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25 Jan 2021
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Archiving Libraries and Trimming Media 26 Jul 2022 13:36 #121592

  • foxytom
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I know that vacations of this question have been asked in the distant past but given that time, we are told, is a great healer, I figured it was worth asking again.

When Archiving a Library, is there a way to trim unused media, with handles?

My brain cells have seen better days but I'm sure this was a fairly normal feature in FCP 7.

My workflow often involves long clips that might involve the camera pointing at a wall for several minutes. Should I want to watch that, I can always go back to the Camera Archive (stored differently, elsewhere.)

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Archiving Libraries and Trimming Media 26 Jul 2022 13:39 #121593

Marquis Broadcast has a utility worx4.com that does this using XML.

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Archiving Libraries and Trimming Media 26 Jul 2022 18:09 #121595

  • joema
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...When Archiving a Library, is there a way to trim unused media, with handles?...My brain cells have seen better days but I'm sure this was a fairly normal feature in FCP 7...

As Tom said Worx4 exists, but it has several limitations:

- Will not trim these codecs: R3D, BRAW, ProRes RAW, MXF, M4A(AAC), AC3, CAF or mp3
- Will not trim the underlying parent clips in a Compound or Multicam clip

Trimming clips with user-specified handles is an important feature. From a user perspective we really want that for both archiving and collaborative workflow. E.g, in a 10 minute documentary featuring seven 5 sec sound bites from seven different 30 minute 4k ProRes 422 multicam interviews, it would be nice to ship to another editor the multicam project with the underlying parent clips of each 5 sec multicam range trimmed to 9 sec.

However Worx4 ver. 1.3.8 (the latest version) will pull in the entire underlying parent clips, IOW 200-400 minutes of material, not 63 seconds of material. That makes it very difficult to upload that to remote collaborators.

This isn't some slipshod implementation of Worx4 -- it is a good product. But the underlying layers in FCP plus inherent aspects of codec trimming make it infeasible or risky.

Resolve's Media Management feature supports trim with user-defined handles. I tested it using several codecs on Resolve Studio 17 and it caused widespread reproducible data corruption. The previous version of Resolve had a "Move" option for their Media Management pane, and it caused so many problems they finally removed it from the product.

I re-tested the Media Management trim feature in a later version of Resolve 17 and it seemed to work better. There were several codecs it would not trim -- it would copy the entire file like Worx4, but it would trim some without damaging them. However data integrity is very serious and I would not trust that until I re-test it myself on the current Resolve version under wide-ranging conditions across many codecs for several days.

The question may arise that Quicktime Player can trim files (often without re-encoding), so why cannot FCP? I think in theory it could, but it's an issue of reliability. You trim one file at a time in Quicktime, and you generally examine each one. By contrast a "save to archive with trim" feature in FCP would be handling hundreds or thousands of files. There is a certain probability of injecting an error, especially on Long GOP formats. No user will sit there and go through 2,000 files at 1x speed to check them. Two years later you'd pull that archive and might find that 1% of the clips are damaged, including the very one you need.

That isn't speculation, over the years I've had various video trimming utilities damage files on both Windows and Mac. A few weeks ago I trimmed an MP4 file with Quicktime Player and it damaged the beginning so I had to re-edit the original clip and export it with FCP.

The Resolve developers seem willing to try things like that and their user base is conditioned to accept some features are often broken. That NLE is rapidly being developed, so maybe that's the price of progress.

I really wish FCP had that feature but the underlying task is technically challenging from a reliability and test standpoint. If anyone extensively used the FCP 7 "trim with handles" feature, maybe they could comment on how well that worked on retimed clips, Multicam aka Multiclip, and for what codecs.

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Archiving Libraries and Trimming Media 29 Jul 2022 12:59 #121626

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Thanks Joe for the in depth reapone.

It's true that that back in the FCP7 days there was a lot less retiming going on and we were using older codecs, which might have been less efficient but perhaps less likely to corrupt in such cases (I say that with zero knowledge whatsoever.) There were very few high speed cameras then and now my iphone can do 240fps.

The lack of MXF support is sadly a deal breaker for me.

I could even envisage myself doing this manually, especially when I might filch a few seconds between one project and another and said clip is 13 minutes long.

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Archiving Libraries and Trimming Media 29 Jul 2022 21:19 #121643

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...The lack of MXF support is sadly a deal breaker for me...I could even envisage myself doing this manually, especially when I might filch a few seconds between one project and another and said clip is 13 minutes long.

This ability to trim the underlying media files has not been present in FCPX since it was released 11 years ago. It's understandably a common question, which is why Worx4 makes their tool, even though there are certain cases it doesn't handle.

I just tested the ability of Quicktime Player to do "no encode" trimming of Sony FX6 UHD 4k/23.98 10-bit 4:2:2 MXF, and it worked OK, although the saved file has a .mov extension. The internal codec is not changed. So if you want to trim out large sections of waste MXF material before importing to FCP, you can do that with Quicktime Player right now using the command CMD+T. It does not re-encode so it's very fast.

I just re-tested Resolve Studio 18.0.1 on Sony FX6 UHD 4k/23.98 10-bit 4:2:2 MXF and it seems to trim that reliably. It can also trim various other codecs although it did corrupt 4k/120 10-bit 4:2:2 HEVC material from a Sony A7SIII.

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Archiving Libraries and Trimming Media 07 Aug 2022 16:54 #121720

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As a follow up to this issue, a new problem was just encountered on Resolve Studio 18.0.1 whereby ARRIRAW MXF clips previously trimmed with Resolve 17 cannot be imported to Resolve 18. This is just one example of how dangerous trimming can be. Much of that trimming done on Resolve 17 was for archival purposes, so was done long ago. Even if they checked every single clip (possibly hundreds) back when they trimmed in on ver. 17, the presumption is it would work on future versions. Now they find out trimmed media using that codec cannot be edited in Resolve 18. Maybe it can be fixed but in the meantime they can't edit it except on older versions, and many have already updated their databases to ver. 18 and committed much work that can't be easily reverted to ver. 17.

The relevance to FCP is we'd all like media trimming but whether done by an NLE or a stand-alone tool, trimming has historically been associated with sporadic corruption and compatibility problems.

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Last edit: by joema.
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