Starting Off On The Right File, Part III

In part two, I talked about bringing media into Final Cut Pro X that is laid out in a folder structure. I concentrated on RED footage for the most part. I picked that brand because it’s easy to show what can happen if you bring the footage in the right way: access to the RAW controls. By that I mean access to the RMD files that ride along with the footage files. These metadata files control how the RAW file is processed.

Adobe Premiere Pro gives you access to those same RMD controls and you don’t have to download something from RED to make things work. (I’d still check the RED download site for software that works with files outside of Premiere Pro, as well as any RED-recommended changes to workflow.)

Premiere Pro requires you to bring in your footage in a particular way. Unfortunately, you don’t just use Import under the File menu. If you File/Import, you’ll get error messages as the software tries to import the RMD files and any other files that are stored alongside the footage files.

Adobe Premiere Pro doesn’t recognize non-media files during a normal import.

That’s because the import process looks for just basic movie files. It doesn’t really know what to do with anything else. Since RMD files aren’t footage files, Premiere Pro in its current development state pops up an error message each time it encounters an RMD file. Yes, you can just ignore the error messages.

Another by-product of using File/Import is ending up with duplicate files. Where are they coming from?

Depending on the recording medium—the type of cards or drives a camera uses for recording—when the footage is shot, especially for long takes in high resolutions, you may exceed a file size limitation. So, a three-minute 5k shot might show up in the footage folder as four different files.

If you look in the footage folder, you’ll see multiple .R3D files within each clip folder. They’ll have the same starting filename but then an incremental number—002, 003, 004, etc.—at the end. When combined properly, these files will show up as one clip.

A RED clip folder will show multiple files that represent one long clip.

 The problem occurs when this footage folder gets imported. You end up with multiple clips, each using the filename with the incremental ending. If you play these clips, they are identical. If you look at the data in the bin once imported, you’ll see that the timecodes for each clip are also identical.

This clip is nearly five minutes long and shows up as six identical clips in the Adobe Premiere bin.

Another issue with File/Import is organization, naming and overall bin structure. The screen capture below is a bit of a mess. Inside the footage folders are not only clips but also more footage folders.

With a regular import the clip folders have a mix of clips and folders with clips.

The discrepancy is, once again, due to splitting up long files. While I realize this isn’t the end of the world, if you have days and days of footage, it can really slow you down. But there is a better way…

Next time I’ll explain how to bring this type of footage into Premiere Pro without all of these problems.