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How are you using metadata?

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Walter Soyka
How are you using metadata?
on Feb 27, 2015 at 6:35:42 am

Discussion on the importance of metadata has re-emerged in the Focus thread below, but it's feature-focused. I'd be very interested in learning about your real-world workflows if you are willing to share.

How are you using metadata? How do you tag your footage? What sorts of smart collections (or what sorts of sorts) do you rely on most? How often do you find the same ranges showing up in multiple collections? Do you spend more time upfront organizing than you used to? How has your approach to organization changed? What one thing would you miss the most if it weren't there?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Bret Williams
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Feb 27, 2015 at 1:23:06 pm

Favorites, keywords, rejects, used ranges, yes. Smart collections occasionally. Are those metadata? I call them logging. You can definitely over log. I still remember my first X project. I was duly keywording all the interviewees and separating out the good answers by question and favorite and rejects and all that so I'd be all organized to make my selects. We had also had a printed transcript that my wife (the producer) had. By the time I was half way through the logging process she had highlighted the good stuff and cut it out and glued it to a sheet of paper. A true paper edit. The logging ended and I quickly assembled the first edit from her paper edit and felt a bit silly.


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Brett Sherman
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Feb 27, 2015 at 1:50:19 pm
Last Edited By Brett Sherman on Feb 27, 2015 at 1:51:59 pm

I know a lot of discussion is around heavy use of metadata with Focus. However, I think any NLE can probably do similar things with enough time and effort. I'll leave it to those who do it to discuss the finer details of that. I don't use Smart Collections and extremely rarely, sub-folder keywords.

Where I think FCP X really excels in comparison to bin structures is light-use Metadata. I spend very little time organizing my materials. But with light use of keywords and favoriting I can easily tame my footage in a few minutes at the beginning and continuously throughout the editing process.



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Mark Smith
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Feb 27, 2015 at 2:33:30 pm

How and ow much one uses metadata probably depends on how complex the edit project is. Cutting a some simple interviews could result in very little metadata use. Tag some favorites, and ranges of answers and maybe you are done. I did see a video by an editor that had a half dozen interviews where all people interviewed were asked the same questions. He screened and tagged extensively and then did a search based on some terms he determined and dropped the clips returned by the search into a project and basically had a rough cut.
I am working on a project with material shot over the course of 25 years and quite a bit of complexity, from a character, subject and action point of view and am puzzling over just how to organize the metadata tags, keywords, etc. I think I need some keywording and tagging system that will be more complex to organize my material and I haven't figured that out just yet.
I do foresee using metadata extensively in the organization of this project.


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Bret Williams
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Feb 27, 2015 at 10:29:54 pm

You described my project. 6 people. A days with of interviews. Takes quite awhile to listen to all those interviews and log them. I'm not saying you should do that stuff. Just found it funny that my wife did it as old school as possible and was done editing before I was done logging!


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Mark Raudonis
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:36:09 am

[Bret Williams] "Just found it funny that my wife did it as old school as possible and was done editing before I was done logging!"

Bret,

You just made a very important observation: "Logging metadata" is NOT editing!

I work with a lot of young assistant editors that seem OVERLY focused on project organization, logging, and metadata. I get it. Their job is to organize the project (AVID term here... sorry!). But, I always point out to them NOT to lose sight of the end goal... which is to EDIT the show.

I say the same thing to my friends in the finance department when talking about budgets. Sure, budgets are important, but people don't WATCH budgets... they watch TV shows, movies, videos.

So, while it's fun to compare metadata capabilities between NLEs, keep in mind that organizing your media is NOT editing. I'd suggest "just enough" organization to help find stuff, and then focus on the show.



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David Lawrence
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 4:09:13 am

[Mark Raudonis] " keep in mind that organizing your media is NOT editing. I'd suggest "just enough" organization to help find stuff, and then focus on the show."

This ^ x 1000!

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Bill Davis
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 9:15:22 pm

I'll support this thinking as well.

My test is simple for an X editor. When you're engaged in actual editing, and you find yourself thinking "I have a shot that would really work here" - if the time from that thought forming in your brain to actually having the shot in place so that you can see if it works is greater than 10 seconds, you didn't tag things well enough.

If you did, it won't.

Period.

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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Mark Smith
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 7:28:28 pm

I fundamentally agree with the idea that having a well organized project is not the same as editing, but organizing is a task that need to be done in proportion to the scale of the task at and . If the project is a small scale thing, the required organizing might be really light but for a large scale project I can see, especially with X , that some extensive tagging and key wording will pay benefits over the life of a project . I think I need to take the latter route with the big project I have in front of me .


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Bob Woodhead
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Feb 27, 2015 at 8:09:51 pm
Last Edited By Bob Woodhead on Feb 27, 2015 at 8:10:51 pm

I keep a "Template" Library on all my systems, with some Smart collections that I drag/copy into new Libraries:

Timelines. aka projects. BUT, the Smart Collection filters out any with the name "Snapshot". I mostly use project snapshots as edit "temp backups" as I progress down different rabbit holes. Generally though, I don't want to see 'em mixed in with the rest of the Timelines (ahem, Projects).
Comps. Grouped clips. I'm an old-school AE person, so they're called Comps, dammit.
Audio.
Stills.
Multicam.

For larger projects, I'll use Smarts to do things like; "show me broll from this location". (keywords = broll, location_name). Or anything else I might need. I find my "level of keyword detail" increases on larger projects, to allow for more granular searches as it progresses. On these projects, I try to keep in front of adding basic keywords ("broll", "on cam", "interview", "steadicam", "aerial") as I ingest. By having enough to do a top-level clip separation, it makes it faster to add more detailed keywords later on, if desired. Sometimes adding a camera name to a Smart collection helps get the result. Etc.

I don't know if I'm spending more or less time organizing, but I can confidently say I'm spending LESS time looking for shots than in Legacy.


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 12:17:13 pm

I rarely add any metadata in my projects. The only metadata I use (timecodes,reels names) are usually in the footage already. I might label some clips but that's mostly just visual organizing.


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Jason Porthouse
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 12:55:58 pm

I find metadata more of an organic process in X, so I'll start with the obvious (shot type, location, interview etc) and favourites, then as the edit progresses start to expand as I need it. This is a process that could be done in just about any NLE but there are less 'fudges' in X, and the end result is much cleaner I find. I also find that the people I'm working with (directors and/or edit producers) have a far better handle on the media as it's presented in a far more accessible way. I've been cutting a short recently and the director (who'd only ever used 7) was blown away by the filmstrip view of the media. It's been interesting for me to get this reaction from them - it wasn't something that immediately struck me as important when X arrived, just different. It seems that the UI is far more understandable for non-editors and that, combined with the tagging/metadata abilities certainly seems to go down well with them, and makes my task far easier as I'm able to concentrate more on the images.

_________________________________

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Then when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away. And have his shoes.



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Keith Koby
Re: How are you using metadata?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:34:58 pm

We are using roles extensively inside of fcpx. We actually start each project by importing an xml that has all of our house roles attached to some bars and tone clips. This way it stays standardized. Those roles travel to audio and then final audio gets roled when it returns.

We also mine the QT Author tag that fcpx inserts on export as well as the tags metadata. These things get mined from QT and automatically inserted into our MAM.

All very important "metadata", but maybe not the keywords and such that is more typical of the term.

Keith


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