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TOPIC: The most efficient way to edit external in FCPX (HDD & SDD).

The most efficient way to edit external in FCPX (HDD & SDD). 05 Jun 2020 13:03 #107687

  • Lemonade
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Hi everyone,

What I would like to know is, in case you edit externally (Creating the Library inside the external SDD), is it recommended to do it, with the Original RAW footage from the camera inside the same SDD drive? or it would be as quick to work with two separate external drives? One being the SDD with the Library inside to EDIT and the other one being the "Cheap" HDD with the Original RAW footage from the camera with the footage linked to the SDD.

I've been editing with FCPX for almost 6 years. I've been doing it (not in an efficient way) in my 2015 MBP this way:

-Export from CAMERA SD card to my external HDD. Once all the media is organized in the HDD I create a Library (inside the MBP with all selected "Inside Library"). Once the library is created I import all my original files (selecting leave files in place) from my HDD to the Library > Event > Project.

I know this is not an efficient way to edit. You run out of space in your internal SDD very quickly. So I've been planning to do it this way now. Let me know please your thoughts.

I just bought the SAMSUNG X5 SDD to edit externally and the brand new MBP 16'' 2019.

1 OPTION:

-Export from the CAMERA SD to the EXTERNAL HDD. Organize all the footage in folders.
-Create a new library inside the EXTERNAL SAMSUNG X5 SDD. (Selecting to locate all in Library).
-Create an EVENT, then create a PROJECT.
-Keep both external drives connected to the MBP. HDD and the X5 SDD.
-IMPORT the footage from the folders on the HDD (selecting leave files in place) to the EVENT.
-WORK with both external drives connected. EDITING on the SAMSUNG X5 SDD and with the ORIGINAL "RAW" FOOTAGE linked to the HDD.

Question! Will having the external HDD with the original files connected all the time to the MBP (with a USB C) slow down the workflow? Or once you have your footage linked to the SDD will work fluently?

2 OPTION:

Its basicallly the same BUT with the difference that instead of exporting the footage from the CAMERA SD to the EXTERNAL HDD, directly export from the CAMERA SD to the EXTERNAL X5 SDD.

-Export from the CAMERA SD to the EXTERNAL SAMSUNG X5 SDD. Create ONE folder with 2 folders inside. One for the Library and another one for all the original "RAW" footage.
-Create a new library inside the EXTERNAL SAMSUNG X5 SDD. (Selecting to locate all in Library).
-Create an EVENT, then create a PROJECT.
-Keep the external X5 SDD drive connected to the MBP.
-IMPORT the footage directly from the SDD folder to the EVENT (select leave files in place).
-WORK with only ONE external drive connected. The SAMSUNG X5 SDD.

Sorry if I haven't explained myself in the best way.

Thanks a lot for your help!

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The most efficient way to edit external in FCPX (HDD & SDD). 06 Jun 2020 15:32 #107718

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I'd copy your cards to the HDD as a backup. Then copy to the SDD, organize the folders as you wish, and import with "Leave In Place" to your Library. That HDD should have nothing to do with your Library, it should simply be your backup. SSDs can fail, anything can fail, you always want a backup of the original cards. But the HDD will have no bearing on your editing process, it can be disconnected while editing, if desired.

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The most efficient way to edit external in FCPX (HDD & SDD). 07 Jun 2020 11:22 #107729

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Lemonade wrote: ...What I would like to know is, in case you edit externally (Creating the Library inside the external SDD), is it recommended to do it, with the Original RAW footage from the camera inside the same SDD drive? ...


As usual FCPX.guru has stated the most important part - your media must be backed up.

My documentary team does exactly what he says - we offload all cards, typically using Hedge or other offloading app, then import to FCPX using "leave files in place". For AVCHD media, always offload the entire bundle, never import bare MTS files using "leave files in place".

The old viewpoint was don't put media on the system drive, but split items across HDDs to avoid I/O bottlenecks. New SSDs are so fast this is less an issue - it's more about space. If you got an 8TB MBP 16 (which is very expensive) you could probably put lots of media plus libraries on the system drive -- from a *performance* standpoint. But it must still be backed up.

IMO it's important to define within FCPX external storage and cache for each library, regardless of whether those locations are on the system drive or external drives. This keeps the library small which makes it easy to back up by duplicating it with Finder or copying to backup media.

Consider getting Final Cut Library Manager and the add-on feature which will make a CSV spreadsheet of all media in your library. This is a very inexpensive useful tool: www.arcticwhiteness.com/finalcutlibrarymanager/

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The most efficient way to edit external in FCPX (HDD & SDD). 08 Jun 2020 08:05 #107740

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FCPX.guru wrote: I'd copy your cards to the HDD as a backup. Then copy to the SDD, organize the folders as you wish, and import with "Leave In Place" to your Library. That HDD should have nothing to do with your Library, it should simply be your backup. SSDs can fail, anything can fail, you always want a backup of the original cards. But the HDD will have no bearing on your editing process, it can be disconnected while editing, if desired.


Thanks for the response.

Let's say you have all your "Raw footage" in a folder in your SDD and also the Library with all the media content (transcoded media, cache, rendered files, etc).

Let's say also that you've created a backup in your HDD.

You finish your project and to save space on your external SDD drive (SDD of 1TB is nice to edit but not to storage all your media for long periods) you delete the following:

1) All the "Raw footage" folder that you previously imported from the camera SD.
2) All the media generated in the Library. You only leave the library itself (let's say 2GB in total).

¿What should you do in case you want to work in that project again?. Remember that you selected "Leave files in place" when you imported all the media content from the SDD "Raw Footage" folder.

In order to work back again in the project you must create again in the SDD the exact same "Raw footage" folder by importing all the media from the backup on the HDD.

¿Does this make any sense?

Thanks for your help.!

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The most efficient way to edit external in FCPX (HDD & SDD). 08 Jun 2020 08:31 #107742

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joema wrote:

Lemonade wrote: ...What I would like to know is, in case you edit externally (Creating the Library inside the external SDD), is it recommended to do it, with the Original RAW footage from the camera inside the same SDD drive? ...


As usual FCPX.guru has stated the most important part - your media must be backed up.

My documentary team does exactly what he says - we offload all cards, typically using Hedge or other offloading app, then import to FCPX using "leave files in place". For AVCHD media, always offload the entire bundle, never import bare MTS files using "leave files in place".

The old viewpoint was don't put media on the system drive, but split items across HDDs to avoid I/O bottlenecks. New SSDs are so fast this is less an issue - it's more about space. If you got an 8TB MBP 16 (which is very expensive) you could probably put lots of media plus libraries on the system drive -- from a *performance* standpoint. But it must still be backed up.

IMO it's important to define within FCPX external storage and cache for each library, regardless of whether those locations are on the system drive or external drives. This keeps the library small which makes it easy to back up by duplicating it with Finder or copying to backup media.

Consider getting Final Cut Library Manager and the add-on feature which will make a CSV spreadsheet of all media in your library. This is a very inexpensive useful tool: www.arcticwhiteness.com/finalcutlibrarymanager/


Hi Joema,

Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.

So you consider a nice choice to export from CAMERA SD to both: HDD (as a backup) and SDD, and then create the library in the SDD and import all the footage also from the SDD to the library?

To import the footage from the HDD will generate a bottleneck...I guess.

Thanks.

Thanks.

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The most efficient way to edit external in FCPX (HDD & SDD). 09 Jun 2020 01:35 #107757

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I do find the most efficient way to edit with a laptop to use proxies as you can do all mayor work on your internal SSD with small proxies and therefor Libraries. I then only connect master files for output.

Have a read in my article here on FCP. Look for 'Workflow' in Part 1 and editing in Part 2
www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/2203-1...oad-with-fcpx-part-1

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The most efficient way to edit external in FCPX (HDD & SDD). 09 Jun 2020 11:42 #107761

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Lemonade wrote: So you consider a nice choice to export from CAMERA SD to both: HDD (as a backup) and SDD, and then create the library in the SDD and import all the footage also from the SDD to the library? To import the footage from the HDD will generate a bottleneck...I guess.


The most important thing is to have all the media backed up in at least two locations.

Re importing from HDD producing slow performance, this entirely depends on the codec. E.g, the 4k 100 mbps 4:2:0 codec used in Sony Alpha cameras is only 12.5 megabytes/sec. Any HDD can do that, even at 2x or 4x speed. Editing that codec is a compute-bound task, not an I/O-bound task. Putting that media on a 1,000 MB/sec SSD would not dramatically improve editing performance.

OTOH if you create optimized ProRes media, that is about 6x the size of typical H264, so it's a much more I/O-intensive operation. That kind of media would more likely benefit from an SSD.

Likewise the render files are ProRes 422. Whether they are inside the library or stored in a designated location you defined with the FCPX library inspector>storage locations>modify settings>cache, you generally want the cache files on a fast drive.

Also the library itself contains several SQL database tables, on which FCPX does frequent small random I/Os. You want the library itself on a fast drive.

As a general principle, having the library and FCPX cache on a fast drive is more important than H264 media. Proxies are about 70% the size of typical H264 because they are 1/4 the pixel resolution and use Proxy LT encoding. Due the the small size and fairly low data rate in theory they could be on a slower drive, but the same small size means it's easier (space wise) to put them on a small fast SSD.

In general it's difficult to manage proxy storage locations because (unlike regular media) relink is not supported and FCPX does not do "inode lookup" for proxies. Thus they can easily become unlinked and there's generally no way to fix them except for rebuilding.

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