What's new in Raylight X


Raylight requires Mac OSX 10.6.8 or later version and Quicktime 7 or later version. Final Cut Pro X 10.0.7 or later can be used. Intel processor is required to run FCP X and Raylight X.


Run the Raylight installer by double-clicking on the RaylightInstaller icon in the unzipped folder that you downloaded from our website. You will be guided through the installation process. When you first run the program (release version only) you will be prompted for your serial number, or you can request it be emailed to you automatically. If your computer is online you can request your activation code automatically. After that, there is no requirement to have the computer online and no further action is required to use the software. For more information please watch the video or online tutorials at dvfilm.com/help

Using Raylight to Prepare MXF Files for Editing

Insert a P2 Card other device into the computer, or through an external device through the USB2 port. Start Raylight and select "Show Import Options" and select "Scan Removable Media." Or drag a folder containing your P2 card images into the Raylight window. Click "Scan Now."

Raylight will scan the cards or drives for video MXF files, and then create FCP X Event Folders. The audio MXF files are automatically linked. In Raylight X, instead of copying or re-wrapping your video files to the system drive, reference or link files are created in the "/Users/Shared/RaylightX" folder. Raylight X will then automatically start FCP X (or restart it) if the The "After Scan, Restart FCP" option is selected and the new events will appear ready for editing.

The process should take no more than 10 seconds. The links are created as .MXF.mov files in the RaylightX folder, but they do not contain any audio or video data, they are just links (Aliases or Data References) to the data in the MXF files. Do not move or delete the MXF files after you have scanned them.  Do not rename the volume name of external drives or P2 cards. Make sure volume names do not have any spaces in them and make sure volume and folder names do not contain any special characters or punctuation.   If you do move the MXF files, quicktime will search and attempt to find them, however this process is not always successful. If the system fails to find the original files, they will appear as red icons in the FCP X clip viewer. If this happens, restore the P2 files to their original location and restart FCP X. Clips can also be rescanned by using the "Always Rescan" option in Raylight and manually re-scanning them. However this will put the clips into a new event and you would then have to replace the old clips in any projects that were already edited.

Pulldown Options

24PA pulldown, also known as 2:3:3:2 or "Advanced Pulldown", can be removed from 1080i/60 and 480i/60 (NTSC DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO50) clips, if the "Remove Pulldown" option is selected. You can also use this option to remove 3:2 or 2:2 pulldown from footage recorded at 60P, or 2:2 pulldown from 50P. Be sure to set the Target Frame Rate in the drop-down selector box to 23.976, 29.97, or 25 fps as appropriate. The "Set Frame Rate" option should NOT be used unless you want to change the speed of motion (see next paragraph).

Changing Silent Frame Rate

Select the "Set Silent Frame Rate" option to change the frame rate of slow motion or fast-motion (time lapse) video to be the same as the frame rate in the drop-down selector box. This option only works with silent clips.  For example silent 720/60P footage can be slowed down to 24P for editing.

Background Scanning

Checkmark "Scan in Background" to have Raylight scan all volumes every 10 seconds. Raylight will skip over, and not rescan, MXF files to save on system resources and also to not interfere with the use of the files, so this background scanning can safely be used during editing and other video work. Raylight WILL rescan the MXF files if you do a manual scan (by clicking the Scan Now button) AND you have the "Always Rescan" option selected.

Note that in background scanning mode, Raylight also checks the /Users /Shared /RaylightX /Quicktime folder for quicktimes that you exported from FCP (see P2 Maker below).


If you do not wish to scan any P2 Cards you can turn off the “Scan Removable Media” option in the Scan Filter Options tab of the Import Options drawer.  You can selectively scan specific folders by including folders in the Other Scan Locations (see below).  This scanning of removable media or "Other" folders includes all subfolders. 


Other Locations

Locations other than P2 Cards, for example a P2 folder on your desktop or on an external drive, may be scanned by adding them to the "Other Scan Locations" list. 

Restoring Missing Clips

If the MXF files are deleted or moved offline, and quicktime cannot automatically find them, the best way to restore the project is find the missing P2 folders and restore them to their original location, then restart FCP X.

If you don't know where the clips should be located, you must first find out where the original location was. First open the link files using the Quicktime 7 player. If you don't have Quicktime 7 installed you can get it free from apple.com. Ctrl-click on the clip and select Open With-> Quicktime 7. Then click Windows->Show Movie Properties, select the movie track and examine the "resources" tab. Quicktime 7 will show you the original pathname of the video and audio MXF files, and hence the location of the P2 folder. This is the path to which the P2 folder must be restored. If for some reason this preferred method cannot work, you can make new events by clicking "Scan Now." with the "Always Rescan" option. In the case where a clip must be substituted for another, ctr-click on the red clip in the timeline and select "Replace with gap", then drag the new, trimmed clip into the empty space.

Limitations of the Demo Version

Note that the demo version cuts the video and audio off at about 10 seconds into each clip. In the release version, you get the entire clip. Do not use the demo version for editing work, but only to evaluate the software, because you will have to re-edit from the start after purchasing.

Event and Event Folder Naming

Raylight will place the User Clip Name metadata item into the name of the event (the name of the clip) if that option is selected. In the camera if you select Type 2 metadata the User Clip Name will be automatically incremented on each take. Raylight will also put the clips into an event folder named after the Program Name metadata item, if "Create Folders by Program Name" is selected, or by the Card Name (the Volume Name) or Folder Name if "Create Folders by Card or Folder Name" is selected. One suggested use is to use Program Name for the title of a movie, and User Clip Name for the shot number, eg "23A Take ". Another option is to use Program Name for the scene, and simply "Take " for User Clip Name. The camera will append 0001, etc to the name (if Type 2 is selected).

Automatic FCP Start

Raylight will automatically start FCP X if you have the “After Scan, Start FCP X” option selected. Click “Scan Now” on the Raylight panel or if you are using the background scanning, connect your P2 card or external disk drive to the computer. After the clips are scanned you will see FCP X start itself and import the clips, or if its already running, it will wait up to 20 sec for any editing or rendering activities to be done and then import the clips.

MetaData in the Event Window

In addition to the usual information in the event window on frame rate, timecode, frame size, etc. you can also get P2 Metadata in the event listing. The P2 Metadata is mapped by default per the following table:

Event Item

P2 Metadata Tag
















You can also specify any P2 Metadata field for the right-hand side of the above table. This is done using the "Mapping" tab of the Import Options.


Suggested Workflow

Here is a suggested workflow to improve your productivity and take advantage of the features of Raylight.

1.     The cameraman or assistant cameraman uses a Mac laptop computer and P2 CMS software (free from Panasonic) to backup the P2 card onto a hard drive, and fills in any metadata items such as ProgramName (e.g. "MyFeatureFilm"), UserClipName (e.g. "Scene 23 Take 5"), etc. and give a name to the P2 card, i.e. "MyShootDay1".

2.     Then either the backup drive or the P2 Cards are connected to the editor's computer.

3.     The editor scans with Raylight using the User Clip Name, Volume Name, or Program Name options. He uses the "After Scan, Start FCP" option. The shots are named according to the UserClipName and automatically organized into Event folders based on the name of the card or the ProgramName. The events appear in FCP X after scanning.

4.     Then inside the "MyShootDay1" event folder will be a number of clips, beginning with "Scene23 Take 5 0001FG.MXF" where 0001FG.MXF is the first clip that was shot on that day.

5.     If an external drive is used for editing, then the Event folders should be copied to the drive and backed up along with the card images. If the drive is moved to another computer, the links will still function as long as the structure of the drive is not changed and the volume name of the drive is not changed. Also the other computer does not need to have Raylight installed. The event folders and link files, once they are created, are completely handled by Quicktime and FCPX without help from Raylight.


Raylight converts timecode from the P2 files into Quicktime timecode. If pulldown is removed, the starting timecode is converted from 30 fps to 24 fps format. Because of this you may see a difference between the starting timecode on the metadata slate and the starting timecode as reported by FCP. For example 15 in 30fps format equals 12 in 24fps format.

P2 Maker

The Raylight X P2 Maker function allows you to create new P2 Cards from FCP X. Presently only DVCPROHD, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV formats are supported. Raylight cannot export to P2 cards in the AVC-Intra format.

Select Background Scanning and export a Quicktime from FCP into the /Users /Shared /RaylightX /Quicktime folder. Or, Drop a DV, DVCPRO, DVCPROHD or DVCPRO50 Quicktime into the Raylight window. The P2 Maker drawer will open. Enter any metadata you wish to be stored in the card or press Import Data to copy metadata from an existing .XML clip file. Press Start in the Drawer to start the conversion to P2 Card format.

The Card image will be stored in the Raylight/P2Cards folder. Raylight will also copy data directly into a P2 Card if you wish. Click on Destination Change to change the destination. Be sure the card's write protect tab is in the write position. If you are using the Dual Systems Adaptor (express card to P2 Card adaptor) be sure to install the appropriate drivers. If the P2 Card is in the camera, install the Panasonic P2 card drivers and use the USB connection instead of Firewire (Firewire connection to the Mac is read-only). Also your camera must be updated to the latest firmware, (the version that supports 16GB P2 cards). Consult your camera manual for more information on using the camera's "PC Mode" for reading and writing to the P2 Cards.

You may change the folder that Raylight scans for new Quicktime files to appear. Click Scan Folder Change button. Use Reset to back to the default location.  Select Open to load a new quicktime file.

Select the Clear button to clear the current quicktime file loaded and any meta data fields. If background scanning is enabled the same file cleared will be rediscovered.  You can use the Skip button to skip the currently loaded or discovered file and it will not get rediscovered.

Note the audio format in the QuickTime must be 5.1 (surround format) ("Linear PCM") 24-bits/sample. These are the default settings for new projects. The audio is mapped as follows: Channel 1 = Left+Center, Channel 2 = Right+Center, Channel 3 = Left Surround, Channel 4 = Right Surround. Thus dialog will be mapped to channels 1 and 2 equally, and stereo recording or music will be mapped to channel 1 for Left and channel 2 for Right. The 24-bit samples are converted to 16-bit sample for the P2 format.

Auto Start

Auto Start (check box on the Export Drawer) allows P2 Maker to begin the export process without waiting for input from the user. Thus, for example, you can export a quicktime from FCP X into the watch folder, and if "Background Scanning" and "Auto Start" are both enabled, the quicktime will automatically be converted. A sonar ping is heard when the conversion starts, and a purr when the conversion ends. No popups appear, nor is any user input required, unless there is an error.


Do not use Disk Images (dmg) with MXF files to edit with Raylight. There will be a 100% performance penalty due to the way the links are de-referenced by Final Cut Pro and Quicktime, which means you may not have real-time playback. Instead use your MXF files in a CONTENTS/VIDEO folder just as they would appear in a P2 Card folder, and put the CONTENTS folder in the root folder of your system drive, P2 Card, or media hard drive.

Currently Supported Import formats: both DVCPROHD and AVC-Intra 1080i60, 1080i50, 1080/30P, 1080/25P, 1080i/24PA, 720/24PN, 720/24P, 720/30PN, 720/30P, 720/25PN, 720/25P, 720/60P, 720/50P, DVCPRO50 60i/NTSC, DVCPRO50 50i/PAL, DVCPRO50 60i/24PA, DVCPRO50 50i/25P, DV-PAL, DV-NTSC, DVCPRO PAL, DVCPRO NTSC.

Known Issues

Raylight does not work with non-English characters in volume names, folder names, etc. and the folder names must be less than 32 characters.

You cannot import two P2 Cards or Disk Drives that have the same exact name. Rename the first one before connecting the second one.

You must install FCP X or later version in order to playback the link files generated by Raylight X. This is because the Apple-supplied DVCPROHD and AVC-Intra codecs are required for playback, they are not provided by Raylight. If you just want to play MXF clips, the easiest way to do so, without isntalling FCP X, is to download the free P2 CMS program from Panasonic, Google "P2 CMS for Mac" to find it.

This version of Raylight X requires FCP x version 10.0.7 or later.

Known issues with P2 Maker function:

1.     Raylight will not split a clip across P2 Cards.

2.     Clips that span files (clips that are >4GB) are not logically linked, so FCP and Raylight will not import them as one clip, but as multiple clips. Nevertheless they can be sorted by timecode or MXF file name and group-dragged into a timeline, and played seamlessly. P2 playback devices and cameras will also play them back seamlessly.

TroubleShooting Guide

Problem: there is a warning about illegal characters. Solution: rename your folder or volume (card or disk drive name) using characters A-Z, a-z, 0-9.

Problem: there is a warning about folder names too long. Solution: rename your volume (card name or disk drive name) using 31 characters or less.

Problem: Raylight does not find any MXF files, and no links appear in the Event folders. Solution: be sure to check the output window for messages indicating what files were found or any files that were skipped.  Options for Raylight are stored in the file options.txt found in the /Users/Shared/RaylightX folder on your system drive.  You can set the option LogVerbose to 1 (LogVerbose = 1) to see more detailed information during scanning.  In general, it is not recommended you leave this on, important messages will be shown in the output window even without this option.

Problem: clips on 2 identically-named P2 Cards: they play back with noise frames and audio noise. Solution: rename P2 Cards when you connect them so you do not have 2 cards with the same name,

Problem: Raylight creates the links, and I can see the metadata slate, but the video is all white or all black, or random noise. Solution: Make sure each folder in the path to your MXF files has a folder name less than 32 characters. Make sure the drive names have no spaces or punctuation. Make sure the drive is formatted Mac OS Extended if you use long file names such as file names with the MetaData "User Clip Name". Make sure you have the DVCPROHD components installed by FCP. They are in the Library/Quicktime folder on your system drive, six files that start with "DVCPROHD" or "AppleAVCIntra" and end with ".component"

Problem: I moved the MXF files to another computer and now the links do not work. Solution: after moving the MXF files to the second computer, make sure they have the same exact pathname as the first computer. See section on Restoring Missing Clips, above.

Problem: I removed the MXF files and I'm done editing them, but when I start FCP it keeps trying to search for the MXF files and hangs up. Solution: remove the Event folders and projects using the Finder, then restart FCP X.

More Questions? Go to DVFilm.com and click on Support, Support Request.

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