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renaming

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James Ewartrenaming
by on Aug 6, 2012 at 4:22:17 pm

Hello

I am sure this has been dealt with but I can't find it.

Should I be as paranoid about changing a clip name without also renaming the source file as I was in FCP or is this all taken care of?

Been using FCP since version 1.2...it's been quite a journey


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T. PaytonRe: renaming
by on Aug 6, 2012 at 5:31:11 pm

Currently FCP X will not modify original media files, ever, except changing timecode. Unlike FCP 7 you can't write back the name on the source media.

In my workflow I have really not found this to be a problem as long as I am staying in FCP X. However, once I need to grab a clip for After Effects, or share with someone else my files, it can be a bit of an issue. Unfortunately FCP X isn't a renaming and file organization utility like FCP 7 was.

If you need to change the names of your source, I would recommend that you do that before you import (perhaps in FCP 7!)

However, if you are going to rename the source after import into FCP X, be super careful doing it after you have imported as you could quickly loose links to all your media especially if you are using "Copy to Final Cut Event". You can rename without loosing links if you are using simlinks (which is what is created when you don't Copy to Final Cut Event), but you could quickly get into problems.

PS. Be sure to put in a feature request to Apple regarding renaming and rewriting metadata back to the original files. They really do read all those feedbacks.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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James EwartRe: renaming
by on Aug 7, 2012 at 5:03:33 am

Thanks everyone.

Thanks for this...all three useful and interesting.

I do not know which iteration FCP 7 introduced "rename file to match clip". I think I only noticed it in version 6 or 7 d had been in the habit of doing it manually. Some one will probably tell e it was there from version 3!

So safer not to rename after capture.

What would be oil (if renaming might present problems with relinking files if necessary for whatever reason).

What we need therefore is "batch rename files at source" or something like it

Been using FCP since version 1.2...it's been quite a journey


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Bill DavisRe: renaming
by on Aug 7, 2012 at 11:11:12 pm

[James Ewart] "What we need therefore is "batch rename files at source" or something like it"

Not sure if this is even possible.

The fundamental issue is that re-naming source clips is pretty easy in a flat file structure database where there's limited linkage between source clips and their expressions in the software. But X is a relational database that REQUIRES that all internal data links dependably point to the locations of the assets they refer to.

You allow changing names at will, and you risk breaking critical links that causes software operations to fail.

I know it took me about 3 months of work with it to even start to understand how X likes to store, mount, unmount, move and connect things within FCP-X projects. Back in legacy it was easy. Dump a clip in the Capture scratch and re-connect as needed. Period, done.

Now you have an Event Library and a Project Library and Alias files and can work with mounted and unmounted, local and non-local clips and X expects to see a very RIGID structure of where to look for an asset, in order for the complex database to retrieve and use it properly.

So as much as we might LIKE to have core-asset re-naming. I'm not sure it's practical.

I think the way X does it now is pretty smart. (Preserve the core ID and allow the user to "re-tag" assets at the interface level for their own purposes) It's a pretty smart solution that accommodates both requirements.

It just puts a small burden on the user to understand the difference between changing a root ID that the software requires to locate something - and an ID expression in the software that REFERS to that asset.

One has a bit penalty for change. The other, hardly any.

Bottom line, if X presents a way for you to easily change something - the interface designers know it's safe for you to change that.

If they didn't give you an easy way to change an ID - then it's best left alone.

So when in doubt, double click on the name. If you get the text editor - go ahead - it's safe. If you aren't given that access to changing a name in the software interface - then don't.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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James EwartRe: renaming
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 5:32:40 am

Okay thank and sorry in advance if this sounds simplistic.

I am a director who has been cutting his own stuff for many years with FCP 7 but do not come from a technical background so I am keen to avoid slipping on any banana skins.

So are you saying that if I rename my clips in the Event browser, that in the event they went offline, I would still be able to relink these files even though the name of the file in the event library no longer matched the name of the file of t source file in the Final Cut Events folder?

I have looked and the file name dos not automatically change when I change the clip name in the Event library.

If it looks for information over and above the name of the file when relinking then hurrah!!

Thanks

James

Been using FCP since version 1.2...it's been quite a journey


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Oliver PetersRe: renaming
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 2:18:01 pm

[James Ewart] "So are you saying that if I rename my clips in the Event browser, that in the event they went offline, I would still be able to relink these files even though the name of the file in the event library no longer matched the name of the file of t source file in the Final Cut Events folder?"

Part of the Event database information is the path to the media files. You can freely change names in the Event browser and X understand where the media is. That part is fine, as long as you stay within the X world. If the files become unlinked, then you can "relink project files" and it will ask for the location of the media files, based on the name of the file. As long as the name, timecode and duration match, it will relink. If the media file has somehow been renamed externally, or you have a trimmed version for some reason, X will not match, as the parameters are much tighter than in 7.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bill DavisRe: renaming
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 6:17:32 pm

Oliver's reply is spot on.

The key here is to understand that back in Legacy, there was a small penalty for messing around with clip folders or names or locations at the FINDER level.

You could re-name an asset in the Capture Scratch, just point Legacy to it, and everything would be fine because legacy had a pretty simple flat file clip database that was easy for the program to manage.

This is NOT the case with X. It's database really needs to keep track of much more complex relational information about clip locations and the metadata applied to them. So in X it's really important not to mess around too much in the Finder unless you're confident you know what you're doing.

It's another case where operating X as if it's "kinda like Legacy" will cause you a lot of unnecessary hassle.

The program has a lot of "automation" built in, and a part of that is handling changes to pointers and links between the program and the assets it uses. But this only works if it knows precisely where to find things.

This does NOT mean you can't move things around. Just that it's always best to use the programs internal move capabilities (the MOVE or DUPLICATE menu commands!) rather than going out to the finder and dragging stuff where you think it should go.

That's a good way to confuse the software and screw up the database.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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James EwartRe: renaming
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 5:48:42 am

Many thanks Gentlemen. Sorry if I am being obtuse here but when you say:

"If the files become unlinked, then you can "relink project files" and it will ask for the location of the media files, based on the name of the file. As long as the name, timecode and duration match, it will relink."

If files in the Event library go offline and I need to relink Event files...and even though I have changed their names in the Event library just so long so I have not moved or renamed the original files (not in the habit of doing this) and even though the file names do not match exactly FCPX can figure out how to relink the files?

Been using FCP since version 1.2...it's been quite a journey


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Oliver PetersRe: renaming
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 1:00:13 pm

[James Ewart] " even though the file names do not match exactly FCPX can figure out how to relink the files?"

Yes. In the relink dialogue, FCP X will display the file name and a suggestion for the last known path. This is all part of the database info that X is tracking.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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James EwartRe: renaming
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 1:24:41 pm

Cool...hey this software isn't so bad is it?!


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Bill DavisRe: renaming
by on Aug 7, 2012 at 12:43:09 am

James,

I actually think this is a bit more complex than most people think.

You say "clip name" but that's not simply one single thing in X. As Mr. Payton noted, when you import a file into X, the original metadata flows with it - so whatever clip ID metadata the camera put on it will be preserved - so "under the hood" you may have a root clip ID. But in the X database structure, that underlying clip ID is just a start. From there, X expresses the asset in the Event Browser -and eventually into downstream uses like Projects. At both these levels, you can alter the clip ID info however you wish and X will happily work with the new data without blinking.

So long as the assets and internal program links are preserved, the X database can work with the different names without a hassle. In fact, the powerful Rename capability built into X encourages you to do precisely this - rename clips and other assets to your hearts content.

The key, IMO is to spend some time learning how X handles clips overall - so that you can learn when it's absolutely OK to change the name of something (inside the database and search/sort structures in X) - and when it might cause you problems (at the root level of import)

X is a lot of things - simplistic isn't one of them, IMO.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Oliver PetersRe: renaming
by on Aug 7, 2012 at 1:05:20 am

I would take the opposite approach UNLESS you know for a fact that you will only ever stay inside FCP X. There are various workflows, utilities and roundtrips for getting from FCP X to another app and often use either the clip name or the media file name. Sometimes you have the option and sometimes not. As such, I would discourage changing the clip name and suggest you use one of the other fields like notes or scene instead. Right now the "import from camera" function is weaker than FCP 7's Log and Transfer, because you cannot ingest and assign a custom name during that process, which is embedded into the media file. You can revert the default name to the original camera name, but that might not actually be the option you want. Also FCP X does not properly read all embedded info inside QT files, like reel IDs.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oren HerczRe: renaming
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 11:34:13 am

Hi Oliver,

It's me, Oren, we just met! Can you explain in more detail situations when the clip name and/or or media file name is important for round tripping to other apps?

I know apps like Colour, Soundtrack Pro, (Resolve?) use the media file name. Which apps rely on the clip name?

Thx,

Oren


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Oliver PetersRe: renaming
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 2:41:31 pm

[Oren Hercz] "Can you explain in more detail situations when the clip name and/or or media file name is important for round tripping to other apps?.... .... Which apps rely on the clip name?"

A lot of apps can alter the names of media files. In some case when you export clip info, you have the option of using clip name or file name. For example, if you rename clips in X and export an XML, using Xto7, the sequence in FCP 7 will be properly relinked, as long as 7 can also see the media files. So in both the X and the 7 timelines, you will have custom clip names on clips that are correctly linked to media files with entirely different names. So far so good.

It gets more complex when you export to a grading app like Resolve or Baselight, using an EDL. I haven't tested the options with EDL-X, yet, but if you go Xto7 and then generate an EDL from FCP 7, you have the option to use either the clip name or the file name in the comments. Resolve, for example, will conform this EDL (based on TC and reel number). Same for Baselight and SpeedGrade, so the clip or the file names are largely irrelevant. But if the clips are rendered based on source, the new files will use the original media file name with an additional prefix or suffix so that unique file names are maintained.

If you do not use the specific FCP X XML round trip, there will be no easy way to relink these files. If you opted to manually recut those files into the FCP X sequence, you would have a better chance if you didn't alter the clip name to something custom, since the original file name would still be contained within the render from the grading app. Then you could easily identify the shot and cut over the original, based on matching TC.

Most of the time, there's no problem in changing names. I'm just arguing for protection in the few oddball times where manual recognition will save your rear. ;-) Remember that changing names is a concept that started when we were doing tape capture into NLEs. So clip name could be anything as long as reel and TC were correct. The clip name never had any relationship to the camera media on the videotape.

Now we are in a file-based world, where file names are quite critical. On top of that, various formats use hidden unique identifiers, making it even more complex. One of the reasons I like QT-based media formats and really, really dislike others, like P2, MXF, RED, etc. A lot less malleable by the editors, because they are designed to protect us from ourselves ;-)

BTW - Apple Color renders a completely unique name that has no relation to either the original clip name or the file name. It only works within the FCP 7 roundtrip, because the XML retains the correct path relationship between clip name and new media file.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oren HerczRe: renaming
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 2:55:31 pm

Ok, thanks a lot. That was very thorough, and now I do understand the dangers.

I really hope that as FCPX XML becomes more widely adopted, we will be able to use that and not EDLs to go back and forth between other apps.

Oren Hercz
Editor, Post-Production Manager
Journeyman Film Company
http://www.journeymanfilm.com


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Oren HerczRe: renaming
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 2:58:46 pm

Although I do think that in future filenames will become the most important thing when communicating with other apps, and things like reel # (timecode even!) will become a thing of the past. Do you?

Oren Hercz
Editor, Post-Production Manager
Journeyman Film Company
http://www.journeymanfilm.com


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Oliver PetersRe: renaming
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 3:24:57 pm

[Oren Hercz] "things like reel # (timecode even!) will become a thing of the past. Do you?"

Absolutely not. At least not for the next few years.

Run the math. An 8-digit alphanumeric reel number gives you 36 characters per digit, which is 2,821,109,907,456 possible reel names. Each reel name can be associated with up to 24 hours of media. At 24fps that's 2,073,600 frames in a 24-hour period. By the simple combination of an 8-digit reel ID and a TC value, it's possible to identify and locate 5,849,853,504,100,762,000 unique frames. More at 25, 30 and 60fps.

Very simple and elegant in its own way and instantly functional for a human without the need for software or hardware. That's why EDLs simply refuse to die.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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