Dumping XDCAM card footage to computer
I'm working out our XDCAM workflow and have a question about dumping footage from the cards to computer (in our case, MacBook Pro in the field, or my Mac Octo with USB reader at the shop). It looks like I have three options: copy the BPAV folders over manually; using XDCAM Transfer to just "Import" them to the computer as Quicktimes; or use the Clip Browser to transfer with error correction.
I started out with just copying the BPAV folders off the card until I had time to explore other options, but that gets cumbersome; it has to be a subfolder of something else so the BPAV folder remains intact, there's no error correction, and you can't combine folders.
XDCAM Transfer to Quicktime is cool, but I'm not too keen on converting footage before I get it back to the shop (or at all, if I don't have to). It's fast, though, and works great. Have any of you guys discovered any pitfalls to this method?
I just tried the method of copy & paste into a folder I designate using Clip Browser 2.0 and really like that. I turned on checksum correction, the clips copied fast, and I was able to pull footage from multiple cards into one common directory. It simply made its own BPAV folder with the associated metadata files. Very slick. If we're shooting three or four cards on the road, we can use this method to dump all the footage into one BPAV folder if we want. Error checking is good, too.
We've got work contracted with this equipment, but it isn't coming up for a little while yet. I pulled the trigger on the selection and purchase of equipment early so we could figure these workflow things out. I'm still waiting for the PDW-U1 drive to show up for archiving, but otherwise working with the EX-1, the footage, and the Sony software has been intuitive and (so far) easy. I'm really pleased with the EX-perience so far (sorry for the pun).
I guess as I type this that the Clip Browser method seems the best by far. We do a lot of shoots in other states, which means using the MBP with an external HD for backup. Perhaps then I can redirect my initial question of "Which method is best?" to "What kind of experiences have you folks had?"
[Clint Fleckenstein] "I just tried the method of copy & paste into a folder I designate using Clip Browser 2.0 and really like that. I turned on checksum correction, the clips copied fast, and I was able to pull footage from multiple cards into one common directory. It simply made its own BPAV folder with the associated metadata files. Very slick. If we're shooting three or four cards on the road, we can use this method to dump all the footage into one BPAV folder if we want. Error checking is good, too. "
APPLAUSE and ACCOLADES!
It seems every time I see a post about rescuing files I say something similar. ClipBrowser2 safe, easy, secure. You're doing it the best way. It's like driving with a seat belt or crossing at the corner with a green light. You can do it other ways and people can claim they haven't had an issues but all it takes is one mistake and your camera masters are GONE, just as you only need to be in one car accident to know it's just NOT worth the risk to do it any other way IMHO.
Backing up to PDW-U1 is a good choice too. Hard drives are risky. I'm currently using DL-DVD because I believe making good quality optical disc back ups is also most secure but PDW-U1 is best.
Craig, what's the difference between using Clip Browser and Sony Transfer? Clip Browser can't work on my older Mac G5 but the Transfer Tool seems just fine with making sub clips and only importing what is required. Presumably you are suggesting complete back up of the card files as shot? I could get firewire hard drives to do that as I would only want to preserve the camera originals whilst the production is being edited. Once that's finished I discard original material anyway.
[Michael Slowe] "Craig, what's the difference between using Clip Browser and Sony Transfer?"
CRC checking to ensure copies aren't corrupted. The ability to split (or combine) BPAV so they can fit on DVD, DL-DVD, Blu-ray. The ability to import "orphaned" MP4 files creating a BPAV folder for them so XDCAM Transfer will see them. The ability to export to DV or MXF for NLEs if needed. There's also the ability to purchase a few other export components.
XDCAM transfer is basically a logging and re-wrap to MOV tool.
You can certainly copy BPAV and backup to hard drive by hand but I like making sure my camera masters are good and split to back up to optical disc.
[Michael Slowe] " would only want to preserve the camera originals whilst the production is being edited. Once that's finished I discard original material anyway."
I can't imagine your client base. I've had clients come back for 5 year old material. Sometimes they want to do an updated version with original material. Sometimes they want to grab a shot that was done a while back but never used in the final piece. Sometimes it's a revision a few weeks after they thought the final was final. I've even been contacted by doc producers because they know I have stuff I shot that might not have been used in final pieces that they may want. Some day a master will get trashed and it can be recreated with the project file and the source files.
No client base Craig. Just making films for artistic satisfaction which go to (and are shown at) various 'non commercial' festivals around the world. I do sometimes re visit an edit but only fairly soon after completion and then I still have the media on my drives. So I have the luxury of having complete artistic freedom with no one 'breathing down my neck'!
Thanks for your clarification of the Transfer functions, I do only need to be able to select sections of clips as shot and to import them much as I did with camera original tape. From then on no difference as I still master to tape as well as producing DVD's.
Even creative work needs to be backed up.
Some people note responses during festival screenings and make revisions.
Sometimes one wants to do a director's cut (material not in a version that might have running time or other festival constraint).
What about that inevitable request for blooper takes or the scenes not included feature on DVDs? Even indy productions have that stuff.
Backing up is cheap and easy. Regrets for what may later be perceived as a lost gem, lasts a lifetime.
Ok Ok Craig, you convinced me, firewire drives are cheap nowadays!