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Best datafile management practices for iMovie

480 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 25, 2012 6:34 PM by e2photo RSS
e2photo Level 2 Level 2 (165 points)
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Oct 24, 2012 12:11 PM

I work across two different machines (my desktop and my laptop) on iMovie Projects.  My desktop has nearly all of my video stored on a 6TB external drive, but when I travel and want to bring along a project with me on a  portable 2 TB drive.  And then when I return, I want to be able to move the updated project back to my desktop and the 6 TB drive. 


I will want to also be able to bring along all of the related event files so I can add or change video content, if need be.


One of the problems is variious resources tend to disappear (music from my iTunes libary and video clips and or pictures from Aperture) 


So my question is what is the best approach to this problem.



Mac OS X (10.7.2), Two Alu iMac and 1 MacBook Pro
  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)
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    Oct 24, 2012 1:45 PM (in response to e2photo)

    The trick to doing this is the FILE/CONSOLIDATE MEDIA command.


    First, go into iMovie and make sure you see both the 6TB and the 2TB drives. You may have to press VIEW/EVENTS BY DISK to see them.


    Now, in the Project Library, drag the Project you wish to edit to the 2TB drive by holding down the Command key as you drag the project icon to the icon for the 2TB drive in the Project Library list. (If you do not hold down the command key, it will copy rather than move. - That may be OK if you want to keep the original on the 6TB as a backup.)


    Now, with the Project on the 2TB drive, select it in the Project Library list and use FILE/CONSOLIDATE MEDIA. This will allow you to copy or move all events used by the project, and also will copy any iTunes or photos used in the project to the 2TB drive.


    For more see HELP here.


    When you want to move everything back to the 6TB drive, reverse the procedure.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 25, 2012 6:53 AM (in response to e2photo)

    e2photo wrote:


    1. What actually moves in terms of video.  Just the clips used in the project or the whole event from which the clips were taken?


    2. If the 2 TB drive has the same event clips on them, do they get overwritten. 


    3. And when I reverse the process, do i generate another complete copy or only bring along things that do not already exist on the 6 TB. 


    One thing I do is mark 'Favorite Segments' in the process generating the project.  Does information move as well?


    1. I think it gives you the option, but my brain is scrambled because I have most recently used Final Cut Pro. I recommend you try and see. If it does not give you the option, I am pretty sure that it copies the whole event.


    2. Not sure.


    3. I usually did a Move so I didn't have to worry about this. That is worth some testing. I do not think you generate another complete copy of the events, however. In general, nothing in the Events should have changed, unless you ran image stabilization or optimized.


    In iMovie 9, when you did a COPY, the keywords and favorites were preserved. When you did a MOVE, they were not. I am not sure if this is a bug or a feature. Final Cut Pro preserves the metadata either way, so my guess is that it was a bug. I haven't tested this in iMovie 11 to know for sure. I recommend you do some testing on a small project and event before locking down your process.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)
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    Oct 25, 2012 1:56 PM (in response to e2photo)

    You are asking really good questions.



    e2photo wrote:


    Is file management using Final Cut Pro any easier?  How large is the learning curve for Final Cut Pro?

    File Management is quite similar in Final Cut Pro X, but you have additional options. The paradigm of Events, Projects, and Archives is the same. You have more ability to use keywords, and more ways to search through your events. You can also rename clips for your convenience. You can't rename clips in iMovie without messing up the date metadata.


    The learning curve is fairly large for Final Cut Pro. The basic interface is similar to iMovie, but at every stage you have many options and much more control. At minimum, you would want to get a good book on FCP, and you might invest in some of the video training that is available from Ripple Training or Larry Jordan.


    If all you need is to make simple movies of 25 minutes or less, iMovie may be plenty. If you need more, the Final Cut Pro X is a great product.


    It might be analogous to going from iPhoto to Aperture and Photoshop. It is doable, but some training helps.


    Here are some of the key differences...

    1) iMovie uses Apple Intermediate Codec as the editing codec. Final Cut Pro uses ProRes 422 as the editing codec. (There are also more exotic flavors like ProRes 444, for the times when you need alpha channel in your video). 


    Apple Intermediate Codec is OK for iMovie, because in iMovie, you will only render a clip once, and the render is done when you Share your project.  Final Cut Pro is capable of making much longer movies with complex effects. You might do multiple renders on a clip, so it is important to have a codec that maintains high fidelity to the original even through multiple renders. ProRes 422 that codec. In addition, Apple Intermediate Codec uses a 4-2-0 colorspace while ProRes uses a 4-2-2 colorspace. I am not an engineer, but this means potentially more accuracy and more colors available.


    2) Final Cut Pro makes it easy to edit with multiple camera angles. Think of a rock video where there is a music track and you cut seamlessly between a wide angle shot, the lead guitar, the singer, and the drummer. This is easy in FCP. It is possible in iMovie, but only with a lot of manual effort.


    3) You have a lot more control over color managment in FCP.


    4) You have a lot more control over audio in FCP. In addition to built in sound editing capablilities, you have all the synthesizers from Logic Pro available to you as well.


    5) In your editing, you have a lot more capability in FCP.


    6) In essence, you can do everything you can do in iMovie, but a lot more, and with a lot more control.


    7) In addition, Final Cut Pro will import your iMovie Project and Events, if you like, and you can contiue editing them in FCP. However, you can contimue to edit them in iMovie as well. And if you do it correctly, it does not take up much more space on your hard drive. In other words, you will have a Final Cut event with a hard link to your physical clips, and you will have an iMovie event with a hard link to the same physical clips. It will look like 2 separate events, but you only use up the space of one event. The only downside of doing this is that you will be editing in Apple INtermdiate Codec.


    8) You can do simple greenscreen in iMovie. In FCP you have full control over making a compositing key and using it as you like.


    9) You can do simple speed changes in iMovie (fast or slow motion). In FCP, you have infinite control over the speed changes and you can select from 4 different modes of blending the frames so they look smooth.


    I could go on and on, but that should give you an idea.


    Here is the Help manual for FCP, if you want to browse around.


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