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Relinking media from archived AVCHD folder

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Alan Langdon
Relinking media from archived AVCHD folder
on Dec 6, 2016 at 6:34:11 pm

I am running FCP 10.2.3 within Mac OS El Capitan.

I recently started a new project in FCPX, my second so far, as I have been using FCP7 since forever and finally have understood the vast improvements of version X, not to mention stability in relation to the newer OS.
I thought I had understood the idea of importing with VS without converting material. In this case, I decided to just import from the AVCHD camera card backup, which I had copied in full structure (using regular OS copy function, no specific archiving tool within FCPX or something like Prelude). Maybe this is the root of my issue, but I would like to understand and perhaps discover I have not lost all the logging and editing work I have done in 4 days.

When importing media, I chose (at least I thought I had chosen) to NOT generate Proxies and to NOT copy originals into the library, so I thought I was just using directly from the AVCHD folder. Since I have a backup of all the AVCHD folders on another HD, I wasn't worried with possibly corrupting media, etc. The reason I chose this route is to mantain portability, since my original media is on an external USB 3.0 drive and I need to be able to edit on the road sometimes, instead of lugging around my thunderbolt Lacie drive.

So I took my CPU and external drive on the road and now FCPX is not finding the original files, although they are all where they were, the same drive. I think I must have overlooked something and allowed FCP to create some aliases or something, by as to why FCP is not finding the originals which have not changed position, I have clue. What is missing form the equation is the Thunderbolt drive which I was using only for cache, etc, or at least I thought.

When I try to reconnect using Re-Import form camera /Archive, it gives me the message "all the selected clips originated on cameras that are not connected and there are no camera archives available. Please connect the cameras and try reimporting again.""

When I try "re-link files" it seems to be searching for files that I/FCPX (unwillingly) created, placeholders or aliases, because the file names are Clip #1.mov etc. instead of 00000.MTS
This might be the tell-tale of my problem: what I intended was to import the MTS files, unconverted and unmoved, but apparently FCP created files no matter what, and I might have deleted these in confusion / desire to not have stuff duplicated. When FCPX is told to not transcode and to leave files in place, does it nevertheless create files of its own, aliases or something?

Many thanks for any help, it sounds confusing and I for sure will do some tutorials so this doesn't happen again, but for now, do I have any way to reconnect to the MTS files?

PS: One workaround which is not so cool is to rewrap the MTS files via ClipWrap and relink one by one those. But this generates new files the same size as the camera originals, so I would rather avoid this.


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Doug Metz
Re: Relinking media from archived AVCHD folder
on Dec 6, 2016 at 7:40:56 pm

This is an issue with AVCHD, and perhaps other camera formats. FCPX cannot work directly with these files in place, and will re-wrap them and put copies in your Library whether you want it to or not.

I've got an AVCHD camera, and have gotten into the habit of re-wrapping these particular files prior to launching Final Cut. Maybe that'll change in a future update - haven't had to ingest from that camera yet with 10.3.1....

Doug Metz

Anode


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Relinking media from archived AVCHD folder
on Dec 6, 2016 at 7:53:03 pm

FCPX can't work directly with AVCHD files and they need to be rewrapped. This means that it always has to make a copy of the files from the camera cardand work with those copies. The files should be in your library, which I assume you set to be externally managed or you shouldn't be having any offline file issues.

FCPX isn't great at relinking so your best bet is to reconnect the missing optimised media files it created in wherever you set your library location to be. Otherwise, I'm not sure you can do anything.

I always convert AVCHD to something directly editable using an app like EditReady so I've never had to recover from your situation and can't be much help with that part of it.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Alan Langdon
Re: Relinking media from archived AVCHD folder
on Dec 6, 2016 at 9:02:20 pm

Many thanks. I arrived home and FCPX found the original rewraps it had generated, you are right about that. So I can either set the rewrap location to the same drive as the MTS originals, and wander with both, or start off converting so I don't have to deal with this again.
Which would be the best route if I intend on media managing in the future, i.e. convert to ProRes 422 only what was used in the final project (edit)?

Many thanks! I know my post was confusing, but you got straight to the issue.



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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Relinking media from archived AVCHD folder
on Dec 6, 2016 at 10:49:18 pm
Last Edited By Jeff Kirkland on Dec 6, 2016 at 11:08:47 pm

managing it yourself or letting FCPX do it for you are both fine options as long as you understand what FCPX is doing and where your files are going when you import. I chose to manage the rewrapping myself using editready because I like having control over the file names and organising footage at the Finder level.

My workflow is to convert anything like AVCHD that isn't directly readable by FCPX with editready. I don't often keep copies of the original camera cards once that's done, just the rewrapped footage. I get EditReady to add a project ID to the file names so I can find them easily, and also to write in metadata like camera angle, etc that otherwise wouldn't be there.

I then import into fcpx with the "leave in place" option selected and from there it's just edit and export as needed. If I'm going to edit on the road but don't want take the original media with me I get FCPX to create proxy files either inside the library itself or managed externally on the drive I'm taking with me although it's rare for me that the media files are so large I wouldn't just take a complete copy of the files.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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