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Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID

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Ismael de Diego
Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 23, 2015 at 9:27:41 pm

Hi everyone, I'm starting editing a documentary in AVID and i have all the media already organized into folders in a hard drive. My question is this, is there a method to transfer the folder/directory structure that's in the hard drive into AVID ? I could do it manually but since there are 1058 folders it seems a suffocating waste of time. Does anyone have an easier way ?? Thanks

Also I already have a copy of the folder structure without the files.



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John Pale
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 23, 2015 at 10:26:35 pm

Are you saying that you will be attempting to edit by directly linking to this media which you have already meticulously organized? What kind of media is this? You will find that Avid works very differently than Premiere or Final Cut Pro in this regard, if that's what you are used to.

Though you can work directly with camera original media, it's not really recommended for anything but the smallest, simplest projects. The best course is to temporarily link to your media via AMA, then consolidate/transcode your files into new Avid media files. You can go right to your finishing quality or create low resolution media for offline work. From there, Avid does its own file management and you cannot really manage it on your own with folders.


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Shane Ross
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 12:01:39 am

[Ismael de Diego] "and i have all the media already organized into folders in a hard drive."

You mean the raw camera files, or Quicktime files...the media you will be importing, correct?


[Ismael de Diego] "is there a method to transfer the folder/directory structure that's in the hard drive into AVID ?"

Nope. Avid doesn't work that way. Avid has it's own file structure and that's how it maintains its very solid media management. You AMA link to your footage, and then transcode (or Consolidate if the media is a type Avid works with, like MXF or ProRes QT) and Avid will copy it into the Avid file structure on the media drive.

If you AMA this footage and work via AMA...your system not run at optimal performance. And depending on the media type, it might down right bog down.

John is right...Avid isn't premiere or FCP...it doens't work the same way. You need to use Avid like it's designed. AMA the footage, then transcode to your media drive. Avid will organize the media the way it needs to, the way it works best.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Ismael de Diego
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 12:46:35 am

Absolutely agree, I will link to AMA when possible and will recode everything else but I need to mantain folder/directory structure. Footage is a 4 years documentary with over 20,000 media files and a wide range of formats, meticulously organized in 1087 folders and still one year ahead of shooting. Haven't work in AVID in a while, mostly FCP in the past 6 years and the only way I'm aware to organize this kind of footage is trough a folder structure. I might have a wrong aproach on this but my interest right now is only folders, no clips.
I already made a copy of the folder structure without the files and it would be great if I can somehow transfer that folder structure in to AVID. My idea is to create a bin inside each folder and then AMA/recode everything in the proper manner.
I'm not versed in the AVID ways, and my fear is to overload the project, any suggestion will be moist than well received.



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Ismael de Diego
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 12:55:03 am

Also all AMA will be inmediatly recode, I'm familiar with the way AVID manage media. But not very clear on organization methods inside the project window



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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 12:49:46 am

You can build folders in Avid by creating them in Windows Explorer. You don't have to make the folders from within Avid, but the bins themselves do have to be made inside Avid.
Copying and pasting and renaming bins outside of Avid wont work.

When you AMA link, you can get Avid to create a bin based on the name of the folder your ama footage is coming from. From there you could move that bin into the folder structure you want. From there the transcodes will certainly stay in that named bin.

Not exactly what you are looking for, but some of the work you have done can be utilized.

Glenn


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Ismael de Diego
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 1:00:16 am

The photographer and director made the original organization. And yes, I will manually create the bin, my main interest is the date/event organization that exist already, it will take me forever just to copy the name info and pasting it into AVID project folders, it has to be a faster way.



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Shane Ross
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 1:57:45 am

There isn't. You can't import the folder structure into Avid...you'll have to re-create it manually. If you used Adobe Premiere...you could do what you want...just import the folders and boom, there you go. But Avid doesn't do that. If it's meticulously organized outside of Avid in a certain way, and you want to keep it, you'll need to manually re-create it.

Sorry

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Ismael de Diego
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 2:17:44 am

That sound like a terrible waste if time, or a data manager/assistant kind of job wich will make hiring someone everything slower, a lot slower. There has to be a workaround for such a simple task, a script or a plug-in, an exchange file through another editing system, it must be a way.



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Shane Ross
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 2:22:18 am

[Ismael de Diego] "a data manager/assistant kind of job"

EXACTLY...this is the job for an assistant editor. This is why that job exists. So you don't hire an expensive editor for the many hours this will take. Importing and organizing media is exactly what an assistant editor does. So you hire someone to do all of that organization, and THEN you hire the editor to come in and cut the project.

[Ismael de Diego] "There has to be a workaround for such a simple task"

It's not a simple task in the world of Avid...it's not how Avid works, not how it's designed. This works in Premiere Pro...and FCP 7 (if all the media was already converted to FCP media). But those apps are codec differently, and deal with file structures differently.

[Ismael de Diego] "a script or a plug-in, an exchange file through another editing system, it must be a way."

If so, I've never heard of it. And I've been using Avid for 20 years.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Ismael de Diego
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 2:36:14 am

This is certainly an AVID bummer for my workflow, and expensive on the production since they have to pay someone else for a long time. They will hire the data manager, but I'm still interested in any work around and I bet the data manager knows how to do it. Is just meta-data we are talking after all, no codification or programming involved.



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Shane Ross
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 5:04:25 am

[Ismael de Diego] "They will hire the data manager"

Assistant Editor. It's an important distinction. You need to hire an assistant editor skilled in Avid and tapeless workflows, AMA and transcoding...planning things for the online. How will this be onlined? IN Avid or in Resolve? Do you want the media to come in full resolution, or lower resolution to save drive space and you'll upres later? These are all questions that you, or the company, needs to know the answers to so that the Assistant can do things properly.

A SKILLED Assistant. If you skimp on this, and things are done wrong, then an online editor fixing it later will cost more.

[Ismael de Diego] "Is just meta-data we are talking after all, no codification or programming involved."

It really isn't. Metadata is what is stored in the media that you capture. The file structure and how you bring footage into Avid...that's all part of it's programming. If the AE can automate this...then they are worth their weight in gold.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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William Busby
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 6:06:09 am

[Glenn Sakatch] "You can build folders in Avid by creating them in Windows Explorer. You don't have to make the folders from within Avid"

How exactly do you go about this, Glenn?


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Ismael de Diego
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 7:16:36 am

I wonder what happens if I copy the empty folders into the project folder in Windows Explorer, will it then show those folders inside AVID ? Can't wait to try that tomorrow, that would be a fantastic feature.



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Shane Ross
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 8:26:31 am

The folders will be there, but will they appear? If there's media in those folders...camera originals...those won't show up. Those need to be imported into BINS....and those bins go inside those folders.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Ismael de Diego
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 2:59:22 pm

Jeez man, you don't seem to understand the question at all, still struggling to keep on the subject after almost 5 posts. NO CLIPS, NO MEDIA, just interested in folders metadata.
And for your info, folder structure is metadata, here are some definitions for you.

"Metadata is data that describes other data. Meta is a prefix that in most information technology usages means "an underlying definition or description." Metadata summarizes basic information about data, which can make finding and working with particular instances of data easier."

If you don't know the answer one good choice is to remain silent.



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John Pale
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 12:16:46 pm
Last Edited By John Pale on Jul 24, 2015 at 12:18:30 pm

Yes, folders made in the project directory in the Finder/Windows Explorer will appear in the Avid Project Window. This will not help you, as folders have a different function in Avid than in FCP/Premiere. Folders in FCP/Premiere are the functional equivalent of Bins. They contain clips. Bins are also not discrete files in FCP/Premiere. This is not the case in Avid at all. Bins are discrete files and can be placed inside folders. Clips cannot appear in folders all by themselves. They must live in bins. Clips cannot get into bins unless you create the bins in Avid then AMA link to them or ingest them in other methods (import, capture, etc.).

I'm a longtime Avid user and it's my favorite NLE to edit with, but it's not for every job. Sounds like this one is more suited to Premiere Pro CC.


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Ismael de Diego
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 3:12:50 pm
Last Edited By Ismael de Diego on Jul 24, 2015 at 5:54:49 pm

This is really really helpful, thank a lot John!!

Bin can be inside folders right ? And folders can be organized into an folder structure, so if I have a bin inside each folder I retain the organization by date/event and keep inside the boundaries of AVID.

Is a feature documentary, footage come by the ton and from a cell phone to 35mm, it's almost always like that. Having 200 bins with 100 clips each, scattered in the project Window doesn't look practical.

Does AVID have an aproach for organizing bins other than folders ? It would be great is there exists a tool for such a thing




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Ismael de Diego
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 24, 2015 at 3:18:34 pm

By the way, this is how I got the empty copy of the folder structure.
In Windows go to command and type or copy:

robocopy "C:\Your Folder" "C:\New Folder" /e /xf *

/t = Copies the subdirectory structure, but not the files
/e = Copies subdirectories, including any empty ones

That way you are sure not files got into those folders, was a pretty simple thing to do after all



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John Pale
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 25, 2015 at 2:23:48 pm
Last Edited By John Pale on Jul 25, 2015 at 2:24:20 pm

Thinking about this more....

What I am gleaning here is that you are more interested in replicating the folder structure as a means of visually organizing the project, not really related to how Avid is internally managing the media.

Since bins are discrete files within the file system, you could copy the names of subfolders to bin file names...so you could have a folder show up in the Avid Project window, then have bins inside it that have the names of the subfolders within that folder. The result would visually resemble the folder structure you desire. This could potentially be done with the help of scripting. I am more familiar with doing stuff like that on Mac using Automator, but honestly, something this complex is well beyond my skills in that regard. You would still have to "manually" get the media/clips to show up in the proper bin, as Avid itself is not scriptable at all. I think what you want is technically possible, but in 20 years of working in Avid, I've never seen anyone actually attempt it. Avid really isn't meant to work that way. It works best when you do your organization within its own "universe". The fact that the overwhelming majority of feature films use Avid is a testament to how rock solid it is when you use it as intended. I am currently working on a project with hundreds of bins and dozens of folders, all intricately organized...but all done within Avid, not at the desktop level.

As an aside, I understand your frustration in getting your meaning across, but Shane was really trying to help you here, and I agree with his overall assesment. He has a ton of experience with Avid and other NLEs and donates much of his time assisting people on this and other forums. He doesn't deserve to be attacked just because you don't like or agree with his answers. I'm certain he's personally saved thousands of people from making a total disaster of their project.


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 25, 2015 at 5:10:56 pm

Its as easy as it sounds.

Without launching Avid, I go into my avid projects area from within the windows explorer screen. Inside that Avid Project folder structure, I create a new folder (right click new folder) same as you would in any other area in windows (or Mac).

In my case I made a folder called "made in Windows" I went inside that folder, and made another folder called "also made in windows" Inside that folder made another folder called "This too was made in windows"

I then launched Avid, loaded that project, and there was the folder structure. Inside Avid I made a bin, and moved it to the lowest folder inside that structure.



Glenn


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John Pale
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 25, 2015 at 6:48:20 pm

Yeah, that's easy. But making bins based on folder names and populating them with clips gets a bit more complicated if you want to automate that in some way. A bunch of empty folders in the the project would take seconds to make, agreed.


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 25, 2015 at 6:52:16 pm

Yes, and as this discussion went on, it became less clear to me if he was trying to automate the bins as well, or just the folders.

Bins have to be done the old fashioned way, although as I said earlier, if he links to them, then Avid can create bins based on folder names. But linking to media, one folder at a time can be painfully slow.

Glenn


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Ismael de Diego
Re: Transfer folder/directory structure from Windows to AVID
on Jul 27, 2015 at 9:49:05 pm
Last Edited By Ismael de Diego on Jul 27, 2015 at 9:52:08 pm

Re-reading my original post I think it wasn't that complete, the question looked a lot like the common disorientation from FCP and Premiere users and that turn out to be very confusing.

As a bit of background, Ive been a freelance documentary editor for a few years now. The productions i work with usually tend to follow a large amount of characters and plot and dramatic storytelling are defined in the editing room, creating the storyline while working with 300+ hour footage can be extremely time consuming.

That said i think you'll understand my appreciation for intuitive interface on NLE system and why i profoundly admire when programers decide to allow user friendly solutions to their applications. It gives me a lot of room to focus on my main task.

If one function works in one instance, like at desktop level, why not adding a drag&drop function to it ? Hiring a person to manually copy paste 1000 folder names from windows to AVID seems preposterous and a unnecessary weight on the budget, most of the time i try to solve this kind of things by my self.



[John Pale] "
What I am gleaning here is that you are more interested in replicating the folder structure as a means of visually organizing the project, not really related to how Avid is internally managing the media."


Exactly! the project is not only "visually organized". Director, photographer, producer, all of those people relate to this organization. The production house we are working with holds a copy of the same Hard Drive containing all footage and they also relate to this directory structure and use it as a guide for continuously incoming footage. It makes my work a lot easier to navigate the same map.



[John Pale] "I think what you want is technically possible, but in 20 years of working in Avid, I've never seen anyone actually attempt it. Avid really isn't meant to work that way. It works best when you do your organization within its own "universe"."


Could you give me an example on a different way to organize 300+ h footage in the Avid universe ?



[John Pale] "I understand your frustration in getting your meaning across, but Shane was really trying to help you here, and I agree with his overall assesment. He has a ton of experience with Avid and other NLEs and donates much of his time assisting people on this and other forums. He doesn't deserve to be attacked just because you don't like or agree with his answers."



I deeply regret if i offended anyone, i have great admiration for the amazing help you guys offer to this community and I've been beneficiary of your deep knowledge in may occasions . It was frustrating to see my topic drifting away over and over, sorry if it looked like an attack i was intended to be a profound advice. My apologies to Shane.


[Glenn Sakatch] "Yes, and as this discussion went on, it became less clear to me if he was trying to automate the bins as well, or just the folders."


Many many thanks for your helpful advice, i was mainly trying to avoid the heinous task of coping pasting folder names, but every time an opportunity to automate pops up i like to give it a try. Can you think on any way to automate bin creation ?


[Glenn Sakatch] " But linking to media, one folder at a time can be painfully slow."

Terribly painful, but as i have to watch every inch of footage i can also slowly acquire the footage as i go along. Most of the time i encode on the night and watch and log on working hours.



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