10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 27, 2009 7:29 AM by the_wine_snob

    CS4 - file management

    Jim Hines Level 1
      Would someone be so kind to steer me towards the literature that explains how PPro manages media.When I capture I end up with files scattered across multiple locations. I've tried leaving the scratch disk setting at "same as project" and I've tried indicating specific folders. What happens in both instances is that PPro still makes it's own folders, for instance, "encoded files", "preview" and "auto-save". I just want to keep things tidy and in separate folders. Ideally if all of the encoded media went in one folder and all of the auto- save in another etc. The other ideal alternative would be everything contained in it's own project folder. If that is the default and I've changed something to prevent that then ....help. Also as a test I saved some things to the desk top and now I have these Peak files scattered across the screen. So basically is there a good resource to understand the files that PPro creates when capturing and in the course of making a project, where does it like to put things and is it customizable.

       

      I'm on windows vista 64

       

      TIA

        • 1. Re: CS4 - file management
          Colin Brougham Level 6

          Premiere always create the Encoded Files, Preview Files, and Auto-Save folders when you create a new project--you can't prevent this behavior. The Encoded Files and Auto-Save folders are always created in the folder where your project file is saved. You can set the location of the Preview Files folders when you create a project, or anytime thereafter, in the Scratch Disks settings; this can be set to Documents (don't do this, ever), Same As Project (will create the Preview Files folder in the same folder as Encoded Files and Auto-Save as above), or to a custom location, which can be anything you choose. Note that this is set on a project-by-project basis, instead of a program basis, as it was in previous versions--this is one of the great enhancements of CS4.

           

          There are a lot of ways to set up drives and media folders and the folders related to Premiere, but here's what I do:

           

          1. I have a Projects drive (D:), and a Media drive (E:). On each drive, as I create a new project, I create a top-level folder that has my client's name, eg. ABC Store.
          2. When I create a new project for a particular client, I save the project file in the root folder that matches the client. I usually name the project file with the client's name and the name of the project/spot and the date. This makes searching easier, if needed, plus it's easier to identify the project on the Premiere Pro start-up screen.
          3. On the Scratch Disks tab, I point the Captured Video/Audio and usually the Video/Audio Previews folder locations to my Media drive (E:) and to the root folder with the client's name. If I had another drive for previews (let's say an F: drive called Previews), I would point the Video and Audio Previews there, once again to a root folder with the client's name.
          4. Once the project is created, and all of the automatic folders are created by Premiere, I go out to Explorer (on PC) and into my client's root project folder. Typically, I'll create other media folders within the client's project folder, like Audio (and sometimes Voiceover, SFX, Music inside of the Audio folder), Graphics, AE Project, DVD, and anything else necessary to house the media used in the project. Whichever the case may be, I try to be consistent about the names and locations of these subfolders as I create new projects.
          5. As I create new projects for a particular client, I simply repeat the process, and a lot of times I already have the client folder built on my projects and media drives, so I simply save the project file in the client's folder. All the subfolders will already have been created. What Premiere does is create project-specific subfolders (named after the project file) within the Encoded Files and Preview folders; this is again another thing that is hard-wired into the program, and you can't change. Auto-saved project files are saved in the Auto-Save folder, but no subfolders are created--I can't tell you why, but it seems a bit inconsistent given the way the other folders work. It's not a big deal, but just seems odd.

           

          That's how I work, and so far, it seems to work relatively well. I do wish there was some more customizability to the way Capture and Preview folders are created. For example, I'd like for Preview files to be set at a program-level AND a project-level; I'd like to be able to set a specific drive for Previews in the program preferences, and then Premiere would create project-specific subfolders within that drive and folder, without me having to set anything else when creating a project. As I don't archive rendered previews, I'd just as soon keep them out of my project or media folders, and be able to set it and forget it (thanks Ron Popeil).

           

          If it would help, I'd be happy to post some screenshots of what my folder structure looks like for any given project. The description above should be pretty complete, but let me know if the visual would be useful.

          • 2. Re: CS4 - file management
            Jim Hines Level 1

            Thank you Colin, you get the 10 pts. That was very thorough and helpful. Let me just briefly review to determine if I'm clear. When creating a new project I can name and save it to a folder of my choosing. In that folder will also be  folders automatically made called, "encoded" , "auto-save" and "previews". No matter what. If in the scratch disk settings I leave those 3 automatic folders to "same as project" then captured media will be stored in the automatically made "encoded" "aut-save" in the "auto-save" and "previews" in "previews. true? I can make my own folders inside the folder where I saved my project to house my other media appropriate to that project.

             

            Alternately I can save my encoded files to a folder I make on another drive seperate to my project files or elsewhere on the same drive but the 3 automatic folders will still be made in the folder that I saved my project to.

             

            Previews are merely temporary renders, correct? Like when you render something out just to see it on the timeline.

             

            Thanks again. If you have the time a .jpeg of your folder structure, including what it looks like inside your "encoded" folder would be illuminating.

             

            Best,

             

            Jim

             

            P.S. score an extra point by telling me - in the capture window where it says Log clips to - what do I need to know about that if anything? I mean if you have a spare moment. Thanks.

            • 3. Re: CS4 - file management
              Colin Brougham Level 6
              When creating a new project I can name and save it to a folder of my choosing. In that folder will also be  folders automatically made called, "encoded" , "auto-save" and "previews". No matter what.

              Yes, you can set where you want the project file to be saved; that's the "Location" at the bottom of the New Project panel. The Encoded Files and Auto-Save folders will always be created next to your project file, but the location of the Preview Files folder is determined by the Scratch Disks tab. "Same As Project" will place the Preview Files folder along with your project file, or use the Custom option to specify an alternate location; usually, this is preferable.

              If in the scratch disk settings I leave those 3 automatic folders to "same as project" then captured media will be stored in the automatically made "encoded" "aut-save" in the "auto-save" and "previews" in "previews. true?

              "Same As Project" doesn't control the Encoded Files and Auto-Save folders; see above for that information. Captured media is sort of the dark horse, in that you need to specifically point Premiere to a location to save those files. Premiere doesn't automatically create a "Capture" or "Footage" folder or anything like that, as it does for the three previously mentioned folders. Instead, when you point Premiere to a location with the Captured Video and Captured Audio options in the Scratch Disks tab, it simply dumps the files in that folder. As such, I will usually create a subfolder when specifying these options called "Footage". A lot of people don't like tiers of folders inside of folders, but I'm kind of a neat freak so this helps keep me organized.

               

              So, captured media does not go to the Encoded Files folder. Actually, I'm not sure why Premiere creates the Encoded Files folder; I think it's supposed to be used as a location to save your exported movies. Honestly, I sometimes use it, and sometimes I ignore it altogether and encode to a different location. The point is, nothing appears in the Encoded Files folder unless you specifically put it there; when I do use it, it's output from the Adobe Media Encoder that goes there. You've got the function of the other two correct, however.

              I can make my own folders inside the folder where I saved my project to house my other media appropriate to that project.

               

              Alternately I can save my encoded files to a folder I make on another drive seperate to my project files or elsewhere on the same drive but the 3 automatic folders will still be made in the folder that I saved my project to.

              Absolutely. How exactly you do this is dictated by what works best for you. And your encoded files can go anywhere you so choose. Usually, it's best to have that on a drive that is not where your media files are stored. It just makes read/write operations faster if you have multiple disks for this functionality.

              Previews are merely temporary renders, correct? Like when you render something out just to see it on the timeline.

              Correct. You can delete them as needed. If you need to recreate them, it's simply time to render that you're out.

              Thanks again. If you have the time a .jpeg of your folder structure, including what it looks like inside your "encoded" folder would be illuminating.

              I'll try to get one posted if I get to the office today... yikes.

               

              P.S. score an extra point by telling me - in the capture window where it says Log clips to - what do I need to know about that if anything? I mean if you have a spare moment. Thanks.

              The "Log Clips To" option simply lets you point Premiere to where you'd like the master clips stored within your project. It doesn't have anything to do with the media files; that's set in your Scratch Disks settings. The Log Clips pane will show a tree of the bins within your project, and you select which bin you'd like the master clips (the references to your media files that are stored within your project file) to be placed. No big deal if you don't change it--they'll simply be dropped at the top level of the project--and you can move the clips into bins later. It's really just a convenience thing.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: CS4 - file management
                Jim Hines Level 1

                Oh, I was thinking "encoded" referred to "captured" that shines the light. I guess I should have realized that. So I need to make a "capture" folder for each projectand point the scratch disk settings to that, same for the Auto Save. That's kind of bizzare would you agree? So on one dedicated drive I can save my project files and the "master clips" from the "logged clips" function in the capture panel, these both merely being pointers. Then on another drive I can create "capture/footage" folder point to it in the scratch disk settings (per project), "auto-save" folder, again point to it (per project) and "preview" folder repeating the process. I can safely ignore the "encoded" folder as it's only for my final renders or "encodes" which I normally put elsewhere anyways. Okay. 

                 

                Thanks for taking the time. No hurry on the picture. If and when you do it is fine.

                 

                Have a great day.

                • 5. Re: CS4 - file management
                  Colin Brougham Level 6
                  So I need to make a "capture" folder for each projectand point the scratch disk settings to that, same for the Auto Save. That's kind of bizzare would you agree?

                  You don't "need" to make a capture folder--you simply have to set the capture location in the Scratch Disks settings. And remember that Auto-Save and Encoded Files are created automatically when you create a project, and they're always created in the same folder as the project, so there's no need to even think about them.

                   

                  I don't think it's weird to have to specify a capture location. In fact, this is preferred, as you'll get better performance by separating your project file from your captured (or imported) media files. All NLEs use some variation of this.

                  So on one dedicated drive I can save my project files and the "master clips" from the "logged clips" function in the capture panel, these both merely being pointers. Then on another drive I can create "capture/footage" folder point to it in the scratch disk settings (per project), "auto-save" folder, again point to it (per project) and "preview" folder repeating the process. I can safely ignore the "encoded" folder as it's only for my final renders or "encodes" which I normally put elsewhere anyways. Okay.

                  Well, the clips that you log and capture become your master clips--they're what you see in the bins in your project. All they are are pointers to your media files which are somewhere on your computer's hard drives. You don't have to worry about saving the master clips/logged clips--they are part of the project file, not separate entities. I realize this is somewhat of an odd concept at first, especially if you're new to video editing, but what it basically means is that all editing functions you perform in the editor are performed on "virtual" versions of the actual media files. The media files themselves are never touched in any way.

                   

                  Correct about the capture location, but see above for note regarding the Auto-Save folder (you don't have to worry about that). Also correct about the Preview Files location. Your captured media and the generated previews are the "heavy lifters"--they require the most space and resources, so Premiere is giving you the option to store those on your fastest, hardiest drives, or at least to a location you want.

                   

                  Hope that helps!

                  • 6. Re: CS4 - file management
                    Jim Hines Level 1

                    Oh, I suppose it's just the glossary of terms that is the confusing part for me when learning new software. Espcecially if you are translating from another competing software package that basically does the same thing. For instance when I read the words Master Clip my ears perk up because those are pretty important in Avid Media Composer. But the "log clip to" option is just a way to indicate a bin/folder to store your logged clips in case you want to batch capture later or if you like to keep things tidy in the project window like I do and have all of the stuff you brought in from tape in a specific bin. FCP has that feature but they call it something else "default capture bin". Same thing different name. I found it odd that an "encoded" folder is an automatic when encoding is not a given - you may lay off to tape most of the time or dynamic link to Encore. It led me to believe that that was were the captured footage would be sent to by default and when it wasn't there when I chose "same as project" I was like WTF. Different editing programs call captured footage different things. Avid calls it digitizing, FCP calls it capture. I used one package once called it the "magic morphing mechanism" (kidding) In Avid all of your digitized files have to be in a folder named OMFI or MXF which of course can be put on the scratch disk of your choosing but they have to go in that folder and it's automatically created. But the inside of an Avid OMFI or MXF folder is a real conglomeration of file types all spread out a lot like this PPRo (at least PPRo creates the folder named after the project for the captured footage). Howevver, AVID has a very robust media manager that helps you find asssociated media by project, type and location. Premultiplied files are AVID's name for previews so you can do a search for those, it finds them all for that project in the one OMFI folder for example and you can delete them or whatever. FCP calls them rendered files and puts them in a centrally located folder called rendered that it creates seperate and automatically for each project but all the projects are in that one render folder. In FCP you get a quicktime inside your automatically made centrally located capture folder/inside a folder with the project name. And you only set that capture location once. Maybe it's a windows thing but I wasn't expecting anything but the .mpeg or whatever and now I have multiple file types associated with the one capture. .caf .pek. I just like to keep things in tidy but simple folder structure and understand what the files are so when I go to clean my drive I know what to delete and what to save. To me it's a bit of an annoyance to have to set these locations for each project. I'll get over it, maybe.

                     

                    I think your method of creating a project folder on a seperate drive of course and then pointing everything to that is a good method and should keep me organized and sane.

                     

                    Okay now that I've bored the holy f*** out of you maybe you know if there a way to decompose a sequence or batch capture a sequence with PPRo?

                    • 7. Re: CS4 - file management
                      Colin Brougham Level 6

                      Ah, now I understand. Yes, I can assure you that you will get over it. How do I know? Well, I come from an Avid pedigree as well. I spent over ten years on Avid systems before switching to PPro (motivated by cost, as I went from the corporate sector to being self-employed)--in fact, I purchased my first Adobe bundle without ever having used PPro. I went through all the same gnashing of teeth when I switched over, not so much because of the user interface or the general operation of the software, but because file management was so foreign to me!

                       

                      With Avid, everything you capture or even import is converted into an OMF or MXF file, and subsequently dumped inside of OMFI Media Files or Avid Media Files folders. It's because of the Media Manager (which is the best of any NLE, hands down) that this can be done. However, this is a wholly inefficient way of dealing with a great number of media sources. For example, if you import a graphic file, you don't actually use the TIF or TGA or PSD or whatever it is. Instead, the import process turns it into what basically amounts as a fixed-duration video clip. Well, this makes sense if all you've ever done is worked in the Avid arena, but it's pretty dumb when you look at it from the perspective of any other editing application. Why would I want to go through an import process AGAIN if I decide to make a change to my graphic? I don't; that's a WOMBAT (Waste Of Money, Brains, And Time). With PPro, FCP, and others, you work on the graphic file itself, so all you have to do is make changes to that file in your graphics app and the changes are automatic inside of the NLE. The same goes for tapeless acquisition formats, like P2 or XDCAM EX--Avid imports and rewraps these; another WOMBAT. Now, that's changed in the latest revisions of the Media Composer because there is a new feature called AMA (Avid Media Access) that allows you to much more quickly get media into your project. It's been a few years since I've touched an Avid, but this represents a quantum leap for media management within the Avid-sphere. You're still shackled to some extent by the way media files are treated in the Avid, but since it's a platform that's been around since the dawn of desktop video editing, it's understandable that they can't break out of that thread.

                       

                      PPro and other applications work with media in a far different way. With them, there is no converting of imported media to a "preferred" container file like Avid does. Because Avid works that way, it requires no user intervention to point the application to the correct folder to store that media--it just "knows". But PPro is working directly with your captured and imported AVIs, MOVs, JPGs, PSDs, WAVs, P2 MXFs--you name the media file, and there is no "changing" of the media happening (unless you do it before import). PPro doesn't really care what the file is (within reason) or where it is; if you import it, it'll work with it wherever it's located on your computer. Obviously, this represents a sea change from the way you operated in Avid, but it's much more liberating when you get down to it.

                       

                      That said, for those of us who have been accustomed to working on Avid and the way that it deals with media, it's daunting at first. It requires more organization on the user's part, and a little bit of set-up work to make sure that everything's in its right place. It seems a little kludgy to have to point PPro to the folder you want to capture to every time you create a project, but it only takes a few seconds, and it provides incredible flexibility. For example, if you're capturing all of your tape-based media to a specific folder on your media drive, it's a simple thing to just drop that folder onto an external drive for backup. Likewise, you can drop your project folder (as I've outlined how I set mine up in previous posts) on that same drive, and you have a total backup that can be restored very quickly. Media management, like deleting unused files or old renders, isn't quite the same as Avid, I'll grant you. However, there are ways to accomplish these and other media management tasks, both within the software and at the OS level.

                       

                      Let me address a few of your points now:

                      For instance when I read the words Master Clip my ears perk up because those are pretty important in Avid Media Composer. But the "log clip to" option is just a way to indicate a bin/folder to store your logged clips in case you want to batch capture later or if you like to keep things tidy in the project window like I do and have all of the stuff you brought in from tape in a specific bin. FCP has that feature but they call it something else "default capture bin". Same thing different name.

                      Master clips are pretty much the same in PPro as they are in Avid--they are your virtual representations of the media files on your disk. They are part of the project, not separate free-floating beings. I liken them to "Shortcuts" on Windows and "Aliases" on Mac OS; they're just pointers.

                       

                      "Log Clip To" not only points where logged clips go, but also where clips that you capture on-the-fly are stored, within your project. Avid provides the same in their Capture tool, if I remember correctly, and FCP does this by setting the "Logging Bin". Potato, potato.... that doesn't work so well in print.

                      I found it odd that an "encoded" folder is an automatic when encoding is not a given - you may lay off to tape most of the time or dynamic link to Encore. It led me to believe that that was were the captured footage would be sent to by default and when it wasn't there when I chose "same as project" I was like WTF.

                      Yeah, I get this. It seems rather pointless; as I mentioned previously, sometimes I use this folder, sometimes I don't. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is some kind of holdover from the pre-"Pro" days of Premiere. Unfortunately, the only recourse is just to ignore it.

                      Different editing programs call captured footage different things. Avid calls it digitizing, FCP calls it capture. I used one package once called it the "magic morphing mechanism" (kidding) In Avid all of your digitized files have to be in a folder named OMFI or MXF which of course can be put on the scratch disk of your choosing but they have to go in that folder and it's automatically created. But the inside of an Avid OMFI or MXF folder is a real conglomeration of file types all spread out a lot like this PPRo (at least PPRo creates the folder named after the project for the captured footage). However, AVID has a very robust media manager that helps you find asssociated media by project, type and location.

                      Does Avid still call it "digitizing"? I can't remember what they called it, last time I used it. Again, that's due to Avid coming online sometime around the late Cretaceous period when people still shot on analog tape (gasp). Nowadays, with most shot tape being digital, "Capture" is probably the more accurate nomenclature, as the video is already in a digital form. I like the "magic morphing mechanism" though--I need to get me one of those.

                       

                      I touched on the Avid points above; I won't re-spew.

                      Premultiplied files are AVID's name for previews so you can do a search for those, it finds them all for that project in the one OMFI folder for example and you can delete them or whatever.

                      Now, now--as an Avid editor, you should know they're called "precomputes" Just ribbin' you...

                      FCP calls them rendered files and puts them in a centrally located folder called rendered that it creates seperate and automatically for each project but all the projects are in that one render folder. In FCP you get a quicktime inside your automatically made centrally located capture folder/inside a folder with the project name. And you only set that capture location once.

                      FCP probably has the most flexibility of any of the NLEs when it comes to media folder creation, but it's also the most dangerous. I spend some of my days on this system, and it's sort of weird, powerful hybrid of how Avid handles media and how PPro handles media. The problem is that it's REALLY easy to screw up, and you can end up with "Capture Scratch" folders stacked inside of others to the nth degree if you're not careful. FCP creates just as many (in fact, I think more) "system" folder as PPro--like the Waveform Cache folder, and the Constant Frames folder, and Renders folder, and lions and tigers and bears, oh my. I've grilled a buddy of mine who is an FCP editor for hours about this (he also came from Avid) and he said he finally just gave up trying to make it make sense, and just goes with it. Apparently it's some sort of zen thing.

                       

                      My point is, you can make it work the way you say, and to an extent I'd like to see PPro offer this as an option, though not a standard.

                      Maybe it's a windows thing but I wasn't expecting anything but the .mpeg or whatever and now I have multiple file types associated with the one capture. .caf .pek. I just like to keep things in tidy but simple folder structure and understand what the files are so when I go to clean my drive I know what to delete and what to save. To me it's a bit of an annoyance to have to set these locations for each project. I'll get over it, maybe.

                      Well, in the case of .CFA (ConFormed Audio) and .PEK (waveform PEaK) files, those are generated when you import/capture media with audio. CFA files are created when an audio clip doesn't match the sampling rate of your project's audio, and PEK files are the waveforms that are drawn on audio clips. FCP does the same thing; that's what the Waveform Cache folder is all about. You might also come across things like .MPGINDEX files, which are index files created when an MPEG clip of some sort is imported (it tells PPro where independent frames in an MPEG-encoded video stream are located). You don't see things like this on Avid because of the "rewrapping" that goes on--Avid simply forces every imported clip to play by its rules. Because PPro is all kumbaya about media, it has to create this "helper" files. It might seem a bit messy, but for the most part they'll be stored with your media files. In fact, there's a preference in Edit > Preferences > Media to save these generated files next to the media they are sourced from. They're typically small files, so they're not much to worry about. I assure you, you'll get over it.

                      I think your method of creating a project folder on a seperate drive of course and then pointing everything to that is a good method and should keep me organized and sane.

                      Honestly, the way that I've set up my projects and media drive is influenced by my time on Avid. Using the present options available within Premiere, it's the closest approximation that I've been able to create that mimics the media file/folder relationship as it is in Avid. It's not perfect, at least not when you compare it to how you're accustomed to working in the Avid, but in time I really think you'll start to like it even better.

                      ...maybe you know if there a way to decompose a sequence or batch capture a sequence with PPRo?

                      No way to decompose as you do in Avid, but you can try a couple of things to slim down a project if this is what you're trying to accomplish. For one, go to Project > Remove Unused and that will remove all media from your project that is not being used. It doesn't delete the media from this disk; it simply gets rid of all the master clips that are not being referenced by any sequence in your project. Additionally, you could try the Project > Project Manager. It's not the Media Manager from Avid, by any stretch of the imagination, but what it will allow you to do is either collect all files used in your project and move them to a new destination, or you can trim your sequences (with handles) and move that trimmed media to a new location. Check it out on a COPY of your project first, just to be safe.

                       

                      To batch capture, simply highlight your offline clips in the Project panel, and select File > Batch Capture. The Capture tool will open up, and will prompt you for tapes as they're needed; I'm sure you've done this in Avid, and it's not a whole lot different from that. Here you can read all about it...

                       

                      Hope some of that is helpful...

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: CS4 - file management
                        Jim Hines Level 1

                        Dude you're awesome! Rock on! Precomputes doh, I'm a *******. it was early am when I typed that though.

                        • 9. Re: CS4 - file management
                          Colin Brougham Level 6

                          Heh. Glad that helped.

                           

                          No sweat about the "precomputes" thing. I always laugh when I think about good ol' precomputes. It's such a weird, out of place, throwback term in my mind. I always pictured Charles Babbage at the helm of a Symphony suite... the term makes little to no sense in the video editing realm. I guess Avid thought that "render" sounded like you were making candles or soap or something.

                           

                          Precompute... <snicker>

                          • 10. Re: CS4 - file management
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Would be nice if there was a "master" glossary in chart form. Maybe a column for Cine, Avid, FCP, PrPro, etc. To the left would be a brief description of what one did, or ended up with. To the right would be the term used by each dicipline or program.

                             

                            Hunt