Sunday, April 6, 2014

OpenShot :: Organizing Files aka Oy, VEY!

Sooo.. have started to really get serious about making some videos out of the literally tens upon tens of thousands of still images and movie clips I've taken out in the front yard here. Have dabbled with about six, eight videos now, and immediately it became clear it was getting out of hand QUICK.

The part that is getting out of hand is the organization of all the related and inter-related files. Movies the size I'm making don't really take that many files right now but it was still a mess already. In the process of changing things out (moving some files around and renaming for better consistency), I've managed to freak out the OpenShot Video Editor a time or two, too. *oops*

You have a couple choices if you manage to do the same. You can start over which has actually helped me lose a few pesky bugs I'd planted in my videos. Or if you've already got a pretty intricate video project set up and working, you can try helping OpenShot refind what you reorganized.

On that last part, an example might be like I had earlier where I'd snipped the doodah out of a clip and then done all kinds of tweaks, effects, yadda. May just be that I don't know the entire of OpenShot shortcuts and fail-safes yet, but I was not up for the task of recreating that clipped snippet from scratch.

There may be several ways to help OpenShot relocate moved files but this one is what proved cognitively friendly for me:

  • Make sure the "Project Files" tab is active, is the one you're working out of
  • Right click over whichever file a little popup window is complaining can no longer be found
  • Click "File Properties". It's at the bottom of the little popup window for me
  • Enter the file's new full computer path there where it says "File Name:"
  • Quickly save your project. I say this one because that seemed to make a difference here (SOMETIMES).

On that last part, at other times... not so much (did quickly saving the project make a difference). The file path would occasionally and very frustratingly revert back to the old now non-existent file path for some reason. It could be as simple as I was missing something pretty basic.. or not. Therein lies the oy factor.

Learned another little something about OpenShot's interoperability that had escaped me at first. You're not actually loading files into your project. I was wondering why the "*.osp" files were so tiny. It's because it's about linking rather than embedding as the project moves along.

Found that out accidentally while updating, prettying up the text alignment on a title .svg file earlier. For no particular reason (ok, maybe LAZY), I decided to double click the existing file on the "Project Files" tab rather than delete and start over. So I updated the text in my Inkscape .svg file then clicked the pre-existing file name there on that "Project Files" tab. The visual changed immediately and reflected the new file change there in OpenShot's "Video Preview" panel (right side of the program). That little 4-watt light bulb flicked on overhead again a second later.

BUT.. I'm ignoring the light bulb this time. It suggests trying to use as few files as possible in creating videos over time. I'm thinking that could get messy and potentially overwhelming real quick. So my process will be to give each and every video its own copy of all files even though that will mean duplication up the wazoo for a handful of files over time.

The reason for that CHOICE is... cognition/memory based. From one second to the next all day every day I forget "systems" I've established to do things. Guaranteed I'll be smoking along making videos a few weeks from now and will absolutely freaking forget that the one "outro" file is designed to be 100% consistent, dependable throughout the lifetime of my video making. Ok, not forever but for a few months... or few videos, at the least.

If I use one single file for all videos then decide a week from now to change it for some silly one-of-a-kind video, I've just messed up all the other projects sitting symlinked to that same file as they twiddle their thumbnails in the wings. And yes, files can be write-protected, but it's just easier this way. It's just another kind of system that will be less painless even though it's destined to eat up more hard drive space over time. You do what you gotta do, you work with what you gots and don'ts gots... *grin*

Happy Safe Surfing out there...

And PS Yes, my .svg files are going in the automatically created "Thumbnail" folder where they'll sit side by side with .png files generated as OpenShot works its magic. It's a cognitive thing. I'll know to go looking for images there in a thumbnail file where images bearing similar names will already await. So far, that method doesn't seem to twerk OpenShot's britches any. Yayhoo for small blessings. :)

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