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XML funkiness to FCP7

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Robb Harriss
XML funkiness to FCP7
on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:08:15 pm

Ok, here's one for you. Lots of footage gathered in CatDV over the last few years as we've been working with it. This means some of the footage is path- and other tape-based (referring to proxy recognitions for those not familiar). We're all path-based now but the original setup was tape-based. In addition both the original files and the proxies have migrated across the network to different machines and different drives in different places and different times. This particular system in its current form has been evolving for twelve years, now. I've had space space here and there and moved things as I've needed. Many of the original files have been deleted and we work off the proxies (and later reload from HDCAM tape only the bits we need). So that sets the stage...

I make extensive use of dragging sequences from CatDV into a working FCP7 project. Sometimes it's a scratchpad, and sometimes it's just a couple of shots. (Note that it's nothing short of fantastic to keep CatDV up for searching and cutting in FCP). The problem is that sometimes the shot arrives empty in FCP. Sometimes a quarter of the shots in a sequence are empty when sent to FCP. Sent via xml or drag and drop and the same shots are empty. Back in CatDV the proxy for the shot is alive and well. I haven't traced it out completely, but it looks like they're random tapes that were captured and done as tape-based. I've tried resetting the proxy paths but nothing seems to work. I get an XML error in when importing an XML list into FCP telling me that the original media path cannot be found. Well, no, that path isn't available. That drive isn't mounted and the original clips aren't available which is why I'm using proxies. It seems like CatDV, when exporting the XML data, is looking for a link that no longer exists between the original file and the proxy. I just can't figure out the link or how to fix it. Ultimately, the fix is to reload all the old tape-based footage and redo everything as path based. I just don't have the 200 hours I need in order to do that right now. Any ideas where to look or what to poke at? I've tried all sorts of combinations of paths in the preferences Media Search Paths to no avail.
Thanks,
Robb

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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bryson jones
Re: XML funkiness to FCP7
on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:25:26 pm

"Ultimately, the fix is to reload all the old tape-based footage and redo everything as path based."

Seems like with some fancy thinking you could get that to work out without re-ingest. You probably just need to remake the proxy, yes? If so, it's worth letting your worker node crank (or your machine at night) to just get that over with.

Worst case you'd need to re-analyze the footage as well, but I can't imagine that you would.

Also, one interesting idea. Are you on v9? If so, can you check the proxy path field and see if it shows you the correct path to tape-based proxy? If so, then you could simply have a Worker script move the proxy into the correct path-based path. I'm betting it won't show and you'll have to remake it but that's not such a bad gig since it's not a piece by piece manual process.

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Robb Harriss
Re: XML funkiness to FCP7
on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:30:59 pm

Hey Bryson, how you doing?
I'm on 9 pro, no Worker (except me).
I'd remake Proxies if I had the originals. That would be easy. But I blew them off and I'd have to re-grab tape.
The proxies themselves work just fine in the catalog, which is a mystery why they're not getting referenced correctly in the XML export. My proxy paths look ok but I can't see where in the inner workings of the database the references are for the individual file. All I can find in the Technical fields are references to the original media's path, which is not attached anyway.

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Matthew Stamos
Re: XML funkiness to FCP7
on Jan 17, 2012 at 11:01:26 pm

One tip when using the "magic door" or drag and drop as it were you can hold the option key and drag the proxies into FCP!


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Robb Harriss
Re: XML funkiness to FCP7
on Jan 17, 2012 at 11:30:32 pm

Hmmm, I hadn't heard that one. Thanks Matthew,I'll try that.

UPDATE: Ok, seems like lots of files that used to work are not longer working when I drop them into FCP. These are shots that are sitting in timelines in FCP from last week populated with the poxes. Try sending them to FCP now and they won't populate. This even though the proxies function fine in CatDV. So far these are tape-based, but both old and new. Something broke. Yikes.

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Robb Harriss
Re: XML funkiness to FCP7
on Jan 18, 2012 at 5:01:29 pm

whoa, dragging and dropping using the Option key worked. Ain't that nice. I can get the project done. But first back to trouble shooting to see if I can make life better.

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Rolf Howarth
Tape-based proxies
on Jan 18, 2012 at 9:18:42 am

One of CatDV's cleverest but least well understood features is that it will automatically assemble tape-based proxies to create a playable clip, given the Tape name and In and Out timecode. This includes assembling portions of multiple files if necessary. When it sends clips over to FCP it only includes a link to a single file, so if some clips go over and others don't it's possible those that don't don't have a single proxy file behind them. Look at the Proxy File field in the Other tab and see if that has a filename or says "Composite".

Here is a recipe we recently sent someone on how to convert tape-based to path-based proxies. In their case it was for use in the web client but it may still be helpful:

1. Download CatDV Pro 9.0.5 from http://www.squarebox.co.uk/download/CatDVPro9.0.5.dmg or http://www.squarebox.co.uk/download/CatDVPro9.0.5.exe (we've just fixed an issue where the duration of exported movies was rounded down and so could prevent the Attach Media command from working).

2. Create a folder called something like /Volumes/CatDV/Exported Tape Proxies

3. Open the catalog for one tape that you want to convert and make sure all the clip names are unique. Select all the clips and do File > Export As > Movie. Choose "Export proxy movies (no recompression)" and "Flatten (make self contained)". On the options tab, make sure "Separate movie for each clip" and "Whole clip (in/out)" are selected, they should be by default. "Exact clip names" should be unchecked. If the tape name is Tape 1234, export all the clips to /Volumes/CatDV/Exported Tape Proxies/Tape 1234.

4. With the clips you exported still selected, choose Media > Attach Media. (You will reimport the files you just exported and give the clips new source media references that point to these files so they now have a Media Path stored against them, rather than just the tape name and timecode.), It will say they already have media descriptions, choose Replace. It will then ask if you want to treat them as subclips, choose No. In the file chooser, choose the file you just exported, eg. /CatDV/Exported Tape Proxies/Tape 1234/Clip 1.mov. Hopefully it should say the attach media command succeeded.

5. Publish your changes to the server. (I would suggest trying this process with one catalog first, and keeping a locally saved backup of the catalog just in case).

6. In the server control panel, open the server config page. Under proxy paths, click + and add a mapping with original full-res root and low-res proxy root both set to /Volumes/CatDV/Exported Tape Proxies. (Actually, original root should be set to the the path as seen by the machine on which you did the export, eg. a Mac, and the low-res proxy root dir should be set to the path as seen by the Tomcat web server, which may be different, eg. Windows)

7. Stop and restart the Tomcat web interface after making config changes.

8. Go to the Web Client and open up the catalog you just modified. The clips should now have playable media (triangular play icon over the thumbnail).

9. If you have problems, click on the blue CatDV logo and check the Media Map, Original Root and Proxy Root fields in the about box. Look at the Media tab for the clip and check the Media Path field.



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Robb Harriss
Re: Tape-based proxies
on Jan 18, 2012 at 4:57:35 pm

I'm working on it now. I just tried another file. I already have a version of it in FCP which is populated with the proxy. It's sitting right here in a timeline. I know it's not an original because I brand the motion jpeg proxies with the reel name and timecode burn. I try dragging the exact same clip from CatDV into FCP and it shows up empty. I go back to CatDV and look at the proxy field of the Other tab and the full path and proxy name is there. It's a tape-based file and uses the old file naming convention:
/Volumes/EDIT 2 HD/CATDV previews/FV14/3000,1524160,1574344,96c.mov
That's the mystery.
I'm going to try to step through the rest of your suggestion. Note that I don't have server software installed at the moment.

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Robb Harriss
Re: Tape-based proxies
on Jan 18, 2012 at 5:38:13 pm

UPDATE:
You'll note above that the opt-drag and drop did work, generally. However, not for all shots. I checked and some do say "composite" in the Other tab proxy file field. What does that mean?

I stepped through the other process. It works. However, the process created new "original" media. That's how the newly created shots show up. The original proxies are still being used. I'm guess I could mess around with the paths and such and fool it into using the new files as proxies by moving their locations. Is that what you were thinking?

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Rolf Howarth
Re: Tape-based proxies
on Jan 18, 2012 at 6:06:06 pm

"Composite" means the proxy consists of multiple files and so won't go over to Final Cut. Or rather, the clip will go over but won't be linked to the proxy, so you'd have to recapture it or otherwise manually patch things up.

Yes, the process as described will create new "original" media. It depends on what you're trying to do and whether or how you're going to use the fullres version whether that's a problem and what to do about it. You could simply delete (or move) the tape-based proxies, or disable tape-based proxies in your preferences, then they won't appear on the Proxy tab. If you want your exported proxies to appear on the Proxy tab, export them to one location called "Original" then rename that directory to "Proxy" and set up a path-based proxy mapping from "Original" to "Proxy".



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Robb Harriss
Re: Tape-based proxies
on Jan 18, 2012 at 6:49:42 pm

ok, I believe I see what you're getting at I do this once and I get both new "original" media and proxies. I am also getting an established path, that didn't exist before. I can move my proxies over to my proxy drive and get them to relink using path-based. At least it means I don't have to reload hundreds of hours worth of tape to clean up the older catalogs. I'll see if I can get it to work.
Thanks

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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bryson jones
Re: Tape-based proxies
on Jan 18, 2012 at 7:07:08 pm

Rolf, so let me check this. If you have Tape Based proxies, do they show up in the "proxy path" field? If not, I see why you have to create a path for the original and then map to the proxy.

If there was a path there, you could move the proxy with the Worker and create a path based link that way but I'm guessing since it's tape name and TC that there's no path in the proxy path field.

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Rolf Howarth
Re: Tape-based proxies
on Jan 18, 2012 at 7:57:22 pm

If there is a single tape-based proxy file that exactly matches the clip it will show up in the Proxy File field, but that might not always be the case. Plus the clip doesn't have an original media path, so there's nothing to link the clip to the weird tape-based proxy file name thing (eg. 2997,25,436,64x.mov).



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Robb Harriss
Re: Tape-based proxies
on Jan 19, 2012 at 4:15:50 am

Well I'm making significant progress here, converting entire projects to path-based and it works. As I'm currently using footage it doesn't matter that the "original" footage is a copy of the proxy. But the process does create a new file, a copy, but with a valid path and correct file name, which is linked back to a proxy.
What I'm doing is setting up a directory just as if it was one of my footage archive drives. I'm making the new files and sending them there, just as I would the original grabs off of tape. I'm doing an entire "bin" at a time. So once I'm done I'm going to my CatDV Previews drive and making a new Volume with a name at a path matching the new Archive folder for the new "originals." I copy the new originals over to this new folder In CatDV Previews. I delete the old tape-based previews and make sure the originals link over to the newly relocated proxies. Doing this and ALL projects and file directories will conform. I can blow off the "originals," or hand onto them. But it all works and doesn't take that long. It's faster, even, than mounting one of the Archive drives in the eSata dock and going back in to make new proxies when I have the originals. But I'm dealing with much older footage from a few years ago where we just deleted the originals and worked only with the proxies. The idea to reload only selects once the cut was finalized. I was even able to get all the sub clips to work, linking to the new "original." Slick.
Thanks

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Robb Harriss
composites
on Jan 19, 2012 at 3:46:28 pm

So what does one do when a proxy shows up as a "composite" in the proxy field of the Other tab?
I found a couple of these. It's odd because they're subclips, not full sections.
I'm guessing that I can either link to the parent file if I have it, or make a new proxy if I have the full file or some part of it.
All these goes back to a CatDV sequence that when reopened in CatDV had a "zero length" error message and showed as blank, even though I could click on each individual clip and get it to open in the trim panel and play correctly. Quite odd, actually.

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Rolf Howarth
Re: composites
on Jan 19, 2012 at 9:05:23 pm

If it says Composite then it means there isn't a single proxy file for that clip but it's a composite of parts of several files. That's fine within CatDV, it will automatically assemble and play the proxy correctly. It's only a problem if you want a single proxy file for that clip for some reason, in which case you can do so by converting the tape-based to path-based proxies using the recipe I posted previously.



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Robb Harriss
Re: composites
on Jan 19, 2012 at 9:10:36 pm

It's odd, because it's a short 2-3 clip, a single piece. Hard to see how it can be a composite of anything since it's a continuous shot. But I'm making them go away by making them into path-based.
Thanks

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Rolf Howarth
Re: composites
on Jan 19, 2012 at 9:35:04 pm

I'm not saying this is what you did but lets say you have a 10-second clip, which I'll show as "0123456789", and have a 3-second subclip in the middle, say "567". The order in which you build your tape-based proxies is important.

Let's say you build a proxy movie for that 3-second subclip first, and subsequently build a proxy for the original 10-second clip. To save on the amount of rendering that's needed you'd end up with 3 files "01234", "567" and "89" which get stitched together on the fly to form the 10-second cip.

All very clever no doubt but it can get a little confusing, so sticking to path-based proxies is a lot simpler on the whole!



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