1 person found this helpful
Welcome to the forum.
First, take a look at this ARTICLE on external HDD's.
As for a workflow, one has to decide exactly what they want to do, and how they want to do it. Here are some thoughts, based on my general workflow, using my laptop (only computer with PrE on it) and external HDD's. Some of this will probably not apply, as I migrate my Projects between my laptop, and a workstation.
I create the Project folder structure on an external (FW-800 in my case, but eSATA would be even better). Under that structure, I create the sub-folders, that I anticipate needing. These will be Videos, Audio, SFX, Still Images, Finished AVI's, Finished AC3's, Titles, etc., and then I will Copy my Assets to the appropriate sub-folder. The originals stay on my NAS unit for safety. All stills will have been worked on in PS, and Scaled to the Frame Size of the Project, regardless of the resolution of the originals.
I locate my Scratch Disks (w/ my Media Cache) with the setting (Edit>Preferences>Scratch Disks), Same as Project. Everything needed is now under the folder structure of my Project, and I can edit to/from the external, and move it between computers. Note: each of my externals has its drive letter set in the OS of each computer, so that it is unique, and is always seen as, say my Z:\ drive, regardless of when/where I plug in the external, and when I turn it on in the process.
I edit, and output/Share/Export to the Finished AVI, or Finished AC3 (Audio) folders, so all is still contained and under the Project's folder structure.
When I am done editing, and everything has checked out, I will use the Archiver to archive my Project to another external HDD for safe-keeping. I test the archived Project. If all works fine, I just Delete the Project's root folder, deleting all of the sub-folders and their contents. I always do the archive with the full Video Assets, so if I need to do a major re-edit, all of the footage is still available to me. This means larger files, but that would save me having to re-Import, or re-Capture footage.
If one is manually doing a Copy of their Project, the Media Cache files are NOT needed. These will be the Render files (AVI's in my case), the CFA (Conformed Audio) and the PEK (Waveform Display) files. PrE will recreate all of those, if they are needed later on.
That is how I do it, and so far, have never experienced an issue.
Hope that this helps, and good luck,
One thing I recommend, as far as working off your external drive: Whenever you start a new Premiere Elements project, create a new folder for it on your external drive and store the project file in this folder. This will keep all of your project, render and temp files in the same area. This is not only good housekeeping, but it makes it easy to delete all of the files if and when you want to clean up your drive later.
When you're done editing your project, I recommend keeping just a final, high-quality version of your final mix in your archives. This doesn't save all of your edits are raw footage, but it does make it easy to go back to your highest quality file and do some additional editing or grab a clip from it later.
If you've got a tape-based camcorder (miniDV or HDV) you can even store this final back to tape. This is a great way to save your old, finished projects. I've got a whole drawer full of them!
Otherwise, it depends on whether you're working in hi-def or standard-def.
To save a final of a standard def project, the ideal format is Share/Computer/AVI with the DV preset.
To save a final of a hi-def project, the ideal format is Share/Computer/MPEG with the 1440x1080 30i preset.
These files are only about 13 gigs in size for every hour of video, so they shouldn't take up too much space on your 1 TB drive.
Great, thanks for your quick responses!
I will study what you have written…!