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Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.

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David Parker
Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 26, 2016 at 8:51:31 pm
Last Edited By David Parker on Mar 26, 2016 at 8:52:47 pm

Hey there. At the moment there is only one thing stopping my shop from moving over to FCPX. Our workflow requires some of our media to go through an external process, and then return to the NLE.

On FCP 7 and Premiere, I do this with media manager, copy all clips, trim to used + handles. Then run my process on those clips, and then re open the project in FCP 7 or PP.

I could perhaps do this in FCPX by consolidating the media, and running my process on those (the entire original media), though I doubt FCPX's willingness to stay connected to the media after I am done with it, as I hear it is very touchy about files changing. However, due to our workflow, we have potentially terabytes of source material linked into a 5 minute edit, and the external process is quite slow, which is fine when running on the trimmed ~10 minutes of footage + handles, but wouldn't be ok on the raw original un trimmed media.

I see http://www.clipexporter.com/ which will spit out trimmed clips, but in lots of searching around, I don't see anyone offering any solutions to relink trimmed clips back into FCP X.

As best I can see at the moment the only existing workflow to handle this would be to use XtoCC to go to Premiere, do the media manage there, and then 7toX to get back. Obviously this roundtrip is not going to work well for a complex project, so is a non starter.

So, I am going to start poking at FCPX xml, to see if I can work up a munger to cause FCP X to replace clips with their trimmed versions, but wanted to check with the community to see if anyone had heard of this being done before anywhere.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 26, 2016 at 9:21:27 pm

Roundtrip through Resolve.

- Oliver

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


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David Parker
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 26, 2016 at 9:28:53 pm

Thanks Oliver,

How reliable is that roundtrip in your experience (assuming it is something you are using)? Does the resulting project back in FCPX look exactly the same with all the original filters/effects/fades/time remaps/etc etc on it? As I mentioned I am unwilling to consider the roundtrip through Premiere, as I have seen it be fairly flaky. Is through Resolve known to work well?

Unfortunately we would want to do this roundtrip as part of the finishing process, so it would be when the edit is most complex, with most of the finishing work at least started, meaning lots of complexity in the filters/effects department.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 26, 2016 at 10:56:51 pm

[David Parker] "How reliable is that roundtrip in your experience (assuming it is something you are using)?"

In my experience, all roundtrips can have potential issues. I have done roundtrips through Resolve for grading purposes and the results have been OK, but I wouldn't say perfect. It's been awhile and I had some audio problems in the return, along with some issues with graphics. Resolve also presented some problems in relinking the same media on the return trip. It had something to do with working between different drives, but I believe that's not fixed in current versions.

Of course, any roundtrip would only work for a single sequence and not if you had multiple sequences (projects) in the same library. Unfortunately FCP "legacy" was much better at this function. Also Premiere is better if you are working within it.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 26, 2016 at 11:14:50 pm

Just curious, but what's the 'process'?

I use Pr for consolidate and conform.

I get the media back, dupe the consolidated Pr project, relink to graded/composited media, and translate back over to fcpxml.

Some effects, of course, don't make the round trip. Pr and fcpx handle audio in totally different ways, so sometimes the audio is funky. In my case, I am usually getting mixes back at this point so it's not a big deal for me.

Better relinking would be greatly welcome in fcpx.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 26, 2016 at 11:19:42 pm

Also, the consolidate codecs in Pr are very limited.

Resolve has better quality and more choice, but it does weird things to still graphics, and it used to ignore audio, but that's getting better since v12. Still, the translation isn't perfect.


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David Parker
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 26, 2016 at 11:49:12 pm

Thanks Oliver and Jeremy. Yeah, I am reluctant to make a roundtrip like this an element of our workflow, taking a sequence with all of its complexity from NLE to NLE generally hasn't worked well in the past, and I'm not hearing confidence that it does now. Though I will give Resolve a look just to see how I find it.

The "process" I need to run is a script that takes the original files we edit with and transforms them into them into the final form, mostly in the area of things like removing duplicate frames and establishing the correct cadence. It would be nice to run this on the source material before we edit with it, but this is not possible due to the extremely tight cycle between ingest and edit. We work a bit like sports highlight editing, tons of content coming in as edit happens, during finishing is the only chance I have of making things proper. FCP 7 works beautifully in this way, and we are still using it, as all our editors (and myself) dislike Premiere, though it does work.

So, I will head under the hood and see if I can hack the fcpx xmls to point directly to trimmed files, avoiding the roundtrip to another NLE. It can't be that hard right? (Famous last words).


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 27, 2016 at 12:02:08 am

Are you changing frame rates in this process?


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David Parker
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 27, 2016 at 12:07:59 am
Last Edited By David Parker on Mar 27, 2016 at 12:06:33 am

Kinda. More like conforming the pull down to be correct. We have 30fps material in a 60fps stream, however it's not locked and can drift. We edit with the sloppy 60fps stuff, and I can make it solid 30fps, and either leave it in a 60fps file, or make it 30. Either way is fine, and I'm sure fcpx will be happier if it remains 60. Premiere and FCP 7 have no problem with 60fps files becoming 30 all of a sudden :) (well FCP will complain, but take it).


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Noah Kadner
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 27, 2016 at 1:32:39 am

My suggestion would be to bring an LTO archive into the workflow- very cheap vast storage and you'll always have the entirety of the media available for future use. The downside of media managing with trim is you are throwing away a generation and risking reconnect challenges down the road.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops


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David Parker
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 27, 2016 at 5:30:19 am

Noah, not only are you responding to a need not being discussed here, you are way off base as well (psst. trimming files is not a generation, and no one wants to archive TBs of useless media; even if the tapes are cheap, the time and physical space to store them is not).

Jeremy, compressor is cool, but can't do what I need. Even if I wanted to throw computers at the problem to parallelize my fix up script, there would need to be a lot of workflow glue to compensate for an extra step at the most crucial part of the edit workflow, which really demands a tight coupling to ingest. So I'm inclined to keep it at the end.


So, I had a look at the FCPX xml. The good news is that it is very readable and well documented. The bad news is that when a clip changes duration, that change apparently has to be rippled all the way through the document to every place that it is used. I was hoping I could just change the duration when the reference is declared, but for reasons I don't understand at the moment, this isn't the case.

So any munging script would have to keep the whole state of the document, and be pretty darn smart about what needs to be updated, which is a bit more of a project than I had anticipated. I have some ideas for how to do this, but not sure I have the time available to implement. Any developers out there interested in taking on this project?

In the meantime I'm going to consider finishing in resolve, if the one way trip in is solid I'd be ok to finish there . . .


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 27, 2016 at 12:55:46 pm

That makes sense, David.

I had a colleague start several Projects at 24.0 instead of 23.98.

Getting the projects back to 23.98 and keep the proper timing was a painstaking and manual process. Fcpx kept adding extra frames to the clips, but only if the clips were moved from connected clips to the primary. That is to say if you moved a clip in to the primary, it would add a frame and move everything down a frame. I had to match frame every clip and replace to shake loose the weird behavior, and of course, remember to copy all effects/retimes before replacing and then pasting them on the replaced clip.

I imagine going from 59.94 to 29.97 would have similar repercussions. It was not a fun couple of days getting those Projects conformed.

If you are looking for development help, I'd suggest starting with Andres Kiel at Spherico Film Tools and see what he thinks about it. http://www.spherico.com/filmtools/


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Noah Kadner
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 27, 2016 at 11:32:47 pm

Well 'way off base' is a bit melodramatic for free advice isn't it? But I'll try not to take it personally.

My question is why are you creating TB's of unusable footage? Is the creation completely outside of your control?

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops


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Gary Huff
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 28, 2016 at 1:51:51 pm

[David Parker] "(psst. trimming files is not a generation"

Well, that really depends on your source files...how do you think trimming works to begin with?


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David Parker
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 28, 2016 at 5:49:44 pm

[Gary Huff] "Well, that really depends on your source files...how do you think trimming works to begin with?"

In any rational software, aka not Premiere, it will copy anything it can't losslessly trim. See page 484 of the Resolve manual for example, which I can't copy and paste due to it being "secured".


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Gary Huff
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 29, 2016 at 2:53:58 am

[David Parker] "In any rational software, aka not Premiere, it will copy anything it can't losslessly trim."

Then it's not actually trimming those files, now, is it?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 29, 2016 at 10:54:09 am

I'm a bit confused here. To my knowledge almost no software will trim the original media. The exceptions are systems that internally turn media into image sequences, like Quantel. These can simply delete excess image files at the head and tail of the clip.

Everyone else creates a copy of the media where the copy is trimmed if possible. As long as it is truly a copy without recompression, then there is no generation loss or degredation. So copies that are ProRes, DNxHD, AVC-Intra, uncompressed, etc. do not lose data in this copy/trim function. If recompression is required, like long-GOP media, then there is technically a generation loss and slight degredation in the copy.

Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 27, 2016 at 1:43:22 am

[David Parker] "Either way is fine, and I'm sure fcpx will be happier if it remains 60. "

Absolutely. If you are changing frame rates, my guess is that no matter what you do to the XML, fcpx won't like it. FCPX simply isn't good at this sort of thing on its own.

Also, my guess is that fcpx would simply do every other frame in a 60p clip to make it 30.

Have you tried Compressor for your conversions before the edit? It's easy, fast, high quality and can now be made to use watch folders:





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Andreas Kiel
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:49:38 am

Hi David,

I really can understand why you need this kind of functionality.
And you're right XML is the way to go. But as mentioned it' way more complicated than it looks at the first glimpse.
My biggest concern are key-framed effects/data.

You can contact me: kiel (at) spherico (dot) com

- Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Roger Bolton
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 29, 2016 at 3:44:18 am

Hi David, I think CoreMelt could probably help you with this problem. Could you please send me at email to roger at coremelt dot com?


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 29, 2016 at 11:33:59 am

[Oliver Peters]: "I'm a bit confused here. To my knowledge almost no software will trim the original media. The exceptions are systems that internally turn media into image sequences, like Quantel. These can simply delete excess image files at the head and tail of the clip... "

Finally there is no need to re-compress any file format.
Once you know what you are doing just copy a part of a stream, place it into an empty container and save that part as a physical copy. Only thing which might happen (GOP files) is that the first frame of the file is different from the original file since it could be a new I-frame.
The result is a 1:1 trimmed file.

Any serious software should behave like this - at least the apps I build behave like that.

- Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Jacob Brown
Re: Any workflow for "media manage" trim to used + handles? Willing to go way outside the box for this.
on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:56:13 pm

Hey David,

This solution will depend on the specifics of your editing process, but I have a simple idea.

Before beginning your edit in FCPX, create Compound Clips out of the ranges of the huge media files you are editing from.

Batch export the Compound Clips from the Event/Library browser (and send off for external processing)

Edit in FCPX using those Compound Clips instead of the naked media.

When you get back the new processed media back from your post-house or whatever, you can simply replace edit within those original Compound Clips, and it will ripple through your edited timeline. Just be careful not to used Snapshot duplicates so that the Compound Clips stay linked.

-Jacob


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