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Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?

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Tangier Clarke
Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 27, 2013 at 5:18:28 pm

When we archive a project we delete all of the optimized and proxy media that we shot ourselves because we backup the source camera cards as (reel) folders; therefore being able to reimport. All we keep are elements such as photos and music that didn't originate from a camera and/or was give to us by an outside party. The other reason why we do this is because FCP X has yet to have a media management feature like FCP 7. Unfortunately it keeps more than the actual media in the project needed which costs us too much space and money to backup.

That being said...

I am restoring/rebuilding an older FCP X project. I'd hoped to select the project and just have it reimport/retranscode the media it needs from the original reels we have backed up, but that does't seem to work; essentially trying to mimic rebuilding a tapeless sequence in FCP 7 using the log and transfer feature - works like a charm.

Well this hasn't worked for us at all. We're not sure why. We don't want to reimport all of the media for the event just to relink clips for the project.

One workaround someone found is that first the reels have to be made into archives using the FCP X feature that converts content into an archive, then supposedly what I am trying to do will work. That's a reaaalllly long process just to rebuild something.

It's astounding how lacking FCP X is in regard to media management for archiving just what you need.

Any ideas folks?



Mac Pro/ OS 10.8.2/ FCP X 10.0.7

Tangier


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 27, 2013 at 9:32:33 pm

What format is your original footage?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 1:14:56 am

I guess it doesn't matter so here goes.

Yes, you are right, unless you reimport the whole Event, or know exactly which clips to reimport, then you have to so some real searching to import the exact clips from your Project. A process that should be unnecessary.

You are right it doesn't work like FCP7. You are right that it needs to be improved.

For the future, here's a suggestion until Apple clears this up:

When you are done with your Project, you use the built in tool to "Duplicate" your Project (FIle > Duplicate Project from the Project Browser). You will get a host of options. One of them is to "Duplicate Project + Used Clips".

You will notice that there's some options and dialogue. FCPX will create a New Event with just the clips you used (they are not trimmed, but rather the whole clip). Name the Event to what you want, FCPX defaults to "Clips for NameOfYourEvent". In your Original Event, you can now choose to delete render files.

Quit FCPX.

In the Finder, delete the media in your Original Event. Then find the "Clips for ..." Event and find the media inside of it. Drag that media to the proper place in your Original Event. Basically, what we have done here is cleared out the media in your Original Event, and then put back the only the media from your Project in the Original Event.

Now open FCPX.

Your original Project should be relinked along with all the pertinent clips from that Project in your Original Event.

Make sense?

It's a bonkers work around using both FCPX and the Finder, but it does work. Please send feedback to Apple to make this a smoother process.

Jeremy


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 1:33:40 am

Thanks Jeremy. I was afraid I'd get that very response. That's one of the methods we've been using - duplicating the project and clips only for the final project. I was hoping to do this differently, but it seems that's not built into FCP X in any way right now.

T


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 1:50:44 am

What did you find out about your Spotlight indexing problem?


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 3:23:03 am

Full reinstall of the OS and apps. Still rebuilding. Though others in the office are having some issues with spotlight since the last MacOS 10.8 update.

Tangier


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 3:44:06 am

Good to know.

Thanks, Tangier.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 1:28:43 pm

Remember to add the step to organize the media, so that the used clips end up inside the new event. This behavior changed after 10.0.6. This way only used media is located in a single location - the new event folder.

Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 2:15:55 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Remember to add the step to organize the media, so that the used clips end up inside the new event. This behavior changed after 10.0.6. This way only used media is located in a single location - the new event folder."

Actually, in this case, it works differently.

When you dupe a project and choose "+ used clips" it creates a brand new Event with only the media you need, and it copies it.

It's a decent way to make a new copy of your Event with just the media you need.

When you dupe an Event, you will have to organize it.

Jeremy


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Oliver Peters
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 2:35:43 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "When you dupe a project and choose "+ used clips" it creates a brand new Event with only the media you need, and it copies it."

It no longer does this if the media is linked externally and not copied into the event. In that case it only copies aliases. If you have media linked externally, you have to add the organize media step.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 3:12:05 pm

I guess in this case we are talking about media that is not .mov on import. That is MXF, etc.

Jeremy


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Bill Davis
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:38:54 pm

Just a few personal thoughts for those who are trying to wrap their heads around how X treats it's assets that is WAY different from how "flat file" or "lookup" (Capture Scratch type) NLEs...

First, back when I adopted FCP-X, one of the biggest mistakes I made was not understanding that while I was editing I was also building a pretty complex database behind the scenes. The WORST aspect of this is that I look back at the projects I created in my first two months, and I see an absolute MESS of database organization!

I had Events that had content from multiple cards from multiple shoots - Projects with half their content off one Event and half off another (which was fine until I dismounted a project and had half my clips go offline!) and I realized I'd started multiple projects without paying any attention at all to which events they were linked to. It was a NIGHTMARE.

This was part of what drove me to start investigating Disk Images. Disk Images started to make huge sense since if I started ALL projects at square one - Backing up my field shots in an Image - rather than just trying to get clips and projects into a storyline so I could START my work there (a strategy that's not particularly solid in X!) ,

The Timeline (storyline) in X is NOT the start of your editing. (It's roughly the THIRD place after the IMPORT transcoding - and EVENT BROWSER organization) It wasn't until I better understood this that things started to make sense because I was learning how things FIT in the database world of X.

BECAUSE X is database driven - the program essentially is always looking around for fundamental ID tags that it knows what to do with. Disk Images (same as ARCHIVEs inside X) work GREAT for this, because they preserve the deep level ID info that X can locate and work with fast as soon as they are launched on your computer.

As you grow in X, you start to better understand this database process. So it becomes easier to make smart choices about all sorts of issues - like whether to Copy clips INTO X projects, or use Disk Image reference files - or whether or not to do ProRes or Proxy conversions. These issues kinda require you to at least understand where X's relational database looks for things and how it manages it's assets.

Over the past year, I've often argued strongly about not using the FINDER to move assets - this is fundamentally why. It's not that finder copying is bad per se, it's just WAY too easy to break the database links when you work in the Finder with stuff that X has permanent location ID for in it's database.

This thread seems to me to be largely about that kind of problem. Projects MOVED, but not moved in a way to preserve the links necessary for the X database.

It IS possible to re-link things in X, but it's NOT as convenient or as easy as just maintaining and managing the original links the program ALWAYS creates as you work.

It's one of those X differences. The program automatically keeps track of things really, REALLY well. But it only keeps track of them in relation to how YOU set things up.

I screwed up a LOT in my first months and on my first half a dozen projects, because I simply didn't know any better.

Part of the reality of X.

FWIW.

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:54:52 pm

FCPX can create camera archives that solves this kind of problem.

It also creates a walled garden.

I understand your point, Bill, but there are some of us who need more than an FCPX camera archive.

[Bill Davis] "Over the past year, I've often argued strongly about not using the FINDER to move assets - this is fundamentally why. It's not that finder copying is bad per se, it's just WAY too easy to break the database links when you work in the Finder with stuff that X has permanent location ID for in it's database.

This thread seems to me to be largely about that kind of problem. Projects MOVED, but not moved in a way to preserve the links necessary for the X database. "


It would be nice to be able to tell FCPX, "hey, I know the media is not there, but it is in fact here".

This process can and should be better. I'm sure it will get there.


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Bill Davis
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 9:11:09 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I understand your point, Bill, but there are some of us who need more than an FCPX camera archive."

I absolutely get this.

I hope that there's a development path that gets ALL of us agile "off-desktop" media links that let facility editors share and manage central storage. Heck, it would be a good for me as it is for you guys!

I want X to develop "down" (features for consumers such as support for inexpensive heavily compressed camcorder and/or phone generated content) "across" (more features for editors like me in the sweet spot where X works great right now) AND I'd like to see it develop "up" (better features for facilities and post houses)

I can't really imagine that it won't develop in all those directions, since with a great core code, working out from such a solid base in different directions has to be easier than just trying to "fix" code that was never built for the future.

Here's hoping you, me (and the kid having a blast shooting skateboard POV videos with his iPhone!) all get taken care of!

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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Eugeny Korkhin
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 2:10:07 pm

To test it, I've just rebuilt a random project from the archive. It worked fine.

I've taken the project and using the combination of "Relink Project Files..." for non-camera originated content and "Reimport from Camera/Archive..." recreated the whole timeline. Just like you, we backup the source camera cards as (reel) folders (not FCPX camera archives) and FCP was able to reimport. The original footage was XDCAM EX. The new Event is two times smaller than original. Still miss trimming...
Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to "help" FCP locate those cards (folders) in case you moved them to a place, different from what it was at the time of importing... except creating "Camera Archives"...

Hope that helps


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Rebuilding a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 29, 2013 at 7:00:00 pm

Bill and Eugene, thanks for the input. I'm no stranger to dealing with databases (MySQL, Postgre, Access, etc.), so I understand your points Bill about the importance of doing it the FCP X way. It seems like one of the large issues is being able to point FCP X to where the reel(s) resides.

After a shoot, I take the cards (which when mounted on the desktop are all called "Untitled" or No "Name"), create new folders on our backup hard drive(s) with unique consecutive name (per camera if necessary for multicam shoots). These are our backups.

Ex -
projShortName-camX-01
projShortName-camX-02
projShortName-camX-01[H4N Audio]
.
.
. etc

These are the reels on the backup drives I'd want to point FCP X to. This is the media that's transcoded for editorial and [the transcoded clips] will be deleted once the project is finished and mastered.

Creating those archives, though it works, takes up space, time, etc. And the thought of having to create a finder level archive that isolates Finder folders and elements to FCP X and away from other apps is disconcerting, but it seems necessary. It seems the only other way for other apps to (for example) review content in those archives (assuming the archives replace the original reel backups above, rather than doubling the space taken up) is to first invoke the OS level "Show package contents" or open the archive. Talk about walled garden.

Makes me want a way to make "trick" the OS in to thinking the folders above are archives just by changing the extension on the folder (if there was one) like you would a file such as a word doc, text file, or video file type.

Where's ResEdit when I need it!

Definitely, If I could just tell FCP X where the reels are without the archiving process that would be ideal. The ID can stay in the event database as it should and content can be reimported and assigned to the same id as long as FCP X checks metadata in the backup against what's already in the event database so there's a one to one relationship to what it was on the first import and what it needs to be [again] on any successive import.

Side note: we're noticing a problem with reimporting that FCP X is having trouble relinking files because the timestamp in FCP X clip name is literally 1 hour off from when the original project was created, so it thinks it's not the right clip to connect.

Tangier


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Eugeny Korkhin
Re: building a project - what's your strategy?
on Jan 29, 2013 at 8:32:24 pm

I must note that we don't keep (at least, for now) our assets as fcp archives (walled garden) or images of cards ( I'm a bit paranoid about images - if the image gets corrupted then everything inside is lost). We keep copies of cards in dedicated folders. But i think the reason I could restore the project easily is that we haven't changed the location of assets since import - they reside on a network backup drive. But, again, in case this drive "goes offline" and we have to use another back up for restore - I expect it to become more than two buttons click as it is now.


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Andreas Kiel
Re: building a project - what's your strategy?
on Feb 9, 2013 at 11:47:49 am

Just saw this thread by chance.

Here how FCPX works (and I don't like it):

Once you want to back a project and want to add used clips to the new event you get a new project with a new uid and a new event with a new uid (to avoid collisions).

But if you think that's a backup you are wrong.
The event finally is a more less empty event which references the original event(s) and the media or media aliases inside this event. So if inside the original media of a referenced event(s) there are aliases the backup only will reference to "an alias of an alias".

To make a "self contained" backup you have to select the new event and select "Organize Media..." this will copy ALL needed source files into the new event and make into a independent event.
This is not really effective and has nothing to do with a real "Organize Media" but it's the only way to make a safe backup right now.

If you're familiar with XML you can take that route to organize the new event.

-Andreas

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


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