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Log and Transfer - H.264 5D Mkii footage on external hard drive to AppleProRes 422

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Hunter Leachman
Log and Transfer - H.264 5D Mkii footage on external hard drive to AppleProRes 422
on May 9, 2012 at 11:10:09 pm

H.264 files organized in folders by shoot location on external hard drive, fw800.

Some fail "no data" little stop sign.

Even worse though, some said complete but only converted arbitrary amount of clip.

In/outs were not the issue.

I was logging the clips as follows:
Reel: shoot location
name: location001, location002, etc.

After I noticed some of the clips failed to fully convert, I went back to add them to queue again and FC started giving them the names location00x, whatever the next unused number was, ignoring the name I originally gave it. Then other times it would reprocess under the same name. Some of the footage would transfer and some wouldn't. Sometimes the clips would fail lock, stock, and barrel. Other times the clips would say it transferred completely, but the clip would end before it was suppose to. Before I knew it, the whole thing turned into one big swampy mess.

Tried the 5DMkii plug-in, but most footage had been taken off the CF cards long ago. Would have reorganized under mock folders, but it was just trading up for an even bigger mess at that point as about 85% of the footage did transfer fine.

It was only about 7 hours of footage for the entire project, which eventually boiled down to 45 minutes of selects. I shot the footage myself so I was able to just go back and view the raw footage outside of FC and look for anything I needed then go back and find it based off the picture alone, as by this time the names had been shuffled into some incoherent mess. After abandoning all hopes of organization, I just held Final Cut at gun point and force fed it the clips I still needed, just letting it name the files whatever the hell it wanted, sometimes taking several attempts for clips to transfer properly.

The first lesson I learned here is to just get the footage straight off the cards next time, but that ship had sailed long ago in this case. The thing that perplexes me about this is that it didn't just fail or work but seemed to do one or the other arbitrarily, although I have to think there must be a human error or that nice new incurable disease they call "Lion".

The brute force method worked this time, but on a bigger project this could have been a complete disaster. Not so concerned about fixing the problem per se at this point. Just really want to know, where did I go so wrong? Anybody have a more elegant method? Can I just go back to Premiere now without people turning their nose up at it?

Again the problem:

5Dmkii (H.264) footage on external hard drive ---->Final Cut Pro 6 -----> ProRes422

About 85% clips transfer fine, 5% fail outright, 10% say completed, but are partial clips.
All eventually convert successfully, but not in any organized way that would have been coherent to an outside viewer.

If you have any wise words for the ignorant, please feel free to enlighten.


Final Cut 6

Intel Core 2 Duo
3.06 GHz
L2 Cache: 3 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz

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Phil Balsdon
Re: Log and Transfer - H.264 5D Mkii footage on external hard drive to AppleProRes 422
on May 10, 2012 at 5:20:45 am

When you back up the CF Cards from the camera you must back up the whole card, not just the video files. On a Mac you can do this using Disk Utility to create a "New Image" of the card. You can give this image a unique name for id purposes. When you open this new "img" file it will always appear as "EOS" and you can log and transfer from it.

Secondly when transferring DO NOT do anything else on the computer, especially going into FCP and checking work being transferred. This appears to be the main cause of incomplete files. Allow the complete transfer to happen before proceeding any further with your project.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.

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Raimundas Sereika
Re: Log and Transfer - H.264 5D Mkii footage on external hard drive to AppleProRes 422
on May 10, 2012 at 7:41:10 am

Yes, but img file - DMG file is not needed, You can have multiple folders in HDD, but you need to keep EOS card structure (all folders) so you make directory ex. card1 and then put all the content from the card to this folder... and later in FCP you just say - comeon - go to this folder as there is my card... as creating image eats lot of time... Secondary yes - Always backup SD or CF cards - this is your only 1 real "negative". I found workflow what was made in one studio. they using reds and G-raid company drives.. there is a small 2hdd drive with removable hards (spare) and they when uploading footage to this raid (it makes 2 copies as spare hdd) 1 is going to archive and the second then goes to the production house. so you copy it once and have 2 independed copies.

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Hunter Leachman
Re: Log and Transfer - H.264 5D Mkii footage on external hard drive to AppleProRes 422
on May 11, 2012 at 1:30:57 am

Thanks Phil and Raimundas

I appreciate the input.


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