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Shea A.J. Comfort
import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on Apr 25, 2013 at 12:39:01 am

Hello Everyone,

I just upgraded my camera to a Panasonic AG-AC90 and am having troubles importing footage into FCPX. The camera is seen by FCPX, I tell it to import all files, then it starts to hang and give an error message saying it failed for every individual file. However, when I click OK, it keeps going until it hangs on the next file and gives another error message. I click OK and it keeps going like this until it finished the import. The files then appear and play correctly with sound (and have a camera icon in their thumbnails in the event browser)... Getting info shows them to be AVCHD 1080p30 (as they should be as set on the camera). However, when I turn my camera off, the files disappear in FCPX and I get a "missing camera" error for each clip/file and they are now gone and don't work anymore...

My question is what can I do to avoid this problem? I've tried to look up other references to this problem, but it seems crazy that I would have to first import from the card, then use a third party app to convert my files, and then finally import into FCPX? Isn't this supposed to be fixed now?

FCPX 10.0.8
OSX 10.8.3

Any help deeply appreciated,

Thank you.

Shea A.J. Comfort


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T. Payton
Re: import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on Apr 25, 2013 at 3:06:56 am

Try this.

Plug in your camera. Chose just one clip and file > import > reimport from camera.

If that fixes it rinse and repeat.

Btw. If you see a camera icon on the clip and hold the mouse over it you'll see a little note about what to do.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Shea A.J. Comfort
Re: import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on May 1, 2013 at 9:34:44 pm

Thank you T. Payton for the response and tip.

Per your advice, I did hover over the clip and it did give me the tip to reimport the clip off of the camera. I did this and it worked, but now my clip seems to have turned into a h.264, Linear PCM format (was AVCHD 1080p30 on the camera). Is this normal/the best way to do this? My main fear is that I may have lost any quality during this change in format?

Thank you again for the clarification! I appreciate your time.

~Shea


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T. Payton
Re: import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on May 1, 2013 at 10:37:27 pm

AVCHD is in fact a low data rate version of h264. No transcoding was done, but of course you can create optimized or proxy media if need be.

Here is what it says on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD

For video compression, AVCHD uses the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard, supporting a variety of standard, high definition, and stereoscopic (3D) video resolutions. For audio compression, it supports both Dolby AC-3 (Dolby Digital) and uncompressed linear PCM audio. Stereo and multichannel surround (5.1) are both supported.


------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Shea A.J. Comfort
Re: import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on May 1, 2013 at 10:50:21 pm

Excellent news, thank you!


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on Apr 25, 2013 at 10:40:53 pm

If you're getting an error on every import, then there's clearly something wrong. FCPX is seeing the files but the transfer to an event is failing.

What does FCPX's activity monitor say? And what was the exact error message you got?

Coming from a world where every card gets archived into multiple places before I get anywhere near FCPX, having to copy the files to the HD first doesn't seem much of a hardship if it fixes the issue.

I'll assume you've checked some of the basics like trying a different cable? Or it could be that direct transfer your camera isn't supported by FCPX.

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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T. Payton
Re: import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on Apr 25, 2013 at 10:47:52 pm

[Jeff Kirkland] "Coming from a world where every card gets archived into multiple places before I get anywhere near FCPX, having to copy the files to the HD first doesn't seem much of a hardship if it fixes the issue."

Great point. In light of that I wonder if creating a camera archive first might solve it or give you a safety net.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Bill Davis
Re: import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on Apr 27, 2013 at 6:28:08 am

This thinking may help.

When you launch X is starts looking for things it understands and can use. Since it's built on a database, the first place it looks are where it EXPECTS it's source files to be stored. If there's a hard drive or a card, or a virtual disk - it will notice they are present and link to them.

WHen you first create a new Event in X and import assets to that event, it's noticing where those assets come from. It creates LINKS. IT also understands you want to get to work fast, so it does some quick and useful things to help you. It notices what files are the source of your footage - and it makes quick visual representations of them. Thumbnails and scrubable icons and filmstrips and other stuff the interface can use to help you get to work fast.

Since it's only referencing the original files, its just storing metadata that points to virtual originals.

As X does the background work you've elected (use originals only, store copies locally, transcode to ProRes, make proxys, whatever) the pointers you've been creating to the rapid thumbnails to get to work fast, start to get shifted to the better copies as those become available.

If the files "disappear" (show as red warning files) then it means that the camera archive is no longer available and the files havn't been transferred or transcoded to local storage where X can link to the source files.

One way to prevent this is to elect to "Copy Files to the Final Cut Event Folder" to make them local - but you end up doubling your footage volume if you keep the original cards AND store copies of everything in your Events.

The other option is to create Disk Images (or better yet, Sparse bundle images) and use those as your source footage and make multiple clones of these Images for safety. The "offline" indicators will show up when you don't have your images mounted, but will disappear rapidly when you launch your disk clones to the desktop.

The key is that until you develop a system for having reliable source repositories where X knows to look to find them, you'll keep having your files disappear.

It's a new "file based" editing world. It requires understanding how clips are imported, stored, accessed and best managed to work smoothly.

And sometimes, just "seeing" something in your Event Browser or on a timeline doesn't mean it's really there. It might just be a temporary link to an asset that, if you remove it, will make all the links shut down until it's available again.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Shea A.J. Comfort
Re: import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on May 1, 2013 at 9:39:52 pm

Hello Jeff,

Thank you for the suggestion. I like the idea of having a back-up to start with (one of the good things about tape). Can I do this just with FCPX and basic Mac OS tools? I am not sure how to create a camera archive, but time to look into this right now!

~Shea


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Shea A.J. Comfort
Re: import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on May 1, 2013 at 10:58:05 pm

Hello Jeff,

Thank you for the suggestion. I like the idea of having a back-up to start with (one of the good things about tape).


~Shea

Follow-up:

I created a camera archive and I am getting the same behavior here as well. Interestingly enough, single files seem to import OK, but 2 or more as a group keep getting the following window after a few minutes of hanging:





Apple lists the camera as being vetted for FCPX...


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Shea A.J. Comfort
Re: import AVCHD files show error message on import, play fine, but disappear when camera shuts off?...
on May 2, 2013 at 1:07:16 am

SOLVED!

So, I finally got everything to work correctly by turning off the other hard drives (back-ups) that were connected to the main target drive via firewire800. (connections are: computer->target drive->backup drive #1->backup drive #2). What is strange is that I could transfer multiple clips to an event on the back-up drives that are chained to this drive just fine, but the drive that was connected directly to the computer would choke at varying times into a transfer and give the error message eventually each time.

Transfers I tried were:

Eliminate the cables and camera - use card reader on Mac:
A1) one clip from inserting the card into the Mac reader.
A2) multiple clips from inserting the card into the Mac reader.

camera connection:
B1) one clip from camera
B2) multiple clips from camera

So, all transfers failed when the other drives were on and connected to the target drive. However, all worked when the other drives were off!

Slightly wonky, but, I'll take it.

Thank to everyone for their helpful suggestions, I appreciate it and this forum!

~Shea


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