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Capture Scratch and File Management Question

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Joey Bania
Capture Scratch and File Management Question
on Sep 2, 2011 at 8:40:37 am

Hi All,

I'm currently in the middle of a shooting and editing a large project that's been going throughout 2011. I'm starting to have a few issues with FCP6 - lots of crashes and "out of memory" notifications.

I was speaking to a friend about possible causes of these problems and he suggested it might have something to do with how we've managed our media.

We have nigh on 3TB of Pro Res files running mostly from one hard drive, although a few odd bits are on another. Both HD's are connected with Firewire 800. First, he suggested that having media in different locations could be a part of the problem.

But what he thinks is an even bigger issue is the way we've organised our media into folders. We've been shooting with two cameras onto SD cards and our routine from the beginning was to organise raw media and Pro Res files with a separate sub-directory for each day, each of the two cameras on the day and each card dump from each camera on each day.

Is this as big a problem as he says it is? What is the optimum way to organise our media? Is there an easy way to revert without having to reconnect huge amounts of media?

Hope that all makes sense. Any advice appreciated.

- Joey

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Rainer Wirth
Re: Capture Scratch and File Management Question
on Sep 2, 2011 at 11:57:50 am

First of all - you edit with FW 800. Is this HD material you are editing? What power has your editing computer? - Ram, MacPro, Mac book pro, iMac?
How do you organize it now?

FW 800 is good for SD only. If you're going to edit HD, I mean really High definition, not the HDV stuff, you need a raid system. Thunderbold, SAS, Fibre channel, at least eSata.
Let's start with eSata:
FCP files go into Documents, FCP
your original file goes on the eSata Raid, Render files go on you second HD within your mac or on the eSata as well.
The render files become more important the bigger your project is.
SAS is simple:
FCP files in documents, the rest onto your SAS Raid (SAS is pretty fast)
The same with fibre channel Raid.

You can create folders for each day or otherwise. You can move the clips into named folders, and reconnect them in FCP. Don't rename clips after capturing!

I hope this helps.

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Joey Bania
Re: Capture Scratch and File Management Question
on Sep 2, 2011 at 9:00:35 pm

Hi Rainer,

I am editing HD material from two DSLRs on an iMac 11.1 Intel core i7 2.8GHz and 4GB of RAM.

At this stage, due to budgetary constraints, upgrading the system is out of the question. I'll have to work with what I've got. So unfortunately no Raid, SAS or anything else of the sort. It's FW 800 to the end.

Do you have any suggestions for my situation? I didn't quite understand - is it bad to have my media files buried deep in folders and sub-folders worth of stuff?

Thanks for your help.


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Rainer Wirth
Re: Capture Scratch and File Management Question
on Sep 4, 2011 at 8:15:57 pm

Hi Joey,

yes, you should use a simple file structure. Now DSLR means big files. Normally you convert the H264 files via compressor or mgeg streamclip in your working codec, which is mostly 2k or HD uncompressed. Here we go. Your system doesn't meet proper HD standards. Your fastest drive is that within your imac. So I would recommend an outline edit.
You store your original files on one HD FW 800. You convert the clips to DVCPro50 16:9. These clips you store on the other FW 800 drive. (two seperate drives). You edit the stuff on DvcPro 50. When you are on a proper Machine you rebatch it with the conversion of the original files/HD codec files. All files must have identical names!
So-original card(shooting)-HD drive1-via compressor or mpeg streamclip-HD drive2(HD codec)-via compressor or mpeg streamclip-HD drive3(DVCPro50). Editing from HD drive3.
Render files go on internal drive iMac.
Tricky thing this is.

Good luck


I would prefer mpeg streamclip

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