FCP L&T and AVCHD.... nightmare!!!!

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noddydog
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Ok a while back we purchased a Sony NX5 and until now I haven't had to shoot any major projects with it. But every so often I have been shooting bits and pieces for our stock library. However we also have a secondary JVC GY-HM100 camera that can use the same SD cards as the NX5. So sometimes I'd shot onto a SD card in the NX5 and maybe swap it over to the JVC on another occassion.

Well I started to run into some issues that I initially thought was a result of using the same card in both cameras. The issues were that when I brought the NX5/AVCHD rushes in FCP through Log and Transfer the clip numbers wouldn't make sense, either I'd end up with duplicates or they would suddenly jump by 200-300 increments.

So to try and get to the bottom of this I shot an interview last night, but before starting I fomatted the 32Gb SD card in the NX5. The only thing that happened thereafter was at one point in the proceedings I lost power to the camera (loose cable), but it was not while recording.

So this morning I pull the rushes into FCP via Log and Transfer (L&T). The way I personally do this is to copy the whole AVCHD folder on the SD card onto my Mac hard drive and thereafter point L&T to that loctaion. Incidentally when I did copy the AVCHD folder across, inside there were 38 files in the STREAM folder starting at 00000.MTS going up to 00037.MTS.

So next I fire up FCP and point the L&T windon at said AVCHD folder on my hard drive. At this point inside the L&T window it is showing 76 clips (not 38), ie for the first half of the list it shows clips 1 - 38 followed by (further down the list) another 1 - 38 again. Both sets of clips seem identical according to what I can see on the little thumbnails.

So none the less I let L&T convert them to ProRes and guess what clip numbers it produces in my FCP Browser window? Clips 3 - 38 followed by Clips 290 - 329. Ironically clips 328 and 329 are the same as clips 290 and 291... which also happen to be the same missing clips 1 and 2 from the 3 - 38 range.

This is just driving me nuts, I can't possibly work on major projects with this going on!

I have to shoot 2 more interviews tonight so can someone give me an idea of what is happening and how I can correct it?

foxvideo
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[URL=http://www.divergentmedia.com/clipwrap]CLIPWRAP[/URL] is recommended for that workflow instead of L&T - Not tried it personally but it's the solution on Creative Cow.

Dave Farrants Fox Video Editing

noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004

Hi Dave, can you provide a link to the thread on Creative Cow (or any others that relate to this problem here, there or elsewhere). Before I swap all out to Clipwrap (or similar) I want to try and understand how extensive this issue is and if anyone has found a whole/part solution within FCP. For example I've wondered whether changing anything in the camera settings, like the SD-SDI SET options or TC Freerun, has rectified matters?

I can of course try searching for these threads myself, but will need to get reasonably lucking with the search tags

PaulD
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Joined: Aug 31 2002

Hi
http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2521
Final Cut Pro 7.0.3
Adds real-time compatibility with Sony XDCAM HD422 720p24/p25/p30.
Adds Log and Transfer compatibility for Sony NXCAM MPEG2 SD formats.
Log and Transfer supports ingesting more than one format recorded to the same SD card.

So although that only mentions SD format it might be worth checking if the update is any help - particularly the last point.

foxvideo
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:) NX5 problems+FCP will give you pages......!

But this'll get you stared.

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/1095540

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/1088172

Dave Farrants Fox Video Editing

noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004
PaulD wrote:
Hi
http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2521
Final Cut Pro 7.0.3
Adds real-time compatibility with Sony XDCAM HD422 720p24/p25/p30.
Adds Log and Transfer compatibility for Sony NXCAM MPEG2 SD formats.
Log and Transfer supports ingesting more than one format recorded to the same SD card.

So although that only mentions SD format it might be worth checking if the update is any help - particularly the last point.

Rats I'm on FCP 6 and can't really justify an upgrade. Thanks though.

noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004

OK please tell me that I'm wrong but my AVCHD .mts files when converted to ProRes seem to increase 6 times in size (ie the resulting .mov file)!

Plus I've just compared two similar interview clips (duration mostly) one orginating from a Sony V1 in HDV (but converted into FCP .mov files), the other in AVCHD from the NX5 and the AVCHD footage (after conversion to ProRes) is 4 times the size.

That means compared to my old HDV workflow I am going to need approximately 4 times the HDD space to edit AVCHD files converted to ProRes.

Someone remind me again what was the advantage of upgrading to AVCHD???!!!!

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Pro res 422 has a lot higher bit rate than AVCHD, on FCP 7 I use LT which is around twice the bit rate of my AVCHD 24mbs files and seem to have the best balance of quality over file size.

HDV is a long GOP codec so the bit rate is 25mbs but the AVCHD codec is a lot cleaner from what I have found and is full 1920x1080, it may be worth upgrading to FCP V7 so that you can get the other pro res options that are available.

noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004

Thanks Gary. I'm certainly considering FCP 7 more seriously now. Can you give me an idea of what space saving or ratio LT is providing against 422?

PaulD
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Joined: Aug 31 2002

Hi
http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/finalcutpro/apple-prores.html
ProRes 422 LT is 102Mb/s and regular ProRes 422 is 147Mb/s.
So its x4 or x6 the highest AVCHD rates.

MAGLINK
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PaulD wrote:
Hi
http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/finalcutpro/apple-prores.html
ProRes 422 LT is 102Mb/s and regular ProRes 422 is 147Mb/s.
So its x4 or x6 the highest AVCHD rates.

As most of what apple do is variable bit rate I am finding pro res LT to be around 40-80mbs for AVCHD material from my canon HF11, don't worry about that though as long GOP codecs such as HDV and the other sony ones are a lot more difficult to handle than straight MP4 such as AVC and AVCHD.

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999
noddydog wrote:
Someone remind me again what was the advantage of upgrading to AVCHD???!!!!

The people who said upgrading to AVCHD was the way to go didn't think you'd be trying to funnel it into FCP. As an NX5er with Edius, I'm horrified to read of the pitfalls Apple has designed for you.

PaulD
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tom hardwick wrote:
...I'm horrified to read of the pitfalls Apple has designed for you.

Hi Tom
You are perfectly entitled to your beliefs in black magic and incantations ;)

Noddydog chooses to remain using a version of Final Cut that was sold a long time before Sony came up with their NXCAM AVCHD variant. Apple isn't unusual in only incorporating software updates to cover new 'standards' into new distributions.

This is work in progress (as is Edius ;) ) - undoubtedly things will improve when Apple finishes updating (= rewriting) its QuickTime substructure. In the meantime there are perfectly valid workflows for using AVCHD and "funneling it into FCP".

MAGLINK
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I agree with Paul you really need to keep up with the latest version of software if you want to get the best out of the latest technology, FCP 7 is very good at handling AVCHD in pro res LT.

tom hardwick
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Good points Paul and Gary. I'll shut the door on my way out :)

noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004

Ok ok I give in :-), I'll upgrade to version 7. Working for a charity (and spending their money) I've tried to cut costs by upgrading on every other version where the jump in features is usually more worthwhile, but on this occassion I can see I'm between the proverbial rock and hard place.

Obviously I'm about to start comparing prices through all the normal outlets/comparison sites, but if anyone knows where a good deal can be had, please shout.

MAGLINK
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HallmarkProductions
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Joined: Aug 29 1999

You might wish to source your upgrade to FCS3 on Ebay. There have been quite a few legitimately sold there at prices that are very fair.

Chris
Time for a new signature now...

noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004

Ok so this thread is a few months old, but long story short after all the issues I was having on FCP 6 with AVCHD I decided to upgrade to 7.

All should be sweet in the world but this morning when Log and Transferring rushes off of our NX5 I noticed the clip No.s for clips appearing inside the destination bin are out of sync.

There are only 12 clips but FCP is listing all the 1's first. By that I mean Clip 1, 10, 11 and 12, followed by 2,3,4,5 etc.

Does anyone know why or how to get around this since it will become a nightmare once I start pulling in rushes from larger shoots.

I have to say that I am almost at the point of giving up on FCP and AVCD, it has become so much more extra hassle that I really don't want.

Apple I really hope you monitor these forums since I can't be alone in this!

mooblie
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noddydog wrote:
There are only 12 clips but FCP is listing all the 1's first. By that I mean Clip 1, 10, 11 and 12, followed by 2,3,4,5 etc.

Does anyone know why or how to get around this since it will become a nightmare once I start pulling in rushes from larger shoots.

In Log&Transfer, have you looked at "Logging: Name Preset" = New/Edit? You can specify a Custom Name with (inter alia) a counter with a fixed number of digits, such as three, giving you 001, 002, 003, etc... You can also specify a start value for the counter, which can be useful too.

BTW: I'm sure no-one from Apple looks at these forums. They don't even look at their own forums! I believe only "Provide FCP Feedback" (under the FCP menu) has ANY chance of being seen - but even then, I've long since given up submitting stuff there too.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004

Thanks Mooblie, that's useful info and I'll pay more attention on the next L&T. Normally I just use the dafault settings since I prefer to manage my projects via specific bins. Thus the only thing that can mess this up is if the chronoloical order inside the bin is out of sync.

Interestingly it's been fine until now... not sure I've changed anything in the mix.

Re Apple, I suspect they've become too successful for their own good. Ironic that a decade and a half ago they were on the ropes and it was the die hard Apple fans that kept them on the radar.

Sadly jumping NLE ships is a bit like changing bank accounts... technically you know you'd be better off.... but boy what a heap of hassle to actually do it!

mooblie
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Agreed. I've never understood why ANYONE designing ANY software, that carries sequences like this, produce numbered filenames without leading zeros, that sort ridiculously, as you've found 1,10,11,12,13,2,3,4....

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

noddydog
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Sorry to open this up weeks later, but it saves me explaining the same background context in a new thread.

When using Log and Transfer to convert AVCHD files to ProRes I assume the only way to determine the destination of the newly generated ProRes files is via the 'Scratch Disks' tab under System settings?

It would be handy to create custom folders outside of the standard capture scratch location and temporarily send new files there by setting their location in the Log and Transfer interface (rather than going the long way round).

Am I missing something, is this option buried somewhere on L&T and I've missed it?

foxvideo
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Have a look at THIS (donationware) - might do what you want, use built in templates or make your own folder structure, works well for my workflow.

Dave Farrants Fox Video Editing

mooblie
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I believe (but am open to correction) that L&T just transfers the captured files to the destination specified in the Scratch Disks/Video Capture.

Is that a problem?

You only seem to be questioning WHERE you specify this, not IF you can specify this? (and you can!)
-----
(Edit: Interesting Dave... I must take a look at that!)

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

noddydog
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Thanks Dave I'll take a closer look at that.

Mooblie, the problem I'm running into is that I often shoot interviews simultaneously on 2 cameras (JVC GY HM-100 and Sony NX5). The JVC creates .mov files so I just create a folder relating to that specific interview and have it in an appropriate place on my HDD. But given I may shoot 3 interviews the same day on the same cards in the cameras I like to be able to put the converted AVCHD files (out of the NX5 and via L&T) in to the same folder (well subfolder actually) as the JVC files. This keeps everything nice and tidy and matching clips from each camera in one place.

So what would be handy is every time I start to convert the AVCHD files via L&T I'd like to quickly set the destination as the same folder as the matching JVC rushes.

I realise I can do this via System settings, but I wondered if I'm missing the option to do it on the L&T interface.

I haven't looked yet, but Dave's software might tick that box.

mooblie
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Yes, I can see why you might want to quickly specify different destinations (without closing L&T, going to System Settings, then opening L&T again).

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.