CatDV + Avid + P2 + LTO4
We are transitioning to a P2 workflow and I am taking a hard look at the archiving part of the process. We have an LTO4 drive for long term backup storage. The plan is to save all the raw P2 card data on LTO tapes and then be able to search for individual clips as needed in the future. I just discovered the other day that the P2 viewer software will let you change the clip name in the metadata, but not the actual data file names, which means that searching for a clip on an LTO tape via the backup software will be impossible because I won't be able to search any descriptive names.
I was referred to CatDV the other day and am trying to figure out if this will be the solution.
It sounds like CatDV, in conjunction with the Calibrated Software MXF reader, may allow us to add metadata (like a useful clip name) to the P2 files and then be able to search across all the catalogs backed up to an LTO tape(if we have the server version) and find that one shot we're looking for. Am I right? Will this work? If we add a metadata name for a clip via CatDV before editing in Avid, will it show up with that name in the Avid? What software versions and plugins will I need to make this work?
As for LTO off the shelf drives still need some software to write the tape and that really is the seceret sause if you will. What software are you currently using to back up to tape? More details about your current or proposed configuration will really help us steer you in the right direction.
CatDV with the new "widget" called NME will allow you to send assets from CatDV to Avid and retain essentially the same metadata exchange enjoyed by the FCP users that use CatDV.
..... Kevin are you reading this?
Matthew Stamos you're my hero ;)
.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
CatDV will allow you to view the P2 in it's raw state, from there you can also add metadata using a CatDV function that lets you update the P2 metadata.
Theoretically, you could then import the P2 via AMA into Avid and the names and metadata would show up automatically with no additional software. Providing that Avid and Panasonic have their ducks sorted. Note that word "theoretically". I'd test this with a demo copy and see but I assume it would work.
You can record the Archive ID manually in your catalog, no matter what software you use to back up. But you have to track this yourself, just like you do with a beta tape that has to be labeled. The Cache-A box will auto record the archive ID as you back up, but the old way works too. Treat the archive like a video tape.
The new widget would also be helpful, but if your shop doesn't want to go to CatDV for anything other than archive (some avid shops do) I'd try updating the metadata and seeing if AMA will bring it in cleanly. Again, that's Avid's biz, not CatDV.
Please report back to the forum.
bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com
and yes I am listening Matt... "MME" METADATA MEDIA EXCHANGE has become known during its development as the 'widget" . It is a much more sophisticated than its nickname would imply but its design goal is to retain the simplicity of the "drag and drop" metaphor that is familiar to editors.
So what is it you ask? Basically using FCP or CATDV to produce an XML file this is submitted to MME which parses the information and creates an AAF batch file . This file is directly dragged and dropped into an AVID bin and metadata information from the XML is brought into the Avid world. This metadata information can include , ten fields of information ..( a FCP limitation ) , markers , ( both single events and range markers ) , sequences and sequence markers. In short pretty much most of your primary metadata needs.
With the addition of Catdv, tighter intergration between the applications can be accomplished. Simply use Catdv to log your assetts with the advantages of global tagging and the ability to read additional metadata from the files automatically , mapping this to whatever FCP fields you require , then select all the logged assets and utilise the right click command to SEND TO MME command.
In the background MME creates an AAF file which you drag from its interface to the Avid Bin. In the case of P2 if you use AMA and the Avid has seen the AMA VOLUME previously ie the assets have been already added to the project the clips will auto relink and the metadata will be displayed.
Provision is also made for the importing of native Avid mxf clips ,which auto relink because the Avid already knows the path to these files.
MME is also cross platform so your PC AVIDS are not orphaned from this type of workflow. In short using MME with CATDV you can have one central database that can take metadata both to and from FCP and currently to the AVID..... We are currently beta testing and putting the product in the hands of our partners for feedback etc. and hope to ship very soon..
Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses. We have two Avid systems that will be accessing the P2 files - Media Composer 5 on NitrisDX and Adrenaline, both PC systems. The backup drive is an HP Ultrium 1840 LTO4 Drive and the software is Symantec. We will be creating a new, secondary Gigabit network between the PCs for the backup drive.
So it sounds like the workflow could go as follows (please correct me if I'm wrong)...
1. Use CatDV to "log" the P2 card - create a catalog and give each clip a descriptive name. Do I need something extra here, like Calibrated Software's MXF reader, or will CatDV do this alone?
2. Use AMA to see the clips in Avid. The new MME widget will allow us to see the descriptive name in Avid. It sounds like I need to drag the AAF file generated by MME into the Avid bin, too. (I'm not sure exactly how this process will work with AMA and MME)
4. (This step could actually come right after step 1) Backup P2 card to LTO tape using Symantec backup.
5. Use CatDV to search across all our catalogs (I need server edition for this, right?) to find that must-have clip, based on its descriptive name. Note actual P2-generated name.
6. Use Symantec backup software to restore clip from LTO4 tape, based on actual P2-generated name.
Please let me know if I'm missing something, or if there are features and capabilities of CatDV I can integrate into the process.
Thank you so much!
you basically have the workflow correct. On the details you will need Calbrated Software to extend Qtime so that it plays mxf wrapped files. CATDV MXF option to read and stitch together these files, then MME will take the filepaths and the metadata created in CATDV and make an AAF file which you drag into the Avid. As i posted previously.. if you already have the P2 volume or instance of Volume already mounted in the Avid , then the clips imported into the Avid will auto relink...ie go Yellow as per normal AMA workflows... if you have not the right click and relink to the AMA VOLUME again the clips will go yellow as AMA does its magic but importantly you will have the metadata logged and then extracted from CATDV by MME in the Avid bin...
Takes longer to explain than to do it ... :-)...
MME is designed to accomadate three possible workflows. NATIVE avid files in the the usual file structures . In MME select link by AVID MEDIA option. Generate AAF for clips that you wish to transcode but retain the metadata ... and finally Qtime files via AMA.. select the link by qtime option . All three options import the metadata into the Avid..
Hope this helps
Hey there Bryan,
1 - Yes, you'll need Calibrated or MXF4MAC. It's a question of codec.
3 - 4 & 5 sound correct.
2 - If you are linking to the MXF via AMA, then yes, you'd see it. Which brings me to a question for Mr. Duggan.
Sorry to hijack your thread, but I think these are pertinent questions.
Kevin, there are two things here, one, if you have a clip named 0001 by the P2 camera and it's been scanned into Avid via AMA, are you saying that if we do a log in CatDV and bring it in via MME, the Avid will see that as the same media and relink to it along with the new metadata even though it technically was imported in 2 separate operations (one Avid, and one catdv?)
What if the client adds to the name, as is often the case, (say "entrance-0001")? Would it still relink?
Second, "what if", is that we mostly import via AMA and then transcode to Avid MXF for stability. If we're doing that, should we wait til after the MME data comes in from the logging, or can we create Avid MXF and then relink to that? I'm assuming no, since at this point we'd lose the "path" but that's not a bad thing because we could hold at the AMA stage for the initial stuff and then transcode when the logging is done.
Third, are we going to be able to do this with XDCAM?
1 - can we change a name and still relink?
2 - can we relink after the avid transcodes or rewraps the P2?
3 - Do you play nicely with Sony?
And yes, I'm about to start my own tests. ;)
bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com
I am testing with the CatDV Pro and Calibrated trial software right now. Is there a way to get trial software of the MXF option?
Bryan email me off list and I will get you some evaluation licenses to test CatDV.
We have been using CatDV server for about a year, and are moving from Final Cut Studio 7 to Avid.
I've been playing with this workflow, and have not been able to get files to relink when moving from CatDV to Avid.
Here's what I'm shooting for:
1) Import P2 into Avid and Consolidate to Facillis SAN (in Avid Unity mode)
2) Log P2 in CatDV
3) Backup P2 with Storage DNA (LTO5)
3) Use MME to move metadata back to Avid
4) Transcode to Dnx low res for offline
5) Reconnect to P2 and transcode sequences to DnxHD220 for final edit.
We are using the mxf option on CatDV and have the Calibrated plug-in in place.
My questions are somewhat specific...
In your post, you said "In the case of P2 if you use AMA and the Avid has seen the AMA VOLUME previously ie the assets have been already added to the project the clips will auto relink and the metadata will be displayed."
I have the volumes connected in Avid, but it is only relinking audio. Is this a problem you've encountered before? It seems like a volume path issue, but I haven't been able to get over this hurdle.
Some related, more general questions:
Does it make a difference if you use AMA or not in this workflow, since Avid can use P2 natively?
What roadblocks can we expect in terms of reconnecting to P2 for final edit (our sequences are hour long with 1000's of edits).
Looking forward to your response!
you do not give details of your Avid version . I am aware of some issues with Avid 126.96.36.199 which seems to have broken a few things from the MME standpoint . We are investigating these issues at the moment . Avid have made some "enhancements" to re-linking and we currently advise clients not to upgrade to this version ..
hope this helps
Yes... I'm using the newest version of Avid. Gott a love the "enhancements".
Let me know what you find out, and thanks for the quick response!
I've just read your thread with great interest. We're currently using a (now full) editshare and being advised to move onto a CAT DV system to log and capture our P2 footage, backing up our P2 media to LT04 tape (we already have the tape drive and I've managed to get it to work on Windows 7...finally...)
I'm trying to get my head round the whole thing and your point about identifying 1 clip and pulling it back from your LT04 tape is really interesting.
Surely you'd have to pull in the entire backed up P2 card from the tape and find the clip from it? If so what's the point in having CatDV when you can probably guess that shot's on a particular P2 card and it'll reactivate all the bins once you've put that P2 card 'live' again (assuming you're not consolidating media).
Or am I missing the point of CatDV completely?
Is there any chance I could speak to you about this on the 'phone? We're just about to invest in new kit an I don't want to get it wrong!
email - email@example.com