import troubleshooting: 'leave files in place' not available
hi. This thread is to figure out why I cannot choose the "leave files in place" option during import and have to "copy files in library".
I am on FCPX 10.2.1
I shot several presentations using 4 cameras (Nikon D750, Nikon D600, Canon 5D MkIII, Canon 70D) and audio (Zoom H4n).
With each SD memory card I did the following:
1- Import the card contents into a specific folder in Drive A (external), keeping the folder structure, but naming the specific folder in a way that I know the card number and camera number (e.g. '2015-07-30 n75 1- inspiration cafe', which by the end of copying has all the folder structure from the SD card ( DCIM> 100ND750), and the video files and photos are at the bottom level of the structure.
2- Exact steps as in step 1, into Drive B (external), which is my backup drive in case something goes wrong. If I had the luxury of space, I would make another copy of this at home on a third drive.
I am now working on making the presentation videos similar to the TED Talks, using multicam editing.
My problem is that when I am importing each presentation's files, in the import window, I cannot choose the 'leave files in place' option. It's grayed out.
The Library and Project files are in the same Drive A, where all my footage is, but I get forced to copying the same footage files within the same drive.
What I noticed is this:
In the import window, when I come to the folder list of where the folders are located, the "file type" column shows these folders as "folder" until I click on the little triangle on the left side to reveal the contents. At that moment, the "folder" changes into "media folder".
While typing this, I also tried this:
- In Finder I copied a few video files from inside the DCIM> 100ND750 sub-subfolder into another folder without any subfolders and went back to FCPx to import from that new folder.
It worked; "leave files in place" is possible to choose.
I also notice that when I reveal the contents on this folder with the copies of the video files, the file names include ".mov" at the end. On the contrary, when I go to the original folder where these files came from, the file names do NOT include the ".mov" at the end, and I also do not see the subfolder names "DCIM" or "100ND750"
1- Does this mean FCPx thinks it's importing from a camera when I leave the folder structure of the SD card intact?
2- Will I have to go and remove all the sub folders and bring the files to be the only contents of a folder I want to import from?
3- Would this practice of not leaving the SD card folder structure intact not cause problems if I were using different cameras that have different formatting than .mov?
4- And lastly, with these cameras in mind, do you think I should also create optimized media? The final videos are about 15-19 mins each. I do the multicam editing, then some color correction to make each angle look as similar to others as possible, and do some audio enhancement. Some examples:
Visual Anthropologist 'n photographer
In FCP prefs, (not import window) are your import prefs set to leave in place? Set it that way and just drag the folders into an event. You'll get a warning that some of the files are incompatible (txt, thumb, etc.). Click continue and you should be done. The import window can be odd sometimes. I don't ever use it. Haven't see the point. Ditto with legacy. I just dragged the files into the bin from the finder. Easier, quicker, and more visual.
Bret, thanks. Your method worked for the current project.
I might try the workflow of John, mentioned in the below comment, for future projects.
Visual Anthropologist 'n photographer
[inanc tekguc] "Does this mean FCPx thinks it's importing from a camera when I leave the folder structure of the SD card intact?"Yes. You are not allowed to leave the files in place because FCP X is smart enough to know that the file structure is a camera card which could be ejected and erased and should not be allowed to be the source of your footage, but not smart enough to know that you don't intend to use it in that way (because you have copied it to a hard drive). This is a good thing for everyone who has come here and posted that they edited their entire project off of the camera card and then ejected the card and can't figure out where all their media has gone. (it happens all the time)
[inanc tekguc] "Will I have to go and remove all the sub folders and bring the files to be the only contents of a folder I want to import from?"I would not do that. Let me share how I work and see if it makes sense to you:
I have two sets of external drives: One set is Camera Card Archives, and the other set is Managed Libraries with projects and all of their media.
Here is my workflow:
When I'm ready to work on a project, I connect my camera card archive drive and open FCP X import window and import the media to my internal work drive as a managed library. Sometimes I work on the external project drive but most of the time my current projects are on my internal storage. The point it that I do not work on the same drive that contains the camera card files. This drive is in a safe place just in case my work drive becomes corrupt or files get accidentally erased. So I'm not bothered by the fact that you cannot leave files in place because if forces me to work on a copy of the files and not the originals. I believe this was Apple's intent as well forcing best practices.
Usually I work on my internal drive and then copy completed projects to an external drive for archive when they are completed. So current projects are on an internal drive, finished projects are on an external drive and camera card archives are on an external drive. That ensures that I have at least 2 copies of my files, the original camera files and the files I used in the project at all times. As I said, i also make a backup of my camera card archive drives so that is a third backup just in case. I can do this because I'm a lone editor. If I needed to collaborate with other local editors the files would need to be on sharable media and then you would leave files in place and just have project libraries with no media in them but I love the fact that a managed library contains everything for my project and all I have to do is drag and drop it to an external drive to archive it without worrying about where the original camera card files are.
Hope this helps.
Nice description, John.
Well written and I suspect it will help a lot of people understand that issues of the new camera card based workflows.
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Thanks Bill. I really appreciate the feedback. I try and spend the extra time to make my posts as complete as possible because I know people come back later and learn from wealth of information available here at the COW. It's nice to hear that the effort is appreciated.
It's always useful to know how others work.
I am still saving up for my desktop, so while working on the macbook pro, I can adapt a version of your approach to my workflow.
Do you have a method to make sure your card contents are successfully archived into your external archive drive, before you replicate it?
I was told there is a risk of damage during transfer (car not properly inserted, etc.) and in case of a bad transfer, you would be replicating the damaged file, rather than the original one from the card. So, to avoid this I try to copy from the cards twice, rather than doing it once and replicating it. Of course, I would be happy to know if there is a way to know the first transfer was successful, so it can be replicated.
Visual Anthropologist 'n photographer
[inanc tekguc] "Do you have a method to make sure your card contents are successfully archived into your external archive drive, before you replicate it?"Actually no and you bring up a good point. I guess archiving the actual card twice might be a better workflow than risking a bad archive and then just making a copy of the same mistake.
There are probably programs that make a copy and then validate that the copy is exact by calculating checksums for all of the files and then checking that the checksums are the same after the copy. Maybe i's time to look for a piece of software like that if FCP X doesn't validate after it makes an archives (I don't know if does or not).
Thanks for pointing that out. That's why I love these forums. Just when you think you have your workflow all figured out, someone makes a better suggestion. ;-)
I don't know if we are allowed to provide app links or names, but I use Carbon Copy Cloner for my backups. It has a checksum calculation included. I just never used it for when transferring data from card to external drive. I didn't want to introduce another step to slow myself down, especially when I am on the run to get the second copy and reformat my cards (shooting with 4 cameras for several hours takes more cards than I can afford :) ).
However, when there is time, it seems worthy to go in that route and use the checksum.
Another minor concern that just came up was this:
If I convert each SD card to 'archive' through FCP, like in your workflow, and have the backup of external drive with these archival files, then I have two copies of the archives, plus the original card contents if I have them saved in a different external drive as is, in the original directory structure (which I like to do in my workflow, calling that the "raw footage archive").
As far as I know, these archive files of FCPx can only be read by FCPx.
I just switched from Premiere to FCPx and I can imagine switching again in the future. So, I should keep this in mind with the FCPx archive files, if I switch to a different platform or want to share the footage with a colleague/friend.
Visual Anthropologist 'n photographer
[inanc tekguc] "As far as I know, these archive files of FCPx can only be read by FCPx. "No. The original card structure remains intact inside the archive. Just right-click the archive and select Show Package Contents and you'll see the root folder of your original canard card. You can drag it out and use it with any other application you'd like. That's one of the reason's a like this archive format.
[inanc tekguc] " these archive files of FCPx can only be read by FCPx.
I just switched from Premiere to FCPx and I can imagine switching again in the future"
The FCP X archive files can be read by any computer. It is just a package wrapper. On a Mac you can click on the archive file and select "Show Package Contents" and it reveals the original camera card structure. If you copy the file package to a Windows PC it just appears as the original camera structure.
However my documentary group does not use this method for several reasons:
(1) In the field we back up, duplicate and verify each day's work from each camera. This consists of copying the entire folder structure then verifying the source/destination with Beyond Compare: http://www.scootersoftware.com/ We could theoretically also do this with the current FCP X archive feature, but this workflow was in place long before FCP X had the current archive functionality, plus there are other factors (below).
(2) Our shooters sometimes fail to reformat their cards and creating a camera archive would create duplicate clips and waste space. That said there's a good argument for just copying everything and de-duplicating it later.
(3) Some of our cameras shoot combined stills and video, and the FCP "create camera archive" function puts the stills and video into the same file package, but we want the stills handled in a separate workflow. We could dig into the archive and copy them out but that violates the idea of not messing around inside the archive.
(4) In the often rugged field environment we may not have a Mac laptop with FCP X installed, or it might be unavailable. We might have to do the daily backup copy using a Windows laptop.
That said there are significant advantages to using camera archives, as discussed by MacBreak Studio:
Re Carbon Copy Cloner, I think the checksum mode is normally not used. You have to invoke that.
Whether or not you store "original media" in the library (managed) or in its own folder elsewhere, can FCP X even use the original card files as "original media" . I had always thought these needed to be decoded (not sure that's the correct term) into media files/clips that can be edited in FCP.
As soon as you import them FC creates original media where you set that library to store media.
My workflow is similar to yours but I copy the card files into a labeled folders rather than have FC create an archive. I think in the long run it is more likely that Panasonic or Sony or canon or black magic etc card structure will work with ANY future NLE than FCP's archive.
Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.
[Craig Alan] "...can FCP X even use the original card files as "original media" . I had always thought these needed to be decoded"
I believe yes except for the special cases of AVCHD and XAVC. In those cases the "leave files in place" import option is not allowed -- even if the folder structure is first copied to a hard drive. If the video files themselves are copied outside the structure (generally not a good idea) then it can import those file types with "leave files in place".