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Old April 5th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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Importing Problems

So I started to do my first imports of HDV material as ProRes. I made sure all of my settings were correct first. Started importing a few clips. Stopped to make sure that it's actually working and that files are appearing in the right location. They were not. Checked the default scratch location on my boot drive and found them there. Checked my scratch settings in the system settings again, which were set correctly, so I don't know why the files went to the wrong location. Set it again. Moved the clips I imported to where I wanted them to go. Of course I know my clips will go offline and need to be reconnected. So I select them and choose reconnect media, direct it to where the files are now, but they are grayed out. I change the pop up window to video files, doesn't work, change it to see all files, they appear, I select the one it's asking for and click choose. It doesn't do it. I keep trying but I can't get them to reconnect.

At this point, since I had only imported a few clips, I decided to trash them and start again fresh. I check all of my settings again, and start the process over. I check to see if the files are going to the right location now. They are. So I continue importing more footage. After doing this for about an hour FCP freezes. I press Esc, nothing happens. I click around but the program is not responding at all. So I force quit it. When I reopen it, all the clips in the bin are gone. I check the scratch folder and the imported clips are there. So I try dragging them from the folder to the bin, it doesn't work. I try choosing import, it doesn't work.

I notice that the files have a generic document icon. I click one and choose get info. It just says document and shows the files size, but doesn't say what type of file it is or what program it's associated with. I thought that was odd so I decided to double click one to see what would happen. Quicktime launches and gives me an error message saying that it cannot play a data file. I wonder why FCP is not recognizing files it just created.

I consider starting over but realize I could be right back in the same position again in an hour. I needed to find out what is wrong and what to do about it.

I'm stuck, can anyone help me?
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:44 AM   #2
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Is there anyone who has any idea as to what is going wrong?

It seemed like I had chosen the most simple and straight forward path, for the most basic function of an NLE (importing). I've followed every instruction to the T. Set every setting exactly as prescribed by the manual and book. Yet nothing seems to be functioning the way it is supposed to. So far my impression of this program is pretty low.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #3
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In Scratch Disks, did you UNCHECK the Boot Drive targets? When FCP first boots, it only knows the Boot Drive exists so it send files there. When you ADD a target, you need to uncheck the Boot Drive.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #4
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Attach a screen capture of your scratch disks screen and we can help more easily.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #5
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As I explained in my original post, the scratch disk location is not the real problem. The real problem is why are my media files, not media files? Why are they generic documents that are unrecognizable by any program, including the one that just made them (FCP)?
Attached Thumbnails
Importing Problems-scratch-settings.tif   Importing Problems-v-settings.tif  

Importing Problems-media-file-icons.tif   Importing Problems-get-info-pic.tif  

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Old April 6th, 2010, 10:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James McCrory View Post
After doing this for about an hour FCP freezes. I press Esc, nothing happens. I click around but the program is not responding at all. So I force quit it. When I reopen it, all the clips in the bin are gone. I check the scratch folder and the imported clips are there. So I try dragging them from the folder to the bin, it doesn't work. I try choosing import, it doesn't work.

I notice that the files have a generic document icon. I click one and choose get info. It just says document and shows the files size, but doesn't say what type of file it is or what program it's associated with.
Were these all clips from ONE HDV tape that failed to be completely ingested by the time you Force Quit? If so, the header info probably wasn't written to the clips (which would happen AFTER a batch import as you are using an HDV to ProRes capture, which is a Capture Now setup).

Can you try capturing smaller bits of tape and see if the files come out ok? (I mean stop the import after a couple of minutes by pressing Esc and allowing FCP to finish writing the files).
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Old April 6th, 2010, 10:10 PM   #7
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You have a big problem that's probably outside of FCP. You have a system that's writing corrupted resource forks onto the video files. Click on one of the video files, open "Get Info" and make sure the "Open With" section is set to QuickTime. If it isn't, set it and try to open the file. If the file still doesn't open and you have Diskwarrior, boot the computer from the install DVD and run it on all your drives. See if that fixes the files but it might not fix the source of the problem.

My advice is to do a clean install of the OS and try again capturing again. You might need to reinstall FCP as well.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:33 PM   #8
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James - if I am not mistaken, you are importing directly as Prores from HDV tapes, correct?

How powerful is your machine, what set up are you running, because what your machine is trying to do is capture then transcode your HDV on the fly. They won't give you proper quicktimes until each clip is fully transcoded to prores - it could be that you are interrupting the process before these clips are fully transcoded.

Ingesting directly from tape to prores in this way is actually a pretty dumb way of doing things (compared to using a capture card from AJA or Black Magic) because it is both ingesting and transcoding at once which means more things can go wrong and interrupt the process and your machine is under considerably more stress but not in a very efficient way (like capturing then managing the transcoding in batch using Compressor/qMaster etc. to more effectively use your cores)
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Old April 7th, 2010, 08:37 AM   #9
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Not so dumb. I used to use my old G5 to capture as ProRes directly from HDV and that never encountered this problem. The fact that the program freezes leads me to believe a deeper problem is occurring here. Somewhere the transcoding process is being interrupted which corrupts the video files and crashes FCP.

1) Trash the FCP preference file.

2) Run the FCP maintenance suite of applications as listed by Robert Lane elsewhere in the forum.

3) Run Diskwarrior.

4) Reinstall Mac OS 10.

5) Reinstall FCP.
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Old April 7th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #10
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To Shaun,

I did just that. I had stopped after a few clips to see if the files were going to the right location. Once I saw that they were, I continued importing. The files always looked the same though.


To William,

I have a feeling you're right. This seems like something that is more of a systemic problem. I do not have Disk-warrior, although I should probably get it. I will do exactly as you suggest, and post again with the results. It may be a while as I am also busy with other things.


To Craig,

You are correct, I'm transcoding on import. The files however are being written to a Proavio raid box with four 2TB drives in a raid 5 configuration connected via SAS cables to a RocketRaid 4322 controller card. The write speed this gives me is 378 Mbps. When I was importing, there was no lag at all, the captures were happening in real-time. My Mac is a new 4 core with 8 gigs of ram.

I was told that a capture card was not absolutely necessary. That it's possible to capture and transcode HDV to ProRes on a Mac even without a raid box. That there would just be a slight lag between what you see and the encoding. Since those cards are very expensive, I didn't want to buy something that was not absolutely necessary. I can't afford to. Would importing as HDV and then transcoding to ProRes afterward be a better method? If so, you'll have to explain the steps in every detail because I don't know how to do that.
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Old April 7th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Parkes View Post
Ingesting directly from tape to prores in this way is actually a pretty dumb way of doing things (compared to using a capture card from AJA or Black Magic) because it is both ingesting and transcoding at once which means more things can go wrong and interrupt the process and your machine is under considerably more stress
As someone that captures 720P60 HDV over FireWire to ProRes (about 1GB per minute) on a three year old white iMac 2.16GHz CoreDuo I can tell you it can be done with less than the newest hardware. Yes, it lags behind (in some cases up to 20%) but I have never had a capture fail the way James is experiencing.
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Old April 7th, 2010, 07:32 PM   #12
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I have had good luck with Onxy - Titanium Software
for standard weekly/monthly maintenance.

And like said above - Disk Warrior for the heavy disk issues.

Apples Disk Utility - for everyday system repairing permissions
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Old April 11th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
As someone that captures 720P60 HDV over FireWire to ProRes (about 1GB per minute) on a three year old white iMac 2.16GHz CoreDuo I can tell you it can be done with less than the newest hardware. Yes, it lags behind (in some cases up to 20%) but I have never had a capture fail the way James is experiencing.
Fair enough - Given the opportunity I'm sure you'd agree that capturing through a capture card is preferable however I would also agree given James's stated hardware he should be having no problems. I thought he could have been on a G5 or some such, as he hadn't stated his system specs.

So James, from Shaun's comments I'd say that it's unlikely that your having troubles due to Final Cut's way of transcoding and that, as others have suggested, something is amiss with your system.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 01:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Craig Parkes View Post
Fair enough - Given the opportunity I'm sure you'd agree that capturing through a capture card is preferable.
I'd rather capture via Firewire and avoid a D/A => A/D conversion given that on my cameras (and the SOLITARY deck that plays back JVC's ProHD tapes), the only options are FW or Analog component. IF I had HD-SDI, I would rethink my position but HDV to ProRes over FW works just fine, given that it was sourced in HDV in the first place.

Will my NEXT edit system have an external I/O? Yes, but MOSTLY for ingesting analog legacy material (like my BetaSP archive) or for rental decks that have HD-SDI for client edits. My cameras work just fine over FW and my NEXT step is likely to be file based (whether SD card or XDCamHD disc based), rendering the need for the INPUT side of an I/O solution moot.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 07:54 AM   #15
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Except, from memory, you can't batch capture using the Pro res ingest, correct?

And certainly, the lack of HD-SDI for your deck is an issue. Heck, the lack of readily available rental Decks with HD-SDI was one of the reasons I captured an entire series in HDV and just edited on a pro res timeline (space was another issue, considering there were over 200 hours of HD footage and almost the same amount of externally sourced SD archive and we were often ingesting entire tapes.)
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