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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 10:39 AM   #31
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Re: FS5 file please

No, it's the principal of keeping digital negatives. Only keeping select files is not archiving AT ALL.

This is not a simple case of "to each their own," cause this is the number 1 post production nightmare people have to face, where people didn't back up properly.

You already have incomplete backups of your footage. Don't take it as "only what I need." Take it as "Preserve the digital negative of the original card."

NEVER think "Oh, I don't need it so it's not getting backed up." You will so regret said choice when you send your footage off to another editor and he can't open the files because the structure is incomplete, wasting countless hours fixing a problem you started.

KEEP ALL THE FILES. I'm sorry but this subject matter CANNOT BE TAKEN LIGHTLY. This is serious in a post production workflow.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 10:49 AM   #32
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Re: FS5 file please

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This is not a simple case of "to each their own," cause this is the number 1 post production nightmare people have to face, where people didn't back up properly.
A thousand times this. Jack is absolutely right, and you ignore his advice at your own peril.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 11:18 AM   #33
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Re: FS5 file please

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No. NEVER assume you can just copy select files. You lose your "Digital Negative" of the shoot each time you only copy the files instead of the entire structure.

Trust me, if you make the same mistake with P2 on a critical shoot, you will be yelled at.

NEVER COPY THE FILES YOU "NEED." COPY ALL THE FILES ON THE CARD AND IT'S FOLDER STRUCTURE. I know DSLR shooting has made this point soured down cause everything's in one file, but PLEASE. COPY EVERYTHING.

WATCH THIS: (go to 1:04) https://youtu.be/AhDnyWFAM10?t=1m4s
Did you shoot with a FS5 already?
For i.e. P2 and EXCAM the folderstructure should indeed not be ignored.
I don't know yet how critical the folder structure is for editing FS5 footage: haven't used it yet, but proving your point by using a video of a NLE (FCP7) that was not only discontinued in 2011, but also a transcoding nightmare to start with with the advent of solid state cameras, seems a bit silly.

I'd say: yes copy the entire card to be sure you don't lose any info, but that doesn't mean it is 100% certain that you can't edit FS5 footage without it's folder structure. :-p
That is something to be tested to go beyond assumptions ;-)

(I understand you like solid rules :-p )
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 11:20 AM   #34
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Re: FS5 file please

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I'd say: yes copy the entire card to be sure you don't lose any info, but that doesn't mean it is 100% certain that you can't edit FS5 footage without it's folder structure.
Does it matter? Has anyone ever screwed up by copying over the complete folder structure intact? However, I have witnessed an entire shoot lost because someone copied files out of the structure.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 11:47 AM   #35
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Re: FS5 file please

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Originally Posted by Walter Brokx View Post
I'd say: yes copy the entire card to be sure you don't lose any info, but that doesn't mean it is 100% certain that you can't edit FS5 footage without it's folder structure.
Does it matter? Has anyone ever screwed up by copying over the complete folder structure intact? However, I have witnessed an entire shoot lost because someone copied files out of the structure.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 11:48 AM   #36
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Re: FS5 file please

I always copy the entire card, I started copying everything when I just switched from a mini-dv camera to a sd card camera a few years ago, I first also just handpicked the videofiles and ignored the folder structure until I noticed I was missing some files which resided in another folder I thought was empty. Copying the entire card prevents that from happening.

Also when you record continuously the video is split up and your nle needs the added metadata to join the clips again without frameloss.

But that doesn't mean not copying the entire card makes the videofiles useless if you only have recorded short takes, if you exactly know where all the videofiles are located, if your nle doesn't transcode and replaces your original files and if you are the only person dealing with the footage, then it would be just fine, only I would not recommend doing so because one day you are tired and not pay attention to find out you are missing footage just like I did some years back, it's just not worth it.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 11:48 AM   #37
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Re: FS5 file please

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Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
No, it's the principal of keeping digital negatives. Only keeping select files is not archiving AT ALL.

This is not a simple case of "to each their own," cause this is the number 1 post production nightmare people have to face, where people didn't back up properly.

You already have incomplete backups of your footage. Don't take it as "only what I need." Take it as "Preserve the digital negative of the original card."

NEVER think "Oh, I don't need it so it's not getting backed up." You will so regret said choice when you send your footage off to another editor and he can't open the files because the structure is incomplete, wasting countless hours fixing a problem you started.

KEEP ALL THE FILES. I'm sorry but this subject matter CANNOT BE TAKEN LIGHTLY. This is serious in a post production workflow.
For me?...I dont give my work to anybody. I shoot it, I keep it, I edit it and give out the masters. I have copied thousands upon thousands of XAVC-L and XAVC-S clips and used them dozens of real projects and countless home videos. I never once had even a hint of a problem. Those .mxf and .mp4 video clips have proven to be fully intact, like any other standard video file you download from the web or given to you by anybody else. They are fully structurally sound.

Although, I am curious. I guess I'll dig into the external data files tonight to see what is in them. I guess I should try to see what I'm actually throwing away and not using.

Anybody know exactly what those XAVC-L and XAVC-S supporting files are? What actual data do they hold?

And yes, if I intended to give my footage to somebody else, I certainly would preserve the entire folder structure for their benefit. (even in the XDCAM-EX days, I would always do an "Export mxf to NLE option" Even then, I never once had a single problem for all those years.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 11:58 AM   #38
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Re: FS5 file please

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even in the XDCAM-EX days, I would always do an "Export mxf to NLE option" Even then, I never once had a single problem for all those years.
Oh my god, that is once again not keeping the camera digital negative... That's exporting MXF files. If you delete the original card, those MXFs aren't backups neither.

Being ignorant of a post production process might be good if you intend on working solo forever, but post production is a TEAM based profession and it is very worthwhile to learn these habits when you have to work with someone else.

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Originally Posted by Walter Brokx View Post
(I understand you like solid rules :-p )
Was that an insult? If so you are basically saying all post production people should lay back, relax, miss deadlines, and just chill... Not follow a unified system proven to be efficient and instead laze about all day. YouTube is this way, and it's good for amateurs, but if you enter a post house not following the rules, you will be fired.

Even though I linked a FCP7 video, the point still stands: BACKUP EVERYTHING.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 12:07 PM   #39
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Re: FS5 file please

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post production is a TEAM based profession
Not for all of us so there are exceptions, I have been dealing with my own footage for 10 years from shooting to delivery to the client and no, they don't get the raw files and I don't keep a copy of the raw files either, only a copy of the finished exported product.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 12:22 PM   #40
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Re: FS5 file please

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Not for all of us so there are exceptions, I have been dealing with my own footage for 10 years from shooting to delivery to the client and no, they don't get the raw files and I don't keep a copy of the raw files either, only a copy of the finished exported product.
I don't mean the client needs the raw files, I mean for project and footage archival. Renders are often times not the best way to edit a demo reel. Sometimes reading renders results in odd frame rate reading in stuff like Premiere. I bring back up camera originals just in case there's a frame rate problem with the render I have on hand.

This is a huge rift between professionals and amateurs. The YouTube generation versus people editing Reality TV dailies in a real post house, where file structure is CRITICAL.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 12:38 PM   #41
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Re: FS5 file please

I"m not saying you are wrong but not all of us need to archive the footage and projectfiles the way you do, what I supply to my client does not need to be re-edited in a near or distant future, it's a finished product so does not have the same requirements as when you would deliver to a production house.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 12:49 PM   #42
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Re: FS5 file please

I think this is a case of a Generation gap in terms of editing methods. Old methods dying out for convenience, but through convenience, you forget how it's actually supposed to be done.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 01:06 PM   #43
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Re: FS5 file please

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Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
Oh my god, that is once again not keeping the camera digital negative... That's exporting MXF files. If you delete the original card, those MXFs aren't backups neither.

Being ignorant of a post production process might be good if you intend on working solo forever, but post production is a TEAM based profession and it is very worthwhile to learn these habits when you have to work with someone else.



Was that an insult? If so you are basically saying all post production people should lay back, relax, miss deadlines, and just chill... Not follow a unified system proven to be efficient and instead laze about all day. YouTube is this way, and it's good for amateurs, but if you enter a post house not following the rules, you will be fired.

Even though I linked a FCP7 video, the point still stands: BACKUP EVERYTHING.
Jack, I TOTATLY dig what you are saying. I do IT work for a huge global media company. We own over 30 global TV brands. We have more than 50 Avid suites all over the world. Yes...you are right, we have extremely tight work flow rules for how we ingest. However, I'm talking about me and my side job. My work flow is NOTHING like this.

I work solo or sometimes with a close knit group of camera friends for multicam. When I ask for the footage in XDCAM EX or AVCHD? I say, "gimme all your merged files" and I run with it? I cut it and the project is done and in the can.

To this date, I personally have never needed the supporting metafiles of XDCAM, AVCHD,XAVC-L or XAVC-S....but that's just me. I also work allot with ProRes external recorders that dump all files into the root of their drives with nothing more than just that.

What do you do with your Metadata or supporting file structure? I would not call it a "digital negative" myself but hey,...OK I guess.

Anybody know what is in that stuff? Can anybody tell me why I have been successfully editing fine without it?

CT :-)
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 01:41 PM   #44
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Re: FS5 file please

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To this date, I personally have never needed the supporting metafiles of XDCAM, AVCHD,XAVC-L or XAVC-S....but that's just me. I also work allot with ProRes external recorders that dump all files into the root of their drives with nothing more than just that.
Yeah, that's great. That's exactly the kind of experience the individal had on the project I shot when he copied over the MXF files out of the folder structure and then when we went to edit the project the next week, there was no audio of any kind.

So that's great that it works for you, until it doesn't. Again, what is the harm of keeping the structure of the card intact vs the possibility of ruining an entire shoot?
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 01:42 PM   #45
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Yeah, that's great. That's exactly the kind of experience the individal had on the project I shot when he copied over the MXF files out of the folder structure and then when we went to edit the project the next week, there was no audio of any kind.

So that's great that it works for you, until it doesn't. Again, what is the harm of keeping the structure of the card intact vs the possibility of ruining an entire shoot?
THIS. THIS x Infinity +1. There is no harm in doing this even if you believe it's unnecessary.

----

Following up my "convenience" tangent,

Modern NLEs that take in files instead of file structures are doing so to make it more convenient for the user. Modern NLEs are really good at this, but sometimes if you only work with pre-joined files (NXCAM's content browser for instance) you get sync offset compared to reading the structure directly using the media browser in Premiere. I had 1 duplicate frame appear in a pre-joined NXCAM file compared to a Nanoflash recording of the same thing, which splits files perfectly on GOP borders.

Pre-joined files are for editing, not archiving. I'm not against using it if you believe it's better, but having that as your only archive is setting yourself up for trouble. As the FCP7 video said, what happens when you move NLEs down the line? Imagine if you have 100% Grass Valley HQX files for your archive of raw footage. What would happen when you have to work on a machine that's managed, which means you can't install anything, and you need that codec to access your footage?

And final point: What if you worked with R3D? If you copied only the R3D file, some NLEs can read that, but to transcode for other NLEs, the original RED software won't be able to read that anymore. God forbid if you renamed the files but kept the file structure, it's an even worse nightmare. Google "RED file structure damaged."
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