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Craig Alan
organization
on Mar 31, 2013 at 1:30:14 am

What are your preferred methods of creating searchable meta tags for your media and/or preparing to assemble a project?

Renaming clips/batch renaming clips vs favorites and favorites from parts of clips (sub-clips) vs keywords
vs all of the above vs dragging entire clips to the timeline and editing from there.

For example, are there any gotchas to renaming clips vs keeping the finder's (camera's) name for clips?

Do you ever find that creating all this metadata organization really doesn't help once you see the flow on the timeline?

I would imagine extensive logging of footage is essential for long from projects with boat loads of media, but what about short form?

Also how do you handle a section of the timeline that you've put some work into, but realize it just doesn't seem to fit? You're not ready to trash it, but you want to set it aside and work on some other scene or finish the scene in which you decided it didn't belong. How do you set it aside for now?

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Bill Davis
Re: organization
on Mar 31, 2013 at 2:27:40 am

Here's a broad overview of my process.

A - First round reductive filtering. That's using the REJECT button to dump unusuable stuff. Setup, slates, pauses, broken takes, dreck, airplane holds, whatever. Then "hide rejected" and you have essentially your usable body of recordings.

B - First order keywording. This is where I go back through my "good" takes to apply keywords to "bucket" them by similarities. Keeping the keyword list open on the screen lets me watch each clip and decide if it's already covered by one or more keywords or requires a new bucket.

C - Second order keywording. This is where I apply either the Favorites Tag or Numerical Ratings to order my judgement of the usability of the clips in the buckets.

That's my default initial process. I amend it and break it all the time depending on the project. But it at least provides a starting point to learn how to use the database in X sensibly.

One last note. I learned along the way that since X sequesters unique Hex IDS deep in the software for location of all your media - any place the software allows you to double click and edit is safe to do so. So it's fine to re-name clips, etc, as you like. This says nothing about learning about the plusses and minuses of alpha numeric or long vs short tags - that's way too complex to get into here - but it's a decent place to start.

For what it's worth.

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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Craig Alan
Re: organization
on Mar 31, 2013 at 3:48:27 am

Thank you, Bill,

Exactly what I was looking for. Concise and logical.

I'm just getting my feet wet with X. I was thinking of starting by doing a batch rename of a certain location or day or scene or as Apple would call it an Event. Then from there reject the garbage, keyword or add notes to important shots by content or emotional value or plot point, and within those key worded/noted clips set rough I and O points to pre-edit stuff within the clip that's garbage. Leaving generous handles.

Then leave the rest for the timeline.

But without experience I was worried that I might be setting myself up for problems if something about the workflow was destructive to basic organization.

You answered that for me. So, although I might, with experience, choose a different approach, at least I know I can apply these methods at will and give it shot.

We will be using P2 cams and I know you can assign names to shots before importing into FCP. Would this be worth the trouble? The cards have to be erased anyway so its not like labeled master tapes that need to be labeled. But what about back ups? Do you back up the FCP media with all the organization in tact or just back up the original files or both? If you backed up the original files plus the project file would that do the trick? Or do you need to back up the render files and all of the FCP folders?

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Bill Davis
Re: organization
on Mar 31, 2013 at 4:07:22 am

In the field or as SOON as you get back - clone your cards. Use either Apple's DiskImage utility - or SCDI Create Disk Image - the former makes a full size clone of the card - the latter makes a sparse disk that's only as large as the content it holds - but with an initial upper limit.

Do this RELIGIOUSLY. Never come back from any shoot without cloning your disks.

If you want to go farther - you can use an App like ShotPut Pro to semi-auto clone copies to multiple drives.

The point is that disk image clones (rather than finder copies) are seen by X just like original media. So when you mount them on a drive, X thinks the original disk has been re-inserted - making things much easier for workflow.

Hope that helps.

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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Craig Alan
Re: organization
on Mar 31, 2013 at 4:53:58 am

Yes it does. Was not aware that disc utility could clone a P2 card, but it's great it can. I'll test this out so I know the work flow. I know about sparse images because as a teacher I'm going to have to pass word protect projects so students do not trash each other's work. Sparse images allow for this plus as you say FCP X seems to like them. So when I insert a P2 card, I can open disc utility and create a sparse image of the card. Then for anything that we can't afford to loose we can back this up. Does that mean that if you have your original media that the project file can recreate all your edits? Also is it ok that FCP references the original media or is it better to copy the file to FCP (I see these as options when you import media). I suppose if you have a clone of the P2 cards and a copy in FCP then you have a back-up. If then a FCP project file can recreate the project from the original footage - then you are good to go.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Bill Davis
Re: organization
on Mar 31, 2013 at 5:19:43 am

If you're using disk images, there's no real reason to read clips into the program - you're just wasting space. As long as the proper disk images are loaded - X references them.

Remember, X just adds metadata to references to the original media. So your project files are small.

That said, it's extremely important not to break connections between the database at the heart of X and your media files. So you need to make sure your students take care to keep all imported assets other than the media clips in places the program expects them to be stored. So doing stuff like referencing stills or audio clips from finder locations and then moving them to no locations will cause you problems.

Essentially put things in ONE location (I use a project folder kept on the same drive as my project) then don't mess with that location. Then X knows where all it's reference assets are stored.

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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Craig Alan
Re: organization
on Mar 31, 2013 at 6:09:36 am

Thanks Bill.

I can pass word protect the sparse images of the media as it is created.

How do i protect the "project folder kept on the same drive as my project" for each user?

Can these too be set up as expandable sparse images?

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Craig Alan
my plan so far: feel free to comment...please
on Apr 1, 2013 at 5:15:19 pm

I will create password protected sparse images for each user.

I will use either the production team name: P1T1 for period one team one
or a projects name: TALENT SHOW.

I will train them to add ALL their work to the sparse image.

I will tell students anything left anywhere else on the computer will be deleted.

I will train them to save all their work, quit each open application, then unmount their sparse image.

Each sparse image will contain a FCP X project folder, a FCP X event folder, a documents folder for final draft scripts and shot sheets and graphics used during production, etc, an other media folder (for other images and music and the like).

I will use remote desk top to mount and unmount these from the teacher's station. I've learned that you need to close FCP X to unmount a mounted drive.

Expandable sparse images can grow with use but not shrunk. However they can be erased and copied to new sparse image before doing so. They can also be copied to other computers/drives. They can also have the password reset (in case the one I'll use for all is compromised).

I'll set parental permissions to allow only the needed apps to be used and only the needed web sites to be used. I will try to use a simple finder that will not allow changes to the interface.

If all goes well I will not even need multiple user accounts (I think) because all their work will be saved in the sparse image. But there might be problems this way with preferences for certain programs.

I'll do some more research on the parental controls to leave the system drive as clean as possible. Anything not in a sparse image will be deleted. Since all files are time stamped I would easily know who left it there.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Michael W. Towe
Re: organization
on Mar 31, 2013 at 5:07:16 pm

Stumbled on to this and found it an interesting approach to batch naming of clips.







I have just started using it on the first project and so far it's pretty nifty.

Michael W. Towe
President M2 Digital Post
http://www.m2digitalpost.com


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Craig Alan
Re: organization
on Apr 1, 2013 at 3:59:11 pm

Nice link - very well done tutorial - expanded on my (just yesterday's) understanding of batch renaming. No question FCP X has fantastic organizational ability. In some ways, the meta-data he created was redundant. But a variable degree of redundancy is ergonomically efficient: I've always liked Apple's decision to allow different ways of doing the same thing in their interfaces: A. different folks learn differently. B. people get fatigued with a overly repetitive workflows. Here the names help you see your clips organized at a glance, where as the other columns help you define individual clips with specific details. I'm also thinking that when you reach a stuck point on your timeline, when you just can't get your act together - you can go back to your event browser and add a piece of metadata - thus getting you to rethink and review what media is at the ready and how it all fits together. It also lends itself to a bias I have that productions should start on the page, be interpreted during the shoot, and built (rather than rewritten) in post. At least I feel this way for narratives. For documentaries, performances, I feel the opposite. Let the camera become your eyes, then in post build a story and interpretation around what it found. In both cases, I want to produce something truthful to a source.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Andreas Kiel
Re: organization
on Apr 3, 2013 at 11:22:56 am

Saw this topic by chance.

Bill explained perfectly how to work.

There was SCDI mentioned (I'm the author) and want to give a little comments about the tool. This free app allows to create and optimize Sparse Disk Images with a few clicks.

For P2 card backups you also can use my good old free copyCards:
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools/copyCards/copyCards.dmg

copyCards is a simple application to copy camera card content to a disk and to create '.iso' disk images from the cards -- which is recommended.
CopyCars currently is not a fancy app in a way it way that it uses multi-threading.
But it's a safe and kind of 'don't worry' app. It always copies the complete card (as long the card is FAT-32 formatted). So whatever you select on the card the app will always find the mount point of the card and will check it. So you can't get a bad card structure. You also can create safe ISO images which can be read on other platforms or the camera itself when written back to a card. This is a good option when the original card had errors - in most cases they can be re- paired by the camera.
For convenience there are options on how to handle cards and what can be done af- ter a transfer was successfully done. The 'Auto scan for new volumes" will automatically check for available disks on your system. If there is a new one which is a FAT 32 format and does contain files or folders, it will be added to the source path list. A known issue currently is that this function won't resolve ejected or cards modified while they are already listed.

The "Unmount volume ... " will automatically eject the card -- but only if there is a verified copy which is either a verified HFS copy or a disk image. The "Erase volume ... " will automatically delete all files on the card (it won't reformat the card) -- but again for security reasons it will work only if there is a verified copy and the card is not locked.

CopyCards also takes care of duplicate file names on the destination volume or destination folder. Any loaded card will be checked for modification dates and time of day. This will be appended to copied card's name. This way the beloved 'No Name' cards won't be overwritten. In case there is a real duplicate the app won't overwrite it and will write an error log to the desktop and the card's path will be left displayed in the source table view.
Once the app is started it creates a new 'session'. Therefore you can't copy a card twice even if you change the destination. You have to quit the app and relaunch. This will change in a later version.
You can drag cards, files or folders onto the app's source path table view as well - this might be handy.
For the more technical educated user or the daring minds: You can run multiple instances of the application to acclaim higher speed by using Terminal.app. In a Terminal window type: 'open -n ' Then drag the app's icon onto the Terminal window and hit Enter. To make that working properly the "Auto scan" has to be switched off. With all in- stances the preferences will be shared.


For more things I will have a new app later this month available.
You can have a look at the announcement.
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools/X-Files/index.html

- 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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Craig Alan
Re: organization
on Apr 4, 2013 at 3:15:25 am

Thanks for finding my thread and I'll check out your apps.

[Andreas Kiel] "It always copies the complete card (as long the card is FAT-32 formatted). "

New to P2 work flow - would a panasonic P2 card formatted in the cam be a FAT-32 card?

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Andreas Kiel
Re: organization
on Apr 4, 2013 at 4:30:25 am

"New to P2 work flow - would a panasonic P2 card formatted in the cam be a FAT-32 card?"

Yes they will be FAT-32.

-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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Bill Davis
Re: organization
on Apr 4, 2013 at 6:07:17 pm

Andreas,

Are you going to be at NAB?

If so, do you have time to sit down somewhere and chat? Let me know.

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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Andreas Kiel
Re: organization
on Apr 4, 2013 at 7:40:43 pm

hi bill,

unfortunately i won't be there.

but feel free to skype me at spherico.

- 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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