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Offline // Online workflow for FCPX

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Elizabeth Perlman
Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 3, 2015 at 9:15:39 pm

Before we make the switch from FCP7, I just want to make sure an offline/online Proxy workflow is doable for a feature length documentary with over 10tb of footage. Ideally, we would want to transcode + edit in Proxy, but have the original media exist on an external drive elsewhere with the same names//folder structure. I've read articles stating that this is "easy", but still haven't tested it with any of our footage.


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Bill Davis
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 3, 2015 at 9:34:22 pm

Elizabeth.

If you send me an email link,(use davisbill AT Icloud plus the typical dot com) - I'll connect you directly with some of the folks who have done exactly this over the past year and who can help you make sure your workflow bypasses all the hassles of something you haven't done before.. It's really no big deal anymore.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 3, 2015 at 9:42:38 pm

great! just emailed you


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Michael Gissing
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 3, 2015 at 10:50:19 pm

The most important people to talk to are the people that will have to grade and online the final. As that is the job I do I am constantly dismayed by ignorance of finishing workflow by many editors and cinematographers.

Talk early, talk often to them as they are the ones who will have to sweat blood on a tight schedule and budget.

Personal opinion - offline/online workflows are possible with all of the popular NLEs. X, 7, Pr, Avid are all doable but there can be specific gotchas with each one. Knowing how to work around these and how best to prepare a sequence prior to creating xml/aaf is what needs to be discussed as is pixel aspect. Finishing systems like Resolve take the sizing information from those and you can't change from an HD sequence to a 2k or 4k without planning for it.Easiest thing is to create proxies with identical names and pixel aspect and select the correct aspect in the edit timeline so that sizing information comes across without manual adjustment.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 4, 2015 at 3:55:54 am

I would highly recommend that you transcode to both optimized media and proxy media. The reason I say this is that documentaries often involve a mix of various media types, many of which are consumer-level or don't have proper timecode/reel/source ID information. This way the optimized media files become the master camera files ("online") and both your "online" and "offline" files are managed by FCPX.

- Oliver

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


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 4, 2015 at 2:05:25 pm

Hi Oliver,

We will mostly be shooting this doc with one camera, mostly 4k footage, and since we're a small production company, we're trying to save some money on drive space. You're saying to transcode all media to proxy + optimized, but is there a way to only "optimize" the final edit? Do the optimized + proxy files have to exist on the same location? Mostly want the proxy files to exist separately


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Oliver Peters
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 4, 2015 at 3:03:42 pm

[Elizabeth Perlman] "We will mostly be shooting this doc with one camera - but is there a way to only "optimize" the final edit? "

Which camera are you using? That affects the answer. Also when you say "mostly", what sort of percentage and what are the other sources/cameras?

- Oliver

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


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 4, 2015 at 3:41:57 pm

We've shot some footage with the Nikon D810 but plan to shoot the rest with the ursa mini 4.6k. I would say 90% will be shot with one camera with additional drone footage that will be 4k.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 4, 2015 at 3:53:45 pm

[Elizabeth Perlman] "but plan to shoot the rest with the ursa mini 4.6k"

OK, one more quick question. How does the Ursa Mini handle media files? For example, are you recording as ProRes QuickTime (.mov) files? What sort of control do you have over timecode and clip naming? IOW, what I'm trying to determine is whether or not you can control all the recordings over the course of this documentary so that every clip has a unique file name. At no point should you have any duplicate source names/timecode. Does the Mini's menu structure permit this level of control?

What I'm leaning towards is to pre-process/transcode the Nikon and drone clips before you ever edit with them. I can post a more detailed workflow this evening.

- Oliver

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


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 4, 2015 at 4:27:55 pm

We will be recording as ProRes Quicktime, the camera has a timecode input and I'm pretty sure you can control the clip name by date, but we don't have the camera yet to test.

transcode nikon outside of FCPX? thanks again!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 4, 2015 at 4:32:53 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I'll work up my thoughts in detail and post this evening.

- Oliver

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


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Bill Davis
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 4, 2015 at 5:32:16 pm

Just to add some additional information so everyone in the thread knows the landscape - I connected Elizabeth with Sam Mestman at FCPWorks for additional workflow advice. Noah Kadner at FCPWorks is now shooting with an actual production model Ursa Mini. What that means about general Mini availability on the street remains to be seen, but at least some units are actually shipping now. I'm, of course, still VERY interested in Oliver's workflow thoughts because the more voices the better when we're all trying to learn about new devices and up to date workflows. Carry on.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 4, 2015 at 5:36:30 pm

yes, thanks bill! still waiting to hear back from Sam, but will keep everyone posted.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 5, 2015 at 3:12:49 am

I've responded here in a new thread:

https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/344/40379

- Oliver

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


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Tim Wilson
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 5, 2015 at 5:00:46 pm
Last Edited By Tim Wilson on Nov 5, 2015 at 5:52:47 pm

Apologies for the temporary glitch with this thread. Everything should proceed swimmingly from here.

In an attempt to have the thread read more smoothly to anyone arriving late, I've made a few edits to the management-related threads, but have otherwise left everything as it was.

Anyone who's gotten this far will definitely want to click on through to read Oliver's insightful reply.

Thanks to the folks who let me know that there was a problem. I rely on your help to keep things running smoothly (or at least smooth-ish), and am grateful for it.



Regards,

Tim Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 5, 2015 at 8:54:27 pm

Wow, thank you for the incredibly detailed response, Oliver! Creative Cow never ceases to amaze me!

Still trying to wrap my head around FCP's "optimized" footage. let's say I wanted FCP to transcode the 4k drone footage into proxy/optimized, edit in an HD timeline + output as "optimized". Are the "optimized" files at the highest quality, or are they only ProRes 422? Can I optimize at 422 HQ? Or should I just change the export settings of the final timeline and choose HQ/whatever I want?

2. The Ursa Mini QuickTime files should be fine as master files and presumably will have proper file naming and timecode. FCPX will view these files as “optimized” media.

as in, I still check the "optimized" button or uncheck everything + leave as is since FCP will already know it's optimized. If I edit with FCP's proxy files + the original media disconnected, when I eventually have to reconnect to the originals for output, is that a simple relinking process?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 6, 2015 at 1:02:44 am

[Elizabeth Perlman] "Are the "optimized" files at the highest quality, or are they only ProRes 422? Can I optimize at 422 HQ? Or should I just change the export settings of the final timeline and choose HQ/whatever I want?"

Hence, the reason I prefer to handle this before editing and using other apps than FCPX.

From what I've seen, transcoding media to "optimized" is only ProRes422 from inside FCPX. The only thing you can set is the timeline render file format. Of course, I would point out that drone footage and DSLR footage is highly compressed and not really high quality (at least as compared with a camera like an Alexa). So transcoding to ProRes is still a much higher quality than the original material.

If you change the render setting in the timeline, it will not affect your already-transcoded media. IOW, if it was transcoded to ProRes, then rendering it to ProResHQ on output or render won't give you any extra quality.

FWIW - you can mix and match various optimized codecs on the same FCPX timeline and it won't render these. So if you had ProRes and XDCAM codecs on the same timeline, FCPX will not see the need to render and therefore the timeline render setting is irrelevant.

[Elizabeth Perlman] "or uncheck everything + leave as is since FCP will already know it's optimized."

Yes, for the Mini files since they are already ProRes of some type.

[Elizabeth Perlman] "when I eventually have to reconnect to the originals for output, is that a simple relinking process"

Yes, as long as you haven't moved media around changing file paths or rename the drive or the folders, then it's automatic. It may take a few moments to perform the relink, so you might see some media offline icons until everything is finally relinked.

- Oliver

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


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Bill Davis
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 6, 2015 at 7:55:26 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Nov 6, 2015 at 8:11:27 pm

Just to expand your thinking about this and extend what Oliver's suggesting - the way FCP X works, you will be creating "pools" of media. Your originals are one pool. Your Optimized files are another pool. Your Proxy transcodes are another pool. If a pool is something X sees as a native coded it understands - it just leaves it alone and all your editing will reference it.

Note that says nothing about the NATURE of your footage originals. An original can be a heavily compressed GoPro Cineform clip at 100Mbps - or it can be a giant 6k RED file in RED RAW. X doesn't care *if* the file is in a format X can work with. (BTW this is at least partly an IP issue that depends on whether the original codec is something that Apple has to license or not, but I digress) The key is that ONE strategy that can be very successful is to simply get everything into a single format that is Apple friendly - and that's what OPTIMIZING does - transcode to Apple's widely supported ProRes 422. It gets around stuff like Long GOP codecs that need to be decoded and re-encoded on the fly to work with in an NLE. For those files, ProRes is the great equalizer. Proxy is just taking the files X can work with and re-encoding them with smaller rasters. It's a 4X space reduction since as Oliver mentioned, it squeezed them by half in both the horizontal and vertical directions.

The thing is that ALL the work you do in your storyline is just references that point toward those pools. When you're editing, it's super efficient to be pointing to your proxies. Smaller streams mean SUPER timeline performance. But remember, it's all just pointers. Eventually you're going to want to OUTPUT. And when you do you typically want different things. For a quick email export just to see the shape of your program - you might not need to build that from your 4k masters - just let X go out from your proxy timeline and things will be great. But when you want to MASTER the show, you obviously want to export everything with all the fidelity to the field format you can. So you would switch your timeline to Optimized AND choose an Export Master at the highest raster and resolution you can get.

IF your native original clips are 6k or 4k or 2k - X will use those to build your final program. If your export is 1920x1080 - and you are OK with a ProRes 422 final, it just will export from what it's ALREADY transcoded into that. The whole thing is a VERY agile system that takes anything in - keeps it super clean inside X - then lets you export to the best resolution that your original clips will allow when you are ready to master.

Hopefully that helps you understand why the X workflow works the way it does. Mixed masters in? No problem. Work all day with Optimized IF the footage you have is non-FCP X native and requires it. Then when it's time to Export - just make sure X has the best source files in a linked pool so that it can calculate a top quality master.

Welcome to FCP X. It's pretty darn smart. ; )

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 6, 2015 at 8:37:45 pm

Thanks for clarifying even further, Bill. Wish there was a way to have FCP transcode...let's say my drone 4k footage into proxies...then relink back to the originals + transcode only the files used on the timeline to HQ instead of just 422. I still have to transcode all the drone footage externally to ensure everything will be HQ. Unless there's some sort of workaround...


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Oliver Peters
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 7, 2015 at 1:56:02 am

[Elizabeth Perlman] "let's say my drone 4k footage into proxies...then relink back to the originals + transcode only the files used on the timeline to HQ instead of just 422"

Wait... You essentially can do that. You can elect to only transcode to proxies and cut with those. If your drone footage is .MP4 for example, FCPX will most likely import this fine. It's just that performance will be less than desirable. However, FCPX will play it. Optimization is a matter of performance, not whether or not it will show up.

So in your example, you could cut with proxies. Then switch to optimized/original. Render out your master in whatever codec you like, at as high a bandwidth you like. Just understand that .MP4 drone footage is low quality to start with, so whether it is rendered to ProResLT or ProRes4444, it won't look any different. As an analogy, you are putting a cup of water into a larger container. No matter the size of that container, it's still just a cup of water.

- Oliver

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


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Bill Davis
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 7, 2015 at 4:56:25 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Nov 7, 2015 at 4:58:04 pm

Oliver is exactly right and this is a point I try to emphasize time and time again with younger editors who are learning.

Putting a clip with a 100Mbps SD raster into a 4k timeline doesn't change the fact that the original is STILL low rez.

The industry is making solid progress with predictive processing and can "guess" about what type of pixels should be generated between two adjacent pixels when up-rezzing - but it's never going to be the same as capturing more actual resolution at origination.

I will note that my friends who worked on the OJ TV show mentioned that FCP X often did a better job of transcoding the mountains of SD footage they had to include in the program INSIDE the app, rather than putting the same SD sources through some types of more traditional exterior dedicated hardware. So once again, it shows that the Apple software team clearly made signal preservation and extremely high quality precision file handling a HUGE priority when they did their coding.

It also re-inforced my experience that doing something like plopping a bunch of HUGE still images - such as those that come directly out of a modern DSLR - is pretty bad practice. I think it's because X will try to do it's calculations for things like dissolves and movements calculating ALL the pixel positions against each other, even if there are zillions of pixels in play.

That's AWESOME for someone working on 4K files to composite a CGI space battle for a feature. But a royal pain for someone who just wants to fly around a few bar mitzvah DSLR photos for a neighbor!

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Steve Connor
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 7, 2015 at 6:11:52 pm

[Bill Davis] "It also re-inforced my experience that doing something like plopping a bunch of HUGE still images - such as those that come directly out of a modern DSLR - is pretty bad practice. I think it's because X will try to do it's calculations for things like dissolves and movements calculating ALL the pixel positions against each other, even if there are zillions of pixels in play."

Absolutely agree with this!


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Steve Connor
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 6, 2015 at 9:32:00 pm

Sorry, I'm joining this discussion late and this might sound stupid but If you are using Proxy files in FCPX for the edit and then relink at the end what is the benefit to transcoding the DSLR footage to ProresHQ first.

Surely if you master to ProresHQ at the end then that's one less compression step?


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 6, 2015 at 10:10:41 pm

If I were shooting the whole film on a DSLR camera, it would be convenient to transcode all my original files to proxy to save up space, then when the edit is finished, I would relink my timeline to the original h264 files + then transcode those to HQ within FCPx.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 7, 2015 at 2:09:38 am

[Elizabeth Perlman] "If I were shooting the whole film on a DSLR camera, it would be convenient to transcode all my original files to proxy to save up space, then when the edit is finished, I would relink my timeline to the original h264 files + then transcode those to HQ within FCPx."

This is all quite possible, except that the conversion would be when you export a new master. Essentially like every NLE, the H.264 files are decoded into uncompressed video. This is then recompressed into another format as a master file is created upon export.

However, I simply advice against working any serious, long-term project from H.264 originals. There are all sorts of potential issues, like sync and relink problems if you decide to change applications.

- Oliver

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 7, 2015 at 2:02:14 am

[Steve Connor] "what is the benefit to transcoding the DSLR footage to ProresHQ first"

There is no benefit IF you only stay within the FCPX world. In much of my work, that's an unrealistic assumption. Therefore I outlined a "best practices" workflow that let's you take advantage of other options.

For example, let's say you get a great distribution deal and want an "A" list colorist to do a grading pass on it. You absolutely will not want to send that person non-timecoded, oddball-codec original drone or DSLR files ;-)

- Oliver

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


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Tony West
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 4, 2015 at 7:08:36 pm

[Elizabeth Perlman] "ursa mini 4.6k"

One of my clients just purchased this camera but we have not got it in yet. Looking forward to shooting with it and working with it in X


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Michael Angelo
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 11, 2015 at 5:03:17 am

Hello Elizabeth,

Oliver's post is a good examination of your end game and finishing outside of FCPX, thank you Oliver:

https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/344/40379

I put this together so you can get a look at a similar project to yours, explore media management, proxy work flow amd remote collaboration (can be tricky with a big show) as FCP 2009 and FCPX are very different. We are really in the same boat making a documentary with over 10TB footage. We have mixed source DSLR, RED camera, GoPro, archival sources, public domain etc. I hope what we've learned so far can be useful and stir discussion and discovery among the hive mind that is Creative Cow.

Like many of the comments in this thread you can be flexible and transcode only what you want to proxies or optimized media, it really is a matter of performance. Given the longer timelines involved with cutting a feature we have chosen to transocde most of our footage to optimized and use the 3 pool method of media management per this thread, keeping each type of media on it's own drive for maximum flexibility. Most of the time we only use the Proxy drive for editing and only turn on the optimized or original media drives as needed:

1 - Original Media
2 - Proxy Transcodes/Library Files
3 - Optimized Media

ORIGINAL MEDIA
Our RED footage plays natively and performs well without optimizing which is great, so we leave that as is on separate original media drives. We have mirrored back ups of these drives at a separate location in case of fire etc.

OPTIMIZED MEDIA
FCPX does a very good job of transcoding/optimizing media to ProRes but we had a problem of FCPX crashing while transcoding plus it doesn't do true background processing so takes forever. We used a separate application to transcode optimized media to their own separate drives allowing us to simultaneously work within FCPX, might be useful for transcoding your D90 footage. When we started the project 3 years ago we ran many tests with our DSLR 5D footage plus GoPro and found the only application where optimized transcodes looked as good as FCPX was 5DtoRGB, everything else was of lower quality or had phasing issues. We tested Magic Bullit Grinder, Quicktime Pro 7, Cineform, Apple Compressor just to name a few. I'm sure much has changed since then, but 5DtoRGB did the trick and has decent batch features:

http://rarevision.com/5dtorgb/

If you choose to transcode optimized media to their own drives per 3 pool method, make sure to uncheck "copy files to Final Cut Events folder" upon import otherwise you will create duplicates. Any "non-video" files like audio and pictures we chose "copy files to Final Cut Events folder" otherwise the audio and pictures wouldn't live with our proxy clips (see PROXY MEDIA below) and this can bite you further down the line if you want to take a proxy only version of the show on the road.

PROXY MEDIA
Once our original footage (less RED) was transcoded to ProRes, we import the ProRes, RED, audio files and pictures into FCPX and let FCPX create proxy media and move the neccesary files to a separate Proxy/Library Files drive. We tell FCPX to store all this media, it's cache files and back ups into separate folders on the same drive with the library files but not inside the library file itself. This "external media method" setting can be made in "File/Library Properties" and keeps the library files quite small in size. This creates maximum flexibility with regard to collaboration if you have duplicate systems with the same directory structure. By having the library and proxies on the same drive we can easily move our offline proxy edit between multiple computers by simply mounting the drive to another system. Here's some info on using the "external media method":

https://larryjordan.com/articles/fcp-x-convert-managed-to-external-media/

MANAGED MEDIA
It is tricky keeping all your media locations straight when you start using FCPX, especially with the 3 pool method, so you do need to pay close attention to where you are pointing and copying media to. This article is a good read on the topic:

http://www.bu.edu/comlabs/media-management-in-fcpx-where-how-to-save-your-w...

The most important thing to understand is that FCPX thinks differently, it works with "managed media" i.e. there is a lot of sensitive metadata that tells FCPX where the media is stored etc and FCPX gets very unhappy when you simply copy files using the finder. Coming from a traditional NLE background this can be pretty frustrating but the "managed media" aspect is what gives the application it's greatest power. FCPX uses keywords to categorize shots rather than placing them into a single folder, very much like "tagging" media on the internet. This is the future of media management in my opinion whether it's the internet, computer directories or in our case NLEs. It is especially useful for documentaries with tons and tons of footage to sort thru and organize. Because FCPX used "managed media", once your clips are imported, you should always copy libraries, projects (edits) and events from within the application when collaborating to truly make aFCPX happy.

FCPX COLLABORATION - WHAT WORKS FOR US
Collaboration is a big topic for us as we have many interns logging footage remotely, editing meltdowns and we take the whole movie edit and source files with us when traveling on shoots. FCPX's "managed media" works more like a database so it's very particular about relinking media on other drives compared to a traditional NLE. The safest way we have found to collaborate is to have a master edit system with the 3 pool drive system. Then from within the application (very important) create libraries for your collaborators onto an external drive. Ideally these collaborator libraries should have the same directory structure as the master system (see PROXY MEDIA "external media method" above). After copying libraries, projects (edits) and events to the collaborator's drive, make sure to click "Consolidate" under "File/Library Properties" otherwise FCPX only moves pointer files and won't actually copy the proxy media.

The collaborating editor can then take these drives, do their work, return and mount the drive to share libraries, projects (edits) and events from within the application. You can share work without duplicating media by simply choosing not to transfer proxy or optimized media when prompted. We've found it is best to have the optimized media drive connected to the master system when importing media as sometimes FCPX get confused about the relinks. Conversely we've had to turn the optimized media drive off when exporting libraries and events to external drives at proxy resolution as FCPX gets confused and will export optimized media as well. Here's some articles on the topic:

http://www.10dot1.co.uk/content/FCPXInASharedEnvironment_FINAL.pdf
http://phantommoose.com/2013/02/24/sharing-final-cut-pro-x-projects/

FCPX COLLABORATION - WHAT SHOULD WORK
Ideally one should be able to simply post a "pointer file" on the web (no media), have someone pull it down, then have access to your work. If the remote collaborators have duplicate optimized media with the same directory structure ("external media method") then library files can be exchanged and with a simple relink work can be shared, but we've had challenges with these re-links. Even so, who wants to travel with over 10TB of optimized media? Having to hook up your remote collaboration drive directly to your master system is a big pain and very impractical when collaborating over a great distance. Proxy collaboration drives are key if you want to collaborate remotely and nothing under the current version of FCPX is dependable. We have had much success collaborating remotely with proxy only drives in the past by "tricking" the software, so it can be done. The problem is that as new FCPX versions evolve these back doors have been shut and this kind of functionality is not being built into the application. I've had direct correspondence with the one of the FCPX product managers at Apple, we've tried many things but have had inconsistent results. Below are some of these methods that we have used to work remotely with proxy only drives sharing only pointer files in case they become relevant again. When they worked it was fantastic, currently all of these methods are flawed.


FCPX COLLABORATION - WHAT USED TO WORK - EXCHANGE FILES WITHIN PACKAGE CONTENTS
Early on we were able to hack FCPX's lack of remote workflow by right clicking the libray file, going inside the package contents, grabbing the "CurrentVersion" event file, then posting it for an editor who could then replace that file inside their library package contents. Their library could even be created on a remote drive by copying in the finder and avoiding the "managed media" sensitivity of FCPX. This method worked as long as we had duplicate media. There was no relinking of files necessary and occasionally you would have to re-render some clips. It worked like gang busters until FCPX 10.2.0 where something in the code changed. The beuaty of this method is the "CurrentVersion" event file is tiny, fits in an email. I really wish Apple could build this kind of functionality into the product natively. BTW this is a big no no messing around inside package contents, I don't recommend it despite our success. Here's where we learned the trick:

https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/344/11304#11309

FCPX COLLABORATION - WHAT USED TO WORK - EXCHANGE LIBRARY FILES VIA FINDER
If your proxy media is stored externally (see PROXY MEDIA "external media method" above) and you have a mirror drive with the same directory structure and same drive name, you were able to simply exhange the library file and see eachothers work remotely. This would work even if you had a proxy only drive and no re-linking was necessary. Unfortunately with more recent version of FCPX the "managed media" can tell that it's not the same drive despite having the same name, the proxies won't link. There is no way to relink proxies only in FCPX, so if you are working remotely on a proxy only drive you are out of luck. Here's what happens if you link to the proxies, all hell breaks loose:

https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/344/31389
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7053063

FCPX COLLABORATION - WHAT KINDA WORKS NOW - XMLs
XML is the most successful method that we have found to share work remotely without having to hook up the remote drives and by only sending small pointer files. It seems to work much more like a traditional NLE with paths stemming from the library file not the drive so it is able to relink to mirrored directory. The rub is that it makes mistakes like not transferring all your edits, losing any multicam sync changes, axis change errors and more. It is however reliable enough to get an idea of the collaborators edit decisions or logging and keywording that is done. It's usually best to pull the XML from the collaborators library or event as pulling directly from the clips in latests versions of FCPX can cange the case of keywords. Here's a good article on this work flow:

https://larryjordan.com/articles/fcp-x-collaboration-between-two-editors/

OFFLINE EDITING TOOLS
FCPX will make you pull your hair out over the traditional tools that are missing, but jump for joy at the incredible metadata and keyword workflow features. Learn how to properly name source material, set roles, keyword on import via your external directory structure before you start using FCPX. It's lightening fast compared to FCP 2009, no rendering needed to see most things given the 64 bit architecture, it's really coming along considering Apple is building this from the ground up. There are some crazy things like no way to undo a mark (insane) and if you get lots of keywords (like you will with a long form footage heavy show) you can't expand the keyword window to see them, stuck scrolling in a tiny window, but life goes on. The magnetic timeline is really gonna take you a minute to get used to, best to not fight it and see where it takes you, here's a good article:

https://library.creativecow.net/austin_charlie/FCPX-Timeline/1

ONLINE EDITING TOOLS
People are constantly making new tools for the software and Apple is charging features pretty hard. The color corrector is the weak link so I'm guessing most people finish color outside of the app. You can do a lot inside the app, previewing is a snap but the tools are a bit too automatic for the high end finisher, really depends on how much control you desire and what kind of things you need to do. Since you are coming from FCP 2009 it will blow your mind with regard to tools. We will likely use a mix of FCPX, After Effects, Resolve and Flame.

CONLCUSION
Despite remote collaboration workflow issues and some old school editing functionality, FCPX is a very powerful offline/online tool. It really is the perfect edit tool for long form documentary with mountains of footage if you really dive into it's metadata features and keywording. I hope you can find some useful info in here, we have such similar projects thought it wise to share in case it helps you and others. If you have any questions feel free to PM me and good luck on your project!

Cheers

MA

PS This 4TB Lacie drive is awesome if you want to take your show on the road to edit. It holds a proxy version of our entire show including source clips, edits, library files etc (less hi rez stills), no power needed if you use the thunderbolt:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1135375&gclid=CODV37...

"A life without cause is a life without effect." -Dildano


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 25, 2015 at 6:54:22 pm

Thank you for posting such a detailed description of your workflow, Michael! I printed it out and showed my team--really appreciate :D


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Michael Angelo
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Nov 27, 2015 at 9:13:54 pm

My pleasure I hope it helps. Good luck with your project!

MA

"A life without cause is a life without effect." -Dildano


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:57:43 pm

Ended up choosing the Sony FS5, super happy with it so far! I'm about to ingest a week's worth of footage but was wondering how well FCPX handled these natively or if I should optimize anyway? All shot in UHD, no 4k, half the footage is overcranked at 60p/23.98.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:01:45 pm

[Elizabeth Perlman] "was wondering how well FCPX handled these natively or if I should optimize anyway?"

Optimize. Especially if this is a large project. Or work with proxies created by FCPX for the offline edit. But test first to see. You might be OK.

[Elizabeth Perlman] " All shot in UHD, no 4k"

There's very little actual difference. Just a few pixels.

- Oliver

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


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Elizabeth Perlman
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:35:57 pm

sry got the formats mixed up, it's actually just HD--source codec is XAVC Long. After we're done with the edit, do we need to reference back to our source footage + convert to HQ to do the online? or will the optimized footage work fine in order to create the master?


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Michael Angelo
Re: Offline // Online workflow for FCPX
on Jan 26, 2016 at 9:58:28 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

Here's a FCPX Proxy Only Remote Collaboration UPDATE 2015-0126

A great workaround that allows us to once again share work remotely with only small sized pointer files and work remotely with proxies:

https://library.creativecow.net/angelo_michael/apple_fcpx_documentree/1#228...

Cheers

MA

Harvest the compromises...


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