General Automation Tips

The automations you can configure for Final Cut Server can be very simple or very complex. In either case, there are situations you should be aware of that could lead to unexpected results.

About Reference QuickTime Files

Reference QuickTime files are media files that do not actually contain all of the media and instead include references to the actual media files.

If you manually upload a reference QuickTime file, a dialog appears asking if you want Final Cut Server to flatten the file (converting it to a self-contained QuickTime file) before uploading it to the catalog.

Scan and copy responses do not have this option, and instead, just upload the reference file without its externally referenced files. For that reason, you should manually flatten reference QuickTime files before using an automation to add them to the Final Cut Server catalog.

An exception is when you and everyone who might want to access a reference QuickTime file are on a SAN, such as an Xsan system. In this case, when a user checks out or exports a reference media file, the file will have access to the media files that the reference file needs.

About Final Cut Pro Projects

Final Cut Pro project files include the file paths to the project’s media. Final Cut Server locates the project’s media using the file paths stored in the Final Cut Pro project file.

An issue can occur if the Final Cut Pro project and its media have been moved from their original location to a device that has a scan or copy response configured to automatically upload new files to the Final Cut Server catalog. In this case, the file paths stored in the Final Cut Pro project no longer match where the media actually is located. You can correct this by opening the project in Final Cut Pro after it has been moved, reconnecting the media files (this may not be necessary; in some cases Final Cut Pro may be able to resolve the file paths on its own), and saving the project before using an automation to add the files to the Final Cut Server catalog.

About Uploading Folders

When you manually upload a folder containing media files to the Final Cut Server catalog, you are given three options for how Final Cut Server should treat the folder:

  • Upload the folder as a bundle: This means the folder and all of its contents are treated as a single asset, and you do not have access to the individual assets within the folder.
  • Upload the folder’s contents as individual assets: This means that each of the media files within the folder are uploaded as individual assets, and the fact that they were all in a folder when uploaded is not tracked.
  • Upload the folder’s contents as an image sequence: This means that the images will be identified as an image sequence, and a proxy video will be created at either the default frame rate or the frame rate provided at upload.

If you choose to upload the folder and its contents as a bundle or an image sequence asset onto a device that has an automation, such as a scan response, configured to watch for new media files, the folder’s media files can end up being added to the Final Cut Server catalog as both a bundle or image sequence asset and as individual assets.

If you do not want the individual media files to be added to the catalog, be sure to upload the bundle or image sequence to a device that is not automatically being scanned for new assets. It is recommended that one or more unique devices be created to hold image sequences, and that any scans associated with those devices be image sequence-specific scans.

About Media Files with No File Extension

In some cases, Final Cut Server automations can correctly recognize, upload, and process media files that do not have a file extension. To ensure that all files upload and are processed correctly, be sure all media files have an extension. This is especially true if the files are being uploaded to an FTP device.

Files without file extensions that are not correctly recognized will upload and be added to the Final Cut Server catalog as assets, but they will not have thumbnail or proxy files generated for them.