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TOPIC: Bye bye Proxies

Bye bye Proxies 11 Jun 2015 11:15 #65423

  • obardain
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Hi all,

I'd be grateful for any help on a problem that just happened. I've got a 'master' library which has hundreds of hours of proxy footage stored inside it for a big series I'm working on. I copied a project with proxies from this library to a new library on a portable drive so I could work remotely. I did the work fine and then went to copy the project back to my master library from the small library and have lost all my proxies from that project in my master library, which is a lot of proxies.

The method I used was to copy the project using the File - Copy Project to library option and selected don't copy proxies as these were already in the master library. I then noticed that the project I'd copied back to the library had offline media. So then I tried exporting an XML out of the small library into the master library but the proxies were still offline and it was at that point that I realised that all the files related to the project in the master library had gone offline from the entire library and not just from the project. They weren't in the trash and so must still be living in the Library folder still but the link is gone. I've tried restoring the library but I don't understand how to restore a library when all the proxies are living inside the old one. There doesn't seem to be an option to restore a library and transfer all those proxies into the new one.

So what I'm wondering is:

1. How have I managed to blow away my link to my proxies?
2. Can I get them back and what is the method for restoring a library and the link to your proxies?
3. What is the correct way to move projects from libraries without blowing away proxies?

Any advice would be much appreciated. I've spent two years now pulling my hair out with the proxy workflow in FCPX. It seems crazy that there's no warning box to say 'If you do this then your proxies will go offline and good luck getting them back!'. Last time I lost the link to my proxies it took about a month of 24/7 transcoding to get them back. For something so fundamentally important I really can't work out why there's no fail safe for blowing away the link as I would expect this to be locked down. I was hoping to recommend FCPX for some broadcast work but this may be the sticking point unfortunately as if I'm making that mistake as an Editor then I wouldn't trust my Producer to move projects between libraries, which is exactly what they'd be doing. It's a real shame as there are lots of nice advantages over Avid and FCP7.

Any advice is much appreciated.

Many thanks,

Pete

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Bye bye Proxies 11 Jun 2015 15:44 #65435

  • MsJustine
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Proxy media is created as an when you need it, on the machine you need it on. What you need to do is have access to the original source media.

Proxy media cannot be copied or transferred, it has to be created locally on the machine you want to edit proxy media on.

In FCP X 10.2.1, in the inspector there is a section called Storage locations, under this section is where you set where media is stored, think of scratch disks.

Press change locations, then choose the location for the proxy files.

This is my number one moan about FCP X, media that is to be created ie, proxy should have it's own inspector section...

Remember that any changes you make will affect any future imports, so set this for the original medial say a RAID drive, then go change settings, choose say a portable USB3.0 drive, you have to destroy any proxy media before you can create proxy media.

Then create proxy media, change the view-media to proxy.

In my opinion this proxy workflow has been sorely neglected by Apple Dev, yet it is a vital aspect of post, my wish to see Proxy given more respect.

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Bye bye Proxies 12 Jun 2015 09:00 #65461

  • obardain
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Hi,

Thanks very much for the reply. When you say "proxy media cannot be copied or transferred", I seem to have achieved copying. There is an option for it when you select File - Copy project to library there is an option to include proxies which I did and worked. I was able to then work remotely without regenerating proxies from the original source media. A quick and easy method. The problem came when bringing the project back into my original library. Whatever way I did it. I seem to have done it wrong. I'm going to do some experiments now and see if I can find a solution.

I totally agree that the proxy workflow has been neglected. I hope the developers look at this forum for future development.

I've still never quite got my head round best practice with proxy workflow when moving from one machine to another but my workaround for duplicating to another machine was to store the proxies internally in the library and then simply to copy and paste the library to another drive without having to regenerate proxies. I couldn't work out how to duplicate the proxies and the library when the proxies are stored externally but internally certainly worked for me.

I'll report back shortly with my conclusions on importing projects with shared proxies.

Thanks,

Pete

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Bye bye Proxies 12 Jun 2015 10:19 #65462

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I did two experiments (process and results below) and seem to have come up with an answer for my workflow. Experiment 1 failed but Experiment 2 worked. If you want to work on a consolidate of proxies on a second machine/drive then follow Experiment 2 workflow. The important lesson here is once you have generated proxies in a library if you then ‘copy’ a project back into that library with duplicate proxies you will delete the link to those proxies. Which was the source of my frustration. Very annoying. However, if you XML back into the project bingo! So I guess the rule of thumb is you can copy into a library that never had those proxies no problem but never copy into a library with those proxies already there. You need to XML back in.

If you want to duplicate an entire library the best solution I found was to store your proxies within the library, rather than managed externally. Then simply drag and drop that library to another drive and it will duplicate your project and your media. You then only ever XML between the two libraries to avoid blowing away your proxies. But in the event you’re still shooting during the offline, of course you can copy any new additional proxy rushes to the other library if you make sure you only copy the new rushes and not duplicate ones.

EXPERIMENT 1
1. Import original media into LIBRARY A from an external drive and keep media external to the library.
2. Encode proxies and store inside the library.
3. Remove the original media drive
4. Put the proxies into a project.
5. Create LIBRARY B on a new drive and make sure LIBRARY A and LIBRARY B are open.
6. Select the project in LIBRARY A and then select File - Copy Project to Library - LIBRARY B
7. Check the box Include Proxy Media.
8. Once copied close LIBRARY A. Modify and rename the project in LIBRARY B.
9. Reopen LIBRARY A. Select modified project in LIBRARY B and select File - Copy Project to Library - LIBRARY A

RESULT: Proxy Media goes offline in LIBRARY A when importing project from Library B

EXPERIMENT 2
1. Import original media into LIBRARY A from an external drive and keep media external to the library.
2. Encode proxies and store inside the library.
3. Remove the original media drive
4. Put the proxies into a project.
5. Create LIBRARY B on a new drive and make sure LIBRARY A and LIBRARY B are open.
6. Select the project in LIBRARY A and then select File - Copy Project to Library - LIBRARY B
7. Check the box Include Proxy Media.
8. Once copied close LIBRARY A. Modify and rename the project in LIBRARY B.
9. Export the project in LIBRARY A as an XML.
10. Close LIBRARY B
11. Open LIBRARY A. File Import XML.

RESULT: Project comes in and everything stays online. Success!

Best,

Pete

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Bye bye Proxies 12 Jun 2015 11:14 #65463

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HOW TO FIX A PROXY DISASTER
I think I’ve just worked out how to fix my Proxy disaster too. Library A (master library) had all the proxies. I copied a project with proxies to Library B to work remotely. And did the wrong thing by then copying the project back to Library A rather than XML back to Library A. So my fix is:

- Copy (not XML) the project from Library B back to Library A and this time include proxy files. This will duplicate the proxies and restore the link to the originals and you can now carry on working.

The only problem with this is that the original proxies in Library A were never trashed and simply lost their link so now I have duplicate proxies sitting in the library. I could either ignore those and carry on with a larger library with extra media or painstakingly go through one-by-one and delete the duplicates, but there is an easier option if you want to delete the originals which I’ve had success with before. Create a new library in FCPX and select to copy everything in your old library to the new one. This will then only copy the files you are using and not the old files that have lost their links. Then once you’ve tested the new library is all good simply delete the old one and voila!

If you are reliant on hundreds of hours of proxies for your workflow then I would suggest you always make a backup of your proxies should the worst ever happen. As I said in the previous post, my quick fix for this is to store the proxies within the library and then simply copy and paste the library to another drive. In the event you lost your proxies on your main proxy drive you could then just XML all your projects into your backup library and carry on and then restore from your backup to main drive overnight.

When you’re working with hundreds of hours of footage the idea of remaking all your proxies either to a) work on a second machine or b) because something went wrong is not commercially viable from a time point of view so this is my best advice. I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has found a better way forward.

Best,

Pete

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Bye bye Proxies 12 Jun 2015 13:59 #65464

  • Tom Wolsky
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In the first instance, when the proxies are offline, simply select the clips and use transcode proxies. If the proxy files are already there, they will simply relink immediately. The app just doesn't know it should have proxies for this media. Ok that's dumb, but if you tell it there are proxies you're good. That's my experience.

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Bye bye Proxies 13 Jun 2015 15:00 #65485

  • obardain
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Great. Thanks for that Tom. I'll give that a try.

Best

Pete

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