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XDCam: Digitise and Import?

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Andi Turner
XDCam: Digitise and Import?
on Apr 6, 2011 at 2:05:55 pm

I'm about to start a big multi-camera edit shot using XDCam.

Due to the schedule the offline edit will be carried out on an old Avid Adrenaline system (MC v1.x which doesn't support xdcam) in SD, and the online on a new Media Composer v5 (Nitris DX).

If I capture the rudhes into the old system using the SDI output from a Sony PDW-1500 XDCAM-HD VTR and complete my offline edit, then transfer the finished sequence to the new Media Composer v5, will it be possible to then Batch Import my xdcam media from a drive instead of re-capturing?

I guess my concern is whether or not the timecodes will match up on import if the original clips were created by capturing media instead of importing.

Has anyone tried this workflow before?

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Noah Kadner
Re: XDCam: Digitise and Import?
on Apr 6, 2011 at 3:57:59 pm

Wow that could be a huge headache. I'd spend a little extra time in post and work only with the XDCAM originals. The whole concept of offline/online is kind of moot when we're talking about 25-35mbit signals. There's little point in offlining when the bitrate is so low. Start 'online' and save yourself the possible trouble of resyncing and redoing all your work if the timecodes don't match up.


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Tom Bucknall
Re: XDCam: Digitise and Import?
on Apr 6, 2011 at 10:45:33 pm

Hey Andi,

We looked at doing something similar last year the main difference being we were going to use FCP rather than AVID.

What I found in testing was that while it was possible to capture the clips, re-conforming did not work successfully due to FCP's inability to understand the 'clip' structure of an XDCAM disc when going through Log and Capture not Log and Transfer.

When you conform from tape it usually involved one continuous timecode run. We all know timecode breaks on a tape can lead to headaches, so basically an XDCAM disc with 100 clips on it, is seen as a tape with 100 timecode breaks. FCP also had trouble "spooling" through an XDCAM disc when it contained multiple clips.

This was just under a year ago so thinks may have changed, especially considering your doing this with AVID. But I would strongly advise testing this out before you commit to it.

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Andi Turner
Re: XDCam: Digitise and Import?
on Apr 7, 2011 at 10:12:31 am

Noah, we have no more time and because of the nature of the project we need to be editing in one suite while the online and grade happens in another, so low-res or hi-res we will still be "offline" editing and passing the cuts on to another suite for finishing. The cutting suites don't support XDCam proxy imports.

Tom, I've not worked much with XDCam before. Is there a maximum clip length? We're shooting long continuous multi-camera sequences so I wonder if each take (say 20 mins long) would be one continuous time-code accross one clip or several broken clips... Any ideas? This could have a knock on effect as to how long everything takes to group for multicam editing.

My ideal workflow would be to treat the XDCam discs like tape and do a traditional SDI conform, however due to the Sony stock shortage we may have to re-use stock before we can online hence the need to conform from the files instead of through the VTR.

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Brent Dunn
Re: XDCam: Digitise and Import?
on Apr 7, 2011 at 3:44:42 pm

Sounds like you are in a big hurry. First, and I know this won't help you now, update your systems and be consistent. Either get the new Adobe Production Suite or Final Cut Studio (new version coming soon).

Premier and Final Cut will handle the EXCam files (log and transfer plug in for final cut). I would do the editing grading in the native HD format and then downconvert to SD for your final step. At least, that' my workflow.

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Alan Langdon
Re: XDCam: Digitise and Import?
on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:55:06 pm


You say that FCP has a plugin so that one can Log and Transfer folders (cards copied to the hard drive) within FCP? I have heard of it too, but have been unable to find the plugin. I am running FCP 7.0.3 on Lion OS X. SO far, I can only ingest media via conversion in SONY's XDCAM browser/ transfer program, which is outside FCP.
My problem is that I want to ingest media in large quantities, using Apple Intermediate COdec, and then Batch Capture (Transfer) in Pro Res only the footage used in the final sequence. Editing "Offline"and then going "Online" at the end. Is this possible? Where can I get the Log and Transfer XDCAM plugin?

Any help much appreciated!

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