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Re: Corporate vids: Should I use one library and one event for all footage/projects?

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Joe Marler
Re: Corporate vids: Should I use one library and one event for all footage/projects?
on Oct 17, 2018 at 9:02:49 pm

[Dave Smith] "I started using one Library and creating a new event for each new video.... except now I'm realizing events seem to have the same restriction: In order to use an already-used clip from a previous event I have to copy the footage again into the new event within the same library. So much duplication of 4k footage is going to suck up my 4tb of storage space pretty quick. "

Any media managed by FCPX on the same disk volume, whether inside the library or using external storage, will automatically be hard linked to a single copy of the media. If you copy media within FCPX to another event, that may appear at the Finder level to be another file in another disk folder, but it is actually a single file. It doesn't take any more space. This can be verified with the terminal commands ls -i to list the file inode and ls -l to list the file reference count. This only applies if the media is on the same disk volume.

[Dave Smith] "...In the situation where I'd be creating 40 or more 5 minute videos potentially sharing many clips, is the recommended approach to have one library, one event, and consider each video a project? Seems like I'll have to be a keyword organizing wizard in the scenario... but how else to get the job done without duplicating footage over and over?..."

You don't necessarily need multiple events. Practically speaking, an event is just a tag or label. You click on it and it shows that label's contents, similar to clicking on a keyword collection. It's true in the current file-level implementation, an event is a folder with media files inside. However there's no reason future versions could not change this and still retain the same user-facing event/folder metaphor. Gmail does that already -- what you may perceive as a folder in the sidebar is actually just a label. It's all managed invisibly by a database.

I have used a single event for very large projects, so there is generally not a performance issue.

However you can also have multiple events and combine those in a single project (aka timeline) without duplicating the media to the other events. You can add any clip to any project in any event and FCPX will never complain about copying media across events. That is only the case with multiple libraries.

You can even have one event with all your projects and those can reference clips from other events. Some people do that -- have all their projects in one event.

Before FCPX had library-wide smart collections there was a reason to be careful about having your data spread across too many events. In those days you couldn't search across multiple events using a smart collection. Today you can. You can also effectively have library-wide keyword collections by creating a smart collection at the highest level right under the library, pressing + and adding keywords as search items. E.g, you could have a keyword "cat" in several different events. Within each event if you click the keyword collection "cat" it will only show you the clips or ranges with that keyword within one event. But if you create a library-wide smart collection using the keyword "cat", that will then show you all clips or ranges with that keyword across all events.

So you can go either way -- have a single event and keyword everything or use multiple events and pull clips/ranges for a given project. You don't need to duplicate media by copying that within FCPX. However the media you have already duplicated is not taking up any more space if it's on the same disk volume. But it's not a good idea to have duplicate clips from a management standpoint, even if no more space is used.

Another reason you don't need duplicate clips is the clips themselves are never edited or changed. The edits are recorded as metadata within the library. You can have multiple timelines in multiple events referencing the same clip in yet another event, and all the edits are stored as metadata, the clip itself is not physically changed. You don't need a separate copy of the clip for each timeline or project.

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