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  • Why is there a project library?

  • Oliver Peters

    February 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    On the current production, I’m following the pattern a number of you have outlined. Namely to edit selects and rough cut sequences as Compound Clips that are stored in the Event. At the moment, I’m only using the Project timeline as a scratch pad. So, first I edit in the Project, then Compound the sequence, and finally delete the clip(s) from the Project timeline. When I need to adjust one of these roughs, I simply open it from the Event and make the edits. I won’t create an actual Project until the latter stages of this job.

    So this begs the question. Why is there a Project Library at all? What useful function does it serve? You can have edits in an Event without any Project, but you cannot have a Project without a corresponding Event. So other than a place to park Shared intermediate exports and timeline render files, it doesn’t seem to serve much of a useful purpose.

    I think I remember that in the beginning there were differences between sequences in a Project and in an Event; but since 10.0.6, that doesn’t seem to be the case any longer.


    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL

  • Marcus Moore

    February 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I think the model of keeping shot footage separate from edits holds some merit, especially in situations where footage is reused on multiple jobs. Why clog up the Event with edits from multiple editors spanning several jobs?

    And if I want to send an edit I’ve been working on here at my office to another editor, I don’t need to send the entire Event, just the project file. I used to do this all the time with FCP7, where I’d take a complicated project and strip everything out but the sequence in question, and email that to the other editor.

    While I think for self contained jobs, the compound clip project-in-event model can work quite well. So I think there are reasons to do both, depending on your situation.

  • Jim Giberti

    February 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    That’s a really interesting question, especially when you consider the horse power it takes to manage the project library (or organization necessary to keep it small.)

    This simple change, like the tilde key, begs the question: was the initial concept so good to begin with?
    I mean that regarding the two most elemental changes Apple made to the paradigm – the project concept and the timeline concept.

    A year and a half after release, FCPX is “undoing” two of the most annoying and not so well thought out principles of it’s program.

    But yes Oliver, when you look at the project as a scratch pad where you assemble and correct your clips and then a simple command places those edits neatly into a folder ready to be assembled in a final project…then yeah, it seems suddenly weirdly redundant, kludgy and unnecessary to have a project library that loads every startup.
    Especially when any events you want access that might contain other clips OR assembled projects/compound clips you might want to use in other projects are all available in the Event Browser.

    All that’s needed at this point is a simple viewer to see your projects in order to just open up the file you want to work on…like the perfectly good old days. It would be much faster to access other edits than moving back and forth to the Project Library. And of course you can organize your CCs right there in the Event Browser in any way you like and if you want to make a CC independent of other uses then you can also duplicate it and rename it right there in the EB as well.

    On initial thought is seems like a much better option than the original concept in many ways.

  • Marcus Moore

    February 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    [Jim Giberti] “This simple change, like the tilde key, begs the question: was the initial concept so good to begin with?”

    The tilde key isn’t any indication that the concept was flawed, but simply one that has cases where it needs to be overridden.

    With it’s connected clip structure, FCPX basically inverts what is considered “normal” behaviour. In FCP7 clips were islands until themselves, and you’d often be drawing out ranges to grab numerous clips stacked on top of one another to move them all in unison. Now, FCPX assumes that connected clips want a common behaviour, and you use the tilde key to override that behaviour. It’s just coming at the problem from 2 different directions, and I personally find I need to override the assumed behaviour LESS often now than I did in FCP7.

    I’d like to see the connected nature of clips expanded in the future, so that you cold attach “behaviours” to connected clips. So that if you add 10 frames to the primary storyline clip, any connected audio or video clips also add 10 frames as well. And again here you’d want an override key for special circumstances where that behaviour wasn’t wanted.

  • Oliver Peters

    February 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    I agree that projects make it convenient to share edits with other editors. It also seems hard (impossible?) to remove render files from the Event through the UI. However, like a tailbone, Projects now seems like a vestige of an early design concept. It would be easy to add a few functions to the Event and do away with the Project library entirely.

    Maybe if would be different if edits in a Project could be self-contained without the need of a corresponding Event. I wonder if the functionality of the Project library will change in the future, when and if Apple finally implements its own, sorely needed project/event management controls.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL

  • Bill Davis

    February 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    This is an excellent question for anyone who conceives X as essentially a place to EDIT video.

    But I see it as more than that.

    And the project library is literally the part of X that I think has the MOST power and potential in perhaps the entire app.

    I see it as the connected storehouse of all your work. It sits behind the Storyline keeping a live, connected copy of each edited project accessible. From the project library, I manage deployment of my videos as they evolve. I send out early stage approval copies via email. I send out progress versions to clients. And when a project is complete, having it in the Project library and connected to its source assets via the Event Browser, AND simultaneously connected to the Project lets me revise and update it with ease.

    I sometimes wonder about the workflows I read about here that seem to try to make X work a bit more like legacy, trying to compound and re-store “edits” in the EB, because to me, that seems to work around what I see as the essential flow of X.

    It feels to me that in the search for familiarity, some folks might be building dams and diverting their data streams along the natural digital flow path in X – because they are trying to recapture the familiarity of concepts (nested flat file sequences?) in a program that doesn’t really need them in the same way that Legacy did.

    But I don’t think about it a lot, because I’ve never been trying to recreate an existing complex workflow in the new tool, preferring to try to learn the unique strengths of the new tool and work with that afresh.

    Just an alternate view. Not better or worse.

    But I do LOVE the Project library. It’s the shelf where my video products are stored – both in progress and completed – in a way that a outputting a cut off Legacy master file never was.

    Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out – video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.

  • Douglas K. Dempsey

    February 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Oliver, I read your blog and your various articles on workflows, on cameras, and take to heart much of your advice and experience.

    I work on long-term docu projects which take years, and I sometimes miss an entire generation of technology as it whips by. I am one of those experienced FCP Legacy editors who has been dabbling in FCPX.

    So this question is truly interesting to me. The whole Sequence vs Project nomenclature really threw a lot of us.

    I would submit that the Project Library is useful for storage of “ordered Events.”

    In my world of long form, a sequence can be cut, compressed to a compound clip and kept as a rough edit, or as alternative versions of a sequence, in the Event Library as you suggest.

    But then when it comes time to look at the big picture, I can string together shots and compound clips in a Project timeline, and call the whole thing “Part 1, rough edit v4” and store it in the Library.

    I can still work on any given short sequence via the Event/Compound clip method you suggest, but I can also see a rough edit of my entire movie by having the right clips and compounds in a saved Project.

    Does this make any sense, or am I really just abusing what should be a streamlined, database approach to editing?

    Doug D

  • Douglas K. Dempsey

    February 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Bill, you have answered some of my convoluted questions to Oliver.

    Doug D

  • Steve Connor

    February 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    [Douglas K. Dempsey] “Does this make any sense, or am I really just abusing what should be a streamlined, database approach to editing?

    Yes, you are exploiting the flexibility of FCPX, Projects are fine, I use them in much the same way as you do.

    Steve Connor
    ‘It’s just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure”

  • Oliver Peters

    February 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    [Douglas K. Dempsey] “I can still work on any given short sequence via the Event/Compound clip method you suggest, but I can also see a rough edit of my entire movie by having the right clips and compounds in a saved Project.”

    But you can do the same thing in a compound clip contained in an Event, which makes the Project somewhat redundant.

    I totally get what Bill is saying about the potential of asset management, however, I work daily with true asset management tools and FCP X isn’t even close in that regard. Plus, it’s nowhere near robust enough to have hundreds of projects and events accessible all the time. So while I agree that it’s a nice offshoot of the FCP X design, I really doubt that’s what Apple intended, simply because it isn’t very good at that.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL

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