FCP X: Relinking Media [u]

Posted: August 26, 2012


(This article was first written as an update to my book: Final Cut Pro X – Making the Transition. However, this update was never published.)

[ Updated July, 2014, with new features from the 10.1.2 FCP X update. ]

One of the biggest frustrations with the initial version of Final Cut Pro was that if you lost the connection with your media, you were out of luck, as you couldn’t reconnect to it. Now, with the 10.0.3 update, you can. Here’s how.

Sigh… You open Final Cut Pro and, suddenly, you’re seeing red in the Event Browser.

Or, you open a project and red indicators glare at you from the Timeline.

These red indicators (which flag clips that are “off-line”) can be caused by:

  • Switching to Proxy files in Preferences without first creating Proxy files
  • Moving linked files out of their current location
  • Renaming linked files
  • Moving folders inside the Event folder in the Finder

With the exception of accidentally switching to Proxy files – which you can fix by going back to Preferences > Editing and changing the preference setting back to Original/Optimized media – the rest of these problems can be solved by relinking.

NOTE: The key rule for working with media in Final Cut Pro X is that once you import media, don’t move it or rename it. Let FCP X (or Event Manager X, which is a separate utility) do all your media management.

In the case of moving a folder, quit Final Cut, move the folder back into the Final Cut Events folder and restart FCP. Everything is all good again. The key is to quit FCP X before moving folders.

However, sometimes missing media is caused by renaming folders, turning off a hard disk, deleting the wrong data, or a host of other calamities. In which case, you need to reconnect the links in Final Cut to the correct media. Here’s how.

In either the Event Browser or the Timeline, select the clips that are off-line (red). Then, choose File > Reconnect Project Files. (If the off-line files are in the Event Browser, select the clips and choose File > Reconnect Event Files. This menu is context-sensitive.)

The Relink window appears with the missing clips listed at the top. If you want to reconnect ALL the selected clips, click the All radio button at the top. This is a good choice if you totally messed up reconnecting your clips and want to try again.This will relink both missing and online clips.

Most of the time, though, you’ll want to just click the Missing radio button to just reconnect the clips that are missing.

Unlike FCP 7, which has an automatic search built into the Reconnect dialog, with FCP X you need to find the clips manually. So, click the Locate All button.

Look in the lower third of this window; you may need to stretch it wider to see everything. FCP displays the path and file name of the missing file. This not only shows the file name, but the path of folders that held the clip. For me, looking at this path helps me find exactly the file I need a whole lot easier and faster. Remember, you need to match the missing file exactly, not just indicate the folder it is in.

When you find the missing file, click Choose.

When a missing file is relinked, it is displayed at the bottom of the Relink window. If other missing files are in the same folder, they will all be linked at the same time and displayed in the lower portion of this window.

Click the twirl-down arrow to the left of the number of files found to reveal all linked files.

If you mistakenly linked to the wrong file, select the incorrect file in this list and press Delete. The selected file(s) are disconnected and the unlinked clip goes back up to the top of this window so you can relink it to the correct file.

To minimize files becoming unlinked in the the future, I recommend you check Copy files into Final Cut Events folder. This is a good idea for all linked files. The only downside to copying files is that they take more storage space.

When you have found all missing files, click Relink Files and everything is “all well better” again.


SIDEBAR: POTENTIAL LINK ERROR

Sometimes if you are working with multiple versions of the same media, you may see this error message. It means that the clip you selected for relinking doesn’t match the source clip.

Click OK, and look for the original file. If, for some reason, it no longer exists, you will need to replace the missing clip in the Timeline with a new clip. FCP X won’t allow you to relink clips that don’t match.

UPDATE – July 19, 2014

The 10.1.2 update to Final Cut adds additional robustness to relinking. For example, if you store media in folders within folders, you can now relink media by selecting just the top folder. All missing media contained in folders within that top folder will be relinked, without needing to navigate to them individually.

NOTE: It is always a good idea not to change the file names of media once it has been imported into Final Cut. However, the new symlinks that FCP X uses can often relink media even though the file name has changed.

SUMMARY

Most of the time when you copy files into the Final Cut Events folder, relinking files won’t be necessary. However, if you make a practice of linking to your source files rather than copying them into the Events folder, links are probably going to break.

Now, reconnecting media is quick and easy.

Comments
96 Comments to “FCP X: Relinking Media [u]”
  1. Stephen Waite says:

    Great article. Unfortunately when I try to print the article the last few paragraphs do not print. Is this just me or is it a general problem. A work around would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Stephen waite

  2. Joe Hackett says:

    Larry,
    Thank you. Always smart and concise.

    One major problem for me is…. trying to relink multicam clips…. the only thin I see is “missing.”

    Apparently the multi cam only exists in “the event??”

    Any thoughts?

    Joe

  3. Phil Macreedie says:

    Very interesting and informative article. I thought it might have solved a problem I have had where I lost the link to my proxy files after changing the time on some files (using FCPX’s function under “modify”). The proxy files were still in the folder but all the clips had “missing proxy”. However this method doesn’t seem to work with proxy files. Ended up re-coding them.

  4. Danica Barnes says:

    Is there a way to relink custom titles created in Motion? When I publish a title from Motion, I usually assign it to a category other than “general” (usually the project or client name). On a recent project, I accidentally assigned a few titles to the wrong category. If I try to move the files in the Finder to the correct category folder, all of these titles, obviously, appear offline in my timeline. I’m not sure how to relink these, other than replacing them all manually. I don’t get the same relink options for titles as I would for clips in the Event Browser.

  5. roger stoneburner says:

    hi larry,

    i love all your videos.

    I had someone do a “paper” edit for something I have to cut in FCP X. I sent them mp4 media files and they ended up doing a rough cut in iMovie. They sent me the iMovie event and project and I was able to import into FCPX.

    My problem is, their cut and the event files point to mp4 files. i tried to link, but am unable to because of the differing extensions (mp5 vs. mov). Do I have to rename the full res versions mp4 to make the reconnect work? Or am I missing a button I can flip to ignore the extensions and just go off the file names?

    Cheers,
    Roger

  6. Max Shuppert says:

    Larry:

    Have enjoyed your thoughts for a couple of years now and having moved to FCPx over this past summer from FCP7 have mostly enjoyed its many improvements.

    However, I have now encountered a problem wherein I could not open the app until I renamed a month-old backup as my new CurrentVersion and now all of my compound clips (of which there are many) indicate missing files.

    I have not moved files at all and have tried a great deal of relinking which, while it works on regular clips, does nothing for my compounds (almost all created in the timeline, BTW).

    Have you or any of the other brighter lights on the forum here have any suggestions?

    FWIW, I have purchased and used Digital Rebellion’s Pro Maintenance (to no effect), have been using Event Manager X since it came out and have tried trashing prefs and cache files for the app. So far, no luck relinking. My files exist on an external drive and were not copied into the Event folder, itself on the same external drive.

    My machine is a late-model iMac w/i7 processor, 16GB RAM, SSD for apps + 1TB internal SATA drive. External drive is a G-Tech 4TB raid connected via Thunderbolt to Sonnet ExpressCard-to-eSATA to the drive.

    Thanks in advance to any all who have cogent suggestions.

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Max:

      Since you trashed preferences, I don’t have any immediate suggestions.

      What you are saying is that even though you have selected the media that is off-line in your Timeline or Event Browser and choose File > Relink Media, FCP X is not allowing you to point to and connect to the source files stored on your hard disk?

      I just want to be sure I understand the exact problem.

      Larry

  7. Stephen Dhondt says:

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for an informative piece. I still have a problem with relinking though. I’m new to FCP X (used to work with Premiere Pro), so I might be asking a really dumb question.

    When I started editing I saved everything on my iMac hard drive. Then I bought an external drive (for use at filmschool), copied the events and projects to it and continued editing on the external drive.

    Now, when I click ‘reveal in event browser’ on the earlier clips in my project, it still links back to my Macintosh HD drive and not the external one – which means when I hook up my external drive at school, I see a lot of red missing clips.

    I’ve noticed that when I tried to relink (the source media IS present on the external drive) FCP doesn’t just replace my selection within the media clip, but just replaces the entire clip with the original uncut media … which isn’t really what I want – I might just as well start over again from scratch.

    Any thoughts on how to fix this?

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Stephen:

      There are two different issues here:

      1. Relinking ALWAYS replaces entire clips. The concept of In and Out only exists inside FCP.

      2. You may have copied the media and the projects, but you continued editing the old version stored on your local hard drive. This is why there was unlinked media when you tried to open the project on a different computer. In fact, I suspect, much of your media is actually stored in your home directory.

      I’m currently working on an extended article looking at media management in FCP X and will let everyone know via my weekly newsletter, when I’ve got this finished.

      larry

  8. Tim Johnston says:

    I’m not really using FCPX right now, but am thinking of switching, so this is more of a ‘presales’/workflow question…

    I usually shoot with a cameras that have their own proprietary card format (Sony XDCAM, Canon XF, Panasonic P2). When I archive these, I only keep copies in its native format. In my current workflow, the Avid, FCP7, or Premiere project keeps the metadata, and you can make the NLE it relink to or re-import the media in its original format. So I only have to archive the project file and copies of the media in its original shoot format. If I switch to FCPX, I have two questions about relinking…

    Does FCPX work the same way, relinking to the native shoot format, or would I need to keep a copy of FCPX’s “Event” media to be able to rebuild the timeline in the future? And in either case, what happens to the metadata?

    Thanks for the help!

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Tim:

      As always, do tests to be sure everything works as you expect.

      However, FCP X should handle metadata the way you expect. You can recapture from camera source files, and metadata in the file is captured and retained by FCP X.

      Larry

  9. CJC says:

    Hi Larry,

    How do you get done all that you do & be able to respond as actively & engaginly on top of it is an absolute wonder to me. So impressed and I just truly appreciate how much you “give” freely of your knowledge. You have helped me immeasurably.

    That said I have a bit of a perplexing problem in FCP X.

    Long & short of it is I get the triangle in my event alerting me of clips that have issues within it. Usually this signals media that is offline, much like your article details.

    However these files, some of them anyway, have a red in the audio portion, are online but when I click reveal in finder or hunt manually they are nowhere to be found.

    My fcpx management is farily sound. In my external drives that I have FCPX link to are all organized by “REEL 001, REEL 002″ etc. I also put in the corresponding metadata in the “reel” section of the fcpx metadata.

    But for some reason these “trouble” files, while online are nowhere to be found.

    Clearly they exist and clearly they exist out of my before thought to be perfect media management set up!

    But since I have 400 some “reels” in this project and since FCPX doesn’t search like 7 I have no idea how to find these files that are giving the yellow triangle with an exclamation point!

    Thoughts?

    • Larry Jordan says:

      CJC:

      Hmmm… for some reason FCP X is not finding linked audio files. Did you, by any chance, optimize any of these files? My guess is that FCP X can find the video, but not the linked audio files.

      Select a file with missing audio in the Timeline. Type Shift+F to find that same clip in the Event Browser. See if the audio plays there. If, then choose File > Transcode > Optimize media to convert the audio into a format FCP X can read more easily.

      Otherwise, right-click the Event Browser file and select “Reveal in Finder.” See if you can find the source media and its audio.

      Larry

  10. Els VdV says:

    Hi Larry

    Great article. Is there a solution for “relinking” or “reconnecting” missing effects. As I started using FCPX a year ago, I created new effects in an unorganised way. Now that I understand FCPX better I renamed some of the folders. By doing that FCPX creates missing links (same as pictured above). How do I reconnect without losing the structure of my effect folders?

    I hope there is a solution :) Any thoughts?

    All the best

    Els

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Els:

      Effects that you want FCP X to see are stored in: [ Home Directory ] > Movies > Motion Templates … grouped by folder into categories.

      Simply drag the effects you’ve created and stored elsewhere into those folders and FCP will see them automatically.

      Larry

  11. Els VdV says:

    Hi Larry

    I might not have explained well. A year ago my Effects folder looked like this:
    [ Home Directory ] > Movies > Motion Templates> Effects > Els > name_effect

    Now I’ve renamed “Els” to the name of our “Company”.

    All effect are missing.
    Does that ring a bell?

    Cheers
    Els

    • Larry Jordan says:

      The Els folder is what Apple calls a “Theme” or category. This is a way to group your effects in any manner you choose. If you look in the FCP X Effects broswers, you’ll see a new Theme called Company and all your effects will be in there.

      Larry

      • Els VdV says:

        Correct. Now the issue is: I have several work stations and I want the same settings for all stations.

        Unfortunately when I open old projects (made with the old settings) I get “missing links” (missing effects) and lots of red blocks in my timeline :-) Is there a way to “reconnect” effects?

        Thanks Larry!

        • Larry Jordan says:

          Els:

          I don’t know any way to reconnect effects.

          Larry

        • Andy says:

          I am in the same boat as this guy.

          • Giorgio says:

            I have the same problem. Only solution is to recreate the old file-folder structure in the Motion Templates folder, at least for the missing effect (you can copy, you don’t have to move the file – so it stays in the other folder as well).

            IMHO there should be a better way to organize the effects in FCP X. With all the effects available now, I often get lost searching for a plugin.

            Giorgio

  12. Curry says:

    Hi Larry, I’m having some serious problems relinking some footage.

    I’m working on a big job that I wanted to bring home for the weekend to work off my personal machine. I copied my event and project folders as well as a folder containing all raw footage on to a raid and brought it home.

    The Event has 5D, gopro and Red Epic footage being used. When I started the Event on the computer at work, I chose not to import the files into the FCPX event, i let FCPX reference a folder containing all raw footage.

    When I got home, plugged in the raid and opened the event, expectedly I had to relink all the footage files. Everything from the 5Ds and go pros reconnected perfectly but NONE of the Red Epic files will reconnect. I get the ” The original file had audio, but the new file doesn’t.” error.

    This doesn’t make sense, I copied the entire Raw footage folder over as is as well as the Event and project folders. Even the proxies for the RED footage reconnect fine. The RED footage never had audio so I have no idea why its telling me that.

    Any insight would be much appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Curry

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Curry:

      Hmmm… I would expect FCP X to create intermediate media from your Red RAW footage, and store that in the Event folder during import. However, you said you copied the Event folder to your RAID before you took it home.

      I have no idea on this – I don’t work with Red very much at all. I’d go over to the RedUser forum and see what they say. I’d be very interested in learning what you find out.

      Sorry,

      Larry

  13. Bas says:

    Thanks Larry, very effective. I don’t know why my files went off line though. I did not do anything, really Larry! I was not even in the room when it happened. What I do know is that Carbon Copy Cloner was backing up from the raid to the back-up raid that I take home every night. So could it be that that was the cause of the disappearance?
    Thanks,
    Bas

  14. Robert says:

    I have a very large project that I have ben working on, there are a total of 38-15 to 20 minute presentations. I had to work on these on my laptop but now that I am finished editing I want to move everything to my Mac Pro so I can use the Matrox Compress HD card for my final output. All of my files are on two external hard drives. When I move the drives to the Mac Pro I get the yellow exclamation point on the Event, no media seems to be missing. I did notice that one generator and two audio presets were missing. I then copied over those items to the Mac Pro. But I still get the yellow triangle on the Event. What else do I need to move to make sure my projects will work on the Mac Pro?

  15. Josh says:

    I have an event with the “!” badge indicating that there are files that need to be re-linked. The files it wants me to find are old files that I deleted, that I no longer need, and that are not being used in any projects anywhere. I can not re-link them because they no longer exist, and I don’t want to re-link them. Is there no way to tell Final Cut “no, just ignore these?” The only fix I can think of is to re-export the video and name it the same thing as the old file was called, then re-link them, and then delete them… but that seems like a stupid thing to have to do. Any other way around this you can think of? That ! badge is bugging me, otherwise I wouldn’t care

  16. sal says:

    Larry I’m really confused with the problem I’m having. I tried to move an event from my local HD to an external drive for storage because I have to work on new projects (I use the OWC data doubler so I use an SSD only to launch applications and a 2nd drive on the macbook for storing the events and projects). However my computer crashed while I was moving the project. I restarted and the event had moved correctly but the project opened up in the internal HD as opposed to the external one. I tried to physically move it but now everything apparently was working fine except for the compound clips. A lot of my project was based on that and I’d have to re do a lot of finishing touches / edits that I had done via compound clips. All the files have been relinked and there are no missing files but where are the compound clips? I’ve yet to find an answer in various forums. I’ve tried opening them up via the timeline but no luck… and on the timeline the message I get when skimming through the compound clips is:
    “missing event”"
    I really do need help, been up all night trying to find these compound clips… I’d really apprecciate some advice. thanks!

    • Max says:

      Sal:

      I’ve experienced the exact circumstance as you and have only been able to reconstruct the compound clips by manually reinserting the original clips into each of the components. Though it has been a couple of months, I recall having been able to identify the in/out points in the inspector by clicking each individual compound clip component.

      It’s a total PIA and something for which Apple ought to place right at the top on their ToDo list, but it worked for me – far better than starting over altogether.

      I’ve learned the hardest way possible that the only way to relocate/archive FCPX events/projects is via FCPX. Every time I’ve done anything via the Finder I’ve had nothing but trouble. Otherwise, I’m enjoying the new app and looking forward to its continuing maturation.

      Good luck.

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Sal:

      I don’t have a solution. System crashes generally tend to trash files as well. If Max’s suggestion (below) doesn’t work, its time to call Apple tech support and see if they can help.

      Larry

      • sal says:

        Thanks a lot to both of you. Fortunately the way I set up my timeline, the compound clips were merely for color correction. Layer upon layer for filters and such. No cuts were lost of the project, but I had already exported a version with the colors that were wanted. Gonna have to re do it. Just wish me luck in remembering the exact color info!

        But thanks a lot to both of you, Max and Larry…

        Sal

  17. GA says:

    Thank you Larry. This helped me!

  18. Katie says:

    Hi Larry,

    I’m having a problem relinking my files too. I stupidly moved my final cut events folder and unlinked all the files. I’ve sorted out that problem and have been reimporting the original media files. My project is complete and during my edit I renamed my clips by their takes, camera number etc. Now my imported clips don’t have the same name as my clips on my timeline. Any idea how to solve this?

    Katie

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Katie:

      Hmmm… that’s tricky. I don’t have an instant solution that comes to mind. Hopefully another reader will have a solution.

      Larry

      • Max Shuppert says:

        Larry:

        The only thread of logic I can offer is the backup of the project file. Other than that, moving forward on to new projects don’t rename clips in FCP but use the notes area instead if you need to ID clips in a way not foreseen upon import.

        Good luck. Katie, if you discover some means of reconstituting your clip names, please do share!

  19. Rory says:

    Thanks Larry! It worked! Grateful for the time you take to share these tips.

  20. Joe says:

    Dear Larry,
    Wow, I’ve seen a lot of teachers and I have been one myself… you do an EXCELLENT job of demonstration. And funny too! (I took an advanced class of yours at VS and also the club formerly known as the LAFCPUG…

    Anyway, at the risk of writing something completely stupid… I am pretty much done with a documentary I worked on for over a year now… there are multiple camera and sound sources etc. etc… and I must say FCPX worked incredibly well with AAAAALLLLLL that DSLR footage… until towards the end of the movie… where I , alike some before me, attempted to MOVE and CONSOLIDATE the project… but I threw out preferences and let my poor little quad i7 laptop cool down .. and linked everything again.. and it started to render at blazing fast speed again… ok now for the dumb question…

    Assuming that the XMLs are still good to go.. why couldn’t I just export an xml and make that be the THING to relink to… instead of a PROJECT file… which would need the EVENT files… couldn’t an XML just relink…?? would it keep all of the color correcting I did?
    Would the XML know all of the filters and blurs and sound filters I used (I didn’t use any third party plug ins…

    • Max Shuppert says:

      I may have misunderstood your question, but if you’re addressing the archival process of a finished FCPX project, take a look at Ripple Training’s free tutorial on making and using sparse disk images to create archival containers for projects.

      http://www.rippletraining.com/categories/free-stuff.html?opened=fs-final-cut-pro-x#bottom_parth

      Episode 214.

      One of the things I most like about this approach is its’ efficiency in disk space usage. It also combines all your assets, regardless of how many events were used as sources, into one free-standing unit that requires no other events to be loaded.

      I’ve tested this approach and it works flawlessly. That said, third-party effects/plugins that are no longer available to FCPX will obviously create an editing challenge.

      Hope this helps.

  21. Joe says:

    Hey Larry,

    Let me simplify my question… IF you create an XML to relink… do you NEED an event folder to help RELINK media if you have compound clips and multicam clips….

    Or would making an XML along with the original media files be all that you need?

    Joe
    ps MAX thank you for your response.. yes I did create sparse disk images.. and for a while it worked womderfully.. again, until I tried to MOVE the project…

    • Max says:

      Hi, Joe.

      Sorry to learn of your probs. As a test, I copied a sparse disk archive of a small project to my laptop, mounted the disk image, fired up FCPX and was able to go right into the project without a hitch.

      Can’t address your XML question but am as interested as you are about the topic. FCPX has become my fav cutting station but this media management process definitely needs streamlining.

  22. Ernie says:

    Great article Larry!
    I am wondering about best technique to actually renamed media files. I imported from a AVCHD cam, and, for the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out how to either import the file with the name I want, or rename the file like I used to do in FCP7 (you know, the “rename” menu option with “file to match clip” or “clip to match file”?).
    Any thoughts?

  23. Mike says:

    Larry-

    First off, let me say, you’re a life saver with all these tutorials and articles! Here’s a doozy: In FCP 10.0.8, I had imported some Canon 5D footage, and had made a rough cut in native H.264. Since I’m now going to have to go in and do some CC and other processor intensive filters, I decided to transcode/optimize after import. So, having completed that process, I tried to get FCP X to recognize the new media. After switching my playback preferences, the media in the timeline was still displaying the H264 files in the inspector. So then I had the bright idea of trying to relink the media to the ProRes files in the newly created High Quality Media folder in my Events folder. I found all the footage, and clicked on “relink” and it thought for a moment (I hadn’t checked the box to copy to my events folder), and it looked like everything was working as I would expect. Then it went ahead instead and gave me that lovely red disconnected media icon where all of my footage used to be. Lovely. Then I tried to find the new optimized media on the harddrive in the finder. GONE. What? Yep, totally gone. The original H264s are still where they were, but that High Quality Media folder is empty. Really bizarre. When I tried to reconnect the edit to the original H264, I get the lovely incompatible media error. Awesome. When I try to make a new ProRes version, and re-link, it tells me the original footage didn’t have audio, and this does, so no dice (for what it’s worth, the original H264 clips most certainly DO have audio, but the un-linked clips in FCP don’t have video or audio… so maybe it’s “technically” correct). So my workaround involves re-transcoding to 422 (in a separate encoding program, in this particular case, MPEG streamclip), re-importing all of the footage in a new folder (thus creating a new keyword for it all where I can find it), then manually setting the IN point on each clip (luckily I can still see the IN on the missing clips, and can just match it up), then dragging and dropping the ProRes clip on top of the missing media, and selecting “replace from start”.

    So my questions are A) What the heck aneurism did FCPX just have with my footage?, and B) How can I avoid this horrorshow the next time I do this? I have to add a ton more clips later in this project, and I will just transcode and re-import anything I need before I start editing, but it’s a REAL drag to lose my IN/Out points and Keywords on all this footage I painstakingly ingested…

    Sigh.

    Mike

  24. There are many things I really love about FCPX. However, I’m experiencing a very frustrating/infuriating technical issue with COMPOUND CLIPS…. an issue seen mentioned in this forum. I’m editing a project on FCPX using two different computers. Each computer has the same updated version of FCPX. On my timeline, I have a dozen + compound clips. When I open the project on the other computer, all the video clips within the compound clips appear offline. But those individual clips in the Event Browser are NOT offline but intact. I’ve tried in vein to figure out a practical solution but have found none. Breaking apart the video from the compound clip is not a realistic solution. It’s costing me lots of time I don’t have to spare. If anyone has an idea why this is happening and how to avoid it, please pass it along. It would be greatly appreciated. Happy Editing!

    • Mike Howarth says:

      Krag
      I have had just the same problem with Compound files being relinked. All other media has been found and linked up. My problem was caused by a broken hard drive. All the files (thousands) ave been recovered but some of the event folders on recovery were put in a separate recovery folder. If Larry could tell us where the compound files are stored Render Files etc that would help me find the needle in the haystack perhaps?

  25. Conor Ibrahiem says:

    Hi I have a problem with opening my project files on fcp 7. I am new to this software so I fear I have made a school boy error. I uploaded around 11 mini dv tapes from my camera using log and capture (fairly straight forward). I saved some files on fcp and when I ran out of memory I starting saving the files on an external hard drive. In both cases all files were saved as .fcp.

    With some I saved them as .mov files also and the rest remained as .fcp. Fast forward a few months and I can’t open ANY of my .fcp files, only the .mov files. I can’t understand it and I’m worried because I have since deleted the mini dv tapes. Whenever I try to open a .fcp file all I see is ‘media off line’ over a red screen. I try to reconnect but no joy. Strangely the latest .fcp does open, but not ant previous ones. Any how, all the .fcp files have x-number of kb storred so there must be data on these files. Ive tried looking in autosave but no joy. I’ve tried looking on the hard drive if the mac as well as the external, but no joy.

    I need help – how can I open these files? I never even started editing, I just uploaded the footage, saved them as .fcp files and logged off. Yes some I saved as .mov files but not the rest.

    Any help would he appreciated.

    With thanks
    Conor

  26. Joshua says:

    Larry,

    I’m working with a client that did his original cuts in Final Cut Pro X. He sent me all the media files and after receiving an XML file from him I was able to relink all the footage except for a few gopro clips. However I can’t find a sequence or timeline anywhere in the project file he gave me? Any thoughts as to where this might of gone? The only project file I see is called CurrentVersion.fcpevent but when I open this up I get an error message saying this isn’t a project file.

  27. Carl Hassett says:

    Always fantastic material, thank you!

    I have the “yellow warning triangle” that files have been unlinked in my Event Library, with a list of 4 missing voice over files. These are not necessary and can be permanently deleted. I would like the clear the warning for when an important issue arrises. The problem is I can’t find how FCPX is referencing these files. They don’t show up in a spotlight search, the event, or the actual folder.

    Do you know how I can get FCPX to forget these files and clear the warning?

    Thanks a million for your help!

  28. Mark Mangan says:

    I’m having quite a problem. There has been a glitch with some files in my feature film that I’ve been trying to fix/replace/delete for months.

    When I went to move the whole thing from two drives, onto another two drives, I had to do it at the finder level. Then when I opened the project/event I had to relink the media. When I did, FCPX relinked entire scenes to wrong media (I think) due to legacy file naming issues from moving from having migrated it from FCP7 to FCPX (Clip #1, has about ten versions/variations, OSX got confused and some files got glitchy). Then when I tried to make it link to the correct media, it said that the length/bitrate etc. didn’t match, so it wouldn’t let me. I was forced to reimport, resync all of those scenes and am now trying to delete all of the problem files, but it’s saying that some of the multicam clips are in use and so FCPX won’t delete them. So I went and deleted them from every single project before trying to delete them from the event again. It’s still saying that they are in use, even though they aren’t. I’ve checked every project thoroughly.

    Long story short, is there any way to force delete a multicam clip?

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Mark:

      You don’t “relink” multicam clips, you relink the clips inside them. So, double-click each multicam clip to open it in the Timeline where you “should” be able to relink it.

      As for deleting a multicam clip, assuming it is not edited into the Timeline, you can delete it from the Event Browser. If it is edited into the Timeline, you will need to delete it from the Timeline before you can delete it from the Event Browser.

      Finally, when using the Finder to move or delete clips, to ALWAYS quit Final Cut Pro X before you do so. Otherwise, as you have discovered, FCP X gets very confused.

      Larry

  29. Anthony says:

    Hey Larry, thanks so much for offering your knowledge. It really helps.

    I seem to have removed an event folder I was working on from FCP. It still exits on my hard drive, but no longer shows up in FCP.
    Can you tell me a simple way to import the event folder back in, so I can continue editing where I left off?
    (Tried importing as a whole, and drag and drop with no success.)

    Thanks.

    • Larry says:

      Anthony:

      Quit Final Cut Pro X.

      Look for the missing folder.

      When you find it, drag it into the Final Cut Events folder on your hard disk or in the Movie folder of your home directory.

      Restart Final Cut Pro X.

      It will now see your missing folder. ALL Event folders MUST be stored in the Final Cut Events folder.

      Larry

  30. I’m having a problem with multicam clips too – I moved an assembly and a rough cut to another system, and when I opened up there, all the files were offline. I did all the relinking, but in the assembly, the multicam clips are still missing. In the rough cut they relinked fine.

    The clips have no file names on them, and the window says “missing event” with the yellow triangle exclamation point.

    In the assemble, I can’t right-click the multicam clip and open in angle editor – it just beeps at me. The option isn’t greyed out, but I get an error beep when I click it.

    All the clips in the event bins look fine, including the multicam clips. From there, they open just fine in the angle editor.

    Yeesh!

  31. Harish says:

    Hi Larry,

    I need a help from you regarding relinking files in fcpx.
    We shot the video in RED and converted the files to mov 720p for editing purpose. Now i would like to relink these mov files to the raw RED files. How can this be done?

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Harish:

      Three questions:

      1. Which version of FCP X are you using?
      2. How did you create the ProRes files?
      3. Does the timecode match between the RED and ProRes files?

      Larry

      • Harish says:

        Hi Larry,

        Thanks for replying….

        1. I am using FCP X 10.0.8

        2. Using RedCineX Pro

        3. Yes the timcode does match!

        • Larry Jordan says:

          Harish:

          OK, I haven’t done this personally, but select a group of clips in the Timeline and choose File > Relink Project Media.

          In the dialog, select “All,” not “Missing.”

          Navigate to where your RED footage is and relink the clip who’s name is displayed in the dialog. If all the file names match, except for the extensions, once you relink one clip, all the other selected clips will relink.

          Do this until you relink all the media in your project.

          Larry

  32. Wendy says:

    I am having trouble relinking files because they weren’t in a folder. We are bringing photos in directly from iPhoto in the media area of FCP in the lower right hand side of the screen. This iPhoto library is on our external drive, and I have had to copy over it a couple of times to update it to be sure it has all of the necessary pictures in it. (long story…)

    Anyway, many of the pictures are now showing the red box with “missing file.” I am unable to link as it doesn’t give the option to link back to iPhoto instead of items in a folder.

    Any recommendations are greatly appreciated!!

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Wendy:

      This is a really great question – to which I don’t have an answer.

      Time to call Apple – and let us know what you find out.

      Larry

    • Crazy Mac navigation trick to help you relink those files. Tell me if this works.

      Go to the finder – find your iPhoto Library.

      Right-click -> “show package contents” (or if you have never set up right-click, which you should, use ctrl-click)

      Navigate to the photo file you want to relink, under “masters.” Might need to use the search functions if you have lots of files.

      Now go to FCPX. Select the file you want to relink in the event. Go to file menu – > relink event files

      Select “missing files” and pick the picture you just found in the finder.

      Then click “locate selected.” This will open a finder-like window where you are supposed to find the missing files.

      Now drag that file you found earlier in the finder INTO THAT WINDOW. That’s right, drag the file from the finder into the file dialogue in FCPX.

      It should show up as a highlighted / selected choice in your window. Now click “choose” and this should relink the file…

      Hope this works.

      (I’m not sure whether to hate linked external files more than duplicating everything into the Events folder, but I guess those are the only two choices… both have problems…)

      • Aha! As I was falling asleep I thought of an even easier way.

        Open iPhoto. Find the photo you want to re-link.

        Drag the photo FROM iPHOTO into the “locate selected” dialogue window. That should bring up the buried folder within the iphoto package, with your chosen photo highlighted.

        Then relink to that.

  33. Paul says:

    Larry,

    You mention that we have to manually relink and not to a folder but the exact file. I have over 1000 files in the timeline on a project. Do I really have to relink the media one at a time? Is there no quicker way to batch process, for instance, to tell FCPX that “all files from scene 9, they are in this folder” and it will do the rest. or is there third party help for this?

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Paul:

      This batch relinking is exactly what FCP X does. If it finds other unlinked files in the same folder, or related folders, it will relink them automatically.

      larry

  34. SadMac says:

    Hello, Mr. Jordan!
    I’m a big fan of all your posts and videos, I’ve enjoyed them many years, and your voice is really great for my ears! : ))
    So, thank you so much for your amazing stuff!

    Now to the question..
    I have a ton of recovered videos from uccidentaly formatted disk, but all of them has a different names now (not the same as clips used in the FCPX project). I need to relink them, and I’ve search any NLE or third party utilities for relinking media with different names, but it seems there is no way to do that, isn’t it?
    I saw the app called reLink reTooled, but i don’t get yet can it relinked the files with entirely different names or not.

    So, i think to try reconstruct the timeline by thumbnail pictures… but as we know when the project with offline media is loading FCPX changes the thumbnails to the red offline warnings, so… i can’t see thumbnails anymore : )) Is there any way to see timeline with thumbnails despite offline media?

    Thanks for attention and sorry for my English

    • Larry Jordan says:

      SadMac:

      I’m sorry for the problems you are having. (And thanks, by the way, for the kind words!)

      No, you can’t see thumbnails when media is off line.

      However, you CAN relink media when the names have changed.

      Select the clip, or clips, you want to relink and choose File > Relink (Event/Project) Media.

      Navigate to the file on your hard disk that you want to relink the FCP clip to. If the names are different, FCP will compare the two clips to see if they match technically. If so, you can relink them.

      Larry

      • SadMac says:

        Thank you, sir!

        Indeed FCP able to relink clips with another filenames, but only if i select one clip, choose the relative file and relink, but unfortunately it doesn’t relink any clip at all if i select several clips at once and choose relative files.
        So, i need to do it one by one : (

        My luck that i have one exported movie so i can drop it on top of the timeline to see pictures and look at filenames of corresponding clips that are offline, so i can find that files in finder and rename them back. But i was hoping to batch relink : ) And other projects which hasn’t such luck as exported movies are useless in this case.

        For curiosity:

        Guys from reLink reTooled says i can do this:
        1 – export XML from FCPX project
        2 – load that XML to Xto7 utility
        3 – export changed XML from Xto7 for FCP7
        4 – load that changed XML to FCP7
        5 – relink files in FCP7 project with reLink reTooled
        6 – export new XML from FCP7
        7 – load that XML to 7toX utility
        8 – export changed XML from 7toX for FCPX
        9 – load that changed XML to FCPX
        and voila – they don’t fully guarantee that it will works for me : )

        So, i have FCP7, but need to buy 3 utilities that i don’t want to use later))
        That is the price for not having backups! : )

        Thank you, Larry, anyway!
        Wish all the best!

        • Larry Jordan says:

          SadMac:

          I’m sorry.

          You are correct, batch relinking works, but ONLY when the file names have not changed. Otherwise, you need to relink one file at a time, because FCP X doesn’t know what other files to look for.

          The Relink workflow makes sense to me – and if they think it can help, I see nothing wrong with how they want you to proceed. However, I haven’t used their software, so I don’t know how well it works.

          Larry

  35. Dear Larry,
    I made a stupid mistake. I was editing an old video, I made months ago and I posted it to my website as a video clip. I was adding new footage and new soundtrack.
    After I finished the editing, and as I was about to share it as a Master File, I decided to change the name of the Project Folder.
    The result was that the “Base media”, the old footage pre edited, became like “Grayed out” or dark and when I play the final edited piece, the old “Base Media” appears as black and only the new additional footage plays, in perfect sequence with black in between.
    I tried to relink but for some reason, the original “Base Media” disappeared from my HD’s (I have 4).
    Playing around, I managed to drag the original “Base Media” from the Library and placed blow tha original one (which is identical in contents). The result is that the new copy plays correctly together with the new footage and sound, but if I delete the original “Base Media” the new additions go with it, disappear. This means the new additions are linked to the old piece. So It looks awkward that there’re two “Base Media”, identical, but one it has the links to the new additions and the second one, plays the events that are black in the original one. What’s your suggestion?
    I can do pretty nice things with FCPX, but I’m a disaster with the filing. I’m sorry. Please help me!

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Jorge:

      I “think” you simply made the base media invisible. Select it and type “V” (without the quotes) and see if things get better.

      If so, delete the new base media and you should be good. If not, send me a screen shot so I can take a look.

      Larry

  36. SadMac says:

    Hi, Mr.Jordan!

    Could you suggest, please, can i reconnect not Offline, but Modified files?
    My source files was modified by After Effects (with so called XMP – so bad, Adobe, so bad) and FCP X now loose connection to the media files.
    I’ve tried to relink them, but with no luck.

    Some users suggest to delete modified files from Transcoded Media – High Quality Media of this Event and FCPX reconstruct them again – but this helps with multicam or other way generated clips, but in my case i haven’t there that files.

    Thank you so much for your attention!
    Even if you couldn’t help in my case – anyway big thanks to you, because your courses are the best!

    • LarryJ says:

      SadMac:

      Because you are creating all new files in After Effects, you can’t relink.

      But, you can import them, then replace the older version in the Timeline with the new version using a Replace edit.

      Larry

  37. Doug says:

    FCP-X.1.1 will not allow me to share my project. there is a thin red line above the entire timeline. What’s the problem?

    • LarryJ says:

      Doug:

      The thin orange line at the top of the Timeline indicates that the project needs to render. Select Modify > Render all.

      However, to export (share) a project, select the Project in the Browser, then choose File > Share > Master file. FCP will automatically render anything that is not already rendered.

      Larry

  38. Anthony says:

    Hey Larry, love your posts and your willingness to help!

    Question: Just upgraded to Maverick OS and the latest Final Cut X. Suddenly I am having lots of failures exporting my Master file. I have disabled appnapp so that it doesn’t time out while rendering, but I am still getting failures. Any suggestions?

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Anthony:

      I’m getting a LOT of complaints on the latest version of FCP X (10.0.1) having problems with the latest version of OS X (10.9.3).

      The BEST!!! thing you can do is contact Apple Support AND use the “Send Feedback to Apple” menu choice inside Final Cut Pro. The only way Apple will fix this is when editors start complaining directly to Apple.

      Larry

  39. Anna says:

    Hi I have been trying to import a motion template from motion 5 into fcpx using the publish option. When I then go onto final cut pro the template is in the generator and you can see it however if you hover over it it comes up with missing file a no 2 triangle exclamation mark. i can’t relink files as it doesn’t find them so i don’t understand how or why it won’t import properly?
    Any help would be appreciated thanks

    • SadMac says:

      hi, Anna. I’m not Larry, of course, but have a suggestion – probably, you need to update the FCPX or Motion, because i was at the same problem as you and just have to update Motion and its templates start working in FCPX. Though i can’t guarantee this would help in your case too.

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Anna:

      SadMac has a good suggestion. My suggestion is to be sure, when you are saving the Motion project, that you Collect all the media. This puts all the elements you need in the same location as the Motion project so that FCP X can find it.

      Larry

  40. Ki says:

    Hi Larry,
    PLEASE PLEASE HELP! I have 10.0 version of FCPx which i can’t update, because my friend bought and put on my computer. It won’t let me go to the iTunes store and update. The bigger problem is I have made a biggish project, and it WILL NOT share.. and by that I mean, I can’t make a MOV, send to FB YouTUbe or DVD. The share menu is not grayed out but does nothing when I try to make an MOV. and when i try to share i get this error message.
    The operation couldn’t be completed. (com.apple.Compressor.CompressorKit.ErrorDomain error -1.)
    I have compressor. SO.. There is another project but NOT the same one.. just stored in a different project but I can see the clips and they have an exclamation point, and i CANNOT RECONNECT them because i don’t have the option when i right click. I tried to delete them but they won’t delete, and I don’t know what to do. !! I’m thinking of making a screen shot video now my hard drive is being funny agh! Help! This is really important to me. Thanks!

    • LarryJ says:

      Ki:

      First, if its really important, spend the money and buy your own version of Final Cut Pro X.

      Second, try Sharing a Master file. This bypasses Compressor and should allow you to export your file. At which point, you can compress it separately using Compressor, or MPEGStreamclip for posting to Facebook.

      Third, if you are getting hard disk errors, its time to call Apple Support because your hardware could be failing.

      Larry

  41. Dave says:

    Hi Larry -
    I am trying to finish a 5.5 minute fcpx movie this weekend for a client. Last night, I reopened the project and all footage except one clip went missing. Each clip says “missing proxy”. I didn’t create proxy files- I only imported optimized media. All of my logos and titles are located working. All attempts to relink according to your post have not worked. I am stumped. Any words of knowledge, wisdom, humor? Your input or others input would be fantastic.

    • LarryJ says:

      Dave:

      You may not have created proxies, but FCP X is looking for them.

      Go up to the Switch in the top right corner of the Viewer and change it back to use Original/Optimized.

      That should fix it.

      Larry

  42. Lara says:

    Larry,

    I updated and relinked which helped mostly but now Im left with several “missing camera files’, what should i do next. I promise this is the last situation. :) )

    Lara

    • LarryJ says:

      Lara:

      Missing camera means the file did not import correctly – and, most likely, you’ll need to go back to the camera card or the location storing the original camera card media, and reimport.

      Larry

  43. Tucker Horan says:

    Hey Larry,

    Strange Scenario but it looks like you’re replying to these peoples questions so im hoping you write me back!

    So. I did not have enough space on my Mac’s Hard drive when I needed to edit this Film, so I sourced the files from my SD card from my camera. Now, even with the SD card plugged in, I cannot export the Film. I tried all of your instructions above, attempting to link them to the actual files on my Mac’s HD (now that I have room) and the files say they do not match… Trying to get 10.1.3 right now..

    Really just want to get this Film done for this client.

    Thanks much!
    Tucker

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Tucker:

      I’m not sure what you are asking. If you created optimized media, you don’t need the cards at all. The cards are too slow for editing media, so copies need to exist somewhere on your hard disk.

      What error message are you getting and why do you feel you need to access the cards again?

      Larry

  44. Andrew says:

    Hi Larry, Thanks for all the informative info. I cant seem to identify the exact resolution for my issue. if there is some other thread with the same issue fixed please let me know where I can find that.

    My Issue is relinking files stored in “CONTENTS” folders. I save all my data from my Panasonic as contents folders on my hard drive. FCPX has read this folder once and imported the proxy. I have tried to reopen the project file and some files are no longer linked. FCPX wont link to the original CONTENTS folder. Curious if you have seen this issue and know how to resolve?

    Thanks in advance – Andrew

    • LarryJ says:

      Andrew:

      I haven’t seen this problem – my suggestion is to contact Apple Support.

      Larry

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks Larry, I have found a work around without needing to call FCP help people. So far a complete “re-upload” seems to be fixing the issues. But its tough finding the clips and events to know where to exactly upload.

        Do you happen to know why FCPX imports files with Year-Month-Day and Timecode? Can I change that somewhere to be file name and other info?

        Thanks in advance.

        A

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