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  • Spatial awareness and memory recall

  • Aindreas Gallagher

    March 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I blurbed about this in a post a mile into the”interesting series” piece, but the back and forth stuck in my head so I thought I’d try it again as a question on edit prep in X

    Basically whether there is a cost in having all footage flow into tags in a one step process – with a single viewer for those tags.

    I rabbited on – but throwing out some quotes for contention:

    that system which Apple are employing is intended to short circuit a lot of the classical footage interrogation steps – you rapidly diffuse all the footage into a database set of tag queries – the argument is that you are in fact, by limiting it to this – one step, make a tag database, and then view those tags in the viewer -fundamentally limiting spatial and cognitive understanding of the assets at hand.

    then there is say, the benefit of a classical extreme footage load workflow:

    three days footage prep – naming and marking in the day date camera original bins, then taking those master bins, with all the clips keyword named (with some tagged markers per clip), and then judging a whole new set of bins – crowd react day, different sport items, timelapse, different music acts, evening events – basically figuring the ideal number and nature of the final edit bins to work with -and then going through and populating all the clips into those new category bins.

    then I made select sequences for all the major tasty stuff in each new category bin.

    the great thing is that at the end of that – you really, really know what the hell is going on.

    this bit I really believe – the act of putting physically named objects into nominated editorial containers, from other day date containers, I find embeds stuff a lot. that you get a physical understanding of assets.

    and then an arsey conclusion about memory recall feats – which really is a lot of the non-linear editing process:

    the whole editing game, to some degree, is finding a way to allow associative recall at a critical juncture – sure aren’t all memory feats built on the construction of virtual rooms? Derren Brown is extremely interesting on that point. He constructs incredibly spatial memory awareness constructs to allow card count recall.
    Quite literally rooms with objects in them – its worth looking up. Spatial awareness constructs harness memory to an incredible degree.

    there is a reason editing systems have historically had rooms, and folders, and bins, and attics (seriously – think about that – classic lightworks had attics).

    but as the man says – I’m sure Apple felt very, very smart when they decided to do this tagging malarky. I’m just not sure they did their intellectual homework.

    there you go – as opposed to my usual carry on – I actually believe there is validity to the concern about Apple’s approach to editing assets.
    People will argue that proliferating media renders classical approaches redundant given the volume – I say that is wrong. I have dealt with very heavy loads (24 hours of material for a 2.30 piece) and you get by fine if you work hard at it.

    I think spatial is a thing – and I think there is an issue with its total absence in the database tag query system.

    … and if everyone could just agree on this, we can all send apple a nice letter about bins and spatial memory arrangement.

    https://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics

  • David Lawrence

    March 14, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    [Aindreas Gallagher] “I think spatial is a thing – and I think there is an issue with its total absence in the database tag query system.”

    I agree and think you raise some very interesting points. Cognitive science identifies visual thinking and verbal thinking as two distinct learning styles.

    My hunch is verbal thinkers are most comfortable with FCPX’s tag and database driven organization tools; which use words and lists as the main UI. I know for me personally, I’m a spatial/visual type. When I’m organizing, I’m not thinking about words, even if the content has words in it. I use color-coding and often create piles on the timeline or in bins. I may label those piles but performing and knowing spatial placement is a big part of my organizing scheme. I agree there is a kinesthetic memory effect which is a value tool for editors who work that way.

    BTW, I’m not saying one way is better than the other. I really do believe preference comes down to brain wiring. I think FCPX’s tagging/organization tools are very innovative and powerful. Just the other day I was wishing for tagging in Premiere. But to your point, I think spatial organizing is very important as well. I would love to see FCPX have better tool for this, both in the event manager and in the timeline.

    _______________________
    David Lawrence
    art~media~design~research
    propaganda.com
    publicmattersgroup.com
    facebook.com/dlawrence
    twitter.com/dhl

  • Bret Williams

    March 14, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I agree. And that’s how I work with bins (keyword collections) in X. With 2 differences-

    1. I can only see one bin at a time. I hope that they add the ability to have multiple event windows. Kinda like premiere does. Then you could have one window showing thumbnails of one keyword collection, and another showing list view of a different collection.

    2. In X I can see multiple bins (keyword collections) combined together as one for sorting. A nice feature. I can shift click multiple bins and see the resulting combined bin. From there I can sort in list view on different aspects.

    3. And why not a third. I can always see ALL the footage in an event by highlighting the root event. From there, it’s easy to find a particular shot or graphic that I perhaps couldn’t remember the name of or what bin I put it in.

    If we could fix #1, does that solve this spatial recognition issue? if not, then I’m missing the point.

  • Bret Williams

    March 14, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    David, did you ever use VideoCube? It had a blank area below the timeline where you could just throw clips. It was awesome and I’ve never seen anything like it. When I moved on to Media100 I felt completely lost. Where do I throw clips I’m thinking about using I wondered? it was very disturbing to my flow. You can see it at the bottom of the timeline at 2:40 in this video https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=plpp&v=INysmciy2CM – Used it like auditions. Just kept possible clips in this area below the timeline. Without this area, I’ve becom accustomed to throwing different choices on different tracks and enabling/disabling as needed. But this area was so much better than that or putting chunks at the end of the sequence, because you never had to clean anything up. Your thoughts were always there. It was so ridiculously simple and useful.

  • Chris Harlan

    March 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    [David Lawrence] ” I know for me personally, I’m a spatial/visual type. When I’m organizing, I’m not thinking about words, even if the content has words in it. I use color-coding and often create piles on the timeline or in bins. I may label those piles but performing and knowing spatial placement is a big part of my organizing scheme. I agree there is a kinesthetic memory effect which is a value tool for editors who work that way.”

    Yeah, that’s me too. Its very spatial–almost geographic–for me: I put that over there, now I’m going to pick it up. It’s all about direction, for me. But I agree; I don’t think one is better–one is more just how I am.

  • Aindreas Gallagher

    March 15, 2013 at 12:24 am

    [David Lawrence] “I use color-coding and often create piles on the timeline or in bins. “

    me too.

    [David Lawrence] “BTW, I’m not saying one way is better than the other. I really do believe preference comes down to brain wiring. I think FCPX’s tagging/organization tools are very innovative and powerful. “

    totally agree – it’s not a hit on X or adherents – I was basically making the point that in writing the various replies, I realised that I actually construct a very spatial iterative memory path thing. it’s the iterations of place and order that struck me most. A lot of my footage physically moves under scrutiny at least once. I think thats an important bridge phase. I think there are levels of re-enforcement that go with it.
    It does extend the build phase for the edit – but I feel there is a pay off when you start to draw on it at the critical back end. that you are not simply staring at a list of tags – rather that you have a few mental fold iterations of the set of assets – with physical reality, that then bleed into tag style selects sequences anyway – I think your head has a lot more avenues of recall in that context.

    mine does anyway.

    https://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics

  • Aindreas Gallagher

    March 15, 2013 at 12:45 am

    no – you’re totally right, look: basically, Apple could pretty much pull off whatever they feel with this software. Some of the stuff in X is unearthly.

    when I say spatial I mean spatial – bottom line it goes to (1)
    I would say that I could be hesitant about an editing system that does not allow physical spaces for video items to exist in comparison to each other.

    (2) is basically the provision of an avid super bin to my limited understanding – it’s a nice feature – but Avid also allows rampant physical locations by default.

    (3) is really just project view-ish.

    I haven’t a massive position on this – I think there are incredible smarts in X footage categorisation – what I’m really saying is that, in arguing it, I realised that my process involves a wind up that requires physical, iterative manipulation of the assets –
    in my context (not a rule) I think it plays into the ability to make associative recall at the business end?

    https://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics

  • Don Walker

    March 15, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Long live the CUBE!!!!! After years of editing in PreRead and the likes, in high end linear suites, the Cube finally convinced me that non linear was the fun way to edit!

    don walker
    texarkana, texas

    John 3:16

  • David Lawrence

    March 15, 2013 at 1:51 am

    [Aindreas Gallagher] “I feel there is a pay off when you start to draw on it at the critical back end. that you are not simply staring at a list of tags – rather that you have a few mental fold iterations of the set of assets – with physical reality, that then bleed into tag style selects sequences anyway – I think your head has a lot more avenues of recall in that context.

    mine does anyway.”

    Agreed. Where I find this pays off for me in particular is when I need to rescue a scene and the perfect shot is something I remember but was shot with an entirely different purpose in mind. Or perhaps I need a transition and the perfect footage is actually when the camera was wildly swinging before finding the shot. Shots that would easily be considered rejects sometimes are exactly what saves the day. I build memory of these moments as I go thru the material in a way similar to what you describe. I’m not sure tagging them as rejects and hiding them would be an advantage.

    _______________________
    David Lawrence
    art~media~design~research
    propaganda.com
    publicmattersgroup.com
    facebook.com/dlawrence
    twitter.com/dhl

  • Bret Williams

    March 15, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Ah yes, the super bin. I was out of Avid land for the most part by the early 2000s. Whenever I dove back in that super bin always confused me. And haven’t they actually gotten rid of it now and replaced it with tabs? Or am I confusing two things?

    #3 does have some merit. There might be something in Avid or Premiere, but there’s no way to view all footage in legacy that I can remember. You load footage into all these bins and there’s no way to just see everything without doing a “find all” command.

    It’s interesting that the options are so open in X as well. I mean, at first I said to myself, an event is a project and a project is a sequence. You can work that way if you want. But you can also put seqeunces in events. Even before 10.0.6 (you just had to start a compound clip in the event and paste it all into it). But now I’m thinking that events are bins. Or can be if you want. Or they can be reels. Or they can be different days. However you like to categorize your footage really. The benefit of using events is that you can matchframe back to an event. The bigger your project is, perhaps, the better it is to think of events as bins instead of keyword collections as bins. I just wish they’d address #1. I really want to be able to see thumbnails of my broll in one open window and a list of interviews in another. And please can we get a thumbnail in list view?

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