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TOPIC: Trouble with Importing 4K

Trouble with Importing 4K 30 Jul 2017 12:46 #89651

Hi Guys,

I'm trying to import some 4K AVCHD footage from Sony A7S2 into FCP. I'm using a 2013 Mac Pro.

Every time I try to import, I get this error message.

I try to reimport, but the same story.

I have trashed preferences. I have tried opening a new library and event. Nothing is working.

Does anyone have a clue how this can be fixed?

Thanks
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Trouble with Importing 4K 30 Jul 2017 14:01 #89652

I've been checking other support pages and a lot of people are saying that FCPx struggles with longer, larger files.

I've not yet been able to find the solution....

Any advice would be gratefully received.
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Trouble with Importing 4K 03 Aug 2017 13:11 #89701

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phil@circuitfactory.ae wrote:
....I'm trying to import some 4K AVCHD footage from Sony A7S2 into FCP. I'm using a 2013 Mac Pro....Every time I try to import, I get this error message....

I think AVCHD is only an HD format -- IOW there's no such thing as 4k AVCHD. If your shooting resolution was 4k, the A7S2 probably used XAVC-S.

I suggest copying the entire camera folder tree from the SD card to hard drive then import from there. If this doesn't work you can try externally rewrapping (not transcoding) it before import using EditReady, but this shouldn't be necessary: www.divergentmedia.com/editready

However rewrapping the content before import allows import with "leave files in place" which reduces disk consumption and is much faster.

If by some chance this really is AVCHD, I would definitely rewrap that externally with EditReady before importing. Under no conditions ever import bare AVCHD files (often having a .MTS suffix) which have been copied outside the folder tree using "leave files in place". This can create significant I/O performance problems.

I've never encountered the "still referencing media on the camera" error, but there's an Apple KB article about this: support.apple.com/en-us/HT207791

phil@circuitfactory.ae wrote:
....a lot of people are saying that FCPx struggles with longer, larger files....

Who are these "lot of people"? I'm currently editing a documentary that contains about 5,000 clips comprising 10 terabytes of H264 4k content in a single library, and performance is pretty good on a 2015 or 2017 iMac 27. The largest single file I have is 44.7 GB of 4k material from a Panasonic AG-DVX200. FCPX handles that fine.
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Trouble with Importing 4K 03 Aug 2017 15:30 #89703

joema wrote:
I think AVCHD is only an HD format -- IOW there's no such thing as 4k AVCHD. If your shooting resolution was 4k, the A7S2 probably used XAVC-S.
I used these files about a week ago, and I don't still have them to hand, but I seem to remember that I shot it on 4K (I picked the best quality codec). When I attached camera to computer, it gave me an AVCHD folder. Then inside that folder, the files were all "mp4."

This seemed strange to me as I always thought mp4 was the worst quality - but I am not very good with codecs and such, so defer to any inside you can give me here?
joema wrote:
I suggest copying the entire camera folder tree from the SD card to hard drive then import from there.
I located the file - it was an mp4 file - dragged it to desktop and then after a few attempts, FCPX took it.

It just seemed like a very unstable and long way round.
joema wrote:
Who are these "lot of people"? I'm currently editing a documentary that contains about 5,000 clips comprising 10 terabytes of H264 4k content in a single library, and performance is pretty good on a 2015 or 2017 iMac 27. The largest single file I have is 44.7 GB of 4k material from a Panasonic AG-DVX200. FCPX handles that fine.
This is great to know. I just started reading and some posts were saying 4K is a terror to get into FCPX. It's great to know this is not the case.

Thanks for all your advice.

Phil
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Trouble with Importing 4K 03 Aug 2017 22:23 #89705

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phil@circuitfactory.ae wrote:
...I shot it on 4K (I picked the best quality codec). When I attached camera to computer, it gave me an AVCHD folder. Then inside that folder, the files were all "mp4."...This seemed strange to me as I always thought mp4 was the worst quality - but I am not very good with codecs and such, so defer to any inside you can give me here?

That was 4k XAVC-S. Inside the folder tree an AVCHD file but that doesn't mean the container format is AVCHD. If it was AVCHD there would be a single AVCHD file "bundle" that you couldn't see inside of without opening the package.

phil@circuitfactory.ae wrote:
...I located the file - it was an mp4 file - dragged it to desktop and then after a few attempts, FCPX took it...It just seemed like a very unstable and long way round...

That indicates the video file was copied outside the XAVC-S folder tree and imported. While that is considered poor practice I do it all the time and see no resulting problems. I have never seen it take a few attempts or give the "still referencing media" error.

Re unstable and long way round, it should import immediately and never give any errors like that. The only variations with XAVC-S is whether the content is imported from the card itself, a copy of the folder tree on disk, from an archive of the card or from bare .MP4 files using "leave files in place". It should not be necessary to hunt down the files and import them again -- it should simply work. I sometimes import several terabytes, much of it XAVC-S, and it is generally very reliable.

phil@circuitfactory.ae wrote:
... I just started reading and some posts were saying 4K is a terror to get into FCPX. It's great to know this is not the case....

FCPX normally imports H264 4k very rapidly and reliably. If importing H264 4k with "leave files in place" and creating proxy media, FCPX is about 4x or 5x faster than Premiere Pro CC on the same Mac hardware.

However there are variations as listed above. The fastest way to import is avoiding the copy phase by importing with "leave files in place". Unfortunately FCPX does not support this using the original camera folder tree, so you must copy the .MP4 files to a separate folder and import from there. This is considered poor practice because you omit the XML metadata files but so far I haven't seen a problem from that. Importing with "leave files in place" is very fast and avoids making another media copy into the library.

Some people create camera archives from each card, which is a built-in FCPX feature. However when doing field documentary work we are doing checksummed downloads from multiple cards simultaneously so I don't have time for that.
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Trouble with Importing 4K 04 Aug 2017 14:00 #89713

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joema wrote:
If this doesn't work you can try externally rewrapping (not transcoding) it before import using EditReady (...)
However rewrapping the content before import allows import with "leave files in place" which reduces disk consumption and is much faster.


I stumbled upon some very old LaCie FireWire drives, wondered what was on them: FCP files. All clips I had once meticulously logged and trimmed prior to *capturing*. OSX Puma or some other extinct pussy. I knew instantly what every single one of them would show, because I had renamed them in FCP classic. These drives were my backups, and though I never had to use them again I was very astonished, how neat, tidy and compact all those packages were.

Now I have a few dozens of libraries. Each of them has a name, and that's it. To look into them, I need FCP X. I can't just browse them, I can only access them one after the other.

I archive these libraries in a consolidated version, with only used clips - whole clips that is. I sometimes bother to set ranges on import so that I cut off complete junk from the start. Nevertheless the remains tend to be 60-80% waste.

The browser in FCP X is the best there is, I am convinced of that. I love how it lets me fly over all my footage and how it spares me thousands of double clicks. And of course the way I can organize the footage.

BUT
I tested Kyno (no comments here. Why? Nobody interested? Am I alone?), and I think I will buy it. I want to be able to do what EditReady does (wrapping, but particularly transcoding) . FCP X wraps anyway, and if I really have an extra step in my workflow, I want maximum efficiency. So Kyno browses, tags, renames and transcodes footage directly from my cards. I can edit with already trimmed, tagged and renamed ProResHQ files. The latter, because, let's face it, it will give me more real time in the end, at least that's my experience. I can use a USB3 drive as the target, keep it as my backup and import from there into the FCP X library on my TB raid. Awesome!

BUT
in my very humble opinion, Kynos browser is lame compared to FCP X's. The viewer can't be scaled to show a full UHD image. You need to either zoom in or toggle full screen. On my 5k display, I have real estate enough to qualify UHD 1:1 within FCP X.

THEREFORE
it's a shame that FCP X only works as it's own MAM.

Comments? Do I miss something?

joema wrote:
I think AVCHD is only an HD format -- IOW there's no such thing as 4k AVCHD. If your shooting resolution was 4k, the A7S2 probably used XAVC-S.
phil@circuitfactory.ae wrote:
I used these files about a week ago, and I don't still have them to hand, but I seem to remember that I shot it on 4K (I picked the best quality codec). When I attached camera to computer, it gave me an AVCHD folder. Then inside that folder, the files were all "mp4."


You must have chosen Dual Recording. That means that the camera records AVC and XAVC both at the same time. The AVC version is in the AVCHD folder which Finder spontaneously opens and just shows clip thumbnails. I can't check it now, but afaik AVC is then really only *HD*. XAVC clips are in >PRIVATE > M4ROOT >CLIP. You can also exclusively shoot AVC, and if that was the case, you made a mistake (M4ROOT is empty).
Last Edit: 04 Aug 2017 14:04 by Axel.
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