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Lindsay Simpson
Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 17, 2015 at 5:48:41 pm

Hi,

I am building a new media asset management system using CatDV 11. I had performed some testing with a trial version was pleased with the results, and purchased two single-user licenses.

In order to allow review of clips, at least proxy files, by an editor down the hall and/or a state or two away, I have developed a system to store proxy files on a shared Google Drive location. During my trial phase this structure seemed to work fine, and I was able to change preferences to "Force Proxy Over Original" allowing proxy clips to be reviewed when the local RAID storage containing the original media was unavailable.

Having purchased two licenses, I have returned to the task of fully implementing this Drive-based proxy system. After confirming that a specific proxy file exists in its correct location, ensuring preferences are properly configured to "force over originals" and double-checking proxy media paths, no proxy files are recognized by the catalog. This occurs whether or not the local, original source media is online.

Any ideas as to why these proxy files are being overlooked at this stage? Here's a look at the current proxy path mapping:


Thanks for your feedback!


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John Vaudin
Re: Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 18, 2015 at 9:46:05 am

Which of the two proxy mapping rules are you expecting that asset to trigger?

The Media Path of:

/Volumes/Wyoming_Dropbo_2/Eastmans' Media/.....

won't match the first rule, as it starts:

/Volumes/Wyoming_Dropbo_2/Google Drive/

So that means it will fall through to the second catch-all rule, which will try and find a proxy at:

/Users/EHTV_Mac/Google Drive/VtDV/Video_Proxies/Volumes/Volumes/Wyoming_Dropbo_2/Eastmans' Media/..../P10800009.mov

Even if you did intend it to match the catch-all rule then that double /Volumes/Volumes looks suspicious.

So I suspect the path mappings are slightly wrong. As a general point I think I'd try and move your stuff higher in the filesystem tree to avoid these massively long paths. I would also avoid special characters such as ' in the paths. Also if you keep your media tree and you proxy tree common at the highest level then you can reduce the number of rules.

Ideally I'd like to see something like:

/Volumes/MyVolume/Media => /Volumes/MyVolume/Proxies

as it makes it much easier to see what is going on and makes it less likely that mistakes will creep in.

-john


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Lindsay Simpson
Re: Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 19, 2015 at 4:10:13 pm

Thank you for your suggestions John. I tried simplifying the proxy path and removing any special characters from the folder/file names, but still not luck linking up proxies. Here is a screen shot of a simplified path I attempted, linked below.

screenshot2015-02-19at8.52.16am.png

Does the proxy path need to be identical the original media folder structure? Re-structuring my original media is a less than ideal solution.

Also, I failed to mention in my previous post, that I am building proxies using Adobe Media Encoder rather than CatDV itself. In my experience CatDV just doesn't seem to be robust enough to handle multiple proxy builds at once.

With a trial version of CatDV, back in December, I had tested this method of using AME to encode proxies saving them directly to a local Google Drive folder, and it worked seamlessly. I am not sure what critical link I seem to be missing at this point, other than as you suggest, error in path mapping.

I'll continue playing with mapping paths and see where that gets me for now.
Any other suggestions or resources out there will be great appreciated.


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John Vaudin
Re: Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 19, 2015 at 4:44:07 pm

The Proxy paths need to be the identical relative to the common root defined by the path mapping.

In the screenshot the media path is

/Volumes/Wyoming/Drobo/Eastmans_Media/HUNT MEDIA/2011 HUNT MEDIA/2011_Time_Lapse/Complete_Lapses/2011_Bench_Lapses/xxxx.mov

The Proxy mapping rule is:

/Volumes/Wyoming/Drobo/Eastmans_Media/HUNT MEDIA => /Users/EHTV_iMac/Google Drive/Volumes/Wyoming Drobo/

What this means is CatDV will take media path and substitute "/Volumes/Wyoming/Drobo/Eastmans_Media/HUNT MEDIA" for "/Users/EHTV_iMac/Google Drive/Volumes/Wyoming Drobo/"

Ending up with

/Users/EHTV_iMac/Google Drive/Volumes/Wyoming Drobo/2011 HUNT MEDIA/2011_Time_Lapse/Complete_Lapses/2011_Bench_Lapses/xxxx.mov

So that is where the Proxy media must live, but you've put it in:

/Users/EHTV_iMac/Google Drive/Volumes/Wyoming Drobo/2011_Time_Lapse/xxx.mov

which is completely different.

The mapping defines the common root. So the paths under "/Users/EHTV_iMac/Google Drive/Volumes/Wyoming Drobo/" must be identical to the paths under "/Volumes/Wyoming/Drobo/Eastmans_Media/HUNT MEDIA".

There is no need to move all your original media, but the proxies do need to be moved. Obviously if you use CatDV to generate them then it would put them in the right place. I would hope Adobe Media Encoder can do the same thing, but I've not really used it.

CatDV itself is not the ideal tool to generate proxies - it's fine for doing small numbers, and for testing out different formats, but if you want to generate lots then CatDV Worker is right tool to use, at it will chug away in the background.

CatDV 11 and Worker 6 (currently in beta) can use FFMPEG to do the actual transcoding, rather than QuickTime, which is what CatDV 10 and Worker 5 use. FFMPEG is generally much faster than QuickTime and makes better use of multi-core CPUs. It does take a bit of fiddling to get all the settings right with FFMPEG though.

But I'm sure Media Encoder is fine as long as you can convince it to put the proxies in the right place....


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Lindsay Simpson
Re: Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 19, 2015 at 9:32:42 pm

John, thank you for the additional feedback. I had suspected the proxy path would need to be identical to the original media. Thank you for confirming.

As you can tell by my previous screen shot, the folder structure is a bit deep on the original media. I built an exact copy of that structure on Drive as the location for the proxies to live, and mapped that to be the output location for Adobe Media Encoder. The files exported and landed in the correct location.

I then cleared any proxy mapping that had existed in the preferences and re-mapped using the exact locations. Still no luck linking to the proxy files.

To round out my testing a bit, I did ask CatDV to build a proxy of one of these time lapses, and mapped the location to a higher directory in the Google Drive folder, not the same structure as the original media. This method worked! The catalog refreshed and the proxy was forced over the original. This is great, but really only produces more questions, especially given your statement about the need for exact duplicate mapping of original and proxy media.

Here's a screen shot: screenshot2015-02-19at2.31.06pm.png

I think the trial license I received may have been CatDV 10. Or was at least a 32-bit version of CatDV. Would that have an impact? Any other reasons why CatDV may not support the Adobe Media Encoder files any longer?

Worker node is only available in conjunction with the CatDV Server correct?

Anyone from Square Box out there able to chime in? I know this method of Google Drive can work as I tested this and was successfully with my trial license.


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Lindsay Simpson
Re: Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 19, 2015 at 9:33:48 pm

And apologies about the request from someone for Square Box to chime in. I'm betting based on your profile picture that you are just that person! Thank you for all of your assistance!


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John Vaudin
Re: Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 20, 2015 at 9:56:29 am

In the screenshots I can see that you are running CatDV 11, so you should have access to the FFMPEG transcoding. There is no difference in terms of licensing between 32 bit and 64 bit versions, you can use either.

Again from the screenshot I can see that CatDV is playing the proxy for the selected asset, so it has obviously found it. However I strongly recommend that you place your proxies in a compatible folder hierarchy to the original media, rather than having loads of mappings - one for each folder. It will become a nightmare to maintain.

But I'm glad to see you got it working.


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Lindsay Simpson
Re: Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 20, 2015 at 3:03:48 pm

Hi John,

To clarify, the proxy file that is working was built by CatDV, not Adobe Media Encoder. I have not yet been able to link Adobe Media Encoder created proxy files, even when matching the file path exactly.

I'll explore the FFMPEG option. Thank you.


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Lindsay Simpson
Re: Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 20, 2015 at 3:57:02 pm

Just performed some testing using the FFMPEG encoder to build proxy files within CatDV. It does initially seem more robust and reliable for larger numbers of proxy builds. I was able to build a handful of proxies, successfully map to a Google Drive location and force proxies over the original media. Here's a screenshot link to that: successful_proxy_ffmpeg.png

However, after this initial successful test in a smaller catalog, I moved to a larger catalog to attempt a bigger proxy build. This failed entirely. Here's a link to a screen shot of that attempt: unsuccessfulproxy_samepath.png

Taking a closer look at one of the clips in the first, successful catalog that also exists in the second, larger catalog, the proxy file is viewable in one catalog and not recognized in the second catalog. Here's a screen shot of the two catalogs, with the same clip highlighted and the proxy path mapping in preferences: sameclip_2differentcatalogs.png

What would account for this inconsistency? I think I can make the FFMPEG proxy build work for my needs, if I can get consistency in recognition of the proxy files across catalogs.


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John Vaudin
Re: Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 20, 2015 at 4:35:55 pm

One of the issues with these very long paths, as I previously mentioned, is that it is very easy to miss little differences. In your case one path has Eastman'Media and the other has Eastman_Media - so the paths aren't the same, which means the rule, which expects Eastman_Media won't match, which is why you got that error saying you needed a valid path mapping - because for those files there wasn't one.

I'm afraid it's one of those things where you have to be very precise. A single character difference in a path will break it.


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Lindsay Simpson
Re: Unable to "Force Proxy Over Original" to View Proxy when Original Media Offline
on Feb 20, 2015 at 4:53:12 pm

Thanks for your patience John. Indeed that dang apostrophe ' strikes again. I think I have discovered that the media I logged with the trial version, pre-removal of the ' from my file name, is the big problem. For the sake of my sanity, I'm going to start from scratch with that media, which is not a detrimental loss. Otherwise, media that has been ingested in the last week, seems to be linking just fine with FFMPEG CatDV internal, built proxies.

Have a nice weekend!


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