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CatDV User Fields, FCP Fields - What do you use?

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Keith Moreau
CatDV User Fields, FCP Fields - What do you use?
on Aug 17, 2010 at 9:17:34 pm

I'm starting to lay out my 'schema' and I've started with all the normal FCP fields. I feel I need to keep those intact to keep the mapping consistent between FCP and CatDV. I have the choice of what to keep in many of those fields, and it's up to me for the most part. I'll keep FCP's Label / User 6 intact because of the built in color coding and categories (thought the categories FCP choose seem a bit arbitrary) and "Good" and "Angle" etc, those that make sense to keep. But the others, comments, master comment, log note, etc are pretty much up to me. I'll add additional CatDV only fields if and only if I see the actual need for it.

Does anybody have a list of the fields they like to use and search on? Obvious ones seem like: Acquisition camcorder, cameraman, subject. Can I load up on a field and keep diverse data in one field with delimiters, or should I keep it discreet?

Does anybody add additional non-FCP compatible fields because of FCP limitations (number of characters or type of data allowed in the FCP project fields), etc?

Anyway, looking to the experienced experts out there so I don't necessarily have to re-invent the wheel. Thanks much!


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walter biscardi
Re: CatDV User Fields, FCP Fields - What do you use?
on Aug 17, 2010 at 9:27:48 pm

We're grappling with that ourselves. After seeing the NASCAR database out at NAB, it really opened my eyes to just how more information is always better than less. They obviously spent a lot of time developing their schematic and fields to best suit their needs.

That's one thing we're doing here, taking our time. We've had CatDV for a month now and have only logged a few tapes because we're trying to think through all the search scenarios first. Especially since we're going to be managing data for up to four original television series next year along with our ongoing documentaries.

In fact, first we had to come up with a brand new numbering scheme for all our data since we have a mix of thousands of tapes, DVDs, BluRays, hard drives, etc.... It took us a week just to figure out the best way to label everything first to make it all organized out on the shelves before we start running it all through CatDV.

So the best advice I can tell you is take your time, think through as many scenarios as possible, talk it over with others who work there, start by logging one or two tapes, again, meet with everyone and discuss how you're logging it and what information is or is not missing.

I can tell you some of the very simple fields we've added for searching the database are:

Interview: Sit-down, Walk and Talk, Run and Gun
So we're looking for an interview of Joe and we know it was the sit-down interview we did last year. Now our search won't be filled up with 100's of interviews with Joe, just the ones where he did a sit-down interview.

Exterior / Interior. Very simple selection field so we can pull shots that were shot inside or outside.

Continent. Give me all the shots of Joe in Africa.

Just little things like that which help to zero in our searches so we don't end up with hundreds and maybe thousands of clips if we don't want them. I wish I could get some screenshots of the NASCAR database because it is definitely the model that I would love to follow.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Biscardi Creative Media

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Keith Moreau
Re: CatDV User Fields, FCP Fields - What do you use?
on Aug 17, 2010 at 9:48:26 pm

Thanks for the info Walter!

When you create a field like "Interview" do you put "Interview" in one field, then "Sit Down" in another, or do you load all that sub-category information in the one 'Interview" field? I suppose 2 fields would be better than one, such as an "Interview" field, and an "Interview Type" field. However you could imply that if an "Interview Type" field was filled with anything, that clip is an interview, and then you can just search for anything in that field "Sit Down," "Walk and Talk," "Run and Gun." A "interview" only field would just be a boolean (meaning "Yes" or "No") and maybe that's a waste of space?

Most of my media is on hard drive, my 'labels' are folders with date, subject and acquisition camcorder. I hope to be able to automatically parse those into fields into CatDV.

I also am seeing that the 13 or so FCP fields would probably not be enough to have Nascar level search-ability. I can see how you'd really need the clips to contain a lot of statistics so you could quickly cull together a shot list for a particular subject, like speed, car make, model etc.

Does anybody out there have the Nascar schema? (I assume the CatDV folks have it - want to share?)

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Matthew Stamos
Re: CatDV User Fields, FCP Fields - What do you use?
on Aug 17, 2010 at 11:04:31 pm

I tend to describe three basic logging methods that seem to help people wrap their heads around this a little bit better. Global tags when you select all and tag everything in a catalog like a location or a show for example. A group tag where any number of clips in a catalog might be selected like a shooter or a shot type. Finally individual tags that include markers transcripts and specific tags to a single clip. This seems to help people narrow down how to efficiently tag or log a catalog in CatDV.

Just some food for thought! I would also take a look at this post from Kevin that I think really speaks volumes of wisdom about this very topic as it relates to CatDV!

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