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Transcoding XDcam footage in premiere pro 5.5 for BM Resolve compatibility

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Pierre Paré-Blais
Transcoding XDcam footage in premiere pro 5.5 for BM Resolve compatibility
on Nov 30, 2011 at 6:26:27 pm

I'm loving the tapeless, native workflow in premiere, but I've run into an issue lately where I have to transcode, and I can't seem to figure out how to do it properly to keep everything working...

Here's the situation:

I've recently finished editing a short videoclip in premiere. it is a simple two camera 5min edit of a section of a live concert event, one clip is from a DSLR the other a sony EX3.

Now that I've completed the edit I want to take my sequence to resolve to finish, but resolve doesn't support XDCAM file (native or quicktime codec I believe), so I have to transcode the XDCAM clip to prores 422 or 444. Now I tried to manually export the clip (file>export>media) to a proress quicktime with all the proper frame rate/size/etc. to match the clip, but the resulting clip has lost the timecode of the original clip, and so when I replace the clip by this converted clip, it no longer matches and my edit goes to hell!

I've also given the watch folder a try, but because the XD clip is a long take (1h), it's been broken up by the camera into multiple mp4 clips with smi files (which premiere reads as one single clip), so I can't just drop one mp4 file in the watch folder (doing so creates a clip of just that one segment), dropping the whole "BPAV" folder in the watch folder has no effect, and dropping each to the 6 mp4 clip results in it transcoding each into its own quicktime file.

Now I'm not silly, I though I could open an xml in FCP 7 and just use the log and transfer utility to recapture the XDCAM clip, but as it turns out, I'm on Lion and apparently FCP 7, lion and XDCAM don't mix so well anymore... FCP 7 crashes every time I attempt to load EX footage into the log and transfer utility... I haven't used FCP much since I started using premiere, and I haven't edited XDCAM footage in almost a year now so I never noticed this issue before.

So this is where I'm stuck... because it's a small edit and for the web, I can always just grade inside premiere this one time... but Resolve has become my new platform of choice for grading (specially since the death of Color and the new 8.1.1 update to the free version), and so finding a solution to this is essential to me!

Pierre P. Blais
Multimedia performance and VFX artist
Pierre P. Blais Productions
Perception Films

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