Organizing Assets in Final Cut Server

Before you can organize or search for assets in the Final Cut Server catalog, you must understand how the Assets and Productions panes are structured.

When you click Assets in the Final Cut Server main window, all of the assets that have been uploaded to Final Cut Server are displayed. All assets remain on this single level in the Assets pane.

Similarly, when you click Productions in the Final Cut Server main window, all of the top-level productions are displayed. Unlike assets, productions can be nested inside of each other, creating hierarchical levels. Productions are used to organize asset alias files, small reference files that link to the original asset. For example, if you upload a Soundtrack Pro project file and the audio files used in that project, you can create a production to hold the Soundtrack Pro project asset and media files during the upload process. After the upload is complete, the production will contain the Soundtrack Pro project’s asset alias and aliases to each of the project’s media files. Productions are also used to group related projects; for example, you can create a production that contains aliases to all of the Final Cut Pro project assets in progress for a particular client.

Figure. Assets and Productions searches in the Final Cut Server main window.

You can create many levels of productions to organize asset aliases. To find a particular asset or production, you can browse the productions by clicking through them, or you can perform a search to narrow the number of productions and assets that are displayed. The simplest search you can perform is to enter a search term in the search field and click the Search button. You can also perform an advanced search, which allows you to search for a term in a particular metadata field. See Searching in Final Cut Server for more information.

If you want to keep a search, you can save it. Searches you save are listed under the My Smart Searches heading in the column at the left of the main Final Cut Server window. See Creating a Smart Search for more information.

Your Final Cut Server administrator can customize the advanced search metadata fields in your Final Cut Server system. For more information, contact your Final Cut Server administrator.

About Assets

Assets can be divided into three general categories: media assets, Final Cut Pro project assets, and Final Cut Studio or other project assets.

Media assets are created when audio, video, graphic, or other media files are uploaded to Final Cut Server. Final Cut Pro project assets are created when Final Cut Pro projects are uploaded to Final Cut Server. The Final Cut Pro project asset info window contains an Elements pane that lists the media assets that are used by the Final Cut Pro project file. Final Cut Studio project assets are created when Motion, Soundtrack Pro, and DVD Studio Pro project files are uploaded to Final Cut Server. Unlike Final Cut Pro project assets, these project files require you to manually organize the project’s linked media assets. (Note that a Final Cut Studio project and its media can be uploaded as either a bundle asset or as individual assets.) See Uploading Files to Final Cut Server for more information about the assets you can upload to Final Cut Server.

Many assets display an icon (video, audio, and graphic icons, for example) or an application symbol on their thumbnails (Final Cut Studio project files, for example) to help you identify the type of asset.

Figure. Final Cut Server main window showing a Final Cut Pro project asset, a Motion project asset, an audio asset with a QuickTime icon, a video asset, and an image asset displaying the asset's corresponding proxy thumbnail.

You can also get information about an asset by looking at its MIME type. The MIME type describes either the type of information contained in the primary representation file or the application in which the primary representation file was created.

Figure. Asset info window showing the asset's MIME type.

You can search for a specific MIME type; if you use that search often, you can save it as a Smart Search. See Searching in Final Cut Server for more information.

About Productions

Productions are containers you can use to organize asset aliases and other productions. You can nest productions inside each other to create complex hierarchies of productions.

The assets that are available through the Assets pane in the main window of Final Cut Server cannot be copied or moved into a production. Instead, when you upload, move, or copy an asset into a production, an alias that points to the original asset appears in the production. An alias looks very similar to an asset; its distinguishing feature is the alias icon that appears on the top-left corner of the asset (in Thumbnails view) or in the leftmost column (in List view). For more information about asset icons and thumbnail and list view, see List View.

When you click the Productions pane, all of the top-level productions are listed in the main part of the window. You can double-click any of these productions to open the production’s info window and see its contents. A path describing the location of the production is shown in the top-left corner of the production. If you click any blue linked production shown in this path, that production will open in a new production info window.

Figure. Production info window, showing the Assets and Productions and metadata buttons.

Creating Productions

You can create a new, empty production at the top-level of the Productions pane or inside any existing production. You can also create a production that contains one or more selected assets, saving you the step of manually putting an alias of an asset in the production.

To create a production
  1. Do one of the following:

    • In the Assets pane of the main window, select one or more assets and click the New Production from Selection button in the Toolbar.

      This will create a new production at the top level of the Productions pane that contains aliases for the selected assets.

    • In the Productions pane of the main window, click the New Production button in the Toolbar.

      Figure. New Production button in the Final Cut Server main window.

      This will create a new, empty production at the top level of the Productions pane.

    • In an open production info window, click the New Production button in the Toolbar.

      This will create a new, empty production inside the existing production.

    The Production window appears.

  2. Choose a metadata set for the production from the Metadata Set pop-up menu.

    Figure. New Production window showing the Metadata Set pop-up menu.
  3. Depending on the metadata set you chose, a number of metadata fields appear. Enter information for the production, including a title and priority status, and parent production if applicable, in these fields.

    Note: Fields marked with an asterisk (*) must be filled in.

  4. Click Save Changes.

    The Production window closes.

After you create a production, it appears in the Productions pane if it is a top-level production, or nested inside a production. You can view productions in several ways.

Browsing and Searching for Productions

After you create a production, it can be located in the top level of the Productions pane, or nested inside a production. You can browse the production hierarchy; you can also search for specific productions within the Final Cut Server catalog. How you choose to search for the production you are looking for can depend on the number of productions that exist in your organization’s Final Cut Server catalog and the depth of the production, as well as your workflow.

To view all the top-level productions in the Productions pane
  • Click Productions. All of the existing top-level productions are shown in the display area.

After viewing a top-level production, you have more ways to navigate the production hierarchy.

To browse the contents of a top-level production within a single production info window
Do one of the following:
  • Double click any top-level production to view its contents.

    A new production info window appears, displaying the asset aliases and productions it contains. A count of the items shown is displayed at the bottom of the production info window.

  • From within a production info window, double-click any production to view its contents. The production info window refreshes, displaying the asset aliases and productions it contains. A count of the items shown is displayed at the bottom of the production info window.

    As you browse a production hierarchy by double-clicking productions, the production info window continues to refresh and display new production information. The path of each open production is displayed in the top-left corner of the production info window. You can keep track of where you are in the production hierarchy by watching the path at the top.

  • Final Cut Server remembers productions that have been viewed. You can click any part of the blue linked production path to go to that production, or click the left or right arrow to move to previously viewed productions.

  • Control-click any portion of the production path to display a shortcut menu containing all the components of the path. Choose one of the components to display it.

As you navigate, you may find it helpful to open additional production info windows.

To open a new production info window
  • Control-click a production, then choose New Window or Get Info from the shortcut menu.

  • Double-click an arrow button or a production to open that production in a new production info window.

You can also search productions. For information about searching, see Searching in Final Cut Server.

Organizing Assets and Productions

When organizing assets and productions, it is important to remember that assets appear only in the Assets pane of the main window of Final Cut Server. Aliases to the assets in the Assets pane are used within productions.

The following sections explain how to move, copy, and delete asset aliases and productions.

Organizing Asset Aliases

You can add asset aliases to productions either from within Final Cut Server or when uploading new files to Final Cut Server. For instructions on how to add a media or project asset to a production during the upload process, see Uploading Files to Final Cut Server.

To create an asset alias in a production
  1. Browse to the production you want to create the alias in and double-click it to view the production info window.

  2. Browse to the asset in the Asset catalog.

  3. Drag the asset into the production info window.

    You’ll see a green plus sign near the cursor in the production info window that you are copying to.

The asset alias appears in the production info window.

To move or copy an asset alias from one production to another
  1. Browse to the production you want to move or copy an asset alias to, either by clicking Productions in the main window and browsing to the production or by searching for the production.

    Then double-click the production to view its production info window.

  2. Browse to the asset alias in an existing production.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Drag the asset alias into the open production window to move it from one production to another.

    • Option-drag the asset alias into the open production window to copy it to the open production.

The asset alias appears in the production info window you moved or copied it to. The title and production info for the asset alias is shown on the asset in both Thumbnails view and List view; this information becomes useful when looking at search results.

After you add an asset alias to a production, Final Cut Server tracks the asset as a linked asset. You can find out what productions an asset is linked to by opening the asset’s info window and clicking Resources. A list of productions that the asset is linked to is displayed in the bottom-right area of the asset info window.

Figure. Asset info window.
To remove an asset alias from a production
  1. Open the production’s info window.

  2. Select the asset that you want to remove from the production.

  3. Control-click the asset, then choose Remove from Production from the shortcut menu.

The asset alias is removed from the production.

Organizing Productions

At certain points in your workflow, you may need to move, copy, and delete productions. Keep in mind that unlike assets, productions do not have aliases.

To move a production to the Productions pane (top-level) of the main window
  1. Locate the production you want to move.

  2. Open the production’s info window by doing one of the following:

    • Double-click the production.

    • Control-click the production, then choose Get Info from the shortcut menu.

  3. Click the Action button and, in the pop-up menu that appears, choose Move to Top Level.

The production appears as a top-level production.

To move a production to another location within a production hierarchy
  1. Locate the production you want to move.

  2. In a new window, browse to the nested production you want to move the other production to.

  3. Drag the production to its new location.

    You will see the production folder move to its new location; however, the production folder will also remain in the old location.

The production is in its new location.

To copy a production to another location within a production hierarchy
  1. Locate the production you want to move.

  2. In a new window, browse to the nested production you want to move the other production to.

  3. Option-drag the production to its new location.

    You’ll see a green plus sign near the cursor in the production info window that you are copying to.

The production folder appears in both locations.

When you delete a production, any productions or asset aliases that it contains will be deleted.

To delete a production and all of its contents
  1. In the Productions pane, Control-click the production that you want to delete, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.

  2. In the delete dialog that appears, click Delete to continue.

The production and its contents are deleted.