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Premiere Pro to Davinci Resolve workflow issue with Sony a7s footage (timecodes?)

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Matthew Kingdon
Premiere Pro to Davinci Resolve workflow issue with Sony a7s footage (timecodes?)
on Nov 24, 2016 at 12:30:07 pm

Hi there! I'm having an issue with a Premiere Pro CC 2017 to DaVinci Resolve 12.5 workflow on Mac, and I'm wondering if anyone could shed some light on the issue, I'll try to be as thorough as I can with my explanation, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Ok so I have a project in Premiere, which contains footage shot with the Sony a7s at 3840 x 2160 at 25fps, ProRes 422 HQ. Here is info taken from one of the clips via Media-Info:

Size: 40.77 GB
Format: QuickTime/MPEG-4/Motion JPEG 2000 format
Stream count: 3
Duration: 00:08:02
Bit rate: 726384 kb/s
Meta info:
compatible_brands: qt
minor_version: 537199360
creation_time: 2016-02-13 01:21:07
encoder-eng: Shogun - 6.5
encoder: Shogun - 6.5
major_brand: qt

Stream 0
Type: audio
Codec: pcm_s24le
FourCC: in24
Duration: 00:08:02
Bit rate: 1921 kb/s
Sample rate: 40040 Hz
Sample format: s32
Channel: 2
Meta info:
creation_time: 2016-02-13 01:21:07
language: eng

Stream 1
Type: video
Codec: prores
FourCC: apch
Duration: 00:08:02
Width: 3840
Height: 2160
Sample aspect ratio: 1:1
Display aspect ratio: 16:9
Pixel format: yuv422p10le
Frame rate: 25 fps
Bit rate: 724457 kb/s
Meta info:
handler_name: Apple Alias Data Handler
creation_time: 2016-02-17 10:18:13
language: eng

Stream 2
Type: data
Meta info:
language: eng
timecode: 08:24:03;15
creation_time: 2016-02-17 10:18:13
handler_name: Apple Alias Data Handler

There are some clips on the timeline that are taken from one long original clip which has then been cut up into multiple smaller clips. This project is not a finished film or anything, but more of a review of footage.

I now want to bring this timeline into DaVinci Resolve 12.5 for grading, so I choose Export--> XML. I then open up DaVinci, set up my project settings to match that of the PP Project (3840 x 2160 at 25p) and then I choose Import--> XML and navigate to the XML that PP generated. I get the Load XML window and choose my timeline.
I have "Automatically set project settings" checked, "Automatically import source clips into media pool" checked, "Use sizing infomation" checked, choose 3840 x 2160 for my timeline resolution and set "Mixed frame rate format" to None as all my clips are 25p.
Here is where my first problem arises, DaVinci will pop up with a message saying "119 of 155 clips were not yet found " which doesn't make sense as every drive is definitely connected. I know this because I just had my timeline open in PP with every clip connected, and DaVinci on Mac has a checkbox in Preferences that says "Automatically display attached local and network storage locations" and it's checked.
DaVinci asks if I want to search for the locations of the missing clips, so If I choose Yes, and search for the missing clips it just shows me a list of all my drives, and if I choose one it just causes DaVinci to lock up, and if I choose No it opens the sequence. A Log appears showing all the clips that haven't connected, with the error message "Clip '150430AK-024 motyxia crawl CU 2925.MOV' in track V1 at timecode 11:48:15:22, with reel name '' and filename '150430AK-024 motyxia crawl CU 2925.MOV':
File not found in search directories."

So this is where it gets really weird, the first 4 clips on my sequence are all from the same original long file, the first 3 have connected, but the 4th hasn't. If I right click and click on "Find in Media Pool" it doesn't find it, whereas if I click on the clip before and do the same, it shows it in the media pool. They're both the same damn original clip!! To test this problem I copied the original file to my desktop and reconnected the clip to that location, sure enough the first 3 clips connected up, but the 4th didn't. If I drag the offline clip into the media pool, it says its a Compound Clip and not a Video. I thought this may be from effects etc from PP, so I went back to PP, made sure there were no effects/changes to any of the clips and re-exported the XML and repeated the process, and still have the same issue. I also rendered a playout from PP and laid it over the top to check if the right sections of clips were connecting, and they're not the right parts.

Then I opened the PP XML in FCP7 to see if there was the same problems, and some of the clips connected correctly (I used the playout again as a reference and they had connected correctly with the right section of the clip being displayed), and others still didn't work. I'm at a loss for how to fix this. I'm assuming it's an issue with the a7s timecode and the XML process, but I can't figure out the solution.

The one workaround that I can see so far is to just export one giant file from the PP Project, and also export an EDL, then bring those into DaVinci and the EDL will cut my clips up as they were on the PP Project, the only problem with this is they will not have their original file names, they will all have the same file name (plus a suffix) which is a big problem as file names are very important in the office where I work. If there was a way to import the original file names then I might be onto something!

If anyone has any tips/solutions I'd be extremely grateful, and if you need any more information that might help problem solve this just leave a comment and i'll get back to you asap. Thanks for your time!


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Joseph Owens
Re: Premiere Pro to Davinci Resolve workflow issue with Sony a7s footage (timecodes?)
on Nov 24, 2016 at 4:34:35 pm

[Matthew Kingdon] "So this is where it gets really weird, the first 4 clips on my sequence are all from the same original long file, the first 3 have connected, but the 4th hasn't. If I right click and click on "Find in Media Pool" it doesn't find it, whereas if I click on the clip before and do the same, it shows it in the media pool. They're both the same damn original clip!! "

Starting to have the feel of a bad reference to a spanned series of source clips. Your reference to an original "long" file makes me suspect this. Sony A7 can and does span media over a series of otherwise succeeding camera clips. I just hit this myself conforming a feature length documentary where the cameras were allowed to run for extended periods of time. In a number of instances the whole trim duration fell inside a specific source file, but if it ever crossed the hand-over, the clip went off line or incomplete. This might suggest why the overall "take" is described as a Compound Clip -- because it is composed of several files meta-patched together as a spanned series. If my theory holds any water....

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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