Relinking trainwreck-- Would love some advice
I did cinematography and now color grading for a short film. I put all of the media we got that day on an external hard drive after the first day. Then I cleared the card so we wouldn't run out.
After this, the editor threw everything together in FCPX... Ick.
The root of the issue: Said editor did not:
a) rename the clips. This means we now have two _DSC001 etc and two MONO_0001 etc.
b) put all the media on the hard drive while editing. I made sure to get all the media on the hard drive and I figured I'd relink in resolve.
Now things get hairy.
Issues in Resolve:
Upon import, it prompts me to relink media. Doing so gets 180/350 clips located it. I think the 180 are from the first day of shooting and the rest are not and a as a result were edited straight from the internal hard drive or SD card.
I dragged in the media it missed and it looked happy so I started grading the beginning. The audio was majorly messed up though. It used one clip a bunch of times over the wrong file. The order of the audio files never was remotely correct.
Whatever, I'll just have the editor export an audio only version of the piece and throw it over in Premiere later.
Until I got further in and realized that there were some really big problems with the video. Again, it used two clips over and over again where they don't belong. They just pop up throughout the film through the second half. Said clips that pop up have a "<!>" symbol on them when they first show up.
So, yeah. A small trainwreck. I'm sorry this wasn't extremely clear-- it's a little bit much for a newbie in resolve to wrap my head around.
[Sam Smith] "The root of the issue: Said editor did not:
a) rename the clips. This means we now have two _DSC001 etc and two MONO_0001 etc."
No...the root of the issue is that the camera named the files that...reset the number scheme. The editor should not rename raw files. This prevents proper relinking. Although now you have that issue, relinking. That could have been solved by giving the footage REEL NUMBERS. When you back up the cards, give the backup folders unique names, typically I do project name_Date_card number_Camera. And then in the NLE, apply that name to the REEL column. This way, you can have two clips with the same name, but because they have separate reels, it's easy not to get them confused. Metadata...more metadata is needed.
I wonder if this is something they can do now...give all the footage reel numbers back in FCX, and re-export things so that Resolve can relink properly.
[Sam Smith] "b) put all the media on the hard drive while editing. I made sure to get all the media on the hard drive and I figured I'd relink in resolve."
Where did they put the media?
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def
The exclamation mark means that Resolve thinks there is an ambiguous link. Double click on the alert and it should display all the clips that it thinks might be a candidate... choose the one you think it is.
Always a great idea to export a baked timecoded chase video to load as a reference to reconcile any discrepancies.
Then you can "force" relinkages that don't occur naturally.
"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.
I would add to the above that Chapter 22 of the Resolve manual ("Importing Projects and Relinking Media") is a critical one that new users need to read twice, maybe three times to let it sink in. My joke for years has been that it's gotten to the point where the conform is almost as stressful and challenging as the color correction. When you have more experience, it gets fast enough that you can throw together a feature in less than a day and literally be color-correcting in a few hours. But it takes time to get there.
A lot depends on the preparedness of the editor and/or the post crew. If they've been sloppy, didn't use correct reel names, and didn't structure the file directories in an orderly way, it can kill you in the conform. Most colorists I know have a memo they routinely send the editor before starting a project so that they can establish a predictable workflow and have all the materials they need, the way they need them.
I agree with Joe and the others' advice above. Having a low-bitrate reference movie as a guide is a must, since this will tell you if the shot is correct or wrong. There are also tricks you can do, like bringing all the material into Resolve first and then importing the XML and let it find the files that way, and there are also ways to force Resolve to filter reel names based on file names. All of this is covered very well in the manual.
Make sure you charge these people for the additional time they're forcing you to take for the project. Filmmakers have to learn that there are established methods you have to follow in order to put the pieces together for color (and VFX and sound), and there are no shortcuts to doing this in a haphazard, lazy way.