EVS XFile3 partial restores

Whilst working with EVS XFile3 software at a live production I have been asked to restore a particular part of a game, which has been recorded a few days ago and by then has only existed as a file on a hard drive.

The part that the operator has been looking for was right in the middle of an hour-long clip, and it made no sense to restore the whole thing just to get a few minutes on air.

On this particular production there was no EVS IPDirector application, so the traditional approach of making a virtual sub-clip of an asset and then restoring it to the server was not possible. Luckily, EVS XFile 3 software that we have been using to carry out Archive\Restore operations had just the right function to help us.

Restore tab of XFile 3 application has an Options section with “Limit to short-in / short-out” option. This suggests that if we could somehow modify the Short-In/Out markers of the clip, we could get the application to restore only the portion we require.

But how can we modify the Short-In/Out points of a media file? Attentive EVS users have no doubt noticed that this can be done within XViewer application, which is integrated into XFile3 software interface and can be accessed via Media Management tab:

First of all, we need to turn one side of the Media Manager view into a Player (essentially, an instance of EVS XViewer software):

Then load the file that we want to partially restore into the Player and click Edit:

Now define In/Out points by clicking on the bracket icons { } underneath the player timeline. You will also need to enter an LsmID for the media – it can be an arbitrary one:

 

An important note:

I would recommend to re-set the Short In/Out points of the file to their original positions enveloping the entirety of the clip, as IPDirector application can sometimes interpret them as the actual boundaries of media, resulting in an effect where IPDirector’s Software Player only allows the operator to navigate within the Short In/Out boundaries. I have seen this happen in IPDirector 6.41 so this issue may be resolved in later versions.

Then, hit Save and restore the modified file using the usual Restore function, but ticking the Limit to short-in / short-out option:

Voila! This will restore only the portion of the clip between Short In and Out points.
Another way to achieve the same result would be to Export a smaller portion of the clip into a new file in Media Manager tab of XFile3, and then restore the resulting media to the server.

The downside of that method, of course, is that it leaves us with some duplicate media. It can be, however, quite useful if instead of the EVS XT server we need to provide a short part of the larger file to an editor. Export function can also help us create a lo-res copy or an H.264 export for web making XFile3 incredibly valuable to a variety of productions that don’t make use of EVS IPDirector.