Things have been pretty busy lately. I’m based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the biggest sporting event in the world is in town. The Super Bowl. It’s on NBC this year, which also makes WTHR-TV “Your Super Bowl Station!” So I have been busy cutting promos and spots touting our Super Coverage. I am even cutting a big :60 promo that will air during the game. It’s all been shot on Canon 5D MkII, and of course edited in Smoke. Not a lot of effects, so it’s pure editing and color grading.
So you can imagine how horrible it was when I had my Smoke Framestore fail on me… and I lost every piece of media on the system. This tragedy was partially my fault. I had one failed drive in the array, but was so busy that I didn’t have time to swap it out, and troubleshoot the fact that the same slot had gone bad recently. Smoke can still function well with one lost disk, but during an edit session, the system glitched and it thought it had another bad drive during a Process. From there it all went downhill and after talking with Autodesk Support, the only way to fix it was to replace the drive and wipe the system, as it lost the ability to hot swap a drive and rebuild the media.
Autodesk Support was great and got back to me in under and hour, and helped me work through the issues. WebEx-ing from them to me is a great way to diagnose and fix the issues. But in the end, I was left with 10+ projects that had lost media, which shows up as red frames in the UI. All of my project metadata was still intact including History and BFX setups. But no media that I imported nor any media I created through modules were there. The only way to get my projects back to full was to unlink and relink the media.
Unlinking and Relinking is not something that I do often. In fact, I have never really had to do it as my workflow isn’t such that it requires me to reload media. Even when I unarchive a project, that media comes back , and relinks to any Gateways because the footage is all on USB drives. I just have to remount them. But this was a case where unlinking the bad red frames came in handy, and relinking back to the media saved all of my existing projects. The project metadata is not stored in the framestore, it is stored on the system drive in /usr/discreet/project and clip data in /usr/discreet/clip.
There are other reason other than natural disaster where relinking comes in handy. If your Gateway material was moved, from it’s original location on the server to another and you now see checkerboards instead of your clips. Or, a change in Network configs where your IP address may have changed, and the gateway is no longer recognized.
I recorded a Video Blog on how to Unlink and Relink. It explains how to Relink via the Gateway. Many people think that you need to relink your clips that you imported and they will rebuild in your edit sequence. But in fact, you just need to work on the sequence itself. The video also goes through getting a clip relinked that was built in Action with History.
There are several ways to relink your media…via the Gateway, Reel, or Library.
You can relink all of your imported media, even clips you didn’t use in your final sequence, if you want everything to come back. You would do this via the ‘From Library” option. The point is, it’s very flexible.
If anyone has any comments or questions, please feel free to ask. The video has sketchy audio, sorry for that.