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Bug - Relink issues : AVCHD folders - Optimised Media - Library back up

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Arthur Levivier
Bug - Relink issues : AVCHD folders - Optimised Media - Library back up
on Feb 20, 2015 at 3:08:00 pm

Hi guys,

I hope you are doing ok. I need some help again.

There is a lot of question below but please know I had those questions in mind since a long time and didn't found solutions on forums. There is discussions about it but not detailed enough for these kind of issues.

Thanks a lot for your help.

1. BUG FCPX and ISSUES with relinking AVCHD folder

Few days ago, I wanted to move all the clips from event 1 to event 2.
I moved all of them at once (over 500 clips) and I think FCP X didn't like it because it stopped working and I had to "Force quit" it.

When I opened it again, all the clips where still in the first event but all red with "missing file" written on it. Impossible to relink because it was from an AVCHD folder. So I looked inside the library to understand what happened and I noticed that all the clips had been copied in "original clip" folder in "event 2" and the bug might have not made the link between event 1 and 2.
Is there an explanation for that or is it simply a bug ?

Now, my big issue is to understand how can I relink files when they are from AVCHD folders ?
In general, I copy the AVCHD folder on my hard drive and then import from this folder with FCP so If I import lot of clips in one events from different AVCHD folders, they will all be called "clip# 1, 2, 3 ..." so i will have multiple clip with the same name ... So I found that FCP will have lot of issues to relink clips from AVCHD folders for that reason and its very very annoying.
Is there something I did wrong or something I can do to solve that problem ?

I'm working on such a big project, If my hard drive failed and I have to relink all my clips tomorrow I will have a huge issue. The bug I had has already been a big pain. I had no other choice than to copy the all event from the same library I saved on an other hard drive.

More generally, how to you relink files from AVCHD folders ?
Is it possible to give unique name inside the AVCHD folder ?

2. OPTIMISED MEDIA & RELINKING

So far, only 70% of my media where optimised because I had not enough space on my hard drive but its now running a bit slow and I have free space so I want to optimised all the media. I know how to do that but my concern is about relinking again... Because If I create optimised media they will be called clip #1, 2, 3... so they won't have unique name and I will have many clip with the same name in each event and it will be an issue if I have to relink one day...
How can I do that ?
Plus, the hard drive I use to back up all my media isn't big enough to carry all the optimized media so what will happen if I have only the AVCHD folder on my back up drive and my main drive fail ?

Also, I want the optimized media copied out of the library so the library isn't to heavy. I know how to do that but I wonder, can I delete the original media inside the library once the optimised media is created ? (I would save 450Gb)

3. RELINK FROM BACK UP

I saw that the back up library is much lighter than the normal one so I wonder what happen if I lose the library on my hard drive and have only the back up and the media on my hard drive ? Is it gonna reconnect OK from AVCHD folder ?
I tried opening a backup library once with an other Hard drive containing all the clips and everything is off line so I end up having the same problem reconnecting the AVCHD files again.

I've read everywhere that FCP X was very good for media management and relinking files but I actually find it very awful when it's about AVCHD folder. Is there something I do wrong or is it really bad ?

Thanks for your help again.

Cheers.

Arthur.


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Bill Davis
Re: Bug - Relink issues : AVCHD folders - Optimised Media - Library back up
on Feb 20, 2015 at 10:07:25 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Feb 20, 2015 at 10:09:40 pm

Arthur,

I don't know your level of operating sophistication regarding X so forgive me if this is targeted incorrectly, but here are some things to think about.

FCP X is unusual for many reasons, but two of the most important are that it's database driven and it has very specific requirements regarding asset locations so that the database can find the files it needs and link up with them. In this regard, it's MUCH more sophisticated (and much more "finicky") than NLEs that just use the computers basic finder/folder structure to store and locate things.

The other thing that's important is that X is a "volume" based system. By that I mean that the database is constantly monitoring for "mounted volumes" as the source of it's content.

So, when you work with "non-native" media ( media in a codec that Apple does not DIRECTLY support at the OS level) you have some issues with making sure you are VERY consistent with where you store assets so that the X database can consistently locate and work with them.

I won't take the time to go into Managed vs Reference Media - but that distinction exists because X needs to be flexible enough to work with both types INSIDE THE DATABASE.

Generally, the X system works best when you've developed a storage structure that starts correct, and requires little change. Now I know that's not always possible, and there are faciliites in X to move stuff, but as a general rule of thumb, it's pretty important to AVOID moving stuff around via the Finder if it's at all possible.

It appears you started off with MXF files (non-native media) and then REFERENCED those without transcoding. Is that correct? If so, then the database in X would expect that in order for those files to show up in the interface, they'd be on the exact same VOLUME in the exact same stage locations as they were when the database links were originally created. If they are NOT, you'll have the type of issues you're facing.

IF the links are broken, the two paths you have to fixing things are to either (a) relink to new locations, or 9b) reimport assets to form new links to the correct places. With MXF files prior to 10.1.4 that was more difficult. Now it can be direct, but still requires you to be able to mount the VOLUME abstraction that presents the MXF files in a way that X can see.

Many experienced X editors use "virtual volumes" to avoid this situation. Instead of importing directly from original media, we make some type of volume clone that we can backup and relaunch, which then appears to the database that the original location is still active. Others regularly transcode using the internal "Optimize media" function which transcodes the files into a format X understands directly and stores them inside the program..

Not understanding your storage system or your workflow, it's hard to tell you what might be wrong. But overall, X works best if you target things properly - THEN if you give the database the time it needs to do it's internal organization without stopping the process once it's been started. If things crash, then there are ways to re-start and continue the import - but almost always dragging files around via the finder is the WORST way to try to fix things.

I hope this helps and isn't too confusing. I know it seems complex sometimes, but the benefits of the database system are huge, even if if's sometimes frustrating learning its rules in the beginning.

Basically, screwing this stuff up is stage. Take heart in the fact that once you get the workflow correct, working with X becomes as easy (no, actually EASIER!) than working with other NLE systems.

Good luck.

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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Arthur Levivier
Re: Bug - Relink issues : AVCHD folders - Optimised Media - Library back up
on Feb 21, 2015 at 2:39:49 pm

Hi Bill,

Thank you so much for your reply.
Looks like I'm not familiar enough with some of the terms you use...
I've commented some of the things you said below, it would be great if you can tell me a bit more.
And a big than you anyway.

'"The other thing that's important is that X is a "volume" based system. By that I mean that the database is constantly monitoring for "mounted volumes" as the source of it's content. "'>"The other thing that's important is that X is a "volume" based system. By that I mean that the database is constantly monitoring for "mounted volumes" as the source of it's content. "

I'm not sure I get that right... Are you talking about external hard drives ?

"So, when you work with "non-native" media ( media in a codec that Apple does not DIRECTLY support at the OS level) you have some issues with making sure you are VERY consistent with where you store assets so that the X database can consistently locate and work with them. "

Is this about the fact that OS can't read what's inside the AVCHD folder but FCP can ?

"Generally, the X system works best when you've developed a storage structure that starts correct, and requires little change. Now I know that's not always possible, and there are faciliites in X to move stuff, but as a general rule of thumb, it's pretty important to AVOID moving stuff around via the Finder if it's at all possible. "

To import my files, I have always copied from SD cards to External Hard drive (one folder per SD card) and THEN I have imported to FCP from external hard drive. I have never modified the finder on the external hard drive after importing. However, YES i have made lot of modification in the library organisation while working.

"It appears you started off with MXF files (non-native media) and then REFERENCED those without transcoding. Is that correct? "

Indeed this is correct. I imported clips from the AVCHD folder (from the external hard drive) directly without transcoding. FCP only created "original media" in the original media folder we can see in the library (when we click "show package content").

"If so, then the database in X would expect that in order for those files to show up in the interface, they'd be on the exact same VOLUME in the exact same stage locations as they were when the database links were originally created. If they are NOT, you'll have the type of issues you're facing"

OK, so does that mean that if anything happen to the external hard drive containing my library I will not be able to relink the files using a back library ?

IF the links are broken, the two paths you have to fixing things are to either (a) relink to new locations, or 9b) reimport assets to form new links to the correct places.

OK. But it seems I can't do a) because FCP X won't recognise the AVCHD folder. It seems that it needs to see the files and not the folder. However, when we relink, we can't open the AVCHD foler to show the files...
For b) does that mean I will lose all the keywords and selecting ranges I've put on the clips ? That's the thing is that my clips are full of keywords and i've already done the "rejected" and "favorite"...

"With MXF files prior to 10.1.4 that was more difficult. Now it can be direct, but still requires you to be able to mount the VOLUME abstraction that presents the MXF files in a way that X can see. "

OUPS, I'm lost here...

Many experienced X editors use "virtual volumes" to avoid this situation. Instead of importing directly from original media, we make some type of volume clone that we can backup and relaunch, which then appears to the database that the original location is still active. Others regularly transcode using the internal "Optimize media" function which transcodes the files into a format X understands directly and stores them inside the program..

Not sure I understand this either. Sorry.

And now an other question very important to me :
At the moment, on the same Library I have 2 kinds of media :
1 >>> 2/3 of the clips (until my new macbook pro) are Prores LT link to my library but from the external hard drive. These are from the time I still broke the AVCHD folder to get the MTS and then converted MTS to Prores and then Imported the Prores. I have no problem with those. they represent a total of 3To

2>>> The ones we have been talking about who are from the AVCHD folder located on the same external hard drive but imported directly to FCP and that FCP copied into the library as original media. For that reason, the library is about 450Gb. Now I want to Optimised those ones.

SO 2 questions :
1.What's the best way to optimised those clips in order to be sure to don't have any relink issues later.
2.What's the best way to backup the Library in order to be able to relink everything quickly if my external hard drive fail or break down AND using as less space as possible. (I think once all the files will be transcoded I will have like 6To total of media but my second external disk is only 4to...

So far, I have all my original media folder copied exactly identical on an other hard drive and a copy of the library (450go) on the disk. But its annoying to copy 450Gb every time I work and I'm not sure how does it work with the automatic backups... Especially with those AVCHD folder. Im worried that if I rely only on the automatic backups, if something happen it will be impossible to relink all the files from AVCHD folder...

I'm sorry, I know all this is confusing, I hope I'm not asking you things you already replied and didn't noticed...

Anyways, I will understand if you have other things to do.

A big thanks anyways.

All the Best.

Arthur.


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Heath Alseike
Re: Bug - Relink issues : AVCHD folders - Optimised Media - Library back up
on Mar 5, 2015 at 10:51:44 pm

Arthur and or Anyone that can Help

I was wondering if you were able to figure out a solution to this problem. I am having the same problem and it is seemingly impossible to fix.

I have been working with the same project for a few months now just importing more footage as I go. When I originally imported the footage it did not have any issues. Later my disc was getting full so I wanted to move some of the files to an external, then relink them to free up space on my computer. However, when I went to relink all the files, I ran into the same issue. I have multiple projects containing files with the same name. Different files, they just have the same name. Exact same AVCHD files you mentioned that are auto named clip #1, clip #2 and so on.

When I relinked the files; all clips with the name "clip #1" for example were linked to a single "clip #1" video file. Not each "clip #1" to the correct corresponding "clip #1" in each event. Even though they were different files, in different folders, have different durations, and different file sizes. Yet some how final cut relinked all "clip #1"files with different info than the originals. Except for the one that happened to match up.

When I go to re relink an incorrect file link to the correct clip, final cut then relinks all the files with the same name to the next one I choose. Including the one that was correct previously in a different event. So now the one that was linked to the correct "clip #1" is now the new other one I tried to link. So I can only have one "clip #1" linked correctly at a time. I have gone back and forth trying to relink all the files too many times. Even though they are in different events and I am only telling it to replace the one.

I thought final cut would only auto relink files with the same name, duration, and info? It even tells me when I try to link the file to the original video clip, it is suppose to be, it wont link to the correct file because the audio and length doesn't match the incorrect one it auto linked incorrectly and, thinks it should be. Final cut linked all the wrong files and wont let me relink to the original correct file because the original file was in an edit and then it put the new incorrect linked video file in the edit, and now when I try to put the original one back in it won't because it didn't match the wrong one Final Cut put there incorrectly.

I know this is long and ridiculous and confusing but, is there a way to fix this issue? Or am I going to have to go rename each file one by one, re import all the files, then just replace them one by one. Because, that would be ridiculous and take way to long.


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Arthur Levivier
Re: Bug - Relink issues : AVCHD folders - Optimised Media - Library back up
on Mar 6, 2015 at 7:14:15 am

Hi Heath,

Unfortunately, no-one replied to me yet despite of the answer you see above...
It is very very annoying.

I will ask again someone else I was in contact with and get back to you if I have any news. If you have news on your side, please post here. Thanks.


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Heath Alseike
Re: Bug - Relink issues : AVCHD folders - Optimised Media - Library back up
on Mar 10, 2015 at 5:57:22 pm

Arthur

OK so after messing with this for a few days there isn't a way to fix this issue. The best I could do was a work around. I ended up having to delete all the clips with the same name. Re-name all of them with different names through the finder. Re-import all of the clips back into final cot. Then go into each edit that used those clips and re-edit them back into the edit. It was a real pain in the butt and waste of time.

I was lucky that I only had 3 edits using these clips and they were roughly %10 of each edit. If you were dealing with more edits, this might not be a viable solution.

I researched it, not being able to change the name of the clips is one of the biggest problems with the AVCHD bundle. However, if you show package contents on the AVCHD bundle, then show package contents on the BDMV, then open the Stream folder, those are the actual video files. From here on out I will go into that folder, convert all those files to mpeg or mp4 or whatever I like, save them somewhere else, re-name them all, then import. Doing this I will never run into that issue again. It is a huge pain but, it is what it is I guess. I hope sony will fix this issue soon so we can simply name our clips whatever we want right off the bat and save our self's this headache.


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Bug - Relink issues : AVCHD folders - Optimised Media - Library back up
on Jan 5, 2016 at 9:09:07 pm

The only way I've been able to get around the annoyances of relinking/reimporting from AVCHD is:

(by the way as of writing this it's 2016 and I am using FCP X 10.2.2. on OS El Capitan)

Make a new library and import the offline clips into that library's event.
Move or copy the clips into the library I originally wanted them to be in.

Sadly it has to be this way because for some reason, the offline clips still register as imported in the import dialogue window; even though they're offline. Trying to relink to reimport just plain doesn't work when FCP X thinks it already has the clip. So odd. Clip is offline, but it already has it and therefore won't import for relink.

The re-import from camera/archive feature is almost useless to me unless a camera, volume, or FCP X archive is mounted. I wish they'd add a reimport from folder feature. That'd solve things.

FCP X is an amazing app I'll give it that. However there are some very basic things that it does so horribly or rather has tried to simplify so much to the extent that it's actually more difficult.

Tangier


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Brian Petersen
Re: Bug - Relink issues : AVCHD folders - Optimised Media - Library back up
on Sep 13, 2016 at 9:43:53 pm

[Heath Alseike] "When I relinked the files; all clips with the name "clip #1" for example were linked to a single "clip #1" video file. Not each "clip #1" to the correct corresponding "clip #1" in each event. Even though they were different files, in different folders, have different durations, and different file sizes. Yet some how final cut relinked all "clip #1"files with different info than the originals. Except for the one that happened to match up.

When I go to re relink an incorrect file link to the correct clip, final cut then relinks all the files with the same name to the next one I choose. Including the one that was correct previously in a different event. So now the one that was linked to the correct "clip #1" is now the new other one I tried to link. So I can only have one "clip #1" linked correctly at a time. I have gone back and forth trying to relink all the files too many times. Even though they are in different events and I am only telling it to replace the one.

I thought final cut would only auto relink files with the same name, duration, and info? It even tells me when I try to link the file to the original video clip, it is suppose to be, it wont link to the correct file because the audio and length doesn't match the incorrect one it auto linked incorrectly and, thinks it should be. Final cut linked all the wrong files and wont let me relink to the original correct file because the original file was in an edit and then it put the new incorrect linked video file in the edit, and now when I try to put the original one back in it won't because it didn't match the wrong one Final Cut put there incorrectly.
"


This exact same thing just happened to me.

I moved some folder of media to a new drive because space was getting full. I relinked media and it's connected some clips to the wrong clips, even though they are in different folders. When I try to relink again to the correct one, which is the actual correct one, FCPX says that clip doesn't match length, etc. UGH.

When FCPX was relinking, I'm surprised it didn't honor the folder structure that it was in. It went looking for C0006.mp4 which it thought was in the "Day 7" folder, but the Day 7 Folder wasn't on the drive, so it instead relinked to C0006.mp4 from in "Day 2" folder.

Trying to move everything back onto drive and open up backup and see if I'm good. But I still need to move my media without having this happen again.

Even thought it was looking for C0005.mp4 in "Day 15" folder, it relinked to C0005.mp4 in "Day 2" folder.


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