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Old April 4th, 2010, 09:10 AM   #1
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Location: Prague, CZ
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First light - project structure and saving files

I'm a bit confused even after reading the FirstLight manual -- there is a concept of project, database, and snapshot, plus 3D LUTs.

It's all pretty new to me, both FirstLight and digital video editing, so correct me if I'm wrong:

-- project = *.cffl format, xml containing a list of clips in the bin and the desired database
-- database = *.cdb, associates colour profile edits to each clip in bin, (it might contain active metadata changes that are not saved as snapshots?)
-- snapshot = a state or profile of active metadata settings
-- 3D LUT = look up tables, industry standard for colour grading

The problem I have is when I try to archive a project, I don't know how to save my active metadata with the project files. I've been saving CFFL files alongside my vegas project with trimmed CFHD clips, then decided to take a look into the format and saw there really isn't anything contained in it. I see that I can export the database to CDB but I'm not quite sure what that contains, is it specific to a project?

I'm pretty careful about archiving files, documents, and program and project settings off my OS disk, so I can basically reformat and be back up and running within a few hours with no fear of having lost anything important. With FirstLight it looks like both the database and snapshots are saved automatically to an unknown location. I didn't search very hard, but they didn't appear to be in the CineForm program folder, or in any of the usual suspects within my windows user folder structure. If I reformat tomorrow, I've probably lost all that information and the CFFL file won't help me. I guess it is about portability and collaboration, it seems hard to backup or share right now.

I probably use the tool differently to someone colour grading an entire film, but I would like to be able to save simple snapshots as XML next to the clip, like Adobe's XMP sidecar files for RAW still images. It may be early days for First Light as a very new bit of software, but I hope something like the above will be made available in an upcoming release.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #2
CTO, CineForm Inc.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California
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For a full backup, storing any color change you every made (there is not that match data) copy all the files contained within your LUTPath. This a is registry controlled location.


Most system store this c:\Users\Public\CineForm\LUTs

I archive this automatically to multiple locations using

See video on how here:

If you want just you modification of a particular project, export a database to a CDB file, save that with your media. This does not contain any .look files, which you may have created, those should be archive with you source media (unless you do the above LUTPath archive would you get everything.)
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Old April 4th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #3
New Boot
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Prague, CZ
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Good info, and thanks for the video. I'm already using Dropbox for lots of small portable apps (VirtualDub, VLC etc) so this works nicely for me.
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