21 Replies Latest reply on Jul 10, 2010 11:50 AM by elindividuo123

    Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?

    elindividuo123

      HI,

       

      Does anyone know of a way to import more than one mxf file at a time without having import the content folder as separate files? To be clear. I know several ways of import mxf files into premiere. The first is to simply click File>Import and browse for the file. Another way is via the media browser and yet another is to right click on the project panel and selecting import. They all share the same problem. You can only import one file at a time because you need to select the mxf file within the video subfolder. Premiere then composites the audio and the video together. If you instead select the 00#### folders you can select more than one but you get whole bunch of separate audio and video files for each clip. (You do also get a composite file but the extra files are a nightmare when it comes to organizing).  This is what the file looks like when you browse for it using the Flie>Import or the right click>import methods:

      http://img.skitch.com/20100708-jm33j5ip1b5ii9uhcbyqqag5f5.jpg

       

      The Media browser option is slightly diferent in the once you browse into the 00#### folder you see the composite file instead of the contents folder. But still you can't select more than one file at a time unless you only browse into the 00#####'s parent folder Then you can select all the 00#### folders but you get the same jumbled mess of files you get by trying this the other way. You can just drag them to the project panel or right click>Import to import the files. This is what it looks like:

      http://img.skitch.com/20100708-c9cuub8d38qh7pk6fn4m78au6u.jpg

      The problem is this is what the file looks like when you import the folder:

      http://img.skitch.com/20100708-n7hg5u38nwdnywcui4q55wuaa7.jpg

      The only necessary file in that whole folder is the last one. So does anyone know a way to import more than one mxf file at a time that only produces one file per clip in premiere pro CS5?

        • 1. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
          shooternz Level 6

          Hopefully I understood your post correctly..

           

           

          I import multiple mxf (P2) files in one of two ways.  Drag from Windows Explorer or more usually via Media Browser (which is the advised workflow)

           

           

          In each case....I simply go to the Video Folder > Select all the files (Shift Click - Click) and Import or drag....

           

          I do not bring in any other of the files from the P2 Folder Structure. There is no need for that but do ensure that structure remains intact.

          • 2. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
            elindividuo123 Level 1

            Hi shooternz. Thank you for the quick response. I'm not so sure I undersand what you meant. Do you mean the video folder within the contents folder of each clip. If so, this folder is invisible to me in the media browser. (I have no other folder labeled Video)

            http://img.skitch.com/20100708-eqmamqa8s27wrw6wgucg1njea9.jpg

             

            I cannot shift select the files on the left side either.

             

            I can shift select if I select the root folder for the clip. But I get folders not single clips.

            http://img.skitch.com/20100708-c9cuub8d38qh7pk6fn4m78au6u.jpg

            If import these the result is what I showed in my first post. I should mention I'm on a mac if that might make any difference. I'm thinking it shouldn't in the media browser. Am I missing something?

            • 3. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
              shooternz Level 6

              Sorry ...you are correct.  The Media Browser will only show you the contents of the Video Folder. (.mxf files)

               

              In Explorer ( Finder) you will see the entire folder structure.

               

              Whatever...you only need the files from that folder.

               

              Now I am not sure why you can not select single or multiple files from there and drag them into your Project Bin.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                elindividuo123 Level 1

                You mean you can shift select from the left panel in the media browser? That would be awesome. I cannot shift select anything from that left panel and I can't seem to get all my files as files instead of folder on the right panel. I can shift select from there.

                 

                Oddly enough...

                 

                I was playing around and I found a sort of work around. If I open a finder window and browse to the clip's parent folder I can then do a search for mxf and choose the parent folder instead of the default "this mac" setting for the search, I can then select all the mxf files that I need and drag. (You still get all the separate files mixed in with the composite in the finder window but since the file you need to import has a shorter name the the audio files, they're actually quite easy to find.) I'm pretty sure this is not the workflow Adobe intended for importing mxf files but it seems to do the trick. It oddly enough bypasses all the import functions I normally use including the media browser. I'd still be very interested in finding a less convoluted way of doing this. Specially if it can be done from the media browser. Thanks again.

                • 5. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                  shooternz Level 6

                  My Media Browser looks quite diferent to yours.

                   

                  (Sorry I cant screen grab in my CS4 or CS5 suites.)

                   

                  I navigate to the it until my left column shows the Folder on the Hard drive that Contains the entire P2 Structure

                   

                  eg.  "ABC Production/ 'Reel 1'   (Reel 1, 2,3 etc is my naming Protocol when ingesting from each P2 Card)

                   

                  The Right Column Shows thumbnails of all the clips .  These are what I can select from in the manner described previously.

                   

                  I only get video files in the bin from these (with audio). I then do a sort on the "Media Start' Column.

                   

                   

                  BTW - are you using a FS100 device or similar?

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                    elindividuo123 Level 1

                    Basically you're saying that in this picture you'd be seeing clips intead of folders on your right column? 

                    http://img.skitch.com/20100708-c9cuub8d38qh7pk6fn4m78au6u.jpg

                     

                    Interesting. I wonder what that's all about. Seems like something off with my footage then doesn't it. But it happens every time so maybe a problem with my capture software maybe? In the "view as" tab in the top it won't let me choose p2. It always reads file directory as it's the only selectable choice.

                     

                    I am not using Firestore. I'm working with two 16gb p2 cards. One is an E series. The other is R.

                    • 7. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                      shooternz Level 6

                      How do you ingest your footage from Card to HD?

                      • 9. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                        shooternz Level 6

                        When I had a MAC I used to call the FINDER function ... 'The LOSER'

                         

                        It used to mystify me how it sorted and displayed Folders and files.  I never ever got used to it.

                         

                         

                        • 10. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                          Colin Brougham Level 6

                          Yeah, P2CMS is kind of dumb that way--it's really built for an FCP workflow, where you can't handle the MXF files natively. I don't use P2CMS (or at least I haven't for awhile), but see if you can turn off the option to split the clips into individual folders like that.

                           

                          The way P2 works is that a CONTENTS folder is created, with AUDIO, VIDEO, CLIP, ICON, VOICE, and PROXY folders within it. Each folder holds the portion of the MXF clip that corresponds to the folder type (ie. video goes into the VIDEO folder, and so on). When you ingest with P2CMS, it grabs all the constituent pieces from a particular clip, and throws them in one folder named for the clip. The idea is that it makes asset management easier, because you can just select the folders (clips) you want, and you'll get all the files you need. I personally think that's a lousy way to do it, but that's me.

                           

                          If P2CMS won't let you copy a P2 card with the original folders intact, you can probably just use Finder to copy the CONTENTS folder and its, well, contents to your local drive. That way, when you look at the P2 "card" from Media Browser, you'll see all of the clips therein.

                          • 11. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                            elindividuo123 Level 1

                            Very interesting. I'm gonna try that. I'll shoot some footage and import that way. It takes way longer without P2CMS though. That's why I started using it.

                            • 12. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                              Colin Brougham Level 6

                              I'm surprised copying would be that much slower just using the OS (P2CMS uses the OS, anyway). I don't use a Mac, but I recall that folks found that if they copied the LASTCLIP.TXT file first, and then the CONTENTS folder, they copy process went quicker. You might give that a shot.

                               

                              For simple P2 ingest, you might want to check out ShotPut Pro from Imagine Products. It's not free, of course, but might help work through some of the issues.

                              • 13. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                                shooternz Level 6

                                Out of curiosity Colin...how do you ingest from P2 Cards?

                                 

                                I use 'P2 Forge' and Ingest to an external HD  from my laptop .  The external drive is now my Archive /Back up of the Card.  (the Rushes)

                                 

                                I then copy from the external to the internals on whichever suite I will edit on.

                                 

                                Its two stage but it as simple and effective as I can devise.

                                 

                                Actually its a kind of a hands off , open a beer, make a coffee... type of workflow ... but I always ensure I have the rushes on BOTH the HDs (and checked in a project) before I will contemplate formatting the card for next shoot.

                                 

                                I add HDs and never "wipe" the rushes from an external.

                                • 14. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                                  Colin Brougham Level 6

                                  I used P2Forge for quite awhile, but it seemed to randomly flake out on me, and that's absolutely NOT what you need when you're working without a source tape as a fallback, and especially in a fast-moving scenario. Lately, most of my copying has been done with the OS alone; I build a number of destination folders on my internal HDD (I use a similar naming scheme as yours, with Reel 1, Reel 2, etc.), and then have two Explorer windows open. One window is the list of folders, and the other is My Computer, so as I pop in a P2 card I can jump into the drive, grab the CONTENTS folder and LASTCLIP.TXT file and throw them in the waiting destination folder. When it's done, I do a quick Properties check of the source P2 and the destination folder for file count and total size; if they're the same, I assume the copy went perfectly (haven't been burned yet... knock on wood). If you open a third window, you can easily drag the destination folder to a waiting external HDD or whatever else for a secondary backup. I run the razor's edge and don't do this until I'm back in this shop, but so far, so good.

                                   

                                  P2 Viewer (the Panasonic app) also offers a P2 Ingester as of the last couple versions; it works decently if you can get past the clunky Japanese-to-English translations. Supposedly, the guys as P2Forge are cooking up a new app; I'm hoping it comes along soon, as P2 logging (at least in an affordable fashion) is sorely lacking on Windows. It would be great if Adobe could add it to Bridge, but I'm highly doubtful that would ever happen.

                                   

                                  Your workflow sounds pretty sound to me. Do you do much logging of your clips before they hit Premiere?

                                  • 15. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                                    shooternz Level 6
                                    Do you do much logging of your clips before they hit Premiere?

                                     

                                    None at all.

                                     

                                    My logging is done in PPRO in the project window.

                                     

                                    Man ...I love that abilty to playout from the Project Window while I type away in the fields as well as copy and paste.  Also find I can not live without the 'TILDE" key too.

                                     

                                    P2 Forge has never gone flaky for me BTW

                                    • 16. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                                      elindividuo123 Level 1

                                      Just found that if you export the P2 footage from P2cms instead of ingesting seems to keep the files in place instead of reorganizing. Also Speed is why I started using p2CMS. The software sucks but in my experience it is much faster than manual transfer. A full 16gb card on a manual transfer could take anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour. With the software it never takes more than 20 minutes. In most cases it appears to be a gig a minute.

                                       

                                      Never Tried P2Forge but it can't be worse than what I'm using. The software is relatively fast but it's clunky, flaky and the japanese -english translation is laughable.

                                       

                                      By the way...

                                       

                                      What are the points for?

                                       

                                      Do you get something if you reach a certain number. Frequent flyer miles type deal?

                                      • 17. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                                        Colin Brougham Level 6

                                        Got it. I like to log externally, because then that information travels with the clips, wherever they go; logging in Vegas... er, Premiere, stays in Premiere. That's fine if you stay in that paradigm, but I occasionally send clips to other people who don't have Premiere. Additionally, many times, I'll do my selects before the clips even hit Premiere, and that way I can work with a nice streamlined project.

                                         

                                        It was in the logging and metadata editing where P2Forge flaked most often; in fact, I found that editing metadata with it actually breaks the XML metadata files! If you view the clips in P2 Viewer after editing the metadata in P2Forge, the clips show up as damaged... not good. I log now with P2 Viewer, but it's about as elegant as tap dancing in ice skates--somebody's gonna get hurt.

                                         

                                        There's a huge market for this, I think, but the other solutions I've tried, while effective and some quite feature-packed, are too much money for a small shop, given their narrow focus. Maybe someday...

                                        • 18. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                                          Colin Brougham Level 6

                                          Cool; glad you found that. I seemed to remember that something like that was in there. I can't test as I'm on Windows 7 and Panasonic hasn't released a Win7 (much less Vista) version of P2CMS. Something tells me, it won't ever happen.

                                           

                                          Those are crazy slow copy times! Something is weird there. How are you copying from the card, mechanically? From the camera to an external hard drive? I'm able to copy a 16GB card with my laptop, using the Cardbus slot and an internal SATA 3G drive in about 5-6 minutes. Of course, this is on Windows and Cardbus slots have been long dead on Macs, and on most PCs (not on Lenovos, thankfully). Depending on how you're copying might have a significant effect on the speed at which you can transfer the files.

                                           

                                          P2Forge is for Windows only, at the moment. Check out P2 Log Pro from Imagine Products (same company I mentioned above) for a Mac-only software that is similar to P2Forge (actually, better). Wish they had a version for PC...

                                          • 19. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                                            elindividuo123 Level 1

                                            Yeah. Tell me about it. My laptop does have an sd card slot and I have a Duet or Duel Adapter (I don't quite remember what it's called. The copy time are better with that. Sadly My SD Slot Gave up on me a while ago. Or maybe it's the duel/duet adapter (I know they stopped support - meaning no driver- for Snow Leopard). Either way I'm stuck using the camera for now. I know it's not ideal (in fact I've been told several times that it's bad for the camera and I'm at least sure that it amounts in wear and tear) but I've no other choice at the moment. My copy time is also slow because my hard drive is slow. It's an old, cheap IDE usb drive. It's why I use software. I'd lose my mind if I had to wait hours every time I need to empty a card.

                                             

                                            As for the logging, maybe we don't need more thrid party software. Maybe the answer lays in cross compatibility with the current software. Premiere=FCP=Vegas=Avid. Seems like less steps to me having the metadata embed on the clip.

                                            • 20. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                                              Colin Brougham Level 6

                                              Ah, yes... you're sort of in a tough spot. The Dual Adapter has been the source of much consternation since the advent of P2. Addonics makes an adapter that works decently on PCs, but is also a no-go on Macs.

                                               

                                              You have a couple of options, as I see it:

                                               

                                              1. Keep on keepin' on... not fast or friendly, but if it works for you, so be it
                                              2. Partition your Mac Book's hard drive so that you can install 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard). That way, you could boot into 10.5 in order to use the Dual Adapter to offload cards, and then boot back to 10.6 for editing.
                                              3. If you are a Mac-only-kind-of-guy, pick up an old PowerBook that actually has a CardBus/PCMCIA slot--it'll work just fine for offloading.
                                              4. If you are willing to dabble in PC land, do a little research on small, inexpensive Windows laptops that either have a CardBus slot, or have an ExpressCard slot and will work with the Addonics adapter (the Dual won't work on Windows Vista/7, and probably won't since it's been discontinued).
                                              5. Pick up the Panasonic AJ-PCD2 single-slot USB reader. It's the long overdue appliance the P2 shooting world has been clamoring for.

                                               

                                              They're all viable, and arranged roughly in the order from cheapest to "less cheap." Other than #1, I'd say just about any of them are decent solutions. Personally, I suggest the PC laptop route--even if you single-purpose it for offloading P2 cards, it will prove to be the most flexible and robust solution.

                                               

                                              As for the logging, maybe we don't need more thrid party software. Maybe the answer lays in cross compatibility with the current software. Premiere=FCP=Vegas=Avid. Seems like less steps to me having the metadata embed on the clip.

                                               

                                              That would be the ideal, but unfortunately, the NLEs are incapable of editing the file metadata for any MXF clip. Rather, they can edit the clip metadata for a particular imported clip, but then that stays with the project itself, and doesn't travel with the files if they go elsewhere. So at this time, logging outside of an NLE is really the only means of associating usable, transferable metadata with a particular shot.

                                              • 21. Re: Batch import MXF on Premiere Pro Cs5 (Panasonic P2) ?
                                                elindividuo123 Level 1

                                                Yeah, I actually downgraded back to leopard but the Dual Adapter never worked again. That single card reader seems like a godsend. It seemed pretty odd at the time I was looking for capture options that a single card reader could not be found. I'm definitely adding this to the wishlist. I have several Windows computers loitering around but I'm not very fond of dusting them off. I'd probably have to spend some time on them to get them up and running.

                                                 

                                                I'm thinking the card reader is probably the way to go. Better put up that lemonade stand. Start saving those pennies. Thanks everybody for the help.

                                                 

                                                About the NLE's sadly I know. I just meant it would be nice if the software actually embeded the metadata on the clip. 

                                                 

                                                To recap:

                                                 

                                                I wanted to batch import various mxf clips at once and I was having problems doing so. The reason for this as it turned out had nothing to do with premiere but with the P2CMS software I used to capture the footage which reorganized the p2 structure and separated each clip making it difficult to batch import.

                                                 

                                                I found several work arounds:

                                                 

                                                1) The simplest is to simply not ingest the files. Export the files File>Export

                                                   This keeps the structure intact.

                                                 

                                                2) If you've aready ingested a whole bunch of clips (About a terabyte in my case). I should mention I'm on a mac. A work around for that would be to navigate to the root folder where the clips were ingested and do a search for mxf. Make sure the root folder is selected on the root folder instead of "this mac" on the search settings and select the clips you need. Then just drag into premiere.

                                                 

                                                Thanks everybody for helping me out with this. I gave both equal point as I found both of you very helpful. I have no idea what you can use points for but there you have it. Again thanks.

                                                 

                                                -Over and out