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Sharing FCPX projects

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Bruce Wittman
Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 14, 2012 at 3:19:52 pm

Hello All-knowing editors!

I am looking for a FCPX work flow for sharing editing projects between two long distance editors. As senior editor, I use an external hard drive for all my media (video, stills, graphics) and I organize them within a main folder with the client name. I import all my media into the Event Library without copying the original media into the Event Browser. All pointers go back to the original media on my client folder. So far so good. Then I start editing my project.

Now I want to share all this with my junior editor on his hard drive.

First question:
I understand we need to copy the Event Folder from within FCPX from my external drive to his external hard drive. This includes all the original media that I have on my hard drive. Doesn’t it put all his media within the Event Folder, while my Event Folder just has pointers to my original media?

When we tested all this, my Junior editor keeps having to relink media because my media is not in the same area as his media.

Second question:
Does his hard drive have be named the same as my media hard drive?

Third question:
When I want to share changes to my project, I understand that I send him my currentversion.fcpproject file from my Project Folder. How do we handle it when I add new media (like jpgs) that needs to be updated on the junior editor’s hard drive? Keep in mind that my new media resides within a folder with pointers to my Event Browser. Should we copy the new jpgs on a new junior editor folder with new pointers to his Event Browser?

Any suggestions will be helpful. Thanks.

Bruce Wittman
Executive Producer

Eagle Video Productions, Inc.
2201 Woodnell Drive
Raleigh, NC 27603-5240

Website: http://www.eaglevideo.com
Email: bruce@eaglevideo.com

pho: 919-779-7891
cel: 919-818-5556


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Eddie Torre
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 14, 2012 at 4:06:09 pm

See if this will help, or at least, point you in the right direction as there have been some previous demos.

http://fcp.co/final-cut-pro/tutorials/872-sharing-projects-in-final-cut-pro...



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Shawn Larkin
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 14, 2012 at 5:25:35 pm

Although FCPX is very different than FCP7, most of the logic will carry over for sharing:

You both need to have the same exact media to work from; what drives they are on and that kind of thing doesn't matter much. However, you will need to have the same event pointing to wherever each of you have placed the media.

And you will have to have the same project file passed between systems.

I would recommend sending a folder zipped with these items when you are passing project back and forth to one another:

1) CurrentVersion.fcpevent
2) Original Media Folder for this event; be sure you are using aliased media -- NOT ORIGINAL FILES
3) currentversion.fcpproject
4) Any new media files you have added to the project

Then I would place each of these items in it's respective directory. And then you will have to repoint to the media since it will not be in the same directory on the same system the aliased files are pointing to once you open the updated project.

NOTE: You may be able to not share #2 -- the Original Media folder. FCPX may simply rebuild this once you open the project. I have not tested it for sure.

The only way to avoid having to repoint to media would be to do what you eluded to: keep the updated media in an exact replica of the directory path and hard drive name for each system.

Also, since you will not be passing render files, each time you share there will be a period of time for FCPX to re-render.

Test this with a dummy project to get your workflow down and to see if you don't need to share #2.

Good luck.


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Bruce Wittman
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 14, 2012 at 6:36:40 pm

I saw the video mentioned above. Here is the problem. If you make a copy of the Event Project thru FCPX, it retrieves all my original footage and copies it to my Junior's HD under the Original Media folder. My copy of the Event Browser only points to my footage within my client folder. My inclination is to duplicate/copy my original media onto my Juniors' HD and then copy my Event Folder, not using FCPX. From the video mentioned above, they say not to do this. This is my dilemma.

Bruce Wittman
Executive Producer

Eagle Video Productions, Inc.
2201 Woodnell Drive
Raleigh, NC 27603-5240

Website: http://www.eaglevideo.com
Email: bruce@eaglevideo.com

pho: 919-779-7891
cel: 919-818-5556


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Bill Davis
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 14, 2012 at 7:43:45 pm

[Bruce Wittman] "My inclination is to duplicate/copy my original media onto my Juniors' HD and then copy my Event Folder, not using FCPX. From the video mentioned above, they say not to do this. This is my dilemma."

One of the most fundamental changes I've made in my thinking is that with all the editing I've done prior to X, there was a performance penalty for storing media files other than on system-buss connected drives.

With X, I've found this not to be the case at all.

X appears to prefer it's program code on a system connected drive, but I've experienced no performance penalty if literally everything else, including Projects, Events and Media reside on external storage.

Obviously speed is an issue, and we've seen examples here of where someone it trying to do this via something like USB 2 and has issues. But Firewire 800 and other fast protocols make this function flawlessly, IME.

My practice is that the connected drive is a unified "information pool" that is then referenced by X. On that connected drive must reside the Project and Event folders X expects. The structure of these folders is critical to the program, so creating them using the MOVE command, rather than finder dragging can be important. These can hold ALL of the information the program needs in order to properly function. Whether you wish to store your originals via mounted disk images or read the original footage code into the Event Library is up to you - based on the amount of space and transcoding you need.

The fact that they're on a mountable external drive makes them "portable" in every functional sense. Wish to collaborate? Clone the drive. Yes, at present, this means you'll have two separately developing strings of construction. Since I don't work with assistants on individual projects, I've not investigated how the projects should best be re-combined.

All I'm trying to do is raise a voice against the idea that like many legacy systems, X has the same "location" requirements based on inefficient things like trying to electronically schlepp your source footage around to put copies of it on the root drive of every system you wish to edit with - because I've learned that this is no longer necessary.

If you have your footage stored in the Event Library Files of a project on an external hard drive, X finds it instantly upon drive mount and works with it smoothly, buss speed willing.

Finder copying of files is dangerous, IMO, because when X is running, it' doesn't really USE the finder to locate things. It uses it's database metadata references which are largely internal.

Break these at your peril, IMO.


(From a break during Comic Con - where magenta hair and obvious horns barely merit a second glance)

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Craig Alan
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 16, 2012 at 1:58:02 pm

[Bill Davis] "prior to X, there was a performance penalty for storing media files other than on system-buss connected drives.
"

[Bill Davis] "X appears to prefer it's program code on a system connected drive, but I've experienced no performance penalty if literally everything else, including Projects, Events and Media reside on external storage.
"


Bill, just want to be sure I get this. On FCP 3-7, I stored my FCP application and the project files on my system drive and media and render files on an external drive or drives or on non-system drives in a Mac Pro. What do you mean by "system-buss connected drives."

On FCP X, are you saying to store the project files and media on external drive or drives and only the application itself on the system drive?

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Bill Davis
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 17, 2012 at 12:16:21 am

[Craig Alan] "On FCP X, are you saying to store the project files and media on external drive or drives and only the application itself on the system drive?"

That is precisely what I do.

My internal drive, whether on my MacPro or my Laptop has ONLY the FCP-X program file resident.

Everything else is stored on external Firewire 800 drives. Those drives can be used for a single large project/client - or can be used for lots of smaller projects. Whichever way you go - X simply "reads" the entire event/project structure instantly (including render files and resources like titles,etc.) when the drive is mounted - so there's no penalty for keeping assets off-line in this way.

The key is to then back up your projects using the Move or Duplicate command onto a safety drive so that if you have a single drive failure, you don't lose everything, but Time Machine mirroring makes that pretty simple - just leave your project drive connected overnight, or invoke a manual TM backup when you leave for lunch.

Flexibility AND safety, imo.

This is for the small project based practitioner, not someone working on massively shared storage or networks, obviously. But it's a workflow that's never let me down in the best part of a year working this way.

YMMV.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Craig Alan
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 17, 2012 at 4:22:07 am

Thanks. Seems to happen this way by default. I'll just make sure to back up the project file.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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John Davidson
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 14, 2012 at 7:44:46 pm

Why not just let FCPX copy all your media to the event via a copy and and also copy relevant projects as well. Wipe your external drive, then copy (within fcpx) all your projects and events relevant to the project back to your now clean external HD? He can make all his edits, and then when he sends it back - merge events?

We have really specific reasons behind not copying media into our events, but it sounds like you'd be a good candidate for doing it that way - for this particular project at least.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 16, 2012 at 1:25:05 pm

The question is pretty funny in a certain way. I'm not native English so I use words in a different way or translate them my own way.
So what is the difference between duplicate or copy - from my understanding these are not the original. A clone would be exactly the same as the original.

What makes sense with FCPX?
Duplicating a project from inside FCPX will create a new structure which will work like with the original, but all references and UUIDs will be replaced and that applies to the alias files as well. Therefore the dupe is independent from the original.

A copy via Finder to another disk finally is a clone since all references and UUIDs are exactly the same.
But the problem with FCPX is that the app will get confused finding exactly same events and projects on two different volumes and you may get a lot of trouble.

So what's the solution?
First don't use the Duplicate command.

Use the Clone option. But you have to be careful. Assuming that all events and projects for this master project are on an external disk you can do the following:
1. Quit FCPX!
2. Connect the drive you want to use for the Clone and name it same as your "project drive" (just for security).
3. Use CarbonCopyCloner or a similar app to make a secure clone of everything on the "clone drive".
4. Send the disk to the coworker to have a good start.

While collaborating it get's more complicated since you can't merge projects — even if you got the same material. Unfortunately with FCP and FCPX there is no "change log" and it's hard to figure out what has been changed by the one or other (with FCP there had been options with XML which are lost with FCPX).
So each of the coworkers can send a renamed project (as zip) to the counterpart which will be placed in the "Final Cut Projects" folder.
Adding new files to any event involved is also a bit complicated in case you got more than one event. To do that you need instructions where to install both the alias and the source media. Along with these instructions send the alias of the new file and the source as a zipped file to the coworker.

This way both parties always work exactly the same using same data and references.

-Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools


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Oliver Peters
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 16, 2012 at 3:55:59 pm

I find project sharing relatively easy in FCP X. A lot like the Avid approach, where you can place edited sequences into a bin file and copy that to another machine. Here's an example on a recent project working on a volume-based SAN.

Media is on the SAN volume, Events & Projects local with media linked to the SAN. I am cutting the main project, but need another editor to cut down some interview selects. He imports just the interview camera files from the SAN into an independent Event. Edits a selects sequence in a new Project. That Project file is copied and placed into my local FC Projects folder (via Finder). I already have the same media in my Events, but not necessarily a matching Event file to the other system. Launch FCP X and relink the Project clips and everything is there.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 16, 2012 at 4:48:25 pm

Oliver, I think the OP was talking about "long distance sharing". So a SAN wouldn't help there.

Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools


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Oliver Peters
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 16, 2012 at 5:16:25 pm

[Andreas Kiel] "I think the OP was talking about "long distance sharing". So a SAN wouldn't help there."

True, but the process would be the same. The SAN volumes are no different than any external drive. As long as both editors have a media volume with identical media files, the rest works the same way.

Steve and Mark from Ripple do a demo of that here:







- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bruce Wittman
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jul 16, 2012 at 9:42:29 pm

Hello Andreas,

Your suggestion to clone seems the best solution in my case. Thanks for clarifying the solution.

Bruce Wittman
Executive Producer

Eagle Video Productions, Inc.
2201 Woodnell Drive
Raleigh, NC 27603-5240

Website: http://www.eaglevideo.com
Email: bruce@eaglevideo.com

pho: 919-779-7891
cel: 919-818-5556


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Aaron Linsdau
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Jun 18, 2014 at 8:12:59 pm

We have a procedure for sharing projects at remote sites without a SAN or anything else. It relies on both sites having the same media, or at least the base media. It's worked perfectly and the project is small enough to be emailed back and forth.
This is for FCPX 10.1
http://tvlvideo.com/sharing-fcp-10-1-projects/


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Damon Zwicker
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Nov 19, 2017 at 8:14:53 pm

FCP X - previous versions of the program simply allowed me to "relink" media when copied to a 2nd external drive - doesn't work anymore - sad. I don't see an easy solution for simply wanting to have an exact clone of the current project in the event that the working drive fails. Pathetic.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Nov 19, 2017 at 11:42:43 pm

[Damon Zwicker] "FCP X - previous versions of the program simply allowed me to "relink" media when copied to a 2nd external drive - doesn't work anymore - sad."

It *should* work if the two external drives are named the same and the folder paths are the same.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Craig Alan
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Nov 20, 2017 at 7:29:23 am

If a library that your checking has missing links in a project or event can't you just navigate to where its stored on the clone drive?

I'd be concerned about this but I have not read this anywhere else since the new upgrade.

Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic HPX250P, FCP X 10.3, teach video production in L.A.


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Declan Smith
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Nov 20, 2017 at 9:16:20 pm

Hi Bruce,

I had a similar type of use case a few weeks ago and I documented what I did here:

https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/344/49061#49305

This may be of use or may be irrelevant, but I wanted to share a project between my desktop and laptop and only have low res proxies on the laptop. This workflow, allowed me to ensure that changes went between both systems, but you need to be mindful of adding new media to ensure it's available to both systems. One other word of caution and that is to make sure that if you use any custom plugins etc, that they are installed and available on both machines.

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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Paul Golden
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Nov 21, 2017 at 5:29:41 am

This may seem foolhardy, but I’ve been experimenting using Dropbox to share projects with myself between home and work and I’ve learned a couple of things:

1) Dropbox usually wants you to locate the Dropbox folder on your boot drive. This is unnecessary and you can change the location to your media drive, which in my case is a Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID. The advantages are that project files are run from a fast RAID, the files get regular Time Machine backup and my boot drive doesn’t clog up.

2) I keep all of media external to the FCPX library.

3) I keep the FCPX library on Dropbox when not in use, but, and this is key: before I open FCPX, I copy just the library out of Dropbox to another location on my media drive or boot drive. The reason for this is that Dropbox wants to synchronize your FCPX library with the cloud as changes are made. In doing so, Dropbox takes control of the library and if you’re running it in FCPX, you will error and crash. However, if the library file is OUTSIDE of Dropbox, you are still connected to the media but Dropbox does not mess with your session.

4) Once I’m done editing, I copy the file back to Dropbox to allow the other editor (in this case me at home) to open the project on their end. Again, the library must be copied out of Dropbox during edit.

5) Because the file is or is not in Dropbox, it’s easy to see if the other person is working on the library.

A couple of caveats:

1) Most Dropbox Plus users have a 1TB limit, so this may be a dealbreaker for some.

2) The media must be fully synchronized before you can edit with it on the remote end. The local user works as normal.

Some advantages:

1) Dropbox has a robust incremental version control system which allows you to revert to a version for at least 30 days (Pro goes for 120 days)

2) No duplicating of media, no proxies.

3) No reconnecting media because FCPX figures out where the media is (generally) and keeps in touch with it.

I’m sure there will be plenty of people to tell me why I’m crazy to try this, but I have completed several projects going back and forth between work and home and did not skip a beat. Please let me know if any of you have tried this or something similar in the cloud.


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Paul Golden
Re: Sharing FCPX projects
on Nov 21, 2017 at 5:36:14 am

One other thing I forgot to mention: this workflow depends on each editor working sequentially not simultaneously on the project. It would be possible for you to have two FCPX libraries and each reference the same shared media in Dropbox. Then at some point, you could merge your libraries and consolidate things a bit better.


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