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Old May 11th, 2006, 04:21 AM   #1
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How to organize and control your footage?

Though this question applies for all videographers, surely wildlife videographers ,I hope to get answers from birders.

I think, if this issue is not dealt thoroughly, it can loosen the hands of even the most enthusiastic videographer.

I can split the question to four parts...
capture,naming,organizing and archiving

First there is the question of what to do with raw material you bring back from the field.

Do you filter the material on the capture stage?

After that stage you are left with some worth saving clips (20? more?), of course you need to evaluate them first...
Do you cluster them in groups, then render as AVI and save only the new material, or save the original clips?

Now one can characterize each clip....
By: location, season or date, species, quality,serial number....

It would be nice (or not?) to have all those characteristics on the clip name.
Are you using that method?

Independently of the naming issue, where to put all that stuff on the computer?
For still photos (gulls), I have a folder for each species and ssp. ,a sub folder for each age and there is also devision by years.
On stills there is also the adventage of using thumbnails (does it also applies to video?).

Is there a good comercial program that can help here (both the thumbnails and organize / retrieve) ?

The last issue - archiving, is discussed elsewhere on dvinfo, so I'll leave it for those other threads.

Sassi
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Old May 12th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #2
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I have so much stuff (stock footage) that I use a database program to find footage that I may need to capture in the future. I classify footage by subject (species etc.), place, action, date, tape #, time code etc. and then I can do a search to find what I need later. Thanks to my wife for the many hours she spent organizing things for me. There really is no use having great footage if you can't find it!

When I'm building a project, I used to do a lot of my sorting while I captured the footage using FCP. Now I have much more hard drive space, so I tend to capture whole tapes or sections of tapes and sort things out using explorer and "media pool" in Vegas. This method is faster and a lot easier on my tape drive. Media pool provides thumbnails for viewing clips and allows you to select the clips you may want for a particular segment. I have the option of renaming clips, but I seldom use this method.

I also think that you need to give a lot of thought to what kind of project you are doing before you even begin capturing files. Depending on what you are doing there are many different ways you may want to lay things out.

I hope this is the kind of information you are looking for.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #3
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I'd like to read more comments on this subject. Badly need to in fact.

Being doubly-cursed as a self-taught slow learner I've got a stupid habit of capturing all clips and auto-saving them all NOwhere using Premiere Pro. Is it this that walks me into the most frequent box that jumps up before me ... "Windows Media Player can't play this .. drop your settings and try again." or "Your computer is running low in memory. Close other programs & try again" The latter pops up when I've 20 gigs (out of 200) to spare and no other program open! And then I end up deleting clips to save space and you know the rest ... my timelines have more red boxes than the UK postal system.

Help, for God's, Allah's, Jehovah's, believer's and non-believer's sake. Why don't I just follow the manuals? Because IMO they seem to wander all over the place from Page 2 onwards, introducing matter that "seems" outside my purpose at the time.

Please tell me your simple system for capturing, saving and not losing the 10% of each tape worth a second look ...
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Old May 16th, 2006, 09:41 AM   #4
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Many years ago I bought a device that was manufactured in the UK. It consists of a timecode transmitter that fits on the betacam camera and transmits the camera timecode while the camera is recording. The receiver is a handheld battery operated receiver that "grabs" the timecode as well as the time of day. All this happens automatically and in fact I normally switch the reciver on at the start of a shooting day and leave it unattended in my camera bag, it has an operating range of several hundred metres. At the end of each shot you could, if necessary, enter basic shot info.

Back in the studio, you can down load the data to a Mac or PC, in my case I download into a Mac and save it as an Excel file. It is then up to you as to how much additional information you add.

I have hundreds of SP Betacam tapes logged this way with around 20,000 takes individually logged. It is then a very simple matter of sorting the Excel log and importing it as a log into Final Cut Pro ready for batch digitising.

Unfortunately this device is no longer manufactured and would only work on SP Betacam or the first generation 700 digibetacam cameras.

For DV logging I normally import the whole tape into Final Cut Pro (providing there are no time code breaks) and razor the time line at the shot break. After having "cut" the whole roll, I drag it into a bin and it mark's the "in" and 'out" points. You can then export this information into an excel file format.

Hope this is some help

Bob
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:39 AM   #5
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Thank you Bob for sharing your filing system with us. False economy was one of my basic mistakes ... using your system of retaining hundreds of tapes would protect me from damaging the snippets of good footage and deleting original clips.

Would anyone using premiere pro on pc tell me what use you make of:

2 drives, for what purposes?
scratch discs, for what purposes?

.. and as Sassi Haham put it .. ".. where to put all that stuff on the computer?"

And how about a blast of clear thinking from Mrs. Phil French?
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Old May 18th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #6
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Here's my PPRO setup. First off I dual boot, one OS for everything BUT video, the other OS for PPRO and related apps only.

Drive #1 - WindowsXP and Premiere Pro - Project file - titles- stills -art
Drive #2 - Captured Video/video preview Scratch disk
Drive #3 - Audio preview Scratch disk
Drive #4 - Stock footage-heavily used footage
Network Drive - All soundtracks/sound FX

I try to avoid having source files and destination of final renders on the same drive.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #7
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One of the editing programs I have is Ulead's Media Studio Pro 7. In the capture program, there is a function called "Scan DV Tape". What this does is scan a complete tape and create thumbnail images based on scene change. It gets a little confused with pans or a lot of movement and sometimes creates multiple thumbnails for one scene, which can be combined after the scan is finished. Each thumbnail shows time in/out for each scene and also date and time shot. I can highlight any thumbnail and tell the deck to go directly to that point either for my review or capture. I then identify the tape with a geographic location, the year, and a 3 digit number. Identification systems are a personal thing, but any system is better than none. The scan dv tape file is saved with a Ulead extension in its own folder. I back this up everytime I make an entry. I can also pull up these thumbnail files at any time without even putting a tape in the deck. All that is required is that deck to be on and connected to the host via firewire. I use these thumbnails to put the information in Excel with species name, location, date, notes, ect. Since I shoot mostly birds, Excel works just fine for my needs, since I can sort many different ways, by species, by date, by location, ect. I don't know if any other editing programs has a feature like this, or at least something close to it.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 07:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Wagner
Here's my PPRO setup. First off I dual boot, one OS for everything BUT video, the other OS for PPRO and related apps only.

Drive #1 - WindowsXP and Premiere Pro - Project file - titles- stills -art
Drive #2 - Captured Video/video preview Scratch disk
Drive #3 - Audio preview Scratch disk
Drive #4 - Stock footage-heavily used footage
Network Drive - All soundtracks/sound FX

I try to avoid having source files and destination of final renders on the same drive.
What you do within your second (video) OS is just what I needed to read ... does this mean that:

1.Drive #2 is where your captured footage remains stored until you're completely finished using/editing it on Drive #1 or elsewhere?

2.If so, at what stage do you put a name/tag on each clip you're not readily deleting?

3.When you're working on a (sequence of) clips in Drive #1, if you decide to delete a clip do you ever get a message saying "If you delete this here you'll delete it everywhere" OR

4.does the fact that you've captured all on Drive #2 mean that what you do on Drive #1 has no effect on your original captured footage?
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Old May 19th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan Marnell
What you do within your second (video) OS is just what I needed to read ... does this mean that:

1.Drive #2 is where your captured footage remains stored until you're completely finished using/editing it on Drive #1 or elsewhere?

2.If so, at what stage do you put a name/tag on each clip you're not readily deleting?

3.When you're working on a (sequence of) clips in Drive #1, if you decide to delete a clip do you ever get a message saying "If you delete this here you'll delete it everywhere" OR

4.does the fact that you've captured all on Drive #2 mean that what you do on Drive #1 has no effect on your original captured footage?

1. Drive #2 (200GB) is kind of a limbo - I capture to that drive and then sort from there, but I could have video on there for weeks or have it on drive #4 right away. Drive #4 is the main "DV" drive, stock footage and folders of footage for specific projects. (400GB)

2. I usually keep most on tape until I am actually going to edit. Once captured it gets a name, I use the file date for the date unless I REALLY need to date it. Then I create a folder on Drive#4 specific to the project.

3. When editing my clips stay where they're at, I try to put them in their respective folders to avoid those little messages.

4. Hmmm, editing footage in a NLE should really never have a direct affect on actual captured footage. or am I misinterpreting your question? What's going on -on drive #1 is just OS, editor, and the little 500K project file from Premiere. So nothing heavy there. Every piece has its separate S-ATA drive pretty much.


My video OS drive idea is great. Imagine windowsXP with ONLY anti-virus, firewall, Premiere, photoshop, a couple encoders and a few related video apps. The OS is also slipstreamed, so it literally is a shell of an OS, no features hardly at all, not even themes or all those built in windows apps I don't use. It runs FAST! (like Windows98) But very stable. When Premiere loads I set the priority in task manager to HIGH or Realtime, runs even faster. I defrag all those drives from my other OS so every file gets sorted on the editor OS. (I even remove the swap file during that). Anything that isn't required to run the editor OS is removed or turned off. I keep drivers to a minimum and only use certified. Very efficient.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 11:12 AM   #10
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Photographers use asset management software like Canto Cumulus and Extensis Portfolio. Perhaps we could do the same?
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Old May 19th, 2006, 11:13 AM   #11
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This is a great help Marco. I use a dual boot set-up too .. if I didn't I'd have to have my head defragged every night. My video OS is tiny compared to yours .. [111 gigs on #1 & 232 gigs on #2] but what I have not done, stupidly, is to capture to Drive #2 and edit on Drive #1. So I'm overusing #1 and underusing #2. Add on my lack of a systematic approach to workflow on top of that and "it can loosen the hands of even the most enthusiastic videographer" as Sassi Haham put it when he started this thread. OK it's my screws must be loose, but you are helping me see that the light at the end of my tunnel is not necessarily that of an oncoming train. From now on I'll capture to #2 and edit on #1.

Your answer to 4. may turn out to be inspired, given that my question was badly worded. What's emerging, I think, is that you are never faced with that question. Why? Because you would never or very rarely delete a clip on Drive #1 .. You only edit on #1 after importing selectively the clips you have already captured and pre-viewed on Drive #2 or elsewhere. Am I right in thinking that?
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Old May 19th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #12
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Yes I think you have it. My drive #1, editor OS, is just a 50GB partition off of my OTHER (main) OS drive (the remainder of a 120GB). It's a nice setup drive #1 is always just an OS and in-use programs. I also made sure my editor OS was toward the end of the drive for faster access. Nothing really overlaps. Naming the drives in explorer appropriately is a must to avoid confusion. Try to remember that whatever drive you actually have your NLE running on shouldn't really store and actual copy of the footage but really just references its location and accesses it there (if I'm correct in thinking that's how premiere works). So the load on the drive of the NLE is lite.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 02:49 PM   #13
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I'm nearly out of the woods, Marco, honest ..

Am I understanding you correctly that I can capture & preview & retain (or delete) & save newly captured clips in a new PPRO project on Drive #2; open the same project on Drive #1, edit the (remaining) clips in the project/monitor/timeline windows and save it for further editing/mixing/exporting or whatever ... and whatever I do to the clips on Drive #1, the original captured + saved clips on Drive #2 remain intact?? [One alternative possibility is that you capture &/or preview the clips on Drive #2 with a program other than PPro 1.5, which might add another layer/veneer of protection to the original material, before you look at it/work on it with PPro on Drive #2.] Which is it or is it something else?

Last question: On what drive do you store your finished product(s); #4 ?
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Old May 19th, 2006, 03:20 PM   #14
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wow now i'm confused, LOL. I store finished video either back on tape or in a folder on the Stock footage drive, usually back on tape or DVD though.

As far as I know PPRO doesn't put any sort of tag on the footage. I use it to capture footage whether I am going to edit it or not. When you edit footage it never has a direct effect on the original video file, you are simply using the original in Premiere to create (eventually) a whole NEW video file (finished project). So if you, for example, cut a captured video file in half, your are only telling premiere that in the final render you do not wish to see that cut half. The original file is always untouched regardless.

When you capture in premiere it doesn't lock the footage, it simply captures it to the folder you specify. By default it adds the footage to the project you are working on. But thats the extent of its relationship with it. A ppro project file is just a file that says "Ok, this guy wants these pieces of this file to do this, transition here and effects here" It's merely a reference for the final render of a new video file. You can move that project file anywhere, open it anywhere and work on it anywhere. The downside is if you move it, you will have to tell it where all the related items (footage, titles, stills, soundtrack, etc) are located. Hopefully this is what you were looking for in an answer. :)
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Old May 19th, 2006, 03:48 PM   #15
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[/QUOTE]
When you capture in premiere it doesn't lock the footage, it simply captures it to the folder you specify. By default it adds the footage to the project you are working on. But thats the extent of its relationship with it. A ppro project file is .... a reference for the final render of a new video file. You can move that project file anywhere, open it anywhere and work on it anywhere. The downside is if you move it, you will have to tell it where all the related items (footage, titles, stills, soundtrack, etc) are located. Hopefully this is what you were looking for in an answer. :)[/QUOTE]
... That's the vulnerable point I was trying to but could not identify .. the downside is triggered by moving the project file ... that's what unlinks my media and gives me all the red boxes ... Thank you for your patience and empathy Marco
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