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Michael Adante
"AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 8:07:03 am

Hi guys,

We're at the beginning of a drama and have been told to "Avoid XDCAM EX codec for editing in FCP" like the plague.. we took this advice but commenced cutting anyway on the XDCAM.

At the start, everything was peachy..

Now, as we're slightly into the project, final cut has been CRASHING like crazy!

We posted earlier and some cow members gave some great advice (incl Walter) who suggested raiding the media to prevent the crashing.

Well we did that, plus the following.. NO DICE, Crashes, upon Crashes!!

** All of them caused by principally the Apple VA Driver.**

We tried:

1) Repair Permissions with Safe Boot.
2) Doing a Save as, creating new project.
3) Changing the Secquence Codec to Apple Pro Res (so it was XDCAM clips on a Pro Res Timeline) **We got really excited about this one.. another disappointment.
4) Using Disk Warrior one the Drives.

FINALLY!!..

5) We said F%CK IT! Let's reinstall the entire OS and FCP Studio from scratch.

The awesome Apple logo loaded with the beaty 'welcome' music. Like it was a new machine. We loaded the project and for a few hours.. it looked like it was working.

Then suddenly... CRASSSHHH!!

Again caused by the AppleVADriverG5.

Now, the first thing Apple told us, "You might want to upgrade your system to Mac Pro."

And for ten mins we thought "Yeah, that's what we need, a Shiny new Box!.. were sold on this. We looked at our system (Mac Quad, 2.5ghz, 12gig ram, Blackmagic HD Extreme3) , did some research and found a similar error happening on Mac Pro 8 cores. So more fire power isn't the solution.

So right now.. we're LOST.

The only other option LEFT is to Media Manage the entire project, which is 1TB on XDCam, to 4TB on Apple Pro Res and edit in Pro Res.

Is there anyone ELSE who is having this problem with XDCAM EX?

Is cutting in ProRes and getting out of the XDCAM EX wrapper the best solution?

Any advice?

Michael







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Rafael Amador
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 8:55:20 am

Here no problems after one year and half editing EX-1. Now editing XDCAM HD 422 (220Mbps) everything working.

[Michael Adante] "4) Using Disk Warrior one the Drives"
No much sense to run DW in the media drives if you don't run it in your System HD.
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 12:29:39 pm

Thanks Raf,

Seeing that you've been working with XDCAM for so long, what do you think the problem could be?

Is the project too big?

What is an Apple VA Driver crash?

We have on average, four to five timelines opened at the same time.

Michael


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Rafael Amador
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 2:24:35 pm

Hi Michael,
Few months ago was people complaining about the same problems than you. All they were working with Octocores.
Had you tried a bit of System maintenance? Diskwarrior, permissions,..
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 3:56:20 pm

Hi Raf,

Yes, we've tried everything below.

Repairing Permissions.
Disk Warrior.
Tech Tools Pro.

We even tried exporting/using an Apple VADriver from a Macbook Pro. (As you can guess the Permissions loved that.)

No dice...

Myself and my colleagues have cut smaller jobs on the XDCAM before and haven't seen this.

FCS Repair tool analyzed the Crash Log and came back with Data Corruption. Which we're guessing is in one of the XDCAM files.

It must've come across (or happened) when the B-Pav's we exporting the Quicktimes in Sony's XDCAM Transfer Utility.

Our best guess is this...

FCP is going past the corrupted data, it's long gop, so it's trying to solve it. It can't and is crashing.

Thoughts? Anyone?




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Todd Dalton
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 11:59:09 am

My suite completed an Xdcam offline of a 60min doc a couple of months ago. There were issues with crashing - not of the severity your message seems to convey (my sympathies!). The main problem was VBR Xdcam: I couldn't get it to play without sync issues (initially, like you, there were no crashes). My solution was to use full screen playback in FCP so that the second Dell computer monitor was the client screen. Audio routed as usual.

Meanwhile, since the editor wanted two screens of FCP (don't blame him), I switched on the mirror desktop on my Aja card (Blackmagic will have similar, won't it?). That way, it was a bit non-traditional but the sync worked and they were able to spend over 6 weeks suffering relatively minor crashes (if there are minor crashes) which seemed to be caused more by the size of the project than anything else....

I haven't tried this yet, but maybe it'll help:

http://www.calibratedsoftware.com/MXFImport_Mac.asp

Good luck!

Todd.


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walter biscardi
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 2:50:38 pm

Are you running the EX flavor of XDCAM HD or are you running the full 50mbps XDCAM HD?

Folks seem to have no problems with EX flavor, it's the 50mbps that seems to be causing some issues, though I will say the PBS station I worked with here in Atlanta to set up 8 HD suites are all cutting XDCAM and the only issues they are having are some playback to monitor issues in 50mbps. The workaround to that is to simply switch the Kona output to 10bit Uncompressed HD.

But the systems themselves are very stable.

I can't stand XDCAM HD as a format and I do completely avoid it at all costs, but for me it's a quality / workflow thing. I much prefer the Panasonic workflow for HD over Sony. But in terms of stability, I can only guess it's something to do with 50mbps XDCAM HD and/or having too slow of media drives / corrupted media drives.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
Credits include multiple Emmy, Telly, Aurora and Peabody Awards.
Owner, Biscardi Creative Media featuring HD Post

Biscardi Creative Media

Creative Cow Forum Host:
Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Apple Color, AJA Kona, Business & Marketing, Maxx Digital.

Read my Blog!

Twitter!


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 3:37:48 pm

Hi Walter,

It's the XDCAM EX 35MB VBR.

Like Raf points out, a lot of people with 8 Core machines and 4 cores were having a similar issue.

We just don't know how to get around this.. one of the editors joked that we could offer a pagan goat sacrifice to the Mac.. hoping to please it.. this is where we're at.. it's laughable.. this issue isn't making sense to anyone. :D

We've repaired permissions in the following softwares:

Maintenance.
FCS Maintenance (by Digital Rebelion)
Tech Tools Pro
Plus the old 'Safe Boot' Drive Utility

We're now considering the following workflow..

1) Media Manage the entire rushes media to Pro Res 422 (keeping same clip names), relink the clips, so it doesn't effect our current progress...

2) Edit...

3) Export to Color for Grade..

4) Export from Color (using Pro Res HQ or Uncompressed 10-bit) back to FCP..

5) Master to HDCAM SR and create DPX or Cineon.

What do you think? Now the only issue/snag one of my colleagues has brought up is.. if we're cutting on Pro Res 422, sending to Color.

Would we need to RE-CONFORM the entire project in the original XDCAM EX codec, media manage to ProRes HQ or Uncompressed for the grade? So the images going into Color are 10 bit?

Or is the Pro Res422 good enough to 'Send to Color', 'Grade' and Output to Prores HQ or Uncompressed 10-bit?

Has anyone gone through this workflow? Any pitfalls above?

Thanks a lot guys.




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walter biscardi
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 3:44:53 pm

[Michael Adante] "It's the XDCAM EX 35MB VBR.

Like Raf points out, a lot of people with 8 Core machines and 4 cores were having a similar issue. "


All of the 8 machines we installed here in Atlanta are 4 and 8 core machines so I honestly don't know what to tell you. They're not reporting any issues at all with the 35mbps material to me.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
Credits include multiple Emmy, Telly, Aurora and Peabody Awards.
Owner, Biscardi Creative Media featuring HD Post

Biscardi Creative Media

Creative Cow Forum Host:
Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Apple Color, AJA Kona, Business & Marketing, Maxx Digital.

Read my Blog!

Twitter!


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 3:58:54 pm

It's very strange..

There's a "GHOST IN THE MACHINE".. :D


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cowcowcowcowcow
Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 12:28:07 am

It's not much help to you Michael - not any in fact - but rest assured I have been dealing with exactly this problem for the past six months on a feature I'm cutting in XDCAM EX HD 35Mbps VBR. it's a total nightmare - I usually suffer through about twenty crashes a day. I've gotten used to it. It sucks, mightily. I've tried everything. Goat sacrificing may well work, I would have tried it but have little goat access. Saving early and often is the only course of action, I've found. I've never had this problem with any other format in FCP, so yes, I'm 100% confident it's the format. Incidentally, yes, I'm on an Octocore.

I wish you luck, forbearance, and if you hear anything, let me know. I warn you, it's not promising.


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Mike Allen
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 3:26:00 pm

"We just don't know how to get around this"

Capture to prores 422 through your capture card. I know it is not ideal, but it should stop your problems.

Mike



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Bob O'Brien
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 3:37:28 pm

I would definitely recommend making your render settings ProRes 422. Editing in XDCAM EX works fine here though... although, I'm on a MacBook Pro, running Tiger (10.4.11) and FCS2.

Best of luck.

Bob

CAMERAS
Sony EX3 & Sony DXC637/PVV3 Betacam-SP

PORTABLE EDITING
*MacBook Pro - 2.33Ghz - 2Gb RAM
*Matrox MXO / 23" Cinema Display

DESKTOP
*DualG5 2Ghz w/2.5Gb RAM
*UL4D SCSI Card
*HMV800 DualMax RAID0
*AJA IO
*Sony 2800

SOFTWARE
*OSX10.4.11, QT 7.5, FCP 6.0.4, Livetype 2.1.3, Soundtrack Pro 2.0.2, DVDSP4.2.1, Adobe CS3 Prod Suite


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 4:13:36 pm

Are you on FCP7? I'd recommend transcoding to ProRes (LT). It's still full raster, still 10 bit, but it's up to 100mb/sec (size depends on the images as ProRes is VBR). Plenty of bandwidth to accommodate the 35 or 50 LongGOP material (and that an average of 35 or 50) and will get you out of the longGOP and in to an I-frame codec which is much easier to predict and process. It will save you space over the 145mb/sec ProRes or 220 mb/sec ProRes HQ.

Jeremy


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 4:29:02 pm

Thanks Jeremy,

We're in FCS 2 on the Desktop.. so ProRes 422 LT isn't an option. FCS 3 is on the Macbook Pro.

Is the Pro Res 422 going to be fine for the below workflow?

"1) Media Manage the entire rushes media to Pro Res 422 (keeping same clip names), relink the clips, so it doesn't effect our current progress...

2) Edit...

3) Export to Color for Grade..

4) Export from Color (using Pro Res HQ or Uncompressed 10-bit) back to FCP..

5) Master to HDCAM SR and create DPX or Cineon.

What do you think? Now the only issue/snag one of my colleagues has brought up is.. if we're cutting on Pro Res 422, sending to Color.

Would we need to RE-CONFORM the entire project in the original XDCAM EX codec, media manage to ProRes HQ or Uncompressed for the grade? So the images going into Color are 10 bit?

Or is the Pro Res422 good enough to 'Send to Color', 'Grade' and Output to Prores HQ or Uncompressed 10-bit?"


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 4:37:01 pm

I wouldn't use the media manager to do the transcode. I'd use Compressor and just transcode the raw XDcam files to full raster 1920x1080 (get out of the 1440 business). You can still relink, but you will probably have to do some PAR adjusting (very easy).

As far as using ProRes to grade? Yeah, all for it. No reason to go BACK to the XDcam and try and grade that out of Color. Just use the ProRes files.

Jeremy



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Steve Connor
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 5:43:25 pm

I've been working with all flavours of the XDCam codec on an 8 core for the last 18 months with only the occasional crash and this has involved large projects with 100 hours of source material and 90 minute timelines.

We have had an issue with a corrupt transcode of an XDCam clip causing crashes, once we isolated the clip all was fine. I've heard of other people having issues and turning off thumbnails in the timeline seemed to help.

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Caspar Stracke
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 13, 2009 at 7:02:26 pm

sorry if this maybe already posed, (couldn't read all the threads)
but we experienced the sudden crashing-over-crashing issues in HDV, 1080 25p, editing a 90 min feature.
We realized it's simply to much information on one timeline and broke up the mater seq. We still have crashes but everything got significantly smoother after working in 15 min portions...

- Caspar


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 14, 2009 at 1:29:05 am

Hi Casper,

I think you're spot on. And Steve is correct too.. "not using thumbnails in the timeline"

We're going to take this advice... Let's see how she holds up.

Thanks for all your feedback guys.

Michael


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 12:32:20 am

Yes, turning off thumbnails in timelines helps a little - but it's not a cure. I just as frequently have crashes when opening bins with clips set to icon view - during the redraw, FCP will just beachball and go POOF!


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 1:36:12 am

Thank god we are not alone in this, Phil.

The Octocore has a LOT of firepower. So, yes, it's DEFINITELY the XDCAM codec. It's fine for smaller jobs but on a big drama or docos, where timelines are over 90 mins (and we have 3 to 4 open at a time) its totally freaking the Mac out.

"Look at all that XDCAM Long GOP... Ahhhhh... CRASSHH"

Touch wood, currently our system is holding.

After a complete reboot, fresh OS, fresh FCS 2 **PLUS no Imovie, IDVD, ILIFE, etc. What the VA Driver's main function is (so we've been told).

We've made the following changes. And it's holding.

1) We're doing constant saves (as you suggested).
2) Have cut the project into smaller sections, taken thumbnails off the timeline. Giving it the least amount of processes.
3) As mentioned above, taken the ILIFE stuff out (IDVD, Imovie, etc).

*** In FUTURE, we are NEVER going to cut in this Long Gop Demon for a project this size!! :D ****

It's fine for shooting but we'll get out of it at the initial offline/project set-up stage.

We did tests on the Prores422 and it's sweet as, a bit chunkier but the 1-frame process really makes a difference.

Anyway, thanks for sharing Phil.

Michael


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Rafael Amador
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:07:52 am

Instead of complaining about the codec, I would have a look to my system.
I haven't reach 90 minutes sequences, but 45 minutes and with some 15 hours EX-1 footage in a MBP without a glitch.

[Michael Adante] "We did tests on the Prores422 and it's sweet as, a bit chunkier but ... "
This shows as well that there is something to fix in your Mac.
Proress should play as silk with an Octocore. It do it in a MBP.
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:17:11 am

It's not the system - this is a widely reported problem, and might be limited to Octocores since you and others report no problems on laptops and G5's - my assistant has no crashing problems on his Dual G5, for example. Search XDCAM+crash here or on the Apple forums, and elsewhere for a rich mine of threads.

And when Michael was referring to "chunkier", I'm sure he meant ProRes is simply larger file sizes...about five times larger by my calculations.


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Rafael Amador
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:52:56 am

Yes Philip, must be a software/hardware combination that is causing those problems.
But as you have see only Octocores had complaint. However I heard now less complains and In the SONY XDCAM forum people do not post because these issues.
Any way still making me wander why only the highest performance machines shows this problem.
I really hope you find a solution. Working like that is not funny.
Best,
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 3:02:27 am


In my experience, the codec is fine for smaller project. (Under 30-40 mins) 15-20 hours of material. (That was also on Dual G5.)

This project has 100+ hours.

BTW: Raf, the project is perfectly fine on the Macbook Pro (Intel 2.5 Duo, 4GB ram), no crashes, nothing.

The Quad (PPC) and Ocotocore (Intel) seem to be having problems. Which is weird cause of their specs, they should eat it up.

HDV, XDCAM, all Long Gop codecs have traditionally had problems in the offline stage (at least in my experience), but like Walter pointed out, it's a Cost vs Quality issue.

Again, In my opinion (heavily swayed by the recent crashes) XDCAM is a great cost effective acquisition format. But nothing beats the stability of 1-frame codecs. (Prores, etc) for cutting.

BTW: It seems like I spoke too quickly about our system.. the crashes are back. :(

Michael



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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 6:23:42 am

I concur. I've got 250+ hours of material, and a three hour sequence, and it's a frightener. Gimme the I-Frame codecs any day.

But ProRes does work superbly, and all processing on such clips is properly multiproc-aware. Here's one plan I had Michael that you might consider. I'm considering transcoding my selects sequences to ProRes over a series of nights, and then using them to cut with. Or, as sections of the cut approach lock, transcode those and work from there. I simply don't have the space on the RAID to transcode all of the material.


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Rafael Amador
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 6:26:08 am

[Michael Adante] "
HDV, XDCAM, all Long Gop codecs have traditionally had problems in the offline stage (at least in my experience), but like Walter pointed out, it's a Cost vs Quality issue."

Again, sorry, I don't agree.
i agree that is more burden to process GOPs than Intraframe (you must decompress full GOPs, no single frames).
It shouldn't be no problems in the for offlining. TC, field order , size and pixels aspect is always more clear in MPEG-2 than in any QT codecs.
About the quality, High data rate MPG-2 are virtually Uncompress, even if Walter doesn't like it.
Cheers,
rafael




http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 7:16:56 am

Hi Raf,

This has been my experience with long gop. I do agree with you that this is no way to work, especially with deadlines and release schedules.

Hence, we're now transcoding to ProRes422.

We would like to thanks everyone on the COW that commented with their suggestions/experiences. Walter, Phil, Steve.. thanks a lot guys.

If anyone finds a solution to this problems, we'd be very interested..

Thanks,

Michael


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Nicholas Bierzonski
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 15, 2009 at 7:50:35 pm

I am currently cutting two Broadcast campaigns using XDCam 1080p30 (35 Mb/VBR) with no problems.

I've been with working with ProRes 422.

-Nicholas Bierzonski
Senior Editor/DVD Author/Java Boy
http://www.finalfocusvideo.com




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Jason Porthouse
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 12:41:00 pm

Just to add my '2 pennorth' in this debate.

I too have experienced random crashes with XDCam, both in 35 & 50, CBR & VBR. The main culprits are:

Opening bins with Icon view - redraw gets so far through and 'poof!' no more FCP.

Scrolling aorund the timeline - again, no warning, no rhyme or reason - it'll be fine for a while then gone.

As others have stated, turning all icons/thumbnails off has helped, but not cured the problem. This has happened in my suite (fairly beefy and utterly stable in all other formats from DV to ProRes HD) and in 4 other suites located at a production company I edit for. Their editors have had the same too.

So yes, I'm inclined toward something broken in the way FCP handles the codec. This may be the fault of FCP, or it may be something more to do with XDCam. The cynic in me wonders whether Sony owning Vegas has something to do with it!

I'm trying to move away from the codec ASAP, but for the company I freelance for I think that would be a process too far. For the moment, coping strategies are the only way forward. Taking the steps we have done have reduced crashes from 10 or 20 a day to 1 or 2, but it's still a PITA. It's a real shame because I think some of the images gleaned from relatively humble cameras like the EX1 and 3 are excellent.

It's also odd that many have had no probles at all. Is there a correlation between PAL (or more accurately 50i/p) users and increased errors?

Jason

_________________________________

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Then when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away. And have his shoes.

*the artist formally known as Jaymags*


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walter biscardi
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 12:52:01 pm

[Jason Porthouse] "The cynic in me wonders whether Sony owning Vegas has something to do with it! "

Not sure if that's everything to do with it, but Sony is definitely not offering open support to Apple and AJA as they do to their own editing software. There are definitely issues getting all the necessary information to make XDCAM work as smoothly as it should which is surprising given how open Panasonic has been with Apple to make the P2 / AVC-Intra codes so easy to work with. You would think Sony would want to make XDCAM as easy to work with to sell more cameras to FCP users.....

It really should be as easy as P2 and if Sony would work more closely with Apple, AJA and others, there's no reason it can't be in an update to FCP.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
Credits include multiple Emmy, Telly, Aurora and Peabody Awards.
Owner, Biscardi Creative Media featuring HD Post

Biscardi Creative Media

Creative Cow Forum Host:
Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Apple Color, AJA Kona, Business & Marketing, Maxx Digital.

Read my Blog!

Twitter!


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Jason Porthouse
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 1:23:23 pm

[walter biscardi] "You would think Sony would want to make XDCAM as easy to work with to sell more cameras to FCP users..... "

Absolutely. I can't see any of the post houses or independent production companies ditching FCP because XDCam doesn't play nicely, moving to Vegas or Edius- but I can see them moving to a different acquisition format to make life easier. If Sony harbours any notions that they'll somehow corner market share they're going about it in entirely the wrong way. But Sony have always had a funny relationship with NLEs - it's almost as if, following the demise of the linear suites and the ubiquity of 910s and 9100s they've never really gotten the changing world of editing. Their turnkey NLE was a case in point - basically a FAST 601/Silver with many of the functions hobbled, as far as I remember.

Ahh well, maybe one day they'll learn!

Jason

_________________________________

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Then when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away. And have his shoes.

*the artist formally known as Jaymags*


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Rafael Amador
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 2:04:46 pm

I agree with the consideration of Walter and you about that the format is not getting the due support by SONY.
I don't I agree the considerations around the codec. The codec is just MPEG-2 and SONY is not the proprietor. In fact when in the Info Window of any clip you get "Apple XDCAM EX".
There are also some other systems using the same codec, For example the XDR and NANO-Flash. They just call him MPEG-2 Long GOPs.
As I said many times, I'm having no problems at all. I work in a MBP and in a G5 (late 2004).
I'm in PAL-land, so maybe, as you say, is a NTSC-land only issue.
CHeers,
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Dave Jenkins
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 4:41:46 pm

I edit EX 1080 30P 35VBR all the time and never get any crashes on an Octo 2.8 with 8 gigs of ram. It sounds like corrupt media files. How did you transfer the media? Did you use the Transfer software or the log and transfer plug in?

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro Two 2.8GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe
FCS 3 OS X 10.6 QT 10


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 4:54:57 pm

I'm working on 23.98 XDCAM EX. As to importing, both Sony's own XDCAM Transfer software and Import directly into FCP has been done.

Today I've hit a new problem - I cannot export my timeline. Tried twice last night and it gets half way through then collapses in a heap with the 'Out of memory' error. The machine has 14GB RAM and tons of swap space available. This was the only timeline open (it's 80 mins long), the timeline was fully rendered in ProRes first, and the machine was freshly restarted before trying each time. Any takers?

I hate this format!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:33:01 pm

[Philip Owens] " Any takers? "

You aren't going to like this, but I would delete all your render files, rerender and start again.

Jeremy


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:35:09 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You aren't going to like this, but I would delete all your render files, rerender and start again. "

Did that. Both times. Agh!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:39:01 pm

OK. Is it getting caught up at the same point every time? If so, see where that place is in your timeline, and then find the media associated with it. Could be corrupt.

Jeremy


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:41:30 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "OK. Is it getting caught up at the same point every time? If so, see where that place is in your timeline, and then find the media associated with it. Could be corrupt. "

Yeah, that's the next challenge. I ran this export before I left for the night, and again remotely this morning, so I didn't get to see the stage of the export that it gets to when it trips out. Guess I'll just have to sit around the next time. Lovely.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:43:55 pm

[Philip Owens] "Lovely."

That's one way to put it.


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walter biscardi
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 6:32:30 pm

[Philip Owens] "Yeah, that's the next challenge. I ran this export before I left for the night, and again remotely this morning, so I didn't get to see the stage of the export that it gets to when it trips out. Guess I'll just have to sit around the next time. Lovely."

Export it in smaller chunks. That's all I can suggest. Maybe it will hit that point where it chokes and then at least you'll have an idea of where the problem is.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Dave Jenkins
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 8:38:33 pm

I'm working on 23.98 XDCAM EX. As to importing, both Sony's own XDCAM Transfer software and Import directly into FCP has been done.

When you say import directly what does that mean? Log and Transfer?

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro Two 2.8GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe
FCS 3 OS X 10.6 QT 10


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 16, 2009 at 8:39:36 pm

[Dave Jenkins] "
When you say import directly what does that mean? Log and Transfer? "


Yes.


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Rafael Amador
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 1:16:09 am

That "Out of Memory" sounds too like some kind of corruption or media managing problem to me as well.
Had you tried to save the project with other name?
Also you can try to copy&paste (or better drag&drop) all the Browser to a new project.
rafael


http://www.nagavideo.com


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 1:19:27 am

[Rafael Amador] "Also you can try to copy&paste (or better drag&drop) all the Browser to a new project. "

Already tried that, no joy.

I made a decision today after the failures - I can't deal with this any longer, so I'm going to buy a Matrox MXO2 Mini and a DVD recorder to make outputs easier. Hopefully that'll be less painful. It can hardly be worse....


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Jason Porthouse
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 9:48:48 am

[Philip Owens] "I made a decision today after the failures - I can't deal with this any longer, so I'm going to buy a Matrox MXO2 Mini and a DVD recorder to make outputs easier. Hopefully that'll be less painful. It can hardly be worse....
"


Oh, you just reminded me. We have terrible issues with export too. Exactly the same - try exporting a long TL and at some random point it just hangs with the Out Of Memory error. If you open Activity Monitor and have that on display whilst working, you may see what I see - that is the available RAM reduces gradually till it's working with maybe 50-100mb free. I think when it gets to this stage it's only a matter of time before it crashes. My work around has been to export in chunks of no more that say 10 mins. A real PITA but at least viable. Your idea of an MXO2 is a good one, but something like one of the BM cards would be cheaper. I'd go for the O2 if the cash was there tho'.

In all honesty I think something is fundamentally wrong here. Whilst many report no issues, and write it off as corrupt media or incorrectly set up systems, we're talking about a whole gamut of system types - from VAR supplied setups correctly configured to those like my own - a DIY build but with all the knowledge of 20 years in the industry, FCP since the 90s and the entire wisdom of the Cow built in to it's construction!

Whether it's the codec (which I suspect) or FCP (less likely given that all other working modes for me have been rock solid) or some voodoo interference twixt the two I don't know, but it's bloody frustrating.

Jason

_________________________________

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Then when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away. And have his shoes.

*the artist formally known as Jaymags*


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 10:03:55 am

You couldn't have said it better Jason..

Have you tried Media Managing the entire timeline to Pro Res Phil or going through compressor?

Michael


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 2:54:50 pm

[Michael Adante] "Have you tried Media Managing the entire timeline to Pro Res Phil or going through compressor? "

I've dreamed about it. When I came onboard the project (all dailies had already been captured into XDCAM over the past six months), my first recommendation was to transcode all the dailies to ProRes. But the money wasn't there for the 5x file size - it meant the jump to much larger RAID's than were deemed affordable. Same applies now- I simply don't have the drive space available to transcode the entire project. So my current plan is that once I get to first rough cut, I'm going to media manage that timeline to a new ProRes project, and then carry on from there. That would be a considerable help, I'm sure.


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Michael Adante
Re:
on Sep 17, 2009 at 4:11:08 pm

Yes.. It\'ll be 4-5 times larger, depending on which flavor of Xdcam you\'re working with. Our 35mb 1920 25p was 4.

How big is the total media? Have u considered putting together a JBod?

I don\'t know the prices where u are, we put a 6TB one together here in Aust. for less than 800 bucks.


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Michael Adante
Re:
on Sep 17, 2009 at 4:11:05 pm

Yes.. It\'ll be 4-5 times larger, depending on which flavor of Xdcam you\'re working with. Our 35mb 1920 25p was 4.

How big is the total media? Have u considered putting together a JBod?

I don\'t know the prices where u are, we put a 6TB one together here in Aust. for less than 800 bucks.


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Philip Owens
Re: Re:
on Sep 17, 2009 at 4:40:19 pm

[Michael Adante] "How big is the total media? Have u considered putting together a JBod? "

I've already filled up my 5TB RAID and have begun overflowing onto FW drives (ugh). And of course I have a backup identical RAID set offsite. So I would need two ~20TB RAID's to move all media to ProResHQ. Which is a little prohibitive to the show's money...

But I'll switch to a ProRes timeline over the next few days and see how that goes.


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 2:49:18 pm

[Jason Porthouse] "Whether it's the codec (which I suspect) or FCP (less likely given that all other working modes for me have been rock solid) or some voodoo interference twixt the two I don't know, but it's bloody frustrating.
"


I'm 99.999% confident it's the codec, as I have used the exact same hardware to do all-ProRes, Uncomp 10-bit SD, and DV projects, without the slightest problem. I've a similar profile to yourself, and have never experienced such problems with FCP before. During the feature I did all last year in DVCPRO HD, I think I had about three crashes in an entire year.....ah, fond memories of I-Frame codecs!


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Andy Mees
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 1:53:02 pm

Hi Philip

What is the target code for your (failing) export, is it XDCAM EX (as on the timeline) or is it a preferred delivery codec? If the former, then you might want to consider the latter. If the latter, then what codec are you exporting to? Either way, what is the step by step procedure are you using for export?

You mention that your timeline was fully rendered in ProRes first ... I wonder if you realise that those renders are simply ignored on export when they are not timeline native. Given that your machine seems reasonably powerfully spec'd, you might want to consider adopting a new workflow, that being using a native ProRes timeline with your XDCAM source clips. Your machine should eat it up, and if you're having a nightmare with your current workflow then you'd probably find the overall experience of handling the XDCAM sources much easier this way. Furthermore, on "Current Settings" exports any interim renders would be used accordingly, not discarded.

Hope it helps
Andy


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 2:45:09 pm

[Andy Mees] "What is the target code for your (failing) export, is it XDCAM EX (as on the timeline) or is it a preferred delivery codec? If the former, then you might want to consider the latter. If the latter, then what codec are you exporting to? Either way, what is the step by step procedure are you using for export? "

NIce to hear from you Andy! Yes, I've tried exporting as both XDCAM and also transcoding to ProResHQ - same end result - "Error:Out of Memory". At this point I've been up half the night trying ever decreasing amounts of the timeline to see what actually WILL export!

[Andy Mees] "I wonder if you realise that those renders are simply ignored on export when they are not timeline native"

I did not know that, no, and thanks for letting me know that.

Re. your suggestion of switching to a ProRes timeline - that sounds like a great idea. Will I be able to cut SD DV @ 29.97, SD and HD ProRes @ 23.98 and 29.97 and XDCAM HD @ 23.98 clips onto that timeline? That's the sum of my media types.


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Rafael Amador
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 3:15:14 pm

I agree very much with Andy's suggestion about a Proress sequence.
As he points the Proress renders from an XDCAM sequence are ignored, so if you go to end up in Proress is a waist of time. The footage will play the same in both sequences.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 3:18:22 pm

[Rafael Amador] "I agree very much with Andy's suggestion about a Proress sequence. "

One other question - most of the XDCAM dailies are two cameras, which are all synced and multiclipped. Will the ProRes timeline handle that in realtime too?


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Andy Mees
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 3:58:46 pm

[Philip Owens] "Will I be able to cut SD DV @ 29.97, SD and HD ProRes @ 23.98 and 29.97 and XDCAM HD @ 23.98 clips onto that timeline? That's the sum of my media types."

Hey Philip
Mixed resolution should present no more problem to a ProRes timeline than to your XDCAM native timeline ... indeed the nature of the sequence codec should make the rendering of the source clips to the sequence's resolution much easier on your system. Mixed frame rates on the other hand ... FCP's none too clever with mixed frame rates I'm afraid.
Andy


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 4:03:29 pm

[Andy Mees] " FCP's none too clever with mixed frame rates I'm afraid. "

That's OK, we're not doing finishing, this is offline only. And for those purposes, the frame rate handling in FCP fine by me.


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:30:23 pm

Well, I moved all my timelines over to ProRes this morning, but sad to report it has had no effect on the crashing problem - six crashes already this morning. Tonight I'll see if it helps the exporting problem.


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Andy Mees
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 18, 2009 at 4:19:41 am

Nightmare, Philip. Where I'm am we've been working day in and day out with XDCAM HD for over 3 years and have never suffered these problems ... but the hardware in question is usually a MacBook Pro, which judging from reports seems to be somewhat inexplicably immune, furthermore those XDCAM HD native timelines are not often more that 5 minutes (mostly news packages turned around in the field) and all long form programme edits are captured and cut using an intermediate codec, not native XDCAM HD. That said, I'm aware of many systems designed around XDCAM HD based edit workflows and certainly the majority are working flawlessly (not surprisingly, internet forums generally attract those for whom things are not working so well, so you'll rarely hear from the majority in that regard). Those working with native XDCAM HD source footage within ProRes sequences also seem to be having a happy and stable time of things too so I'm hard pushed to explain the root of your problem here .... but I will say this, your earlier note that "I've already filled up my 5TB RAID and have begun overflowing onto FW drives" has fire engine red warning bells ringing all over the interwebs, but am assuming you've explored that already.

Keep us posted, how you get on with the export
Andy


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 19, 2009 at 5:45:36 pm

Switching to ProRes timelines was absolutely no help at all. Yesterday it finally all became unworkable, as I would do an edit, crash, recover, re-do the edit, save, try the next edit, crash, recover... just awful. I got three edits successfully done in 40 minutes. SO I'm Media Managing as much of the project as I can to ProRes over the weekend and we'll see how that goes. I've transcoded the timeline (it's 1:20), all my B-Roll, and various selects sequences, but I'll leave my interview dailies in XDCAM for now -I simply don't have the space to transcode all of those. Hopefully that will at least reduce the crashing to a manageable level.

Tell me - do you think multicam cliips in ProRes will work well (or at all) off a firewire 800 G-Tech drive?


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Michael Adante
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 19, 2009 at 6:44:00 pm

"3 Edits in 40 mins"... I think the old film splicers, the Steenbeck's worked faster than this.. :)

We had the same happening here... totally sympathize with your pain Phil.

Prores422 should read off your drive, we have a similar FW800 and it plays fine. If you've gone LT or Proxy it should be faster.



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Andy Mees
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 20, 2009 at 5:06:54 am

Bugger. Well if all else has failed then its pointless to carry on struggling with XDCAM HD/EX so you're taking the best option available to you at this time :/

I still wish I knew what was going on with your setup tho :/. Theres a good deal of general aversion to Long GOP based editing in pro circles, and mostly for good reason (eg performance) sometimes for bad reasons (eg ignorance) but stability is not (or shouldn't be) one of those reasons. XDCAM HD/EX is, after all's said and done, just plain old Long GOP MPEG2 editing, and whilst we all know that that's a considerably more complex operation than intraframe format editing, well it's not exactly rocket science either (and Apple have had it licked for years with HDV)

Clearly there are issue with XDCAM HD/EX handling on your setup, and clearly you're not alone in seeing these issues ... but nonetheless I'd still argue that it is not in and of itself an issue with the XDCAM HD/EX codec nor your MacPro or FCP's general ability to handle it.

It sure is a puzzler, and I (almost) wish I had a machine suffering these problems so I could sit down and figure out exactly what it is. That said, I don't envy anyone trying to actually get a job finished on a system suffering such critical problems.

Hope the transcode solves it (or at least bypasses it) for you.
Best
Andy


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Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 21, 2009 at 6:55:54 pm

Well, there goes the Lost Weekend of Transcoding. All went fairly well, and at the very least I now have all my B-Roll and secondary stories in ProRes. However, I simply don't have the space to do the same to my interviews (or time - the estimated time to transcode all that media is about 10 days!). So I'm going to live with that material in XDCAM for now.

The only significant problem I now face is that quite a number of multicam clips 'failed' in transcoding, and though media clips were created for them, the content of both A & V is blank. So I have to go back through my timeline, identify those, and drop back in the XDCAM clips for those again. In short, Media Manager didn't seem to handle the multicam clips well.

Ah, the joys of Sony formats continues.


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cowcow
Philip Owens
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 23, 2009 at 12:25:15 am

Although at this point I may only be talking to myself, I always like to find out what finally happened when I read a thread. In the end, none of my attempts to move to another format worked. Media Manager (in FCP 6.06) unreliably mangles multicam clips, and that ruled out transcoding the timeline. To transcode ~100 hours of interview dailies was going to take perhaps 10 days, and would have required another, much larger RAID, for which the show neither had the time nor the money. So, in the end, I have transcoded my single stream material (one of the stories, and all my B-Roll), stuck with the XDCAM for the multicam interviews, and broken down my timelines into sub-20 min sequences. FCP still crashes (maybe ten times a day), but not as much as before (ten times times an hour), and this will simply have to do. Not an ideal solution by any manner of means, but it's the pragmatic solution. And a big lesson to always start in the right format. I wish I'd had that choice, but I didn't. Oh, one last thing - never attempt a long format project in XDCAM!

Thanks to all for their helpful suggestions.


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Rafael Amador
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 23, 2009 at 1:36:13 am

Hi Philip,
You are not alone. But apart of some system maintenance, no much to suggests.
The weird thing for me is the "octocore issue".
Right now I'm archiving EX-1 footage with my old G5 (2004).
I have a project with some 15 hours footage. Often I have 5 or 6 open sequences, and some almost two hours long. The G5 works without a glitch.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: "AVOID XDCAM like the PLAGUE for editing on timeline!"
on Sep 23, 2009 at 2:31:40 pm

Thanks for the follow up. You put a hefty task on to Media Manager. I don't think it was up to that task.

Digital Rebellion just released the FCS Maintenance Pack. I just learned on another thread that it's free to try for 15 days. It includes a corrupt clip finder. Maybe take a look and see what's going on with a duplicated project?

Jeremy


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