FCP: Migrating, Consolidating, Tidying…e.g.bat ving…

Sometimes the media files for a project are stored in several folders on one or more scratch disks. This happens if you selected a different scratch disk each time you captured media files, or when the name of the project file changes (this often happens when you save often to different filenames).  It would be tidier to consolidate all the media files for a project into one folder.Of course it may be better to avoid making a mess in the first place, as per this person’s advice: <<<I set up each project in its own folder so and then set up capture scratch render files and everything else. This way if I need to move anything you can move the folder onto the hard drive and you dont have to worry about what stuff to move.  >>>There are two approaches (I am aware of):

  • Manually copy/move the relevant files (project, source media, renders) then Reconnect the consequently offline media.
    • May only have to reconnect one file, provided the reconnect all files in this relative path option is checked.
  • Use Media Manager.  This is more efficient, because all of your clips are reconnected automatically after the media files are moved.

The Manual Approach:

  • The Project file.
    • This is the most important file.
      • If all the media in your project came from external media or generated media like titles or color mattes, this is the only file you actually need to move to another computer.  Everything else can be re-imported (e.g. batch-captured) or re-created (e.g. re-rendered).
      • But usually you’ll want to bring other files with you, as below.
  • Source Media files.
    • Recordings e.g. captured video and audio clips. These are usually stored in your Capture Scratch folder in a folder with your project name (unless you saved them elsewhere or moved them). If you move these to another computer, you should only have to reconnect one file, if you have the reconnect all files in this relative path option checked.
    • Other media/project files – you might have Motion or LiveType projects, Photoshop graphics, After Effects animations, or any number of other media files for your project- obviously you’ll want to move these over to the new system, and you might want the original project files also.
  • Render-files.
    • There are exceptions, but it is best not to move render files – this can lead to problems.
    • It’s better to rerender on the new system. If you must move them, they are in the “Render Files” folder.

The Media Manager Approach:

  • OS X:
    • Ensure there is a destination folder for the project.
  • FCP:
    • In the Browser, select all items in the project.
    • Make sure the Browser window is active.
    • Menu: [File > Media Manager]
    • Set the required options e.g. handles (margins), select the destination folder (mentioned above) and press [OK].
    • Files created by the Media Manager:
      • [<Destination Folder>]
        • Project File [<projname>.fcp].
        • [Media]
          • [<projname>]
            • <Media Files>
    • This structure is a bit mad but it’s the FCP convention…


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