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Re: Best syncing workflow between Laptop and Desktop

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Declan Smith
Re: Best syncing workflow between Laptop and Desktop
on Nov 1, 2017 at 3:02:01 pm

Just when I thought I had things working by using FCPXML to transfer things around, another issue arose, namely Animated masks stopped working properly.

I have now devised myself a workflow that appears to work which allows me to edit on my laptop with proxy media only (for all video media, stills / images I take as originals) and then copy a relatively small amount of data to my desktop in order to import the changes there for work on the full resolution media (with no proxy files), and vice versa. I have posted it below for general interest and for review. For information, the project I am working on is a 4.5 hour multi camera conference. There are 8 mutlicamera projects contained in the main event and the whole library is 37Mb, which compresses down to 7Mb (mailable) using the Finder Compress function!

Laptop (initial Master)
  • Create Library (let's call it MyWork), set storage locations Media to be external (where the proxies will reside)

  • Plug in external master files, then when Importing, select 'Leave in place' and 'Create Proxy Media'

  • When all imported and transcoded to proxies, click view->Proxy

  • Shutdown FCPX and eject the Master Originals disk


  • There should now be a bunch of proxy files where you specified external media above. Your library should also be relatively small.

    Desktop (Main machine with online Master files)
  • On the Laptop, I create a new empty library called 'Transfer' and rename the default event to 'empty'

  • On the laptop, I open up both 'MyWork' and 'Transfer' libraries. I click on the main event in the 'MyWork' library then select File-> Copy Event to Library and select the 'Transfer' Library. On the pop up that get's displayed I make sure to click Include Proxy Media and unclick Optimized Media

  • Now I close FCPX on the laptop. Sometimes, background rendering kicks in which will cause the 'Transfer' library to contain transient files I don't want, so I change the rendering time in preferences and delete event generated render files

  • Copy over the 'Transfer' library to the main desktop system.

  • Fire up FCPX and create a new Library on the Desktop (MyWork) and open the 'Transfer' library.

  • Click on the main event in the 'Transfer' library and select File->Copy Event to Library and select 'MyWork' (desktop version) and ensure Include Proxy files is ticked. Even though we don't have the proxy files here, this is important as it will copy the symbolic links over that pertain to where they are stored on the laptop. If you do want proxy files on the main desktop (which I don't) they should be stored in the same location, unless you are familiar with the unix command line in Terminal and creating symbolic links yourself!)

  • Now you have the project on the desktop, possibly with missing media. Make sure you are in View->Optimised/Original, then select your event / files and relink them to where your originals are.


  • I am now in a position where I have the project on the laptop with proxies and a project on the desktop with originals and no proxies. The scenario now is when I have finished editing on the Desktop, getting the update to the laptop quickly with minimal amount of copying, i.e. no media file moves.

    Sync Desktop -> Laptop
  • On the desktop, open up the 'MyWork' Library and the 'Transfer' library

  • Click on the main event in the 'Transfer' library and right click -> move event to trash

  • Click on the main event in 'MyWork' library then file -> copy event to library. Make sure to select include proxy files. Even though the desktop doesn't actually have any, it still contains the symbolic link inside the event.

  • Close FCPX on the Desktop and copy the 'Transfer' library to the laptop (it should be relatively small tens of Mb)

  • On the Laptop, open up the 'MyWork' library and the 'Transfer' library.

  • In the 'MyWork' library, rename the main event to have a .old extension (or just name it something different)

  • Now click on the main event in the 'Transfer' Library and select file->copy event to Library, select the 'MyWork' library and again, select include proxy files option

  • Close FCPX (this might not strictly be necessary)

  • Double click the 'MyWork' library in Finder or just open it in FCPX

  • Right click on the main event that you had renamed with the .old extension, and move to trash.


  • Now the project on the laptop has the updates from the desktop and the proxies should just work. The same process in reverse is used to copy changes from the laptop back to the desktop.

    Declan Smith
    http://www.madpanic.tv
    FCPX / Adobe CS6/ FCS3 / Canon XLH1 / Canon 7D / Reason / Cubase

    "it's either binary or it's not"


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