View Full Version : AVCHD clip names and reconnecting footage.

08-10-2009, 12:13 AM
Final Cut Pro:

I find myself longing for P2 style naming convention for AVCHD. The whole Clip #1, #2, etc thing is driving me nuts! When transcoding multiple cards on a project it becomes a huge hassle if you later want to re-transcode your footage or reconnect footage because it has to rename the files to numbers not being used, and everything just gets scrambled! I don't think that it can reconnect using other data if the names are different? Maybe?

Anyway here is what I would like to do: I am going on a trip with a small HDD, and I would like to start editing footage I shoot as I shoot it. I would like to transcode to a lightweight codec like AIC, and then edit, go home, relog the cards to ProRes 422, and then reconnect the footage in the Final cut file with the new files. I suppose in theory the clips should get the same names, but what if I say, start logging the cards out of order or something by accident. Will final cut still be able to reconnect the clips with different names? Is there metadata it accesses....my experience with this has been somewhat inconsistent! I am referring to the names in the finder, not the names that get changed in-file when you rename stuff.

In any case no matter where the truth lies, I really wish my GH1 named things like P2 does. Way to make life harder AVCHD dev teams. Bravo.

08-10-2009, 12:30 AM
You have something against storing clips in their respective directories?

08-10-2009, 07:34 AM
I store my card files in their own directories, when I transcode it renames them. I am not going to reset my scratch disk every time I log more footage, that would get really confusing. Have you used Final Cut Pro?

Hmmmm...I wonder how well it can reconnect purely by data unrelated to the name of the clip...I think I'll check on that.

08-10-2009, 07:37 AM
I store my card files in their own directories, when I transcode it renames them. I am not going to reset my scratch disk every time I log more footage, that would get really confusing. Have you used Final Cut Pro?
Nope. I use Vegas. I copy the whole card's content onto an HDD and edit from there native without transcoding. It would be a problem if my camcorder was an HDD-based one.

08-10-2009, 07:48 AM

Wanna hear a joke?

Sony Vegas.

Will post results of that reconnect test when I get a chance to try it out. Lol seriously though if your NLE works for you it works for you, but if you're on a PC I recommend this really cool program I found, I think it's called Windows Movie Maker or something. It's so much better than Final Cut Pro!

08-10-2009, 09:15 AM
Ben, you're calling Vegas a joke when it does exactly what FCP doesn't? That Cranky not only doesn't have to transcode at all if he doesn't want to, but that keeping the files in their own directories means that he'll never encounter ANY of the difficulties that FCP imposes on you?

That seems... backwards. :)

08-10-2009, 09:28 AM
In fact, I do find it strange that AVCHD camcorders do not allow setting starting number for a clip. One way to get around this is deleting all clips except for the last one (using the camera, not a computer), then it will continue numbering from this point. But it is inconvenient, and what if you have several cameras or several cards?

I have not really needed it, but if needed I can write a simple application or maybe even a batch file, I need to refresh my knowledge on Windows command language. The problem with renaming is that I would lose association with clipinfo and playlist files. Not that these are needed for editing, but I backup my 4GB cards onto DVDs, the association is needed for that. A good renaming program would also patch clipinfo and playlist files.

The only time when this can be a problem for me is if I needed to give away clips from different cards to someone else.

08-10-2009, 09:29 AM
Yeah I was kidding Barry...I'm not quite arrogant enough to attempt a serious argument about "MY NLE IS BETTER THAN YOURS!." Actually I am sure it does AVCHD native editing as good as can be said for the current state of native editing, I'm just not a fan of the program as an editor, workflow aside, but I get that people might be (my bad experiences have mainly been working with editors who use Vegas and also don't know what they're doing more so than any problems with the program itself.) :)

Actually I prefer transcoding...there's something reassuring to me about having a big batch o' quicktime files...even if they're massive (which hopefully ProRes LT should help, see other thread.) And cause problems.

In any case it can't be less convenient no matter what your workflow is if the camera gave names to the clips like P2 does, or even like it does with pictures (where it keeps a running count on how many you've taken over the life of the camera and asigns a number accordingly.) But it doesn't so I'm not going to grouse about that anymore on this thread unless someone provokes me.

In any case, any thoughts on transcoding, editing, and then reconnecting? Not only to save HDD space when traveling around but also to use a less powerful laptop, etc. I can't believe I don't know this by now but as I said my experience with Final Cut and reconnecting clips has been inconsistent: if I relog the clips, lets say in the appropriate order, to a new scratch disk, and reconnect the AIC files I made to the ProRes ones, assuming they got the same names because I did the same order, etc, I shouldn't have any problems right? Now what if I skipped a card or got mixed up or something...problems then? Or can it do it on metadata? (clip size, duration, framerate, etc...although I guess the move from AIC to ProRes will scramble a lot of that...maybe actually reconnecting to identical clips would work but this won't?)

I should just test it but now I'm at work, sans Macintosh.

Oh and Barry if you want to weigh in over here I'd really appreciate it? ProRes LT should be full quality for GH1 footage yes? I don't know why I was thinking ProRes Proxy would work...the low but still higher than GH1 data rate I guess? I mistyped it for 1280x720 24p not 60p though in the first post.

08-10-2009, 09:34 AM
I have not really needed it, but if needed I can write a simple application or maybe even a batch file.

Yeah I was thinking about that, would make life easier for organization for me but wouldn't solve the problem of reconnecting and relogging....because if you get something out of order relogging than whatever you're using to change the names is going to exacerbate the problem by giving unique or nicely ordered names that are inconsistent with the "proxy" clips you edited with originally.

08-11-2009, 05:13 AM
No problem reconnecting AIC footage to ProRes files provided the names of the clips match up, which they should if I log all the cards in the same order, which should be easy, because I give them sequential names anyway after I dump my private folders....so this should be fine. Looks like I'll be able to get started editing projects in AIC on the go, convert to ProRes when finished for color grading, etc.


Not surprising but still! Neither is the fact that the clips getting incorrect names breaks this....so make sure I log in same order...very carefully.

11-23-2009, 10:43 AM
I'm using the Panasonic HMC150. Just got it a week ago. Is there I way I can set it so it gives every clip a unique file name like Ben B. is talking about? I seem to remember reading somewhere that I can do that, but I can't find the setting.



11-23-2009, 12:14 PM
You can set it so that it embeds a unique "user clip name" in the metadata, but not that it actually changes the filename on the card. The filename will always be 00000.mts, 00001.mts, etc.

If you use the metadata to establish a user clip name, some programs should be able to extract that metadata and use it within your NLE. Perhaps FCP's log & transfer can do it -- I don't use FCP, so I don't know.

11-23-2009, 12:26 PM
Great, I'll look into that. Thanks much, Barry. I bought your HMC150 book, and have found it an excellent resource. Thanks for writing that. I'm sure I'll be hitting you up with more questions in the weeks to come. =)