Review In Context: Import Cut App Tutorial

In our project “Hyperspace Madness,” our Editorial department keeps track of all editorial information and needs a way to not only make this information transparent to the entire team, but also create the foundation for reviewing in context. With a few steps, it’s easy for Editorial to create these Cuts in Shotgun via the Import Cut App.

Why is it valuable for us to use Cuts in our Project? There are a few reasons:

  1. Our Artists can view work in context.
  2. We can track information on the Shot level.
  3. We can create Shots easily and later Omit Shots just as easily.
  4. As Shots are omitted, Shotgun becomes aware and knows the Cuts and durations of that Shot change, then notifies our Artists so that they work on the right thing. Therefore, we can trust that we always have the latest Cut information in Shotgun (Cut In, Cut Out, Head In, Tail Out).
  5. We can keep statuses up-to-date with the latest Editorial information.
  6. Our Artists can submit work for review, and then our Client can review in context to properly judge the cut, without needing help setting it up from our Editorial team. We will dynamically see the latest versions in context through the browser and/or natively through RV which enables giving and receiving feedback as soon as possible.

Let’s walk through some basics and then outline the steps involved in using the Import Cut App.

 

Note: To follow along and try out the Import Cut App with sample information, download sample “Hyperspace Madness” movies, image sequences, EDLs with corresponding Base Layer Movies.

EDL basics

An Edit Decision List (EDL) is a file that contains editorial information and is anything that is editorial aware. Avid, Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Flame, Baselight, etc., produce EDLs. In our project “Hyperspace Madness,” we use the Avid to produce our EDLs, and will walk through how we import a new Cut and update a Cut in Shotgun in this tutorial.

EDLs contain:

  • A Name (“TITLE”): This title will carry through as the name of the Cut once imported into Shotgun.
    EDL title
  • Frame Code Mode (FCM): NON-DROP FRAME
    Note: Shotgun only supports NON-DROP FRAME (exact frame rates). A DROP-FRAME (broadcast frame rate) specification will produce an error message upon importing.
    FCM
  • Cut Items: Each line below the TITLE and FCM become a Cut item in Shotgun once imported.
    • There are four numbers specified on each Cut item:
      • The first two numbers are the timecode in point and out point of the clip name.
      • The last two numbers are the timecode for the sequence as a whole.
    • Clip Name: “*FROM CLIP NAME”: The Clip name corresponds with the Version name in Shotgun. For more information on how this works, see "Associating EDL Events with Shots"
    Cut items

Importing EDLs with the Import Cut App

Our Editorial department on “Hyperspace Madness” will create Shots in Shotgun with all of the latest Cut information so that our team can begin collaborating on the Project. They will create these Shots per EDL file per Sequence. Once they’ve created all of the Shots with their corresponding Cut information, they can maintain and update Cut information using the Import Cut App.

 

Step 1: To import a cut into Shotgun, we open RV and select SG Review > Import Cut. To download the latest RV with Shotgun, follow these instructions first.

Step 2: Then, we drag the .edl file into the Import Cut App and click Next.

Note: You can also drag in a quicktime movie (.mov file) with the EDL, which will act like the base layer for non-VFX shots.

Step 3: Next, we select our Project for the Cut.

Step 4: Then, we prepare our Sequence in “Hyperspace Madness” (or something that you can link your Cut to).

  • The top bar shows what you can link your Cuts to. This is based on your field configuration on Cuts (Cuts > Link field).
  • We select the JRUN Sequence for “Hyperspace Madness”.
Note: If you are importing a new Cut, you will see a summary of the Cut information that we will be importing, separated by Shot. Since this is the first time we are importing this Cut and there isn’t anything in Shotgun to compare them against yet, our Shots imported will be “New in Cut”. This also means that we will be creating new Shots in Shotgun upon importing.

Step 5: We select “Import Cut” and we are brought to the “Import Cut” submission dialogue where we make updates to the following fields that will appear in Shotgun on our Cut.

  • Title: derived from the TITLE in the EDL (as mentioned previously).
  • From (non-editable): the user who is importing the Cut will be specified here.
  • To: choose to send these details to a Group in Shotgun (only groups are supported). Upon importing, a note will be created in Shotgun and addressed to this Group.
    Group
  • Summary (non-editable):
    • Total Shots
    • New
    • Omitted
    • Reinstated
    • Cut Changes
    • Rescan Needed
    • Repeated
      • Note: When Shots appear in the Cut more than once, Import Cut detects each appearance and sets the Cut fields on the Shot accordingly. The app will set Cut In to the earliest frame value from any of the Shot’s appearances in the input EDL and set Cut Out to the latest frame value from any of the Shot’s appearances. This results in a frame range that ensures coverage for all appearances of the Shot in the Cut.
Note: You can select “Update Cut fields on Shot”. This will take all of the information you are importing in the Cut and also apply it to your Shots. This is great if you are importing all Shots in a Sequence. However, if you are importing a Trailer Cut, you’ll want to make sure this box is unchecked since you’ll want to avoid affecting your Shot Cut information (Cut In, Cut Out, Head In, Tail Out) when importing this trailer Cut.

Step 6: Here, we select “Import Cut”, and see a progress bar and that’s it! We will see a “Cut Imported” screen when our Cut has been imported successfully. We select “View in Shotgun” so that we are taken to the Cut in the Media App.

Updating a Cut

Our Editorial team on “Hyperspace Madness” has received updated Cut information from our Client and they need a fast way to get this information updated in Shotgun so that the team is aware of Cut changes, Omitted Shots, New Shots, etc. The Client has also added Locator Notes (from the Avid) which will automatically be detected by the Import Cut App.

Step 1: To import the updated Cut into Shotgun for the JRUN Sequence, we drag the .edl file they received from our Client into the Import Cut App.

Step 2: Next, we select the Project that the Cut is in and go through the same process as our Client did when you first imported the cut.

Step 3: Then, we prepare the Sequence by selecting a Sequence to link the Cut to (JRUN).

Step 4: Now, we can select a previous Cut to compare with the updated Cut(you can always skip comparing cuts by selecting “Skip”).

Step 5: When comparing, we will see a summary of the Cut that is going to get imported, along with any Cut changes. New Shots will be green, Omitted Shots will be red, and Cut Changes to the frame values will be red. You can filter these changes via the Top bar:

  • Total: the total number of Shots in the Sequence.
  • New: the New Shot(s) that will be created in Shotgun due to the update.
  • Omitted: the Shot status(es) can be updated to Omitted for Shots that are Omitted.
  • Reinstated: Shots can be updated from Omitted to their previous status (also see settings below).
  • Cut Changes: will summarize New Shots that will be created, and Cut change information such as Head trims, Tail trims, etc.
  • Rescan Needed: this will indicate whether a Shot is in need of a rescan due to Cut changes.

Step 6: Select “Import Cut”

Note: This is the same as step 5 in the previous section.

Now, we are brought to the “Import Cut” submission dialogue where we can make updates to the following fields that will appear in Shotgun on the Cut.

  • Title: derived from the TITLE in the EDL (as mentioned previously).
  • From (non-editable): the user who is importing the Cut will be specified here.
  • To: choose to send these details to a Group in Shotgun (only groups are supported). Upon importing, a note will be created in Shotgun and addressed to this Group.
    Group
  • Summary (non-editable):
    • Total Shots
    • New
    • Omitted
    • Reinstated
    • Cut Changes
    • Rescan Needed
    • Repeated
      • Note: When Shots appear in the Cut more than once, Import Cut detects each appearance and sets the Cut fields on the Shot accordingly. The app will set Cut In to the earliest frame value from any of the Shot’s appearances in the input EDL and set Cut Out to the latest frame value from any of the Shot’s appearances. This results in a frame range that ensures coverage for all appearances of the Shot in the Cut.
Note: You can select “Update Cut fields on Shot”. This will take all of the information you are importing in the Cut and also apply it to your Shots. This is great if you are importing all Shots in a Sequence. However, if you are importing a Trailer Cut, you’ll want to make sure this box is unchecked since you’ll want to avoid affecting your Shot Cut information (Cut In, Cut Out, Head In, Tail Out) when importing this trailer Cut.

Step 7: We select “Import Cut”, see a progress bar, and that’s it! We will see a “Cut Imported” screen when our Cut has been imported successfully. We select “View in Shotgun” and are taken to the Cut Revision in the Media App that we have just created.

Note: Cut names (and revisions) are all based on the Title in the EDL file. Revisioning incrementally will occur when the Title is the same. If the Title is not the same, the Revision number will reset.

Settings

You can reach the Import Cut App Settings via the gear menu to the upper right of the App. There are two categories: General and Timecode/Frames.

Timecode frame settings

General settings

To adjust General Settings in the Import Cut App, check out Import Cut In-Depth - Updating Shot Information.

Timecode/Frames settings

Default frame rate

Timecode

  • Default Frame Rate: you can set your default frame rate for which the material you are importing will be set at.
    Timecode to frame mapping
  • Timecode to Frame Mapping:
    Head in
    • Absolute Mode: the App will map the timecode values from the EDL directly as frames based on the frame rate. For example, at 24fps 00:00:01:00 = frame 24.
    • Automatic Mode: the App will map the timecode values from the EDL to the Head In value from the Shot in Shotgun. If that field is empty, the default Head In value set here for New Shots will be used. In other words, it will offset dynamically from the Head In specification for the Shot in Shotgun.
      Relative mode
    • Relative mode: the App will map the timecode values from the EDL to frames based on a specific timecode/frame relationship.
      • Timecode Mapping: specify a timecode that will map to the frame mapping.
      • Frame Mapping: this can be specified if you are offsetting your start frames. For example, a common offset is 1000—starting frames at 1000 in case there is preroll, head extensions, lining up simulations, etc.

New Shots

  • When creating new Shots in Shotgun, the app will use these numbers for start frames and handles:
    • Default Head Duration
    • Default Tail Duration
      Start frames handles

Playing and reviewing in context of the Cut

See Playing and reviewing in context of the Cut to learn more.

Additional information and deeper dives

For a deeper dive into the Import Cut App, be sure to check out the following documents:

Common questions, errors, and troubleshooting

Frame rate discrepancies

While Shotgun does support different frame rates, importing a timecode outside of the Default Frame Rate setting will prompt an error. Let’s say that you have your Default Frame Rate set as 24 FPS in the App Settings. If the EDL that you are importing has a frame rate of 29 FPS specified instead (like 00:00:02:29), you’ll see an error upon importing: “Invalid Frame value 29, it must be smaller than the specified frame rate (24fps)” The error report will also give you the EDL file and line where the incorrect frame rate is. To correct this, you can adjust the Default Frame Rate in the App’s settings.

Linking to a Cut

Cuts can be linked to one thing—such as a Sequence, Scene, Episode, etc. While using the Import Cut App, the top bar shows what you can link your Cuts to. This is based on your field configuration on Cuts (Cuts > Link field). Note that while linking to a Sequence, a Shot can only be linked to one Sequence at a time.

Linking to a cut

Other tips can be found in the release overview.
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