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Forums Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy A question: Your folder hierarchy for FCP?

  • A question: Your folder hierarchy for FCP?

  • Jay Evs

    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Hi,

    I have been managing all my FCP and Motion files, outputs, capture scratch etc. in a certain way for a long time. I know for sure its not the best way to do things, but I’ve just not got around to changing it. Here is how I do it:

    I leave the capture scratch as default in FCP documents.

    But then i have the following folders:

    – FCP projects
    – FCP exports
    – Motion projects
    – Motion exports
    – Soundtrack Pro projects
    – Soundtrack Pro exports

    Inside each of these folders, i will create a folder for each of my current projects I am working on. So each of these folders may have 15 folders, one for each project I am working on.

    It seems to work OK, and i have no trouble finding exports, and working between Soundtrack, FCP, and motion, using this system. But when it comes to backing up, I find that i am going into many different locations to find things to back up etc. When it seems like i should be able to backup just one folder to backup a whole project.

    Can anyone tell me their more efficient way of doing things? I’ve had this system since I was pretty much a kid, its getting a little outdated, time for streamlining a bit.

    Many thanks for your wisdom.

    Tony

  • Paul Lundahl

    July 21, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Tony,

    We’ve evolved a folder structure over many years.
    The main principles are to make it logical and comprehensive enough for the 90% of things you typically need in a project. When contractors come into our studio, we teach them how to use the structure. Most kind of hate it, than over time adopt it themselves.

    We create a separate master folder hierarchy for each project and really stick to it. We set the video>source> folder as the capture scratch before we start a new project and if we switch projects before completing one, we switch scratch folders to the other hierarchy.

    Here’s a link to our structure:
    https://www.emoclients.com/tutorial/%20eMotion_studios_FolderHierarchyMaster.zip

    The idea is to make sure that all assets for a project are contained within. When the projects done, archive to LTO tape (or whatever you use) and trash the files and move on….

    Hope this helps.

    Paul Lundahl
    Creative Director / Partner
    eMotion studios

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  • Jay Evs

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Hey thanks,

    your folders seem super organized.

    So, if you are working on multiple projects at once, you have to remember to change the scratch each time you switch between them, right? How do you remember? Just by habit?

  • Nicole Haddock

    July 21, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    We go in the exact opposite direction mainly because we tend to work off of external drives that get moved around (no SAN yet) and alot of different people get their hands on the project. We’ve found that the “less is more” axiom works best with folders. There was an older structure in place on par with Paul’s and we found that people were confused with the folder within folder structure and adopted this looser one. The basic outline is in the zip file, but the guiding principle is- make folders as you need them. We don’t start out from a set grouping of folders, which allows me or anyone else to see where the project stands at a glance (Hey, have graphics not been done yet? Did we compress a timecode copy for clients, etc).
    The exports folder will contain sub folders by date. We tend to split work between editor and graphic designer for mograph work, so the files in the graphics folder tend to be renders (again, in folders by date) or stills. If a project becomes more complex on the editing end in the middle of a project, I will break some folders down further (Stills, AFX prjects, AFX renders, Motion Projects, Motion Renders, Logos, Mattes, etc). Supporting docs are scripts, outlines, etc. Audio usually has an STP folder for sends, projects, etc and I make sure to set the scratch folder in there as well. Also folder for stock music, sound effects, VO, scratch VO, whatever’s being put into the project.
    The most important folder is the final deliverables folder- everything from final QT export to web compressions to DVD disc image and/or label goes in there. If it went to the client and it’s signed off, approved, done, it goes there. Otherwise I’ve found way too much confusion going back later on, EVEN if things are exported by date- is this the last one? Did we go back a version? etc etc etc.

    It seems a bit loosy goosy, but when everyone’s on board, it works really well and you don’t end up with all these empty useless folders.

    Project Org

  • david bogie

    July 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Paul’s beautiful design apparently suits his company’s needs for file tracking and being able to find his client’s projects without fail. That kind of system requires careful workflow analysis to set it up, enthusiastic adoption by the users, and strict compliance. Such hierarchies make backing up and recovery very easy, too, which adds tremendously to everyone’s security. He enjoys the benefits of an anally retentive superwonk on his staff and a boss who understands the value of asset management.

    My system is much more simple.

    Aside form my system drive, I have three internal drives:
    1. Capture (FCP has its Capture Scratch folder here)
    2. Render (FCP has its Render Scratch and audio render folders here)
    3. Output (This is where everything destined for review, approval, printing, handing off to another staff member, or distribution goes. All transcodes and encodes go here as well as DVD project encodes so they remain separate from the FCP version of the same project.)

    I used to put After Effects and Motion renders in the Render folders but they’re actually movies that get placed into a project so they now go into Capture Scratch folders.

    Effective file management depends on what’s known in the asset management industry as a taxonomy. Taxonomies may or may not be logical or hierarchical. Taxonomies require careful analysis of your particular workflow so the structure makes sense to you and your clients so they remain flexible and comprehensible.

    bogiesan

  • Paul Lundahl

    July 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Just by habit, though it can get to be a mess pretty easily. I saw some software mentioned recently that saves the scratch disk locations by project. Sorry I can’t remember where I saw it, maybe DV magazine? I think it was part of a suite of FCP tools. One very important thing is to always make sure your autosave vault folder is saved to a separate drive from your media files and that you back it up frequently! On a long project it can save your *ss!
    Here’s an interesting link on best folder practices if you are on a SAN:
    https://www.xsanity.com/article.php/2007041604264728

    Hope this helps!

    Paul Lundahl
    Creative Director / Partner
    eMotion studios

    Home


    ____________________________________________________________________

    US:
    85 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 110 Sausalito, CA 94965
    p: 415-331-6975 f: 415-331-6124
    Japan:
    101 Akasaka TM flat, 7-6-16 Akasaka 7chome, Minato-ku Tokyo, Japan #107-0062
    p: 81-3-5562-5300

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