Batch Export Problem

Posted by treatment 
Batch Export Problem
June 29, 2010 08:05AM
Hey there, and thank you for reading this!

I IMPORT a "reel" which is a .DV file of random video clips into the Browser.
I OPEN the reel using the viewer.
I set IN and OUT points for the clip I want in the viewer.
I drag the clip into the Sequence Timeline
I create a SUBCLIP and rename it in the Browser.
I repeat this process until I have all the clips from my reel separated on the timeline.
I drag all of those separated clips into a new Batch Bin
I make sure my settings are correct, exporting as a .DV file.

FCP goes to work, and voila, I have a bunch of clips that are correctly named, except 1 PROBLEM:

Even though they are all the correct length, only the first frame of each clip is showing!
So I have for example,a 5:31 second clip, but only the first frame shows for this clip!
5 minutes 31 seconds of the first frame only!

What am I FAILING to do here? (I have done this before with success, believe it or not)

MACBOOK PRO 15", 2GB RAM, OS 10.4.11, FCPro V5.1
Re: Batch Export Problem
June 29, 2010 08:18AM
"I drag the clip into the Sequence Timeline
I create a SUBCLIP and rename it in the Browser."

Whoa there. That's not how you make a subclip. You can't make a subclip in the timeline. What exactly are you doing? It sounds like you're making a duplicate sequence with marked in and out points. What's the icon of this subclip look like? Clip icon with torn edges or something else?

.DV is a format used AFAIK only by iMovie. It's not used in Final Cut. Why are you bringing in .dv media and why are you exporting to .dv?

All the best,

Re: Batch Export Problem
July 09, 2010 06:30AM
Thanks for stepping out...a few things...
First of all, what is AFAIK an acronym for?

Second, my mistake, subclips are not being made in the timeline, they are being made in the Viewer, and yes the Icon has torn edges. I then take the subclips that I have renamed which are now sitting in FCPs "Browser" and drag them into the Timeline so that I can add effects/process etc.
My logic for this, is that I can name them as I am working with them, rather than trying to name them later when I do my batch Export.

Second, by .DV I am referring to a DV stream. Correct me if I am wrong here, but the video was shot and captured from a MiniDV camera. When I ingest to FCP, this is what my clips show up as. Rather than changing the CODEC, why not process and export as the same CODEC?
I know that we must always consider the output format, which in this particular example is for my live VJing setup, using Livid Union, and the CODEC seems to work well for my purpose.

Thanks again for trying to make sense of this mess, for whatever reason, I still cannot seem to get my Batch Export to function correctly although I have had success with this in the past, which is why I am still slightly baffled.

Re: Batch Export Problem
July 09, 2010 04:45PM
As Far As I Know....
Re: Batch Export Problem
July 10, 2010 01:23AM
"When I ingest to FCP, this is what my clips show up as."

that's odd, as FCP usually imports DV as a DV codec movie file.
are you sure you're not using iMovie or something else to CAPTURE, then bringing those clips into FCP?

that could easily be where the problem lies
on the other hand, i do remember trying this myself a while back (like 2004 or something), and it seemed to work.
oh, but because DVstream isn't a format native to FCP, the images were all re-compressed.
i think i could see the difference, too.

a DV stream uses the same video codec, but treats the audio in a different way. (AFAIK!)

Re: Batch Export Problem
July 10, 2010 01:28AM
Yes, DVstream (as from iMovie) requires an audio render every time you so much as touch it. Video seems pretty happy.

And I know that from hard experience.
Re: Batch Export Problem
July 10, 2010 11:51AM
Thanks guys.....but does it really matter what CODEC providing the Sequence Settings are correct? I mean, the video plays back perfectly in the Canvas/Viewer, does not need to be prerendered, so WTF??
What drives me bonkers is that I HAVE done this successfully before, as I used to shoot EVERYTHING on MINIDV, ingest, edit and export, and I have done Batch Exports successfully with this CODEC in the past.
Maybe I will try a different CODEC and see...I just feel like I am missing a step, like...I dunno what.
Yes indeed, it is true that MINIDV audio needs to be rendered in FCP. I myself have not ever noticed any compression artifacts though, FYI.

Thanks again
Re: Batch Export Problem
July 10, 2010 12:37PM
I'm not sure if you want us to help you figure out what's wrong or if you just want us to join you in expressing your frustration. You gotta decide and let us know. I'm not sure if anyone here has gotten that same problem from batch export. I certainly haven't.

FCP is a quicktime editor, so it makes more sense to export as a quicktime movie. I'm also not sure if the DV stream you're working with comes with QT timecode. iMovie ignores timecode and instead reads the date and time stamp from the camera, which is also why iMovie behaves better on timecode breaks than FCP. What exactly is your workflow? Did you capture it in FCP, FCE or iMovie? How did you go about making your subclips and what sort of processing and effects are you doing to your clips and how do you send them for batch export? Exactly what are your settings in batch export?

The "I have been doing it for a long time therefore I am right" line isn't really a valid workflow IMO, and it tells us nothing specific which makes it impossible to troubleshoot anything.
Re: Batch Export Problem
July 12, 2010 06:42AM
"Thanks guys.....but does it really matter what CODEC providing the Sequence Settings are correct?"

well maybe not, but it is the most out-of-the-ordinary aspect to your process.

so what else could it be?
ok, well SUBCLIPS are also a weak part of FCP.
try ruling that out.

put all your subclips into a timeline.
in your case i think they may still be there.
select them all,
Modify Menu > Remove Subclip Limits.
now they are no longer subclips.
placing them in the timeline is a way to protect the in/out points.
i don't think you HAVE to do that step, but it's extra precaution.

copy/paste or drag the clips back to a new bin,
and batch export, this time "use in to out" in the batch export window.

the problem may also lie here:
"drag them into the Timeline so that I can add effects/process etc."

what sort of effects / processing?

Re: Batch Export Problem
July 12, 2010 09:54AM
Thanks for your replies!

I think I solved the mystery thanks to your help!
Back in the days shooting on MINIDV, I had no idea that it was wise to pre-record the tapes (essentially formatting) so that time code breaks were less likely to happen during a shoot. As a result of this, I RELIED on iMovie for doing my ingest, as FCS always annoyed me with with its prompts on time code breaks, which meant I had to sit and babysit the Log and Capture.
So here I am with a harddrive full of stuff that was indeed captured a few years back using iMovie. I had no idea that iMovie dealt with timecode differently until now!
No doubt, my clips are lacking the info that FCS needs to do a proper Batch Export, as setting In/Out points on each clip apparently isn't sufficient. to proceed....? The problem is that my tapes are in another country far away and this harddrive is the only copy I have with me. Perhaps open with Compressor and re-compress for FCS?

To Nick:
I use any and all effects on these clips, as they are for the purpose of live VJ'ing, everything from color correction, to heavy duty mangling. I am curious though, what relevancy my choice of filters would have on a Batch Export. I don't own a lot of 3rd party plugs, and the ones I do have seem to be fairly reliable. I find the stock filters more than enough for my purposes in general, and use the VJ programs' filters for live rendering.

Thanks again!
Re: Batch Export Problem
July 12, 2010 10:29AM
> I had no idea that it was wise to pre-record the tapes

It isn't wise to pre-record ("stripe"winking smiley the tapes. Tremendously time-consuming with very little benefit, and wears down your hardware. Timecode breaks are not hard to deal with as long as they're not too frequent, and if they're frequent on your camera while recording on new tapes, something else is wrong with the camera. A dirty head, or bad tape stock, or recording on LP mode can all cause this. If you striped the tapes with a faulty camera or deck, you'd have those same dropouts anyway.

Your initial methodology was all over the place. What exactly are you trying to do? I'm baffled by why you're subclipping in the first place. If you're shortening the clips and then placing them in the timeline, why not export from the timeline or the Viewer? Or just drag the clips into a bin in the Browser and then Batch Export and check Use Item In/Out?

If you just skip the subclipping step, your "first-frame-only" problem will likely disappear. Lack of timecode does not usually affect a straight export like this, because FCP will have written "dummy" timecode to the clip, a timecode that starts at 00:00:00:00. Or, you're just neglecting to check the settings when using Batch Export, and you're exporting a still-image format. Check Batch Export - Settings, and make sure you're using "QuickTime Movie" and "DV NTSC", rather than "Item Settings".

My hunch is that you've got a very simple problem, but you're making it complicated by going on a wild-goose chase because your method had too many variables.
Re: Batch Export Problem
July 12, 2010 10:38AM
If I were you, this is the method I'd use for doing what you want -- shortening one clip into segments, adding effects, naming and re-exporting.

1. Go through the clip. Put a marker where you want each section to begin. If you press M twice each time, you can immediately go into the marker menu to rename the section.

2. If you want this subclip to stop before the beginning of the next one, use Extend Marker (OPTION `) to draw this marker out to the point where you want the subclip to stop.

3. Once the whole clip is done, select all the markers on the master clip in the Browser. Make Subclip. All subclips will contain the marker name.

3. Drag the subclips into a timeline. Add the effects.

4. Drag the effected subclips into another bin in the Browser. Batch Export.
Re: Batch Export Problem
July 12, 2010 10:42AM
Not necessarily. You need to isolate the problem down to one factor that commonly causes problems, or causes the same problem all the time. It's not advisable to capture with iMovie, mainly because you need to render the audio, and you cannot do a frame accurate recapture from your source tapes.

The problem could be due to subclipping, it could be a corrupt file, it could be a 3rd party filter, it could be related to the dv clip, or it could even be bad preferences. So start from the top, do the clips that have problems exporting use a same filter? Do the clips come from a specific hard drive or a specific file? Try trashing your FCP preferences. If it's an issue with the clip, convert it with Compressor and try reconnecting the DV file to the quicktime clip.
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