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FCP X.2 cannot see AVCHD files

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Robert Maass
FCP X.2 cannot see AVCHD files
on Aug 8, 2017 at 2:23:33 am

I shot AVCHD ( 1080p/30) over a number of days, creating 8 files of video. When trying to import the video, FCP only saw one file as individual clips, which it could import. All others it could not see. When I deleted my preferences and tried again, it could see one additional file's clips, which it previously hadn't, but none of the rest. All footage was shot the same way with the same AVCHD codec. Import was set to 'leave files in place' and to 'create optimized media'. Any suggestions?


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FCP X.2 cannot see AVCHD files
on Aug 8, 2017 at 5:19:09 am

What camera? And are you importing from the original cards or have you copied the card content somewhere else?

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Robert Maass
Re: FCP X.2 cannot see AVCHD files
on Aug 8, 2017 at 3:33:12 pm

I used a SONY PXW X70 camera and the files are loaded onto a hard drive.
Thanks.


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Joe Marler
Re: FCP X.2 cannot see AVCHD files
on Aug 8, 2017 at 9:36:43 pm

[Robert Maass] "I shot AVCHD ( 1080p/30) over a number of days, creating 8 files of video....Import was set to 'leave files in place' and to 'create optimized media'. Any suggestions?"

FCPX cannot import AVCHD from either the card or a copy of the card folder tree with "leave files in place". If you are doing this, you have somehow extracted the bare video files from the AVCHD package. Finder will not even show the video files by default -- it shows a monolithic AVCHD package. This is because you are never supposed to extract them from the AVCHD package.

Importing bare AVCHD files with "leave files in place" can cause I/O performance problems and should never be done.

If you don't have the original folder tree, you can use the commercial tool EditReady to re-wrap the bare files and import in place. That is a very fast workflow, and if you plan on using AVCHD a lot, it's a good investment: https://www.divergentmedia.com/editready


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Bret Williams
Re: FCP X.2 cannot see AVCHD files
on Aug 8, 2017 at 9:49:38 pm

Yeah I got talked into copying just the files once. It was a performance mess. They worked but even on a good iMac I was having performance issues. Just optimized them.

What do you do when the camera person has shot something else before you on the same card and they don't want to hand over the whole structure because it has someone else's files on it?

_______________________________________________________________________
http://BretFX.com FCP X Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists


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Joe Marler
Re: FCP X.2 cannot see AVCHD files
on Aug 9, 2017 at 10:37:20 am

[Bret Williams] "What do you do when the camera person has shot something else before you on the same card and they don't want to hand over the whole structure because it has someone else's files on it?"

You could use FCPX and selectively import the relevant clips which would be a copy to the library, not "leave files in place". Alternatively you could rewrap them with EditReady, verify which clips are relevant, and then (or later) import in place.

But in the hustle and bustle of certain shooting environments, neither of those are great options. It's hard enough to do this if the files are out in the open, much less packed inside an AVCHD bundle.

If someone else has already extracted the video files from the AVCHD package, the main lesson is don't ever import those with "leave files in place", but either rewrap with EditReady, then import, or import (ie copy) via FCPX to the library. But AVCHD files are a lot easier to handle at the Finder level if they are rewrapped by an external tool.

This doesn't fully answer the OP issue but if he had rewrapped them with EditReady, they could have been easily examined with macOS Quick Look before importing them. I assume the files are still available since they were imported "in place". I'd suggest examining the files at the Finder level and see if they will play or exhibit any other anomalies.

The FCPX performance issues with "in place" AVCHD files apparently stem from improper or inefficient handling of those. From I/O analysis using the terminal dtrace utilities, FCPX acts like it repetitively rewraps each file upon each subsequent reference. I don't recollect if this is avoided by optimizing "in place" AVCHD material, but I don't trust that whole area and prefer to (1) Just not use AVCHD wherever possible, or (2) Externally rewrap with EditReady before import.


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