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Configuring the Worker to Build Proxy

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Will Fortune
Configuring the Worker to Build Proxy
on Sep 22, 2011 at 11:36:22 pm

I'm new to Worker Node and have a question about configuring it to build proxy. In the watch action I set up, I've set a watch folder, set it to move files once they've dropped in, create a catalog, and build a proxy version with the exact same settings that I use to Build Preview Movies in CatDV Pro. The Worker Node is doing all this, and in CatDV Pro I'm able to see my new catalog, the movie, and the proxy. However, in the web app I'm not able to see the proxy and there is nothing in the Proxy File field under the Media tab.

One thing I noticed: when I Build Preview Movie in CatDV Pro it places the proxy in my Proxy Storage volume but maintains the folder directory structure underneath that from the original media (even though my Path-Based Proxies in Preferences is set to /Volumes/ProxyStorage). However, when the Worker creates proxy it places it on the root level of ProxyStorage even though I have it set up the same way. Could this be the reason the Web App can't locate the proxy? If so, is there a way to have the worker maintain the directory path the way that CatDV Pro does when I Build Preview Movies? I hope I'm explaining this well enough. Thank you for any help you can give.

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Rolf Howarth
Re: Configuring the Worker to Build Proxy
on Sep 23, 2011 at 7:35:28 pm

Yes, that would certainly explain why the web app can't locate the proxy :-)

The two key concepts that CatDV uses when building and locating proxies is that of a ROOT DIRECTORY, and of RELATIVE PATHS (relative to that root).

Let's say the original file you are converting is /Volumes/Media/Project/Folder/File1.mxf, and you want to put proxies in /Volumes/Proxies.

You have a couple of choices. You can specify a root directory, and configure your proxy path as
/Volumes/Media => /Volumes/Proxies. In that case, the relative path is Project/Folder/File1.mxf and your proxy would be /Volumes/Proxies/Project/Folder/File1.mp4 (for example, assuming you're using MPEG-4).

Alternatively, you could omit the 'original location' root directory and set your proxy path to be * => /Volumes/Proxies, in which case the relative path is taken to be relative to / and the proxy file would be at /Volumes/Proxies/Volumes/Media/Project/Folder/File1.mp4

Both approaches work, but if you explicitly specify a root directory that can give you more flexibility over where your proxies are located, as well as resulting in shorter file paths and making things more efficient because CatDV might not have to search so many file locations. It doesn't really matter which approach you use, as long as you understand the principle so you know where the proxy file for a given media file is supposed to be.

This is particularly important if you use the Worker Node, as it provides a LOT of options and flexibility when it comes to naming output files. It's supposed to be a general purpose scriptable tool, after all.

How are you triggering the conversion? Is it based on a watch folder? If so, the watch folder itself is taken to be the root directory. If the watch folder is /Volumes/Media and you drop in a file /Volumes/Media/ then the proxy generated will be at /Volumes/Proxies/File2.mp4. That may or may not be what CatDV is expecting, depending on how you configured it (it might be looking for /Volumes/Proxies/Volumes/Media/File2.mp4).

If it's not what you want, try configuring the worker to generate a "Standalone Movie" rather than a "Path-Based Preview". The file will be more or less exactly the same but you get more choice over where the proxy file is written, using variables like $p, $P and $g.

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