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One Smart Collection To Rule Them All

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Simon Ubsdell
One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
on May 15, 2016 at 10:36:51 am

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that Charlie Austin is easily one of the cleverest and most inventive users of FCP X anywhere on the planet - and if you don't already know that, then make sure to check out his awesome NAB presentation.

So it was an honour that he asked me to be a Guest Post* on his excellent Final Cut Pro X Babbling blog. If you can get a new idea about FCP X endorsed by Charlie, then you're probably onto something.

Here's the link to my post which is titled "One Smart Collection To Rule Them All". I won't add any spoilers here, but just to say that I think the method I'm suggesting has the potential to be genuinely transformative, making your media organisation not just a whole lot simpler, but also a whole lot more powerful at the same time.

I hope you find it interesting.

*This originally formed part of a post on a dark and lonely thread elsewhere on the COW but I want you to visit Charlie's blog and read it there. Or even if you can't be bothered to read it, you'll find plenty of really great tips and insights from Charlie that will enhance your experience of using FCP X.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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David Mathis
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
on May 15, 2016 at 5:48:22 pm

Just read your post. I think this is a good starting point but no method of organizing is a one size fits all approach.
I still prefer to have events, usually named after the location I filmed at (personal preference), and will use most of the default smart collections. Keywords can be a beast and too many of them creates clutter which is unnecessary.

My approach for smart collections:

I would have one called Select-O-Matic, where I can choose on how things are sorted, using the same approach as outlined in the post.
I would use collections for graphics, interviews, titles, sound effects, music and things like that. Roles would be used to narrow down what I am looking for.

As pointed out, while this would be my personal approach everyone should use what is best for them. The last thing I want to do is tell people how to handle their workflow. I welcome feedback.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
on May 15, 2016 at 7:58:42 pm

Hi David

I think it's possible you're not quite understanding what I'm suggesting.

The thing I would stress is that it's not about replacing your existing project management, if that's not something you want to do - it's about leveraging the ridiculously awesome power of the Smart Collection in a way you probably haven't thought of. You can totally keep all your existing organisation and add this over the top and you haven't lost anything. You've just hopefully gained a really useful tool.

My feeling is that if you get to like it, even just a little bit, then you might go back and decide that your existing ideas about the organisation you need can be refined. One really obvious example to make the point - do you really need to go to the trouble of making a folder called Stills, when you can instantly summon all your stills and filter them in all sort of clever ways using this method? I kind of think not.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Darren Roark
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
on May 15, 2016 at 11:03:04 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "You can totally keep all your existing organisation and add this over the top and you haven't lost anything. You've just hopefully gained a really useful tool. "

If we like our multiple events we can keep our multiple events.

I'm still getting my head around this but this is groundbreaking Jedi master level stuff.


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Mark Smith
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
on May 16, 2016 at 1:52:05 pm

I think I stumbled into the Dummy smart collection in odd way on a recent project. While the project was relatively small, the shooting ratio was sort of high and I went through and renamed clips as i thought appropriate ( changing names from the camera clip number to something more meaningful) taped out my favorites and added some keywords. When editing I found it was far easier and faster to do a search which flew in the face of some of the older style organizing that I did, creating events for particular shoot days . While I can still see some reasons to do that, some of which might be not willing to let go of that method of organizing, I could see that with appropriate tags and metadata applied, searches and keywords can be amazing fast in finding groups of materials or specific items.
This was sort of an accidental stable for me that was a happy accident, and i reading Simon's post I can see now how well his method could play out in some editorial scenarios.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All - THE MOVIE
on May 16, 2016 at 3:16:15 pm

I thought it would be helpful to share this tutorial video which walks through the process in detail and hopefully makes it a bit more obvious what I'm talking about.







Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Steve Connor
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All - THE MOVIE
on May 16, 2016 at 4:12:03 pm

Thanks for doing that Simon, it made it much easier to understand!


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All - THE MOVIE
on May 16, 2016 at 8:00:34 pm

Thanks, Steve. This is very much a tutorial for the average to novice user so it's mostly way below the level of you guys, but I do think some of the concepts are quite interesting ...

e.g. why use "containers" when metadata can do the work for you much more effectively?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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David Mathis
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All - THE MOVIE
on May 16, 2016 at 6:29:51 pm

Very useful video Simon, thank you. I do have a question about the text filter. What does it specifically look for? Thanks again and this video was extremely helpful!


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All - THE MOVIE
on May 16, 2016 at 7:50:27 pm

[David Mathis] "I do have a question about the text filter. What does it specifically look for?"

The Text filter searches for any text string within the filename and is not case sensitive, which means it's a really quick way of finding things. You don't have to type the first letters of the filename - you can use any sequence of characters within the filename to report a result, as in the example I gave where I searched for the date that I had appended to the filename. Most importantly, you only need to enter a very few characters for the Filter to bring up useful results.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Bill Davis
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All - THE MOVIE
on May 16, 2016 at 8:09:18 pm

Well I think the explanation is brilliant.

It conforms to Pascal's historic advice about writing a shorter letter if he had more time.

It's simple, concise and easy to grasp - which has always been the gold standard for effective communications.

It deserves re-posting in other places.

Since the link to it is currently buried in a response post, do you want to express a separate link to your hosting site so we can help you gain a wider audience? Or would you prefer that we drive whoever might be interested in watching it to this place in the "Or Not" thread?

Excellent job.

New signature under construction and coming soon. Please stand by...


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All - THE MOVIE
on May 16, 2016 at 8:23:29 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 16, 2016 at 8:39:41 pm

Thanks, Bill. I'm really pleased that you like the idea :) I was pretty hopeful that you of all people would get it!

Please feel free to share the link wherever you'd like to. It's a pretty basic video given that I tried to aim it a my YT audience, but it might be interesting to professionals too.

EDIT: I meant to add that this is much more a "proof of concept" than an idea that will work perfectly right now. Ideally Apple will see the potential of this and develop the extra options that will make it really fly - and then we really will be seeing "next gen" editing.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Bill Davis
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All - THE MOVIE
on May 16, 2016 at 10:53:30 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on May 16, 2016 at 10:54:39 pm

Based on my experiences last year at the FCP X Creative Summit, I can assure you that FCP X team members know what's being discussed on sites like this one - and I'm completely confident that would likely include this very discussion. It would be illogical to assume people who are creating and maintaining a thing - wouldn't be actively interested in the real world discussions about that very thing.
My opinion, of course.


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Tim Wilson
Re: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All - THE MOVIE
on May 17, 2016 at 2:29:16 pm

[Bill Davis] "I can assure you that FCP X team members know what's being discussed on sites like this one"

THERE ARE NO SITES LIKE THIS ONE BILL

lol

One reason why: this is the one where Simon Ubsdell, Charlie Austin, and the rest of you lot are sharpening each other's swords.

And specifically, on this occasion, Simon's remarkable video tutorial above, prepared to move this particular conversation in its ever more helpful direction.

So, with thanks to Charlie for inviting to Simon to explore an earlier thread in more depth, I took the opportunity to spin the video into its own independent existence, and I invite you to share it:





Simon Ubsdell's FCPX Workflow Wizardry: One Smart Collection To Rule Them A...

The first key to workflow wizardry is to exploit an application's strengths. In exploring the nuances of FCPX, famed workflow wizard Simon Ubsdell opens up some of the secrets around one of its most uniquely powerful, but sorely underused tools: Smart Collections. This isn't about replacing your existing project management (although it can). It's about leveraging some of the ridiculously awesome power of the Smart Collection to make your work flow far more easily than you might have imagined.

Another aspect of Simon's wizardry: this is something he quickly whipped together springing out of two very energetic conversations in Creative COW's FCPX or Not: The Debate forum. The first is based on Charlie Austin's presentation for FCPWORKS' FCP Exchange, called Making the Switch to X: A Comparative Study.

As the conversation evolved, Simon more deeply explored the specific question, what might happen if you used one Library, one Event, one Smart Collection to organize everything? He continued to explore this on the new thread from whence this tutorial emerges, One Smart Collection to Rule Them All'>One Smart Collection to Rule Them Al....

Take a look at this, then take a look at those, and prepare for your workflow to be transformed. Not unlike magic.


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