Project Archiving – Techniques

A few people have asked me what process I suggest for archiving finished projects so I thought I would list the steps I use for every job I work on.

First off, it pays to be organised, as such I have a folder structure I use for every new project I start, I have a copy of it in My Documents and everytime I start a new project I make a copy of that folder structure and rename it to the name of the new project, I then make sure that ANY media that is used in the project I am working on, goes into the relevant subfolder for that job, that way I know that no matter what when it comes time to backup I have ALL the elements I need in he Archive for that job. My folder structure is available on the Goodies page of my site or you could just click on this FOLDER STRUCTURE to download, this is by no means perfect and is setup for the way I work, so adjust the folder to your liking, the basic principle though is that as all projects use the same folders you always know where to look for different files for that job and when it comes time to archive, you dont have to remember what media you used and what versions etc, what FONT and so forth.

OK, so assuming you have always placed all the media you are using in the job into the relevent subfolder for that job and you have finished your edit and are ready to archive what to do.

Step 1: Delete any timelines or requences in your project that are not relevant (the project trimmer in Premiere uses what ever is in any timeline as a list of what media to keep). Run the project trimmer and set handles to 25 frames (trust me for the small amount of extra space this takes it really helps for re-edits)

Step 2: Once the project trimmer is finished open the project to make sure the trim was successful. Then copy the trimmed folder Premiere has created into your Folder for that project.

Step 3: Delete the temp files, media cache files and autosave files etc that Prem has created for both the Trimmed project and the original project, these will be recreated if you ever need to access the project again.

Step 4: Delete the original video clips as we no longer need them

Step 5: Now unless you have copied a LOT of stills or audio tracks into this project I usualy like to keep the originals as well as those copied into thr trim folder, makes versioning easier and usually the audio and stills dont take up that much more space. Also I like to keep the original Premiere Project files as well as the trimmed one that way if I ever need to batch digitize from the original tapes I can.

Step 6: Download and instal a copy of WinRAR, its like Winzip but it compresses a little better and allows you to make split archives.

Step 7: If you finished edit will compress down to less than 8 gig then thats it, run Winzip or WinRAR on the folder and all the contents will be zipped up into a single file ready for burning, if it is too big for one disc then,

Step 8: Run WinRAR and choose to create a RAR file, use BEST compression and choose to split volumes and enter the number 8500,000,000 this wil create perfect sized chunks to fill a dual layer DVD.

Step 9: Load up Nero or whatever you burn with and choose to burn a UDF DVD (this will allow you to burn files larger than 2 gig) and burn away. I like to check verify for these burns and I also only burn at 2x no matter how fast the discs can burn.

Step 10: Now this is if you are super conciouse of keeping your data safe. Make a copy of the archived files onto an external hard drive and then send the discs off site. Enter the disc number into your database and number the folder the RAR files are in on the hard drive the same number, that way if you need to pull the files you can just search for the disc number, and then pull that number off the HD. If the HD fails which HD’s can sometmes do, you still have the DVD backups as a second level of protection, that being said I have yet to have a DVD image fail on me, that has been properly stored and burnt.

And thats it, if you ever need to pull the job and make changes, you can usually just de-compress the trimmed project folder and that will have all the media of the finished edit, but if you need to make bigger changes you still have all the PSD files, audio etc in the zipped folder, as well as the original edit if you need to re-digitize additional media from the camera master tapes.

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