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Relinking media in a new location

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Mike Warmels
Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 7:42:36 am

Hey guys,

My client is having some issues relinking media from a project I made for them. Here's the deal:

1. I cut a project (4x15 minutes tv shows from about 15 hours of footage+ music_sfx+graphics+ some B-roll footage) on an external Thunderbolt harddrive on my own set.
2. I copied the entire media drive, structure, projects etc. to another HD hard drive, maintaining the entire root structure my own disc. This was then copied to the SAN of my client.
3. However... it took them over TWO days to relink all the media!!

Now, I'm working with an editor who also has these relinking issues when moving a project from one location to another. Even when the media is already in place in both locations and temporary Libraries are used to move the latests projects (timelines) from one location to another.

The tech guys at my clients were complaining that the entire project (i.e. Library) was 'too big'. But it's very average for tv shows of this size. I mean, all the footage was shot in one week abroad... about 15 hours of footage is rather normal.

Also... even relinking takes a long time. First FCPX takes its time to 'verify' the footage... and then it takes just as to do the actual relinking. (In FCP7 this was never a big thing, you had the help it sometimes finding stuff, but it was fast)

Anyway, does anyone know what the deal is with relinking in FCPX? Is this 'normal' that it's so hard an time consuming? Or are there some special tricks, do's and don't about editing in different locations and relinking footage?


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Bret Williams
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:26:55 pm

Other than FCP X being more picky about the media being an exact match in name, type, TC, and size than FCP 7, X has been the same or faster. In fact it's much better at finding the media. All you have to do is point it to the root folder and it will dig down. So if your drive is the same structure, and is a copy, there should be no problem at all. Just select all the media in the library and relink. When it asks for the first file just point it at the root folder of the media you gave them. If perhaps they're trying to relink 1 by 1 then that would take awhile...


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Mike Warmels
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:36:34 pm

I know HOW to do it. As you say, the procedure is very simple. But we're having trouble figuring out if FCPX knows how to do it.

When FCPX has to relink a large number of clips, it seems its not able to handle it properly. For one, it takes a long time to verify the clips and then to relink them takes the same amount of time (why that is, I don't know). And then it has trouble in general relinking everything. It took TWO DAYS 15 hours of footage (21 Xd-Cam discs... not a lot I'd say). Most of it has been done manually, because FCPX had so much trouble. Even though the folder structure is identical to the one on the computer the project was generated on.

So what I'd like to know is how people who work on different locations on the same project deal with copies of media and libraries and relinking the footage to make it work on a different location.


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Bret Williams
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:57:20 pm

In a similar way I do what you're talking about quite a lot. 500gigs wouldn't be unheard of. In fact, I'm often copying 100gigs here, 100gigs there, during a project as a client brings more and more media. Usually my file structure is completely different than theirs. Usually just set the media to copy to my raid, go to lunch, then come back and relink in a matter of minutes. I can't imagine your media was more than 1TB, but probably much less since it wasn't ProRes. ProRes would be about a TB for 15hours. So no, it's not normal that X would have so much trouble or that it would take any longer than 7 in my experience. Quicker if anything.

That said, you could have avoided any relinking at all by giving the client a library with all internal media. When I archive a project and hand it to the client, that's what I've switched to doing. I can rest knowing that when they decide to open the project someday that there will be no relinking necessary. When it's internal, the links don't point to a particular drive, but to the library itself no matter where it lives. So instead of you copying a library and it's external media to a portable drive to hand off to the client, you would simply copy the library to the portable, then open it up and consolidate the media (in library inspector panel) to the library itself. Unfortunately you lose all the folders/organization of the media that previously existed when it was external, but do you need it? At some stage it's the keywords and organization IN the library that is what matters.


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Mike Warmels
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 1:13:33 pm

Ah yes, but that could work, but I'd have to internalise everything.

Everyone here recommends to have the Library on the internal SSD hard drive of my computer. So having all the media IN the Library is a no go area. There is never enough room for that on my SSD hard drive.

Plus there's another thing. The project is a number of episodes. The editor has to start finalising episodes while I'm still working on later ones. Media may be added (music, SFX, B-roll)... so to do transport through a library would mean, he'd get a lot of footage several times. I don't think their SAN tech guys will like that. The project will out of the roof...

Still, the relinking does pose a problem for some reason. The project in total is 1,5 TB (15 hours of footage, several hours of B-roll, lots of music, animations etc). And I figure relinking is just data relinking. FCPX makes a hassle out of it, for some reason.


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Tom Sefton
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 2:47:59 pm

We find this also. Editing projects with up to 50+ hours of r3d/4k ProRes/1080p ProRes from external TB RAIDs. Each project is up to 7Tb in size. FCPX takes a long time with occasional crashes and spinning beachballs. In comparison, Premiere CC does it with one click as it searches and learns. Hopefully an update might bring this function.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Bret Williams
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:20:27 pm

I've never heard it recommended that you put the library on the internal. In fact, that's kinda nuts. Just the render files and such would eat up tons of space. Leave your internal for apps only IMO. I keep the library in the raid 5. It's added security, and since the library also contains render files and such, those files need to be on a performance drive. Although if you have an ssd then that's probably better performing than my raid!

But there certainly isn't a performance issue with having your project or Library on the raid with your media.


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Mike Warmels
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:31:40 pm

Well, a lot of people here and all FCPX editors I know recommend it. But of course, you don't include or import any media IN the Library. You can determine where to put your cache as well, even though its' recommended you put that on the internal drive too.

I followed their advice and it does help with performance quite a bit.

Frankly, all I have is performance issues. I still work on FCPX 10.1.4, because my biggest client still hasn't upgraded. Putting the library on the internal drive helps this issue a bit. But darn... is it slow! In loading projects in relinking etc etc... Beachball City.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:28:47 pm

I have a few libraries that are connected to 3TBs of 4K footage (XAVC).

I have used the native MXF files for import and not optimized or transcoded anything.

I constantly swap between SAN, and external usb3 disks working on different machines and locations, and passing around a few libraries.

I never have relinking issues. I simply point to the root folder and hit "choose". X does do the two step verify and then relink process.

Why would something take two days to relink? Is it taking that long to find the footage or what is the hold up? If it wasn't going to work, it seems like it would simply not work instead of slowing down. If it is slowing down, that may be a SAN issue.

If you move the media and library to a different hard drive, can you relink it?


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Mike Warmels
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:33:33 pm

Point is: I don't know. There was a complaint the project was 'very big'. But for a major broadcaster footage for a 4x15 minute show should be peanuts, right?

You move between different computers as well?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:40:11 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:43:20 pm

[Mike Warmels] "Point is: I don't know. There was a complaint the project was 'very big'. But for a major broadcaster footage for a 4x15 minute show should be peanuts, right?

You move between different computers as well?"


1.5TBs is like an average project these days, and we certainly aren't a big broadcaster. I would think they would be able to handle this easily, yes.

I do move between computers and storage systems. I never have relinking issues, but I guess I'm lucky?

My guess is that if it's taking two days to relink, there's something weird going on.

I keep my libraries local as well as my cache (which is separate from the library). The SAN is used for footage storage. If working off of a local external drive, I still keep my libraries off of it.

I'd be curious as to what setup they are using.

When you import footage, is it rewrapped or are you using the MXF files?

Jeremy


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Mike Warmels
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:49:29 pm

Yeah, we work the same when it comes to Library and footage storage. Even the folder structure of the project is petty straightforward.

But no, nothing is rewrapped, no MXF either. Everything has been converted to Apple Pro Res.

And yeah, something weird is going on. That's why I am trying to find out what it might be...


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Bret Williams
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:51:41 pm

So you're keeping your libraries in your local user folder? What would be your plan when your internal hard drive crashes? I've had very few externals fail. aLmost always the internal which gets too hot, directories get corrupt, etc.


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Mike Warmels
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:53:49 pm

The plan is to have the backups made to the external drive... That way it's always in two places.


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Bret Williams
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:58:21 pm

I prefer the library on the Raid 5 so it has that protection, plus simpler to leave cache and/or footage in it, and also the backups in their default on the internal. Double protection. And if the system drive goes down I could hook the raid up to the laptop and instantly continue working. Works for me. But I'm not dealing with San. Just shuttling drives back and forth a lot.


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Mike Warmels
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:03:24 pm

I'm not dealing with SAN on my own set either. I am dealing with speed. And FCPX is so often showing beach balls in loading Projects, that I need every bit of speed I can get.

It's the slowest performing NLE I have ever worked on.


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Bret Williams
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:07:23 pm

I have a 1tb library job right now. Loads up next to instantly. Maybe you should move the project to the media drive. :)

Doesn't mean I don't get sluggishness other times. But loading projects? No.


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Mike Warmels
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:37:55 pm

My media is on a Thunderbolt external hard drive. The Library is on the SSD internal hard drive of my trashcan MacPro. I don't really know how to make it faster unless spending a ridiculous amount of money.

My AVID MC8.4 runs faster (a LOT faster) using USB 2.0 drives. I'm not kidding.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:24:03 pm

[Mike Warmels] "I'm not dealing with SAN on my own set either. I am dealing with speed. And FCPX is so often showing beach balls in loading Projects, that I need every bit of speed I can get.

It's the slowest performing NLE I have ever worked on."


It's unfortunate you are working on 10.1.4. 10.2 really helps a lot here.


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Mike Warmels
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:35:56 pm

Tell me about it. ;-)

My client hopes to make te transition within a few weeks now... Can't wait.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:56:19 pm

[Bret Williams] "So you're keeping your libraries in your local user folder? What would be your plan when your internal hard drive crashes? I've had very few externals fail. aLmost always the internal which gets too hot, directories get corrupt, etc."

I have a Time Machine on everything everywhere.

All the computers that we are using are newer PCIe SSD Macs so I'm not too worried about heat.

I have had the opposite problems of externals failing, and not internals.


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Mike Warmels
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 1, 2015 at 3:56:30 pm

Frankly, I never had an internal HD crash. I did have a few external crashes... So I'd bet my money on the internal SSD.


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Mauricio Lleras
Re: Relinking media in a new location
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:29:40 pm

Mike,
a wild shot here, but folders in SAN can have permission problems
when multiple users access it,
maybe that could be causing difficulties for fcpx relinking properly?
Try and tell the guys getting the footage
to verify if folders on the SAN where files you send get stored have all
proper read and write permissions before relinking.
I'm sure they must have thought about this already,
and maybe it's not the problem at all,
but might be worth checking....
It does seem odd that Jeremy and others seem to be able to do this routinely
without hiccups and others no, so maybe their SAN is the culprit...
Good luck anyway, hope it gets sorted out!


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