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Old October 19th, 2002, 11:33 AM   #1
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Organizing/control of your image library

What's the best way you've found to organize you're footage.
Right now, though I'm trying to shoot different subjects on different tapes, I don't in practice always do it.
I'm thinking of downloading, rearranging into different subjects -insect close ups, wide angle, birds etc- delete the junk and then rerecord relavant subjects back on tape.
How do you keep 100s of hours organized?

Chris
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Old October 19th, 2002, 01:22 PM   #2
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Mine's usually by project. I have a few of those Bryco organizer trays (sold by our sponsor Pro-Tape at www.pro-tape.com) and then I have a couple little black-and-clear plastic three-drawer cabinets where the slide-out drawers are perfectly sized for Hi-8mm and DV cassettes. Each drawer holds 28 DV cassettes or about 20 Hi-8mm cassettes. Got these at Target for less than ten bucks each. The cabinets, not the tapes!

All my community theater and dance stuff from over the years is all together, and organized by year. I keep the raw source material and the edit masters together, about four tapes per project. The documentary my wife and I are doing is in one of those drawers.

Then I've got a primary client for whom I've been shooting for more than six years. All of the source tapes for his stuff is a separate box completely. Hi-8mm and DV, organized by date. His edit masters are kept downtown at the studio ready for duplication.

The Bryco trays are pretty cool and you can get them is different sizes... mine hold 24 DV cassettes each... and they go right in a desk drawer or you can stack 'em on a shelf. My smaller jobs (one or two tapes each) are in there, plus personal tapes, non-paying stuff, family and friends stuff.

Geez, then there's all the VHS... I just moved so most of it is packed away in cardboard boxes out in the garage. Guess you could say I don't have much of a system but I know where everything is.

By project and by date is how I do it though.
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Old October 20th, 2002, 06:51 AM   #3
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Thanks Chris, I need to pick up some more tapes so I'll check out the Bryco organizers when I'm done here.

I guess what I'm most interested in is if you or anyone has a way of cleaning out the junk footage and reorganizing clips so that you don't have to go through six different tapes to find six different clips on (in my case) praying mantises, or take 15 tapes on insects and break it down into a tape on bees and wasps one on beetles etc. Anyone reorganize their originals?
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Old October 20th, 2002, 07:47 AM   #4
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No, it would sorta of be a waste of time. If you were to spend the time cataloging all your tapes that would be a better use of it. If you're really serious about this I would use cataloging software for still photographs. I'm on a Mac, so I use Porfolio by Extensis http://www.extensis.com/ It allows me to assign key words, describe the footage, use timecode data, etc. When I have the time I also capture a frame and assign it to the file as a visual reminder. It takes a lot of time.

I have video footage of over 500 North American birds. I have footage of feeding, mating, flying, building nests etc. How do I find the scene I need? Catalog every tape with a unique number. Log every shot with notations about the scene including timecode beginning and end. Enter all relevant information into a data base (I use one already designed for pictures). When you have the time go back and capture the visual reminder to attach to the file. Piece of cake.

Jeff
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Old October 21st, 2002, 12:41 PM   #5
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Be careful re-recording your digital material. This usually involves re-compression and you lose quality!!
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Old October 21st, 2002, 01:13 PM   #6
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As long as you stay DV to DV you're just copying the data and no loss of quality is involved. If you alter the data in any way and/or render any changes a loss of quality would occur.

Jeff
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Old October 22nd, 2002, 11:19 AM   #7
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Thanks Jeff,
Just the kind of answer I was looking for!
I know what I'll be doing this winter.

Chris
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Old October 25th, 2002, 10:54 AM   #8
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Is there significant loss of quality when archiving project files (FCP render files and segments) on DVDs?
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Old October 25th, 2002, 11:03 AM   #9
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I use the QuickTime encoder and Cleaner 5.1.1. In my opinion, there is a loss of quality using either of these. Cleaner is a little better and Cleaner 6 is supposed to be the best software encoder when it releases. There are early reports of a few bugs, though.

I just save the project files, graphics, final audio tracks etc. Then re-import the original footage, re-render. I also make several DV masters. It really depends on what your clients need. DVD quality may be fine. If you wanted to save time instead of re-importing all the originals, save the clip files (media) to DVD as data. I would still do all my renders over.

Jeff
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Old October 25th, 2002, 07:48 PM   #10
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Thanks, Jeff. I kept wondering why people say it isn't good to archive on DVD due to compression. Since we're talking about "data" storage, it shouldn't matter...should it?

Sure would free up a lot of HD space...and have the projects ready to reload into FCP later if necessary.

So, I guess the trays Chris mentioned for MiniDV and VHS combined with DVD disc storage would take care of everything.
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Old October 25th, 2002, 09:06 PM   #11
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Data is data. I use DVD's to store data all the time. MPEG2 is a compression. Quality is lost in the compression. Mini DV needs all the help it can get. So, just save the media files as data. On occasion, for some of my larger clients I sell them a hard drive with all their files on it. I buy small FireWire drives and copy everything to it. Its cheaper for the client to buy the drive than pay me by the hour to import all their media back into FCP.

Jeff
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Old October 28th, 2002, 02:59 AM   #12
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When people are talking about DVD confusion is easy to get. What
you want to talk about is DVD-ROM (or DVD-Data) instead of
DVD-Video. The first one will not alter your data in anyway
(ofcourse). The second one will require recompression into
MPEG2 (which you might use for distributing and viewing to
other people).

My personal plan is to get a DVD burner at the end of this year
or early next year and I will use it for data storage (just burn
DVD-ROM/DATA) and as an output to play on DVD players
(DVD-Video).

Hope this cleared things a bit. Good luck.
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Old October 28th, 2002, 07:55 AM   #13
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Thanks, Rob. That's what I was trying to say but it wasn't coming out right.

Jeff
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Old November 7th, 2002, 02:28 AM   #14
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Found this recently:

"A relational database for labeling and cataloging miniDV tapes."

http://www.rodus.com/videomatica/

Anybody uses it, please let us know how it works out. Hope this helps,
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Old November 7th, 2002, 02:45 AM   #15
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Looks interesting, Chris. Unfortunately for me and other Mac OSX users, it's made for classic. I'll be interested to hear about it from PC users...and I'll search and see if anything's available for OSX.
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