View Full Version : Ki Pro and multicam
Svein Rune Skilnand
June 14th, 2011, 02:39 PM
I am trying to come up with a solution to a mess I have made for myself. I do a lot of event filming, stageshows and so on. And I have invested as finances permit.
I usually shoot the events with 3 cameras and then edit it in FCP in multicam. It used to work great with tapebased formats, alltough a slow process.
Now I own a Sony EX3, a JVC HM790 and a Sony Z5. On their own they are excellent cameras for documentaries, news and so on but, I have learnt that diving into a filebased workflow was not as easy as I thought it would be. I thought that would make my life easier and not going through the whol edigitizing process.
Entering my edit suite I thought a one hour clip would be a one hour clip. But I have found it is not so. XD Cam EX breaks the clips into 13 minutes or so segments, making them a nightmare to work with when I try to sync. There are now a bunch of clips instead of what I thought would be one long clip. So I am wondering how to work around this problem and I wonder whether the AJA Ki Pro would solve the problem for me. Does anyone know if it records lets say a one hour clip as one file, not breaking them up?
Any inputs appreciated.
June 14th, 2011, 06:28 PM
Svein R.S. - Yes, the Ki Pro records clips as one single file. In part, for the reasons you note; breaking clips up into smaller portions can be really problematic when you work in post production and expect your single recording to be represented by one clip. Note that a Ki Pro could work with all of your cameras; SDI from the Sony PMW-EX3, SDI from the JVC GY-HM790U and HDMI from the Sony HVR-Z5U.
A unique feature of the Ki Pro recorders for multicam workflows is the gang recording feature. Via the web UI and ethernet connections to a group of Ki Pros, one Ki Pro can act as the "master" allowing you to make recordings on all of the units - even match clip names on each of the units - through one simple interface. You can read more about this in the Ki Pro operation manual on pages 61-63 . The manual can be found on the AJA website here:
Feel free to contact AJA directly if you have more questions about using Ki Pro in multicam scenarios.
Hope this is helpful,
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
June 16th, 2011, 07:20 AM
I've been using the kiPro's for multicam record for about a year now and they work great. I haven't tried the gang recording option, but will look into it. You shouldn't have any trouble using the kipro for multicam events.
Svein Rune Skilnand
June 16th, 2011, 01:03 PM
Jon and Nick. Thanks so much for responding. This was extremely helpful. Boy is my life going to get easier.
I will definately look into the gang recording option.
Why did I not ask this question before...
June 17th, 2011, 03:21 PM
XD Cam EX breaks the clips into 13 minutes or so segments, making them a nightmare to work with when I try to sync. There are now a bunch of clips instead of what I thought would be one long clip.
I'd sure like to know what you're editing on because there's no need to join several 13 min. XDCAM EX clips together manually. If you're on a Mac and using Final Cut Pro then you need Sony's free XDCAM Transfer software to automatically join all the segments together into one seamless clip. Then it's ready for importing into your editing program. I've had single clips that lasted over 3 hours by hot-swapping SxS memory card during recording. There's no way a manufacturer would make a camera where you had to join 13 min. clips together manually because nobody would buy it.
If you're on a Windows machine and running something like Avid MC or Premiere Pro you need Sony's free program called Clip Browser that will also do this job. There's a version for the Mac as well but basically it's just a glorified copy program.
The reason the XDCAM EX clips are split into segments is because the SxS Pro memory cards are formatted in FAT32 which is the formatting that can be read by both Mac and Windows computers. FAT32 also has a 4 Gbyte file size limit so that's why the clips are split into segments.
Svein Rune Skilnand
June 22nd, 2011, 12:27 PM
I am using FCP 7 and I have downloaded the XDCam Transfer. If you could tell me the right procedure to join the clips automatically, I sure would appreciate it. My dealer is unable to help on this matter. I guess that is because they only sell the equipment and not using it themselves.
I have looked into the Ki Pros and they are attractive, but I am also looking at quite an investment when buying 3 of them.
June 28th, 2011, 10:19 PM
Chris H. - feel free to move this to the appropriate forum if you wish.
first of all a few basic rules about working with Sony SxS Pro Memory cards, BPAV folders and XDCAM Transfer.
(1) When you record XDCAM EX media to a card like SxS thereís only one folder on that card and itís called BPAV. Thatís the folder name that XDCAM Transfer and Clip Browser look for when they do their thing. If the folder is named anything else the programs WILL NOT recognize the EX files within the BPAV folders no matter what. Thatís why when you copy a BPAV folder to a storage device you must create an uniquely named folder for each BPAV you record. Name this folder whatever you wish. Never alter the contents of a BPAV folder in any way or programs like the Sonyís XDCAM Transfer or Clip Browser will not be able to extract your video files without a lot of extra work on your part. With XDCAM Transfer, as soon as you navigate to your uniquely named folder with the BPAV inside the program will "see" the BPAV and all the clip thumbnails will appear.
(2) Archiving your BPAV folders is a good practice to get into and the fastest way to do this is to copy the BPAV folder to a hard drive. There are a couple of ways to do this:
1. Connect your EX to your computer via USB. When the card(s) appear on the desktop open one and drag the BPAV folder to another attached device (like an external hard drive) to make an exact copy of the BPAV folder.
2. The smarter way is to use Sony's Clip Browser 2.0 to copy the BPAV folder to somewhere else rather than just dragging and dropping in the Finder. The reason? Clip Browser will make sure there are no errors during the process. This is called "CRC Error Checking".
Now the following is for actually using XDCAM Transfer to consolidate all the pieces of a clip into a complete clip:
Start the XDCAM Transfer program and go to preferences, specifically you want to select a folder where you want the converted video clips to reside. Once that's done then at the bottom of the XDCAM Transfer window click on the ADD button. Within the window that pops up navigate to the SxS card icon on your desktop or wherever your BPAV folders are. Once the program "sees" the card or folder it will automatically show all the clips in the main window. You can select all the clips (Cmd A) and click "Import". The rest is all automatic. If you have a clip that spans more than one BPAV folder you MUST have both folders present in the XDCAM Transfer window in order for the program to make the complete clip.
Start FCP, navigate to the import folder you created and choose to import all the converted MOV files. They'll appear in FCP's browser window.
Svein Rune Skilnand
June 29th, 2011, 12:25 PM
Don, thanks so much for taking your time on such a comprehensive answer.
This sure has given me a lot of insight to a much better workflow.
I have downloaded XD Cam transfer and gone through all your steps. And my clips import just fine. I have noticed when opening XD Cam transfer within FCP I can actually import them to the project I am working on. If you open XD Cam transfer as a standalone program you don`t get this option.
However I still get multiple clips.
What I did was to import the clip in question and it is named SRS_0605.SMI which indicates that the clip was shot on my camera ( SRS ) followed by the clip number and as I understand it, SMI indicates that the clip has been split across another card. It is segmented into 15 parts, where I am able to choose part 9 through 15 as subclips. But I still cannot get it to open in FCP as one clip.
June 29th, 2011, 11:53 PM
It is segmented into 15 parts, where I am able to choose part 9 through 15 as subclips. But I still cannot get it to open in FCP as one clip.
You need to select ALL the pieces of the clip and then choose your in/out points in the viewer window. That's the only way you'll get the portion of the video clip (or multiple clips) you want imported into FCP. Selecting pieces in the lower right hand window and expecting to get sub clips isn't going to do it.
You mentioned that using XDCAM Transfer within FCP results in multiple version of clips imported into the Browser window. That's a bug that still persists in the program and that's why I use XDCAM Transfer as a stand-alone app.
If you feel that you're doing everything right but XDCAM Transfer seems to be acting strangely here's a few tips. The first few things you can try is to go to XDCAM Transfer Preferences found in the XDCAM Transfer menu (the first drop down menu). Click on the Cache portion of the Preferences window and empty the cache. The next thing to do is to actually trash the XDCAM Transfer preference file. The path is: Macintosh HD > Users > 'yourname' > Library > Preferences > com.sony.bprl.xdcamtransfer.plist. Trash this preference file (as in put it in the trash bin) and restart XDCAM Transfer. This will put the program into its default state. See if that solves it. Make sure you also re-navigate to where you want the converted media to again reside by using the preferences menu.
August 9th, 2011, 01:30 AM
A much cheaper alternative to the KiPro is Adobe Premiere Pro, which allows you to edit just about every video format natively - ie, with NO rendering. In addition, Premiere Pro displays XDCAM EX videos as entire clips whether the clip consists of 1 file or 30 files. Also, Adobe has a sale of $899 or $999 for their entire Production Premium CS5.5 suite and Premiere Pro CS5.5 has a shortcut setting to mimic FCP 7. But wait, there's more - Premiere can also import FCP 7 projects.