current version of ClipBrowser is 2.5.01
Current version of XDCAM Transfer is 2.10.
Check exact version numbers and include version of FCP and OS as well.

You must make ALL FOLDERS available to XDCAM Transfer for it to connect the files.
See if this helps








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Jason Harter
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Aug 31, 2009 at 11:45:25 pm

thanks craig, i'll try this and see how it works, but i suspect it will give me the same error message because i tried a similar technique before.

i am editing on final cut pro 7 and am running mac os 10.5.7


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Matt Mulrine
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Sep 1, 2009 at 1:31:57 pm

Had this problem before, very annoying that no one had the answer. Through a leap in logic I eventually thought maybe it wasn't a problem with the files but with associated metadata in the folder structure. I was right. To fix it move the mp4 files elsewhere, I can't remember if you need to keep the folder structure or which file was specifically causing the problem maybe something like an xml file. I figure what happens is that when you merge the clips they do merge but the EX software doesn't change data in the external metadata files so Premiere seems to think it can't access the files (even though it can if you move them so that it doesn't read the other files).

If you do this and the Premiere media browser isn't reading it then simply go file import instead.


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David Herman
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Sep 3, 2009 at 5:32:55 pm

Not a very professional solution but I shortened the clip manually by a couple of frames in xdcamtransfer and the clip was recognised.



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Barton bishoff
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Sep 25, 2009 at 6:13:38 pm

The video is very well organized but doesn't take into account situations where selected multiple folders for import doesn't resolve the issue. I have a very long .smi clip that will not import. If I follow the steps in the video--connecting the clips with it's other parts in another folder--same outcome: INCOMPLETE or a greyed -out import button. If I select other MP4 clips, then I can use the import button but still no import of the .smi clip. The .smi clip is perfectly fine and viewable in the XDCAM clip browser. There must be a way to import this clip as it is. The only solution I can think of right now is to play the clip fullscreen from the XD browser and digitize that using another computer. Looks to me like Sony's write process mistakenly omitted some sort of stopping point code. I would advise anyone using XD not to shoot very long clips. Keep them under 20 minutes.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Sep 25, 2009 at 8:50:55 pm

[Barton bishoff] "The video is very well organized but doesn't take into account situations where selected multiple folders for import doesn't resolve the issue."
Technically that should/can't ever happen. I've imported a single clip spanning 4 cards without issue. If you make ALL the folders available and Select ALL it ALL gets imported. You do NOT select individual clips at ANY POINT. SELECT ALL, IMPORT ALL. EVERYTHING is imported. No exceptions and I've been using the camera since December 2007 and I do many records lasting more than 4 hours straight through. It always works.





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jean mathis
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Nov 25, 2009 at 3:43:48 am

I had the same problem with spanned files, mainly because I did not import directly from the camera with the two cards being spanned importing at the same time (I just got a bunch of cards with no indication of order or camera A or B). Somehow, I could not find one of the incomplete clips matching the smi file, and even with the incomplete clip + smi files for another spanned clip xdcam transfer would come up with a " not enough disk space" error message, so.... There is still a snag in Don's procedure. Its not because it did not happen to him that it won't happen to U...

I then went back to the manual (never forget the manual guys...) and noticed that smi files had child clips, to see them U go into the logging menu and then to subclips in the right window. Actually all smi files seem to be split in several child clips, wich are somehow equivalent to subclips but unlike the subclips U can't erase them. U then select the child clips of Ur smi files in the subclip menu and import them. This is how I got around the problem. Hope It will help some others. This is when something went wrong in the importing process and if U can't go back or have no time to. For the rest I would stick to Don's procedure.
Best to all.
Jean


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dave brinks
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Feb 23, 2010 at 3:34:25 am

is there a way to recover/connect these files without the cards...

are all the files on my machine but need to be connected??

I recently hired an EX1 for a wedding job (try some new technology before i buy it), filmed with clips spanning over the 2nd card, (thought this was the best thing eva at the time)

used XDCAM transfer to upload the footage, took the camera back and thought i was safe, until later i found I was missing the two main files i needed (ceremony + speeches) after alot of cursing.....

i now ask the experts, please help...


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Craig Seeman
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Feb 23, 2010 at 1:42:33 pm

Did you watch the tutorial above in the 31 August post?

If you have the folders added to XDCAM Transfer they will join.

You do know you should copy the BPAV with ClipBrowser and then back them up of course?
All clips are in your BPAV folders. Just add them all to XDCAM Transfer and let it do its stuff as per the tutorial video I've posted.



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Ian Kibbe
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Sep 23, 2011 at 4:14:01 am

Hey Craig,

Thanks, your posts have been a huge help. So, I've done everything you recommend after cobbling together replies to all sorts of XDCAM transfer and Browser posts, but am having this similar problem with a few pesky .smi clips

I've made all the folders available, which cleared up some of my incomplete .smi files, but some of them are still incomplete. What's really odd, is that if I inspect the file in the XDCAM Transfer viewer, it actually tells me where the other clip is.

It reads: "Incomplete Clip. This clip has been split across multiple cards. It continues with 744...etc on (parent folder name)"

Both clips and folders are available to XDCAM Transfer, I can play both in the viewer and I've tried selecting both, selecting all, etc. but it won't connect them.

Thoughts? Thanks a ton!


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Ian Kibbe
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Sep 23, 2011 at 4:57:06 pm

Hey Craig,

Thanks, your posts have been a huge help. So, I've done everything you recommend after cobbling together replies to all sorts of XDCAM transfer and Browser posts, but am having this similar problem with a few pesky .smi clips

I've made all the folders available, which cleared up some of my incomplete .smi files, but some of them are still incomplete. What's really odd, is that if I inspect the file in the XDCAM Transfer viewer, it actually tells me where the other clip is.

It reads: "Incomplete Clip. This clip has been split across multiple cards. It continues with 744...etc on (parent folder name)"

Both clips and folders are available to XDCAM Transfer, I can play both in the viewer and I've tried selecting both, selecting all, etc. but it won't connect them.

I'm using XDCAM Transfer 2.10

Thoughts? Thanks a ton!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Sep 23, 2011 at 5:00:25 pm

Please watch the tutorial I posted above.
Please update to 2.12



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Ian Kibbe
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Sep 23, 2011 at 7:56:32 pm

Thanks Craig.

I'm running PPC, so I can't go to XDCAM transfer 2.12, but it doesn't seem like that should be causing this, since your tutorial runs an older version. I've followed the tutorial to a T, but no success, still gives me the incomplete listing. I guess I'll just import as in with in and out points and connect them manually.

Thanks anyway.


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micheal jreisat
Re: Problems with Spanned footage over two cards shot on Sony EX3
on Sep 14, 2014 at 9:35:16 am

From : Michel Jreisat
Dear I have problem w spanned over two cards shot. I lost one of the two cards, I long and transfaire the footage but I have missed the long footage ( incomplete media ) I still have first SXS memory ,
any help to get this ( Incomplete media)
Thanks
Michel


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