"Collect for Output"

Posted by Marla 
"Collect for Output"
July 05, 2007 08:00PM
I'd like to see something along the lines of the Quark Xpress command "collect for output" (at least it used to be called that - not sure if it still is, as I haven't used Quark for some time), so that when I give an FCP file to someone else (for instance the guy who makes our DVDs), all the clips that are used on the timeline will be collected into one folder (even if they are on different drives).

Re: "Collect for Output"
July 05, 2007 09:09PM
> when I give an FCP file to someone else (for instance the guy who makes our DVDs, all the
> clips that are used on the timeline will be collected into one folder (even if they are on
> different drives).

That's what Media Manager is for. Choose the "Copy" function and don't "Delete unused".

Since you said "folder", you're referring to the actual media files in OS Finder. But you were a bit vague in the description -- you say "when I give an FCP file", it's possible you are referring to giving somebody a project file...and what you actually want is all the clips from the timeline in one bin (a "bin" is not a "folder" -- gotta be precise here)? If so, just duplicate your project file, make a new bin, highlight everything in the timeline and drag it into a bin. Then delete everything else in the duplicate project.

I suppose you can also use Media Manager again for this task -- choose the presets that match your project's, choose "Use existing" and be very, very sure not to "Delete unused". However, I tend to recommend against using Media Manager when you're just making copies. Media Manager is best used for onlining, changing project presets, trimming, reducing media sizes. One mistake and you can alter your files forever. I don't even like using Media Manager for copying and moving files, myself, though I know many people do.

Re: "Collect for Output"
July 06, 2007 07:38AM
I know what Marla is looking for, and I agree. There is a command in After Effects' drop down menu that does exactly that; it's a beautiful thing.

In my experience, the FCP Media Manager has, on at least 2 occasions, damaged the media that it copied. Therefore, I can't trust it. I must be meticulous in where I put things, keeping it all together. On occasions when I am forced to use Media Manager (it's OK when it works), I have to check everything to make sure it functions properly.

After Effects has a simple control that, for this function, is leagues beyond Media Manager.

Re: "Collect for Output"
July 06, 2007 11:12AM
Maybe I should have been more precise. What I meant was that I would like FCP to collect the "media" that the clips in my timeline refer to from the hard drives. Sometimes I am sitting with my boss and he asks me to pull in something from another scene or one of our logos, which are photoshop files. Then I would need to import the file into the browser and also copy it from the hard drive into the folder that relates to the scene I am editing. Some of these media files are 9 gigs or so and I don't really want to have more than one instance of them on my drives unnecessarily. However I would like to be able to collect the whole thing onto the drive I give the DVD guy without having to carefully scroll through my timeline and manually collect every single thing that was used.
"Collect for Output"
July 06, 2007 11:15AM
Also I can't take the time when my boss is sitting with me and going over a scene to find all these clips and copy them.
Re: "Collect for Output"
July 06, 2007 11:26AM
Ah, non-FCP files. Sorry, that really is a file-management issue. Lots of editors I know do this as well -- leave "template" files in their internal hard drive and just import. To me, it's a messy approach, because now you've got 50 files scattered somewhere in your hard drive and when you have to move the project somewhere, now you have to do a witch hunt.

Get into the habit of having one master folder for the project, sub-folders within to delineate different file functions, and never drag something from the internal hard drive -- copy it to your master folder and import from there. Then when you have to move a project somewhere, you drag and drop one folder -- and most importantly, there's no guesswork involved. I haven't had a file go missing for six years or so. Taking the 10 seconds when first importing a file, so that you can correctly organize/position it, will save you hours and even days later so that a graphics/online guy doesn't call you up and say, "Your deliverables were incomplete".

Re: "Collect for Output"
July 06, 2007 08:45PM
this really is what Media Manager is for.

the ONLY times i can think of MM not behaving is when you ask it to trim some media.
then it may trim incorrectly of there are speed effects on the clip.
other than that it behaves, in my experience.

photoshop files CAN'T be trimmed, of course, so litle room for error there.
even after effects files probably wont be trimmed, unless you've gone to the effort of adding a reel# to them.

should probably continue this (if you want) back in the cafe

Re: "Collect for Output"
July 06, 2007 02:58PM
Actually, I never keep any template files or anything other than applications in my internal hard drive. I do all my work on external drives which I share with a workstation that is outputting to tape or capturing. I do have each project in its own folder, with its own job number and which contains the FCP file and the media that was captured for that project. What then sometimes happens is that my boss will want me to add some footage from another project or add some photoshop files. As I said, some of these media files can be very large and I can't take the time when he is sitting with me to copy the media from one project folder to another; nor do I really want to have the same large media file twice on my drive.
Re: "Collect for Output"
July 06, 2007 03:11PM
Here's a possible workaround: When you have to import "template" files without copying first, import them into one particular bin in your project file and then assign them a unique colour code. That makes them very easy to spot later.

> nor do I really want to have the same large media file twice on my drive.

My usual reasoning is that it costs the client/company more to have an editor have to do pure file management for two hours than to buy the necessary drive space to do this properly. I'm really not fond of referring to files that aren't part of the project's file structure. If your boss can't wait five minutes for the files to copy properly, then I guess he'll just have to live with the time it's going to take later to gather up the files.

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