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Xdcam EX material for FCP

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charles martin
Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 10, 2010 at 9:54:12 pm

I'm new to the forum.....but a longtime user for the EX1...going back to the time it hit the market in late 2007.
I've used this camera all over the world...the camera is fantastic..the workflow ..much easier I feel than the tape days.

In the early days I spent a lot of time converting material to DV ...would have loved the EX1R ...
Anyway..more and more people want to edit in full HD ..which is great but its presenting me with a few problems and I am struggling to find a solution.

At the moment I'm doing work for someone who wants to edit on FCP..but doesn't want to take the time to do the conversions. Fair enough...but they want me to provide material that they can ingest without having to do any converting/transcoding. When I used to cut on AVID it was a simple matter of converting the files to 'MXF for NLE's' with Clipbrowser...and Avid took it in no problem... and that was in the early days. anyway..i am wondering if there is any way..since i am on a PC..that I can convert the files ahead of time to something that the people with the FCP can use ...without having to do any converting at their end.? Many thanks for any advice you can offer..
I edit on Sony Vegas and as you all know..Vegas sees and works with the EX files natively. I take it that is still not the case with FCP?


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Don Greening
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 12:43:38 am

[charles martin] "I take it that is still not the case with FCP?"

That's correct. We'll need to wait for the next version of FCP before native EX1 .mp4 editing becomes a reality. There is a plugin available now that allows the FCP user to edit the .mp4 files natively. It's called "Calibrated Q" but each FCP workstation needs its own copy, rather than yourself converting anything first and then sending it along to your various FCP editors.

You can find the Software here: http://www.calibratedsoftware.com/QXD.asp

Using the "Calibrated Q" workflow you could simply send each FCP house the raw BPAV folders directly from each card and they would be able to work with the .mp4 files without any transcoding. To make this as seamless as possible you might consider sending the BPAV folders on Mac formatted hard/flash drives.

- Don



Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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charles martin
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 10:03:12 am

Don ..Many thanks for this. Very much appreciated. It could well be the solution I need to get me through this. I will pass this information on immediately.
So you think this would be an easier solution than me converting the files to something FCP ingestible?
I think sending the raw BPAV files is the way to go and it certainly speeds up the workflow process from my end. I've always done that for people who wanted to cut in HD.... I didn't realize what a pain it was for Non-Vegas users.
Re. Avid....whats the latest there? As I mentioned with my earlier post ...I had Avid Express Pro for a while...and even though I couldn't edit in full HD...I was able to edit in HDV...so I simply converted material using the clipbrowser to MXF for NLE..and imported to Avid fine.
Have been working with another group who has one of the later Media Composers. And they have been complaining about not being able to use my BPAV files easily. If I just use Clipbrowser 2.5V which I have...and convert to MXF for NLE...shouldn't those files do the trick?
Many thanks....this forum is excellent.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 3:29:50 pm

[charles martin] "So you think this would be an easier solution than me converting the files to something FCP ingestible?
I think sending the raw BPAV files is the way to go and it certainly speeds up the workflow process from my end. I've always done that for people who wanted to cut in HD.... I didn't realize what a pain it was for Non-Vegas users. "


I think the cost of the plugin is a lot easier to bear than trying to wrap to .mov if you're only Windows based.

BTW that plugin is also available for the Mac so FCP users don't need to wrap to .mov either if they buy the plugin. Wrapping to .mov is painless. It's the portability of the files which is a pain. EX .mov files won't work on Windows NLEs . . . but Calibrated has a plugin for that too! That will allow Windows NLEs handle EX .mov.

[charles martin] "Have been working with another group who has one of the later Media Composers. And they have been complaining about not being able to use my BPAV files easily. If I just use Clipbrowser 2.5V which I have...and convert to MXF for NLE...shouldn't those files do the trick? "

Yes that should work. BTW the current version of ClipBrowser is 2.6. It's got a few nifty improvements such as the ability to fix rolling shutter on photo flashes.




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charles martin
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 10:32:41 am

Another quick question. I had a look at the software link. Looks like it may be the answer. But want to be sure I shoot in the correct format.
Normally I am shooting in the 1080/60i format for these people. As far as I can tell the Creative Q only lists 1080 30i...
Will it handle the 1080/60i or is there another format I should shoot in so they can use this Codec?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 3:24:02 pm

CalibratedQ will handle all forms of EX codec.

Some people call 60i 30i. It's 60 fields a second or 30 interlaced frames.



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charles martin
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 4:04:43 pm

Thanks Craig...You've been incredibly helpful and I should have realized the 60i...30i thing was interchangeable wordage.

I have another question and forgive me if I am just missing something obvious but I want to get the workflow using CalibratedQ straight in my mind.

So..I shoot in my 1080/60i format....I send those BPAV/mp4 files created by the camera to the editors as I normally do...usually on a small portable hardrive (backed up of course)

They then download the CalibratedQ codec to suit whatever version of FCP they are working on and whatever operating system they have...

Do they then have to 'convert' my EX files using CalibratedQ decoder and then 'import' to fcp? or does the CalibratedQ decoder somehow make FCP 'see' the files and allow them to be imported directly without conversion?

And a question about Clipbrowser v 2.6. I bought my EX in the UK initially...it obviously came with the original Clipbrowser software...I've always wondered what is the best way to keep up to date with the clipbrowsers....i.e. which Sony site is the best one to use? Also....does it mean I downloaded some kind of demo version if I get a warning about a 'watermark' appearing when exporting using certain formats?

Again..thanks for taking the time to answer these questions...very very helpful..


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Craig Seeman
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 6:08:44 pm

[charles martin] "So..I shoot in my 1080/60i format....I send those BPAV/mp4 files created by the camera to the editors as I normally do...usually on a small portable hardrive (backed up of course) "

Always include full BPAV, each in its own parent folder. Macs can read both Fat32 (what SxS cards use) and NTFS formatted drives (but Macs cant write to them without additional software).

[charles martin] "They then download the CalibratedQ codec to suit whatever version of FCP they are working on and whatever operating system they have... "

If they have FCP later than version 6.0.2 they can just use XDCAM Transfer to wrap to .mov OR they can buy the Calibrated XDCAM EX .mp4 plugin and use the files directly. If they don't want to do the conversion then the Calibrated plugin (around $90) will allow them to use the files directly.

[charles martin] "And a question about Clipbrowser v 2.6. I bought my EX in the UK initially...it obviously came with the original Clipbrowser software...I've always wondered what is the best way to keep up to date with the clipbrowsers....i.e. which Sony site is the best one to use?"

All Sony Pro sites have the same version. They don't always update at the same time. It seems the Canadian site gets the updates first (I think Don Greening has secret powers) but sometimes the UK site. USA site always seems a month behind. They're all the same version (eventually) so wherever you grab it, it's OK. They are regional/national distinctive language versions one sees with some software.

It's free so there's no watermark. Only certain MainConcept plugins are watermarked as they require separate version.




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Don Greening
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 6:36:28 pm

Even though Craig beat me to the punch I'll include all of my post to Charles.

[charles martin] "So..I shoot in my 1080/60i format....I send those BPAV/mp4 files created by the camera to the editors as I normally do...usually on a small portable hardrive (backed up of course) "

Correct. But your editors will still not be able to do anything unless your portable hard drives are formatted in Mac HFS+ (Extended) because Mac computers cannot read Windows formatted (NTFS) drives without some help.

And here it is:

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/

[charles martin] "Do they then have to 'convert' my EX files using CalibratedQ decoder and then 'import' to fcp?"

No they don't as long as Calibrated Q .mp4 plugin is active.

[charles martin] "which Sony site is the best one to use?"

The UK site is apparently a good one to go to. Personally I use the Canadian site as it seems to be simpler to navigate and they're generally up to date on the most current versions of things.

http://support.sonybiz.ca/esupport/eSupportHome.asp

[charles martin] "Also....does it mean I downloaded some kind of demo version if I get a warning about a 'watermark' appearing when exporting using certain formats?"

Yes. For example, Calibrated Q will put a grey band across your video if you're using their demo version.

- Don



Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 6:47:58 pm

[Don Greening] "But your editors will still not be able to do anything unless your portable hard drives are formatted in Mac HFS+ (Extended) because Mac computers cannot read Windows formatted (NTFS) drives without some help. "

Actually Macs can now read NTFS. They can't write to them though without the software you recommend.

[Don Greening] "Yes. For example, Calibrated Q will put a grey band across your video if you're using their demo version. "

I haven't checked but I understand they've replaced the grey band with a watermark logo.

_____
Tangentially what I've done to "bridge the OS worlds" is that I've used Apple's free Bootcamp so I have one internal drive which is MacOS 10.6.4 and another with Windows 7 Pro 64bit. I also have Parallels so I can run both OSs simultaneously if needed.





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Don Greening
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 7:04:30 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Actually Macs can now read NTFS."

Cool. The day's not a total loss now. I learned something.

- Don



Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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charles martin
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 10:54:34 pm

Gentlemen....Thanks!!! This is excellent... I'm off on a shoot first thing so it will help knowing we have a solution!!!
Much appreciated!!!


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Don Greening
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 11, 2010 at 10:59:08 pm

You're welcome. Good luck on the shoot.

- Don

Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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charles martin
Re: Xdcam EX material for FCP
on Jul 12, 2010 at 12:34:27 am

thanks!!


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