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Relinking Event Media to Different Files

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Justin Mrkva
Relinking Event Media to Different Files
on Jan 22, 2013 at 9:31:35 pm

I have two different situations with regards to old FCPX events with outdated media. I've been looking for a way to do the following:

1. In an event, I have a clip that's used in several different projects. I have a newer, higher quality copy I want to use in newer projects. Instead of having 2 copies taking up space (I still need the older copies around) I want to simply replace the old copy with the new copy. However, Relink Media doesn't work as it expects an identical file, and since the new file isn't the same resolution, it doesn't work. I have dozens of these events comprising many gigabytes of media, so you can see why I don't want to have duplicate copies in both low and high quality just so the older projects still work without going through and manually replacing every instance of every clip.

2. There's a similar situation as 1, where I want to replace an older clip with a newer clip. However, the newer clip has odd gaps and some slight differences in start and end frames. I would like to slice and retime the new clip to match the old one, then replace the old media with the newly retimed clip. Is this possible? I figure if I can get the old clip to be treated as a compound clip, then overlay the new over the old, it should work. I have yet to try this but I'm wondering what the best way to do this would be, if anyone's done this before.

Thanks in advance.


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Jason Brown
Re: Relinking Event Media to Different Files
on Jan 24, 2013 at 1:37:33 am

I'm interested in this...but don't see the subscribe button?


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: Relinking Event Media to Different Files
on Jan 24, 2013 at 4:53:02 pm

To your questions:

1. I'm not sure why your having a problem with the resolution change. The Spatial drop down is kinda in existence for this very purpose. Switching between them, which you should be able to do on multiple clips should fix this. Perhaps you're not also changing the properties of the Project to reflect the resolution change. That in concert with the Spatial drop down is your fix for this. i do it all the time.

2. A work around for this could be to take the new clip with the bad gaps, drop it on top of the low res edit. Manually make blade cuts and align the high res to the low res. Export the new cut of the high res as a new master file, and then relink to the file. With the duration the same it should relink. This of course assumes there is no additonal head or tail to the source clips in mention. If there is, you'd have to just do a "replace" by bringing in the new master, making in an outs, make blade cuts on low res timeline to reflect the same, and drag new master on top of low res and then click Replace.

Director, Editor, Colorist
http://www.trsociety.com


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Justin Mrkva
Re: Relinking Event Media to Different Files
on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:38:30 pm

The problem isn't resolution within projects; it's that there's already several projects using the old footage, and several hundred edits across multiple projects each using that media, coupled with transitions and keyframed effects. Replacing the footage has a lot of difficulties associated with it, because if I just delete the old clip and create a new one, I'd have to manually re-edit the new clip into everything. I need to somehow make FCPX recognize the new clip as an identical clip to the old one, just with a different resolution, which should be handled by the spatial conformation. Instead, FCPX doesn't seem to be able to do this like I want to.



This is what I tried:

1. Bring in new footage as new clip, ignore old footage and just move it to an "archive" event that I keep around; I'd just use the new footage for new edits. BAD because I have to keep all of the old footage, taking up a lot of space. Re-editing to remove the dependence on old footage would take forever.

2. Bring in new footage, then open original clip in timeline, connect edit the new footage to the old, then disable the old footage. Missing media for the old footage shouldn't be a problem there because the video used will be the new footage. Theoretically could work because clips would automatically reference the new media because it would just be connect edited into the existing clip that the projects were already using. BAD because FCPX still recognizes the whole clip as the resolution of the old clip, not 1080p like the new footage.

3. Bring new footage in as new clips, edit them to match the old footage. Then modify the clip reference for each edit in the projects to point to the new clip instead of the old clip. This is a problem because I can't find any way to modify a clip reference, only an event reference.



Number 3 would work, and though it would be some manual work, it would be feasible, and eventually I could modify everything so that the clips would all be using new clips. Fairly manual, but acceptable for my situation.

The problem, as stated, is that I can't replace existing clips. Even if I manually selected in points, then selected "Replace From Start" when dragging in to replace the clips, this loses effects, parameters, grading, retiming - all things that would take a long time to recreate.

It all comes down to this problem - batch replacing huge amounts of original footage with higher resolution footage without losing event and project references or any effects/modifications applied to the clips. At this point I think I'm going to go with the "create new clips and just keep the old footage" approach, at least until I can figure out a way to properly replace the footage.

If I can figure out how to take a clip in the timeline, select it and tell it to reference a different arbitrary clip while maintaining applied effects, or even better, to do that for all instances of a clip, that would solve my problem.



Summary, if you aren't confused enough already (lol):

Event contains Clip A and Clip B. Several projects use parts of Clip A, I want them all to use the same parts of Clip B instead. Wherever Clip A is used in a project, it has complex effects and edits that are difficult to duplicate.


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Justin Mrkva
Re: Relinking Event Media to Different Files
on Jan 26, 2013 at 3:50:39 am

I thought I had figured out a way to do this. I take the new clips, add a "dummy" clip at the end of the project, then export the project as XML, swap the IDs of the new and old media, then import. It does successfully swap which clip is being referenced.

However, there's still one problem.

I have, for example, File A and File B. A is old, B is new. They look like this:

A: ABCDEFG
B: XXABCDEFG

where B has some extra blank time before the beginning. I edit the Event clip in the Timeline so that A and B match, according to FCPX. I then export XML, swap A and B by IDs, and it should be good.

Except it isn't. When exporting to XML, FCPX writes in the start time of the clips. So suppose I have a project like this:

[ABCEFG] where I use the beginning and end of A and cut out the middle. The XML treats that as (for simplicity I'm using whole numbers and a 1-index) Clip 1 starting at 1 and Clip 2 starting at 5.

When I swap them, then import, what I get is this:

[XXACDE]

In other words, even though I cut off that first section of the clip by editing the Event clip in the timeline, FCPX's XML export works by referencing the start point not in the Event clip, but in the original media file. I can see why it does this, but it frustrates my efforts to swap these clips properly. I could try to write a script, but really, this is something that should be done by FCPX, not through an XML hack. Furthermore, even if I did write a script, this trick would only work if the clip only differed at the beginning; if I had to cut some frames from the middle and that section happened to be within the clip I was modifying, it would bring about all sorts of problems.

So I'm still searching for a solution, but I feel that I might have gone beyond the capabilities of the software here.


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: Relinking Event Media to Different Files
on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:40:37 pm

I'm a little lost on whats going on here, but I did a couple tests along the lines of what you are doing. And this was assuming your using clips with no timecode, not sure it would do the same thing if it was hunting for real timecodes.

But if you basically make Clip B's look like Clip A's in length, make them exactly the same, and then Relink the media in those events and projects to the newly made, lets say Clip C's (altered and re-exported Clip B's) then it totally works. FCPX doesn't know the difference and everything repopulates with the new clips.

sorry if that isn't what you're looking for.

Director, Editor, Colorist
http://www.trsociety.com


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