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Jonathan Eagan
FCP: Tapeless Offline / Online Workflow - Batch Capture problems
on Jul 7, 2013 at 4:04:55 pm

Hi all,

just watching Shane Ross' wonderful online tutorial as I'm running a test on about 7 minutes of footage in advance of onlining a feature film shot on the Canon 7D next weekend. Everything is working smoothly re: preparing the footage but when I reach the step where I've imported my source media into L & T, I move to 'batch capture' the files I prepped using media manager so that I can begin to upres the footage. Every time I do this however the "Log & Capture / Initialize deck" window appears as though I'm working with tape based media.

In Shane's tutorial a nice little window pops up in L & T instead, as it should. So - I'm completely stalled at this process. Not sure if it has something to do with a system or import setting in my project. I'm tight on time here so I really do hope someone has a work around or solution.

Thanks very much for your help.

Jon


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Jonathan Eagan
Re: FCP: Tapeless Offline / Online Workflow - Batch Capture problems
on Jul 7, 2013 at 5:01:56 pm

I should add that my workflow was completely straightforward:

Captured footage was converted to ProRes LT and an offline edit was made. I've used media manager to prep the sequence today but all master clips are still persevered in their original file structure on the drive.

Please help if possible :).

Thank you!


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Michael Gissing
Re: FCP: Tapeless Offline / Online Workflow - Batch Capture problems
on Jul 8, 2013 at 12:03:16 am

Are the camera original files on exactly the same hard drive as the original L&T? If you L&T off the cards, then the system will be looking for the card reader. It looks for the exact same location so the original drive, (never capture straight from card) has to be there, not a copy of the camera files on a different drive.


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP: Tapeless Offline / Online Workflow - Batch Capture problems
on Jul 8, 2013 at 8:25:38 am

I hate to say that this happens sometimes, and I haven't been able to figure out why. This is happening to a good friend of mine, with a lot of footage, mainly the RED footage. We couldn't figure it out. The only solution we came up with is to manually log and capture the problem clips manually and re-cut them in.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jonathan Eagan
Re: FCP: Tapeless Offline / Online Workflow - Batch Capture problems
on Jul 8, 2013 at 11:30:27 am

Thanks Shane,

yeah - it's really unfortunate. I wasn't entirely forthcoming in my first post as I hadn't yet dug in and done the hours of research I now have: I used MPEG Streamclip to convert the clips initially. Even though all the media is on the same drive in the same place, I obviously never used L & T to initially convert and so I guess this problem boils down to - no metadata, no assigned reel number, no way it's going to work.

It's a terrible design flaw in my opinion because for someone in my position - low budget feature shot on DSLR, no editorial assistant, tight timeline, using MPEG Streamclip is a godsend because it enables me to multitask in FCP, logging and syncing while I'm encoding ProRes files for offline in the background. I honestly never would have thought to use anything else. Oh well, lesson learned. It's evident shooting a feature on DSLR has it's own specific set of challenges.

Thanks for the help.


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP: Tapeless Offline / Online Workflow - Batch Capture problems
on Jul 8, 2013 at 5:49:32 pm

[Jonathan Eagan] "It's a terrible design flaw in my opinion because for someone in my position - low budget feature shot on DSLR, no editorial assistant, tight timeline, using MPEG Streamclip is a godsend because it enables me to multitask in FCP, logging and syncing while I'm encoding ProRes files for offline in the background."

What design flaw? Apple didn't design anything with MPEG STREAMCLIP in mind. Those are two different apps....made by two different companies. FCP tracks metadata properly (well, most of the time) if you use all of IT'S tools for the job. If you use something outside of FCP, FCP can't track it properly. What this was is a workflow flaw...something due to lack of experience, or not quite testing out the workflow before diving in full bore. Not trying to knock you...I've made workflow mistakes in the past myself. This is why I test thoroughly before I dive in. I've been stung hard before.

Now...FYI...ProRes LT isn't an offline resolution format...it's high quality. It's just on the lower end of the ProRes family, but it is full resolution. ProRes Proxy is the offline quality resolution, as well as OFFLINE HD RT. But you should be fine mastering at ProRes LT. Unless you have plans to screen on the BIG screen...but for TVs and computers, it's just fine.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jonathan Eagan
Re: FCP: Tapeless Offline / Online Workflow - Batch Capture problems
on Jul 8, 2013 at 10:47:02 pm

Hi Shane,

I think you misunderstood me, or I 'mispoke', I'm obviously not suggesting that FCP would have in any way made allowances for a third party program like MPEG STREAMCLIP. That would be crazy, only that it feels wrong that you can't specify tape based / tapeless in an attempt to re-encode footage for an online. It seems to me that if I was to open each card from each day of shooting and load them into the L & T window and then ask to batch capture my media managed sequence that it could, or should, in a better world, know enough to reference that media I was pointing to, without it having been initially Logged and Transferred. That would be awesome. That's all I meant to suggest by "design flaw".

Our media was organized by Shoot Day (D1, D2) and Card Number (Card 1, Card 2....Card 65) in ascending order as we shot. The files were never moved or renamed so I was hopeful that the process could work. I was wrong.

Unfortunately the time pressures of independent features don't always allow for thorough testing or for a given workflow. I unfortunately had no assistant on this one, and felt it best to convert using MPEG Streamclip in the BG so that I could manage transcoding, syncing (PluralEyes), logging, and editing duties more or less simultaneously. Though at this stage it becomes apparent that my workflow has flaws due to a 'lack of experience', In hindsight I'm not sure I could have afforded using L & T to make our final online easier. I don't believe I could have done it any other way and stayed on schedule.

Thank you though for the mention about ProRes LT vs Proxy. I have been 'offlining' with LT exclusively and was only recently introduced to the concept of Proxy as a better alternative, something I overlooked.


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP: Tapeless Offline / Online Workflow - Batch Capture problems
on Jul 8, 2013 at 11:02:55 pm

Ah, yes. THere should be a full separate interface for "batch importing" vs tape capture. BUT, that's now all moot....FCX does things tapeless fine, and doesn't care a whit about tape (well, DV and HDV...fine).

Independent films would save a lot of time an headache if they tested workflows before they walked headfirst into them. Time spent figuring it out saves time during actual production trying to untangle yourself from a mess.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Michael Gissing
Re: FCP: Tapeless Offline / Online Workflow - Batch Capture problems
on Jul 8, 2013 at 11:53:23 pm

For any recapture system file naming, timecode and reel numbering are needed. MPEGStream clip does file names but no timecode/reels or any other metadata. Without that info FCP just opens Log & Capture as it can't know any details about the source.

If you had used Grinder or 5d2RGB then you can batch convert and deal with timecode. Then if you are grading with da Vinci, it is possible to reconnect to the DSLR footage for grading but unique file naming and timecode are minimum requirements. So there are workflows that don't require L&T but MPEGStreamclip is going to require manual re-encoding of selected files and the whole file.

I have to deal with this constantly as I grade and finish, not edit. The best time to talk to people further down the post line is before the shoot and before the edit. Issues like codecs, frame rates, file formats, naming conventions, timecode and other metadata are not something you want to discover about at the end of the edit. Low budget productions are often the worst at this.


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