IDing tapeless media
OK….FCP 7 has been EOL for about 6 years now. Yet it STILL has a leg up on ALL the competition in terms of dealing with tapeless media. Yes, even with FCX. What is this you ask? Well, when you bring tapeless media into FCP via LOG AND TRANSFER, it does something NONE of the other apps do, that I know of. It adds a REEL NAME to the footage. When you back up tapeless media, you put every reel into a folder (if you aren’t, you should) and then you give this folder a unique name that helps track that footage (If you aren’t, you should). I do this via PROJECT NAME_DATE_CAMERA_CARD, so OAK08292016A01. Oak Island_august 29, 2016_A camera_card 1. When I use Log and Transfer in FCP 7, that name gets added to the clip automatically, and in the REEL NUMBER column.
THIS IS IMPORTANT. Why? Because footage is tracked by clip name, clip timecode and clip reel number. That’s the basic way media is tracked by most NLEs. And many current cameras do something stupid…they don’t have unique clip numbers (not like the Panasonic P2 cameras do), so when you take one card out and put in another, the numbering starts over again. With AVCHD, it’s “Clip #1, Clip #2” and so on…perhaps up to Clip #34, and then you change cards and it’s back to clip #1. C300 is a little better, but barely. It goes up to 1000…so C001, C002…up to C999…and then starts over. Other cameras do the same thing. And even worse, some cameras don’t do time of day code or free run code…they start over at 1;00;00;00. So you can have dozens of Clip #1 starting at 1;00;00;00. Or if you shoot enough, have eight clips listed as C008 that are in the 15 hour range.
NOW…when you use Log and Transfer, as I stated, FCP 7 brings in this footage and you have Clip #1 with 1;00;00;00 (or clip C001, whatever) but the REEL NUMBER is unique, so even though you have 8 of these, they are all different.
But most if not all of you know this.
The issue I have is that the CURRENT NLE options, the big boys at least…Avid, Apple FCX and Adobe Premiere…DO NOT add a reel number to this footage when you bring it in. Avid doesn’t…not at all. We have to manually add it. Premiere doesn’t…because it doesn’t convert anything. Well, now it can. but it doesn’t add this information. You have to manually add it. Does FCX do this? Because from what I can tell, it doesn’t. And this can, and has, lead to major issues in grading this footage in Resolve.
I graded a feature doc a couple weeks ago. Feature length, cut in FCP 7, shot with C300 and Canon 5D. Exported an XML, sent to Resolve (filled the media pool with all the media first) and it all linked up easily. Straight away. I graded, rendered out individual clips, send back to FCP 7…round tripped perfectly.
I then attempted to online a feature doc cut in FCX, shot with C300, FS7, F700, and a couple other cameras, AVCHD for sure. Sent an XML, filled the media pool. BAM…issue. 80 clips didn’t connect to anything (out of 1600 clips). And then randomly, every minute or so, there’d be clips in the sequence that were linked to the wrong clip, or the wrong part of a clip. In the timeline it would say C0008. I looked in the ORIGINAL MEDIA folder, where the library was media managed to have only the footage in the project…and there were eight clips labelled C0008….all with close to the same timecode. NONE of them were the shot referenced in the timecoded QT that was sent along for me to check. And this happened a lot. Either the wrong shot, or the wrong part of a clip.
I’m guessing that a reel number or Tape ID wasn’t added at the time of ingest, and the consequences were pretty bad. FCX does have this option, right? If so, it would behoove people to do this. I reached out to Twitter about this issue, and people say FCX to Resolve and back is a snap. Either they have short projects, or they did a lot of legwork before they got underway. I hope that it was the legwork.
But Avid also does this crap…doesn’t automatically bring in the TAPEID when you AMA link footage. All that has to be manually added. Also with Premiere Pro. So why is it that a 6 year old end of life NLE does this better than the current versions of the software? This is nutty.
And if I’m completely wrong about things, let me know. This is just what I’m seeing. And…this is, after all…the debate forum.
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def
Page 1 of 2