MXF transcode work-around viability
I've got an editing output question regarding mix of footage. Might have found workarounds, but don't know how stable they will be, moving forward.
A few weeks ago, I directed a fly fishing trade show shoot. Two 7D's, an HVX for the crane and slow motion of back-casting. We also mic'd audio for the talking heads with an H4n Zoom. When I checked the metadata for the 7D, the DP changed frame rates quite a bit. Most of it is 24, but we've also got 30 and 60. ISO's bounced around some, too, but nbd on that. Audio has logged and transferred fine, as had the 7D footage, utilizing one of the plugins.
I plan to use Plural Eyes, for the first time, to synch primary audio. Looking forward to seeing how well that works.
The issue for which I'm writing, though, IS log and transfer of the MXF shell around the HVX footage. As everyone knows, it's no fun to import. I've read about all the plug-ins for various file types, and have installed for both P2 and XF (awa some others). Still am unable to get log and transfer even to read the footage, which yet opens and plays well on VLC.
So, I went ahead and bought the latest version PavTube, which advertises as having full MXF to Prorez transcode capability (and had decent reviews). We're looking to edit in Prores 422 lt, btw.
The file structure seems to be intact for the footage, but it was passed along to me on a harddrive. First time the DP has done this, because he usually cuts his own footage, on Vegas, evidently. Anyway, it was not an image file, but as mentioned the structure does appear to be in tact.
maybe I should have gone with iMedia, because after the transcode, we still had no luck with log and transfer. We've tried a dozen different options listed thither and yon, to no effect.
Finally, I did a straight import of one test file, not via a proper log and transfer, but rather straight into a logging bin. That test file at least came into the program, but (FCP Ste 3) said it wasn't a good editing format; to run the footage through Media Manager. I did that, and saved the footage to another project. Voila. It opened, without further fuss. The data will even export, now, to Compressor.
I then erased the unneeded project, and reassigned the Media Managed footage onto the correct hardrive and Final Cut File structure, then brought the data into the correct project. The footage would still not read in log and transfer, so it was again imported. Wanted to see if Media Manager had fully fixed things.
We still got the warning about compatibility of the data upon import, but it all now plays back. Synch looks good.
Somehow this appears to have worked, but my big concern, now, is export of the final product for the client. Any thoughts on if this is a viable fix are welcome, as would any additional thoughts on work-arounds or basic issues, that may have been overlooked. We really need to start editing.
Thanks in advance for your input, and time.
DVCPRO HD...the type of footage the HVX shoots, was the first format that FCP imported via Log and Transfer. Initially the interface was called IMPORT PANASONIC P2. But then it opened up the interface to include other formats. So why you cannot import the footage via Log and Transfer is puzzling. This is the workflow for importing tapeless media, including 7D footage:
Tapeless Workflow for FCP 7 Tutorial
No extra plugins needed. It will come in as DVCPRO HD, if you shot DVCPRO HD. It doesn't come in as prores, unless you shot AVCIntra...and only a couple HPX line cameras do that.
What scares me is the other camera...with all those other frame rates. What were they thinking? FCP does not mix frame rates well.
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Thank you for your timely response, Shane.
Unsure the difficulty with log and transfer, either, but had seen your excellent video, and appreciate all your posts. Thanks for such solid, easy to understand information.
Yes, the varied framerates were a surprise to us, too. About 75% of the shoot was in 24, which was requested, but, as it turns out, the shooter felt like he wanted to experiment a bit. We did request several slower shots from the p2 on the the crane, to illustrate overhead casting movement, so the frame rate variation was only a surprise on the 7D. Could be that his experience with the DSLR was not quite as advertised. That is another bridge we're already crossing.
It is likely that we can cut around a good bit of the varied frame rate footage. These will be stand alone webisodes, so the hope is that each segment can be tailored to that stability. We've got pretty good coverage.
As for the concern about efficacy of the data currently in the program, if frame rate conflicts are reduced, do you think it's worth editing, without having followed correct proper log and transfer? The decisions and aftermath are ours to risk, or not, but your expert opinion is very appreciated.
Many thanks again for your time.
Hey, if you get it to work, you get it to work. Edit the way you are. Just know that if you want to revisit the edit, you need to back up everything as it is now. You can't just archive the camera masters and rebuild the cut.
Sometimes we need to "frankenstein" things to get them to work. Been there, done that.
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Haha. Perfect. Thanks for you insight. Onward and upwards.