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Offloading in the field

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Tom Prigge
Offloading in the field
on Jun 21, 2011 at 7:43:20 pm

This is a long post, but I hope you'll slog through it. First, thanks for the comments about my nonworking tape transport in my HVX200A. I can offload my cards at night onto an external drive using a Windows laptop as a bridge. I use P2 Viewer software for ingesting onto my editing computer. I've been reading about what the P2 Viewer manual says about "virtual P2 cards." I'm wondering if I have to make virtual P2 cards on the external drive I'm offloading to, or if that is not necessary. Here's my proposed workflow--please tell me if there is a flaw in this chain:
In the field: Create a folder on the external drive for each day. Copy the P2 cards' folder structure and lastclip.txt files from the P2 cards to that folder. Delete the files on the P2 card and shoot anew the next day.
Back home: Copy from the folders I created for each day to "virtual P2 cards" created on my media drive on my editing computer. Ingest using P2 Viewer as I normally would.
It seems as though I'm adding extra steps, but I'm not sure.
One big worry I have is if a clip should happen to span the cards--entirely possible. When I'm copying in the field, will the P2 folder structure and lastclip.txt reflect that?
I understand that P2 data is just that--data. So long as I keep the file structure and lastclip.txt intact, am I right in believing that I can copy this data dozens or even thousands of times and I can use the footage just as if I were taking it straight off the cards as I normally do?
Please excuse my nervousness about offloading in the field and erasing my cards. I've never done this before and I've been using P2 for 4 years now. I'm used to one way of working and trying something new has me scared you-know-what-less. Finally, I know I should have run some tests to ease my mind, but my camera has already been shipped and I won't see it until I'm ready to shoot. Thanks.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Offloading in the field
on Jun 22, 2011 at 1:29:10 am

I don't know how this is done on a PC but on a Mac we make disk images which are a bit more complete than just a folder. But generally speaking your method is fine. You can get software that manages archiving more reliably and elegantly- such as:

http://www.imagineproducts.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&pro...

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Tom Prigge
Re: Offloading in the field
on Jun 22, 2011 at 1:39:51 pm

Noah,

Thank you for letting me know that my workflow looks correct. I'm still concerned about a clip possibly spanning the cards. When I do all this copying over, will there be just a single file structure or separate structures for each card? If there are separate structures, then I have to assume that the P2 viewer software will stitch them together.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Offloading in the field
on Jun 22, 2011 at 6:39:34 pm

It will be fine- the main consideration is making sure you have both 'sides' of the spanned clip mounted when you go to ingest. In other words- make sure you always keep the individual archives for each card in a project grouped on your hard drive when you go to ingest. That way your editing software will be able to find and connect spanned clips when you import.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Tom Prigge
Re: Offloading in the field
on Jun 22, 2011 at 7:55:03 pm

Many thanks, Noah. I wonder if folks really appreciate the Cow and folks like who help us poor, lost souls out. I have one less thing to worry about. Now, all I have to worry about is the sound, the lighting, the power, etc. etc.


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John Fishback
Re: Offloading in the field
on Jun 23, 2011 at 7:14:41 pm

IMHO you should add a step to your field workflow - checking the files on your field drive after off-loading your cards. We always play each clip for a few seconds to make sure we see video and hear audio. Just because you see a clip on a drive doesn't ensure it's good. Our shotlists now have two columns by each shot. The first is checked when the clip is shot and the second when the clip is played off the drive.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.3, Motion 4.0.3, Comp 3.5.3, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.3)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Dave Neyman
Re: Offloading in the field
on Jun 24, 2011 at 2:06:19 pm

I think you should add one additional step. The external drive you offload to should be a raid 1 setup. That way you have some redundancy if one drive goes bad. If your external drive were to go bad you would lose the entire shoot. A raid may be more expensive but it is cheaper than having to reshoot. One that I use is the CalDigit VR Mini. It's bus powered and seems to be pretty bulletproof.



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John Fishback
Re: Offloading in the field
on Jun 24, 2011 at 4:17:44 pm

Good point. In the field we use a mirrored drive and a second drive. And, the drives always travel separated - carried by two people in different cases. It's good to be a bit paranoid about your data.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.3, Motion 4.0.3, Comp 3.5.3, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.3)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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