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matching Hard Drive files for FCP project

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David Lewis
matching Hard Drive files for FCP project
on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:03:46 am

I will soon start editing a 70 minute documentary project on FCP 7. Most of the material will be DV or Betacam SP archive material and interviews.

I am trying to set up a situation where I can edit both at home on a new Macbook Pro with a 2TB portable hard drive AND on my client's Mac Tower.. also with FCP 7.

The idea is that I would duplicate the media on both hard drives... the internal Mac Tower drive and my portable drive.

I understand that if these two drives have a media file name and material that match 100% I should be able to edit on one of the machines, then copy the Project (information) onto a disk-on-key ( should be only a few megabytes of information) and then transfer this Project onto the other machine- thus going back and forth between the two machines and identical edit systems as need be. The FCP system should recognize the file name where the material is stored and match the edits made on the Project timeline. NOTE- Any new material I receive would be identically copied onto both hard drives.

The question is how to I properly set this up... that is, what parameters and/or directions do I need to create so that both computers "read" the same hard drive media file information and it's location?

Just some (relevant?) background. I am an AVID editor and have only edited two projects on FCP. I know how AVID stores it's projects and it is pretty simple to "connect" the hard drive to the computer,having the edit system "read" or "find" the relevant OMF/MFX files.

It doesn't seem that FCP runs the same way. In the previous production a computer tech support set up the system to easily and properly get the media where is was supposed to be for a "smooth" edit. He isn't available for this project and I'm a bit lost.

Thanks for any and all help!

David C. Lewis

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Andrew Rendell
Re: matching Hard Drive files for FCP project
on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:43:12 pm

I've done something similar to this - ingest the footage one one FCP system; copy the media onto another external hard drive; do some editing with that hard drive attached to my laptop; take the project from the laptop back to the original suite and relink the media to the copies on there in order to finish the edit there.

That's pretty much what you're describing and it's ok - when you copy the project file to the other system it will come up with the media offline, but relinking to the media on the other drive is fine (as long as you haven't done anything to change the media file along the way). Renders are a bit flakey and it can be quicker to just re-render rather than muck about trying to link them up, and if you use motion for any effects you have to put those project files on your stick and copy them over as well.

A slight variation (assuming that you're only going to work on one system at any time) is to put the project file on the external hard drive as well as the media and carry that between the systems and use it as a kind of master drive and treat the copies of the media on the tower system's internal drive as a safety backup (plus, it's unwise to use the system drive as a media drive for editing).

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Jerry Hofmann
Re: matching Hard Drive files for FCP project
on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:50:22 pm

Got a portable drive? any FW drive should work if you're going to capture it all as DV, and move the drive back and forth instead of just the project file... I'd use that method myself.

You'll need a portable drive to copy the files after capture in any event to avoid capturing twice... Otherwise, if you just want to move the project file back and forth, then make sure the media on each machine has matching pathnames... so the media drives should be the same names, the folders in them should also be the same names etc... it "fools" the project file into thinking it's on the same machine as before, and you'll not have to manually reconnect the media files each time.

Where you'll run into some problem maybe are render files made on one system, that will not be on the other... Might save renders for the final finish...

Still, moving the entire project back and forth is foolproof.


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