Welcome to the wonderful world of the "folder structure", a wholly asinine and entirely unnecessary method of recording video to solid state media.
would using Cineform Neo Scene help? Anyone using it? Experience? How much time does it take to conform clips?
If you just copy the .MTS files from their /stream folder or rename the file with a name instead of its original number produced in the camera you lose the timecode and other meta data.
If I leave the clips in that folder and other card folders in their associated directories and "import" clip with Premiere Media Browser it retains the timecode.
You mustmustmust keep the files in their folder structure, if you intend to maintain timecode. You've clearly discovered this Good you did so early. The folder structure thing is really not a big deal; there is very little need to manipulate these at the OS level, and the Media Browser in PPro makes it reasonably easy to bring these in for editing. You can pre-build a folder structure into which you can offload each card's worth of clips.
Trouble is that I cannot see thumbnails in Media Browser and the clip number means little. Bridge on my Win7/64bit machine shows thumbnails (but no preview) and a double-click will preview in Win Media Player.
On my main edit station (Vista/64bit) Bridge neither shows thumbnails or previews and I get no avchd .mts playback in Windows Media Player. Everything worrks the same within Premiere, nice solid editing and playback of avchd clips. (I will probably upgrade this machine to Win7 next week)
Windows 7 has built-in splitters and decoders for H.264 media, so that's the reason you can at least get thumbnails in Bridge and playback the files in WMP there. The Media Browser, even on Windows 7, won't show thumbnails as they are not saved into the folder structure the way that P2 saves a poster image into the folder structure. Note that even "standard" containers like AVI or MOV do not display a thumbnail in Media Browser.
As far as Bridge is concerned: I know a lot of people like it, but from my perspective, it's just about worthless for video. This is largely an application designed for photography workflows that has been shoehorned into "working" with video. I don't even like it for AVI/MOV.
The ugly truth is that Bridge is not going to be much, if any, help in this workflow. However, there may be another tool in the suite that will accomplish what you need: OnLocation. You won't get thumbnails, but you can browse through the folder structure without knowing you're doing it, import clips to preview them, and add metadata. You could do this for each card you offload. Then, in Premiere, simply use Media Browser to navigate to your OnLocation Project, and it will open up just like a folder, listing all your clips with the metadata you added. Granted, it is not a perfect workflow, but once you added that metadata, it will flow with the files wherever you move them around in the Adobe suite--it won't go elsewhere, as it's not injected into the files themselves. So long as you're editing in Premiere, you're good.
Now, there is another thing you can do that may make clip management even easier, though it does require a bit of forethought in pre-production. It will really depend on the type of project you're shooting, but you can preload metadata on to an SD card and into the camera, and then automatically record this to the clips as they are shot! I don't have an AVCCAM to give you exact workflow steps, but I do this all the time with my P2 workflow and it's a tremendous help once you hit the edit bay.
If you haven't already, head over to the Panasonic support site: Support Desk Top / Broadcast and Professional AV. You'll need to register for a "PASS" membership (it's free, and you don't need to register a camera), but you can then download the AVCCAM Viewer application. Unfortunately, this application is not quite as helpful as P2 Viewer is (it's rather cartoony, actually), but it does have the metadata editor in it that will let you create your metadata files in advance and save them to an SD card. Then, after consulting the camera manual , you can set those metadata files to be a data source for the footage as you record it. Here's what you can add to the metadata files and, summarily, the clips:
Once you load this into the camera's memory, that data is saved into the clips, and is readable by Premiere. The "User Clip Name" field can be set to auto-increment (again, this is going off my knowledge of the way metadata works in a P2 camera, but the AVCCAM should be similar) so that each clip has a base name and then a serial number. When you're done with a particular scene/shot, you'd load the next metadata files, reset the indexing, and continue. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The biggest hole in the metadata workflow, at least as it pertains to AVCHD/AVCCAM, is that there is no tool (that I'm aware of) that lets you edit this metadata after the fact. With P2, you can--there are a number of applications, both free and payware, that let you do this--but I've yet to find one that works with AVCCAM. Even Panasonic's own AVCCAM Viewer is incapable of this, it seems.
The major advantage to adding file metadata like this is that it travels wherever the clips go, and into whatever application they land in. Not being able to edit it after the fact, though, just plain sucks. This is where the clip metadata you'd add in the Adobe applications comes into play, with the obvious disadvantage that it's only useful in Adobeland. As always, ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
So that's my take on this--it's good you're looking into this before you have a couple terabytes worth of footage on hand Let me know if I can help fill in any details that I might have overlooked. And be sure to check on the Panasonic site linked above for firmware updates to the AF100--I see one came out just a few days ago. It's always good to stay current.
Thanks for the info and reassuring words regarding avchd workflow. I did grab the firmware update for the af100, but couldn't find and AVCHD Viewer software for PC. I'll look again.
Also researching the Cineform Neo Scene codec routine. Wondering how long it takes, but if I end up with AVI's that can be tagged and archieved independantly of thier original file structure, that would be wonderful for me. I have a broad business in suppling media to various clients and my RAID's are set up more like a library than file tree structure and I'm too old to change now!
...couldn't find and AVCHD Viewer software for PC.
Right here: (Win) AVCCAM Viewer
Can't give you any feedback on Cineform, but I know others use it and can give you some idea. I prefer to work with originals, where possible, so it's a foreign concept to me
As far as Bridge is concerned: I know a lot of people like it, but from my perspective, it's just about worthless for video.
That's mainly because of the asinine folder structure. When you have all relevant data - video, audio timecode, etc. - in a single file, Bridge works very, very well for video. It's a real boon to my own productivity, and I will miss it when I upgrade to the HMC150.
Disagree, 100%. Bridge is junk. Glad you like it, though
I love Bridge.
Pitty it does not preview mts files, but i am still glad i got my mpeg (hdv) files back in preview with the last update.
Has anyone recently found an AVCHD tool that lets you directly edit AVCHD metadata within the AVCHD folders after the fact i.e. AVCHD files already transferred to your computer.
Does Prelude actually change any of the original AVCHD files or does it only place a XMP file within the AVCHD folder? Thanks