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Shane Ross
IDing tapeless media
on Aug 29, 2016 at 9:02:37 pm

OK....FCP 7 has been EOL for about 6 years now. Yet it STILL has a leg up on ALL the competition in terms of dealing with tapeless media. Yes, even with FCX. What is this you ask? Well, when you bring tapeless media into FCP via LOG AND TRANSFER, it does something NONE of the other apps do, that I know of. It adds a REEL NAME to the footage. When you back up tapeless media, you put every reel into a folder (if you aren't, you should) and then you give this folder a unique name that helps track that footage (If you aren't, you should). I do this via PROJECT NAME_DATE_CAMERA_CARD, so OAK08292016A01. Oak Island_august 29, 2016_A camera_card 1. When I use Log and Transfer in FCP 7, that name gets added to the clip automatically, and in the REEL NUMBER column.

THIS IS IMPORTANT. Why? Because footage is tracked by clip name, clip timecode and clip reel number. That's the basic way media is tracked by most NLEs. And many current cameras do something stupid...they don't have unique clip numbers (not like the Panasonic P2 cameras do), so when you take one card out and put in another, the numbering starts over again. With AVCHD, it's "Clip #1, Clip #2" and so on...perhaps up to Clip #34, and then you change cards and it's back to clip #1. C300 is a little better, but barely. It goes up to 1000...so C001, C002...up to C999...and then starts over. Other cameras do the same thing. And even worse, some cameras don't do time of day code or free run code...they start over at 1;00;00;00. So you can have dozens of Clip #1 starting at 1;00;00;00. Or if you shoot enough, have eight clips listed as C008 that are in the 15 hour range.

NOW...when you use Log and Transfer, as I stated, FCP 7 brings in this footage and you have Clip #1 with 1;00;00;00 (or clip C001, whatever) but the REEL NUMBER is unique, so even though you have 8 of these, they are all different.

But most if not all of you know this.

The issue I have is that the CURRENT NLE options, the big boys at least...Avid, Apple FCX and Adobe Premiere...DO NOT add a reel number to this footage when you bring it in. Avid doesn't...not at all. We have to manually add it. Premiere doesn't...because it doesn't convert anything. Well, now it can. but it doesn't add this information. You have to manually add it. Does FCX do this? Because from what I can tell, it doesn't. And this can, and has, lead to major issues in grading this footage in Resolve.

I graded a feature doc a couple weeks ago. Feature length, cut in FCP 7, shot with C300 and Canon 5D. Exported an XML, sent to Resolve (filled the media pool with all the media first) and it all linked up easily. Straight away. I graded, rendered out individual clips, send back to FCP 7...round tripped perfectly.

I then attempted to online a feature doc cut in FCX, shot with C300, FS7, F700, and a couple other cameras, AVCHD for sure. Sent an XML, filled the media pool. BAM...issue. 80 clips didn't connect to anything (out of 1600 clips). And then randomly, every minute or so, there'd be clips in the sequence that were linked to the wrong clip, or the wrong part of a clip. In the timeline it would say C0008. I looked in the ORIGINAL MEDIA folder, where the library was media managed to have only the footage in the project...and there were eight clips labelled C0008....all with close to the same timecode. NONE of them were the shot referenced in the timecoded QT that was sent along for me to check. And this happened a lot. Either the wrong shot, or the wrong part of a clip.

I'm guessing that a reel number or Tape ID wasn't added at the time of ingest, and the consequences were pretty bad. FCX does have this option, right? If so, it would behoove people to do this. I reached out to Twitter about this issue, and people say FCX to Resolve and back is a snap. Either they have short projects, or they did a lot of legwork before they got underway. I hope that it was the legwork.

But Avid also does this crap...doesn't automatically bring in the TAPEID when you AMA link footage. All that has to be manually added. Also with Premiere Pro. So why is it that a 6 year old end of life NLE does this better than the current versions of the software? This is nutty.

And if I'm completely wrong about things, let me know. This is just what I'm seeing. And...this is, after all...the debate forum.

Thanks

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Oliver Peters
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Aug 29, 2016 at 9:34:13 pm

FCPX does what Avid does, which is maintain a unique internal database. Fine and dandy within the app. Not great for interchange. I've gotten used to using tools like Better Renamer and QtChange to process media before the editing process. Granted that doesn't help you when onlining/grading, because you are at the end of the line. But yes, these are major issues that don't seem to have much interest among the software designers.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Aug 29, 2016 at 9:39:50 pm

FWIW - Michael's thoughts related to Media Composer and AMA:

https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/45/905031

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Shane Ross
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Aug 29, 2016 at 9:44:45 pm

Yes, I know his thoughts on that. I've read that and many other posts. At my office we copy/paste the offload folder name to the TapeID column, as well as part of the clip name. Lots of proper prep beforehand to make sure it tracks for online later.

It's VERY interesting that their old software added this crucial data, when no one else did. And no one else still does, Apple even stopped doing it. And make you rely on third party apps to do this, where it works with a simple copy/paste with Avid. Are you sure there's no other way to attribute a REEL ID to this footage that points to the main offload folders?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Oliver Peters
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Aug 29, 2016 at 9:50:09 pm

[Shane Ross] "Are you sure there's no other way to attribute a REEL ID to this footage that points to the main offload folders?"

FCP7 let you modify the media files themselves, including renaming. I suspect that Apple engineers felt this was too dangerous in the hands of some users. To my knowledge, FCPX does not modify the actual media files - only their aliases. Premiere had done that in the past (altered media files), but it caused some issues with other apps then not relinking because the media file had been altered. This was an issue if you were using both FCPX and PPro on the same media. I'm not sure at the moment how it handles that.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Shane Ross
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Aug 29, 2016 at 9:53:39 pm

[Oliver Peters] "FCP7 let you modify the media files themselves, including renaming. "

Well, what I'm talking about is what FCP 7 did...part of it's internal process. When you LOGGED AND TRANSFERRED, the app itself added a REEL NAME to the clip...and the media. That was part of the conversion process from camera original to FCP Edit codec. It added a reel name. VERY IMPORTANT data.

I see your point of not allowing users to modify files after the fact, but why not when it OPTIMIZES or makes PROXIES...why not add the REEL ID at that point?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Oliver Peters
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Aug 29, 2016 at 9:59:55 pm

[Shane Ross] "When you LOGGED AND TRANSFERRED, the app itself added a REEL NAME to the clip...and the media"

I understand that. However you could also embed TC and reel names and alter file names just from the FCP7 browser, in addition to L&T. I've had to do that in the past when I received VFX shots without any of this info.

[Shane Ross] "I see your point of not allowing users to modify files after the fact, but why not when it OPTIMIZES or makes PROXIES...why not add the REEL ID at that point?"

The mysteries of Cupertino.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Francois Jean
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Aug 30, 2016 at 2:12:27 am

I could not resist testing this since on most of my camera imports in FCPX , I had "reel number" information = the camera card name is automatically inserted in the metadata.

The reel number metadata must be active and the import procedure must be done properly from the camera card (no drag & drop ) then you get the same benefit as ingesting from tape in AVID.

Most of the time people are dragging the media directly on the event which does not auto enter the reel number.

In this situation one must group select the pertinent media in the event and type the desired reel number info, it will apply to all the selected clip : simple assistant work...

FRANCOIS


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Shane Ross
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Aug 30, 2016 at 4:13:09 am

[Francois Jean] "I had "reel number" information = the camera card name is automatically inserted in the metadata. "

That's good to know, thanks for testing. So, is this REEL NUMBER the name of the folder containing the media?

[Francois Jean] "The reel number metadata must be active and the import procedure must be done properly from the camera card (no drag & drop ) "

Where is this option? This is good to know.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Francois Jean
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Aug 30, 2016 at 4:48:51 am

The "reel number" as in the tape era is related to the volume or cassette containing the clips, so in the tapeless era, this becomes the camera card name or the camera archives or disk-image etc... but not the folder name containing the media since the structure of an original camera card being always be the same, the info would be useless.

To see the Reel Number or edit it select a clip in the browser and show the inspector pane, in the inspector pane select the info tab ... at the bottom left of the pane you can pop a metadata menu and select different views of the metadata...if none are showing what you want choose " edit metadata view " (you can also create a custom view and name it ), you will get in the heart of the database and recognize the FinalCutServer contribution to FCPX ... Have fun

FRANCOIS


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Sep 1, 2016 at 9:33:58 am

I use DaVinci Resolve to transcode. When transcoding ArriRaw and RedRaw, we set the project to use Reel name embedded in the file. When transcoding other camera clips which lack an embedded Reel Name, we set those clips (via Clip Attributes) to set the file name as Reel name.
But I think there's a way to add Reel name from folder names in DaVinci Resolve.

But I agree, Sony needs to work on this particularly with XAVC-S cameras. Reel Name (or Tape name) is a relic from the tape era, but its an important factor in parsing clips with same names. Very crucial in the Digital file world.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Mark Smith
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Sep 2, 2016 at 2:46:25 pm

I tried your suggestion and sure enough there is a reel number selectable in the database list . I had a small amount of C300 files in a card volume that was named something to indicate what it was. I selected the named volume and clicked import, but what I got in the reel name field was this: 0x060A2B340101010501010D43130000008D1BE3BA337605800000852110200057

If that is the reel name in hexadecimal I suppose that's ok but it would be better if it were in English.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Sep 2, 2016 at 2:59:21 pm

[Mark Smith] "If that is the reel name in hexadecimal I suppose that's ok but it would be better if it were in English.
"


The cool thing is, if you paste that number in to Spotlight, you will find the exact file.


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Mark Smith
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Sep 3, 2016 at 4:09:47 pm

I just tried your tip about pasting that long hexadecimal looking file that is in the reel name field into spotlight and i get "no results"....


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Mark Smith
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Sep 3, 2016 at 4:19:54 pm

So the interesting thing I find is that if I click on an imported wave file in the browser ( I was doing some dual system audio recording) the reel, scene and take number info recorded by my 633 is in the proper fields in the metadata inspector. So maybe it is something in my C300 mk2 camera setup up that is messing up my metadata info about camera files.


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Mark Smith
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Sep 3, 2016 at 5:35:42 pm

Next I'll ask this question: has anyone on this forum gotten correct metadata from Canon C300 Mk2 ( reel, scene, take info) camera files to import into FCPX ?


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Mark Smith
Re: IDing tapeless media
on Sep 3, 2016 at 7:15:51 pm

The only clue I have so far is that when importing XF-AVC files from C300 mk2 , the clips come in without a problem but the associated files with each clip, the thumbnail, the xml, and a .cpf file are not recognised by X and are not imported... If the XML were recognised maybe the correct fields in the inspector with reel and take info would be populated? This problem might be a X - Canon XF AVC issue which may be addressed in the FCPX update code named "Godot".


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