10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2010 10:58 AM by goatmen

    P2 media and AE

    goatmen Level 1

      Perhaps a bit of esoterica, but I am running into this with enough frequency that I thought I'd check here. Seems that when working with native P2 media, if you open up an existing AE project and you do not have that P2 loaded, AE sometimes randomly assigns P2 clips in the project to ANY P2 media it can find. Sometimes its non associated P2 audio, or other clips. It is becoming more complicated as we have more removable drives full of field footage.   Usually you can just reassign clips from the project window. With P2, it doesn't even keep the same mxf clip names. Happens both in CS3 and CS4. Really strange and hoping I am missing something basic...

        • 1. Re: P2 media and AE
          Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

          To be clear here, are you importing your clips straight from the P2 card?  And the problem occurs when you reopen the project but that particular P2 card isn't connected?  Or is your media copied onto hard drives before (or after) you import into AE?  Workflow details are important here.

           

          Is this Windows or Mac?

           

          AE doesn't care so much about the fact that you're using P2 as it does the path to the MXF file specified.  So if you're replacing cards or drives that happen to have the same path as the media in your project, AE may find the media on the drive and assume it's the correct file.  Not ideal, but unique folder names on the drives should solve that.

           

          Please post screenshots of the before/after if you can.  Or maybe a sample project in before/after states (feel free to delete the comps or other work; all that's important here is the state of the file references in the Project window).

          • 3. Re: P2 media and AE
            goatmen Level 1

            Tim,

             

             

            Thanks for the response. I am on a mac. This is footage that we have shot and transfered off cards to removable hard drives. Our standard practice is to back up all P2 cards to two drives. Then we're usually working with one drive in AE via an outboard drive bay. A basic example would be the following:

             

            Open up an existing project that is referencing P2 media from an external drive (call in P2 BU001) when I happen to have either no external drive mounted, or a drive with the same P2 media(for a particular project, but may not have all P2 media in common across both drives) but a different name (P2 BU002) mounted. So it seems like it shouldn't be the same path if the drives are not named exactly the same. If its the latter, AE will link to some media, but the P2 filename is incorrect (because its usually linking to a random P2 mxf audio file) so unless you know exactly what file you were using, there is no clue to assist.

            • 4. Re: P2 media and AE
              Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

              There's a few variables here that make me curious.

               

              First, the drive bay- what make and model?  How does it connect?  How does it represent the drives to the system? (ie., Each drive is represented as a drive, or each drive is a folder under the single drive.  I don't play with those types of devices often, so I don't want to assume anything here.)

               

              Second, do you get the problem even if you're not connected to the drive bay?  Does it still find other P2 media if you open the project file?  Where is that media located?

               

              There's a little spark in the back of my memory that reminds me that Mac drive addressing isn't as simple as the volume name.  The drive bay could be complicating things a bit.  And P2 folder structures are probably confusing things, too.

               

              Hate to repeat myself, but if you post project files in before/after states then I could look directly at the path data and maybe find some clues.

              • 5. Re: P2 media and AE
                goatmen Level 1

                Tim,

                 

                     The external drive bays are Sans Digital. I run a couple of them. One is on a work station at home and a couple here. One connects to the mac via FW800. The others are eSATA via a card. Problem exists regardless of which interface I am using. The drives are just bare eSATA drives that are formatted with the mac os. They appear on the desktop as a normal, single partition drive. I will get a before/after project state to you tomorrow. Do I just attach it via the attach here in the fourms?

                 

                If no external drive is mounted I get the standard file missing message. If I then mount another drive that has that media (not the original drive that the project called for, but another drive with the same p2media/file structure on it) I can then assign the correct mxf file and it updates the file path. It does seem to have something to do with how the mac is addressing the drive perhaps.

                • 6. Re: P2 media and AE
                  goatmen Level 1

                  Tim,

                   

                   

                  Attached are PDF files of a project in 3 states. It just includes 2 P2 files for ease of understanding. If the external drive that originally contained the media when created is mounted, all is well. If no external drive is mounted, then the files are missing as you would expect. If another external drive that contains the same media, but not the original external drive used when creating the project is mounted, AE assigns the P2 media seemingly at random from that external drive. I can also supply the actual AE project files of these if that helps.

                   

                   

                  Thanks

                  • 7. Re: P2 media and AE
                    Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                    Thanks.  The screenshots are probably good enough for now.

                     

                    Can you post an Apple System Profiler report from a machine while the drive bay (with some drives in it) is connected?  I'd like to see how it represents itself to the system.

                     

                    That said, I think the drive bay is the confounding factor.  Mac files have both a unique ID as well as a file path.  Here's an article from Apple that describes in part what happens when AE needs to address a file:

                    http://developer.apple.com/mac/library/documentation/MacOSX/Conceptual/BPFileSystem/Articl es/Aliases.html

                     

                    If the drive bay ends up allowing multiple files (on different drives) the same unique ID, the problem could happen very easily.  Sort of a perfect storm of the drive bay finding a loop hole in how files are assigned ID's, and AE is accidentally exploiting it.  Have you talked to Sans Digital about the problem?

                     

                    I also recall seeing a similar problem a long time ago when someone was duping their drives before use from a single source image.  You're not doing that by any chance?

                    • 8. Re: P2 media and AE
                      goatmen Level 1

                      Tim,

                       

                       

                           Attached is a pdf of the profile with the drive bay connected thru FW800 and a drive mounted. I have not discussed this issue with SD. I have found that they have been VERY unresponsive to a couple of issues in the past, so I don't know what that would yield. What you said about duping is something I guess I need to understand more. These drives are, in fact, copies of the same P2 media that are backed up off the original cards via a product called Shotput from ImagineProducts. I load card(s) in a reader and assign the destination as two drives and SP copies and file size verifies the media off the card to both drives simultaneously. Perhaps this may be an issue in this instance?

                       

                      Appreciate your interest in this issue.

                       

                       

                      Jim

                      • 9. Re: P2 media and AE
                        Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                        >Attached is a pdf of the profile with the drive bay connected

                         

                        Thanks.  That's somewhat helpful, but could you save a full System Profile report and post that?  If you'd prefer not to have that public, I can give you an e-mail address to send it to.

                         

                        >What you said about duping is something I guess I need to understand more.

                         

                        What I am specifically interested in is whether or not you are preparing your blank drives before the P2 media is copied to them.  My thought is that you might, for example, have a folder full of commonly used files, templates, and other resources that you want available regardless of which drive is mounted.  So to make life easy for yourself, you use an app to duplicate an existing drive image onto each fresh drive before you start using it.  The problem in this scenario is that along with your data, stuff like the drive's MBR and other header data can be duplicated, and some of the under-the-hood stuff that references the drive can't tell the difference between the drives.  Thus, if the file reference is to drive A, but drive B is an exact copy (except for your files), the reference may assume drive B is valid but it won't necessarily find the correct file.

                         

                        (FWIW, this is a rare case and I can only recall seeing this on Windows.  But there's no good reason it couldn't occur on Mac.)

                         

                        >I load card(s) in a reader and assign the destination as two drives and SP copies and file size verifies the media off the card to both drives simultaneously. Perhaps this may be an issue in this instance?

                         

                        For all I know, this could just as easily be the culprit.  Can you isolate the problem to only these two instances of the P2 data?  That is, is the problem occurring only when the disk with Copy 2 is imported?   Do you ever copy the P2 media to a third or fourth drive?  (Either directly from card or from an existing drive copy.)  And if so, does the problem occur when that drive is mounted?

                        • 10. Re: P2 media and AE
                          goatmen Level 1

                          Tim,

                           

                           

                          I can send you the complete profile if you can give me an e-mail. I prep the drives just by formatting them with the OS. They are created with a disc image.

                           

                               When we are backing up P2 media off cards, we usually back up to two drives, but I have done it to multiple drives in separate sessions, with the results being the same. The only scenario I have not checked out, but can do a test, is to see what happens with one copy of the P2 media on an internal drive and one on the external to see if this situation occurs. At this time it would simply involve me coping the media off a drive (so if it is some issue with Shotput, it may not prove anything).

                           

                           

                          Jim