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Old May 18th, 2011, 02:00 PM   #1
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Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

I'm about to help a crew out with some VFX on footage shot with a Sony XDCAM EX. When I open the .mov files in After Effects CS4, I get a blank white frame. When I use VLC media player, I get audio but an error on the video.

Can anyone here suggest where and what I need to download codec-wise?
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Old May 18th, 2011, 02:23 PM   #2
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

Codec comes from Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 and up so if you don't have it installed you won't get video.

CalibratedSoftware has a codec plugin that will allow you to use EX .mov on non FCP systems.
Calibrated{Q} XD Decode Overview
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Old May 18th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #3
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

Perhaps this would help:
Calibrated{Q} XD Decode Overview

Are you on a Windows machine?

Are you received .mov files, not .mp4 files or a BPAV folder structure?

One option would be to request the original BPAV archive copy, and import the file as something Aftereffects understands.


Alternatively, get them to export the file as ProRes, Avid DNxHD, or even uncompressed. Just something you can work with.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

Win7 Pro 64bit.

$129 is not a perfect solution, but I appreciate the suggestion. Maybe that's the best I can do.

Yes, I have .MOV files, which QT pro won't play at all. On my to-do list is simply re-naming them to MP4.

Checking Sony's site, they offer a few things that don't outright say that they are codecs for general use.
Sony | Micro Site XDCAM

I'll be wading through their support system for the next little while...

EDIT:
They 'offer' a MainConcept product that one woudl have to pay $300 for. Now to ask the shooter to convert his files for me...

Last edited by Andrew J Morin; May 18th, 2011 at 04:30 PM.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 05:08 PM   #5
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

I'm pretty sure CS4 can handle the EX BPAV directly. You should get the BPAV folders.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsccms/assets/f...e_XDCAM_R1.pdf

Sony VideON | XDCAM EX Workflow Using Adobe Premiere Pro | Workflow
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Old May 18th, 2011, 05:35 PM   #6
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

I concur with Craig. Work with the raw BPAV if possible.

If not, and spending $129 isn't billable or acceptable, I'd ask your client to provide encode the footage in a different codec for you.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

Remember, the .mov files were not shot with an EX. The EX shot a BPAV file structure, which you can read. The .mov files were created by/for final cut. Since they obviously have final cut, they can just as obviously output something you can work with - possibly even a high quality pro-res file? Or they can just give you the original files.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 11:01 AM   #8
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

Ah, BPAV.
I stipulated in the deal that I was supposed to get the raw data, and rather assumed that was what they sent since QT identifies the MOV file as Format="XDCAM EX."

Another wrinkle: the middleman who's passing the files on to me says he can read them just fine: he's not sure if he's running CS4 or CS5...and I wonder if he's on Mac...which leads me to further wonder if this is "really" a pro-res file...I'll check around for pro-res codecs. Last I checked a few years ago you couldn't use that format at all on a Windows machine. Also wondering if CS5 has "the" codec built-in.

As always, you all are providing more questions than answers, but the balance of that is shifting in a good way!!

Thanks!

EDIT:
I already have the available prores decoder installed, I was informed by Apple's installer. So that's not it.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #9
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

They aren't ProRes files so you're wasting your time going down that path. QT is already telling you that. Keep in mind that "MOV" does not necessarily mean "ProRes". Two different things entirely. In a typical XDCAM workflow for FCP, there is absolutely no reason to create transcoded ProRes files.

If I had been the one to give you the MOV files, they sure wouldn't be ProRes. I would have used XDCAM Transfer to rewrap them as MOV files, but they would still have the native XDCAM EX codec that they were shot with. And I'm pretty sure that you'd have to have a recent version of FCP installed on your system (with all the latest Sony drivers) to read them. I beleive that is exactly situation you have going on here. Someone ingested them with XDCAM Transfer -- which is great for FCP -- but possiblly useless for other NLEs.

My advice is to forget about the MOV files and get the original BPAV files and do your own ingest for the platform you are using.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 02:19 PM   #10
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

Good to know, Doug. I've requested the BPAV folder(s), we'll see if that's a problem.

Further research at Adobe's help forum shows that XDCAM format may be directly supported in CS5 (not clear whether that's the MOV container or the MP4), so I'm off to borrow a workstation for decoding to uncompressed AVI. Good thing these are short files...

p.s. OMG the CalibratedQ demo watermark is criminal!!
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Old May 19th, 2011, 02:29 PM   #11
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew J Morin View Post

Further research at Adobe's help forum shows that XDCAM format may be directly supported in CS5 (not clear whether that's the MOV container or the MP4), so I'm off to borrow a workstation for decoding to uncompressed AVI. Good thing these are short files...
It absolutely means from the BPAV files and not the FinalCut MOV ingested files.

I have an emergency workflow that I've used when the MOV files was all I could get from a client. Its not pretty but does work. If its needed I can look for the instructions and the list of freeware utilities such as FFMPEG that can get you converted back to something the PC can handle.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #12
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

Hi Andrew,

Also if the people who gave you the XDCAM EX MOV's no longer have the BPAV folder structure they can always recreate XDCAM EX MP4/BPAV folder structure if they

1. Use Sony XDCAM Transfer (or XDCAM Browser) to export the XDCAM EX MOV files from FCP as XDCAM EX MP4 files

2. Take the 'orphaned' XDCAM EX MP4 files (which may work in Adobe CS4 - I don't know though) and use XDCAM Browser (and I think Sony Clip Browser may work too) to recreate the BPAV folder structure for the MP4 files.

Hope that helps!

Cheers,
Greg

Calibrated Software
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Old May 20th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #13
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

Chris, right you are, I'm sad to say. Luckily I managed to borrow a MacBook with CS5 on it, so I've converted the files to PNG sequences. I'd be interested to know how you got the video tracks out of the MOV's without a Mac.

Golly, Greg, that's detailed info I hope I don't have to use... ;-)

Thanks All!!
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Old May 21st, 2011, 03:51 PM   #14
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

To get usable files from FCP .mov files on a PC use the XDcam MOV to MXF file converter (free) from Convergent Design (the NanoFlash people) --

Downloads | Convergent Design | Professional Video Recorders and Converters

It comes in both Mac and PC versions. An invaluable resource when you get stuck...
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Old June 7th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #15
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Re: Quick help with XDCAM EX footage

Say, Dave, sorry I missed that last post. I've been done for a week or two now, working from PNGs transcoded from a Mac, but I tried out that little converter you linked and it works great. It runs quickly and without much overhead. There is a minor bug in the corner but it would have been something I could live with, or work around. Great find!
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