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Canon C300 MXF spanned clips

Sep 30, 2012 4:27 PM

Tags: #xml #mxf #c300 #spanned_clips #tc_problems

Total FCP to PP newbie here, so pardon if this is already addressed/covered/known issue or simply user error.

 

My first project in PP is based on Canon C300 footage, 23.976, 1920x1080, interview content.   Many of my interviews go longer than the 2.05GB file limit and thus span across multiple clips.  This appears to be causing significant confusion with PP.  I've read a few other user discussions that seem to have similar issues but mine are slightly different...bear with me...

 

Issue #1:

 

Two spanned clips from the same camera take show up with the same starting time coded.  For example. I have one continuous interview that starts at 01:22:56:12 but then spans across two clips.  I'll call those Part A and Part B.   When I import Part A and Part B using "Import from Media Browswer, then both Part A and Part B display the same common start time-code, even though in reality part B should clearly start one frame after the end of Part A.      This happens in both the Project/Bin view as well as the Source Monitor.  See below.

spanned_clips.png

partA.pngpartB.png

 

Aside from the confusion this creates with me, the user, it also appears to be causing problems within PP in that when I try to simply load either Part A or Part B into my source monitor, PP gets "confused" about which source clip it should playback from.  Sometimes this means that it plays the wrong clip entirely, until I pause and restart the playback, and sometimes it means that PP will stagger playback between the two clips (altnernately playing frames from A and then B in near real-time...A-B-A-B-A-B-A-B, etc) until it figures out which is the correct source clip to play.  

 

If this weren't bad enough, it gets even more troubling when I edit a section from either Part A or Part B into a sequence, thinking that I've edited in the section that I want, only to play it back and have PP play the audio from Part A and the picture from Part B.  Yet another example of it's own internal confusion.

 

Issue #2

The complimentary problem to this is that the End TC for Part A and Part B are note the same.   Looking at the Bin view above, you can see that Part A has an end TC that is after the ending TC of Part B.   When I first encountered this I thought that it meant that PP was being "smart", seeing that there was a spanned clip, and then using the XML metadata to know that the full clip was the total of Part A and Part B, and that I could simply delete Part B from my project.      Not so.  As Issue #1 demosntrated, the TC associated with Part B is just flat out wrong in its display.  (the only correct aspect of Part B apparently is the duration.)

 

Take-Aways:

I'm not clear at this point if this is a problem with how Canon is writing it's MXF and XML files or how PP is reading those files.  Either way, it's maddening to try to edit something without the confidence that what I'm editing is in fact going to be there when I play it back.

 

I've seen some users mention using other ingesting solutions and I would be interested in what those are before going much further in my cut (even though it will be tremendously discouraging to know that the "fast solution of PP" is somewhat of a fallacy at this point).    I'm also interested to know if these problems are limited to C300/MXF files or if it's showing up with .R3D files which also get written to disc as spanned files.

 
Replies 1 2 Previous Next
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2012 5:15 PM   in reply to imacattack

    Issue 1:

     

    You shouldn't be seeing two clips.  If a particular clip takes up two actual files on disk, let's call them File_01 and File_02, then only File_01 will show up, both in Media Browser and in the Bin once imported.  Sorted by file name, you should see the names go from File_01 to File_03.  The only time this doesn't happen is when you don't use the Media Browser for import, when you do it from the Project panel, which I suspect is what you actually did here.

     

    Issue 2:

     

    Corrected when you import from the Media Browser.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2012 7:42 PM   in reply to imacattack

    What does the View as: show up top?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2012 8:52 PM   in reply to imacattack

    Premiere interprets the spanned clips as one clip, which is convenient.

     

    If you import through a "file > import"  method after importing the spanned clip through Media Browser, you will see all of the partial .mxf of the spanned clip, however upon import premiere will treat each clip as if they are the same entire spanned clip.

     

    If their is a View setting in Media Browser is set to Cannon XF and the folder structure from the flash storage is intact, one should only see the 1st part of the spanned clip listed there. If the Media Browser view is set to File Directory, one should see all the .mxf files; again upon import premiere will treat each partial .mxf of the spanned clips as if they are the same entire spanned clip.

     

    If for some reason you really needed to import only one part of the spanned clip, use a file > import method before ever using the Media Browser.

     

    On our CS5.03 system Media Browser doesn't recognize Cannon XF spanned clips. We just use file import, then select each clip of the spanned video from the project window and drag them onto the New Item button. The creates a sequence that serves as a virtual spanned clip in Premiere.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2012 9:09 PM   in reply to imacattack

    You might start a new project. If Premiere is playing the wrong footage for a clip that you are previewing, I don't think that deleting and re-importing will fix it.

     

    The cleanest solution is likely a fresh project. You could export any good, working sequences with a high quality codec then import it into the new project.

     

    Good luck.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2012 11:47 PM   in reply to imacattack
    If I delete clips from the bin, they dissapear from my timeline.  

     

    Yup.  You'll have to reedit anything using those clips.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2012 11:49 PM   in reply to imacattack

    The issue is that UNLESS the user clicks on the root "Card Name"

     

    That's just the way it works for all solid state media.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 17, 2012 10:02 AM   in reply to imacattack

    That's normal.  PP won't show you the multiple parts of a spanned clip, but it will bring them all in as one clip.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 18, 2012 4:47 PM   in reply to imacattack

    Hmm.  It should be.

     

    Are you following the directions posted earlier in the thread?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2012 8:27 PM   in reply to imacattack

    Wasn't it working for you earlier? Wasn't that part of the issue in your initial post?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2012 10:40 AM   in reply to imacattack

    I was having the same problem if I'd drop folders from Windows Explorer into a bin.  The only solution I found was to use the media browser, navigate to the location of the media, right click and select IMPORT.  At that point you'll only see AA062401 in your bin even if AA062402, AA062403 and AA062404 spanned clips are in there (similar to how Red R3D media behaves in Premiere).

     

    I haven't tried to round-trip through Resolve to see if the spanned files make it though the process.  They do work in Premiere this way though.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2012 12:15 PM   in reply to imacattack

    what gets imported at that point is only the A portion. 

     

    That's all you will see in your bin, yes.  But the clip itself should be the entire duration.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2012 6:15 PM   in reply to imacattack

    Nothing in the folders got renamed or moved?  You use Windows Explorer to copy from card to hard drive, not any special software?

     

    Is it only with C300 clips?  Have you any other type of spanned media to test with?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2013 3:26 PM   in reply to imacattack

    FAT32 can go up to 4GB, so I'm not sure why the Canon is cutting them off at 2GB.

     

    Are the individual files spanned because of that size limit on the same card, or because the card itself ran out of space and they span from card A to card B?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 25, 2012 1:31 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    2gb limit is the same with cannon AVCHD, I don't no about other brands.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 25, 2012 1:38 AM   in reply to imacattack

    Have you tried to use the cannon xf utility? There is an export function to combine spanned clips into one.mxf for you.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 25, 2012 2:22 AM   in reply to imacattack

    It's actually a fat32 limitation      31 bits for size plus a two's compliment bit to seek forwards or backwards......

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 25, 2012 7:44 AM   in reply to ExactImage
    It's actually a fat32 limitation

     

    The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GB [not 2] minus 1 byte or 4,294,967,295 (232−1) bytes.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 11, 2012 1:49 PM   in reply to imacattack

    I am also having this same issue using Canon XF300 MXF spanned files. Premiere pro CS6 6.0.2 limits them to 29 seconds (full clip duration is over 10 minutes) and only plays audio from the first spanned file even when video from another clip is playing.

     

    Canon XF Utility plays the whole clip within the application perfectly, but when I try and export and merge files it also cuts them short as well.

     

    When opening with VLC (latest version, I believe it's 2.03) it plays the video perfectly but the audio plays at twice the speed...

     

    The workaround I've been having to do is logging and transferring the footage into FCP7 and transcoding using the Canon XF plugin and then importing the  .movs into premiere which of course is a hassle to do. Takes extra time and disk space.

     

    The main reason I made the switch to Premiere was the ability to play various formats in the same sequence but I can't even play MXFs properly...

     

    Computer specs: 12 core 2.66ghz Mac pro running snow leopard 16 GB

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 21, 2012 11:45 AM   in reply to Carter Beauford

    Same exact thing going on here. MXF clips jumple and discard random bits of footage when there are spanned clips.

     

    We have tried everything here. The two weeks we have been working with the c300 footage in post has been a total nightmare. We scoured the internet looking for answers.

     

    We have been ingesting MXF media by transcoding to ProRes with Final Cut Pro 7's 'Log and Transfer', after installing the FCP x Canon Plugin, then importing those clips to Premiere Pro.

     

    Hoping for an update soon.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2013 3:09 PM   in reply to JMS Edit

    Figured I'd give this a bump as I'm having the same issues.  Premiere won't even allow me to view the directories as XF directories.  Huge issue that's killing my workflow.  Present across multiple systems and multiple editors on my team.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2013 3:37 PM   in reply to BigBrennan

    For clarification, are you trying to read the directories directly off the card or did you copy them onto the hard drive first?

     

    If copying to the hard drive, did you copy the entire file structure?

     

    And, can the Canon utility copy those files off the directory onto the hard drive correctly?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2013 3:45 PM   in reply to BigBrennan

    I'm about to do a C300 shoot for the first time, so this thread caught my eye.  I'm wondering if anyone has any good/bad experiences while using C300 footage with Prelude in their workflow?  What happens if you do your importing through Prelude, and then use the "Send to Premiere" command? 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2013 3:54 PM   in reply to Greg Baber

    I tried both.  Reading off the cards they aren't noticed as Canon XF directories. Copied locally I copied the entire folder and I did it properly, still won't read as an XF directory and importing the MXF files separately leads to problems with spanned clips.

     

    Tried copying the files through XF utility with the same results.  Had multiple people try the same thing including one of my editors and my DP, all with the same results.  We've also had the same issue with media coming from different C300s, so it's not an in-camera problem.  Moved to CS6 in October and haven't been able to use Premiere Pro since then.  Occasionally we'll cut something on an old machine that has CS5.

     

    I have all my people currently editing on Avid because of this, which is a big hassle considering we do a ton of work in After Effects and media management in Avid is a big issue if you're cutting with native ama files.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2013 3:46 PM   in reply to BigBrennan

    I have exactly the same problem, Premiere 6.02 on the Mac won't recognise the Canon XF files from my C300 as Canon XF either from the cards or from copies of the cards on my hard drive. Importing the individul spanned clips causes all kinds of weirdness with incorrect timecodes.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2013 4:02 PM   in reply to Paul Joy (UK)

    You know the saddest part of this is Adobe has been downright evasive about responding to this issue.  I've had 3 calls with techs who offered no help, no answers, or my favorite, insisted that I was doing something incorrectly.  Adobe keeps trying to close my help case without offering any additional assistance.  I've even been emailing a tech directly as he gave me his direct email address and now he has become totally unresponsive.

     

    My work around is using an external recorder that captures to pro-res files or using an old laptop to edit that has CS5 installed on it.  Also been editing in Avid until Adobe figures out what's going on

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2013 4:57 PM   in reply to BigBrennan

    I may be wrong, but I think for Mac you need to load a driver from the Cannon CD that came with the camera to get the Mac to read the cards.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2013 4:47 AM   in reply to wfmc staffer

    Sorry but I think that's wrong, there are no such installers. Canon XF should be recognised with a default installation.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2013 5:19 AM   in reply to Paul Joy (UK)

    One interesting thing I've noticed is that if I go back through my footage archive Premiere recognises all of my card offloads until August 2012, then every one since it fails to recognise as the XF Codec. Nothing changed in terms of workflow, I've always copied the entire cards over into a directory.

     

    The only thing I could think of that changed was the release and installation of Mountain Lion on my macs, could that effect the way the files are created somehow? I don't use the Canon XF utility to copy my cards, I just use the finder. You might think that could be the problem but it's not because premiere can't see my C300 footage as Canon XF today either straight from the card or after creating a backup using the utility.

     

    Very strange!

     
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