9 thoughts on “Three things that changed everything for Solar Odyssey”

  1. Hey Philip. After a recently completed project, I’ve started impressing on my producer the cost and time benefits we could reap if we started employing some kind of digital slating.

    It’s seems crazy getting back a sheet of paper with good and bad takes. That I sit here at 3am and can’t be sure which b-roll shot is supposed to match the script.

    I’ve been rallying for years agains the duplication of effort that occurs when there isn’t a proper followthru of information between production and post-production. It’s so wasteful.

    So I’ve started looking into a couple of these digital slating devices, most notably QR slate. I wrote them looking for some more detailed info on how the slate data was translated into FCPX and this is what I got back,

    “Right now, QRSlate imports the metadata as keywords. It sets a marker on the clapstick clap, and also sets a duration marker over the length of the action.

    We’re still working on the best practice for it, as it was mostly translated from our knowledge of commercial/film editorial in Avid and FCP7. So any suggests are strongly considered when updating the software. We’re also working on a customizing feature so people can import the metadata how best suits them.”

    I was wondering if you had any perspective on this? Are the APIs available in FCPX to really maximize this function right now? Have you tested any of these solutions? Or are you working on something of your own?

    1. Sadly, right now, no slate-based tool can go to FCP X directly. They all require you to go to FCP 7, link the media, export XML and translate with 7toX.

      The limitation is in FCP X (and may be permanent?). If media is not online in the expected path when XML is imported, FCP X replaces offline cops with a gap clip that can never be linked to media.

      We’re hoping a small subset of what we’re doing with Logger (our working name) can turn into a utility that will make those apps work (we might even work with the folks that need it to incorporate it in their apps).

      1. That’s weird. QR Slate says they recently update their desktop app to export to FCPX, and you can see it in the interface as a separate export option from FCPX on their website.

        I may have to bite the bullet and buy the thing to see how it really works.

        1. Separate option than FCP7, I mean. They clearly make the destination to either export for FCP7 or FCPX.

          1. Interesting. Unless they have you export an FCP X Event XML to merge with, it can’t possibly work. Not equivocal about this, but fact.

          2. I haven’t used QR Slate, but here’s my current understanding of how it works (which is quite different to Movie*Slate). Info is put onto the slate and displayed to the camera. Then a QR code is generated with the info which is also played to the camera.

            After shooting the media is imported into a desktop QR Slate app which scans the media for the QR code. This is then interpreted and the metadata is embedded into the media file. (There also seems to be options for batch file renaming.)

            If the NLE can read the embedded metadata out of the media file, then it will carry into it without any XML needed.

    1. Yeah, their original promo video has specific ingest demos for both AVID and FCP7. They added FCPX export option to the the desktop app a while later, but they haven’t updated their materials to demo it, unfortunately.

      What I can’t tell is whether it is actually able to embed the metadata onto the camera original files, or if it actually creates NEW media files.

      1. They should be able to embed it in any media file (well almost any format). What interests me is what format they could possibly use that will show up in the searchable areas in FCP X. EXIF or IPTC are read by FCP X but in the metadata pane from the info pane and aren’t accessible or searchable. XMP metadata would be great but is unsupported in FCP X.

        Curious. I suppose I could just ask, but where’s the fun in that! 🙂

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