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FCP Log & Transfer vs. MPEG Streamclip

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Robert Headrick
FCP Log & Transfer vs. MPEG Streamclip
on Sep 12, 2011 at 5:03:23 pm

I'm shooting 7D footage and transcoding to ProRes 422 LT for editing. I took over from a previous editor who didn't transcode at all, but just set his FCP sequences to H.264 and edited the 7D files directly. At the moment I'm working on transcoding all of the footage he had used and reconnecting the media in older FCP projects in order to speed up any changes I may eventually have to make in his edits.

When I transcode using Log & Transfer (in a separate Ingestion project, as we have lots of project files and like to keep the transcoding process independent of any particular edit), and then go into an old FCP file to reconnect the media, the following message usually pops up: "Some attributes of one or more of the files you have chosen do not match the attributes of the original... -Media Start and End, -Reel". Most of the time when I tell it to reconnect anyway, there's no problem.

However, files that were transcoded with MPEG Streamclip instead of through Log & Transfer connect perfectly, every time, without ever giving me that message about file attributes not matching up. I looked at the resulting files and compared the same clip transcoded through both methods; the MPEG Streamclip file (transcoded at 100% quality) has a slightly higher bitrate resulting in the file size being a couple megabytes larger, and doesn't include the color profile information in the Info tab when I pull it up through the Finder window. Also, when I import both ProRes files into FCP and compare them, the MPEG Streamclip files are slightly darker.

All that to set up two questions: (1) Why do clips created through Log & Transfer seem to have different attributes? (2) What exactly is the difference in quality between the Log & Transfer files and the MPEG Streamclip files, and is one method better than the other?

Thanks!


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP Log & Transfer vs. MPEG Streamclip
on Sep 12, 2011 at 5:21:16 pm

[Robert Headrick] " (1) Why do clips created through Log & Transfer seem to have different attributes?"

Because FCP is adding a reel number and TIME OF DAY time code. The REEL is the folder that contains the file, and FCP get the time of day from the clip metadata. Something not present in the clip if you just import direct and work native, and something MPEG STREAMCLIP doesn't have access too. MPEG STREAMCLIP converts the footage and retains the exact same timecode the original files have (which all start at 00;00;00;00...so essentially useless code), and also do not include a reel number.

But if MPEG STREAMCLIP works for you...use it. Having a reel number and time of day code is a really good way of tracking footage. If you would like that information, use FCP. If not, use Streamclip.

[Robert Headrick] "(2) What exactly is the difference in quality between the Log & Transfer files and the MPEG Streamclip files, and is one method better than the other?"

Quality? None. Amount of information is different. Again, the FCP way is a better way of tracking the footage,.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Robert Headrick
Re: FCP Log & Transfer vs. MPEG Streamclip
on Sep 12, 2011 at 5:59:19 pm

Thanks for the quick reply! That pretty much solves it for me. When I first saw the message, I was thinking that it had chopped something off the end or changed the frame-rate or something unfortunate like that. If it's just the presence of new information that FCP wasn't seeing in the native files, then that's perfectly fine with me.

I did also recently encounter a few random clips that FCP's Log & Transfer can't seem to recognize. In a 7D folder containing 7 total clips, only six of them show up when I attempt to load the folder. I tested it out by moving that clip into its own folder and trying to load it, and came up with an error stating "[folder] contains unsupported media or has an invalid directory structure." I suppose it's not going to bother me too terribly much to switch over and use MPEG Streamclip for those isolated problem clips, but I could also make that an additional question: (3) What exactly is missing from the folder when that error pops up? With the updated Canon driver, Log & Transfer has been able to transcode clips even when they're missing the THM files (another thing that my predecessor didn't bother keeping) and are in a different folder structure. I can only assume that it's something to do with how the file is built, but I have no idea what that might be.


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP Log & Transfer vs. MPEG Streamclip
on Sep 12, 2011 at 6:49:05 pm

[Robert Headrick] " (3) What exactly is missing from the folder when that error pops up?"

Well, the entire folder structure, if not mirrored exactly, is wrong. I know that they new Canon plugin doesn't need the THM files, but it might need the file path still. I'm not sure. FCP is finicky about these things.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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