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h264 workflow

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Chad Smith
h264 workflow
on May 30, 2010 at 10:07:53 pm

Working on a doc that is being shot on a Canon 7D. Downloaded the demo, I put markers in the h264 file and put other notes in etc. I then export as ProRes. Once in FCP I do not see any of my markers or notes. Do I need to convert all the footage to prores first then bring the clips in CatDV and log from the ProRes files? I was hoping to log footage and just take the clips that are good. or bits of clips. Can I do this with CatDV?

Also would be great to have an online demo/screen grab on how it interfaces with FCP and going back and fourth and other "cool / must have features" best work flows, xml integration etc.


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Rolf Howarth
Re: h264 workflow
on May 30, 2010 at 10:56:28 pm

To get markers and notes to FCP you can't just drag the clip straight into Final Cut, as that just drags a reference to the media file (just as if you dragged it straight from the Finder) without any metadata. Instead, you have to go via FCP XML.

There's a really easy way to do this however. If you go to the Final Cut Projects section of the tree navigator in CatDV you'll see a list of your FCP projects. You can drag clips straight onto the project you're using and they'll be sent over "by magic", complete with metadata (including subclips, sequences, markers etc.), using XML behind the scenes.



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Chad Smith
Re: h264 workflow
on May 31, 2010 at 2:15:35 am

Rolf

Thanks so much for getting back so quickly. I am still unclear however on the transcoding stage. If I log the clip in CatDV put in markers and notes etc. then use CatDV to transcode the h264 file to prorez will the metadata carry over into the new file? How do I do this.

When I open a clip that has been transcoded in this manner back into CatDV I do not see the notes and markers etc.

When I try and drag clips into my project within CatDV, as you mention above, dragging into the lower window area, it seems to switch out to another project or something. Then when I switch back to the project I am working on in FCP I do not see the clip. Do I need to re export an XML?

apologies for all the newbie questions Thanks


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bryson jones
Re: h264 workflow
on May 31, 2010 at 3:18:26 am

hey man,

It's a little weird, but if you click the triangle open in the final cut lower panel, you will see all your projects and you can drag to a specific one of them. You are probably dragging into a different project than the one you are working on.

As to the transcode, that, by it's nature, creates a new piece of media, which would be a new clip. There are several ways to handle this, including an option to "receive proxy first" But that concept is beyond a simple post here, but I've been using it to deal with Canon footage. The gist is, bring in the h.264 as your "proxy" and then after you transcode to pro res, make that the hi res, "movie". It's a great way to deal with this.

As far as tapeless goes, the rule seems to be, "drives are cheap". Most places, we just transcode it all and deal with it that way. Obviously for a smaller shop this may not make sense but in the end, when you're editing, it's best to have all the footage available so we just transcode up front so we are never waiting on footage.

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Chad Smith
Re: h264 workflow
on May 31, 2010 at 4:39:27 am

Hey Bryson

Thanks for the advise. Yeah gonna transcode it all at this point.

OK trying to get this. I have FCP open with a test project containing 3 clips. All pro rez transcodes from Canon 7D footage 1080p. I launch CatDV and hit the"other" tab in the upper left then I twirl down the FCP Projects folder and select said project. I see the clips load up into the bottom center pane of the app. I can see the thumbnails of each clip when I click on them. (however they don't want to play, time out resizing error) When I go to the finder to drag another clip into the bottom center pane I see it pull in the file and read it. Blue progress bars on screen. Then the upper left pane switches from the other tab to the Catalog tab with the sub heading All Clips. However it is only showing me the clip I just pulled in and not the project with this added. Is the "new" clip supposed to show up in my FCP project at this point or is that a misunderstanding on my part. Do I need to save the catalog to get it to talk to fcp?

Thanks for your help.



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Rolf Howarth
Re: h264 workflow
on May 31, 2010 at 9:29:48 am

What you're describing is importing a clip into the CatDV catalog. At that point it isn't in your FCP project yet, to send it from CatDV to FCP you have to drag it to the FCP project. Go back to the Other tab but don't click on the project name (if you do that CatDV assumes you want to peek inside the project and see what clips it contains). Instead, drag the new clip imported from the main window onto the FCP project in the tree to send it over to Final Cut.

Bryson is right about the "import as proxy" option. In the case of 5D/7D you want to tell CatDV to treat the H264 mov as a proxy and the Pro Res rendered version as "original full res media", even though it's actually the wrong way round. You can do that by configuring the paths where you'll keep the H264 and ProRes versions respectively and checking the "Allow import of preview files before full res version" option, then you can import the H264 versions and they'll appear under the Preview rather than Movie tab in CatDV. Once you create the Pro Res proxy that will appear under Movie tab if the paths are right, and if you drag a clip from CatDV to FCP it will then send over a reference to the Pro Res version rather than the H264.

For example, let's say you have:

/Media/CanonH264/Project1/MOV12345.MOV
/Media/CanonH264/Project1/MOV12345.THM
/Media/ProResVersions/Project1/MOV12345.MOV

then under Media Search Path preferences in CatDV you'd click the Add (+) button alongside "Path-based previews" and enter "/Media/ProResVersions" as the "Original location" and "/Media/CanonH264" as the "Preview path".

You would then copy files from from your SD card to /Media/CanonH264 and import them into CatDV from there. (Keep the THM files because CatDV will read useful metadata from those files.)



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Chad Smith
Re: h264 workflow
on Jun 1, 2010 at 1:36:53 pm

Thanks Rolf that worked !


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Hallie Mullins
Re: h264 workflow
on Nov 17, 2011 at 5:51:14 pm

I know this was posted over a year ago but it seems to be the best workflow I can find.

I have gotten up to the point where I am ready to transcode.

I have tried "Build Proxy Movies" but that just tells me the proxies are already made, which makes sense since I am telling it that my H264's are the proxies.

So I tried exporting (Cmd+E) to transcode 1 clip. I select all my setting and export to the folder where I want my Pro Res versions to live and then CatDV crashes.

Rolf or Chad (or anyone...) could you please let me know the next step to take after setting my media search paths, to transcode my media and be able to open it in FCP and have the project refer to my Pro Res clips?

Thanks so much! I've been trying to get a handle on our dslr ingest for weeks and I just cant's seem to find the right way.


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bryson jones
Re: h264 workflow
on Nov 17, 2011 at 6:37:36 pm

Hey there,

The workflow that I was laying out was assuming that we'd use the Worker Node to make the hi-res.

You can do it the way you are laying it out manually with the standalone client, but you have to do each file into it's folder structure manually which can be time consuming, whereas the Worker Node just puts everything in an equivalent folder structure matching your original h.264 files on your online editing storage for you.

The crash can be most anything but try single files and see that they work to rule out codec or file corruption issues.

Hope this helps!

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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