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Compounds and media management disasters

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Oliver Peters
Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 5:46:57 pm

A while back I had started a thread about working with edits as compound clips in the event versus project. It now appears to me that doing this creates real havoc if you attempt to do any consolidation of media the files within FCP X.

In the original edit, I was cutting 10 spots. Total of about 800-900 master clips. As I edited a rough cut in a project, I would compound it (saving that version to the event), then break apart the compound on the project timeline and continue editing for another variation based on client edit decisions. The result was a number of compound clips saved into the event, which represented the various versions of cuts for each spot. In the end, I had 10 projects, which were the final cut of each spot. All projects had items broken apart, so no compounds (nests) used within any project timeline. Then I copied-pasted project clips to one long master project timeline that was all 10 spots in a sequence with slates, logos, etc.

Yesterday I was doing a test to see how best to deal with media management in FCP X. I took my project of 10 spots and removed all clips except the last spot. My project now had 20 video clips and a single mixed audio track for a single 30 sec. TV spot. I then used the Duplicate+Used Clips option and created a new event and project. In that event, I had the clips, but also ALL compound clips from the original event. Even though NO compound clips appeared in this project timeline. I could not get rid of these, as I got an "in use" message preventing me from removing them.

The next step was to Organize Media, in order to copy all linked files into the new event folder. This should have copied only about 20 media files, but in fact, proceeded to copy over 400 media clips! Obviously it was taking anything tied to the compound clips. A complete mess. I couldn't even get the background copying to stop and had to force quit to get out of this process.

FWIW - an XML to Premiere Pro or FCP 7 of the same sequence let me do perfect media management of this edited spot, i.e. clips used in the sequence, that were trimmed with handles.

My guess is that even though compound clips did not show up in this project, there's some under-the-hood voodoo happening to still link the compounds to the project. So from now on, I'm back to avoiding compounds unless absolutely necessary. Just like nests in FCP 7 are evil, I guess, so too, are compounds ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 5:58:54 pm

This sounds similar to Sony Vegas - where if you put all 10 spots on one timeline then deleted everything but 1 spot all the media would still be in the Media Pool (weird Vegas feature) if you then did any kind of media management, ALL the media would still go with the project. What Vegas has though is a little button to "clean" the Media Pool, leaving only the media that is on the timeline and nothing else. Maybe FCPX needs this type of feature?

I think you could have handled it differently though and just created a project for each spot and pasted the finished spot into each timeline - then you would have had a "clean" project for each spot and managed each spot as needed.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:04:37 pm

I definitely think the compounds are part of the problem, since these were copied over as part of the creation of the new event. That's in spite of not being used in the final timeline.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Fabrizio D'Agnano
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:06:03 pm

I had much the same problem archiving 5 finished projects using "duplicate project + used clips) and moving them to a sparse disk image after deleting the transcoded files. One of the projects contained two compound clips, and while with the other four the operation was almost smooth (there was a problem, really, but I don't want to go O.T.), it caused a "not enough disk space" warning even if the event and the project folders were about 31 Gb and the s.d.i. size was about 100 Gb . When I tried to move them separately, the event invoked a compound clip problem with clips in other events even if I launched "organize event media" a couple of times (I don't exactly remember the warning), so I left it at root level.

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:08:27 pm

Yes FCP X is definitely buggy in this respect. Maybe it will be fixed in the next version.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Michael Garber
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:33:12 pm

Hey Oliver-

You may have already tried this - but what happens if you copy your final edited timeline into a new project timeline and then organize media, duplicate etc...?

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:37:52 pm

[Michael Garber] "You may have already tried this - but what happens if you copy your final edited timeline into a new project timeline and then organize media, duplicate etc...?"

Yep. No difference. Also tried exporting an XML and re-importing it. Also no difference.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Michael Garber
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:47:49 pm

D'oh. How about breaking apart the remaining compound and selecting just that media (don't select the mixed audio), copy, paste, etc... Try organizing it without the mixed audio first. Then bring the final audio in and try that. Maybe something strange is happening with the audio whereby it was originally attached to a now non-existant compound clip.

Thinking "crazily way outside the box" - what if you compound the final project and then organize that? Not expecting it to work, but who knows. It's all about the funky workarounds with X.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:24:26 pm

[Michael Garber] "How about breaking apart the remaining compound and selecting just that media (don't select the mixed audio), copy, paste, etc... Try organizing it without the mixed audio first. "

Have fun. ;-) At this point, I've run the experiments that I have time for and determined it doesn't work. If I have to go through some crazy workaround to force it to work, then I would never use it in real instances. For now, I will simply swear off compounds, since I know the "normal" way works.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Douglas K. Dempsey
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:36:22 pm

Oh no! I took to heart your argument for compounds.

Furthermore, Apple encourages you to use compounds in their Help docs, noting that compounds create no space or speed hits.

Of course, I initially began creating new Projects as though they were tabbed Sequences in Legacy. Then I noticed in the Project Folder that every single project seems to create new Render folders, e.g. they are not sharing renders a la Legacy.

So I started doing exactly what you describe, compounding an edit and labeling it RoughCut v3 and so on.

This part seems to work okay; I may just have to avoid the media management.

Doug D


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Steve Connor
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:38:31 pm

[Douglas K. Dempsey] "This part seems to work okay; I may just have to avoid the media management.
"


As a longtime FCP Classic user I'm conditioned NOT to use Media Management anyway!

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:46:53 pm

[Steve Connor] "As a longtime FCP Classic user I'm conditioned NOT to use Media Management anyway!"

The user request was to make media management better, not break it completely. ;-)

I've actually had OK results with FCP Legacy MM over the years; however, this is one of the reasons I trust Automatic Duck Media Copy far more than I trust Apple. Unfortunately the more you want to do with X the more juggling you do with various pieces and parts to end up with functional workflows.

I'm sure some here will argue to use sparse disk images and save everything, but that's simply not viable for a lot of productions. I do actually save everything (raw media archived to hard drives or LTO), but I want a tight, compact version for easy changes and versioning later. Why restore 1TB of files, when 10-20GB will do? ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:46:01 pm

[Oliver Peters] "The user request was to make media management better, not break it completely. ;-)
"


My sympathies.

I kinda think about the Event Browser as a land of HUBS with I/O connections to the X database. Moving items into Events makes them "connectable" to other things. Which begs the question when is connecting connected things to other connected things NOT a good idea.

Answer, probably often.

For me, versions are best stored in projects, NOT in events.

Clearly, the fact that once you launch a disk image and "connect" it to your current work, X does NOT want you to disconnect that Image from the database without a fight. Good evidence that it's NOT happy unless it can constantly communicate the image with the database to update changes.

X is NOT like before X. The database is a living thing and MUST be managed properly or all hell breaks loose.

I think your recent experience, Oliver, is a good example of this. The EB was NOT designed as a "work in progress storage space. It's better conceived as an inventory management space. Its RECEIVING. Before work moves to the SHOP FLOOR (timeline) then onto the STOCK ROOM (Project Library) or the actual public store shelves (Share Module)

Working against that flow, while possible, has repercussions.

Thanks for posting this. I bet it will help a lot of people clean up sketchy workflows.

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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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:35:29 pm

[Bill Davis] "For me, versions are best stored in projects, NOT in events. "

Remember that the versions in the Event are only the past versions and not active versions. They are the older rough cuts and are not used in the final edit other than as a "scratch pad". The Project timeline is theoretically clean of connections. Obviously that's probably not the case here.

[Bill Davis] "Clearly, the fact that once you launch a disk image and "connect" it to your current work, X does NOT want you to disconnect that Image from the database without a fight."

I don't do anything with disk images.

[Bill Davis] "Working against that flow, while possible, has repercussions."

I'm not sure any of this is working against the flow as designed. Clearly the app allows it. John D seems to have set up his entire facility flow around it. The fact that it's not working without issues, seems to point to something that still is not right in the application.

In any case, the objective was to end up with a single Project and a single Event containing only the associated media. That part at least is designed into the app and should have worked correctly. Remember that the whole behavior of Duplicate+Used Clips changed at 10.0.6, so it's quite possible it was broken in that change.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Fabrizio D'Agnano
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:20:44 pm

Another strange thing, unless I'm missing something, is that all of my background music files were copied as aliases and not as real files, together with a few png's after I duplicated project + used clips. They were into different Events, as I don't care using the music browser, but they should have been copied as well as the other files onto the new "clips for xxx" event, I guess. I had to launch "organize event media" to see the actual files copied into the new event. This happened in all the project I wanted to archive using "duplicate project + used clips". Archiving is pretty crucial to me as I think for all other editors/producers, I'd like to see an option to duplicate project + used clips excluding the transcoded HQ media together with the render files.

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:39:13 pm

[Douglas K. Dempsey] "Oh no! I took to heart your argument for compounds."

LOL. Yes, me, too!

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:05:18 pm

[Oliver Peters] "In the original edit, I was cutting 10 spots. Total of about 800-900 master clips. As I edited a rough cut in a project, I would compound it (saving that version to the event), then break apart the compound on the project timeline and continue editing for another variation based on client edit decisions. T"

Why not make a compound in the Event first and copy and paste the Project material in to it?

I want to try and reproduce this.

Basically, compound a bunch of Projects to add to the Event to save as "versions".

Make a new Project.

Add the Compounds.

Delete 90% of them.

Break Apart the remaining 10%.

Dupe + Used Clips

I should now have a Project with the 10% plus an Event of the reaming 90%?

Is that the proper sequence of steps?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:23:04 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Why not make a compound in the Event first and copy and paste the Project material in to it?
I want to try and reproduce this."


Have fun testing. ;-)

Quite frankly, I probably went back and forth between projects and compounds in the events. It's been a month ago when this edit was done, so I don't completely remember every step. As best as I recall, the steps were:

1. Edit Project - 1 per commercial
2. Compound and save to Event
3. Break apart compounded items in the Project.
4. Continue editing and repeat a few times for client editorial process
5. Create new Project for spots to be assembled in a series
6. Copy & paste clips from individual Projects to 1 master project (Note, you should have no compound clips in the project itself at this point)

That was the point the edit was done. Then for the current test, these were the steps.

1. Duplicate Project from #6 above.
2. Delete all spots/clips, except last one in the new duplicated project. So you have 1 x 30-sec on the project timeline.
3. Duplicate that Project using Duplicate + Used Clips option. Create New Event as part of this step. (Note, this new Event had both clips and compounded clips in it, in my test.)
4. Organize media for this new Event

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:27:22 pm

PS: I should add that during the original edit, some of the compounded clips were "opened in timeline" and had done edits done within. That may or may not affect your test results.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:33:17 pm

Thank you.

Compounds are essential to my workflow, so if this produces crappy results, I'd like to test it!

And you said that an XML export and import did not shake loose the weirdness, right?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:45:58 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "And you said that an XML export and import did not shake loose the weirdness, right?"

Correct. Didn't fix it within FCP X.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bret Williams
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:53:14 am

I've skimmed most these posts. Did anyone ask if you'd cleared the undo que? It shouldn't matter, but perhaps running mmanagement right after deleting the clips left it in memory. Perhpas Jeremy in your testing you might want to see if quitting the app and relaunching right before media management makes any difference. Report back!

FWIW, I just media managed a HUGE project full of media I'd reconnected, compounds I had to reconnect, XMLs the client gave me that I reconnected to m own, different set of events and it all managed fine as expected. Not the same path that Oliver is using but it was a huge mess of media management for sure.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:58:41 am

[Bret Williams] "FWIW, I just media managed a HUGE project full of media I'd reconnected"

Was the the complete project or a smaller subset? In other words, were you simply copying all of the media into a single Event? If that's the case, you wouldn't have run into the issue, since you wanted to bring everything over anyway, not just the "used clips" in one project among many.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 9, 2013 at 1:26:30 am

OK, ran a very simple edit test on my home system. These were the steps.

1. Edit project 1, compound it, break apart items.
2. Repeat for project 2 and 3.
3. Copy & paste clips from compound 1, 2 and 3 to new project (no actual compound on the timeline).
4. Dupe project and remove clips for #2 and #3 from this timeline.
5. Dupe+Used Clips.

The result is a new event that includes the clips PLUS the compound used for those clips, even though it doesn't appear as part of the project itself.

So what appears to happen is that a link is maintained between the compound and the project if they were somehow used together. In my original example, I had lots of compounds that were all intertwined in various ways, hence the issues.

The moral of the story is NOT to use compounds to edit, IF you intend to later "media manage" the edit. This tends to put Bill's advice at odds with John's ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 9, 2013 at 1:33:16 am

One more point. If you delete the compound clips from the original events BEFORE media managing, then they don't show up in the duped event. That's probably the workaround answer for now.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bret Williams
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 9, 2013 at 3:05:26 am

I guess it was just about everything but multi events and broken compound clips. I've managed quite a few like this and there were no errant clips that weren't used, so I guess it's just more evidence that the problem stems from the compound clips. Certainly shouldn't work that way.


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Brett Sherman
Re: Compounds and media management disasters
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:46:04 pm

Even without compound clips, media management is still lacking. I had an edit recently that pulled clips from 10 different drives. I tried to consolidate it to one drive so I could easily open it in the future. It took me a good hour and a half to track down duplicate file names so that it would allow me to to do it. And even after that, my 8 minute video took up 250 GB of space! Not exactly efficient. It would be nice if FCP X could do more than simply copy the exact file. Many times it's a 15 minute interview that I use 30 seconds of. Other times a conference that I use 30 seconds of 2 hrs.

At this point I've pretty much given up on trying to consolidate for anything other than the most hairy projects. It just wastes too much disk space. Yes drives are cheap, but this is ridiculous.



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