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Old February 13th, 2007, 03:31 AM   #1
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MXF Proxy viewers - use by customers?

I'm currently a DSR-570 user and have a firestore which has sped up my workflow a lot in the past. Now seriously considering a F350 and Matrox Axio LE (maybe that'll be another thread though!).

For video case study type projects, one of the ways we work with a number of clients is to burn the raw interview footage to real time DVD recorder with burnt in T/C (Pioneer) and send this to the client. They review and select IV clips. We then add the GV's and edit a finished programme.

I was very excited at the prospect of possibly using proxy footage as a quick way for them to select these types of clips and basically log them, sending me the XML (IIRC?) file back to perform the edit.

I downloaded the viewer software from Sony, but not having an XDCAM camera (yet), it was a troublesome process. I think it installs the drivers etc for the camera? I wasn't able to check it out as I don't have any MXF clips. Anyone know where I can get some short samples from?

Now, my clients are normally VERY low tech users and couldn't cope with the app as it stands (I think). Anyone using a similar workflow to this - or alternatively, are there any apps out there that will do this with a VERY user friendly interface and allow simple/basic clip logging?

Thanks,

Paul.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Gale
I'm currently a DSR-570 user and have a firestore which has sped up my workflow a lot in the past. Now seriously considering a F350 and Matrox Axio LE (maybe that'll be another thread though!).

For video case study type projects, one of the ways we work with a number of clients is to burn the raw interview footage to real time DVD recorder with burnt in T/C (Pioneer) and send this to the client. They review and select IV clips. We then add the GV's and edit a finished programme.

I was very excited at the prospect of possibly using proxy footage as a quick way for them to select these types of clips and basically log them, sending me the XML (IIRC?) file back to perform the edit.

I downloaded the viewer software from Sony, but not having an XDCAM camera (yet), it was a troublesome process. I think it installs the drivers etc for the camera? I wasn't able to check it out as I don't have any MXF clips. Anyone know where I can get some short samples from?

Now, my clients are normally VERY low tech users and couldn't cope with the app as it stands (I think). Anyone using a similar workflow to this - or alternatively, are there any apps out there that will do this with a VERY user friendly interface and allow simple/basic clip logging?

Thanks,

Paul.
Hey Paul....

I posted this thread a few days ago, you should check it out:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=85352

We've been wrangling with XDCAM workflow for a while now. On paper XDCAM seems to have endless possibilities, but sadly, Sony's tools for implementing these possibilities have been pretty lame.

The PC based PDZ Browser is pretty awful. I'm quite certain the people who coded the software and the guys who sell it have never worked in a post environment that was larger than 10 people. I'm sure some will read that as being harsh, but it is unintuitive, unfriendly and well...just sucks. I've yet to speak to more than two people who've used the software, and those who have-wanted to throw the thing through the window.

Sony's focus right now seems to be very camera-centric and not post production centric.

I'm a little confused by your post though..specifically how you intend create proxies without a deck or camera....or what you are finding fault with when you aren't even using the deck. Correct me if I'm wrong though...I don't get it.

What we do here is pretty simple. We have about 7 XDCAM decks in the facility. One is strapped to an "ingest" station. When a cameraman gets back from a shoot, they mount the disk on the computer's desktop and simply drag and drop the SUB folder from the disk onto the corresponding producer's portable firelite drive.

The producer then plugs the firelite drive into their windows based machine wich has PDZ Viewer on it. They can then view the proxies which have matching code through the viewer and do an old fashon log via pen and paper.

You CAN export proxies via the Apple XDCAM Transfer software into Quicktimes, but they WILL NOT have accurate code (probably rendering it useless)
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Old February 13th, 2007, 12:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Harley Flanagan
You CAN export proxies via the Apple XDCAM Transfer software into Quicktimes, but they WILL NOT have accurate code (probably rendering it useless)
What's inaccurate about those proxy exports? In my playing around, they seemed to be fine.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 06:32 AM   #4
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why not taking sony vegas as a viewer / editor?

Its fast, the integrated XDCAM viewer copies all Proxy files with nice preview, youŽll find markers in the proxies etc etc.

I just came back from the Sony Roadshow in germany showing EXCACTLY these workflows using either PDZ software , Final Cut Pro, AVID, EDIUS or SONY VEGAS...

Download the Vegas trial, enable "XDCAM EXPLORER" in preferences, restart vegas and then you can open XDCAM disks (or harddrive copies of it).

If anyone like, IŽll post a "mini" XDCAM HD file on my server for playing around with Vegas (or any other XDCAM compatible software)

Uli
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Old February 14th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
What's inaccurate about those proxy exports? In my playing around, they seemed to be fine.

Nate..

I mentioned that the the code is innaccurate. But by all means, if you have shot footage and have made QT's (in XDCAM Transfer) with accurate TC, A.) let me know and B.) tell me how! Seriously...that's not a challenge, that's me BEGGING. That would solve a million problems we are having now.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 10:46 AM   #6
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As far as I can tell, the timecode track on the proxy exports is accurate. The only real problem I could find is that there's no batch export for them, you have to create them one-by-one.

I just shot 4 days of pre-cache footage though, and the proxies start 4 frames later, and on my test clips, end one frame shorter. I'm not sure how this would be a problem in most situations though. but number for number, frame-for-frame each TC # references the same frame in my tests I just did to make sure I wasn't telling you lies.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 12:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
As far as I can tell, the timecode track on the proxy exports is accurate. The only real problem I could find is that there's no batch export for them, you have to create them one-by-one.

I just shot 4 days of pre-cache footage though, and the proxies start 4 frames later, and on my test clips, end one frame shorter. I'm not sure how this would be a problem in most situations though. but number for number, frame-for-frame each TC # references the same frame in my tests I just did to make sure I wasn't telling you lies.
Wow..I really don't get this.

Tell me what I'm missing here, because I'd be beyond happy with even 100 frames of discrepancy.

-Cameraman shoots and turns over disc

-Drop disc into my PDW30 deck and launch XDCAM Transfer..

-Highlight a clip and go "CLIP" > "EXPORT PROXY MOVIE TO FILE"

This creates a QT at the destination of your choosing, but as far as I can see, no matter what clip I select, the QT's TC always starts @ 00:00:00:00. It's just a counter.

(Also, as an absolute side note...even though this TC business doesn't work for me, the way to batch export would be to highlight everything and hit IMPORT without opening FCP. Like Greg mentioned in a previous post, it will send QT's to the destination folder you have selected in prefs.)
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Old February 14th, 2007, 01:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Harley Flanagan
but as far as I can see, no matter what clip I select, the QT's TC always starts @ 00:00:00:00. It's just a counter.
Right. THAT counter is inaccurate...it's just a simple counter. But in the file is a timecode track that's accurate, you just need a good reader. If you disable the extra audio tracks in the file, FCP will play it and display the timecode. You can make an Automator script to batch those files and make them playable in FCP.

I imagine there's another program out there (maybe CatDV?) that will read that timecode track correctly, but I don't know what it would be.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 02:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
Right. THAT counter is inaccurate...it's just a simple counter. But in the file is a timecode track that's accurate, you just need a good reader. If you disable the extra audio tracks in the file, FCP will play it and display the timecode. You can make an Automator script to batch those files and make them playable in FCP.

I imagine there's another program out there (maybe CatDV?) that will read that timecode track correctly, but I don't know what it would be.
Ahhh..ok...

We're onto something now. I will try some other media players and see what happens. Thanks Nate. I'll keep you posted.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 03:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley Flanagan
I'm a little confused by your post though..specifically how you intend create proxies without a deck or camera....or what you are finding fault with when you aren't even using the deck. Correct me if I'm wrong though...I don't get it.
Thanks Harley,

I don't currently have an XDCAM camera - but as mentioned am seriously considering getting the F350 quite soon - hence the questions re workflow and whether what I'd want to do will work or not.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 03:17 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Uli Mors
why not taking sony vegas as a viewer / editor?

Its fast, the integrated XDCAM viewer copies all Proxy files with nice preview, youŽll find markers in the proxies etc etc.

If anyone like, IŽll post a "mini" XDCAM HD file on my server for playing around with Vegas (or any other XDCAM compatible software)

Uli
Thanks Uli - would be VERY interested to get a sample file if you can let me know the details...

Re Vegas - yes could do, BUT it would be far too complex for a LOW tech user to use. Currently many of my clients review a DVD with burnt in T/C and log to an Excel spreadsheet that I've created - works well but takes time to produce and send the DVD etc.

If I had a REALLY SIMPLE to use app, that can be quickly installed on a PC and will read the proxy files I'd share with them via FTP/Web download, that'd be fantastic!

On a related note, are the MXF and proxy files created by the camera fully compatible with other applications i.e. are there any other freeware/shareware/cheap logging progs out there?
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Old February 16th, 2007, 01:43 AM   #12
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XD HD DISK :

IŽll be at the roadshow coming tuesday presenting Vegas and XDCAM HD.

I am going to shoot one or two "super short" sequences and upload the whole disk end of the week - so you can have a try how it works.

(try to remember to do it 60Hz... IŽm in PAL Land)

ULi
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Old February 16th, 2007, 02:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Uli Mors
XD HD DISK :

(try to remember to do it 60Hz... IŽm in PAL Land)

ULi
Great - thanks.

I'm PAL too though (UK) - so 50Hz would be fantastic :)

Cheers,

Paul.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 03:45 AM   #14
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oh - I didnt know - IŽll stay with 50Hz then.

The last XDCAM HD event is in Hamburg - come over , if you like?

ULI
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Old February 16th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #15
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Thanks Uli,

When are the events? Do you have any info you can point me to?

I'd love to - but work is very hectic at the moment - depends on dates etc.

Thanks :)
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