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Bring FCP Media Into MC6

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Pat Ratkowski
Bring FCP Media Into MC6
on Oct 15, 2013 at 3:13:14 pm

Hi,

I just received a hard drive containing a skeletal FCP Project and what looks to be about 45 hours of A and B roll. The most common file format appears to be 1280x720 MPEG-2 (.mov, MPEG HD, color 1-1-1), with some 1920.1080 and 1248x722 h.264 in the mix as well.

I'd like to start from scratch in MC6 with a new project. Can anyone offer some advice on workflow and settings to bring the .mov files into MC, preserving as much detail as possible (as I understand it, the client would like to enter the program in film festivals - big screens - if possible). Thanks!

Pat

(I'm working with MC6.0.4 on a MacPro 2xQuad Core, 12 GB RAM, OS X 10.7.5)


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Shane Ross
Re: Bring FCP Media Into MC6
on Oct 15, 2013 at 5:15:07 pm

Well, the person with FCP was doing everything wrong anyway...good thing you are taking over. FCP doesn't work with MPEG-2 (unless it's in the XDCAM or HDV codec) nor H.264. And you didn't mention the codec for the other footage. Nor did you mention frame rates.

Best practice? AMA link the footage and transcode to DNxHD. Now, you will have to create several import projects so you can match the frame size and rate of the footage, but then make a master project and bring over all the bins into this project and edit.

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


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Pat Ratkowski
Re: Bring FCP Media Into MC6
on Oct 16, 2013 at 3:51:00 am

Hi Shane,

First, thanks for getting back to me so quickly re: my post and for your help. I didn't include other codecs or frame rates b/c at the time I didn't have that information (turns out it's almost one of everything - color space, frame rate, aspect ratio, codec, bit depth, etc.).

I use the AMA Volume link to bring in P2 clips (my usual workflow) but was not sure it would work in this context. You were right that AMA link is the way to go, and I've been able to get at least some of the footage into the new MC project I've created, i.e., all solo clips in the top media file that are not in other folders). What I can't seem to do is get anything from the folders nested in that top, root level media folder in via AMA, even after pulling one out and up to the root level of the external drive. Any thoughts on what I'm missing here? (I've also tried to bring clips in using File>Import or AMA File, but those both bring on error messages.)

Also, I see your suggestion to transcode to DNxHD (again, my normal workflow) but am wondering if it may be worth going with Apple ProRes HQ MXF or even 1:1 MXF in this case - or if that would just throwing electrons down the drain for no real bump in A or V.

Thanks very much,
Pat


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Shane Ross
Re: Bring FCP Media Into MC6
on Oct 16, 2013 at 4:23:45 am

[Pat Ratkowski] " What I can't seem to do is get anything from the folders nested in that top, root level media folder in via AMA, even after pulling one out and up to the root level of the external drive. Any thoughts on what I'm missing here?"

Are these camera dumps? Tapeless media, or just QT files? You might need to import them one at a time, if the full card structure isn't there. But also make sure that you have the AMA drivers for all tapeless media types.

[Pat Ratkowski] "Also, I see your suggestion to transcode to DNxHD (again, my normal workflow) but am wondering if it may be worth going with Apple ProRes HQ MXF or even 1:1 MXF in this case"

DNxHD is as good, if not better than ProRes MXF. Avid only has ProRes MXF in order to re-wrap ProRes media. I wouldn't encode to it, unless that's a required delivery. And 1;! is overkill. DNxHD is your best bet.

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


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Pat Ratkowski
Re: Bring FCP Media Into MC6
on Oct 16, 2013 at 4:47:49 pm

Hi Shane,

Are these camera dumps? Tapeless media, or just QT files? You might need to import them one at a time, if the full card structure isn't there. But also make sure that you have the AMA drivers for all tapeless media types.

Not camera dumps, so no card structure - these are QT files arranged in about 80 user-generated subfolders. I have tried to import several files directly (File>Import and AMA Link) but get an error message each time (can't tell you the error verbatim as I'm currently backing up the media).

DNxHD is as good, if not better than ProRes MXF. Avid only has ProRes MXF in order to re-wrap ProRes media. I wouldn't encode to it, unless that's a required delivery. And 1;! is overkill. DNxHD is your best bet.

On the DNxHD, I'm usually at 145 for DVCPro HD, but do you think 220 (or 220x) would be worthwhile here or just overkill? There are a few ProRes files, but most are QT (MPEG-2, Linear PCM, HD 1-1-1 are the details from the MacPro).

The clips I have been able to bring in to MC so far seem to be about a 50%/35% split of 1280/24p and 1920/24p, respectively (with the other 15% format scramble). I have a client who'd like to be able to screen at small festivals, distribute DVD/Blu-ray and pursue a local PBS broadcast if there's interest. Any suggestions on the transcode setting that would do the best job of keeping those options open? I'm leaning toward 1280/30p but it's been awhile since I've cut for broadcast.

Thanks,
Pat


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Shane Ross
Re: Bring FCP Media Into MC6
on Oct 16, 2013 at 5:03:04 pm

[Pat Ratkowski] "these are QT files arranged in about 80 user-generated subfolders."

Then you'll need to import them directly...it won't work by selecting folders that contain them.

[Pat Ratkowski] " I have tried to import several files directly (File>Import and AMA Link) but get an error message each time"

What codec are these files? It might be a codec that Avid cannot read. For example, QTs in the DVCPRO HD, XDCAM or HDV codecs of footage captured or imported into FCP cannot be seen on any computer that doesn't have a Final Cut Studio app installed on it. They are proprietary codecs...and yes, it's stupid. If it is one of those codecs, you'll either have to convert to another one (ProRes...non-proprietary) on a machine with FCP on it, or buy and install COMPRESSOR from the Apple store. If you are on a PC...the only solution would be the first one...convert to another format on a FCP machine.

[Pat Ratkowski] "On the DNxHD, I'm usually at 145 for DVCPro HD, but do you think 220 (or 220x) would be worthwhile here or just overkill?"

For DVCPRO HD? Overkill. Stick to 145.

[Pat Ratkowski] "There are a few ProRes files, but most are QT (MPEG-2, Linear PCM, HD 1-1-1 are the details from the MacPro)."

Stick to 145

[Pat Ratkowski] " Any suggestions on the transcode setting that would do the best job of keeping those options open? I'm leaning toward 1280/30p but it's been awhile since I've cut for broadcast."

Broadcast has two options only...720p60 (60fps) or 1080i60 (30fps). There is no 720p 30fps broadcast standard. And very few networks actually do 720p60. But theatrical likes 23.98...and since all of your footage is 23.98...edit in that format, and then deliver what the various outlets want. TV typically wants a tape, and converting 23.98 to 29.97 upon output is easy.

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


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Pat Ratkowski
Re: Bring FCP Media Into MC6
on Oct 16, 2013 at 6:46:52 pm

[Pat Ratkowski] "these are QT files arranged in about 80 user-generated subfolders."

Then you'll need to import them directly...it won't work by selecting folders that contain them.

[Pat Ratkowski] " I have tried to import several files directly (File>Import and AMA Link) but get an error message each time"

What codec are these files? It might be a codec that Avid cannot read. For example, QTs in the DVCPRO HD, XDCAM or HDV codecs of footage captured or imported into FCP cannot be seen on any computer that doesn't have a Final Cut Studio app installed on it. They are proprietary codecs...and yes, it's stupid. If it is one of those codecs, you'll either have to convert to another one (ProRes...non-proprietary) on a machine with FCP on it, or buy and install COMPRESSOR from the Apple store. If you are on a PC...the only solution would be the first one...convert to another format on a FCP machine.


I have FCP7 and Compressor on my machine. So I'll need to bring each file - or folder, hopefully - into FCP or Compressor and then export out as a ProRes file (Compressor has DNxHD ?


[Pat Ratkowski] "On the DNxHD, I'm usually at 145 for DVCPro HD, but do you think 220 (or 220x) would be worthwhile here or just overkill?"

For DVCPRO HD? Overkill. Stick to 145.

Thanks - I was referring here to your next answer below.


[Pat Ratkowski] "There are a few ProRes files, but most are QT (MPEG-2, Linear PCM, HD 1-1-1 are the details from the MacPro)."

Stick to 145

[Pat Ratkowski] " Any suggestions on the transcode setting that would do the best job of keeping those options open? I'm leaning toward 1280/30p but it's been awhile since I've cut for broadcast."

Broadcast has two options only...720p60 (60fps) or 1080i60 (30fps). There is no 720p 30fps broadcast standard. And very few networks actually do 720p60. But theatrical likes 23.98...and since all of your footage is 23.98...edit in that format, and then deliver what the various outlets want. TV typically wants a tape, and converting 23.98 to 29.97 upon output is easy.


I think ABC, ESPN and Fox are 720p60, and the other majors are 1080i30, right? For the field footage that is in 30p or 60p or 29.97i, would you consolidate it - keep it at its native res - for editing and then transcode at output, or would you recommend transcoding everything into the same format at the start?

Thanks,
Pat


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Pat Ratkowski
Re: Bring FCP Media Into MC6
on Oct 18, 2013 at 9:33:02 pm

[Pat Ratkowski] "these are QT files arranged in about 80 user-generated subfolders."

Then you'll need to import them directly...it won't work by selecting folders that contain them.

[Pat Ratkowski] " I have tried to import several files directly (File>Import and AMA Link) but get an error message each time"

What codec are these files? It might be a codec that Avid cannot read. For example, QTs in the DVCPRO HD, XDCAM or HDV codecs of footage captured or imported into FCP cannot be seen on any computer that doesn't have a Final Cut Studio app installed on it. They are proprietary codecs...and yes, it's stupid. If it is one of those codecs, you'll either have to convert to another one (ProRes...non-proprietary) on a machine with FCP on it, or buy and install COMPRESSOR from the Apple store. If you are on a PC...the only solution would be the first one...convert to another format on a FCP machine.

I have FCP7 and Compressor on my machine. So I'll need to bring each file - or folder, hopefully - into FCP or Compressor and then export out as a ProRes file (Compressor has DNxHD ?


[Pat Ratkowski] "On the DNxHD, I'm usually at 145 for DVCPro HD, but do you think 220 (or 220x) would be worthwhile here or just overkill?"

For DVCPRO HD? Overkill. Stick to 145.

Thanks - I was referring here to your next answer below.


[Pat Ratkowski] "There are a few ProRes files, but most are QT (MPEG-2, Linear PCM, HD 1-1-1 are the details from the MacPro)."

Stick to 145

[Pat Ratkowski] " Any suggestions on the transcode setting that would do the best job of keeping those options open? I'm leaning toward 1280/30p but it's been awhile since I've cut for broadcast."

Broadcast has two options only...720p60 (60fps) or 1080i60 (30fps). There is no 720p 30fps broadcast standard. And very few networks actually do 720p60. But theatrical likes 23.98...and since all of your footage is 23.98...edit in that format, and then deliver what the various outlets want. TV typically wants a tape, and converting 23.98 to 29.97 upon output is easy.

Hi Shane,

Just a follow up on this thread. I was eventually able to use AMA Volume link to see the media in the user-generated subfolders, bring it in and then transcode. I found stray /'s in some file paths which were probably what prevented both the AMA and Import approaches from working originally. Going with 720p 24fps as you suggested and will 2:3 pull down when it's time to deliver. Thanks again for all of your help.

Pat


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Timothy Lydon
Re: Bring FCP Media Into MC6
on Nov 24, 2013 at 4:18:39 am

Hi,

I am having a similar issue, however when I try to AMA link it says "cannot link to file or volume" Would I need a plug-in?

I used a Canon XHA1 and captured the footage via FCP. I then took that footage from the capture scratch and put it on a hard drive. From this hard drive I tried to import but only the SD footage will work. When I try the HD footage, only a green screen comes up and it won't let me AMA link.

Thanks!

Timothy


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Pat Ratkowski
Re: Bring FCP Media Into MC6
on Dec 13, 2013 at 8:30:14 pm

Hi Timothy,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Were you able to get the media into your project? The two things that come to mind in reading your post are (1) Is your project an SD project? and (2) Have you tried to simply import the files, rather than use AMA Link? I'm currently working in MC6.5 with two HD projects brought over from FCP. One required/allowed me to use AMA Link, the other worked fine simply using the Import dialogue. Hope you've already solved it and are on your way.

Best,
Pat


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