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Mar012014

The Transfer-Library workflow in FCPX

I got several questions about a workflow between a local FCPX Library and an external editor who uses the same library. Well since FCPX 10.1 this is a bit easier (although it worked before).

The problem some have is the fact that renderfiles end up in the library, so it seems not possible to send the Library when it contains a few projects with renders and/or optimized media.

One way to send projects and even eventmetadata (e.g. keywords) from one editor to the next is via XML.

This works fine. But some simply don´t trust XML or maybe there are instances when XML doesn´t properly translate (heard of messed up audio-levels) or you are just oldfashioned and want to copy Projects and no code-gibberish.

Here comes the Transfer-Library into play.

1. The Setup: I have a directory with my footage in it. I create a Library (e.g. called "TheLocalLib"). When I import footage into the library I leave the footage in place (FCPX calls this "shared media" - exactly what we want). Some camera-ingests you cannot leave in place, but need to point at a location like our footage directory (e.g. when editing XFCam or XDCam). It is only important NOT TO COPY into the library itself (then it is "managed media" and that means trouble in this particular workflow here)!

Now you can start organizing footage, create smart and keyword collections etc.

2. When it is time to give work onto an external editor I copy the library in the Finder to an external drive (or into the cloud....) and even rename it (e.g. "TheExternalLib"). I also copy the footage-directory to that drive. After all once the footage will have to be copied.

2.a. If you only want to give away portions of a job, you could either create a special event with that part of the footage in it and copy that event into a new library!

Or if you already started editing and created a project, copy only that project and its footage to a new library!

3. Ok, what do we have: A local library with footage in a directory and an external drive on another continent with an identical library and footage. Now the editor on the other side of the world starts working and wants to share his results:

The external user creates, what I called here, the "HandOverLib". I usually call the one event it contains "TransferProjects". Now external user simply drags the project he/she wants to share to the TransferProjects event.

FCPX will tell you it only copies managed media and you can even choose if you want the Optimized/Proxy media or not. Usually not and the LocalLib will have it or recreate it.

4. Now the filesize: Let´s say the external editor rendered effects in the timeline etc. This can lead to big libraries depending on the amount of projects and rendering needed. But with your handover library you can minimize the filesize. FCPX will at first copy the Project only, it might start rendering depending on your preferences, but before you send the library, you can delete all project renderfiles (and when you select the event also the event renderfiles).

I have a small project here and the event only has a few clips and the rendered timeline is 2,5 minutes only, so your handover might be bigger, but still you see the difference in sizes between the original library and the handover. A real handover library might grow to about 30MB or more depending on the length and complexity of your project, but it is still easily shared in minutes. 

 

5. On the local machine you simply drag the TransferProject onto your local library/event - FCPX will immediately recognize all footage - and you are ready to render if needed and work on it.

 

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