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Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something

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Jeff KirklandOrganising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:17:15 pm

I've been using FCPX since the day it was released and I've never had any success with either "Organise Project Files" or "Consolidate Project Media". So what am I missing?

For example, I imported media files from a CF card yesterday and started a quick edit while FCPX was copying media to the events folder. Something went wrong and I had to quit FCPX. The copying hadn't finished to the event library so I now have many files that are still aliases to the media on the CF card.

I want FCPX to pick up where it left off and replace those aliases with the original media, Shouldn't either the Organize or Consolidate menu items do that?

Consolidate just tells me the event and the project are already on the same drive. Organize tells me the project is referencing external files and offers to copy them but when I hit 'continue', I'm told all the media is available and there's nothing to copy.

Either something's broken or, more likely, I've clearly missed some fundamental thing about those two commands.

I know things will be consolidated if I move the event to another drive but surely there's a way to replace those aliases with the original media that doesn't involve moving the event somewhere else and the bringing it back? Or deleting the event and hoping I can relink the project to a new version?

What am I missing?

Cheers
Jeff K

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 8:49:31 pm

Why not just drag the files from the card in to the Event and hold option when doing so?


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Bill DavisRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 12:30:18 am

[Jeff Kirkland] "What am I missing?"

What you're seeing is that X's database knows where the stuff is - and as long as as the original media is in the same position, it'll typically automatically resume these processes from where it left off after it gets beyond whatever "delay before going into render mode" you've set in the preferences.

You typically don't have to DO anything in X to restart the process. It's just automatic unless you've unchecked "always do background rendering" in the preferences.

If so, then just click on the circular render indicator that typically shows the percentage of progress of any render.

That'll bring up the render manager and show you the status of your footage imports, transcodings and renderings. If the bars are stalled (and they might well be if you've force quit the processes) then just re-start them manually.

Hope I understood what you're trying to do and that this helps.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeff KirklandRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 2:18:53 am

Thanks for the replies.

@Jeremy: Yes I could do that. I can also re-link the media which will restart the ingest or I could use an app like AliasHerder to do it for me.

@Bill: I guess what I'm trying to find out is under what circumstances do those two menu options actually do anything? The above example was something that happened yesterday that left me with aliases (and FCPX had no intention of restarting the import - dunno why) but not the only reason I may end up with aliases in my events folder.

I guess I'm trying to figure out how to make sure I don't have any aliases when I archive my projects, and if media has come from diverse places, I don't want to have to manually go hunting for it to copy the original over - that's a recipe for accidentally missing something.

Here's my typical workflow and the reason I'm interested in working this out..

I create a sparse image to hold my FCPX project and event(s). I use PostHaste to set up some extra folders to hold documents, stills, and whatever else may be associated with the project. This gives me one neat package to deal with that's easily transferrable to another computer and very easy to pick up where I left off should I have to revisit the project at some later date.

As a rule I get FCPX to ingest all the media and copy it to the appropriate events folder within the sparse image.

Now jump to the end of the edit. For one reason or another, I have some 'real' media in my events folder and some aliases.

Before I close the sparse image and file it away, I want to make sure that copies of all the original media are contained within the FCPX event folder. I don't want to re-open it in six months time and find something's missing.

Shouldn't one of the two above mentioned commands, more specifically the "Organize Project Files" option, replace any aliases in the event library with the original media?

I'm just trying to get my head around two things:

A) what are those two commands supposed to do if not what their names (and the user manual) suggest, and

B) what is the right ending to my workflow to make sure my event library doesn't contain any aliases when I archive the sparse image? I can use yet another app to handle the aliases but I really thought FCPX could do this internally. I figure FCPX is so database driven that it's always better to let it manage media wherever possible.

Cheers,
Jeff K

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 1:53:40 am

Organize files is what you want.

Due to the force quit, maybe you scrambled the actions, as Bill points out.

You should be able to copy the files in manually though, with no duplications, by dragging them in.

Jeremy


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Jeff KirklandRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 2:27:06 am

That's what I'd have thought but in all the time I've been using FCPX I've never seen anything other than the first dialog telling me there are files outside the project that need copying in, immediately followed by another dialog telling me everything's already there and there's nothing for FCPX to do (which is just not true).

I'm at a loss to see any situation where the organize command actually works.

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 2:49:55 am

The command works for me each and every time.

The only difference that I can see between you workflow and mine is the sparse images.

I don't use them. I think they are a very very clever exploitation of the file system, but they make me kinda nervous.

I would have to do tests with sparse images, but that would be the first place I look.

The other thing to do is simply trash your preferences and see if that clears anything up.

Is any of your media transcoded (optimized)?

Jeremy


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Bret WilliamsRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 3:04:34 am

As for archiving projects, the closest thing X has is the duplicate project command. You can create a new event with just the used media. But you can't do any handles. If you used 5 seconds if a 10 minute shot, it's gonna copy over the whole 10 min file.


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Jeff KirklandRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 10:44:19 am

In the case of the original example I gave, the project and event were on an internal RAID in my Mac Pro and the media to be copied was on a CF card.

I've seen the organise command work in other demos but for me, it doesn't matter whether the event & project are in a sparse image, on an external drive or on my Mac Pro's internal RAID - it always starts with a dialog that looks like it is going to work, then tells me there's nothing to organise.

Nor has it ever worked in any version of FCPX I've ever used. Nor does it work on my iMac, either of my MacBook Pros, my Mac Pro or my Mac Mini. Nor does it work under Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion.

I can work around it but it'd be great if I could figure out why the command simply doesn't work for me. It's something I revisit from time to time and ultimately put in the too hard basket.

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 2:53:08 pm

That doesn't seem right.

Can you show me some screen grabs?

I'd like to see a clip, it's alias, and if there's a transcoded media folder in the Event folder.


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Bill DavisRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:58:58 pm

My gut's saying the same thing that Jeremy's seems to be.

There's something wrong here.

X is rigid about asset locations. There HAS to be an EVENT first. That Event MUST be properly linked to an asset location on a mounted drive that is structured precisely like X expects. This is created automatically when you set up Projects and Events in X, but is rigid and the structure has to be maintained whether it's on a disk, a virtual disk, or a network node.

That Event stores either the original media or an alias or proxy files IN THE PROPER FOLDERS of the event. Those folders MUST be linked to the ID Data of a mounted storage volume. (IT can be dismounted and re-mounted, and it can even be a cloned - but if it's where the source data is being referenced by X it MUST be present or X won't be able to read and write metadata to or from it and therefore you can't actually work with it.)

So the basic troubleshooting steps are to LOOK in those places and make sure assets are where they're supposed to be.

It's this rigid data structure that allows X to understand how to take metadata from one stage - and pass it along to another stage. So the relationships, locations, and pathways between assets are critical to the database in X.

Sparse disks can work just fine in this system, but ONLY if they can be mounted and identified properly by the software. Just like standard disk images I regularly use. These are all seen as X simply as "clones" of the original mounted disk so long as the the internal ID tags are right, so X can open ANY clone and work just as if the original was there.

But it's absolutely necessary for the disk images to be undamaged and accurate. If something's been corrupted or has been changed, it's perfectly sensible for X not to be able to use it because X is NOT AT ALL like legacy where simple finder locations were all that was needed to find clips via it's extremely simple flat-file locator database.

Please drop back and let us know what you discover. The structural stuff in X is very important and the more we all learn about it, the better off we are.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeff KirklandRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 23, 2012 at 1:35:45 am

Thanks Bill & Jeremy,

For what it's worth I am a firm believer that, as a database driven app, the best work practice is to let FCPX handle all the media so I don't do any media management outside of the app.

So here's what I'm doing step by step (with screen shots for Jeremy :-). I've never managed to make this command work so if anyone can can spot the user error on my part, or give me a way to easily achieve this, I'll be very happy.

1. I create a sparse image to hold the project and event. In the case of this test, the event and media are in a sparse image on external USB drive media is on my Mac Pro's internal RAID.



I then go to FCPX and import the media. Again, for this test I chose to not copy the media into the event library so there would be some aliases created for the media.




As expected, I now have an event library with aliases in my Original Media folder.



Moving right along, I create a project, edit some footage into the timeline and then want to replace those aliases with copies of the real media. i choose "Organize Project Files"...




At this point I get my hopes up because FCPX seems to know what I want to do...



But as soon as click "continue.." I get the following



And i still have an event library full of aliases.



For the sake of it, I then try "Consolidate Media Files..." but no joy there either.



So if this works for everyone else, where am I going wrong?

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 23, 2012 at 3:01:50 am

Thank you so much for those screen grabs. It was well worth it.

Media files live in an Event, not a Project. That command isn't what you want to do.

You can choose to Duplicate that Project to your sparse image, when choose Dupkicate, choose the "Project and Used Clips Only". This will copy your Project and any media and create a new Event on your sparse image.

There's a caveat, the "used clips" aren't trimmed. So if you have a four piece of media (just as an example) and you use 3.5 seconds of that four piece of media, fcpx will copy all four hours to your sparse image.

Hopefully trimming will come in a later update.

Alternatively, if you want to save both Events and Projects in their entirety, choose to Organize your Event and all media will come in to the Event.

Again, thanks for the grabs.

Jeremy


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Bret WilliamsRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 23, 2012 at 3:49:49 am

I think it sounds like all he wants to do is to replace the aliases with the actual media. IOW he didn't want to copy the media to the events folder first, but now he does. If that's the case, I have seen a few posts from you Jeremy that accomplishes exactly that, because I don't see a command to accomplish it.

To replace all your clip aliases with ACTUAL files, simply reimport them by dragging the originals from the finder window to their respective event folder while holding down option. Yup. Just like the finder. Except FCP doesn't seem to let you have multiples of the same file, so it replaces every instance of the files you're dragging with the new ones. And bingo, your aliases go away and are replaced with actual copies.

Now, if you want to go back to aliases, it seems it's as simple as just dragging the files again, but this time without the option key held, and I'm pretty sure you have to have the don't copy files preference set in your import prefereneces. Neither of the above methods will give you any sort of import dialog.

In 12 years of FCP I've never used an import dialog. I just drag to the bin or event from the finder. But I hadn't realized the "option" key override of the import preference setting. Handy.

But it seems a simple right click on the event with a selection to "copy files to event folder" choice would be a little more natural and obvious. You can already highlight them and choose transcode, which would be used if you were using h264 and wanted to transcode them after the fact to ProRes for example.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 23, 2012 at 3:56:17 am

[Bret Williams] "I think it sounds like all he wants to do is to replace the aliases with the actual media. IOW he didn't want to copy the media to the events folder first, but now he does. If that's the case, I have seen a few posts from you Jeremy that accomplishes exactly that, because I don't see a command to accomplish it."

Single click the Event.

File > Organize Event Files

You can also option drag the files in, but that would involve hunting them all down.

Organize Event Files does this automatically no matter what the location.


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Jeff KirklandRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 23, 2012 at 5:35:25 am

Thanks guys - mission accomplished. Once case of user error resolved. You'd think after all this time I'd have spotted the difference between "project" and "event" but there you go...

And now while I'm learning how to read, I'll ask what sorts of files can be in a project that would be outside of the current project folder and be the target of the command I was trying to use?

~jeff k


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Bill DavisRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 23, 2012 at 10:20:00 pm

[Jeff Kirkland] "And now while I'm learning how to read, I'll ask what sorts of files can be in a project that would be outside of the current project folder and be the target of the command I was trying to use?"

I would think lots.

Still Images. Audio clips. Logos from a client's web server you've downloaded.... etc. etc. etc.

Anything that X could reference via pointer - that could subsequently disappear unless it's fully "read into" the Project library as a local asset.

It's the same as choosing to handle your clips via reference (alias), rather than importing the originals into your Original Media folder. The benefit of reference is that your projects stay much smaller, but are less "self-contained."

Pick your preference.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 24, 2012 at 1:33:28 am

[Jeff Kirkland] "And now while I'm learning how to read, I'll ask what sorts of files can be in a project that would be outside of the current project folder and be the target of the command I was trying to use?"

Magic files that are full of magic?

;)

I think it's to restart any background processes in case of accidental quitting.

There's no media files (besides Thumbnails and Render files) that are stored with the Project.


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Bill DavisRe: Organising / consolidating project media - I must be missing something
by on Oct 24, 2012 at 3:05:39 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "There's no media files (besides Thumbnails and Render files) that are stored with the Project."

Ah, in this context, Jeremy is again correct.

I took this to mean what files are "on-line" to the project - rather than which are "off-line."

He's correct that the actual copies of the media data are never stored as code inside an project or event. Only in the folders that live in the Movies sub-folder inside your the Original Media or Transcoded media folders.

It's never technically "embedded" in your working files until you share it out.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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