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TOPIC: How to import file structure

How to import file structure 27 Feb 2017 20:40 #86170

  • rawweb
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Returning to the world of Final Cut after a long hiatus (I've used it for small projects, but really want to tackle a full feature with it). I'm a bit confused by something that seems so simple. Grateful for any help provided.

I've got a large feature project that I've organized at the finder level by folder. Example -

- Day 1 > Audio
- Day 1> Cam A
- Day 1 > Cam B

When I import this into FCP with 'From Folders' checked in Keywords I end up with a bit of a mess. Nothing seems organized the way I'd hope. I can't find the audio for day 1, which makes for a really crazy workflow, I really want the folders/keywords to end up being organized like Day 1 > Audio/Cam A/ Cam B.

Screenshots attached:



Can anyone point me in the obvious direction?
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How to import file structure 28 Feb 2017 13:11 #86178

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Remember that Keywords are not Folders, they don't nest inside each other. That function does exactly what it says, makes a keyword collection based on folder names, nothing more, nothing less.

You'll get a Day 1 collection, an Audio collection, and Cam A collection, and a Cam B collection. You probably want to create a Folder called Day 1 and put the Audio, Cam A and Cam B collections inside of that.

This way you don't need the Day 1 collection, as you can simply select the Folder and see everything inside that specific Folder.
Last Edit: 28 Feb 2017 13:13 by FCPX.guru.
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How to import file structure 28 Feb 2017 15:06 #86183

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rawweb wrote:
Returning to the world of Final Cut after a long hiatus....I'm a bit confused by something that seems so simple....I've got a large feature project that I've organized at the finder level by folder...When I import this into FCP with 'From Folders' checked in Keywords I end up with a bit of a mess.... I really want the folders/keywords to end up being organized like Day 1 > Audio/Cam A/ Cam B....

As FCPX.guru described, you can manually create keyword folders within FCPX and drag keyword collections to those. There are also other possible methods.

FCPX cannot import a nested folder tree and automatically represent that in hierarchical fashion. It is not designed to work that way, and IMO training and tutorial content could do a better job of explaining this from the standpoint of FCPX concept, design rationale, and workflow implications. This creates frequent cases like yours or this recent video at 09:52 raising the same issue. "I love the way Premiere deals with...media management...the way you can bring those in and organize them into bins and folder structure...it absolutely dwarfs....FCPX"

:

Note that guy is NOT anti-FCPX. He's just trying to shoehorn his previous import workflow into FCPX, and this gave him the impression that Premiere has better media management. This is incredibly ironic since that's the strongest feature of FCPX. If some training and tutorial content emphasized the design rationale of FCPX, the optimal workflow for this new paradigm, and compared and contrasted that to previous methods, it would reduce these frequent misunderstandings.

Previous editing software had limited organizational tools so this forced extensive folder-level organization before import. With FCPX it is often better to not organize content at the Finder level any more than necessary, then just import everything with "leave files in place", don't create proxy or optimized media, then organize the content inside FCPX. This avoids redundantly browsing and organizing content outside then inside the editor. No external tool is as fast as the skimmer, and inside FCPX the full database power can be leveraged, including range-based keywords, ratings and smart collections.

However in your case you've already got your folders somewhat organized -- what do you do? If the clocks on your cameras and audio recorders were set correctly, the content will automatically sort in date order. If the "camera name" metadata was populated on import, you can do View>Browser>Group Clips By>Camera Name, and they will be shown in date order and within that by camera name. If the clocks were off you can easily fix the clip date/time by selecting the entire range of clips in List View, then doing Modify>Adjust Clip Date and Time.

If the camera name metadata was not populated (it varies) you can easily add this for all clips from a given camera in a single batch. Put the Event Browser in list view, set Inspector to "Basic", then in the Browser select all clips from a given camera and name them in the Inspector.

Another approach is using a constantly-active Smart Collection to select your clips. Since you imported using keywords from folders, your clips are already tagged but they don't display in hierarchical order. It would be nice if FCPX allowed an "intersection search" on multiple keyword collections directly from the Browser, but it doesn't -- CMD-clicking on multiple keyword collections is a logical OR.

However you can easily achieve this. If you want only material from Day 1 > Cam A, start the Filter HUD with CMD+F, add a keyword search item, select "Include All", then click Day 1 and Cam A. This method is described in the video "One Smart Collection to Rule Them All":

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How to import file structure 28 Feb 2017 15:20 #86187

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You can make your own folders in Final Cut.

Day 1 > Cam A, Cam B, Audio

And then just make a smart collection in each one to isolate the keywords you want in that folder.

When you drag Your Day 1 folder with all the subfolders into FCPX to import, it will assign all the keywords automatically.
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How to import file structure 01 Mar 2017 03:28 #86194

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Thanks for the suggestions, guys! I finally awoke from my brain fart and made sense of this.

Strangely, I am by no means new to FCPX. I struggled a bit when it first came out in 2011, but adapted to the magnetic timeline principle relatively quickly. I've probably edited a couple dozen multi-cam weddings with the software over the years, arguably the coolest feature I've ever used in any NLE. For whatever reason, I've always stuck to multi cam projects with FCPX and kept the big projects (since about 2012/13) on Premiere. I guess when it came to turn and burn it always mentally seemed easier to just get it done as quickly as possible with my legacy way of operating. Plus it seemed easier in those days to get projects to Pro Tools nerds and over to Colorists.. I found Pr comfortable for my old habits.

Then I was amazed by the features and UI of 10.3, especially paired with my new touchbar 15". I really want to give FCPX a full chance again. Prior to the release of 10, I'd used FCP exclusively since version 1 since it was impossible to afford Avid on a freelancers budget in those days. When 10 came around, I was a bit nervous and followed the hype over to Premiere. I never had the time to fully invest in relearning old tricks and found it more efficient. Frankly, I've missed using FCP and have grown really tired of the insane bugs I encounter in Adobe products.

My chance finally arrived to invest time and fully commit to Final Cut once a small feature film landed on my desk. The project has thousands of pieces of media fairly well organized in folders. I have to admit, for comfort and speed I really wanted to crutch back to Premiere. But, the team working on the film really wanted me working with FCPX. So, hey, why not? This gives me the chance to finally embrace this product.

The biggest challenge I found initially was organizing the media. That's why I started up this account and sought help. Those little wedding projects were much more manageable. For this feature, the audio was all recorded separately and will need to be synced clip-by-clip. Common place, no problem. Day 1 for example has 230 or so audio folders representing each take with the recordings inside each folder. The video is separated in its own folders represented by the camera file naming system via which card they were dumped organized by the original DIT. Just couldn't seem to wrap my head around how to manage the media due to the sheer volume at first glance.

Last night, I basically re-did the work of the original assistant editor and went through the folders and moved the video files directly into the associated audio file folders, which can easily be tracked to scene/shot/take on the edit log. Not as horrific as it sounds thanks to the well organized edit log worksheets. Once that was done, it was much less daunting in FCP and I was quickly able to work out an organization system that will work for me, and should be straight forward for any potential collaborators from the crew. I will probably spend some more hours just adding keywords to identify scene numbers and good/bad take notes from the director. It will make actual editing a breeze. I can't believe I never fully realized the power of FCP's media management prior to this. It really makes me think how archaic my Premiere workflow was.
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