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TOPIC: How to convert local copies to links

How to convert local copies to links 8 years, 8 months ago #5873

  • WolfR
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  • Posts: 54
  • 8 years, 8 months ago
Here is a tip that might be useful for beginners like me. Say you originally imported your footage (large video files!) using the "Copy Local" feature. This means that the original files are actually duplicated and stored on your material device, unnecessarily wasting a lot of disk space. (Actually this *is* a nice feature if you work with shared source files, e. g. residing on network devices. However, if you work with your own video files on your own system, "Create Link" seems like a much better idea.)

Having no experience with LW at all, I made that mistake when starting my project 2 weeks ago. Since then, I used the imported material quite a lot, creating subclips, edits and so on. Thus, simply destroying the clip instance in LW and reimporting the video with the "Copy Local" flag set was not an option. Here is what I did instead:

By looking at the clip's filecard you get the filename ("Reel"), for example "E0030008". In your "material" folder on your working device you should see a big file called "V0030008.avi". This is your local copy. Now import the original video file again, this time using "Copy Local". Again look at the filecard to get the reel name (say: "E00301A3"). You will notice that the corresponding file in your material folder (V00301A3.avi) has a size of only 512 bytes, as it only contains a link to the original video file.

Now exit LW and replace the big file V0030008.avi with the small file V00301A3.avi, but make sure to keep the original filename! (You achieve this by copying V00301A3.avi to V0030008.avi and say "yes" when asked if you want to overwrite.)

After restarting LW you will find all your footage still intact (subclips, edits...). You can now destroy the last import (the "E00301A3") as it is no longer needed.

Please note, that this procedure worked perfectly for me and will probably work for you as well, as long as your imports are simple video files (embedded audio). If your footage is more complex (separate video and audio files etc.) the procedure will probably be more complex as well. However, I hope this little trick is of some use for beginners like me.

A question to the experienced users and professionals: is this procedure OK or do I miss something? (Maybe there is even a much easier solution - in that case I apologize...)
Last Edit: 8 years, 8 months ago by WolfR.
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Re: How to convert local copies to links 8 years, 8 months ago #5874

  • fishmonger
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  • Posts: 574
  • 8 years, 8 months ago
WolfR wrote:
Here is a tip that might be useful for beginners like me. Say you originally imported your footage (large video files!) using the "Copy Local" feature. This means that the original files are actually duplicated and stored on your material device, unnecessarily wasting a lot of disk space. (Actually this *is* a nice feature if you work with shared source files, e. g. residing on network devices. However, if you work with your own video files on your own system, "Create Link" seems like a much better idea.)

Having no experience with LW at all, I made that mistake when starting my project 2 weeks ago. Since then, I used the imported material quite a lot, creating subclips, edits and so on. Thus, simply destroying the clip instance in LW and reimporting the video with the "Copy Local" flag set was not an option. Here is what I did instead:

By looking at the clip's filecard you get the filename ("Reel"), for example "E0030008". In your "material" folder on your working device you should see a big file called "V0030008.avi". This is your local copy. Now import the original video file again, this time using "Copy Local". Again look at the filecard to get the reel name (say: "E00301A3"). You will notice that the corresponding file in your material folder (V00301A3.avi) has a size of only 512 bytes, as it only contains a link to the original video file.

Now exit LW and replace the big file V0030008.avi with the small file V00301A3.avi, but make sure to keep the original filename! (You achieve this by copying V00301A3.avi to V0030008.avi and say "yes" when asked if you want to overwrite.)

After restarting LW you will find all your footage still intact (subclips, edits...). You can now destroy the last import (the "E00301A3") as it is no longer needed.

Please note, that this procedure worked perfectly for me and will probably work for you as well, as long as your imports are simple video files (embedded audio). If your footage is more complex (separate video and audio files etc.) the procedure will probably be more complex as well. However, I hope this little trick is of some use for beginners like me.

A question to the experienced users and professionals: is this procedure OK or do I miss something? (Maybe there is even a much easier solution - in that case I apologize...)


Note that on the second import if you have "Sound" selected as well you would get duplicate sound files. Make sure you choose "Picture" only to create the link file.

There isn't any simple way within the application to do this currently (other than deleting the first copy, reimporting and using "Find material to fill" using reel and timecode.
We have discussed other options for material management, e.g. adding move local, maybe we could add this as an option as well.
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