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Maximizing the Potential of Metadata: FCP7, Premiere Pro, FCPx, and CatDV

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Michael Koehler
Maximizing the Potential of Metadata: FCP7, Premiere Pro, FCPx, and CatDV
on Apr 6, 2012 at 8:56:02 pm

Hello all,

I'm interested in exploring the benefits, drawbacks, and idiosyncrasies of FCP7, Premiere Pro, FCPx, and especially CatDV in regards to metadata. My goal, here, is to choose an NLE and post workflow - with or without something like CatDV, depending on what's best - that uses metadata to make accessing footage fast, simple, and efficient.

The story so far, as I understand it (please feel free to correct me! I want to ensure that my brief descriptions of each program's features are accurate and complete):

FCP7
- Metadata in customizable columns
- Cannot save column presets
- Search is linear/word-by-word; ie., no "Smart Collections" for at-a-glance keyword syntheses of footage. Working out of the bin paradigm, but can be manipulated to resemble a (very limited) keyword paradigm

Premiere Pro
- A dedicated metadata panel as opposed to FCP7's columns scattered in the browser
- Imports native metadata; if no metadata exists, a sidecar file is created for that media that tracks all user-generated metadata
- Can create new "schemas" - ie., columns with user-generated fields
- Can save schema presets
- Limited "Auto Analysis" features (ie., Face Detection)
- Can interfaces with Bridge for "Smart Collections", facilitating at-a-glance keyword syntheses of footage
- Hybrid bin/keyword paradigm

FCPx
- True in-program "Smart Collections" for at-a-glance keyword syntheses of footage
- Robust "Auto Analysis" features
- Robust keywording features: to clips as well as clip ranges
- Definitely in the keyword paradigm; bins are a thing of the past

CatDV
- As a DAM solution, CatDV is like FCPx, except that it cannot keyword clip ranges
- Makes metadata available to all users across all systems (network)
- Can print hardcopies of clip metadata

...Which program best maximizes the potential of metadata?

Does Premiere Pro, perhaps in conjunction with Bridge, approach the metadata flexibility of FCPx? Is a program like CatDV necessary for organizing footage if NLEs like FCPx have competent in-program metadata capabilities?

I've read that one does not need to use anything more than Premiere; I've read that it's possible to interface Premiere with Bridge; I've read that FCPx is a revolutionary step forward for sorting footage; I've read that CatDV is an essential tool for the assistant editor, even after the release of FCPx... What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance!


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Robb Harriss
Re: Maximizing the Potential of Metadata: FCP7, Premiere Pro, FCPx, and CatDV
on Apr 6, 2012 at 9:22:14 pm

What happened to Avid in the mix?

And really, how are you going to use the metadata? Great having lots of fields unless you never use them.

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Michael Koehler
Re: Maximizing the Potential of Metadata: FCP7, Premiere Pro, FCPx, and CatDV
on Apr 7, 2012 at 12:09:10 am

I don't know Avid but would love to learn how it factors into the equation, as well!

My specific goal is to organize documentary projects that have 60+ hours of footage. I imagine I'd set up tags and filters for place, shot type and movement, character(s), theme(s), notable dialogue, etc. Such that if I searched for Bob in Honduras discussing crime, I could see at a glance all of the moments involving that character in that place and in that context. I'm just not sure which program best accommodates the kind of metadata flexibility I'd need.

The bigger question, here, is how one should organize projects with hours and hours and hours of content. Hmmm...


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Robb Harriss
Re: Maximizing the Potential of Metadata: FCP7, Premiere Pro, FCPx, and CatDV
on Apr 7, 2012 at 12:31:17 am

That's not all that much footage :-), at least in my house. But think of this: transcripts. In my care little is more important than what people say. I send everything of for transcription. If you can't afford it, do it yourself. Time consuming, you say? You're the one with 60 hours of footage. The more time spent in prep, the less spent in edit. In the "olde days" we tried to keep people out of the edit suite until they were ready.Contrary to current practice, an edit suite is not for the purposes of viewing, reviewing footage. It's for editing. It's cheaper to work outside the room than inside the room. The room keeps busy and your can manage more than one project simultaneously.
A system like CatDV allows you to integrate the transcripts right into your logs. Yeah, that's what we used to call them. Log your footage. It's all about knowing where everything is. Transcripts do that for the most difficult parts. Time coding the transcript allows you to hop right to the quote with a click. Cover footage is much easier. And you want to lock down your search terms. You don't want people to use multiple words for the same thing, e.g. Kid, child, boy, girl, youngster, Infant. You want to limit the terms or you'll be searching forever. None of the NLE systems lefmyoumlog, work at this level. Yet CatDV let's you work with all of them. It even allows a user to cobble together a cuts only version sof a sequence that you can open fully populated with footage. It also let's you carry around all the footage for a project (or many projects) in you pocket. Many of our pieces are culled from hundreds of hours of footage shot over the years. I can sit there with it all loaded all the time. Yet none of it is in the edit system (yet) clogging it up.

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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bryson jones
Re: Maximizing the Potential of Metadata: FCP7, Premiere Pro, FCPx, and CatDV
on Apr 10, 2012 at 12:22:16 am

In my opinion, these solutions are all fine. As far as "maximizing", after a few years in this thing it's not really about software, it's about people and implementation.

I agree, with 60 hours of footage, unless it's a really dense show, with very high value footage (historically significant footage etc..) there's little benefit to digging that deep into tagging.

Choose one, learn it well and make movies. But never confuse an editing system with a DAM, no matter how many marketing articles you read about how great they are. NLE's will come and go, but databases are forever... ask the government. ;)

Want proof? Drop 100,000 clips into any editor and report back how they handle it. (Hell, drop 200 hours of footage into Premiere or FCP and watch what they do!)

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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