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Old July 17th, 2008, 10:59 PM   #1
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I think FCP deleted media files on it's own

So I was capturing some Hi-8 footage using "capture now", I opened the project today and a good amount of media is offline. It seems like FCP named everything "untitled" even though I named the reels when capturing. The problems seems to be that when it created untitled1, untitled2, etc it stopped at 19 and started over. I have captured over 30 tapes and at this point I have 20 quicktimes from untitled to untitled 19 and all my tapes from 1 to 20 are now missing. When trying to reconnect those master clips they ask for quicktimes called untitled5 and so on which are already used and match the other tapes they are assigned to. Please tell me FCP just randomly puts them somewhere else and names them something random which is why I haven't been able to find them. This is pretty ridiculous in my book and the worst part is that it was actually for a paying client.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:53 PM   #2
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Sounds pretty strange to me. In any case, double check your FCP capture preferences to be sure your capture files destination are where you want them to be, and then navigate with the Finder to that capture folder location and check to see if the proper files are there. If so, you can manually reconnect the media via FCP.

You might also check to see if you have an errant FCP files folder in your user account documents folder. Sometimes, the preferences can get corrupted and default to that location.

Also, do you have multiple external drives to which you capture, and one might have been unmounted after capture. I know this is unlikely, but there is an option in capture settings to begin sending capture files to another drive when the first drive has reached capacity. If such is the case, and you were unaware of it, but then unmounted the additional drive at some point, those captured files are going to be seen as offline and disconnect from the FCP project.

After re-reading your post, I just realized something. I am wondering if you have accidentally overwritten your previously captured files. Since you are capturing them into the same project folder, and FCP is evidently titling them the same as the previous captures, then it is going to overwrite those earlier captures with the new ones, and your older ones are 'kaput'. I would think FCP should offer you a warning before doing this...but maybe I'm just missing something.

I don't think I have any good news for you on this - but hopefully someone will be able to shed some light on it more than I can. I don't often use 'capture now' as I have found it to be buggy in the past also.

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Old July 18th, 2008, 12:14 AM   #3
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I have a mac pro with the main HD and 3 striped together. I think it did do the overwriting but I can't believe that it happened without any prompting. I use Avid all the time at my work and I am so used to doing the equivalent of capture now with avid for long tapes and I never would of guessed this happens. I searched all over and can't find any more quicktimes. It is weird that as I was capturing past tape 21 you would think media would start going off line. The job that I was hired to do was capture 30 tapes and transfer them to a drive. So when I was transferring them I noticed they were all untitled and ended at 19. Hopefully the first 20 can keep his busy and he will let me slide with re capturing for no charge.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #4
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There might be a problem with the drive directory with the RAID array. Run Disk Utility or DiskWarrior 4 first. FCP would not normally overwrite files, the program is designed to scan the capture folders before capture and change the file name to the next number or letter. If the files are being lost due to a defect in the RAID directory, FCP will make a mistake.

However the fact that the files are being called "untitled" at all is curious. The only normal reason you would get untitled video files is if you were capturing to a new project without saving it first and not giving the files a name in the "description" box. Having two projects open when capturing can also confuse FCP about where the capture files should go.

If this isn't the circumstance then FCP is having a mental breakdown that might be corrected by throwing out the preferences and restarting the program. If that doesn't work, throw out the preferences and reinstall FCP.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #5
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I've had media files completely disappear on me. Never figured it out. Had to recapture. They were on an external drive and I wonder if I accidently partially disconnected the FW cable while they were in use. No warning of that though if I did.

Of course I know that would likely corrupt the files but would that make them disappear?
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Old July 18th, 2008, 02:31 PM   #6
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James,

FCP definitely handles media management differently than Avid and M.M. is also one of FCP weak points when compared to Avid.

But as Jonathan points out there are things you can do to prevent this in the future by making sure you know where your capture files are going and also understanding how FCP references all it's media with meta-data. It's always a good idea to have separate folders (not necessarily drives) for differing media types such as captured vs. transferred etc.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #7
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Specifically, the capture schema works thusly:

Captured files go into a folder in the Capture Scratch folder wherever you have set that up to be (not at all random). Default is in the documents folder of the currently active user of the machine.

You can change the location of the capture scratch in one of the tabs on the right side of the capture window... there's a button on there, I can't visualize the actual words on it right now, but it should jump out at you once you look for it.

Since you are opening a new project which is unnamed, the program puts it in an "untitled" footage folder assuming that you'll grab it and move it later (bad choice on macromedia/apple's part - Apple bought FC from Macromedia way back when). I'm not sure how the numbering on these folders/projects work, but I'm sure there's some arbitrary limit to how many unnamed folders it'll make before it starts overwriting the older ones.

The "approved" way to do this (and not have it happen again) is to save the project before capturing the footage which will then end up in a folder with the project name on it.

My method that I use to make the data easy to get to works thusly:

When making a new project, I create a folder for that project. I then set all of the scratch disk information to that folder so all of the media and tidbits end up in that folder. That way to move the project from one drive to another for archival/backup purposes, I just need to move the folder and it's done. All of the render files and everything go with it.

I use bare external eide/ata hard drives connected via firewire with a Wiebetech Drive Dock. This way, I can fit 3-4 projects on a 180Gb drive (or larger for bigger projects, or smaller for single projects) and when it's full, I just disconnect the drive and pop in another one.

To work on a project again, I simply plug in the drive and set the scratch disk settings to point to the folder with that project, then open the project file. Up comes all the right footage and all of the previously rendered stuff. It also keeps my main harddrive full so the system can use the open space for swap disk space.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #8
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Cole- That is exactly what I did. I save media and renders to my internal raid but have my autosave vault and project file saved to the Macintosh HD. I always name and save my project before capturing, I even rename the sequence FCP provides every time you create a project and call it the day's date and what I am doing. It is just weird that two different master clips would be pointed at the same file named "untitled5".
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Old July 18th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jase Tanner View Post
I've had media files completely disappear on me. Never figured it out. Had to recapture. They were on an external drive and I wonder if I accidently partially disconnected the FW cable while they were in use. No warning of that though if I did.

Of course I know that would likely corrupt the files but would that make them disappear?
Sure will. Disconnecting a drive while it's in use or mounted can interrupt drive directory updates that happen without your knowledge. The files might not get corrupted but the important directory will no longer have it's position on the drive recorded. There are programs that can retrieve lost files.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 03:04 AM   #10
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William

Thanks for clarifying that for me. Which program would locate these files?
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Old July 19th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #11
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FCP now (in version 6 and possibly 5) saves media files in the Capture Scratch folder with a subdirectory titled the name of your project (for those of us that increment our projects with numbers ie. v1.0, v1.1)

See if this is somehow affecting your files and perhaps they are still there.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 01:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jase Tanner View Post
William

Thanks for clarifying that for me. Which program would locate these files?
Tech Tool Pro does a good if very slow job of it. I'm sure there are other programs as well.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 06:01 PM   #13
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You may not need to purchase TTP to locate your files:

You can use the "reconnect media" option in the media browser (or directly in the timeline if the clip had been applied to a timeline). Reconnect all your drives that you used to capture your media, then select "all files". You can simply force FCP to reconnect to any media that has a similar name and see if it matches the missing clip. If not you can always try to reconnect to another clip.

You can also use "Finder" to locate the files by simply typing in the name - or just the beginning of the name of the file in question. When you get the results in the Finder search window you'll be able to tell by date/time stamp which of those "untitled" clips are the ones you're looking for.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 06:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
You may not need to purchase TTP to locate your files:

You can use the "reconnect media" option in the media browser (or directly in the timeline if the clip had been applied to a timeline). Reconnect all your drives that you used to capture your media, then select "all files". You can simply force FCP to reconnect to any media that has a similar name and see if it matches the missing clip. If not you can always try to reconnect to another clip.

You can also use "Finder" to locate the files by simply typing in the name - or just the beginning of the name of the file in question. When you get the results in the Finder search window you'll be able to tell by date/time stamp which of those "untitled" clips are the ones you're looking for.
That is my problem right there. When I went to reconnect my clips it seems like FCP connected clips to the same untitled media. For example, tape 5 would be connected to "untitled5" and tape 25 would be connected to "untitled5". The media did not disconnect as I was digitizing but after I copied the capture scratch to a drive for the client I opened the project afterwords and saw half my media was offline.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 11:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
You may not need to purchase TTP to locate your files:
To clarify, Tech Tool is good for locating files that have been lost due to drive corruption (from accidental disconnection) or accidental trashing. If the files can found using the finder then Tech Tool isn't needed. But if a drive has been accidentally disconnected while in use, running DiskWarrior or TechTool after the drive has been remounted, isn't the worst idea. These programs can find drive problems that are not apparent now but could come up later.
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