Organizing my FCP Project

Posted by PhillyFilmmaker 
Organizing my FCP Project
September 08, 2008 09:40PM
Yo Yo Yo!
My Iggles 1-0! 15 more weekends of cardiac arrest! LOLOLOL

So basically I organize my projects like this:
- Project files, music, sound effects, images (pictures, stills, what do most people call them?) I keep under one folder on the boot disk, under the Movies folder.
- Captured files are under the FCP Documents folder on the scratch disk.
- Movie files exported are also saved to the scratch disk.

When I'm done (or think I'm done) with a project I will try to move the captures, movie files and project files to the same drive but in separate folders. Does it matter?

I've been doing this to keep them organized and consistent but now i'm wondering if I should just put them all under one folder to keep them together?
Re: Organizing my FCP Project
September 08, 2008 11:12PM big folder that is the main folder, then each subfolder that you have. I see nothing wrong with that.

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Re: Organizing my FCP Project
September 08, 2008 11:16PM
The only thing you shouldn't put with your media files and project files is your Autosave Vault. And don't put media files on the system drive.
Re: Organizing my FCP Project
September 09, 2008 12:36AM
i think youre headed for a mess..

first, as derek says, dont put anything on your system drive other than system things.
and dont put your autosave vault on the same drive as your project

beyond that, here is my logic:

ALWAYS work off a drive that is ONLY used for WORK (no games, no music, no nuttin!) and NOT your boot/system drive

on that work drive each client has a folder. we'll call that CLIENT. in that folder each project has its own folder: WORK DRIVE > CLIENT_X > PROJECT_Y

in the PROJECT_Y folder are folders named for either:
- the format of items in it JPG, PSD, AIFF
- the use of the items in it MUS, VO, MOV
- the application that created the files in it AI, AE, DVDSP, FCP

i will also (in the PROJECT_Y folder) assign a SCRATCH folder. this gets a bit dicey as you must REMEMBER to change your scratch disc every time you open a different FCP project. my personal workflow never finds me working on two different FCP files at one time if they are not in some way related - so it hasnt been a problem for me to date. the big payoff for this kind of dilligence is that if anyone ever needs that project moved or backed up, its a simple matter of dragging ONE FOLDER and im done.

you can circumvent this by just assigning one master SCRATCH folder on your WORK drive, as FCP will send all project files to their own named folders. but if you need to move any project you will have to either media manage OR hand copy those project files from audio render, capture scratch, and render files manually.

here is an illustration of my typical work setup:


following this method i ALWAYS know where files are and if i need to move the project i just drag one folder.
Re: Organizing my FCP Project
September 09, 2008 01:41AM
My set up is slightly different from Wayne's, though it depends on where I'm working (if i'm freelancing on a project, I usually don't mess around with the way they organize their footage, so I just use their system of media management, but tag my autosave vault to the system drive).

I have 2 locations on the media drive where I store my files:

Media Drive> Final Cut scratch> (here's where the capture scratch/render files are stored and the folders are automatically created by final cut everytime I'm on a project)

Media Drive> Projects> Prj_X> prj file, a folder for VOs, a folder for graphics (from the GFX department), a folder for stills, a folder for music, a folder for additional footage from the client that doesn't originate from tape (DVDs, movs, etc), a folder for stuff done in soundtrack pro, a Motion folder, a folder for exports. And within each of these folders, a subfolder with the purpose and date stamp (eg. 1st offline 090908).

Also, I have a little folder on the desktop for safety back ups of the project (date and time stamped, which at the end of the day, goes into my thumbdrive or onto a DVD/CD.

If P2s are used, then it goes into a separate folder on the media drive, organized by project with a date stamp (shoot date) which is usually thrown onto an LTO tape the moment the files are converted into mov.

This way I don't have to worry about resetting the scratch disk everytime I'm on a project. Final Cut will create a folders with the project name within the Final Cut scratch location. At the end of projects, I'll media manage the project from FCP into a separate folder and throw that onto either LTOs, or DVDs.
Re: Organizing my FCP Project
September 09, 2008 11:22AM
My setup is slightly different from both of those guys, but it's the same basic idea. I've got an external eSATA RAID-5 that I use for all my work. Each show gets its own folder (under "Shows," astonishingly enough). Inside each show folder there's a generic structure that looks like this:

Project files/Edit
Project files/Graphics
Project files/Roto
Project files/Sound
Project files/Color
Project files/Color/Grades
File footage
Graphics/Finished shots
Final Cut Pro Scratch

I think it's fairly self-explanatory, but it might not make perfect sense to anybody but me. I didn't come up with this structure systematically; it evolved to suit how I work.

When I'm done with a show and ready to archive it, I change my scratch disk location in Final Cut from the normal place (which is on my RAID) to the show's "Final Cut Pro Scratch" folder, delete all my render files and re-render. This way I can archive the whole show folder, then restore it and have all my render files intact. Saves time when revising.

Any captured footage just gets dragged from the system Capture Scratch folder to the Capture Scratch under the scratch folder in the show folder.

Re: Organizing my FCP Project
September 09, 2008 02:21PM
He said when he was DONE editing...not WHILE he was editing. While editing I don't tend to mix things...and I have an entire tutorial DVD on how to organize things. But when done, if you want to back things up, you can do what you said you wanted to do. I don't tend to back up the captured media as I have the source tapes or P2 files already, but I do gather everything else.

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