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TOPIC: Creation dates for synched and multicam clips

Creation dates for synched and multicam clips 05 Sep 2017 16:55 #90322

  • RevJimBob
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Thank you so much for creating this space for people like me to come for help:
I do doc-style work for churches and non-profits outside the States. Very often our production days are so busy that there is a long delay between the recording of audio and video and putting those clips into synchronized and/or multicam clips. Example, we shot a project in Thailand last May. (1,887 clips, many different locations over 2 weeks, with many interviews - some in English, some in Thai.) I am just now getting to Final Cut with that project. (Long story about why!)
As you know, those freshly-minted synch/multi clips get a brand new Creation Date. Not a big deal, I guess, except that I lose all context for finding B-roll that was recorded in connection with those interviews. As an example: On May 10 we shot B-roll of a village in northern Thailand in the morning. Then we did 4 interviews in the afternoon. In the evening, we did some more B-role of the village. Yesterday, I finally got back to this project and finished making the multi-cam and synched clips. So the B-roll has a date of May 10 and the interviews have a date of Sep 4. So I had to "Adjust Creation Date and Time..." to get the interviews back into their May 10 context. (This took a lot of figuring out by going over our not-so-helpful shooting schedule.)
Questions: Is there a better way? Am I missing something? Is there no way to tell Final Cut to use the date of the original media as the date of the new synchronized or multicam clips?
Thank you, again, for taking time to read all that!
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Creation dates for synched and multicam clips 06 Sep 2017 07:44 #90324

  • Axel
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This is interesting, but right now it doesn't sound like a serious problem. Many, like me, rarely use the creation date for anything else but synch/multicam. You could batch-tag MCs and B-roll to group them or create events for locations or content subjects. Or do both. I never understood why Apple chose the name event anyway. The german translation is even more mysterious: something that just happens, an incident, an occasion. It seems quite obvious to me that I put every clip into it that corresponds to something that occurred at a certain time or in a certain place. If I care to use multiple events at all. Others may sort by interview, B-roll, whatever, but all of those arbitrary categories can be attached more flexibly with tags using keyword collections. There is no right or wrong way.

Your story reminds me of a travel photographer I know. He decided to make a video of his Thailand trip for he travel agency for a change, additionally to his photos . Had tons of naked clips from 5DM3, GoPro and smartphones on a USB drive. Had saved them in the evenings in the hotel room or so. A real mess, and an interesting challenge for FCP X. But I turned him down finally, because I felt his expectations were inappropriate, given the material, and it would have ended in frustration for both of us. He edited himself, but his client didn't want the video.
Last Edit: 06 Sep 2017 07:45 by Axel.
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Creation dates for synched and multicam clips 06 Sep 2017 10:39 #90327

Axel wrote:
… never understood why Apple chose the name event anyway. The german translation is even more mysterious: …

I guess (pure speculation) this is a left-over from its origin:
This orga-scheme was first published with iMovie08… and for the average home-movie maker, it makes sense, to have a 'What happened 2008?' = Lib, "Grandma's 80th/Suzi's Wedding/New Years Eve' = Events. Compare how iPhoto was structured.

… that a professional editor has diff. schemes… sure! I like the example of an action scene: Dialogue recorded in May on a soundstage; car chase in April; v/fx November = all one 'Event', aka sequence...

For a documentary, with lots of interviews, one could imagine 1 Event= all answers to one Question… no event, nor a sequence, just sorting…

I like Larry in this presentation… in his webinars he's so … pastoral, here, he shows some temperament:
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Creation dates for synched and multicam clips 06 Sep 2017 14:50 #90333

  • joema
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RevJimBob wrote:
....Very often our production days are so busy that there is a long delay between the recording of audio and video and putting those clips into synchronized and/or multicam clips.....I lose all context for finding B-roll that was recorded in connection with those interviews. As an example: On May 10 we shot B-roll of a village in northern Thailand in the morning. Then we did 4 interviews in the afternoon. In the evening, we did some more B-role of the village. Yesterday, I finally got back to this project and finished making the multi-cam and synched clips. So the B-roll has a date of May 10 and the interviews have a date of Sep 4. So I had to "Adjust Creation Date and Time..." to get the interviews back into their May 10 context....Questions: Is there a better way? Am I missing something? ...

I do lots of similar field documentary work. I understand your situation, but this hasn't be a problem for us, maybe because our workflow is a little different.

The basic issue of needing sequential chronological sorting is vital -- at least when creating the multicams. We try to ensure either (a) camera and recorder clocks are properly set, or (b) capture the "delta time" for each device between indicated TOD and actual TOD, then update it in post for each group of files.

But often the parent clips comprising a multicam will have different times -- at least a little. So which one of those should the multicam inherit? Should it be the time of the earliest clip, latest clip, average of them, or what? Should it reject the inheritance if the clip times differ by more than x%? Probably rather than face these issues the developers just give the MC clip the current time when created.

Sometimes our b-roll for the interview is shot significantly before or after the interview, so if sorted chronologically it wouldn't be adjacent anyway.

As part of keywording and rating, our Assistant Editor becomes very familiar with the material and knows which b-roll shot supports which interview statement. Those are keyworded so the final editor can quickly find the supporting b-roll. Once the multicams are created, we reject the parent clips to reduce clutter and prevent the final editor from spending duplicate time on a camera angle that's already in a multicam.

For a given overall "project", each major shooting location is a separate event. Those have a known date, so at a coarse level all the material is grouped by date within events.

We offload and back up material each day in the field. There's a separate folder for each shooting day, and within that a subfolder for each camera. When this is imported, we allow FCPX to add keywords for this so regardless of the camera clocks we can click on a keyword collection and see all content from a given day, or content from a given camera on a given day. Those are put in folders to reduce clutter on the keyword bar. It's true the multicams don't have the shooting day keyword since they are created afterward, although we could add those.

Our keywording system is oriented around people's names, job departments, and links from interviews to supporting b-roll. Our final presentation does not require fidelity to a strict chronological sequence, but I understand other presentations might.

E.g, let's say in a multicam interview the subject says "I have always enjoyed driving forklifts". We want to keyword that so the editor can find the matching b-roll. We try to shoot b-roll right after the interview but that's not always possible. So there is probably footage somewhere of him driving a forklift which we shot upon first arrival or which was captured incidentally as a shot of opportunity. Our maybe our GoPro specialist put an action cam on the forklift or our aerial team shot drone footage of him driving it. The Asst Editor will still have to go through all the material from that shooting day to find those. Fortunately FCPX is super-fast so it expedites this.

Another way to expedite these is using field data logging such as Lumberjack. That way each shot is immediately logged by subject type, that metadata is imported to FCPX and finding it is a lot faster: lumberjacksystem.com/

If your particular organizational style requires updating the date/time of each MC clip to be similar to other non-interview material shot at the same time, just keep doing that.

With us, for each MC clip, I have to open it and check the sync in the Angle Viewer, then set the audio config in Inspector since we use a multichannel field recorder, then in the Angle Viewer set the best audio source, then reject all the parent clips, so it takes several steps. If I had to update the MC date/time it would just be one more step.
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Creation dates for synched and multicam clips 06 Sep 2017 22:40 #90338

  • RevJimBob
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Thank you Joema for taking the time to give me a very thoughtful and helpful response. On the whole, I think that what you helped me see is that I was in a rut doing what has worked (albeit not very efficiently) in the past. I do use keywords. I use them for "story elements" or themes. I use markers to identify specific content within interviews. But I had always used only one Event to contain all the camera and audio files. You have inspired me to get out of that rut and given me some ideas for how to organize things better.

"often the parent clips comprising a multicam will have different times -- at least a little. So which one of those should the multicam inherit? Should it be the time of the earliest clip, latest clip, average of them, or what? Should it reject the inheritance if the clip times differ by more than x%? Probably rather than face these issues the developers just give the MC clip the current time when created." This totally makes sense as an explanation.

Anyway, I really appreciate you taking the time to help!
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Creation dates for synched and multicam clips 07 Sep 2017 10:42 #90347

  • joema
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RevJimBob wrote:
....I do use keywords. I use them for "story elements" or themes....But I had always used only one Event to contain all the camera and audio files....

There is nothing particularly wrong with using a single event for all your content. I have had several terabytes in a single event.

In a sense, the event is simply a classification tag which could also be performed by a keyword or smart collection. As physically implemented, the event exists as a separate folder inside the library with the media content (or symlinks to that content) physically inside the folder. But that is an implementation detail. E.g, in GMail the folders aren't really folders but database tags which appear as folders. A future version of FCPX could change the internal implementation of events to database tags and you'd never know the difference.

Nonetheless Events can be useful. I mainly caution people against over-using events or thinking they are mandatory because they seem like the familiar bins from other editing programs. Events are simply one of several organizational tools in FCPX.

We now have smart collections and keyword collections which can span an entire library, so even if using multiple events it can all be searched. To make a library wide keyword collection, create a library smart collection, select the keywords you want and save that query.

It's very import to devote thoughtful time to devising an organizational system which works for your particular case. There is no one right way. If you are the final editor you'll know what you like or don't like. If someone else is the final editor it's important to interact with them as the organizational system is devised to make sure they understand it.
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