A little update on the issue of Media Management in FCP X.
I have been backing up and archiving completed projects in the past few days and want to pass on my observations on the new FCP X 10.1 (this does NOT apply to FCP X 10.09 and earlier!)
In short FCP X 10.1 is a breath of fresh air compared to all the hassles of missing media from the FCP 7 days when so often I would go back to make an adjustment or re-export a revised ProRes and find that there was one piece (often more) missing - generally a photograph or a graphic or a piece of AE output or a track from STP - in other words, something non-original-video related. That has now changed.
FCP X 10.1 allows an editor to pare down a project to its bare essentials and archive it in one file! All
of the necessary media pieces and edits that allow you to recreate a master, refine an edit or output a different master. This piece of intelligence is called the Library. A Library is really a super-folder seen as one file in the Finder but actually contains hundreds of files and folders.
(BTW Carbon Copy Cloner is intelligent and only backs up individual changed files within
a Library - this smart behaviour makes it the best backup/archive program out there IMO)
In FCP X 10.1, one can consolidate files into
or out of
a Library. This means that all files can be located inside an existing Library or outside in a new one. There are some important but easily accomplished space-saving tactics to employ.
The first is to get rid of all
render files. This sounds drastic but is quite simple since everything can be re-generated from the contained original media should the project need them again.
The second is slightly more complex (and something that a future update will hopefully make simpler): delete all Transcoded media. Since FCPX does not see Proxy or HighQuality transcoded media as a render, this transcoded media remains inside the Library after deleting renders. This hugely increases the project's size. However the package contents of the Library are easily revealed and with FCPX shut down, the transcoded media can be safely trashed. This reduces the size of a Library enormously. When the project is next opened, FCP will not find the Transcoded media and will simply start to re-build it. An important assumption here is that FCPX's Preferences have not been changed.
Once the Library is pared down using these two steps, it can be copied off to a different drive, renamed 'Project_ARCHIVE' and put on the shelf.
And what about all those pesky audio, graphic, photo, AE renders etc? Well if you consolidate the Library, all
of those files will be there. The only possible fly in the ointment is if one needs to go back into a different app to make a change there before revising a FCPX project. Other apps require additional strategies for backup & archive. Motion templates must be individually saved. Similarly an After Effects project's Dependencies need to be checked and the files 'collected' to an archive folder.
Is X Loveworthy yet?
- maybe, maybe not - but to me it shows every sign of getting there.