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Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)

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Jerry Jones
Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 8, 2017 at 3:36:25 am

Hello, valiant warriors. Thanks in advance for your always wonderful help.

I have worked with FCP 7 (and before) since FCP came out. Many years. I finally made the switch to FCPX a month or so ago - and am loving it. But I still have a few questions. For example, how to best organize my folders where the data is stored.

Here are two screen grabs:

SCREEN GRAB 01


Somehow I ended up with two folders for this project.
2017_03.14b.Library_MickTBTH
2017.Feb_TBTH.BOOK STUDY
These are both the same project (but different files in each).

1) Do I need to combine these two folders?
2) Is it possible to just click and drag items from one folder to the other (to combine folders)? Or does that create problems?

I will add a couple other screen grabs in case it helps.

SCREEN GRAB 02


3) Can I simply drag each of these files to a new folder (to combine with files in the other folder)?

SCREEN GRAB 03


4) Same question for these files. Can I just drag to a new, combined folder and be ok?
5) Is it also best to keep all of my other files ("Art/Photos/Graphics/Video", etc) in my primary project folder? How do you tend to organize these folders with your projects? (I'm trying to learn best practices with FCPX.)

I think my biggest concern is that I do not want to move things around at the file level (as pictured above) and then find out I have screwed myself. Is it safer to do this organizing within FCPX somehow?

5) Can you send me a screen grab of the way you tend to organize your files for each project? Visuals help me.

SCREEN GRAB 04


6) Is it possible from within FCPX to simply reorganize my files? For example, if I wanted to drag any of the items with the key icon (in screen grab above) to another folder, will that work?
7) I seem to be getting some duplicate files? What can I do to prevent this?

8) Finally, to help me be clear on the new ways of doing things, if I have a master project called "Over the Moon," and it is made of 12 different segments - Do I create each segment as it's own "Project" within my master "Library" (where everything pertaining to this project lives)?

And how can I better understand how to use "Events?"

Thanks again.

J. David Jones
V I D E O P R O D U C E R
Unleashing the Power of Stories
to Impact the World....
Follow me on Twitter: jdavid17
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=jdavid17


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Noah Kadner
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 8, 2017 at 3:40:05 am

You don't need to work directly with the project folder structure in the Finder. May I recommend you take some basic training to get you more comfortably into the FCPX mindset? Ripple Training will save you a whole lot of time.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops
XinTwo - FCPX Training


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Bob Woodhead
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 8, 2017 at 12:27:37 pm

A huge "What he said"!

The only training I've actually sat down & watched a series of was when switching from 7 to X. Too many basic concepts handled a different way in X. And some years in now, must say for the better.

Don't create pain for yourself, do some tutorials!

"Constituo, ergo sum"

Bob Woodhead / Atlanta
CMX-Quantel-Avid-Premiere-FCPX-AFX-Crayola
"What a long strange trip it's been...."


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Joe Marler
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 8, 2017 at 1:52:02 pm

[Jerry Jones] "...I finally made the switch to FCPX a month or so ago - and am loving it. But I still have a few questions. For example, how to best organize my folders where the data is stored....Do I need to combine these two folders?...I do not want to move things around at the file level (as pictured above) and then find out I have screwed myself. Is it safer to do this organizing within FCPX somehow?... how can I better understand how to use "Events?"."

It is difficult to answer these in a forum post. You are thinking about media management in physical, hierarchical, folder-oriented terms. However FCPX primarily uses a database metaphor to organize content, and does this based on keywords and ratings you provide. One reason is to free you from dealing with files and folders at the filesystem level. When you query a relational database, you don't know or care what file that was stored in -- it's simply in the database. It's generally best to have all your media for a given "project" in a single folder tree, not scattered across multiple locations or disks. But how much organization is done within that media folder is up to you. Normally you don't need to move media very often at the file level. Re physical management you can move content at the Finder level and re-link it or move it within FCPX. The methods and issues are too extensive to cover here. Ripple has an entire class on this.

To give an extreme example, you could import all your content to FCPX using "leave files in place" and without generating proxy or optimized media, and without doing any evaluation, folder organization or culling of material beforehand. You could import it all to a single event. Then once imported you could go through the content using the ultra-fast skimmer, marking range-based favorites, rejects, and keywords. Then you could begin querying this carefully curated, compact material to start assembling your timeline. This is just one method. The exact keyword/rating scheme is up to you. There is no single right way. FCPX gives you the tools to construct your own scheme, without mandating a specific system.

Obviously your media files and folders exist out on the disk. You may have previously had the practice of organizing content in physical terms -- folders, sub-folders, etc. Transitioning editors often attempt to bring this philosophy into FCPX, but that's not how it's designed to work. Unfortunately the existing tutorial content (while high quality) generally doesn't give much background and orientation about the philosophical and conceptual differences between FCPX and track-oriented editors. However they do explain how to use the product, so I recommend them, esp. Ripple Training.

FCPX has some "bridge"-type features to span from its database-centric philosophy to the outside file system. E.g, it can optionally auto-keyword media based on folder names, or keyword them based on Finder tags. FCPX has folders but this is solely to group keyword collections, not to mimic some on-disk organizational structure.

FCPX provides Events (which are sort of like folders) and these can be used various ways -- but they are not mandatory. You could put all content in a single event and merely use the database methods to organize and find material. But Events provide an additional organizational tool.

The old way of organizing content was spending lots of time culling material, naming folders and copying files. This was partially because editing software had such poor organizational tools -- it was mostly for editing not organizing. The lack of organizational tools and lack of ability to rapidly skim content then forced editors to use multiple timelines as staging areas. This in turn bred a timeline-oriented copy/paste approach, however that was a workaround for a product deficiency. It also encouraged only importing a minimum set of content, since it was so hard to manage inside the editor. This led to a preliminary phase of content organization using relatively primitive and slow methods. E.g, no video player is fast as skimmer, organization can only be clip-based, and a clip (unless duplicated) can only be in one folder.

FCPX is designed for (but doesn't mandate) a different workflow, which is import lots of content without doing so much file/folder organization outside, then do most of your evaluation, rating and keywording inside, then work from the Event Browser to the timeline, not from one timeline to another. This takes some getting used to. Copying stuff around multiple timelines is a spatial and visual method, whereas querying a database is a more cerebral method. However, range-based keywording allows multiple, overlapping criteria. E.g, one long clip could have multiple marked ranges (like sub clips), each range having multiple overlapping tags: favorites, day, night, interior, exterior, interview, child, man, woman, location. All those can be easily queried. Here is one example:

One Smart Collection To Rule Them All:





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Jerry Jones
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 24, 2017 at 1:52:44 am

Thanks again, Joe. Very helpful again. I had not seen this video so I found it very illuminating - or at least another reminder of what I have reviewed earlier. Being a visual person, such video are quite helpful to me. I will study this further, and review the video 2-3 more times until it becomes a part of me.

Jerry

J. David Jones
V I D E O P R O D U C E R
Unleashing the Power of Stories
to Impact the World....
Follow me on Twitter: jdavid17
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=jdavid17


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John Rofrano
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 8, 2017 at 3:26:25 pm

I have to agree with the others that you should purchase some basic training from Ripple Training and get into the new mindset of FCP X because it seems that you are approaching it from an old way of thinking if you are messing about with folders on your filesystem.
[Jerry Jones] "1) Do I need to combine these two folders?"
I definitely would. You need to consolidate things but you really need to change your approach to media management because you are going about it the wrong way if you are using folders to organize things.
[Jerry Jones] "2) Is it possible to just click and drag items from one folder to the other (to combine folders)? Or does that create problems?"
Combining the folder won't hurt anything because the highest level in FCP X is the Library and these folders contain a collection of Libraries so moving them around won't affect FCP X because it has no concept of your higher level Folder; just it's own Libraries. FCP X is pretty smart. You can move Libraries around on a drive and it will still find them.
[Jerry Jones] "3) Can I simply drag each of these files to a new folder (to combine with files in the other folder)?"
Yes. They seem to all have unique filenames so combining these shouldn't affect anything.
[Jerry Jones] "4) Same question for these files. Can I just drag to a new, combined folder and be ok?"
Yes. It seems so.
[Jerry Jones] "5) Is it also best to keep all of my other files ("Art/Photos/Graphics/Video", etc) in my primary project folder? How do you tend to organize these folders with your projects? (I'm trying to learn best practices with FCPX.)

I think my biggest concern is that I do not want to move things around at the file level (as pictured above) and then find out I have screwed myself. Is it safer to do this organizing within FCPX somehow?"
I'm concerned by the term "Primary Project Folder" so I don't quite know how to answer. There are no Folders in FCP X. I would definitely organize from within FCP X. You could keep common media in a separate Library. I have a sock media Library that I keep all of my stock assets cataloged but I would keep project media with the Event that contains the Project that uses that media.
[Jerry Jones] "5) Can you send me a screen grab of the way you tend to organize your files for each project? Visuals help me."
Everyone works on different production formats (i.e., feature films, documentaries, episodic series, etc.) so the organization will be different for each. I explained my organization to you in reply to your question in this post: Editing Clips between Libraries?. In my case I have one Library for an entire Series and then each Event is a single Episode in that Series. All of the media of each episode is contained in that Event. I have one additional Event that contains common elements of media that are shared across the others. You might prefer one Library for each episode with an Event for every scene in the episode with it's own Project for that scene. Then a master Event to assemble the episode from it's scenes. It's all about what make sense for your workflow.
[Jerry Jones] "6) Is it possible from within FCPX to simply reorganize my files? For example, if I wanted to drag any of the items with the key icon (in screen grab above) to another folder, will that work? "
Yes, you can (and you should) do all of your organization from within FCP X but do you know what the key icon represents? You can't drag anything to or from the key icon. Those are keyword collections that FCP X categorizes for you. You manage what's in those collections by managing the keywords. I believe you are trying to impose a Folder concept on FCP X and there are no Folders in FCP X which is what's throwing you off. In FCP X there are keyword collections that help you organize your work by tagging clips with metadata. You don't drag things into folders in FCP X. You tag them with keywords and they magically appear in the correct collection. You really need to watch some Ripple Training because you aren't going to get very far if you hold onto your Folder concept of organizing. The mess that you currently have should be proof to you that you need to understand keyword tagging and the role that metadata plays in FCP X. (I think you already know that which is why you are asking the questions you are asking) 😉
[Jerry Jones] "7) I seem to be getting some duplicate files? What can I do to prevent this?"
Are these really duplicate files, or just your misunderstanding of how keyword collections work? Any clip that has a keyword will show up at least twice! Once in the Event that it was Imported into, and again in the keyword collection. So you may not have any duplicate files at all. Clips show up in multiple places depending on the metadata that they are tagged with. For example: a clip that is tagged with "black & white" and "wide shot" will show up at least 3 times. Once in it's Event, once in the "black & white" collection, and a once in the "wide shot" collection (and probably in the default All Video collection as well). The physical clip only exists in one place (the Event). But it shows up in many places based on it's keyword metadata.
[Jerry Jones] "8) Finally, to help me be clear on the new ways of doing things, if I have a master project called "Over the Moon," and it is made of 12 different segments - Do I create each segment as it's own "Project" within my master "Library" (where everything pertaining to this project lives)?"
Yes, I think you are getting the concepts but you have it somewhat backwards. As your title implies, I believe you think the hierarchy is Library -> Project -> Event but that is NOT the case. The hierarchy is Library -> Event -> Project. Libraries do not have Projects. Libraries have Events, and Events have Projects. I think this might be part of your confusion and why you have so many Libraries and no Events.

I would make "Over the Moon" a Library. Then make an Event for each of the 12 segments. Import the media for each segment into the Event that you have created for it. If you want to work on the segments individually create a Project in each of the Events which will be your Timeline for those segments. Finally, you can create a master Event with a master Project to hold the entire movie, then make each segment a Compound Clip and drag all of the compound clips into the master Project to assemble the final timeline.
[Jerry Jones] "And how can I better understand how to use "Events?""
From your screenshots it looks like you are "off by one". By that I mean, you seem to have a physical Folder on the filesystem that contains 14 Libraries, one for each day (sometimes multiple for each day). Then you have no idea what to do with Events.

What you probably should have is one Library with an Event for each day! This is what I mean by "off by one". Your folder should be a Library and your Libraries should be Events.

The Library is at the top of the hierarchy. It contains EVERYTHING you are working on. Events are used just like the real events in your life i.e., birthday, valentines day, first day of shooting, second day of shooting, scene one, scene two, etc. Whatever makes sense to your project. You seem to be managing files on the file system when you should be managing Events in your Library. I believe that's at the core of your problem.

Feel free to ask lots more questions (as your head is probably spinning right about now) but I can't say how critical it is to get some formal training because FCP X is not like anything you have used before and it's just as important to unlearn all of your old habits as it is to build new ones. 😉

Hope that helps,

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Jerry Jones
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 24, 2017 at 1:31:42 am

John, thanks for your kind and detailed reply. I found it to be very helpful. And I am grateful.

I must also say that I get terribly irritated when people assume that I have not been using Ripple (and other training). I've spent literally days trying to get my arms around this new way of thinking. And I will not be intimidated or shamed into silence. I am committed to mastering this exciting new tool. Maybe I am just a slower learner. So be it. I have been working in FCP 7 (and prior) since FCP was first introduced. And as you and many others have said, using FCPX is a whole new way of thinking. For some, that may come easy. For me, not so much. So after all of my reviews of Ripple, Izzy and others, I still have questions. Still trying to understand the new way. And I get a bit peeved when people on this forum want to treat me as if I am NOT doing my homework. Enough! Or close this forum down!! Truth is, we are all beggars looking for a piece of bread!

That being said, after you scolded me a few times, you offered wonderfully helpful insight. I'm not sure I totally have it yet - but I keep collecting pieces here and there that help make the total become an understandable, clear picture. And your contribution has been very helpful in that regard. So thank you. (I will be referring to your notes frequently until I get my brain re-wired. ☺

Jerry

J. David Jones
V I D E O P R O D U C E R
Unleashing the Power of Stories
to Impact the World....
Follow me on Twitter: jdavid17
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John Rofrano
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 24, 2017 at 11:48:39 am

Jerry, Sorry if you took some of my advice as scolding. It was not my intent although when I read it now, several days later, even I don't like my tone at times. (lol) Consider it "tough love" but it was meant to help you see where you needed to alter your thinking a bit to get more aligned with the FCP X concepts. On to the next set of questions. 😉

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Jerry Jones
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 25, 2017 at 10:28:18 pm

John, no worries. And I am continuing to benefit from the kind and helpful posts you have spent considerable time providing. It is helping me continue to soak in all of the new ways to think. Appreciated.

J. David Jones
V I D E O P R O D U C E R
Unleashing the Power of Stories
to Impact the World....
Follow me on Twitter: jdavid17
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=jdavid17


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Doug Metz
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 24, 2017 at 6:16:31 pm

Hey Jerry,

Keep pushing, you're well on your way!

I have a slightly different approach, due to the nature of the jobs we get. At the Finder level, I create a job folder for each job, where I keep sub-folders for Music, VO, GFX, etc. related to the specific job, and import my media from these folders. I have FCPX set to Leave Files in Place, so I can always find what I'm looking for.

In some instances, for jobs with a multi-day multicam shoot schedule, I'll create a new Library for the job itself. For the smaller stuff, I create a single Library at the root of the drive where I create an Event for each of those jobs on the same drive.

I would highly recommend *not* diving into the Library package itself, since it is a database and could create problems down the road.

Doug Metz

Anode


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Jacob Holcomb
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 24, 2017 at 11:52:00 pm

Loving the feedback here. I've been watching several videos on Lynda and youtube trying to figure out how I'm going to update an old project from FCP7 and have yet to come across the philosophical conversation about moving away from folders like you guys covered it.

Background: 10 yo documentary that I took a break from to do some soul searching and financially stabilize but now am ready to finish. My organization methods were chronological folders, but there were too many containers and it was way too easy to get lost and waste lots to time digging for stuff. On the original project I had everything bumped up to 422 because that's the way I was used to working on weddings, but there was something wrong with the transcoding settings, too much storage space wasted (multiple separate drives), and I forgot most of what's in there so will have to go through the footage all over again anyway.

Instead of updating my old project and trying to untangle the nightmare and contaminate my enthusiasm with the previous terrible rough cut, I'd like to just re-import the camera files into a single RAID and use the proxy editing workflow along with Fcx's more intuitive metadata tools.

The way I was doing it before was to double back-up the camera files on external drives (date naming convention) and then transcode and keep only the Prores on the system. Obviously the best way to do it is to keep both the camera files and the proxy media on the RAID so you can export in high quality any time you like and be ready to collaborate much more easily.

I'd like to keep the date-naming folder convention in the backup drives (with subfolders for A-cam, B-cam, stills, audio, etc.) but I'm not sure how that would translate on import. It sounds like FCX dumps imports into a giant Library pile and then we sort it out in the program using various methods.

Also as far as FCX structure, I'm thinking a single Library for the entire movie and then creating/naming Events after the major events that happened (and also giving them a date in the name to keep them sorted). Then I can make separate stand-alone timelines for each event that independently tell little pieces of the story, and later assemble them in a Master Event/Timeline where I can start killing off my darlings.

There will be some new footage coming in as well, but I'm trying to get my head around what's there and get those ducks in a row before doing final interviews and possibly taking one last location trip that will give it the in medias res structure with flashbacks that will put the previous events in perspective. Perspective is one of the benefits of taking way too long, I suppose.

Also it sounds like everyone agrees Ripple training is the cat's pajamas. For me the Lynda classes leave a lot to be desired, but that probably has to do more with my specific questions as far as media management. For people experienced in Ripple do you think it will do a better job of addressing these concerns?

Thank you!


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John Rofrano
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 25, 2017 at 12:07:09 pm

Hi Jacob, It might have been a good idea to start your own thread so that we don't get two different sets of requirements between you and Jerry tangled up but as long as you asked here:
[Jacob Holcomb] "Also as far as FCX structure, I'm thinking a single Library for the entire movie and then creating/naming Events after the major events that happened (and also giving them a date in the name to keep them sorted). Then I can make separate stand-alone timelines for each event that independently tell little pieces of the story, and later assemble them in a Master Event/Timeline where I can start killing off my darlings"
It sounds like you have a good approach. Understand that there are two ways of working with Libraries in FCP X. One is to keep all of the media in the Library which is what I do because my projects are small. Another is to keep the media in place on the filesystem and just import pointers to the media into FCP X. It sounds like you might benefit from the latter. Just be consistent in whatever way you choose.
[Jacob Holcomb] "For me the Lynda classes leave a lot to be desired, but that probably has to do more with my specific questions as far as media management. For people experienced in Ripple do you think it will do a better job of addressing these concerns? "
Ripple Training is very well done from people who edit video, not people who just teach how to edit video. There is a big difference. They have an excellent module on Media Management. I would highly recommend that every FCP X editor understand what is taught in that module before attempting to start a major project in FCP X because it will show you all of your options for media management which is crucial to every project's success.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Jacob Holcomb
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 25, 2017 at 9:59:42 pm

Thanks for the reply and next time I'll start my own topic. It seemed like jerry punched out and I wanted to keep the momentum of good advice and insight going.

I followed that link and bought a few of those Ripple trainings at discount. Well you weren't kidding. Straight up useful right from the get-go. I have a free Lynda subscription from my job and it's been very valuable, but the Ripple trainings are in another league.

Also thanks for pointing out the advantages of not dumping everything in a single library for larger projects. Keeping the archives separate will definitely allow me to save money on the RAID and help things moving fast.

It's amazing how much better these tools are now than just a few years ago. Maybe having my hackintosh blow up and skipping out on 10.0-10.2 was a blessing in disguise.


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Jerry Jones
Re: Newbie Learning File Structure (Libraries, Projects, Events - Oh My!)
on Apr 25, 2017 at 10:25:24 pm

Hi, Jacob. Have not totally punched out! ☺ Just hitting some deadlines. But I concur with John and others that Ripple is very helpful. There are a few others out there (i.e. Izzy) who has some pretty helpful stuff. But Ripple is pretty hard to beat.

I'm just sometimes slow to make major changes in how I think. But the info in this thread has been extremely helpful in getting my head wrapped around it. All the best in your project.

J. David Jones
V I D E O P R O D U C E R
Unleashing the Power of Stories
to Impact the World....
Follow me on Twitter: jdavid17
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=jdavid17


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