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FCX folders explanation please?

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Seth Marshall
FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 20, 2013 at 11:28:38 pm
Last Edited By Seth Marshall on Nov 20, 2013 at 11:55:26 pm

It appears FCX forces there to be a folder called "Final Cut Events" within your ~/Movies folder even after you move your events folder to another drive. Within mine are three folders: "Camera Render Files, Effect Browser Thumbnails, & Render Files (yes, I understand Render Files also exists in the new Events location, but it remains here as well)...

This question has come up before and frankly I'm not satisfied with the answers. Sometimes there's been plain denial but I'm looking at it right now. If for some reason I'm unique than my question is "what folders are supposed to exist where"?

I've heard the response, "you just need to get used to the way FCX works", but I can't think of a more unhelpful response. Please tell me WHERE I can read information on how it's supposed to work because unless there's someplace to learn and figure this out no favors are being had. Yes, i've searched the forums, yes I'm googled it, yes I've read the manual--can you believe those folders don't even exist in the manual!?!?

I've never experienced a program priding itself on being so intuitive, simple, and easy, and yet achieving the exact opposite.


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David Eaks
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 12:13:36 am

Assuming you mean keyword collections, basically they are not folders at all. Instead, a keyword collection is like a filtered view of your Event. The Event itself will always have all the clips you import to it, selecting a keyword collection will only show clips (or portions of a clips) that have been tagged with the appropriate keyword. No clips are actually moved when added to a keyword collection, the clip is just tagged with the keyword

Selecting a keyword collection "hides" all clips that don't have that keyword.

It's actually really powerful once you get it figured out.


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Seth Marshall
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 12:31:52 am
Last Edited By Seth Marshall on Nov 21, 2013 at 12:58:16 am

Thanks for the response, but actually I do mean the physical (or virtual) "folders"... As in when you right click in the finder you can create a new "folder" folder.

Why can't I find information on something as basic as what folders are supposed to exist and where for FCX to operate.

The fact my question is confusing makes sense considering it is so very basic in the underlining architecture for FCP and you had to select their locations and yet is completely unmentioned in this X "update"..


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Bret Williams
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 1:07:24 am

Ok, the only real finder folders that should matter are the event and project folder. If you haven't specified a new location, they exist in your movies folder in your user folder. If you want to create an event or project on external hard drives, click first on that drive on the event browser or in the project library, then choose new event or new project. You'll then find those folders at the root level of that particular drive. They must remain there to be seen by the app.

There are also virtual folders in the event, which don't really exist anywhere. They're just an organizational tool just like bins in other apps.

I suggest you find the izzy video tutorials online. They're the perfect free tutorials to get you started. The app is very intuitive in many ways, but it's still an app and you can't necessarily let your knowledge of other video apps get in the way. You need to learn it. Reports are that if you've never learned video editing before, it's very easy and intuitive. Old dogs, new tricks and all that.


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David Eaks
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 1:07:34 am

Ahh, do you mean the Project and Event folders in Finder? My first piece of advice would be to avoid messing around in FCPXs Finder level folders, do it all from within FCPX. Once you have a solid grasp of what FCPX does when you import/optimize/render/analyze etc. it's ok to do some Finder level management though.

FCPX will automatically create folders at the root level of the drive, one called "Final Cut Projects" and another called "Final Cut Events". Then each Project or Event you create within FCPX will automatically create its own folder structure as necessary within its respective folder. FCPX will only "see" Project and Event folders that are within their respective root level folder. If you move an event folder out of the "Final Cut Events" folder, that Event will be gone next time you open FCPX. Move the event folder back, and it shows up in FCPX again. Don't create new folders and start putting files in them within these Project and Event folders.

The question wasn't so much confusing, rather there wasn't any question and I guessed at what you might be asking based on the subject line of the post.


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howard libov
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Jun 8, 2014 at 12:38:46 pm

Long time after your initial response... If i have several external drives, can i name the fcpx events and projects folders differently? Its confusing to have several drives, all with identical event/project folder names.

Thx



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Nick Toth
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 1:52:02 am

If you create a a text document in TextEdit and save it, it will be saved into the Documents folder unless YOU tell it to save somewhere else. The Documents folder doesn't HAVE to be used and there's nothing wrong with it sitting there empty. I don't understand how people see FCP X as any different.

anickt


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Bret Williams
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 3:50:14 am

Because you can't direct FCP to save anything for one. There isn't even a save command. As well, you can not control where media files and project files are located, just what drive. Seems about as different as can be from saving a document in text edit. But what does any of that have to do with the OP's question, or lack thereof?


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 1:56:53 am

FCPX has two main folders - Final Cut Projects and Final Cut Events. Inside those are, sensibly enough, folders for each event and/or project. Inside those are some regulars like Original Media and render files, and others are only created if/when you use a particular feature. E.g. you won't see an Optimised Media or a proxy media folder if you never do either of those processes.

As to why you have one in your ~/Movies folder even after moving it. FCPX has to have those folders to launch. if it can't find them anywhere else, it creates them in your Movies folder. Sooner or later, whether because you didn't have the external drive connected or FCPX just glitches and decide to make them anyway, they will return.

The other folder you'll find is a Motion Projects folder. This and it's sub-folders is where FCPX keeps Motion based effects, transitions, etc.

How do you learn the what and where of folders? Use FCPX a lot, ask questions, do some trial and error. Create a project or an event and watch what happens in the finder.

At the end of the day though, FCPX is a database driven program and messing with anything it creates on a Finder level is never a good idea. It's occasionally nice to know about the folders it uses but not essential, which is why most people can't tell you what specific folders are for.

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Bill Davis
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 3:57:44 am

In addition to what everyone else is saying (which is all true) here's a simple reality that might help you understand X.

X is a video editing program bolted onto a database.

The database is critical to it's function. The database allows X near instant access to everything you're using to edit with. For X to function, it MUST pre-load all the database info and have it instantly accessible.

This is why when you mount a drive, X "grabs" that drive and reads in all the DB info relative to it into it's global "pool". It's also why when you try to EJECT an FCP-X mounted drive, it often resists your doing that. You're essentially trying to remove PART of the mixture of the overall database. And that's not as trivial in X as it is in "flatter" NLE media asset management schemes.

Once connected, X expects all the Projects and Events you have told it to "load" to be a part of it's accessible editing management system.

So you should never presume you can drag and drop stuff as you could in other NLEs at the finder level. Simply because the database is NOT in touch with the finder - it's in touch with it's own internal structure.

Learn to use X as X was designed and you can drive massive efficiency and flexibility into your workflow.

Try to use it like "just another NLE" and you'll be fighting and frustrated every day you edit with it.

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: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 23, 2013 at 7:20:16 pm

Hey Bill,

I think this link is very helpful in understanding FCP X's relationship to its database.

Particularly for those that want or need to play under the hood a bit.

http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/tutorials/812-fixing-corrupt-event-database...

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
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 11:55:38 am

Several people have answered this. And the Larry Jordan link is as crystal and detailed as it gets.

As for why FC does stuff automatically if you don't control it is because that is the way Apple is designing apps.

You can do this on the finder level if you wish. You can create the final cut projects and final cut events folders on any root level of any drive you wish. Only one set and only on the root level. Or you can choose a drive and let final cut create them for you. and if you choose that drive, FC will save what it needs to that drive.

Here's how I work:

I create a virtual drive (a sparse image bundle using disc utility) for each "project" I not FC creates.

I create a FInal Cut Projects and Final Cut Events folder in this virtual drive. I don't have to, FC will do it for me but I like learning the organization structure for myself as you do.
I save all my media to this drive in labeled folders - not the final cut projects and final cut events folders. These are things like P2 cards copied to the HD. Photos copied to the hard drive. Music etc.
Then when I want to work on this project I mount the sparse image.
I open FC and select this mounted drive in the events browser.
In FC I create a new Event and new project and import what I need to the event.
The import function in FC has you find the media you want to import. In my case, they can be found on the same virtual drive I created. Now all my media from the original copies is copied or referenced into FC in a manner FC likes.

The problem with letting FC do it all itself is if anything goes wrong you never learn why or how to fix it.

However, once you learn how FC works, you start letting it do more and more because is saves time and duplication of media which takes up extra space etc. I think the designers were thinking why not do this for people rather than have them do it themselves and in many cases mess things up.

Personally I would have designed it so what FC is doing is made visual to the end user. That is you could always see the path and perhaps asks you if this is the path you want to use as opposed to a different drive. But that would be your only other choice. You can't save it other than on the root level with the file structure FC was designed to use.

The advantage to this sparse image approach is the entire project (I'm using 'project' in the legacy sense of the word; FC considers a 'project' a timeline) can be moved or backed up to another drive or deleted. It can be mounted or left invisible by not mounting it. It lets me organize my way and conforms to FC's way.

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
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 2:15:39 am

Basically on any mounted drive you have connected to your system, including virtual ones like sparse images, FC will recognize 'Final Cut Projects' and 'Final Cut Events' folders on the root level of the drive. FC will not recognize projects stored any where else and you cannot have more than one of each on any given drive.

If you have multiple media drives mounted, you can direct FC to store or import media, create new projects and events etc to the one you want.

for a lot of detail:

http://www.larryjordan.biz/fcpx-manage-media/

It is a bad idea to use the ones automatically created in the ~/Movies folder. but it is not that big a deal to ignore them and use the one on your media drive or drives which you can mount or unmount depending on the projects you would like to work on. The default ~/Movies folder is to keep it simple for folks who do not have a media drive and hopefully not a lot of media.

Rather than moving these master folders, it is better to create your projects/events by selecting the media drive of your choice. If by mistake you create your project/event in this default location or any wrong location, then to keep it simple: use FCP move commands to move the projects/events to a different set of 'Final Cut Projects' and 'Final Cut Events' folders. If you select a drive that does not have the master folders FC will create them.

IMO there is nothing intuitive about most software. If it happens to use the same UI that you have used before then you think its intuitive. But FCP X did not keep it the same. However, I will say that there are a lot of functions in it that are easier to learn from just playing with it than other programs. So in that sense it is intuitive. Magnetism is kinda obvious at first. Truly being in control of it is not. FCP X I think has a great browser with a tremendous ability to organize media. Yes you need to learn its basic file structure. Same with AVID. FCP 7 was more democratic and eventually you would pay the price if you stored media and project files in a disorganized fashion.

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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Bret Williams
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 2:24:21 pm

[Seth Marshall] "I've heard the response, "you just need to get used to the way FCX works", but I can't think of a more unhelpful response. Please tell me WHERE I can read information on how it's supposed to work because unless there's someplace to learn and figure this out no favors are being had. Yes, i've searched the forums, yes I'm googled it, yes I've read the manual--can you believe those folders don't even exist in the manual!?!?"

How about in the manual under the listing, where you media files are located? I've never looked at the manual. Having used other edit systems I've never needed to. But found this in less than 30 seconds. So the manual covers it. We've covered it. And free tutorials on the net cover it. All good?



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Doug Metz
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 21, 2013 at 4:08:18 pm

Hey Seth,

Apparently, nobody bothered to really read and check what you were asking. My setup is a MacPro with a pile of RAM, a decent video card, 3-disk RAID, and a fairly small SSD for OS / apps. I connect various network, portable, and not-so-portable drives during the course of a day. The RAID is always online.

Because the SSD is so small, and because I don't edit off my boot drive, I NEVER select it for Events or Projects. I get that some data needs to live there - Motion Templates comes to mind. Now, everybody, follow me hereā€¦

None, zero, nada, not even one of the Event folders on any of my drives contain the three folders that Seth mentioned. With the lone exception of my ~/Movies folder. They exist in the one place I never use for Events or Projects. They have varying numbers of folders with cryptic names and two files in each of those. It would appear that FCPX is using them - sometimes, but definitely not always. I've got 5,000 items in there for a total of 110 MB.

So now I'm curious, too.

Doug

Doug Metz

Anode


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Craig Alan
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 9:03:02 pm

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/344/6304

for one.

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
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 10:56:11 pm

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/fcp_x_media_management_stone.html

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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Doug Metz
Re: FCX folders explanation please?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 11:26:24 pm

It's not the Events or Projects folders that were in question, per se. It was the fact that FCX has been generating files on the boot disk (Camera Render Files, Effects Browser Thumbnails, etc.) that was the basis of the OP. Bret and Andy both noted that they can be safely deleted, so, question answered I guess. The link you provided in the previous post, though, has Bill suggesting that they not be deleted. Maybe that's part of the reason Seth was confused.

The file structure makes sense, if you have projects and events on a disk. The part that doesn't make sense is the fact that it's still writing Peaks Data and Camera Render Files to the boot disk when there are NO projects, events, or media on it. None of the links provided (or the FCX documentation) cover those folders.

They don't take up much space in the grand scheme, so I don't particularly care if they're there or not. Would be nice to have some official word on when and why they're generated though, given all the attention paid to 'file structure'.

Have a great weekend, everybody - drinks are on me!

Doug Metz

Anode


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