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Old April 26th, 2014, 04:32 PM   #16
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

I am curious about how the conversion apps "recommended earlier" are terrible and degrade the quality. My experience with ClipWrap, which admittedly is not able to work with mxf, has been excellent. Never a single issue with audio sync or degraded image. Simple program, well written and excellent support. The Pavtube MXF converter, I have no experience with but their iMedia Converter has been stellar in creating clean ProRes files from BluRay masters. I work with cinema projected media and degraded image quality would be very noticeable for my clients and me. PavTube's programming is a little wonky for an MacOS program but it's no worse than many Windows applications I've had to work with.
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Old April 26th, 2014, 05:31 PM   #17
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Well, I wasn't including ClipWrap in that statement - it's really just a re-wrapping app, not a conversion app, and is well-regarded. But it doesn't work on .mxf. They even announced a new product at NAB this month but it will export, but not import, .mxf.

There was a lot of traffic online about this a couple of years back, because for the first few months after FCPX came out there was no Canon XF series camera import plugin. For a while I actually imported and transcoded to ProRes using FCP 7, then imported those into FCPX. But, due to the issue a lot of people were searching for a solution, and these programs came up a lot.

Pavtube (and several others that seem to be the same thing with different names) claim to do .mxf to ProRes conversion, but the reported result of testing at the time was that often the program did not even work, and if it did actually produce a file it was usually a second generation transcode that lessened the quality and often also threw the audio out of sync. I've never read any report from anyone saying that they had any real success with those. If that situation has now changed, I'd be happy to hear it. Again, I'm talking .mxf to ProRes conversion on a Mac.
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Old April 27th, 2014, 03:27 PM   #18
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

If you are using FCP X - ClipWrap, Pavtube, etc. -> none of those are needed. In fact, you don't have to have FCP X create ProRes ("optimized media.") You can leave "create optimized media" unchecked in FCP X and FCP X will re-wrap the files without transcoding them.

It works great. Once done you do no longer need to have the file structure of the card intact, they are stand alone *.mov files, and I have even used this to quickly create files for clients to review.

I did a blog post on this in 2012 - Quick & Easy: Batch Canon C300 MXF to MOV via FCP X | Learning to See .

I have not updated that post for 10.1.1's new library system. But once imported the rewrapped MXF files will be within your library. You can easily get to the files if you need them (e.g. to show client) without having to batch or process anything.
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Old April 27th, 2014, 09:55 PM   #19
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Here's a bit about the underlying issue.

X does not TRY to work like other software.

It's entire design is to work differently.

In the situation you're discussing, you're trying to use it ilke earlier software that "thinks" in clips and files. X doesn't really do that. It "thinks" in sequestered content pools which are linked to the users decisions via metadata instructions.

This is a HUGE difference in operation.

If you try to "bring in files" like you did with FCP-Legacy - you're immediately hobbling the X workflow - since it's based on reading and archiving all sorts of useful upstream metadata which isn't stored in the FILES, bur rather stored at the VOLUME level on the card, drive or other digital archive. This includes camera metadata like settings, time of day, original file ID's etc. In addition, X can often import and use the picture thumbnails that many cameras create - saving the software from having to calculate those after the fact.

And it turns out that down the road, you may discover like I did that in a world where we're typically shooting MORE content more often, it's kinda dumb to try to keep track of a zillion folders full of disconnected files - separated from that incredibly useful metadata you tossed away when you decide to drag clips into folders like you were doing 5 years ago. IMO, the fact that apple decided to create a consistent - metadata friendly - database driven structure for every single shoot you do in the future - will start to look like the smartest change in their thinking they ever made.

That's where I see it today, after a couple of months of getting tired of dining around with X trying to use it the way I used Legacy for 10 years, I finally started to understand how to use it the way it was actually designed to be used. And that changed everything.

As a reward, today I can find literally ANYTHING from a whole scene to individual shots featuring a particular character, or product, or tied to a client, which I might have I shot in the last two years - in less than a minute.

Even if they're stored on a backup hard drive on my shelf.

Why? Because I learned to use a consistent workflows for managing Field Cards, Volumes, and now Libraries - and techniques for keeping my X database consistent and connected. And to let my computer index and ID everything.

The new system is a system to embrace, NOT to work around . Not if you want to gain the HUGE efficiency that X can provide you over time.

In the case of Canon files, \MXF parsers and similar utilities CAN let you work with file imports - but I'd avoid doing that.

Install the Canon direct importers and "read in" your media directly to X as your standard operating procedure. Let it populate the database with all that sweet upstream metadata. That's where a great big chunk of X's amazing power lies.

FWIW.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 11:11 AM   #20
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
Here's a bit about the underlying issue.

X does not TRY to work like other software.

It's entire design is to work differently.

In the situation you're discussing, you're trying to use it ilke earlier software that "thinks" in clips and files. X doesn't really do that. It "thinks" in sequestered content pools which are linked to the users decisions via metadata instructions.

This is a HUGE difference in operation.

If you try to "bring in files" like you did with FCP-Legacy - you're immediately hobbling the X workflow - since it's based on reading and archiving all sorts of useful upstream metadata which isn't stored in the FILES, bur rather stored at the VOLUME level on the card, drive or other digital archive. This includes camera metadata like settings, time of day, original file ID's etc. In addition, X can often import and use the picture thumbnails that many cameras create - saving the software from having to calculate those after the fact.

And it turns out that down the road, you may discover like I did that in a world where we're typically shooting MORE content more often, it's kinda dumb to try to keep track of a zillion folders full of disconnected files - separated from that incredibly useful metadata you tossed away when you decide to drag clips into folders like you were doing 5 years ago. IMO, the fact that apple decided to create a consistent - metadata friendly - database driven structure for every single shoot you do in the future - will start to look like the smartest change in their thinking they ever made.

That's where I see it today, after a couple of months of getting tired of dining around with X trying to use it the way I used Legacy for 10 years, I finally started to understand how to use it the way it was actually designed to be used. And that changed everything.

As a reward, today I can find literally ANYTHING from a whole scene to individual shots featuring a particular character, or product, or tied to a client, which I might have I shot in the last two years - in less than a minute.

Even if they're stored on a backup hard drive on my shelf.

Why? Because I learned to use a consistent workflows for managing Field Cards, Volumes, and now Libraries - and techniques for keeping my X database consistent and connected. And to let my computer index and ID everything.

The new system is a system to embrace, NOT to work around . Not if you want to gain the HUGE efficiency that X can provide you over time.

In the case of Canon files, \MXF parsers and similar utilities CAN let you work with file imports - but I'd avoid doing that.

Install the Canon direct importers and "read in" your media directly to X as your standard operating procedure. Let it populate the database with all that sweet upstream metadata. That's where a great big chunk of X's amazing power lies.

FWIW.

Yep, I'm a Sony Vegas users and a apprehensive FCPX users. For a decade, I've stored footage on drives, named, labeled etc my footage and been able to use it in it's 'raw' form an multiple platforms. Such as using a 'shared drive' between pc and mac. As for the import, I just wanted to preview, verify it's playable and watch the footage on a lighter piece of software, but Apple is going to make me open X and do it from there. A tad annoying. But thanks for the information. As X continues to mature, I'll keep working on my workflow with it.

When X came out, I was hoping to do a full switch from Vegas since Sony is out of touch with users in such a big way, but patience is a virtue they say. I just wish I had a pill for it.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 12:12 PM   #21
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis View Post
As for the import, I just wanted to preview, verify it's playable and watch the footage on a lighter piece of software, but Apple is going to make me open X and do it from there.
Well, you could also do all that in XF Utility - I do that as a first step while I'm making a backup of the card. Or there's also a freeware .mxf player if you're just wanting to watch footage:

MXF4mac Player - Free MXF Player by Hamburg Pro Media

I personally find it more efficient to preview footage in the FCPX import window, set I/Os and import. If it would also allow me to apply keywords as part of the import process it would be truly perfect :-)
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Old April 28th, 2014, 12:52 PM   #22
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dixon View Post
Well, you could also do all that in XF Utility - I do that as a first step while I'm making a backup of the card. Or there's also a freeware .mxf player if you're just wanting to watch footage:

MXF4mac Player - Free MXF Player by Hamburg Pro Media

I personally find it more efficient to preview footage in the FCPX import window, set I/Os and import. If it would also allow me to apply keywords as part of the import process it would be truly perfect :-)

Thanks again. I liked this discussion because it's more concise than most of the similar discussion found on Google/search.


So, I'll just copy the whole file structure and go from there. Good thoughts, thanks to everyone. And thanks for the link for the player.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 02:55 PM   #23
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dixon View Post
Well, you could also do all that in XF Utility - I do that as a first step while I'm making a backup of the card. Or there's also a freeware .mxf player if you're just wanting to watch footage:

MXF4mac Player - Free MXF Player by Hamburg Pro Media

I personally find it more efficient to preview footage in the FCPX import window, set I/Os and import. If it would also allow me to apply keywords as part of the import process it would be truly perfect :-)
But you and do that all day long in X.

If you work with Sparse Disk Bundles or the internal Camera Archives - those are essentially CLONES of the original card structure.

With X 10.1's new Libraries orientation, you can work exclusively in Referenced Media - and that means when you launch your clones - it "looks" to X as if the original card has been mounted. At that point, you're completely free to do range selection and transcode ONLY the footage you want to use in your programs. If the codec or wrapper doesn't allow for that because of the file structure - you can then make re-wrapped versions of the file and store THOSE on Sparse Disk Bundles - but I find I almost never have to re-wrap anything when using X. I just work off my clones and keep the proper parsers loaded to read the native clone launched virtual cards.

And when you import from your clones initially - any clips that you've imported into your Events or Projects or Libraries instantly re-link upon clone launch and allow you to get to work immediately.

It's really easy.
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Old June 9th, 2014, 09:56 PM   #24
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Realizing now you can google 'mxf import Canon utility' to FCPX, you get this thread. I wanted to give a shout out to the Wondershare video converter utility. You can batch convert to a variety of video formats, one to the other.


Issues like this such as 'reading' common file structures that have been around for ages, is what keeps me from calling FCPX a professional editing system. MXF is still widely used and there's no reason for Apple not to patch it. It's not like we're asking them to use a floppy drive.
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Old June 9th, 2014, 10:57 PM   #25
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis View Post
Realizing now you can google 'mxf import Canon utility' to FCPX, you get this thread. I wanted to give a shout out to the Wondershare video converter utility. You can batch convert to a variety of video formats, one to the other.


Issues like this such as 'reading' common file structures that have been around for ages, is what keeps me from calling FCPX a professional editing system. MXF is still widely used and there's no reason for Apple not to patch it. It's not like we're asking them to use a floppy drive.
So you've used the Wondershare product, and it converts the files well, without image degrading recompression or audio sync issues? Again, for those not wishing to buy a $60 product, the free version of Davinci Lite will also do this conversion.

I agree with Bill's first post above - FCPX has its own unique approach (and I'm speaking beyond the detail of importing certain bare clip formats). Trying to make it conform to the same workflow as other NLEs (including FCP7) is probably going to be difficult, frustrating, and limiting. A few months back there was a thread here with a user who was accustomed to assigning keywords at the import stage in FCP7. In FCPX you must import, then assign keywords. I saw that a a truly minor workflow adjustment that would in the long run add power and flexibility, but for him it was a deal breaker. I too would like to see that feature added, and have sent feedback to Apple requesting this.

Anyway, FCPX works flawlessly (and without transcoding) with .mxf content from Canon cameras - as long as you have the Canon plugin installed and you are importing from the original memory card or a clone of that same structure. That's the workflow. Any other import of .mxf clips will require extra steps. If this is important to you, I suggest using the feedback form.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 01:52 PM   #26
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

And just announced:

EditReady : Transcoding Without The Hassle - divergent media
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Old June 10th, 2014, 01:55 PM   #27
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

I saw this mentioned during NAB and contacted the company right away - doesn't work with .mxf at all, either raw or from a card structure. It's really aimed at DSLR shooters.
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Old June 20th, 2014, 09:10 PM   #28
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

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In FCPX you must import, then assign keywords. I saw that a a truly minor workflow adjustment that would in the long run add power and flexibility, but for him it was a deal breaker. I too would like to see that feature added, and have sent feedback to Apple requesting this.
Well, lets break this request down.

What you're asking is that you can assign keywords to clips before the database in X knows they exist.

In X, keywords are range based. In other words, it's system uniquely and wonderfully allows you to define the part of a clip to to which you can attach a keyword. That can be the whole clip, part of a clip, or even part of a clip which overlaps other clips who can also have other unique or different keyword ranges. It''s INSANELY flexible. At the position 0:00:10 a frame of a clip can be a part of six keyword collections - and literally one frame later three of those can be gone and two NEW ones can be in play - and X tracks them all flawlessly.

And it does this magic because the range the user selects out of the imported clip(s) is critical. You're targeting the PART of the clip where the keyword is to be applied.

(Import first, then after the program knows where those clips ARE in it's internal database - allow the user to keyword in ranges)

Seems fairly sensible to me.
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Old June 20th, 2014, 09:54 PM   #29
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Bill, I understand completely the power and flexibility of keywords in FCPX, so I assume you're posting this for future readers. Assigning keywords on import would be only a superficial use of that power. However, if I'm skimming through clips making multiple separate range selections for import, once I'm sitting there with those ranges selected it seems a shame that I can't just go ahead and assign one keyword to each range at that point before clicking Import Selected. I could always add more later.

Yes, the data is not yet in the database, but if you import from Finder folders you have the options of using the folder names as keywords, so there is precedent for FCPX allowing a single keyword assignment that "rides in" as the clip is added to the database.

But, it's not a big factor for me. I'm just always surprised by the "but it doesn't let me work the way I want to work" comments from potential FCPX users. I find new approaches exciting, but not everyone feels that way.
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 05:58 PM   #30
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

When it comes to the "but it doesn't let me work the way I want to work..." argument, here's my issue.

That presumes that the way you've learned to work - restricted to traditional NLE workflow operations - is the "best" way to work. And I've come to question that in my own practice. I editing Legacy for more than 10 years. And I thought it was the "right" way to edit. But now I don't. My expectations have been - well - lets say refined.

Here's a silly analogy...

Think of your NLE like dessert.

In the past, you had to accept the bad (high fat, high sugar) to get the good thing you wanted in terms of taste, texture and yumminess.

Now someone has come along with a desert that, if you're one of the people who can make the mental switch - you get a delightful new taste, an amazing new texture and a huge amount of satisfaction - and it's ALSO amazingly healthy AND it's far less expansive than the deserts you used to love!

Does it have EVERY quality of your former desert? Nope. It doesn't come in a zillion flavors yet. It perhaps doesn't have ALL the sprinkles or nuts or caramel-like crunch bits. But it does have maybe 80% of the things you like about eating desert. And it gets harder and harder to ignore the health and price benefits after you eat the new stuff for a while.

Yes, some folks newly exposed to it get TOTALLY stuck on the taste difference.

I understand that because I've gone through the very same process regarding all manner of sweets, coffee, sugary soda, and a lot of high fat or high sugar foods that I used to consume.

I still occasionally indulge in them. But if I make them the mainstay of my diet, I find myself performing more sluggishly and often feel frustrated after I eat too much of them.

In short, I've changed my expectations. And strangely, the new foods I eat more regularly since I gave up the "bad" ones - now actually taste better and seem to get more and more satisfying the longer I stick with them - to the point that when I go back and taste the full fat, full sugar deserts I used to crave - they no longer taste as yummy, but rather seem heavy and bloated and sickly sweet.

That's my experience with the transition from 10 years exclusively cutting on FCP-Legacy - compared to my 3 years now of cutting exclusively with FCP-X.

I had to consult with an editor a couple of week ago on a project that was crashing for him on Legacy - and operating it was honestly PAINFUL for me. It's like I was trying to edit wearing iron mittens. It just seemed so slow and dumb compared to X.

I know Legacy does things that X does not. And I know that each editor has his or her own "tastes" that they should honor. But like the tortured food analogy above, at some point, I just found that after a while using X exclusively, I felt like I'd finally stopped eating like a ten year old. And at some point, I look back and am amazingly relieved that I no longer have to edit like someone who hasn't moved much beyond the 1990s in terms of NLE structure and operation.

But that's just me.

Your experience may be different.

; )
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