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Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow

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Tyler Hiteshew
Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 8:05:43 pm

I've started using an EX3 and can't find a way to pull video off the cards that is viewable on both Macs and PCs without 3rd party plugins. We're primarily using FCP on the Macs and After Effects on the PCs. Any ideas? Maybe transcode to a codec that keeps the same quality/size ratio while being more widely compatible?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 8:14:33 pm

ClipBrowser. Works on Mac and Windows and you can include on the discs you give to clients.
VLC Player works on Mac and Windows and will play the source MP4 files.

You ALWAYS use ClipBrowser with CRC on to copy from the cards. Then you make a backup of those BPAV folders since their your camera masters. If you're doing anything else your workflow is flawed (ShotPut being the only other alternative to ClipBrowser).



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Daniel Startek
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 8:35:18 pm

Yes, but ClipBrowser is Intel only on the Mac.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 9:17:59 pm

I guess one has to think about the number of people using PPC Macs that may be clients. I'm not sure but I know the number is dwindling. VLC is an alternative.



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Tyler Hiteshew
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 9:40:03 pm

Yeah, we're currently using Clip Browser/XDCAM Transfer, the problem we're having is that the files imported on a PC aren't viewable on a Mac and vice versa.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 10:31:40 pm

[Tyler Hiteshew] "the problem we're having is that the files imported on a PC aren't viewable on a Mac and vice versa."

BPAV is viewable cross platform so what you're saying doesn't compute.
If you wrap the file to something else MXF for NLE or MOV, that's another story but you shouldn't be doing that if it's just for viewing purposes.

You also can't necessarily differentiate by Mac vs PC.
Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Avid all can be Mac NLEs and certainly all don't require MOV.
On Windows, Premiere Pro, Avid, Vegas, Edius, etc. may need MXF or use the MP4 directly.

If you're talking about VIEWING, the BPAV works across Operating Systems with ClipBrowser or VLC (which uses the MP4 directly).





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Tyler Hiteshew
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 11:02:57 pm

Sorry, maybe "viewable" was the wrong word. "Usable", maybe? Something Macs and PCs can read/write to. I'm hoping for a solution that's EX3 native to minimize transcoding in the workflow, i.e., MXFs in FCP or XDCAM EX MOVs in AE on a PC.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 8:49:05 pm

That's the real trick to be honest there's not a way I can think of other than uncompressed codec or use 3rd party plugins for cross-platform Mac PC XDCAM workflows. I'd go with the plugin that allows you to edit the XDCAM footage natively- that will be the simplest/cheapest option.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera! Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Call Box Training now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, and Panasonic DVX100.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 9:25:50 pm

Ultimately one has to decide who your target audience is and asses what serves them best.
EX codec is not meant to be a distribution codec for the masses.
VLC does work and it's a player not a plugin.
ClipBrowser isn't a plugin either.

CalibratedSoftware makes plugins for EX use but . . . obviously that a 3rd party plugin that must be purchased.

One could encode to Apple Pro Res and Apple does provide a free Pro Res decode plugin for Windows . . . obviously that's a plugin and it involves and encode to get there.

Heck the ability to edit the EX on the Mac is in and of itself a "plugin" (part of a Quicktime Component) which you only get with FCP 6.0.2 and up.




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Tyler Hiteshew
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 9:47:15 pm

Its unfortunate that Sony doesn't offer a solution similar to what Calibrated has, aside from the price its a terrific way to go.

I've been wondering if there is a reason they don't, maybe they're trying to restrict the user to a certain best-practice type workflow or something. MXFs seem like maybe the way to go, but aren't compatible with FCP, maybe v7 fixes this?

I didn't realize Apple offered a ProRes codec for Windows. I'm currently running a batch of transcode tests to gauge the pros/cons of various codecs, definitely adding this one to the mix.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 10:05:13 pm

Problem with ProRes on a PC is you can't encode it- so that's out. I like the Calibrated plugin, because on the PC side most editors can handle XDCAM natively without a transcode. If you get FCP working like that too you save yourself a lot of time with transcodes and media reconnection on edits shared back and forth. KISS.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera! Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Call Box Training now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, and Panasonic DVX100.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 10:16:25 pm

The OP was just talking about "viewable" on both Mac and PC so I was just considering viewing as intent.

I use the CalibratedSoftware plugin with FCP. It's a MAJOR time savor.
People don't realize that FCP can output to EX MP4 as well (although no BPAV folder of course) so you can hand off a finished edit as an element if needed.



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Tyler Hiteshew
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 10, 2009 at 11:09:27 pm

Yeah, something native XDCAM is what I'm hoping for. Transcoding is a time consuming step I'd rather bypass, I'd rather not re-encode footage anyway due to quality loss. And, unless we make a quality trade-off, transcoding requires encoding times of more than 7min/1GB and more than triples the file size.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 11, 2009 at 12:44:36 am

Each NLE has its own needs MXF, MOV, MP4.
The BPAV is your master and each NLE will need to re-wrap as needed (no loss).
As mentioned CalibratedSoftware will allow MP4 in FCP.

I have no idea what your workflow is but simply give the BPAV to whoever needs it and they should be able to do whatever they need. All the same codec. Just different wrappers for the various NLEs.



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Paul Allman
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 11, 2009 at 1:27:19 am

Hi - I am using Clip Browser but I am puzzled by one thing: in the export menu, there are choices besides MXF for NLEs etc., such as small h264 files -- but none of these, including the Native DV option, retains the Time Code. Is there a way to get the time code into those smaller movies, so one could edit these in a portable set-up with less storage, for matching back to hi res at a later date?

thanks - Paul

Paul Allman


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 11, 2009 at 1:57:52 am

Even the export to DV doesn't retain time code. There's no way to do it in ClipBrowser AFAIK.

With CalibratedSoftware's plugin I can put the MP4 in a compression app (Apple Compressor, Telestream Episode) and make Window Time Code burn ins. I could probably carry the time code over to DV in Episode but I haven't tried that yet.




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Noah Kadner
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 11, 2009 at 8:04:08 pm

Actually only FCP is a re-wrap. Avid, Premiere Pro and Vegas are all able to drag drop XDCAM. So using the Calibrated importer for FCP when working in a cross-platform environment is the simplest way to get it done.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera! Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Call Box Training now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, and Panasonic DVX100.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mac/PC friendly XDCAM workflow
on Dec 11, 2009 at 8:19:07 pm

Avid doesn't need MXF for NLE?

If Avid can handle EX MP4 directly then we are moving to a wonderful new world. I'm pleasantly surprised with this info.

BPAV Rules!



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