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Merged clip woes

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Mike Molenda
Merged clip woes
on Jun 4, 2012 at 2:13:56 pm

This is something I was kind of hoping would be addressed more in the CS6 update, since the Merge Clips feature was added between CS5 and 5.5, and I figured it would only continue to be improved upon. In all fairness, they added the ability to sync by timecode and replace the camera reference track, but the basic functionality hasn't improved all that much.

It appears you can't do any of the following when working with merged clips:
- Link to different media, so offline editing with proxy media is limited
- Export to XML or AAF (EDL and OMF still work)
- Add markers with durations or comments. You can add them, but they will revert to "plain" markers if the clip is closed and reloaded.
- Re-map the clip audio channels (i.e. from mono to stereo). Merged clip audio is always multi-track mono. Although since you're working with camera audio, chances are that's what you wanted anyway.

There are more, listed in Adobe Help. These are the ones I've run across while working on a short shot on RED.

This is kind of surprising, given that formats with which Premiere otherwise works excellently, such as RED and DSLR, are frequently shot with dual-system audio.

The easiest workaround I can think of is to append the audio onto the clips themselves, using third-party utilities like DualEyes. But while this would work well for DSLR clips, and pre-transcoded media files, what about heavily card-structure-dependent formats like RED and P2?

I suppose there's also the option of creating two sets of merged clips, one with the proxy media and one with the online media, but this could potentially lead to more headaches than it relieves. Never mind the fact that it still doesn't solve the problems with markers and interchange support. I will say that Premiere handles RED so well with the fragmented resolution playback options that offlining is kind of irrelevant. But here I'm speaking strictly for myself, and for my specific project and workflow needs.

Shouldn't merged clips behave just like regular master clips? The limitations on markers and XML/AAF interchange in particular are kind of baffling. I feel like a few feature requests are warranted here.

I'd also like to know if anyone here frequently syncs and merges clips in Premiere, and has any tips.

On my project, I've settled for throwing caution to the wind and working natively with the merged clip limitations. But I feel like there's got to be a better way.


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Ryan Patch
Re: Merged clip woes
on Jun 4, 2012 at 7:29:58 pm

Agreed, this is rediculious. The limitations of XML output with merged clips mean that if you were to edit a feature film with dual system sound that you wanted to color on ANY platform other than Speedgrade... you are up a creek.

Not really a professional post-production workflow mindset.

Adobe hasn't seemed to break out of a single-seat, single-user, start-to-finish mindset yet. I hope they realize that's what killed FCX and will be working to resolve it soon.


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Mike Molenda
Re: Merged clip woes
on Jun 4, 2012 at 9:12:26 pm

[Ryan Patch] "The limitations of XML output with merged clips mean that if you were to edit a feature film with dual system sound that you wanted to color on ANY platform other than Speedgrade... you are up a creek."

You could still output EDL, and bring that into the color finishing application of your choice. Or, in theory into Final Cut or Avid where you could make an XML or AAF of it.

My gripe here is simply that merged clips do not behave like regular master clips, and there's no good reason for them not to.


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Merged clip woes
on Jun 4, 2012 at 11:39:10 pm

You can make a feature request: http://www.adobe.com/go/wish
We read and tally them all.

Kevin Monahan
Sr. Content and Community Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Mike Molenda
Re: Merged clip woes
on Jun 5, 2012 at 12:13:00 am

Definitely will do. It would be very nice to see you guys make improvements to bin and clip management of the caliber of the timeline improvements in CS6.


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Tobias Steidle
Re: Merged clip woes
on Nov 22, 2012 at 8:03:07 pm

Hey Mike,

this is strange because in my case Export to XML works fine but to OMF doesn't. AAF starts to export but then crashes. But this doesn't seem to be because of merged clips.

Best, Tobias


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