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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old December 20th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #1
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Can't open files from HDD copy?

I'm editing a project that was shot with a Canon XF300. After the shoot yesterday I copied the entire contents of two cards of data from the cameraman's XF300 CF cards. CLIPS001 and CLIPS002. Both me and the camera owner confirmed that the complete directories were copied to my computer.

Today, I managed to get the XFUtility and FCP plugin from Canon (me and the camera owner live in separate states). Now, when I try to Log and Transfer the files through FCP I'm getting a "invalid structure" error. I've been using tapeless workflow for a while now with my own NX5U, so I'm not inexperienced with formats that need complicated directories. I don't however have much experience with MXF-based formats. For my own orginizational purposes I have the file CLIPS directories in the following sub-folder location:

Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS001
Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS001/JOURNAL/ (empty)
Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS001/INDEX.MIF
Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS001/AA0434/ (each contains .CIF, .XML, .MXF, .SIF files)
Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS001/AA0435/
Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS001/AA0.../

Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS002
Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS002/JOURNAL/ (empty)
Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS002/INDEX.MIF
Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS002/AA0501/ (each contains .CIF, .XML, .MXF, .SIF files)
Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS002/AA0502/
Features/2011STI/XF300/CLIPS002/AA0.../

When I try to import these are the locations I'm pointing to. (though i've tried everything else as well)

So, given that I have the plugin, I have the MXF utility v1.1 (which seems to have no way to "import" or connect to an existing stash of files on a HDD that it didn't created itself), I have each directory of video in it's unaltered entirety can any Canon experts give me an idea how I can get this to log and transfer into FCP?

Thanks,

Ryan Douthit
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Old December 20th, 2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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O M G.

Fixed it. Apparently they needed to be inside a folder called CONTENTS.

How, in 2010, we can have such delicate file structures is beyond me.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 09:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Douthit View Post
II copied the entire contents of two cards of data from the cameraman's XF300 CF cards.
So, actually, that statement wasn't true was it? If you had copied the "entire contents of the two cards" then the CONTENTS folders would have been transferred as well. Gotta be careful in how you phrase things if you expect to get help troubleshooting. Sorry, but that's one of my pet peeves where people don't give accurate or complete information when asking for help.

Good for you for figuring it out on your own, but a quick watching of my training DVD would have saved you a lot of grief. Mastering the Canon XF305/300 Camcorders training DVD
The XF workflow is pretty fool-proof as long as you follow the rules.

Did you import that footage into FCP as native or convert to ProRes?
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Old December 20th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #4
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...which is why I included in my post the physical structure: I understand there's always room for human error. Though, the fact that it an otherwise useless parent folder is really absurd. We should be dealing with objects not Byzantine file structures at this point.

No real use for a training DVD on a camera I don't own and -- other than editing the resulting video -- don't use. Thanks anyhow ;)

I've transcoded the video to ProRes 422. We use lots of different cameras and have standardized on that for masters.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 04:20 AM   #5
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MXF file structure is not unusual and completely normal for Avid media files, P2, XDCAM HD (not EX which has a different strict file structure) and XDCAM HD422 to name just a few examples. It's also used for file interchange/storage/management by broadcasters and archives. It's all about metadata and media databasing. If you're used to FCP and (relatively) unmanaged simple user-controlled OS-level QT file structures, it can be confusing, I understand but there is solid reason behind the way MXF is implemented. Personally I am so glad Canon opted for MXF and I find the CF-stored MXF system a breath of fresh air!
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Old December 21st, 2010, 11:04 AM   #6
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No reason to be condescending, Antony.

I understand that such structures are normal, and that they exist. I even know why they exist in the first place. However, I see no reason for the tools to work with them have to be so incredibly finicky as to ONLY work IF there is an additional useless folder with a very specific name enveloping it all (and yes, an empty parent folder doesn't add any additional information to the metadata, nor does it enhance/add to the video itself, therefore... useless.) This is crazy for 2010 and is in no way technically required for the video to to readable, regardless of the fact that "it's how broadcast does it" or that other formats do it as well.

The tools should be more flexible, and video data should be accessible even if it looses its parent structure (this is not a Canon-specific rant, ever have a corrupt file or need to retrieve video off a drive that you didn't personally set up? I have.) To be so accepting of this flaw in the system is totally bewildering to me. If the makers can't improve the format for historical purposes, they need to improve the tools that work with those formats. Accept progress and encourage improvement. Then again, if they can just shrug and say "it's broadcast and how its been done" instead of putting additional resources into programming better tools, then more power to them, right?
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