Managing videos for DaVinci Resolve with Fast video cataloger
DaVinci Resolve is probably the best professional video editing software currently available, developed by Blackmagic design for professional movie and tv editing. In addition to the software, Blackmagic design also offers a wide range of professional hardware.
Recently, Blackmagic released a free version of their software that includes just about everything a regular user would need for video editing. It has much more functionality than you would find in other free alternatives at professional quality. There is quite a steep learning curve and a pretty high demand for your computer hardware. But if you have the hardware and are serious about video editing, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Video editing software DaVinci Resolve
Fast video cataloger is a video file manager, a local content management system for all your video files. It is the perfect complement to your favorite video editing software.
Managing videos in Davinci resolve
DaVinci Resolve has decent support for managing video from the media pool page. But it is best to keep the media pools for clips you know you want to use in the video you are editing. A less cluttered workspace will allow you to work more efficiently.
Managing videos in Fast video cataloger
Fast video cataloger is made for searching, browsing, and finding videos. It is kind of like dedicated software for your media pool. You get a good overview right away when you click on a video, even if it is not accessible and is much faster than Resolve.
Fast video cataloger keeps a meta-database about all videos ( all in one single vcat file). That metadata includes the thumbnails you need to get an instant overview of the entire video, as well as all metadata you might need for finding videos with searches.
Since the metadata is separate from the video, the program can instantly give you an overview of the view without accessing the video file. Not only is this faster than doing the heavy job of decoding and seeking in video files, but it also allows the program to give results without having to spin up or connect external drives.
To finish a project, add the final render to Fast video cataloger, and you will always have access to your previous work portfolio.
In addition to your previous work, you can index all your stock videos, reference videos, b-rolls, and source material.
You can also arrange your video library into bins and playlists.
That way, you can easily do a rough first search and browse for the material you might want to use in production and then put potentially interesting videos in bins.
You can also create playlists, clips, or segments from clips to play in sequence right inside of Fast video cataloger. You have a rough preview without actual editing, but it allows you an easy way to try ideas and do the first pass without even bringing in the videos to Davinci for actual editing.
Bringing videos to Resolve
The easiest way to bring a video over from Fast video cataloger to DaVinci Resolve is to drag n drop the video from the FVC video list to DaVinci Resolve.
You can also drag directly from your Bins or export Playlists and then import them in Resolve.
Editing on the cut page with Resolve
Things to be aware of
Fast video cataloger handles many more video formats than Davinci Resolve, especially for older video formats. If this is the case, you will need to convert the videos before bringing them into Resolve.
DaVinci Resolve software download
DaVinci Resolve training videos
How to import a video playlist to DaVinci Resolve
Fast Video Cataloger download
We want to make it easier to integrate Fast Video Cataloger into your video workflows and with FVC 8.2 we have added more Command line arguments. To get started thinking around the possibilities of this feature we have made a short video that describes creating and editing a shortcut in Windows. Passing arguments and commands to a running instance of Fast Video Cataloger, you can integrate Fast Video Cataloger into your video workflow without heavy programming. This has its limits of course and for deeper integrations and special flows please see our post on scripting at videocataloger.com/blog or contact us for guidance.
We changed the default way thumbnails are scaled. Don’t worry; you can still switch to explicit scaling as in the earlier versions with a simple check-in box.
The why and what on autofit of thumbnails?
We had a bunch of similar feature requests from several users explaining a challenge in their everyday use of Fast Video Cataloger and it goes something like this. Sometimes or quite often when browsing your video catalog you need to look through the inside multiple video clips in a fast manner. This can be time-consuming, depending on your setup of monitors, layout, and video catalog structure, as you might find yourself scrolling a lot in the Video scenes window to make sure you cover everything in all your videos. Since this is a hinder that slows down a common use case we wanted to find a way to speed it up.
The idea of the Fit feature for thumbnails in Fast Video Cataloger 8.1 is to make this as easy as possible. You can switch it on by checking the Fit feature, situated to the far right, in the View menu.
When the Fit is checked the program will do its best to fit all of the thumbnails for the selected video in your window. The goal is to do so without you needing to scroll at all making a browse through of videos much faster. It comes in very handy when you are working on larger screens or multiple screens.
To help the program to fit the thumbnails in the best way for you we have added a setting in the new Interface tab in Preferences(ctrl+p). You can decide between which scaling you allow the Fit feature to function by using the Min scale(20%,25%,50%,75%,100%) and Max scale (100%, 125%, 150%, 175%, 200%)
There will always be cases when this approach can not work, for videos with many thumbnails or setups with a small thumbnail window. But, for the cases that do match, this will be a good improvement to speed up general browsing.
In Fast video cataloger 8, we have made a significant improvement to what was probably the best video indexing engine available. In the previous post I gave a high-level overview of the improvements, this text will just go into some more details about the changes we have made in version 8 and why they are good.
A quick summary is that indexing is more stable than before while still being just as fast. If you just want great software to organize all your videos in one single place you can download Fast video cataloger from https://videocataloger.com
The video indexing process
Our definition of video indexing is processing a video to get metadata from the video and adding it to the video catalog. Here is how it works, step by step:
- The user adds videos or folders with videos to the list of videos to be indexed.
- Users add known metadata that is known for all the videos in the list
- User clicks start, and all videos are put in the index queue together with their shared metadata.
- The index queue is processed video by video, failed videos are put in a failed list.
- The video is opened and scanned from beginning to end. In this phase, Fast video cataloger extracts thumbnails as defined in preferences.
- Metadata is optionally extracted from the video file using media info
- Metadata is optionally extracted from the video file using the Windows shell
- XMP Metadata is optionally extracted from the video file
- Metadata is optionally extracted from .nfo files.
- Companion images are scanned for as defined in preferences
- Video is added to the catalog with its metadata. And we repeat step 4 until all videos are processed.
How thumbnails are extracted
A separate process for stability
Fast video cataloger uses directshow to extract videos. Each video will require different types of filters and different types of codecs. Like all software, there will be bugs. To make sure a bug in any of the software used to extract frames from one video is affecting the following one each video is run in a new clean process and at the end of the frame extraction that process is closed down.
Directshow Filter graph
When the indexing starts a new directshow filter graph is built. The filter graph includes our custom filters to extract images instead of rendering the video to the screen.
Directshow has support to automatically use the codecs installed on your system. This is both good and bad. It is good because new video formats can be added to a system without us having to even be aware of it. Video vendors can simply provide new filters and they will work in all software supporting directshow. It is bad because installed software we are not even aware of can introduce issues with indexing. There is also the uncertainty of what software to use when more than one filter is installed that handles the same format. Fast video cataloger can use the default way to build filter graphics ( in preferences, on the index tab, use directshow ) but by default, we build our own filter graphs. Because of this, the frame extraction works on your computer even if you have misconfigured or competing directshow filters installed.
If you do want to index videos that are not supported by the built-in filters make sure to change the setting and make sure you have installed 64-bit filters.
Hooking into the indexing process
Fast video cataloger has a scripting interface. New in version 8 is the ability to hook into the indexing process. Using the scripting API you can easily set up a callback to be called at the end of the indexing process or as part of the process for each thumbnail being extracted.
Machine learning and object detection
The callback to process the thumbnails allows you to do things like machine learning to process all the frames as the video is being indexed, and perhaps add extra metadata or even alter the thumbnails for the video.
The callback at the end of the indexing process allows you to add your own custom scrapers or crawlers to add more metadata for the video.
The new indexing process in Fast video cataloger is Fast, stable, and extensible. You can quality index large lists of videos and leave the program to do the work without supervision. The indexing process can also be extended to suit your specific needs. Download fast video cataloger from https://videocataloger.com/
We have worked very long to make sure Fast video cataloger indexing is stable and can handle just about all video formats.
Indexing videos are always going to be a pretty time-consuming process since the video file needs to be read and decoded. Just reading through the large files is a time and CPU-consuming process. Having videos on a fast device and having a fast multicore CPU will help but even so, if you have many videos it will take considerable time.
From the start, we made sure you can add a list of files to index so that you can let it work along if you have hundreds or thousands of videos to index. After each video is indexed the current playlist is saved so the program can continue where it left off in case the program crashed, the power went out, Windows decided it was the perfect time to do an update, or the program closed down for any other reason.
We have put in plenty of effort to fix bugs in our software to make this as stable as possible. We also code to handle broken videos, conflicting codecs, and so on. But even so, we have reports of people getting crashes when they index large lists of videos.
So what happens when a video is indexed and what is the problem here?
What happens during video indexing?
To decode a video we first need to load and parse the video file format. A video file, i.e the container, contains video, audio, and perhaps other data. So the first thing we need is to read the data in the container and split it out into its different parts. How the format stores its data is dependent on the video format i.e. mp4, MPEG, Avi, etc. This piece of container parsing code is also sometimes called a splitter as it is splitting up the video file into separate streams of the same data type i.e streams for audio, video, etc. Then we need a video decoder for the video stream. This basically takes the video stream and reads it in compressed format and decompresses it. There are a whole lot of different compressions out there and they are constantly being improved upon. Typical video compression is lossy and uses similar techniques as image compression, like jpeg for each frame in the image and also the fact that not every single pixel changes between frames. Some of the compression algorithms have been implemented in hardware on GPU, so for even speedier decompression the decoder can in some cases use hardware decompression, in that case, you also have a video driver involved and the driver depends on the type of video card you have installed.
After the decompression, we have an uncompressed image of a video frame. This is basically all we need for the indexing process, we compress the image again and it is saved in the video catalog.
What can go wrong?
So to summarize, every time a video is indexed, in addition to Fast video cataloger there is a splitter for the format of the video, a decoder for the compression, and possibly a video driver. How these different components run also depends on parameters given to the container format and compression. So for every video, there is a risk that there is an issue in the splitter, decoder, or driver and the bug might not be an obvious crash. It could be a random memory overwrite that messes it up for the following video or another of the components.
The more videos you index in a row the higher is the risk that the computer encounters something unexpected that goes wrong.
There is basically no way we can prevent this from happening.
The Fast video cataloger 8 solution
What we can do is to isolate the whole indexing process from the rest of Fast video cataloger and each indexed video from the next. We basically launch each indexing in a separate process so that we always start from a known state and so that each indexing of a video is separate from the other. As a user you should not see any difference, speed is the same as before and you can follow the progress as the video is indexed.
This has now been implemented in Fast video cataloger 8 that you can download from here: https://videocataloger.com
Settings for indexing videos in fast video cataloger
Fast Video cataloger 8 is a local video content management system. Have instant access to all your videos from one single place and produce content quicker than ever before.
We started development in 2011 and today we are happy to finally release version 8. The program is available now for Windows PC from https://videocataloger.com/download/.
Version 8 is a major update and comes with more than 100 improvements. Enhancements to the playlist feature help editors to quickly draft up outline suggestions for exports into editing software like DaVinci Resolve.
Automatic video metadata extraction now supports XMP and Windows metadata as well as further customization of extended properties.
We have written a summary of everything that is new in version 8 that you can view here.
The documentation explains the program in detail, you can download it separately or download the full software package including the documentation.
fast video cataloger 8 is now available for download