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Upgrade/Extend: Relink media files 2.0

Explorer ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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Hi there!

I hear you guys thinking: "Relinking media files? That function has been in Premiere even before I was born!" Correct, in a way...

Let me illustrate a situation for the sake of a demonstration. Keep in mind that you rarely use these steps directly within a workflow, but in a way, I keep bumping into similar/connected situations, which basically breaks your project.

Premiere Productions
Premiere Productions is based on a system where multiple projects are connected, meaning that you can store media files in one project and related sequences in another. The overall idea is to keep your main project (containing the sequence(s)) as light as possible.

STEP 1
Importing media files into Project 1

STEP 2
Create a new sequence in Project 2 and drag the media files from Project 1 onto the sequence within Project 2

 

STEP 3
Close both projects

STEP 4
Open Project 1 (containg all media files) and remove all the media files. Save/close the project.

Now here is the thing: once you open Project 2 you would like to see a dialogue telling you that the link between the media on the sequence and the media within Project 1 (where it was dragged from) is broken. Request: you want to be able to relink the files on the sequence back to the project, even if the sequence is a 'standalone' and even if you've decided to import a new set of same media files in the meanwhile.

Of course, Premiere can still see the default second linking structure (where it can tell where the media files are physically located on the storage device). (Reveal in Finder).

Right now, when you delete the media files from Project 1 (or you simply want to tell the sequence - after sending it to an external editor who relinked the files to their own drives - in what the media files are located) it doesn't work. When trying to Reveal in project, Premiere will always keep saying it can't find the files in the original project and it gives you the option to make it search for the files (which never works).

In other words: Am I just being very specific? Are there other people who understand what I mean and see a large benefit in an option like this? As a Premiere Production user, I certainly do.

It seems impossible to be flexible within a running Premiere Productions project to send off a sequence to an external editor and to later import it back into the original project, without breaking that sequence-project linking. I've tried a thousand options, but I simply can't get it to work.

Why is it so important you ask? Well, for example, proxies which were linked before a migration for an external will be tripping once the sequence is imported back in. Without a renewed relinking option, specifically for Premiere Productions, the only 50% way of succeeding in preparing a sequence for an external editor seems to be this:

1. Within Productions create a new project
2. Move all media files and sequences to this project for send off to an external editor (basically removing those files from the original project)

-- this way the data seem to maintain their ID numbers? --

3. After an external editor is done, you import the sequence back into Premiere (Add project)

4. You drag all elements back to their original location

This is kind of hard to explain, so I hope I kind of did 😉

Thanks!

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Import and ingest , Performance or Stability , Projects or collaboration , User experience or interface

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12 Comments
Community Expert ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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Is this a feature request?

 

I've recently begun working with Productions. I liked the fact that they kept working when 'project 1' was removed. Seemed like a good backup. Can you use 'make offline' to the media in project 1? Which would then cause a 'care to relink' message.

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Explorer ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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Hi, thank you for your reply.

You're correct. In a way it's nice that the the clips on a sequence in Project 2 keep working (even after removing them from Project 1), because there's always that second connection:

Connection 1: Every imported clip into Premiere (no matter which project) is linked to it's original file on a storage device. Premiere will always know that clip A001.MXF in a timeline is originally located on \\Volumes\Media\ etc.
Connection 2: The most stable way to use media inside Premiere Productions, is to first import your footage in several individual projects. From there you drag your media on a timeline.

From what I'm getting, once you create a project, everything that is imported (or created) inside, gets it's own ID number. For example clip A001.MXF will get ID number 8303. Whenever you drag that clip onto a sequence in another project, that second project knows 2 things:

1. Which project it needs to refer to

2. Which file it needs to refer to, because of that ID number (8303)

So, if for whatever reason you 'break' that linking pattern, there is no way to tell Premiere: "No... don't look for a file with ID number 8303 inside Project 1 to keep all the proxies working --for example--, but instead I now want you to see this reimported MXF file with the same name, but which you gave another ID number".

Example
Project 1: contains original media, proxies attached
Project 2: contains a sequence which holds the media which is toggable between original and proxy

Once you hand over the contents of both projects to an external editor, the editor can easily relink all media files on his own set. Which (I think) is not even necessary, but imagine that to be the case.

Whenever the editor is done with his edits inside the sequence that was created in Premiere Productions, you can't just import his altered sequence and expect everything to work inside the original Premiere Productions project.

This is one of many examples, but one I had to apply a few hours ago. So added the project inside Productions (right mouse on the Productions panel, than 'Add project...' so it becomes part of Productions).

Yes, the sequence does straight away recognizes the clips (without relinking), but we're talking about connection 1 (the connection to the original files on the storage device). The second connection is lost. The clips on the sequence are now connected to projects that were exported to the editor and not to the media that still sits in the original Productions panel. Therefore, you have to apply a workaround. I have to drag all the media files inside the exported project (which the sequence is now linked to) into the original media project inside Productions, next to the original copy of the media files that were already there (if that makes sense).

So the media project inside Productions (let's say Project 1) now holds a folder with all the footage from shooting day 1, but also a second copy, imported from the exported project that got send off to the editor. Because the media on the sequence he worked on only connects back (connection 2) to the media that was inside the exported project.

That's what I meant with my request. That it would be nice to click on a file inside Premiere Productions and manually adjust connection 2. To tell Premiere: "No, don't be stobbern and keep trying to look for these clips inside the project you THINK it is because made some weird connections, but now find it inside THIS project on my storage device".

Adobe recently fixed the color space issue where it would try to fix the color space for you, but before, when you had to go to Interpret Footage to manually set the color space to Rec. 709, that was also a big issue. You had to create a sequence inside the same project which contained the media and apply the Interpret Footage workaround from there, because once you separated the sequence from the media files in a separate project, that ID number thing also made a mess of things. Back than this manually linking back to a project thing would've also been a nice option.

And besides proxies, for now, there's a couple of other reasons why it would come in handy as well. For example, miraculously, I removed media file from Project 1. Yes, that file was still visible on the sequence inside Project 2, but again: if you would right mouse click that file on the sequence and ask: Reveal in Project, that clip couldn't be found. The whole ID number thing will continue to be a problem, because you can not simply reimport that file from the storage device into Project 1 and think that will fix it. Because Premiere Productions will appoint that file a new ID number, make it 'invisible' for the sequence in Project 2 which holds on to the old ID number.

Again, hard to explain. It's a bit technical and for some this will seem like a useless thing to be bothered about, but in a couple of ways this is a very annoying way of working. Especially when you're working with huge tv shows with hundreds of hours of footage and tens of thousands of connections within Premiere Productions.

Thanks! 🙂

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Community Expert ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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Thanks for that info, very informative.

 

If you have a contact at Adobe from a previous issue, yes, contact that person. Here we can make sure @Kevin-Monahan knows about it, and @R Neil Haugen has been using Productions for some time now.

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Adobe Employee ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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Hi @NwProPr,

The product team should respond to any feature requests. @mattchristensen1 might be able to shed some light on this issue. For now, I can recommend the long form and episodic best practices guide: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/long-form-episodic-best-practices.html

 

I hope it helps.

 

Thanks,
Kevin

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LEGEND ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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LOVE your posts! You've put wondrous thoughts and details there.

@Kevin-Monahan @mattchristensen  ... could you get this passed on to the right team please?

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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Hi @Kevin-Monahan,

I've been using the apps from Adobe for 25 years now, so with the introduction of Productions (which is absolutely perfect in any way), I've fully commited to Productions workflows only, trying to -sort of- master the most beneficial ways of applying it to different types of productions. Which has been quite a journey, as it works better on one project, where for others it can actually slow down the entire process. But I'm not complaining 😉

Most of my information and workflow setups are based on documentation by Adobe itself (such as the link you're referring to) and 'third party' resources.

From that perspective I have absolutely no issues at all. I think what I would love for Productions to do is more complicated than you would assume. In the end it's a network of a bunch of separate projects, which -without Productions- aren't connected.

I gave an example earlier of the color space upgrades that Premiere has been working over the last... 18(?) months. At first, when you had two projects, and one project contained the footage, where the other one housed the sequence, the sequence wasn't connected to the footage. So the interpret footage workaround to undo the 'coloring' of Premiere when you were using log footage, such as S-Gamut-3 Cine, didn't work when those two elements were separated. You really had to put both the sequence and the footage in one project, apply the interpret footage, and from there you could move the sequence ot another project. But, again... the connection from that point would be broken. So undoing the color space changes on the media files wouldn't have any effect on the sequence whatsoever.

I was very happy to see that Adobe was able to update that specific workflow, because since last summer, the connection between the sequence and the media files (no matter if separated) would remain.

So from that idea, you would think that it actually is possible to keep some sort of a real time connection running between projects within Productions. In other words: that it would be possible to 'manage' that specific connection. To actually be able and 'refer' the clips on your sequence inside Project 2 to just Project 1 (where you might have had to replace the media files) instead of it sticking to the the media clips that were used when you dragged them on the timeline.


I forgot to add in my previous post: I now have several 'media' projects (contain dailies), which now hold two copies of all the files.
Copy 1: because these files were already used on sequences in -for example- Project 10 and 11
Copy 2: because when trying to migrating the sequence from an external editor back into our main Production project, the sequence is only fully corresponding with the footage that was imported in the migrated project (so we had to replace those specific copies of all the media besides copy 1 -to keep things organized-

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Adobe Employee ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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@NwProPr Thanks for your detailed post, I'm glad you've been having a good time with Productions overall. The workflow you describe should be possible, but as always with these things it's tough to translate all these ideas to written text so forgive me for a couple questions here:

 

  1. There is a function for re-connecting the timeline to source project link: Edit > Reassociate Source Clips. When working in a Production, you can select one or many clips in a sequence and use Reassociate Source Clips to point to the project that now contains those clips, and the link will be re-made for any matching clips found in that project.
  2. For your workflow as I understand it, why not just give the external editor a full copy of the Production? I think the source of the friction you're experiencing comes from trying to manipulate the clips & sequence in order to get them out and back in. You can make a copy of the production folder, zip it up, and send it to the editor. They can then send you back only the project with the sequence they edited, and you drop it right back in your Production folder (or use Add Project to Production) and everything works. If for some reason you don't want them seeing other parts of the Production, you could even delete those projects out of the copy of the Production if you like, before you send the folder.
  3. If at any point you are re-importing new copies of the clip, Reassociate may not work. It's designed to work with the exact original source clips, just moved to a different project in the production. If some properties of the clip differ like some metadata, or markers, etc, it will cause Reassociate to see them as different and thus not reassociate them.

 

I hope that helps!

Matt

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Explorer ,
Jun 01, 2023 Jun 01, 2023

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Hi @mattchristensen ,

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and reply.

 

To keep my explaining as simple as possible, I tried to stay away from all sorts of other methods I tried as well. English not being my native language was a task on its own 😉

 

This whole post isn’t necessarily linked to a specific current situation. It really is something I’ve tried to look into from time to time, to see if newer updates might’ve solved the ‘issue’ (might not be a literal issue, as it could be too specific for the system to handle).

 

1. I did try and use the Reassociate Source Clips option, but somehow it didn’t always do the trick. In all honesty I haven’t tried it in the last few weeks, so I will definitely give it a try later today (building a test Production, recreating the situation of extracting/migrating a project (including sequence/data) to another set and have it imported back into the original Production.

 

2. I’ve tried (and thought of) a 1000 things regarding to this subject, except for the ‘option’ (?) to share a copy of the entire Productions project.

 

“Why not just give the external editor a full copy of the Production?”

 

We have multiple editors working within our Production projects. To give a specific example:

 

Step 1: We import footage of shooting days and footage of interviews

Step 2: Editor 1 is editing this footage on a sequence

Step 3: Editor 2 comes in and likes to make selections from the interviews

 

So, whenever I would extract/migrate the interview data, I would create a new project and import all interview media and a single sequence into this project. This project file (+ media on a drive using the same folder structure) is then send off to an external editor.

 

This is why, so far, we’ve only been doing this when we would know for certain that editor 1 wouldn’t be working with the interview media and/or sequences until everything would be imported back after editor 2 would finish.

 

Step 4: This is where that issue occurs from my previous post: You can’t simply imported the ‘migrate’ sequence back into Production and drag the sequence from editor 2 into the original Production and expect it to fully work again (in other words: that new sequence won’t be able to ‘reveal’ the clips on the sequence ‘in’ the original ‘project’ (where the original media files are still located; or else previous edited sequences by editor 1 might break).

 

Why not just give the external editor a full copy? To be honest: I’ve never thought that could be an option. In a way it makes sense, because you would also send him the ‘system files’, such as the prodset file.

 

Wouldn’t it be an issue to do so while in the original Production there are other editors working as well?

 

3. I might have explained myself to the point where things got confusing:

 

“If at any point you are re-importing new copies of the clip, Reassociate may not work.”

 

I’m not sure if this is what you mean, but there are never new copies of the ‘physical’ media files. At any point when I’m trying to re-import or reconnect media files, it’s always the same files that were there on our storage device from the beginning.

 

So to refer back to the interview sequence:

 

When I try to import the sequence back into our own Production, it will ‘physically’ know where the media files are (reveal in project — on our storage device), but Reveal in Project has now switched to the migrate sequence. Which makes sense, because the editor has dragged the clips from within that same migration project on the sequence.

 

So it’s more a matter of: What if we receive back this migration project, import it into our Production and decide to drag the interview sequence into our own interview project… how do I tell Premiere that there is no migration project left, and that it has to make new connections for the clips on the sequence back to the original clips in our own media files project… I still have to see if the Reassociate Source Clips might work in this case.

 

What I meant with re-importing media files into a media files project from which has been edited before (in other words: those media files were dragged onto multiple sequences in other projects already):

 

Somehow, we had a situation where inside a media files project, the 20 or so files that were imported before were largely gone (too complex to explain). Those files themselves weren’t altered, except for the fact they had proxies attached to them.

 

So, as it turns out, you can’t simply recreate the situation. You can’t re-import those missing media files from the same storage device and then re-attach the proxies. Because the sequence in another project won’t recognize those media files as the (as you call them) ‘exact original source clips’.

 

I guess that wouldn’t be an option to look into for Adobe? Instead of forcing to always look back at the ‘exact original source clip’ to now be able to ‘relink’ that connection?

 

Again, the ‘physical’ link remains, so you can continue editing and make your exports, but the internal Productions way of linking remains broken.

 

I will run a few tests later today and head back when I have some results.

 

Thanks again a 1000 times 🙂

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LEGEND ,
Jun 01, 2023 Jun 01, 2023

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I'm awaiting another reply from Matt also.

 

I will simply note that Productions was designed to have multiple editors working in the same Production at the same time. There are procedures built in for locking sequences currently in use.

 

My partner is in South Africa, I'm in Oregon USA, our media/projects are on an Amazon S3 server in London, and we use LucidLink as the "file server". And he's ALL Mac, we're all PC.

 

Our local Premiere and AfterEffects and Audition have no clue the media and projects aren't on a local drive.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Jun 01, 2023 Jun 01, 2023

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Hi @R Neil Haugen,

I'm very strict regarding workflows when it comes to Production projects being very 'bound' to one shared storage device. So far, within our production house, I've been anti extracting sequences and data for editors to work externally.

As mentioned a few times, I'm very fond of keeping all links and connections intact to prevent anything from going wrong and also to keep things organized and linked in a clean way. For example, whenever an episode is done in post and we're ready to send it off to a grading house or audio technician, it's just nice to be able to 'reveal' every single clip within the right project if needed.

For example, a few months ago we had a very dramatic workflow regarding a documentary which was done in Avid Media Composer, which we then had to transfer into Premiere Productions to finalize (including graphics, animations etc.). Long story short: we had to basically replace every single clip on the timeline manually (Match Framing wasn't an option in terms of the clips being Avid proxies, not carrying the right time code data etc.).

Within a fully build Production project, the internal linking 'infrastructure' would prevent something like that if you work in a consistent way. Referring back to my question on this page, in such a situation (where all links between the clips on a timeline to the exact original source clips in a different project are lost) it would be nice to have a separate option to tell Premiere: "In Project X there used to be a file called A001.MXF. For some reason that file disappeared and so I had to replace it with the exact same file from the same spot on the storage device. Use that file instead, since it's the exact same file".

But I'm repeating myself again 😉 I think my overall question is clear. I'm still hoping to run a test today.

@R Neil Haugen, do you mean that both your apps function in a normal way as if you're both in the same room on the same server? From a technical point of view that sounds great. Cost wise it sounds expensive (we're talking about an average of 20-30 TB of data, including proxies, transcodes etc.).

But in a way that would mean that Production would be able to supply a workflow where editors can work separated from each other. But then again, I wouldn't want to lean on that within our own projects. In this case we had an extreme situation where there was no other way due to a tight schedule.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 01, 2023 Jun 01, 2023

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Yes, as far as Premiere is concerned we're working on the same system.

 

And the size of work you're doing, maybe David Helmly should be consulted. He seems to run much of their broadcast/Hollywood workflow interactions with clients.

 

@dhelmly 

 

Neil

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 02, 2023 Jun 02, 2023

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@NwProPr Thanks for the additional explanation. Based on my understanding of your workflow, I think the best way is to just give the external editor an entire copy of the production (not necessarily all the media). The flow would look something like this:

 

1. Internal editor creates a new project for the external editor, let's call it "External.prproj" and copies in whatever sequence they need to be working from. The only thing in this project is the sequence, which references source clips in other projects

2. Send the external editor the copy of the production and any necessary media files

3. The external editor opens the production and opens External.prproj and does their work. The key here is they don't change anything in any other project in the production. They can open it if they need to find a different clip, etc, but they only modify External.prproj

4. When the external editor is finished, they send you back only "External.prproj", not the whole production, since only External.prproj has changed

5. The internal editor drops the External.prproj into the production folder (in the Finder) and let it replace the original copy of it

 

All the links will work, and you'll have the updated work from the external editor.

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