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Correct way to work with DPX sequences?

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Jonas Petersson
Correct way to work with DPX sequences?
on Nov 1, 2011 at 1:21:11 pm

Hi, I am just starting out with CatDV and have a question regarding the correct way to handle DPX sequences with CatDV and GlueTools. I have a trial for both products.

If i import the entire folder, all of the DPX-files are imported, and all of them link back to the entire sequence. It works, but it gets messy after a while.

If i import just one of the files, I still get to view the entire sequence, but it's only linking to one of the files.
So if i, for example, were to tell CatDV to copy this file, it would only move this single DPX.

What I would like to do is to get the program to scan folders and subfolders and import every sequence as one clip, but link to the whole sequence.

Is there any way of doing this?


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bryson jones
Re: Correct way to work with DPX sequences?
on Nov 1, 2011 at 3:24:08 pm

Ah, your timing is amazing...


I'm in the middle of this myself. GlueTools, while amazing for vfx and editorial work, it has some interesting behaviors that make DPX management difficult.

Here's a reprint of an email I wrote last week regarding DPX and CatDV.

<>>>>


1 - The only way to see a DPX file on a Mac, that I can find, is using Glue Tools software. This appears to be the sole solution.

2 - Glue Tools tricks Quicktime into seeing a sequence as a QT .mov by itself. Meaning that if you open a single DPX frame in QT, it will show the whole sequence as a virtual "ref" movie. Only in the finder can you see a preview of a single frame.

3 - This is fooling CatDV into thinking that the folder of images is a folder full of the SAME .mov file. Indeed, if you drag .dpx stills into CatDV, they show up as movies and you can scrub through them instead of seeing it as an image.

This explains why I can import DPX as a metaclip, but not as an image sequence. To the OS, with the GT loaded, every image is a .mov so of course a metaclip would work and image seq. won't as there are no images to the Mac.

Using metaclips works, but is clunky as you have to "build movie" every time you do an operation. Also, I don't think we can manage proxies with GLue Tools. Building proxies seems to fail but I'm guessing that's because CatDV is seeing a line of several hundred copies of the image sequence ref movie instead of just the images. (It must be trying to make a 24 second proxy for every 24 frames instead of 1 second!)

<>>>>

As you see, the very thing that makes GT great, (showing any frame of a sequence as the whole ref movie) makes it hard to work with for asset management where we need to know that each frame is both a single frame and part of a greater whole.

I'm waiting to hear from the Development crew on this and when we have an update I'll make sure we post here. We're looking at a couple of solutions.

In the meantime, does anyone know of a way on the Mac to view a DPX frame? And barring that, is there a Windows tool that does it well?

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Jonas Petersson
Re: Correct way to work with DPX sequences?
on Nov 1, 2011 at 4:44:51 pm

I use this: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dpx4mac/

It works for Quicklook in Finder. I have no idea if it could be useful for CatDV or not.


Hope you can get it to work. I am quite interested in the software, but more or less everything is DPX where I work.


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bryson jones
Re: Correct way to work with DPX sequences?
on Nov 2, 2011 at 1:13:03 am

Ok, did some work today and have a workaround but no real permanent solution.

The DPX files won't correctly form an image sequence in CatDV, however you can manage them as assets by importing them as a Metaclip or creating a Metaclip after the fact. (Tools>Convert To Metaclip...)

It's best to not have GlueTools on the system doing this cataloging as that presents the CatDV Metaclip as being a clip made of a ton of QT movies due to GlueTool's interaction with Quicktime. (which is pretty neat, by the way.)

Once you have a metaclip, you can at least know where and how many DPX files you have and more importantly, you can use the Cache-A or other archive systems to archive the files.

Also, thanks for the dpx4mac thing. It's neat but doesn't help us scan the files as it doesn't allow QT to display the image, only quicklook. However, it allows you to preview in the finder which is a huge step up.

Hopefully, the dev team will work on making DPX import as an image sequence (or tell us how to do it in case I'm doing it wrong) so that DPX becomes part of the CatDV world but for now, at least we can catalog a collection of DPX frames and maybe throw in an exported movie into the catalog as a reference as well.

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Jonas Petersson
Re: Correct way to work with DPX sequences?
on Nov 2, 2011 at 1:52:23 am

I appreciate your quick response and your help in finding a workaround.

If I understand it correctly, there is no way to import multiple subfolders into multiple metaclips? I need to select every folder manually and create a metaclip?

I hope you are able to fix the dpx issue. I think it has great potential to keep track of VFX-shots (my intended usage), except for the small problem that most VFX-work is done with DPX ;-)


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Jonas Petersson
Re: Correct way to work with DPX sequences?
on Nov 2, 2011 at 2:46:59 am

Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate your effort in finding a workaround.

Unfortunately, with the amount of sequences I have to work with, it's going to be too much of a pain to click every sequence manually and create a metaclip.

Hope you get the DPX import sorted out.

Oh, and by the way, I stumbled over this:

http://filmtools.bootsmade.com/

DPX Components v2

Description reads:
With the Quicktime Player Pro you can import DPX file sequences to create Quicktime movies which you can convert and save to other Quicktime support formats.

Maybe that could help?


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bryson jones
Re: Correct way to work with DPX sequences?
on Nov 2, 2011 at 6:16:47 am

Ok, a new one to check! Thank you.

I don't like individual operations so I drag all the folders in, sort/group by "BIN", select each folder full and then convert to metaclip. That should be quicker and less tedious than doing each one on import.

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Rolf Howarth
Re: Correct way to work with DPX sequences?
on Nov 6, 2011 at 10:58:27 pm

CatDV should be able to import the folders and automatically turn them into image sequence clips. On the import tab, enter ".dpx" into the image sequence filename pattern. This depends on you having a suitable QuickTime codec or Xuggle installed so it can import the DPX files. We plan to improve CatDV's DPX support in a future version.



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