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FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots

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Elin grome
FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 9:34:22 am

Hi guys,

Just a quick (and maybe rather silly) question. I am cutting a 2 minute promo from about 12 hours of footage; I ingested the whole 12 hours cos I have the disk space and because I understand that its easier to work this way.

Now I am going through the footage and selecting my shots, then dragging those into 5 or 6 different sequences according the type (crowds, action, whatever) the problem is that I would then like to specifically label/identify those individual shots within the sequence/timeline - so I can find, say smiling child quickly with my "crowds" sequence - but i cant find a way of doing this and i dont want to end up having to scrub through my sequence every time to look for a specific shot,

It may be that im approaching this completely the wrong way, im not exactly an FCP poweruser ;) if so please correct me!

Thanks

Elin


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Michael Weitzel
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 10:10:37 am

Hi Elin, (maybe out of ignorance) I work similarly (also no power-user!). What I end up doing is to import a whole tape as one clip into FCP. Then i work through that clip and cut every scene into a sub-clip which I then name according to my liking. What I usually do is use a sequential number to start with and then if I have already a rough idea of the sequences I add a sequence identifier and then a descriptive label for the sub-clip (e.g. "074 Seq2 cat jumping off fence"). I then use Bins for organizing the material for each sequence

There will probably be a lot of eye-rolling about this 'system' but so far I haven't found anything better for myself... - Mike.


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walter biscardi
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 10:17:17 am

[Michael Weitzel] "What I end up doing is to import a whole tape as one clip into FCP."

The big negative to this approach is when the original clip gets corrupted or the original clip accidentally gets deleted or moved. Then you've lost all the subclips that are associated with it. Don't know how many times I've seen this happen over the years, but it happens often.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Michael Weitzel
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 27, 2009 at 8:54:20 am

Thanks Walter, I hear you! Just to clarify though I seem to remember that I had an issue when I moved the original media clip, but I seem to remember that when I reconnected it to the new location that the sub-clips were still 'in order'. Are you saying that is not the case? For sure when the source material is corrupted this would be, well... a problem. =) -Mike.


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walter biscardi
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 27, 2009 at 11:25:07 am

[Michael Weitzel] " Are you saying that is not the case? For sure when the source material is corrupted this would be, well... a problem. =) -Mike."

Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't.

I never recommend capturing entire reels as it's a waste of time and an incredibly inefficient way of editing. Also, if you have "On Timecode Break" set to "Warn After Capture" you'll never have the correct TC for the entire reel. This will hamper any attempt to recapture just a segment of the original tape in the future.

I could go on but there are literally dozens of reasons why this style of editing is a very inefficient manner of working. It seems easy to just load entire reels, but logging prior to ingest makes editing easier later.

I'll give you one example. We did an independent film two years ago. I logged all the keeper takes and ingested only those takes. They were logged with the proper shot numbers so in my Bin they were essentially laid out in order from shot 1 to shot 125. This took approx. 4 hours.

I selected All my shots in the Bin and dragged them at once into the Sequence. Presto, an entire slap cut done in one move. Took me 10 minutes to go through and trim the clips down to get rid of the head / tails and we were watching the rough cut of the project.

Now how long would this take if I loaded all the 12 reels (6 hours of material) into the machine and THEN pulled the selects and edited them into a timeline? Longer than 4 hours and 10 minutes.


Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Andy Mees
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 27, 2009 at 12:28:30 pm

Darn good going Walter!

Now imagine if you will a scenario where you are in a facility of a size where overnight staff are readily available to ingest all 6 hours of the material before you even come into work in the morning. You begin your day by logging and assembling your selects from the already ingested reels ... tape transport loading, unloading and cueing times to a large respect eliminated. I'd wager you'd have arrived at that selects cut even faster than your admirable 4 hour 10 minute record, and you have access to those all too familiar missed shots that somehow got away during the first pass, or that you never guessed that you might need.

My point is only that best practices vary from project to project and from workplace to workplace ... there is no definitive right and wrong.

Just saying, is all. Am still impressed by that 4hr 10 minute record.
Best
Andy


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cowcowcowcowcow
walter biscardi
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 10:26:00 am

[Elin grome] "I ingested the whole 12 hours cos I have the disk space and because I understand that its easier to work this way."

Not really. Why would it be easier to ingest 12 hours of material for 2 minute promo? You Log the tape first by watching it and selecting what you will need to make the edit. I would expect you would digitize no more than 2 hours of material for this cut. Just because you have the space doesn't mean you digitize everything. That's a waste of 12 hours quite honestly.

We cut 2 minute stories all the time from 2 to 6 hours of material. We spend 2 hours shuttling through all the material and logging the selects which is usually about 30 minutes worth of material. Then we edit from that because it would be a waste of time and disc space to capture 6 hours of material.

I have 76 hours of material for a 2 hour documentary but I'm not going to digitize all 76 hours just because we have 40TB of storage available.


[Elin grome] "Now I am going through the footage and selecting my shots, then dragging those into 5 or 6 different sequences according the type (crowds, action, whatever) the problem is that I would then like to specifically label/identify those individual shots within the sequence/timeline - so I can find, say smiling child quickly with my "crowds" sequence - but i cant find a way of doing this and i dont want to end up having to scrub through my sequence every time to look for a specific shot, "

It's called Logging. You watch the shots, you log them and drop them into Bins. So you have a Bin of Crowds a Bin of People and so on. Most of use put some sort of notation on a particularly good shot like all CAPS or labeling the clips with a color.

I'm assuming you captured all your rolls as one long clip which really creates a lot of problems in the edit. The best you can do now is create Bins for all your shots instead of sequences and use your Viewer to create In / Out points and move the shots into properly labeled bins.

Then the next thing you need to do is go to the DVD Section of Creative Cow and order Shane Ross' "Getting Organized in Final Cut Pro." Your method is doing nothing but making your job harder than it should be. It's easy to just let tapes digitize in with no organization, but it makes the editing process slower. Shane will show you the proper way to organize your material so you're set up correctly to begin with.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Bob Pierce
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 12:09:31 pm

You should know that you can customize your bin display. I've created a custom bin layout where I have a a comment field displayed right next to the keyframe. In this comment field I'll make notes ("Smiling child"). Much easier than searching through a sequence.
Bob Pierce

http://www.lightstreamassociates.com

Mac Pro 2.66 - 8GB memory - Mac OS 10.5.5 - Quicktime 7.5.5 -
Mac Book Pro 2.33 Duo -
FC Studio 2 (Final Cut 6.0.4) - Kona Lhe
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Ikegami HLDV7 - PVW EX-1



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Steven Gonzales
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 12:07:07 pm

You can add a description to the original clip in the browser, using one of the empty columns of information available there.

Then you can use "find" to search for your key term. You could also export a batch list and import that into Excel, and sort by your search terms to have a listing.

Organizing your footage in a sequence is not the best way to work. Shane Ross, who posts here frequently, has a DVD on project organization within Final Cut, and you could probably gain a lot from that tutorial:

http://training.creativecow.net/dvd_store/get_organized_fcp/get_organized_f...



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Elin grome
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 12:15:49 pm

I learnt from an editor friend that if you have the space then this is the easiest way to work - saves chopping and changing tapes and allows you to view the footage faster and more intuitively than through a deck... which to be honest has been my experience, well from the limited experience I have...

but thanks, I greatly value another perspective and shall look into what you've said,

Ta

N

It's all the those pesky details :p


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Steven Gonzales
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 12:17:51 pm

Alas, the easiest way to work is not the best way to work.



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david bogie
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 6:58:41 pm

[Elin grome] "I learnt from an editor friend that if you have the space then this is the easiest way to work - saves chopping and changing tapes and allows you to view the footage faster and more intuitively than through a deck... which to be honest has been my experience, well from the limited experience I have... "

Your friend was wrong. Very wrong.
It's not a question of style, there are good and bad practices in this business and capturing everything just because you don't know any different is one of the more egregious and lazy ways to approach video editing.

we're not telling you to edit your material before you capture it just because it saves space. We're telling you that this is a best practice among professional editors who work efficiently in order to make money for themselves and their companies. You don't even need to know why capturing only useful material is a good idea but Walter gave you several of the better reasons.

bogiesan



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Andy Mees
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 27, 2009 at 11:05:57 am

[david bogie] "there are good and bad practices in this business ... You don't even need to know why ..."

Ahhh, the old bogiesan we know and love, arrogant and old school :-)


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Andy Mees
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 1:36:08 pm

Elin
If you have the time (overnight?) and the disc space/capacity for it, and if it suits your workflow, then it really doesn't matter a jot that you ingest all footage first (as you have done) and then log later ... as long as you DO log the footage, which clearly you are doing, then everything is fine.

(The problem is when folks ingest hours or raw source footage and DONT log ... then you waste hours scrubbing back and forward looking for shots lost in a morass of footage the most of which you simply don't want nor will ever need.)

Your particular logging method, of creating selects reels may not be the best way of handling things for your purposes though. As already advised, a better method would be to organize your selected shots as subclips within selects bins (crows, action whatever) in the project's browser tab and use the plentiful logging fields available to each clip to add the logging info ... thats what those fields are there for after all. If you do that then finding the footage you want is super quick and easy.
Cheers
Andy


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Robert Due
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 3:57:47 pm

I agree that using the columns to do "keyword" searches is a great method, but I have to add that putting clips or takes into sequences is also a good method.
For example, if you have multiple takes of a scene you can easily rule out bad takes or see, back to back, the different interpretations of a performance.
I think my clients appreciate the ability to see takes edited down in a quick succession. Makes weeding out the bad easier. I actually create a master sequence of all takes (except for false starts or obviously bad takes) and then I duplicate that sequence and remove even more from the duplicated sequence until I get down to a "select" few.

This works for me, perhaps not everyone.

Robert Due
Editor / Colorist
INDEPENDENT EDIT


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Bob Flood
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 26, 2009 at 7:16:18 pm

Erin

Hi. I have seen a number of different workflows and all have good and bad sides. Here is what i do. This will be based on my situation, and your may be different.

1. Capture from tc break to tc break with simple logging. This will allow you to recap later, if need be, but still lets you do all your jog and shuttle in FCP, which is lot better than the HDV deck i use. If you have a more professional VTR, like a Beta SP or a DVCAM deck, then you can do logging off tape, as its easier to shuttle those decks around.

2. I use the timeline to divide up my clips, backload each clip to the source viewer, then subclip. the subclip will always show up in the same bin as the master clip, but i then edit the various text fields/columns for easier searching later.

3. once its all broken down, what i call 'binning" I then sort by a certain column, select it all, and move it to a bin for the same name.
ie all shots I have marked as Scene: Front Desk, i can sort the scene column and there they are. BTW if you hold shift after you click on a column to sort it, you can then sort by a second column, to further refine your sort.

4. Sometime soon after i am finished capturing, i copy ALL the footage to a second drive, like a My Book, and that becomes my backup.

This method is pretty viable for all the stuff i do, spots, docs, promos, etc.
In case a clip gets corrupted, i dont lose a whole tapes worth of shots.
The time code breaks are clean so i can recapture if needed.
I use the timeline as its faster to subclip than just doing it in the viewer.

hope this helps


"I like video because its so fast!"

Bob Flood
Greer & Associates, Inc.


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Nicholas Bierzonski
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Mar 27, 2009 at 2:29:02 pm

I am just curious. Are you billing the client for the 12 hours of capture? If you aren't how do you justify the time your editing system is occupied?

-Nicholas Bierzonski
Senior Editor/DVD Author/Java Boy
http://www.finalfocusvideo.com




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Elijah Lynn
Re: FCP workflow basics; labelling/organising selected shots
on Aug 26, 2010 at 5:32:26 pm

Just wanted to say that this was a great discussion and I learned a few things from it!


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