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Metadata and keywords

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

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James Ewart
Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 1:41:03 pm

Just starting work on a long form documentary that will be a while in the making with schedule intermittent between shooting and editing.

There will be oodles of footage and i am currently sorting out getting to grips with archive stuff

One problem I have often had is leaving a project and the coming back to it after a week or two.

This keyword business is a dream for organising media.

I have not really go to grips with smart collections yet but wow...this is the way to go.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 1:58:35 pm

James -

I use Smart Collections all the time for my bigger projects. The beauty of these is that, once you get your metadata search in place, once you tag something, the clips/audio/graphics will just show up in the collection. It's a beautiful thing. I wrote an article a while back for the COW Magazine, which talks about using Bridge to organize broadcast assets. It could apply to your needs as well:

http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/managing-broadcast-assets-with-adob...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 2:35:10 pm

Think of keyword collections as bins in other NLEs. The key difference with X is that the same clip can show up in multiple keyword collections based on your assigned keywords.

For example, if you assign keywords for camera, date, person, location and topic to a clip, then keyword collections are created for each of these. The clips automatically populate all of these keyword collections as you assign the keyword to a clip. This makes it easy to find the right clip based on what criteria you search by - or simply looking in that bin/keyword collection.

The next level is smart collections and those will be based on the filter criteria you define. So, setting up a smart collection with the criteria of all of Joe's clips shot on March 1, 2012 by the A-camera, would immediately filter into that smart collection.

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 3:27:01 pm

Thanks

Many thanks and...just to be absolutely clear and call me paranoid but if I change a bunch of clips names to start with "Interview" for example I can then create a new smart collection for all clips with Interview in the name.

So it is definitely 100% absolutely fine to rename clips because if ever I have to relink the clips for some reason FCPX will be able to relink based upon other metadata, as it does not rename the source files??

This is a paranoia I no longer have to live with that I had in legacy?

Really and truly?

However I do not be able to create a new blank or empty) smart collection and add stuff to it after the event.

Back to the tutorials!

People said FCPX was no good for "big" projects but as I am now on my first"big" project with it I have realised that in fact this is one of its strengths.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 3:39:49 pm

[James Ewart] "Many thanks and...just to be absolutely clear and call me paranoid but if I change a bunch of clips names to start with "Interview" for example I can then create a new smart collection for all clips with Interview in the name."

To be honest, I'm also a bit paranoid about renaming clips. But, I have been doing some testing and it appears to be fine. FCP X tracks the actual file name as part of the database. In fact, you can edit the metadata view and add a field that will display the actual media file name, if you want to be sure. In my testing, I renamed clips and exported an FCPXML. This in turn was converted to an EDL using EDL-X. The correct media names came through when I did this. So, to answer your question, yes you can rename and the smart collection would work as you described it.

[James Ewart] "However I do not be able to create a new blank or empty) smart collection and add stuff to it after the event."

A smart collection is filled based on the filtering criteria. Keyword collections can be created as blanks. Then simply drag the clips into the keyword collection. Two different methods.

[James Ewart] "People said FCPX was no good for "big" projects but as I am now on my first"big" project with it I have realised that in fact this is one of its strengths."

I think it's OK, but still a young software. I've had big projects and the biggest issue tended to be performance. If you have a very large project, you might want to look into using the proxies to speed things along. I also don't know if there's an effective limit to how much you can stuff into a single event. My largest so far have only had about 1,000 clips in an event. Large for a commercial, but not large for a documentary.

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:36:22 pm

Many thanks.

...which does beg the question why dos i allow you to create a blank Smart collection in the Event Browser.

Anyway not to worry.

Thanks for the tip about project size.

Yes I was told from the outset by somebody at apple in the Netherlands to always optimise and create proxies. I know some here edit "native" but I've never trusted that workflow much, so proxy it will be in ten or fifteen minute chunks.

Is it the number of clips in the event that's the problem or the sheer amount of stuff.

Ho Hum.

I usually have a "mother station" facility in London I use for these bigger projects when they come along and let them take care of finishing and audio etc but alas they all seemed to jump ship about a year ago to Avid (a bit premature?) but London facilities love Avid and don't much like change (a British thing).

However I have found a company who are dipping their toes in called Preditors who have a couple of systems up and running with FCPX so might be best to user their servers before lopping it all together and maybe even having different Events for Archive and new footage to keep Events down a bit.

In fact great idea.

One Event for Archive makes sense anyway as there will be a considerable amount. And another for all the other stuff. Makes sense.

Many thanks for that.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:45:43 pm

My apologies for jumping in here with Adobe Bridge information - I thought you were referring to Bridge's Smart Collections - need some more coffee...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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James Ewart
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 5:30:25 pm

Hey not at all - I just assumed it was some kind of really intelligent thing that I did not understand!


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 7:06:26 pm

No...it was a really stupid thing, because I didn't carefully read your post...nor did I notice which forum I was writing in...coffee deficit...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 5:31:26 pm

[James Ewart] "...which does beg the question why dos i allow you to create a blank Smart collection in the Event Browser."

Sorry, I didn't mean you couldn't do this. The workflow is to first create a "blank" Smart Collection. Then click the name and define the filtering criteria. Then matching clips will appear inside the Smart Collection automatically. It's not like the Keyword Collections where you can drag something into it a "blank" one.

[James Ewart] "I know some here edit "native" but I've never trusted that workflow much"

Me neither. I always convert to an edit friendly format first - either externally or via FCP 7 L&T. I currently do not like, nor trust the FCP X "import from camera card" methods.

[James Ewart] "Is it the number of clips in the event that's the problem or the sheer amount of stuff."

No idea. In my experience, it seems to be the number of clips as well as the number of keywords. All of these database systems work off of the total number of computing objects. I suspect the more clips you have and the more database cross-referencing, the slower it potentially becomes. Maximum amount of RAM helps. Unfortunately Apple does not provide any guidelines, nor direct help, like other manufacturers, so all of us users are floundering around in the dark ;-)

[James Ewart] " but alas they all seemed to jump ship about a year ago to Avid (a bit premature?) but London facilities love Avid and don't much like change (a British thing)."

They are not alone and it is the safest bet. The devil you know versus the devil you don't know. At least Media Composer is battle-tested and can deal with anything people throw at it, when it comes to offline/creative editing. FCP X is the wild card.

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 5:56:14 pm

Do you think Apple are not committed Oliver?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 6:18:10 pm

[James Ewart] "Do you think Apple are not committed Oliver?"

I do believe they are committed. Ultimately what we don't know is how committed Apple is to professional enterprise video users above the ProApps division level. I think they are, but, it's not their primary focus. For now, I think they see FCP X as an important part of their strategy, but no more or less than Aperture or Logic - whatever that might mean.

Oliver

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


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James Culbertson
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 11:08:25 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Me neither. I always convert to an edit friendly format first - either externally or via FCP 7 L&T. I currently do not like, nor trust the FCP X "import from camera card" methods."

Oliver, what do you not trust about FCPX import? (I've been working native almost exclusively, with the occasional post-import transcode, and have not had any issues so far.)


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:22:08 am

[James Culbertson] "Oliver, what do you not trust about FCPX import? (I've been working native almost exclusively, with the occasional post-import transcode, and have not had any issues so far.)"

Trust might be too strong. Here are my reasons why I don't like it:

1) I rarely work natively, because I often have to pass off media to other applications and/or other facilities. There is no guarantee that they can read these codecs. ProRes is a nice, common format these days.

2) Many native formats are real drags on performance. H264 from HDSLRs or MP4s from GoPros, for instance. Or native R3D from RED cameras.

3) Many native codecs are not transcoded to ProRes, because FCP X already sees them as optimized. This conflicts with item 1.

4) I do not like the way FCP X renames ingested camera files. I want the transcode to allow me to rename media in some logical fashion and X doesn't do that. FCP 7 does.

- Oliver

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


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James Culbertson
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:46:17 am

Makes sense Oliver. Is there a way to send transcoded source rather than the original source to other apps or facilities?

What do you think of FCPX's "Apply Custom Name" functionality?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:26:38 pm

[James Culbertson] "Makes sense Oliver. Is there a way to send transcoded source rather than the original source to other apps or facilities?"

I think the way FCP X works is that there are either original or transcoded files. I haven't tested this, but I presume that there are still links to the originals, in case you need to retranscode. In any case, if your files are transcoded to ProRes, then yes, you can send these to the facility. If they are only rewrapped, then you are sending a file that is MOV, but with the native codec. For example, Canon XF files are NOT transcoded, as X sees these as already optimized. If so, then the facility needs to be able to read the same XF codec wrapped inside an MOV container. That's not always a given.

[James Culbertson] "What do you think of FCPX's "Apply Custom Name" functionality?"

If you mean renaming master clips, then I think it's OK. I personally don't use it for now, but I don't have any issue with how it works. My main complaint is how naming works when you ingest camera media. That's because I don't have control over the name of the newly generated media file at the time it is created. I can then rename the master clips, but not the media file itself. Apple has basically copied the Avid approach to this instead of expand upon what was already there in FCP 7.

- Oliver

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


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Keith Koby
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:02:41 pm

I'm with you on all of those reasons. Also, I don't trust any NLE to do the right thing in up/down/cross/(don't mention standards) conversions. Your bound to get some mixed media in your project. I prefer doing that conversion outside the app.

Keith Koby
Sr. Director Post-Production Engineering
iNDEMAND
Howard TV!/Movies On Demand/iNDEMAND Pay-Per-View/iNDEMAND 3D


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Carsten Orlt
Re: Metadata and keywords
on Mar 25, 2013 at 11:40:08 pm

I'm on a 1 year project for 6 month now.

Here's is how I approach things. (We shoot tapeless)

I tag every clip as if I would archive it and prepare for online searches. Same as if you would go to a stock library and look for cats in town A at sunset.

After I have done this I favourite select ranges within the clips of action I like. Basically the same as making a select reel in the old days. I also use the 'reject' range to mark clips which I think are unusable. Using both you can very nicely filter your clip view by 'hide reject' or 'show favourites'.
I also create a keyword +++ which I use to range mark sections I definitely need/want to use

I approach the edit starting by doing each event separately using Event Manager (must buy software until Apple builds it in) to show and hide what I need.
Each edit for a given event goes into a project with the same name (versions are named v1 to whatever) which I can group into folder if I have more than one edit per event.

In the end I will open all events and projects together and combine the lot.

So far this method kept performance at a nice level as I don't have everything open all the time. FCPx slows down with the increase of amount of clips being online. I also have my footage ready for archive later because it is already tagged in a way which will make it usable in other films. I also will be able to sift through the final master and highlight all e.g. 720p or whatever (because they need a different post pass) shots because I tagged them thoroughly before I started editing. Might be boring up front but I know that I will love myself when it comes to the end :-)

One important thing to remember: Nothing is fixed! You can change any keyword, any range, anything all the time. Only thing to remember is that any update at event level doesn't ripple through for a specific clip once that clip is placed into a project. This is how it should be because if a clip is used in several projects you might not want the change to appear in all of them. But I wish that Apple would think about options to talk backwards under user control :-)

Happy editing.


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