misc How to handle a lot of footage space wise.

Hey everyone,

I'm interested in making skateboarding videos. But this goes for any project with lots of footage. In skateboarding you shoot a lot of footage, mostly where skaters don't land their tricks. Sometimes there is memorable stuff happening in these clips, so you want to hold on to them. I guess this also goes for movies, where you do a lot of different takes with different emotions etc. Point is, you end up with a lot of footage that you may or may not need in a project.

I keep my footage on an external hard drive, but my computer has an ssd which is a lot faster for editing and I like to have footage in the same place as the project. But I would rather not copy all the footage to my ssd for space reasons, but I do want access to all the clips. What would you recommend, working from my ext hard drive? Or copying it bit by bit to my ssd and preselect which footage I do and do not want.
And what do you guys do when having a project where you have a lot of footage.

Thanks,
Regards
Toon
 
Hi, Toon.

First rule of video editing: never store your footage on your boot drive. Your computer has enough to do from the boot drive in running your OS and your NLE, along with all other constant background tasks.

Store your footage on, and edit from, an external drive. Get the fastest drive you can (either 7200rpm hard drive, or spring for SSD). The other benefit of this workflow is that you can swap drives between projects, so you don’t have to delete footage to move on. Just get a new drive.

Never fill your drives past 85% capacity. This goes for your boot drive, which needs for temporary files as it processes different tasks, and your edit drive, which needs the additional space for temporary render files and other fun things.

Use the fastest bus available on your computer for external storage. If the best you have is USB3, use that. If you have Thunderbolt, that’s better than USB3. And remember that the bus can only function as fast as the slowest device connected to it. If you daisychain devices, you can slow down a fast drive by connecting a slower drive.

Redundancy is important for protection against drive failure and data loss. Keep a copy of your footage on a separate drive. The backup drive doesn’t necessarily need to be a capable editing drive, just one that can keep footage available in case you need to restore it to a new editing drive. Your better bet is to get a RAID array, since that automatically protects you (and your footage) from drive failure.
 
Thanks!

Two things:
From your reaction I assume that you're footage is not near your project file. I've seen (on youtube tutorials) that a very efficient way to keep your projects compact, is to have the footage and audio and all the stuff in a folder (divided into sub folders). Or is your project file also on the drive your editing from?

What to do with projects that are in the past? Do you keep all you're project files + footage after you're done? I'm just curious because the file sizes add up so much. Especially if you have all you're footage twice.
 
From your reaction I assume that you're footage is not near your project file. I've seen (on youtube tutorials) that a very efficient way to keep your projects compact, is to have the footage and audio and all the stuff in a folder (divided into sub folders). Or is your project file also on the drive your editing from?
What’s your editing platform? In other words, Mac or PC, and which NLE are you using?

I’m on a Mac with FCPX, and media management is automated through Final Cut. Project files and the media library are all stored together in the same package on the same drive. The only exception to that is with importing media, which can either be added to the library with the file left where it is, or added to the library with the file transferred to the assigned media drive. But files that are transcoded are still added to the assigned media drive.

On the older iterations of FCP (FCP7 and earlier), I kept my project files in one place, and organized all my audio and video files on another drive.

What to do with projects that are in the past? Do you keep all you're project files + footage after you're done? I'm just curious because the file sizes add up so much. Especially if you have all you're footage twice.
I keep everything, so I have stacks of drives storing projects from years past. My backup drives are usually basic, no-frills USB drives. Those are dirt-cheap. The editing drives cost a bit more.
 
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