Working with Spanned Video Clips
In order to overcome file size limits, some cameras can give a longer recording time by recording on multiple files. In fact, some cameras allow a single clip to be recorded over multiple memory cards.
Editing programs can treat the entire set of files as a single clip, or a “spanned clip.” This is accomplished by examining the directory structure and supporting files for the clip on the memory card.
When copying the clips, the directory structure and supporting files must be preserved, so the editor can recognize them as a spanned clip. Modification of the structure may result in a file not being recognized as belonging to a set of files that are a spanned clip.
Premiere Pro works with spanned clips natively, using the MTS file format, so we will use that NLE as our example on this page. This page also covers specifics about the XDCAM and P2.
Setting up a spanned video clip
For spanned AVCHD MTS or Canon XF MXF files, the file structure should be copied from the camera cards to a hard drive in its entirety. All the files belonging to a spanned clip are treated as a single clip in both PluralEyes 4 and Premiere Pro. For these cases, we recommend:
- Use Premiere Pro’s Media Browser to browse to the spanned MTS or MXF clips, right-click and select Import
- Import the audio files the usual way into Premiere Pro
- Drop the spanned MTS or MXF clips onto the timeline
- Drop the audio files onto the timeline on a separate track
- Choose the menu item Window > Extensions > PluralEyes 4
Specifics about XDCAM
For XDCam, the file structure should be copied in its entirety, starting with the BPAV directory. Some cameras also allow spanned recording on multiple memory cards.
Premiere Pro and PluralEyes 4 support spanning across multiple cards. All the files belonging to a spanned clip are treated as a single clip in both PluralEyes 4 and Premiere Pro. For these cases, we recommend the following directory structure:
Camera 1-> card 1 -> BPAV
Camera 1-> card 2 ->BPAV
Specifics about P2
For P2 files, the audio and video are stored on separate files, in addition to the spanning behavior. The entire Contents directory must be copied for the automatic linking of the audio and video files to work.
As with XDCAM, Premiere Pro and PluralEyes 4 will examine the directory structure and supporting files to determine which files are used in a single clip. We recommend a naming convention similar to the XDCAM:
Camera 1-> card 1->CONTENTS
Camera 1-> card 2->CONTENTS
Following this structure will allow Premiere Pro and PluralEyes 4 to recognize spanned clips and links between audio and video files within a single memory card, or across multiple memory cards when they are copied to a different storage device (like hard drive or memory card).