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Old October 17th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #1
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Missing Support Files - HELP! (only MP4's)

A competitor of ours had a project taken away from them right before they were to begin editing. We are now tasked with editing the project using all our competitors footage. Our competitor shot everything on a Sony EX3 camera (same model camera that we have), but they only provided us with the MP4 files. They didn't transfer the contents of the BPAV folders!

So now I'm ready to edit in Final Cut Pro and I can't use Sony XDCAM Transfer or Final Cut Pro Log and Transfer to rewrap the files inside the BPAV folder into MOV files. There are no BPAV folders, only raw MP4 files.

Should I try importing the MP4 files into FCP and editing them? Or is there a way to rewrap them into MOV's?

As a last resort I could use Apple Compressor to transcode them into ProRes files, but that would take forever.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance! :)
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Old October 17th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #2
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I have no experience with FCP, but I am surprised to hear that conversion to ProRes would be so time consuming.
I routinely convert EX footage to Cineform DI for editing in CS5. The conversion is typically much faster than real time.
I would think that if you could get the files into ProRes, or other DI, you would be home free ;)
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Old October 17th, 2010, 03:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob! :)

Now that I think about it, I could just batch process the files overnight to transcode them. It's not like I have to stare at the computer while it's transcoding. :)

But from what I understand, when XDCAM Transfer unwraps the files to MOV's it doesn't transcode them, so there's no loss of quality. Where as converting from MP4 to ProRes would recompress the files which might yield a noticable drop in video quality. Hmmmm.....might have to do some testing.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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SxS

Hello Mitchel,
I am not sure if I read it or someone say it me, but try copy (do not move) the MP4 files to Sxs card and insert the card/s in your EX3. The camera would possibly ask if you would like to recover the files/data base. If so, say yes and hope for the best. Other then that ProRes is the way to go. Good luck and let us know if it works.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #5
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Hmmmm! Very interesting idea. I'll try it. Thanks Luben.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 05:10 PM   #6
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Dang! It didn't work. I deleted all the files off the SxS card. Then transfered a bunch of MP4 files from my computer to the SxS card. When I inserted the card in the camera and powered it up, the camera couldn't see any of the MP4 files. The card still worked fine though. I could record to it, but the indicated capacity was reduced due to the MP4 files taking up space. I never got a "Recover Files" error message or anything.

I suppose I could create a BPAV folder and put the MP4 files inside it. Then maybe the EX3 would rebuild the necessary files. Think it's worth a try?
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Old October 17th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #7
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File>Import the .mp4 into ClipBrowser 2.6 and it will create new BPAV.

You can buy CalibratedSoftware's XDCAM EX MP4 plugin for Final Cut Pro ($90) and they will be handled natively. No need to wrap to .mov.

Calibrated{Q} MP4-EX Import for OSX

Quote:
Calibrated{Q} MP4-EX Import for OSX is a QuickTime component for NATIVE Importing and Playback of Sony XDCAM EX MP4 Files and JVCProHD HM700/HM100 MP4 Files within Final Cut Pro 6 and 7.

Finally you can enjoy the freedom of native MP4 editing in Final Cut Pro without the need for Log and Transfer.

And if you somehow have only the MP4 file without the other corresponding files in the BPAV folder structure - don't worry, 'orphaned' MP4 files are supported too.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 06:02 PM   #8
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Hi Craig! Thanks for chiming in on this. (I was hoping you would)

But unfortunately File>Import into Clip Browser 2.6 didn't work either. I got an error message that says "Failed to Import File XXX_XXXX". (X's are the file name)

I've toyed with the idea of buying Calibrated Q, but I'm overly nervous about playing with the root functions of critical applications like FCP. I guess it just sounds too good to be true. :)
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Old October 17th, 2010, 06:19 PM   #9
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If file import in ClipBrowser 2.6 didn't work, I'm concerned. It's supposed to. Are you sure those are EX mp4 and not something they encoded?

See if they play in VLC (should play). Also test in Quicktime (should NOT play if they're EX .mp4).

Next open them in VideoSpec (free app) and maybe post what it shows there. That'll give me clue about the codec.
VideoSpec par Laurent Ettouati - Analyze your video

BTW I use CalibratedSoftware and it happily coexists. I beta tested so if there's something funny I would have bumped into it. I think the only part of Final Cut Studio it doesn't work with is Apple Color. You can even use the EX .mp4 in Compressor if you need to encode them to something else.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #10
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Hmmmm..... They play fine in QuickTime 10. You can even QuickLook them (space-bar) in the Finder. QuickTime says they are MPEG-4 files. I'll download the player you recommend and analyze them.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #11
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This is VERY interesting. You're right Craig. If I open a MP4 file from our camera (inside the BPAV folder) it won't play in Quicktime 10. But again, the MP4 files I received from our competition play fine in QT10.

Here's what VideoSpec says. (neat program!)


MP4 FILE FROM OUR COMPETITOR

***** First Analyzed File Results *****

*** General Parameters ***
- Name: 358_0938_01.MP4
- Container: MP4 - QuickTime
- Creation Date: 2010-09-30 10:19:15 AM
- Size: 22.1 MiB
- Duration: 0:00:15
- Bitrate: 12.3 Mbps
- Encoding Library: Undefined
- Encoding Application: Lavf52.63.0

*** Video Track Parameters ***
- Format: MPEG-4 video
- Size: 22.1 MiB (100%)
- FourCC: MP4V
- Track number(s): 0
- Bitrate: Max.: Undefined
Average: 12.3 Mbps
Min.: Undefined
- Frame rate (fps): Max.: ---
Average: 29.970
Min.: ---
- Bitrate mode: Variable
- Encoding profile: Simple@L1
- Resolution: 24 bits
- Width (Pixel number): 1920
- Height (Pixel number): 1080
- Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1:1
- Display aspect ratio: 16:9
- Chroma subsampling format: YUV420p
- TV standard: Undefined
- Interlacing: Progressive
- Encoding library: Lavc52.68.2
- Additional Parameters: BVOP: No
Quarter Pixel: No
Global Motion Compensation: No
Matrix: Default
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) ratio: 0.198

*** Audio Track(s) Parameters ***
- Format: No audio track

*** Miscellaneous ***
- Subtitle(s): No Subtitle
- Metadata: Album: Undefined
Part number: Undefined
Track name: Undefined
Track name number: Undefined
Performer: Undefined
Screenplayer/Writer: Undefined
Genre: Undefined
Encoded date: Undefined
Comment: Undefined
Album artist: Undefined
Grouping: Undefined
Copyright: Undefined


MP4 FILE FROM OUR CAMERA (from inside a BPAV folder)

***** First Analyzed File Results *****

*** General Parameters ***
- Name: EX3-1713_01.MP4
- Container: MP4 - QuickTime
- Creation Date: 2010-08-23 4:59:12 PM
- Size: 853.5 MiB
- Duration: 0:03:18
- Bitrate: 36.1 Mbps
- Encoding Library: Undefined
- Encoding Application: Undefined

*** Video Track Parameters ***
- Format: MPEG-2 Video
- Size: 817 MiB (96%)
- FourCC: MPG2
- Track number(s): 0
- Bitrate: Max.: Undefined
Average: 34.6 Mbps
Min.: Undefined
- Frame rate (fps): Max.: ---
Average: 29.970
Min.: ---
- Bitrate mode: Variable
- Encoding profile: Main@High
- Resolution: Undefined
- Width (Pixel number): 1920
- Height (Pixel number): 1080
- Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1:1
- Display aspect ratio: 16:9
- Chroma subsampling format: YUV420p
- TV standard: Component
- Interlacing: Progressive
- Encoding library: Undefined
- Additional Parameters: Matrix: Default
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) ratio: 0.557

*** Audio Track(s) Parameters ***
- Format: Uncompressed PCM
- Size: 36.3 MiB (4%)
- FourCC: twos
- Number(s) and language(s): 2: English
- Details: 16-bit, big endian, signed linear PCM
- Profile: Undefined
- Bitrate: 1 536 Kbps
- Bitrate mode: Constant
- Resolution: 16 bits
- Rate: 48.0 KHz
- Channel(s): 2 (stereo)
- Position: Undefined
- Encoding Library: Undefined
- Additional Parameters: Not available

*** Miscellaneous ***
- Subtitle(s): No Subtitle
- Metadata: Album: Undefined
Part number: Undefined
Track name: Undefined
Track name number: Undefined
Performer: Undefined
Screenplayer/Writer: Undefined
Genre: Undefined
Encoded date: UTC 2010-08-24 00:59:12
Comment: Undefined
Album artist: Undefined
Grouping: Undefined
Copyright: Undefined
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Old October 17th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #12
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Wow! The file from from our camera shows that it's a MPEG-2 file. Crazy! Where as the file they sent me is MP4.

I'm interested to see what Craig has to say about this....
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Old October 17th, 2010, 07:25 PM   #13
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Craig says use weapon of your choice and aim directly at the facility that handed you those files.

Video Codecs by FOURCC
See MP4V
and Lavf is likely encoded with ffmpeg
FFmpeg

EX creates MPEG2 files in .mp4 wrapper.
They gave you compressed MPEG4 files.

Your client should demand the masters. BPAV preferred but even just the EX mp4 files would be salvageable at master quality.

BTW you see how important VideoSpec is as a tool. It's a real riddle solver.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 07:32 PM   #14
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Wow! Thanks Craig! I'm going to forward your post to our client.

I suspected that they recompressed the files. What I don't understand is why they would go to all that trouble. There are 86GB worth of files. That would take a LONG time to transcode to MP4. Stupid, considering they simply could have given us the originals.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #15
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Malicious intent to drive you crazy trying to use the .mp4?
Because they wanted to give their (ex) client heavily compressed files as screening copies so that's all they gave them?
Because they had no idea what the client was going to use them for and wanted to give them something that was easy to play?
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