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Old July 26th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #1
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Q. importing to external media drive via fcpx?

Hi, I hope someone here can help me with advice/method (couldn't find info via search).

I want to import video files from my camera or SDHC card directly to my external drive.

I'm new to video editing and have recently installed FCPX on my MacBook Pro (mtn. lion) and have attached a 2TB external "media" drive via firewire 800. I haven't been able to find instruction on how best to import my video from my XA10 or SDHC port directly to my media drive via FCPX.
When I attempt to import, FCPX begins to transfer data to my MacBook hard drive and - too quickly - I begin receiving warnings that my drive is critically full.

The sources I have found on "importing" (lynda.com, apple support, youtube, and DVINFO.net) have only shown me data being copied from one drive to another - after importing to the local drive. Can someone help me with a process to follow? Many Thanks!

I should add that I need to work from/on my external media drive.

Also, FCPX does not seem to be able to find my media drive. When I first launch FCPX both Event Library and Project Library show my media drive, then within seconds the drive is no longer visible in the list. I created file folders (via finder) for FC Events and FC Projects in the root of the drive, but the drive is not visible to FCPX after the app is fully loaded.

Last edited by Wayne Kach; July 26th, 2013 at 09:26 AM.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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Re: Q. importing to external media drive via fcpx?

You have two issues here.

One is the import issue. Which ever drive you have the event folder located is where the imported files will go. As long as you have highlighted the event and then chosen import that is where the files will be transferred. The import window will allow you to change the destination but it defaults to the highlighted event.

Your second and more important problem is the disappearing drive. Does the drive disappear from the desktop as well? Do you get a system alert that the drive wasn't ejected properly? Is the drive formatted for Mac computers?
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Old July 26th, 2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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Re: Q. importing to external media drive via fcpx?

Hi William, thanks for your reply.
I follow your logic re: the event folder location... that will clarify future import paths.

I discovered that I had another folder residing within the root of this drive (and nothing else) along with the FCP folders. This other folder was my recently copied/archived "private" folder from my SDHC card.
I was advised that this "private" folder (as well as any others that might contain the names "video" or "dcim" would result in FCPX interpreting the drive as camera memory... rejecting/invalidating it for use.
To test, I renamed the folder = "x_private" and FCPX found the drive and the event folder placed there.

For the sake of being thorough - the drive was always visible in finder/desktop, and was recently reformatted for mac osx extended journaled... and I'll assume that I've practiced proper ejection of this disc when it was last moved.

Hopefully, after a few hard knocks, I'll be able to return some help to this community.
Thanks again!
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Old July 26th, 2013, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: Q. importing to external media drive via fcpx?

You figured it out. Either rename the SDHC backups or nest them in another folder.
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Old July 28th, 2013, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: Q. importing to external media drive via fcpx?

Wayne,
I hope this isn't a hijack but I feel we are in the same boat as far as being relatively new to editing with FCPX and this is a bit related. I'm posting this up in hopes someone will say ... "yep. thats a good way" or "Man! You are crazy! Do it this way instead."

So here goes...

I too am importing AVCHD files from an SDHC card. I am using a less than 3 months old Macbook Pro Retina. I have 2 external USB 3.0 drives connected. I first use Finder to copy the entire contents of the SDHC onto the first media drive into a folder I created just for this. Once the copy is complete, I eject the SDHC and launch FCPX. I then use the import utility to import the files from the folder I recently copied to into an event that lives on the 2nd media drive. I then edit using the 2nd drive once the import is complete and the media is finished transcoding. My reasoning behind this is I now have the footage living in two places incase of mishap. It works but I have had some hiccups. For example, the last time I did this, I had to copy the SDHC card about 4 times before the file structure transferred correctly to the folder on the 1st media drive so FCPX would open the folder and show just the clips to import and not the "Private" folder. The first three times, the "Private" folder was all that showed and it was inaccessible (grayed out) That got me wondering if this really was the best way to do this. I still don't know why the 4th time was the charm. I did re-boot between times 2 and 3 and then again between 3 and 4. I did discover that it usually worked best if I highlight the SDHC card in Finder and then hit command-A to highlight the contents of the card instead of clicking inside the contents of the SDHC card and hitting command-A.

If there is a better way, I would love to hear it. Coming from a tape based past, I'm terrified of having it all go away at any moment. Thanks for your consideration and Wayne, I hope this my be of benefit to you and other FCPX newbies like us. Joe
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Old July 30th, 2013, 05:32 AM   #6
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Re: Q. importing to external media drive via fcpx?

Joe, the best way to copy the card contents is to create a card archive from within the import screen of FCPX - you can copy this to the drive location of your choice.
From then on, your workflow is OK.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 11:33 AM   #7
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Re: Q. importing to external media drive via fcpx?

I'm going to second Pauls suggeston above.

X is built to reference source files from card type media. These mount on a desktop as "virtual drive" files. Now it's prefectly possible to import card content directly into an Event within FCP-X in which case X will make copies of the card files in the Event Folder Structure - subtracting the entire size of the media from your hard drive's available space.

The OTHER way to work is to simply "clone" the original card. This is what X does when it creates a FCP-X Archive. It's also the exact same process many of us use when we create Disk Images or Sparse Bundles - both of which are just versions of the same kind of digital Archive that X can create internally.

The point is that when you launch an Archive, it looks to the software like you've just inserted the original card.

If you keep doing things the "old" way - which is to say dragging files from cards to folders inside the finder, you *might* create problems - particularly if you don't drag ALL the metadata sidecar files along. Disk clones keep the entire card file structure intact. Plus finder copies of Archives work exactly like the original ones - so it's a great way to make secondary copies of your field footage.

If you use these archives, then you don't have to copy what you shoot INTO X, you can just launch and work from your clones as needed.

X is not built to work like older style NLEs. It's constantly actively searching for connected cards - and if it sees anything that "looks" like an attached drive - it will search it for FCP-X Event and Project folders - and if it finds them it will mount them - AND it will read the directories into the X database so that X can find and use the assets on them.

This is a killer process once you understand it. (It's also a bit annoying since once you mount a volume and it gets read into the current database, you can't just disconnect that card volume at will since it's files are intertwined into the general X operational database!)

X is different. Cool different. But different. Drag and drop should NOT be your first mode of file management in X.

It wants MOUNT the asset drive - then let it build and integrate the new Projects and Events into the global index. Then you can edit with everything mounted.

Hope that helps.
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