So how can you ingest 40 hours of XDCAM material and have it all logged into FCP bins in 2 hours? With Sony's new XMPilot app for iOS or Android, you do the hard work on the shoot.
Sony had their large press conference this morning at IBC and they admit to having a rough year with the tsunami, riots and earthquakes all affecting production. Both plants in Sendai are now back online producing media.
The new F65 was the main news priced at $38,00 or €75,000 for a kit that includes media storage etc. There was other 4k related news as well as Sony's OB Truck building and integration for broadcasters using their Media Backbone. There was some FCPX news in there but we are seeking clarification and permission to publish it.
What woke us up though was XMPilot, an iOS or Android app that a director or production assistant can use on location to log media whilst it is being shot. Most XDCAM cameras will accept the wifi unit that attaches to the back of the camera that transmits the data to and from the handheld device.
The user of the app (which will be available on the App Store in a couple of weeks) gets a real time video stream on the iPad and then logs the clip with predefined buttons such as good take, bad take, PTC and so on. When the material is brought to FCP for ingest, all that information is kept and put into a bin structure so that the editor can start editing without having to log. Assistant editors over the world should be excited and maybe worried that their job will dissapear!
We can see this being a great timesaver. Sony gave the example of XMPilot being used on 'Escape to the Country,' a BBC programme that is shot on XDCAM. 40 hours worth of material was ingested into the Final Cut Pro suite in just 2 hours, all nicely logged into bins for the editor.
The app is a free download for all Sony Xperia customers so hopefully the app will be free for iOS users too. No news if the metadata will transfer with ingest into FCPX, but Sony say they are looking at all opportunities.
"XMPilot is an advanced metadata workflow solution designed to significantly improve and speed up the overall XDCAM production workflow, targeting the broadcast, production and media markets. It is a combination of software and hardware for in-house and in-field applications, with added connectivity via mobile devices such as smartphones and touch tablets.
XMPilot is compatible with most XDCAM EX and XDCAM HD 422 camcorders, including the hugely successful PMW-500. With XMPilot, users can create planning metadata in advance, and have the flexibility to transfer this metadata to a camcorder remotely via email and Wi-Fi, as well as directly via USB or file-copying onto a recording media. Live logging and post-shoot logging with mobile devices, such as smartphones and touch tablets, enables further enrichment of the metadata with EssenceMark™ and comments, eliminating paper-based logging, boosting workflow efficiency and reducing production costs. And XMPilot’s auto-ingest feature will push the time and resource savings even further at the ingest and editing stages, cutting down a typical 2-day clip logging job to only 2 hours!
With XMPilot, users can create planning metadata with the XMPilot Planner in advance and have the flexibility to transfer this metadata to a camcorder remotely via email and Wi-Fi, as well as directly via USB or file-copying onto a recording media.
Live viewing and live logging
The XMPilot Tool running on mobile devices, such as smartphones and touch tablets, enables live logging and post-shoot logging against the timecode, enriching the original planning metadata with EssenceMark™ and comments. This eliminates paper-based logging, manual data entry and typing errors, boosting workflow efficiency and reducing production costs.
The XMPilot live viewing option allows XMPilot users to select a target camcorder (with XMPilotTool GUI) and view live stream recording whilst away from the shooting set.
XMPilot Import Utility’s auto-ingest feature allows users to automatically name and transfer clips to the right storage locations inside a non-linear editor, complimenting XMPilot metadata management and significantly speeding up the ingest and editing stages of the overall XDCAM workflow.
The new version of the XDCAM Browser V2.0 with enhanced live operation support and Planning Metadata creation/editing/transfer functions, as well as the new optional Advanced Pack for XDCAM Browser will be released in November 2011.
The Advanced Pack will include Acquisition Metadata Display and Print Clip Information functionalities.
Smart mobile devices support
XMPilot planning metadata transfer, live viewing and live logging can be carried out with mobile devices such as smartphones and touch tablets.
Sony Europe is working in close collaboration with Sony Ericsson in a true “Sony United” spirit to offer a Sony mobile device for XMPilot. XMPilot customers can use the new Sony Ericsson Xperia pro Android smartphone for planning metadata transfer, live viewing and live logging. From October 2011, the XMPilot Xperia application is available for download on free-of-charge basis to all Xperia customers. Sony Ericsson is also planning to provide support for the XMPilot application for the Sony Tablet users.
As Audio Visual technology continues to blend in with IT, the XMPilot is a perfect example of Sony bringing innovative technology to the market, so users can exploit this change seamlessly, while reaffirming its position as the leading expert in delivering world-class efficient production solutions."