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Importing FLX file into Final Cut - WORK FLOW ADVICE - Metadata Retention when connecting to a QT file

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Andrea Scott
Importing FLX file into Final Cut - WORK FLOW ADVICE - Metadata Retention when connecting to a QT file
on Nov 15, 2012 at 9:25:24 pm

I have a bit of a conundrum that I need some help with.

I am working on a documentary that is being shot partially on 16mm film stock. The film is being processed and transferred by the lab and then each "lab roll" is being delivered to us as a ProRes 422 (Proxy) QT file (our offline codec). We are also being delivered FLX and ALE files.

Important to note: The 16mm material is being mastered by going back to the film negatives and re-scanning (as opposed to simply replacing the 422 file with a 444 file). In order to retain the Metadata necessary to go back to the film negatives (Key Number, Lab Roll) in Final Cut, I was instructed to load the material using the FLX file - so that we could edit with the files generated by the FLX (which have the metadata as coded by Cinema Tools at the lab).

As I understand it, the FLX file is a relic of the days when one would batch capture material off a tape. In that workflow, it seems useful. I have been unable to find a workflow that works for reconnecting this material to the larger master lab roll QT file - AND retaining the necessary metadata.

Here's what I tried first:
-Import the FLX file using File -> Import Cinema Tools Telecine Log. Create requisite database, save. Open relevant .flx file.
-Final Cut imports a bunch of disconnected clips - the FLX-generated files. I add columns for Key Number and Lab Roll to my browser - the information is there and is unique for each clip (great). I lay those clips out in a sequence. From the sequence, I highlight all clips and choose File -> Reconnect Media. Then, I go through each clip, one by one, and reconnect to the larger master lab roll QT file (using Locate function and having the Matched Reel and File Name button unchecked). Then I reconnect.
-The clips in the sequence and the browser are connected.
-As a note: when I match frame (F), it connects back to the larger master lab roll QT file with in and out points as dictated by the FLX.

Yesterday, I ran a bunch of tests with this material - exporting Cinema Tools Film Lists from my sequences to make sure the metadata is retained and unique. It worked like a charm. I thought the problem was solved. Then, I wanted to start working with the material today, but when I opened one of the Reels in my browser, all the Key Numbers and Lab Rolls had become uniform - taking on the metadata from the larger master lab roll QT. Then, I ran the very same tests, exporting Cinema Tools Film Lists from the exact same sequences that I did yesterday, and the Key Number and Lab Roll had disappeared (though they remained evident, albeit uniform, in Final Cut). The Key Number and Lab Roll would not export on any of the other sequences either.

I consulted some tech guys in my office and we devised a new workflow, same as the above up until after the files are laid out in a sequence:
-Once files are laid out in sequence, highlight sequence and right-click: Make Sequence Clips Independent.
-Then, highlight all clips in sequence and Reconnect Media (same as above - to master lab roll QT).
-Once all clips are reconnected, they are only reconnected in the sequence. So, in order to have Master Clip copies of these clips to be able to edit with, we double-clicked the clips from the sequence and Subclipped them.
-Here's the tricky part: these subclips retained metadata - but it's completely different metadata from either the larger master lab roll QT and/or the original FLX-generated files the subclips were being made off of. So entirely new metadata. Making the whole process useless.

The only reason we are trying to figure out a workflow to use the FLX files at all is to retain the CORRECT METADATA (on the FLX-generated "subclips") -- so that when the film is finished, we can export a Cinema Tools Film List and give it to the online house and they can pull the negatives and re-scan. If we end up editing off of the larger master lab roll QT, it will be a lot more work to figure out where to locate the negatives - probably using the timecode (which is unique for each Reel, at least) to go back to the information saved in the FLX file and cross-referencing it all. Definitely not as easy as just exporting a Cinema Tools Film List where are the metadata is right there for you.

SO - after this whole spiel, any ideas?? I haven't been able to find a single friend or colleague or tech helper who is familiar with a workable work-flow for this scenario. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

THANKS!
Andrea


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