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Old June 30th, 2010, 11:21 AM   #1
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First time working with SxS Media - Posterized and noisy - Help...

Hi folks, LONG time FCP editor, first time working with XDCamEX media.

OSX10.4.11 FCP6.0.6 iMac 2.16GHz 2GB

Media imported from 16GB and 8GB SxS cards shot on EX1 in 35Mbps VBR at 1920x1080 at 24P using Log and Transfer after installing Sony's Log & Transfer Utility for FCP v1.0.0 using the Sony crd reader. Never had the camera in my suite so I couldn't check playback.

Files now reside on a FW attached external drive as .movs that have the right file sizes to indicate full size clips and indicate the correct codec and frame size.

The problem is: the images are SERIOUSLY posterized and there is a lot of mosquito noise. This is a favour I'm doing for a friend of mine as his final project for film school and was not on set so I don't KNOW what the incamera footage looked like. He claims they checked playback on set using the camera to feed an HD monitor and it looked good.

What on earth could be wrong? The cards have gone back to the school and we are waiting to find out if they have been reformatted.

I've tried XDCamEX timelines, I've tried ProRes timelines, I've tried XDCamEX timelines with ProRes rendering set up. All looks the same. Source file looks the same in FCP or QuickTime Player.
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First time working with SxS Media - Posterized and noisy - Help...-sequence-3.tif  
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Old June 30th, 2010, 06:34 PM   #2
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Hi Shaun - to me that looks like you have ingested proxies, not the Full Res XDCAM EX footage. Are you sure you ingested the full quality of the cards, and I assumed you backed up the entire card to your machine?
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Old June 30th, 2010, 07:01 PM   #3
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Hi Craig - I thought they looked like proxies as well. I used the Log and Transfer function in FCP to move the files to my Scratch Disk. I've attached the Info from one of the files on my Scratch Disk. The file size looks right at 430MB for a 1m39s clip.

Am I missing something? I used the Log & Transfer, selected all the clips from the card and added them. It took about 15 minutes to transfer 14GB of files over USB2.0 to a FW400 drive. That all seemed pretty normally for full clips - I would have expected proxies to be much smaller and move much quicker.

What part am I missing?
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Old June 30th, 2010, 07:04 PM   #4
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Helps when I add the screen capture...
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Old June 30th, 2010, 08:32 PM   #5
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All right - I installed the XDCam Transfer utility now after watching a VAR video online. Just need to get the cards and reader back to give this a try. Had installed the Log & Transfer Utility before. Sony doesn't exactly go out of their way to explain just HOW to do this, do they?

I find myself thinking of Douglas Adams Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy:

Arthur Dent's house is about to be knocked down to make room for a bypass. Arthur has never heard of the intention to demolish his house until the bulldozers arrive.


"But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."

"Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything."

"But the plans were on display ..."

"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."

"That's the display department."

"With a flashlight."

"Ah, well the lights had probably gone."

"So had the stairs."

"But look, you found the notice didn't you?"

"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'. Have you ever thought about going into advertising?"
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #6
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Don't count too much on Blu-Ray

Sorry, Wrong thread

Last edited by Mathieu Ghekiere; June 30th, 2010 at 09:02 PM. Reason: deleted because of wrong thread
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Old July 1st, 2010, 02:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
All right - I installed the XDCam Transfer utility now after watching a VAR video online. Just need to get the cards and reader back to give this a try. Had installed the Log & Transfer Utility before. Sony doesn't exactly go out of their way to explain just HOW to do this, do they?
Wow. Sounds like Apple makes this stuff much harder than it should be. In Avid, you just point at the BPAV structure and the entire contents come right in. In Vegas it's much the same. Never even touch any Sony utility. Even without an intact structure, it's a drag and drop in Vegas, and a basic import in Avid. Surely it can't be all THAT complex in FCP.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 07:50 PM   #8
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Hi Perrone.

Yes, it's not necessary to use any software (such as XDCAM EX Clip Browser) at all to bring in the BPAV folder from the card. I simply drag the BPAV folder from the card to my RAID. As simple as that.

However, you still have to put each file into a QuickTime wrapper to get it recognized by FCP. Which is a drag (no pun intended). I use XDCAM Transfer and "Import All Clips" (hard drive space is so cheap these days) to minimize the time to do this. Then I drag the new QuickTimes into FCP. I then quickly play about two seconds from each clip, just to ensure that there were no problems with either the BPAV copying or the QuickTime wrapping. I guess everyone has their own version of a final quality check before they wipe and re-use the SxS (or MxM or MxR) cards.

The newer JVC ProHD cameras (HM100 and HM700) use XDCAM EX compression and then actually wrap the files into QuickTimes. All done in-camera. And this is used as the major point with their marketing of these cameras.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 10:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by David Knaggs View Post
The newer JVC ProHD cameras (HM100 and HM700) use XDCAM EX compression and then actually wrap the files into QuickTimes. All done in-camera. And this is used as the major point with their marketing of these cameras.
And has been a major failure point for those NOT using Macs. Those files are unusable on PCs, versus the MXF wrapped XDCamEX files which can be utilized on both platforms.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 12:02 AM   #10
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Wow. That looks like a definite goof on JVC's part, then.

I was actually thinking, when I made the earlier post, that it would be great if the camera companies gave us all the choice with their next iterations to record the files in either QuickTime or MXF. Then everyone, regardless of their platform, can just drag and drop. With no more tedious intermediate steps.

With the entire camera industry moving into solid-state (from tape), this shouldn't be too hard to do. Rather than "just MXF" or "just QuickTime".

Ideally there would be three menu options in the camera for file recording:

1/ MXF

2/ QuickTime

3/ Both MXF and QuickTime (even though you would only get half the recording time per card). For when people on the post-production pipeline might be working on different platforms and you're just not sure. That should keep everybody happy.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 12:21 AM   #11
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Of course, every major NLE can bring the MXF right into the bin or the timeline... except FCP.

Avid now supports both. It can bring the .MOVs in through AMA. So really, it's just FCP that's lagging behind.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #12
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Well, answered my own question:

The XDCam Transfer UTILITY made all the difference. Installed that, used the File => Import =>XDCam and everything looks as good as can be expected from poorly shot material.

The Log & Transfer Utility was USELESS and degraded the image quality to proxy level but with full file size. Lesson learned.

And the material edits just fine in FCP, Perrone. Just a headache getting it there.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 09:11 AM   #13
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Well, answered my own question:

The XDCam Transfer UTILITY made all the difference. Installed that, used the File => Import =>XDCam and everything looks as good as can be expected from poorly shot material.

The Log & Transfer Utility was USELESS and degraded the image quality to proxy level but with full file size. Lesson learned.

And the material edits just fine in FCP, Perrone. Just a headache getting it there.
Awesome! Glad to hera you got it sorted out.
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