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Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder

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Brian J. Smith
Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:42:50 pm

After spending the majority of my day searching for a solution to this problem, I am hoping someone on the COW will be able to steer us in the right direction. I have also posted this in the AME forum as well, as it has to do with both AME and FCP 7.

After encoding several hundred clips of various file types to ProRes 422 LT at 23.976fps in Media Encoder, we discovered that the timecode of the source clips and the LT clips varies significantly when we bring the quicktime clips into FCP 7 or Quicktime 7. This is also creating issues for the EDL.

The source clips are XDCamHD, H.264, and .R3D files. We set up a batch in AME with a preset for ProRes (LT) at 23.976. After the batch processes, we import the clips into FCP 7 then export an EDL from the sequence. The EDL shows timecodes that do not match the source clips.

The timecode is off by several hours, not just a few frames. If we look at the LT clips in Premiere, the timecode matches the source clip. In Final Cut, not even close.

Any ideas on where to start on this one?

If we use RedCineX to convert the R3D files, things seem to work. Also, compressor seems to have correct results. We were hoping that media encoder would be the solution as it processes these clips much faster.

We are looking for a solution that doesn't involve re-transcoding all of the footage.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 3:27:47 am

Can you post a screen grab of a few of the mismatching timecodes in qt?


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Brian J. Smith
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 3:41:20 am

I'll post in the morning when I get back to the office. Is there anymore information that would be helpful?



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Bouke Vahl
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 3:09:41 pm

have a look at QTchange, see if that reads the correct TC.
If that is the case, i could make an option to 'refresh' the TC.
(deleting the old track and insert a new, compatible one...)

Do concact me direct if this is indeed the case.
(if it is not, i can perhaps work around it, but that will take more time and i will concider it a custom job...)

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Brian J. Smith
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:07:35 pm

Jeremy,

Here is a zip folder of screen shots that should show the issue a little more clearly. The image that was created via Media Encoder has "_001" at the end of the file name.

There is an image showing the original TC from RedCineX.

In FCP, I compare the QT from AME to the QT from RedCineX.

I've also included shots of the item properties in FCP. The duration of the clips match, but when you look at the logging tab, the TC rate for the file with the issue is 30, where the correct file shows 24.

I tried to change the TC rate via the "Modify>Timecode" option in FCP, but that did not significantly alter the clip's TC. As a side note, this would not be a feasible option for the quantity of clips we have.

Since my first post, we took the AME to ProResLT clip and tossed it into compressor just to see what timecode compressor could read, and it was correct. (screen shot of that is included, too).

3588_ametimecodeissue.zip

Bouke,
We did an initial test with QTchange and had mixed results. Perhaps, we missed something. If the above information helps you to know if your program can do the trick, that would be great.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:23:58 pm

Awesome, Brian.

What was the exact setup you used in AME?


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Brian J. Smith
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 5:27:04 pm

We set up a ProResLT preset to run all the clips in Media Encoder. Here are the preset settings we used for the R3D files, XDCam, and H.264:

Quicktime ProRes (LT), 1920x1080, 23.976 fps, Quality 100, 48000 HZ, stereo, 16 Bit. None of the advanced settings are changed. Max render quality and frame blending are off.

In preferences, the only things that seemed to be relevant to this situation is in "Appearance>Display Format" this is set to 24fps. We tried 30fps (just in case this altered something), but this gave us the same results.

In Preferences>Metadata, we left the "write XMP ID to files on import" checked. Also:
Export options: embed in output,
Source preservation: Preserve all
Output file metadata: All Metadata

We have several Mac Pros each running separately and we get the TC errors regardless of the machine running the clips.

Did I leave anything out?



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 5:54:13 pm

No, this seems to be pretty comprehensive.

I haven't tried this yet, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

I always use RCX or RCXPro for Red transcodes.

Is it only the Red files that are bonked?

Are the reel names and other metadata consistent?

As far as a fix, QT Change will probably be a great way to go if Bouke can get you sorted.

Give me a little time and let me see what happens which I try a transcode over here.

Jeremy


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Brian J. Smith
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 6:11:28 pm

This issue seems to happen with the XDcam footage that we have too.

The reel information from the Red footage does not show up in FCP when going from AME to the ProResLT setting. It does, however show up in Premiere.


As far as QTchange goes, at first glance, the current version reads the Timecode like FCP does. I'm going through the user guide to see if I missed something simple. The reel shows up in QTchange.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 7:50:08 pm

I just tried one test clip (from Epic footage), and I am finding the same thing. AME isn't passing this data on, and the data in the QT file is bad/not matching which is why it doesn't work in FCP (or anywhere else).

Here's a screengrab of the left being AME, the right being RCX:



compare.png

It does however, store some of the info in XMP, which why PPro sees it, but it obviously does not parse that info and send it along to the EDL. What a shame. XMP doesn't seem to have a "Reel" field. I just noticed this, and this is pretty weird. There must by something I am missing.

To add an interesting twist, if I choose "none" in the metadata prefs of AME, it passes along the correct TC (but still no reel name):



none.png

You need to get this info embedded in to the QTs and without a bunch of hand matching work, I think QT Change is going to be your best option to do this in a batch. You can also use QT Edit from Digital Rebellion, but that would be a one at a time endeavor.


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Brian J. Smith
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 8:14:13 pm

The strange part is that compressor is seeing the correct timecode. And Final Cut X also sees that info. I wish I knew more about the inner workings of the way AME transcodes the footage.

If Compressor sees the correct TC info, is there perhaps a way to know what Compressor looks at vs FCP?

Someone on the Adobe forums suggested we use Premiere (in this case not an option) though it would solve our issues.

Hopefully Bouke has an idea or two on this and may know what part of the AME encoded file inside QT Premiere is looking at and can translate it to TC that FCP can read.

While still to be resolved, I'm glad someone else is getting the same results.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 27, 2012 at 9:25:35 pm

[Brian J. Smith] "If Compressor sees the correct TC info, is there perhaps a way to know what Compressor looks at vs FCP?"

It must be stored in some blackbox QT metadata somewhere, but it's not showing up in the true "timecode" track. Doesn't show up in AUX TC.

I don't know enough about it either.

You might want to contact Digital Rebellion as well. Smart folks over there, and point them to this thread.

By the way, Modify Timecode works for me in FCP. You would have to add the reel too.

Jeremy

[Brian J. Smith] "Someone on the Adobe forums suggested we use Premiere (in this case not an option) though it would solve our issues."

Well, I wonder if Premiere will somehow write the correct information in to the QT files. That would help a lot. Not sure if it will do that, though.


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Bouke Vahl
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 29, 2012 at 1:51:23 pm

Well,
I've added an option to QTchange to refresh the TC track.
(it takes the found start time and reelname, and writes a fresh tc track based on that, with the choosen FPS, so make sure that matches!)

Let me know if this fixes things.

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Brian J. Smith
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 31, 2012 at 3:39:32 pm

Jeremy, thanks for suggesting Digital Rebellion. They came up with a modification to their already amazing Pro Media Tools that did the trick. I cannot thank Jon enough for his quick work and generosity in solving this one for us.

http://www.digitalrebellion.com/contact.html if you are interested in their fix and/or more about their other products.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 31, 2012 at 5:37:05 pm

Sweet, Brian. Glad they got you sorted. Jon Chappell does a great job.

Jeremy


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:36:05 pm

This doesn't sound right. I'll forward this post to the AME team. Thanks for reporting on it and thanks to Jon for the fix.

Kevin Monahan
Sr. Content and Community Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Jon Chappell
Re: Final Cut not reading correct Timecode using footage from Media Encoder
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:38:43 pm

Kevin, I'd be happy to send you or another Adobe employee the technical details if that would help.

My software:
Pro Maintenance Tools - Tools to keep Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro running smoothly and fix problems when they arise
Pro Media Tools - Edit QuickTime chapters and metdata, detect gamma shifts, edit markers, watch renders and more
More tools...


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