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Importing, Cataloging AVCHD, .MTS Files

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Keith Moreau
Importing, Cataloging AVCHD, .MTS Files
on Aug 9, 2010 at 1:03:26 am

I'm shooting a lot of AVCHD as well as other formats that CatDV handles well. Currently if I import a directory, CatDV will notice that MTS files are video files, and it will list them individually as files, and even allow me to open up "Movist" to play back the files, but most of the other fields are not usable.

I realize this isn't CatDV's fault, as it is relying on Quicktime to properly present it with the proper metadata as well as being able to play back the file within the CatDV browser screen, but I'm wondering if there is anything I can do short of either doing a log and transfer in FCP of all these AVCHD files or some other transcoding method to allow them to be usable in CatDV. My ultimate workflow would be:

  • Add the enclosing directory name to the Bin or Tape field for each MTS (when I copy the cards to my hard drive, I identify them by creating a folder with the date and short description of the shoot)

  • Be able to play the clip, set in out points, log notes, etc within CatDV

  • Export the selects to FCP as Prores transcoded files


I have a similar situation with my XDCAM EX files, but I'm using the wonderful Calibrated Software EX plugin to allow Quicktime to natively view and playback these files. When using this, CatDV works perfectly with the native EX .MP4 files, filling in all the proper metadata, Bin and Tape fields.

Thanks for any advice. I'm looking forward to making CatDV a part of my workflow.


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Kevin Duggan
Re: Importing, Cataloging AVCHD, .MTS Files
on Aug 9, 2010 at 7:12:01 am

Hi Keith

as you rightly point out Calibrated Software have great products. Lets hope Greg from Calibrated can weave some magic for the AVCHD world...

Kevin Duggan
CatDv



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bryson jones
Re: Importing, Cataloging AVCHD, .MTS Files
on Aug 9, 2010 at 3:27:57 pm

I have been able to view AVCHD using the ffmpeg implementation in CatDV however, it's a hack and not ready for "primetime" as they say.

Greg... we're all waiting. ;)

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Charlie Langrall
Re: Importing, Cataloging AVCHD, .MTS Files
on Aug 10, 2010 at 12:15:21 pm

I agree, a solution for AVCHD cataloging in CatDV would very helpful!


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Keith Moreau
Re: Importing, Cataloging AVCHD, .MTS Files
on Aug 17, 2010 at 8:48:38 pm

OK, since it seems that there isn't a good way to fake CatDV into looking at native AVCHD files yet because of the dependancy on Quicktime, does anybody have a good workflow for getting AVCHD and good metadata into CatDV? There are some obvious and some not so obvious choices, seems like most of them involve some additional manual work or scripting.

My choices so far are:

  • Using FCP Log and Transfer to create Prores files and some fairly minimal metadata
  • Using Clipwrap to convert to Prores and practically no metadata
  • Using FFMpeg + scripts to wrap the MTS files and with appropriate metadata (a lot of work unless there is a pre-build script out there)


The problem I have with any of these solutions is basically the prores files will be the masters, with no linkage (as far as I know) to the original AVCHD files and no way to get to the masters within CatDV. Has anybody tackled this issue yet with AVCHD and has a good reliable and as efficient as possible workflow?


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bryson jones
Re: Importing, Cataloging AVCHD, .MTS Files
on Aug 17, 2010 at 9:01:48 pm

Yeah, it's tough.

You gotta know that the FCP workflow is maybe the best. CatDV can take it from there.

Know that the AVCHD can actually come out differently depending on what you use to unwrap it. By this I mean, that clipwrap, Voltaic, and Final Cut Pro can actually report different clip lengths depending on how they handle clip spanning in the files.

Be careful of that. Sadly, the way we handle it is to back up the AVCHD and just put it away. The new format, pro res or DVCProHD depending on your workflow and camera, becomes the new "master" and you go forward from there.

The answer for most of my clients is just bigger storage and leave the mts files behind. We did a reality show last year for CMT and this was the way. 20TB and we didn't really have to worry about the original shoot format.

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Lee Legg
Re: Importing, Cataloging AVCHD, .MTS Files
on Feb 2, 2013 at 10:41:24 pm

I know this is kind of an old thread, but has there been any update on this issue? We are using a Sony NX5U and FS700, and they still aren't playing within CatDV.

Bryson, you mentioned transcoding to another format. How do I know what is the best format to transcode to? And won't that degrade the quality? I'm using the Adobe suite on a PC, so I think ProRes is out of the question.


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bryson jones
Re: Importing, Cataloging AVCHD, .MTS Files
on Feb 4, 2013 at 3:48:48 pm

We're all still mostly transcoding out here.

ProRes is common on Final Cut workflows, I've heard all sorts of codecs used, depending on your final outputs and storage capabilities. I know DVCProHD is a popular edit format that's nice because FCP, Premiere, Avid and others can use it.

Since I don't do a ton of PC work, let's hear from some of the other Premiere guys on here. What are you guys editing in?

bryson

bryson "at" northshoreautomation.com

northshoreautomation.com


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Lee Legg
Re: Importing, Cataloging AVCHD, .MTS Files
on Feb 4, 2013 at 4:42:57 pm

Thanks Bryson. I posted on another thread, that I'm just going to try to create proxies that CatDV can read. That way we can still keep our original clips, since we can edit just fine with them in Premiere. I'm still having trouble with the proxies, but I'll leave that to the other thread, which is here: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/278/3007

Thanks


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