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FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media

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Jona Taylor
FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 12, 2012 at 3:20:24 am

Hi Folks, (yes it's me again :)

I'm wondering in someone can weigh in here on quite a heavy situation.

I've 5Tb of material to work with going into a very long edit.

Here is where I'm at today. I would very much like to have access to all of my material during editing. It's all contained on 5 drives in a 5 bay SATA. Over the past year I've set up over 100 sequences in one FCP 6 project. Each sequence contains different material with a central theme ie. Buildings, people, animals, and traffic, etc. What I didn't realize is that once FCP get overloaded with material the FCP project file becomes huge (I'm currently at 130mb) and the project becomes unstable and crashes easily. I did it this way because I didn't have a guidance on how to handle such a big project and I like to be able to scroll/ scan through material in order find what I'm looking for in a fast way and I thought this would work. I'm thinking of starting from scratch again and am wondering if anyone knows a better way forward?

Someone mentioned Adobe Prelude as an organizer but I haven't made a clear decision if I'm going to move towards CS6 of stay with FCP7. Also i don't know that I really want to obsessively label everything and have it super duper tidy. If I can just have a way to quickly scroll/ scan through all the material easily that would really be the best for me. Unless someone can share a better way.

What if I did split the material across say 5 FCP projects instead of having it all in one super heavy FCP project?

I'm open to any and all suggestion and haven't ruled out moving to a new iMac with CS6.

Looking forward,
Jona


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Jona Taylor
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 12, 2012 at 3:25:51 am

Sorry, for those who don't know by all my recent activity here, I'm on a:

2008 MacbookPro
Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro4,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.6 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 800 MHz

NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT:

Chipset Model: GeForce 8600M GT
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 512 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0407
Revision ID: 0x00a1
ROM Revision: 3212
Displays:
Color LCD:
Resolution: 1920 x 1200
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Built-In: Yes
DELL U2711:
Resolution: 2560 x 1440 @ 60 Hz
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Display Serial Number: D971T2721GCL
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Rotation: Supported

Firmtek 5 bay SATA connected to the Macbook through the Express port.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 12, 2012 at 3:28:23 pm

The easiest thing to do: break up the huge FCP project into separate, smaller projects. Obviously, you retain the original huge project and save the new projects under different project names.

The file sizes drop like a rock, and you can media manage each project if it makes your ultimate task easier.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jona Taylor
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 12, 2012 at 6:36:24 pm

Hi Dave,

Appreciate your insights and good to have your confirmation.

So let's suppose that I break the big project into smaller and lighter projects. Can I the close the bigger project and then open all the smaller ones and work from them without having the fear that they will crash as easily as the big one?

Looking forward,
Jona


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Dave LaRonde
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 12, 2012 at 7:17:44 pm

Don't take my word for it, prove it to yourself: make a separate project out of the largest component of this huge project file and see how it performs.

Since you'll be making a brand-new project file, streamlined from the current project, the original will still exist and you won't lose a thing.

Bear in mind that anything new added to the smaller project will NOT appear in the original.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tom Valens
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 13, 2012 at 1:41:22 am

I'm working on a very large project also - about 9 TB of footage (so far). Currently my project is 110 MB - but I'm still in the early stages! The advice I've always gotten has been similar to what Dave suggests - breaking the project into smaller ones. It does make it slightly more inconvenient if your project isn't segmented into distinct sections, since to access clips or sequences you have to open up a new project every so often (and then close old ones so you don't have too many open at the same time). I'd hoped FCP 8 would solve the problem - alas. That being said, however, you might want to keep working on your single project until you start having crash problems, and then split up at that point. I've often worked with projects much larger than what others recommend. My last one topped out at about 250 MB, and I didn't really have too many problems until I got over 200 MB (obviously YMMV depending on computer set up, project specifics, etc). Good luck.

Tom Valens
Tamalpais Productions
Forest Knolls, CA



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Jona Taylor
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 13, 2012 at 7:16:35 pm

Hi Tom, (and Dave)

Thanks for jumping in here. Very much appreciate your insights. Really.

"That being said, however, you might want to keep working on your single project until you start having crash problems, and then split up at that point."

This big project (it's actually not 109mb and not 130mb and in the very early stages as well) has already been crashing when I'm scrolling through the timeline even when there are only 2-3 sequences open, no other projects open either. Very frustrating.

Because of this issue, and the fact that I am in the beginning of this editing process, and working with multiple formats, I've been looking at the idea of moving away from FCP7.

Can someone comment on whether CS6 or FCPX would handle things better? It would be much more attractive to shift if they could.

Any thought?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 13, 2012 at 8:50:46 pm

If you'd be reluctant to abandon the visual timeline editing model of multiple tracks for video and audio, I'd go with Premiere Pro, which also has the advantage of meshing every well with After Effects, if that's important in your workflow.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jona Taylor
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 14, 2012 at 8:30:24 am

For sure Dave. Thanks.
I like to see things in front of me on the timeline. It's all I've ever known and I appreciate it and trust it.
I've done my searches for tutorials on FCPX but none have so clearly revealed given me a clear sense of the actual difference between 7 and 10 other than the Viewer window is gone.


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Tom Valens
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 14, 2012 at 2:18:32 am

Jona- FCP 7 limits you to 4GB of RAM, whereas PP 6 (and FCP 10.7) doesn't - so theoretically you have more RAM available and are less likely to crash. I did however at one point specifically ask someone at Adobe if this meant I wouldn't have problems in PP with such a large project, and he wouldn't commit to an answer. Also, if you are working with multiple formats PP supposedly handles that better also (just what I have read - I'm not using it (yet) myself). My large projects were all in a single format (HDV on the previous one, Pro Res 422 on the current one). One difference is that you can have multiple projects open at the same time in FCP 7, but only a single one at a time in PP (though as I understand it, it is relatively simple to open one project, copy something, close it and them open the main project and copy that in). My plan at the moment is to stick with FCP 7 until (and if) it gets too problematic and then at that point make the decision to either stick with FCP 7 in multiple smaller projects, or transfer over to PP 6 or FCP 10.7 (I think PP because I'm guessing the learning curve would be easier than starting from scratch with the different editing model of FCP 10.)

Tom Valens
Tamalpais Productions



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Jona Taylor
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 14, 2012 at 8:24:48 am

Hi Tom. Very much appreciate you adding your experience here.

"One difference is that you can have multiple projects open at the same time in FCP 7, but only a single one at a time in PP (though as I understand it, it is relatively simple to open one project, copy something, close it and them open the main project and copy that in)."

- Very good to know. I know there is really know way to really know unless one goes the distance... I wonder if someone else can add to this???

"My plan at the moment is to stick with FCP 7 until (and if) it gets too problematic and then at that point make the decision to either stick with FCP 7 in multiple smaller projects, or transfer over to PP 6 or FCP 10.7 (I think PP because I'm guessing the learning curve would be easier than starting from scratch with the different editing model of FCP 10.)"

I think this is where I'm at at well. I know it is going to mean converting some 3TB of H264 material into Prores (another 3TB is XDCam 1080, 720)), and on my 2008 Macbook Pro, 2 core 2.6 GHz (4GB Ram), 5 Bay SATA, FCP 7 it is going to take time and be a slower process overall but I'm somewhat excited to believe I that will find the magic in the story if I work slowly on a system with software that is not going to distract me with more bells a whistles. I've considered that I may be limiting myself. If it feels like I am, I can switch. I'll know when I'm further in.

Thanks again for jumping in Tom and best wishes in your work.


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Dennis Radeke
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 17, 2012 at 12:34:06 am

[Tom Valens] "so theoretically you have more RAM available and are less likely to crash"

This is true for a number of reasons. Ultimately, every asset in a project takes up a little bit of memory to know where it is, have it ready, etc. Also, RAM is SUPER important for 64-bit applications like Premiere Pro (or FCP X or Avid for that matter) for performance because with FCP 7 you can have 12 cores but only 4GB Of RAM service those 12 cores so you end up starving the CPU's for RAM. It's a classic 32-bit bottleneck that Premiere Pro also suffered from prior to CS5.

[Tom Valens] "One difference is that you can have multiple projects open at the same time in FCP 7, but only a single one at a time in PP (though as I understand it, it is relatively simple to open one project, copy something, close it and them open the main project and copy that in"

In Premiere Pro, you can import a single sequence or the entire project and add it to an existing project. When you do that, it will bring in all of the assets associated with it in a folder. Also, you can import FCP XML into Premiere Pro to add to a project or get started from an FCP 7 project as well.

[Tom Valens] "I think PP because I'm guessing the learning curve would be easier than starting from scratch with the different editing model of FCP 10."

Each person's experience must be their own, but in general most people agree with you. One thing Premiere Pro does is provide FCP7 keyboard shortcuts to help shorten that learning curve even more.

And in the effort of clarity...

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Tom Valens
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 17, 2012 at 6:21:07 pm

Dennis -

Thank you. Helpful clarifications.

Tom Valens
Tamalpais Productions
Forest Knolls, CA



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Jona Taylor
Re: FCP 7 - Huge Edit - Organizing Media
on Dec 17, 2012 at 7:42:15 pm

Hi Dennis,

As Tom said as well, I really appreciate the extra insight. This place is such a great resource and it would have been very difficult for me to found this straight matter of fact info any place else. After such a epic run collecting all the footage, and now to be stepping into this edit... to have your guidance really means a great deal to me.

I think I mentioned that I am going to stick with the set up (Macbook Pro FC7) I have and see how far caries me. I can always switch over to CS6 and a new Mac down the road. With my nomadic lifestyle I have to watch my budget and carry-on weight. I just started the converting to Prores last night... should be through this process in a week.

Jona


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