Need suggestions for video workflow - Final Cut Pro X

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by esskay, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. esskay, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

    esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    I am a video hobbyist, this is not my profession but I have a tendency to get sucked into these sort of things. I shoot a hacked GH2 with the L glass from my Canon still gear.

    Until recently, I've done all my editing/etc with Sony Vegas Pro on a desktop PC tower with a couple TBs of attached storage. I have a Synology DS413J NAS for shared files, storage, and backup.

    My old Dell laptop died and I have since gotten a MBP 13 (early 2011 2.7ghz i7 with 8GB/256GB SSD). I love my Mac so much more than the PC and so I got FCPX. FCPX on my MBP is also more responsive than Vegas on my old PC (a quad C2D).

    So I'd like to do my projects on my MBP now, but obviously with a 256GB SSD I need to figure out a usable workflow for this since I can't keep everything on my MBP. An example is my daughter's gymnastics meet which generated about 15GB of raw footage.

    I'd appreciate suggestions/recommendations.

    My thought was as follows:
    * After each shoot, copy raw footage to the NAS, keep there as raw archive
    * For each active project, copy raw footage to my MBP SSD and work on it in FCPX
    * Render final video and when all done, move/archive all project files to NAS and delete raw footage from the MBP

    In future when budget allows, since it's better not to work off the OS drive, I would get an FW800 (or thunderbolt) external to hang off the MBP, and it would house all the temporary raw footage and FCPX project files while I am working on an active project.

    * Does this sound like a good plan?
    * Are there any issues with FCPX projects getting confused with file paths/etc when I archive the FCPX project files to the NAS? What is the best way to do that? (I might want to bring them back at some point in the future if I need to do further work)

    ETA, I found this which suggests "duplicating projects" and consolidating the media (which in my case would unfortunately result in duplicative copies of the raw footage on the NAS):

    Wish I could just work off the NAS but that seems to be a bad idea, I think over gigabit it gets 30-40MB/s throughput at best.

    Hmm, this is an interesting article about using disk images:

    Thanks in advance!
  2. treatment macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2012
    I'm sure thousands of people around the globe are doing exactly what you describe. I know I am!
    The only step I would add, is getting yourself a Blu-Ray drive so you can perminantly archive raw footage.
    This has worked very well for me in the last 4 years.
  3. esskay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Thanks, what method are you using to archive your projects, events and raw footage? Are you using the "duplicating projects" method described in the link above? Do you separate raw files from the FCP Event structure?

  4. jonjiv macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2012
    The method described in that link seems to do little other than consolidate your footage for a project into one place. This seems unnecessary if all the footage for that project is already in one place to begin with.

    When I move a project between two drives, I move the project folder and the event folder in Finder. If my footage is only referenced by the event, I move the footage folder as well. If your footage is referenced, you'll have to reimport the footage when accessing the project and event from the new location and it should automatically connect.

    It's pretty annoying, so you'll definitely want to invest in an external hard drive eventually.

    I personally don't "archive" anything in the traditional sense. Everything is kept on external hard drives which are backed up through Time Machine onto separate external hard drives. We'll eventually switch to a RAID which will use the space more efficiently, but this works for now.

    Hard drive space gets cheaper every year, so I see little value in going through the trouble of putting everything on Blu-Ray discs, which need to be very well-organized if you have 7 TB's of projects and footage like I do. That's 140 Dual Layer Blu-Ray discs!
  5. Unami, Dec 12, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012

    Unami macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    sounds like a good plan.
    be aware that "duplicate projects" copies all contents of your project folder. even folders you put in there manually (which is actually a good thing if you're like me and keep other files like After Effects Comps, etc. in your project folder).

    be sure not to archive render files and any optimized media that's already in your original media folder (unless you want to). it just eats up space. you can manually delete files/folders from your "transcoded media" folder - fcpx won't mind - but be careful with everything else.

    when you've consolidated your media and duplicated the project and events, you can delete the duplicate raw footage (obviously).

    you can also do all of this manually in finder - only if you duplicate a project or event manually, fcpx will open only one project with this name (just put it in a folder named like "final cut events OLD", for example, and fcpx won't see it on startup)
  6. treatment macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2012
    No one really has any solid proof as to how long an optical disc will last, if stored properly.
    I've got CD's and DVDs from the 90's that I can still pop into the drive and load onto the computer. I cannot say the same for ANY hard drive I have owned. Harddrives (tradtional) need to be "spun up" in order to maintain their health, and I give ANY harddrive 5 years at best. I have hundreds of Blu ray discs, and I can find ANY file within about 5 minutes. Everything scanned with DiskTracker.
    I do agree that if you are working on a project level that involves TERABYTES of data, than Blu Ray is impractical. But why not back up a brand new harddrive to disc so you can wipe it and use it again?

    My two cents.
  7. esskay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    BTW, as a follow up, I used the procedure described in this video to create a sparse bundle disk image to hold my archived FCPX project.

  8. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Very nice! Thank you! I have recently begun to research into serious archiving solutions...assuming I had the money I would output to LTO-5 tape or something like that but I don't, so a Drobo disk array is in near glad I have Thunderbolt since most of these disk arrays only really offer good NAS gigabit ethernet arrays or eSATA/Thunderbolt arrays. Lady I work for had an iMac that came out one release before Thunderbolt so she was forced to deal with Gigabit Ethernet.
  9. esskay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    No worries!

    I have a 256 SSD in my MBP, and a 4 bay Synology NAS (via gigabit). So what I've been doing is copying raw footage onto the NAS to archive it, importing my current project onto the MBP while I work on it, then when done archive just the used clips into a sparse bundle. Then I move it to the NAS and clear out everything from my MBP.

    If you have a disk array connected directly via Thunderbolt, that should be quite fast. I have too many different machines in my house that have to share and backup files, so I had to get a NAS.
  10. ChrisA, Nov 27, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    That is not true if the OS drive is an SSD. If you have a computer with an SSD then it will be faster yoplace everything on that. But as you said. It will quickly fill up.

    FCP X allows you to move your data around. It is pretty easy to "re-collect" the project with the event.

    In FCP X the "events" folder holds the media and the "project" folder hold all your edits. projects are tiny files and events can be huge. But you can move and reconnect the files.

    A FW800 or even TB external disk, if it is a "disk" and no an SSD will be much slower then using the internal SSD.

    I good work flow as long as you don't shoot to much is to import the data direct to the MacBook, then copy to the external archive. The next step in FCPX is to catalog your data. Use tags and keywords and assign in and out points. Editing is SO much easier after you have assigned metadata to all the shots. You can do the copies right from inside FCPX

    One thing you will have to find by experiment is if you want FCPX to transcode the media. I think by default it does but you can turn it off. You can edit with original files or the trans coded files. Which is over all faster depends on your computer and how much editing you do.
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    That is not a bad idea because "event" and "project" folder MUST be in the root directory of a disk or at the top level of your home directory.

    The disk image lets you move the archive any place you like.

    Backing up video is another issue. If you use Time Machine and you are moving files on and off the SSD you will fill up the TM disk real fast. I use CrashPlan, Time machine and a set of bare SATA drives I rotate to a firesafe in a remote location.
  12. alksion macrumors 68000


    Sep 10, 2010
    Los Angeles County
    Thanks for sharing that vide. That was exactly what I was looking for!

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