"Scenes" versus "Takes" in MEP parlance.

Richard-Curtis wrote on 9/16/2020, 5:48 AM

Hi

I've spent too much time drilling into this esoteric issue without getting to the bottom of it. Having initially used and then rejected the use of "Takes" in putting a project together, I'm now inclined to return to them to avoid rendering individual clips prior to rendering a final project file (which is what I have been doing) - but have come up against this conundrum. So far as I can see a "Take" (largely deprecated by the experts on this forum, I believe) is the same as a "Scene", the only difference I can make out being that a "Take" is a scene that has been assigned a unique TK2 file and shows up as a thumbnail in the Media Pool under "Takes". It is automatically identified by its parent file and numbered according to its sequence in that file, and being in the Media Pool it's easy to select and slot into place in a project without the need to open the parent file on the timeline for that purpose.

"Takes" don't work too well in MEP 2020 (that I do know - I tried that update and reverted to MEP 2019 as a result) nor in MEP 2021, reportedly, but are fine in MEP 2019 - once I sorted out the correct way to use them...

There must be some advantage to using "Scenes" instead of "Takes", because no-one appears to be using the latter - but why not, given the advantage outlined above? Alternatively, why are "Scenes" the preferred method for creating clips? I would really like to know before proceeding any further down the wrong road.

Thanks!

Richard

Comments

johnebaker wrote on 9/16/2020, 8:26 AM

@Richard-Curtis

Hi

. . . . . So far as I can see a "Take" (largely deprecated by the experts on this forum, I believe) is the same as a "Scene", . . . .

A Take is in essence a 'mini project file' which references the video or image from which it is created and includes information about which section of the source video is used, if it has been trimmed, and any effects etc applied to that object, it does not contain the image or video object itself.

Takes can be used in other projects.

A scene is literally what its name implies - and only exists in a project. Scenes within a project cannot be used in other projects without exporting the 'Scene' as a video clip, or a Take fro example if the Scene recognition function has been used to cut up a long video clip into scenes based on detected changes in the video.

HTH

John EB

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX 12, MEP Premium 2021, and earlier versions 2015 and 2016, Music Maker Premium 2021 and Music Maker 2020.

Running Windows 10 2004 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 3 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 ext backup HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

browj2 wrote on 9/16/2020, 9:03 AM

@Richard-Curtis

Hi Richard,

I just tried creating a take and then importing it into a second project. No problem here.

I never use takes because I use VPX and even if I was using MEP, I wouldn't use takes. VPX does not allow one to create Takes in the same manner. It uses a Project Temp Folder (PTF) and dragging a split clip to the folder or subfolder in the PTF does the same thing but without creating a bunch of files. These takes can be renamed and better identified in the PTF fields. The PTF can be exported and imported into a new project where the takes can be dragged onto the timeline or trimmed before putting them on the timeline. Unneeded takes and any other objects in the PTF can simply be deleted from the PTF. You should have gone for the 25$ HumbleBundle to get VPX.

Back to MEP. Why wouldn't I use takes?

A Take is an object from the timeline, usually a trimmed object, that can have effects. The Take file is simply a set of instructions containing the path/filename, start and end points, and effects, if any. It's like a one object mini-project, that can be imported into one or more projects.

Scenes can be defined as individual video objects. If you have a video object on the timeline and split it, you now have two "scenes" because you have two objects.

A Movie is made up of objects on a single timeline. It contains scenes and other objects and all editing instructions.

A Project is make up of one or more Movies, thus containing everything, and is where all editing is done.

If you're importing a VHS file that contains different subjects, says Christmas and Vacation and you want different projects for each, then I would use 2, 3 or more movies, make the appropriate cuts, copy or cut the related objects and paste them in the related movie. Then, export each Movie rather than each scene. Thus, each Project is already started as a Movie. This cuts out the middle man, greatly reducing file management. Create a Project, Christmas, import the Movie or movies and combine them, edit them, done.

In these types of long video files, one usually needs to put a cut at each scene, a scene being the camera stopped and started. This is for further trimming, stabilization of a scene itself, colour correction, etc. To do this, one can use the Scene Recognition feature. I did one recently that created several hundred scenes. I then moved blocks of scenes to separate movies. An alternative is to split the long movie into themes and move each to a separate movie, then use Scene Recognition now or in another project. If you were to export each one of these scenes as a take, you could end up with hundreds of takes, making the whole process labourious. Thus, it's a lot easier to just create Movies, move the Scenes to them, and export the Movies.

When would I use takes?

I would probably create a take of a video clip, trimmed and with effects that I wanted to use in more than one project. However, I prefer to create movies that contain more than one object, including text, effects, and I import the movie into projects and copy/paste the contents into the main movie, then remove unneeded movie. An example is an outro with template images, text, and effects.

I see that John EB beat me to it.

John CB

Last changed by browj2 on 9/16/2020, 9:04 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

John C.B.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

Richard-Curtis wrote on 9/16/2020, 11:36 AM

@johnebaker

@browj2

Hi John & John

I was hoping that at least one of you two guys would respond, so I'm gratified that both of you have done.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

@johnebaker

@Richard-Curtis

Hi

. . . . . So far as I can see a "Take" (largely deprecated by the experts on this forum, I believe) is the same as a "Scene", . . . .

A Take is in essence a 'mini project file' which references the video or image from which it is created and includes information about which section of the source video is used, if it has been trimmed, and any effects etc applied to that object, it does not contain the image or video object itself.

...But doesn't that apply to a "Scene", too?

Takes can be used in other projects.

...Which would appear to make them a lot more useful than mere "Scenes"?

A scene is literally what its name implies - and only exists in a project. Scenes within a project cannot be used in other projects without exporting the 'Scene' as a video clip, or a Take fro example if the Scene recognition function has been used to cut up a long video clip into scenes based on detected changes in the video.

...That's exactly the issue: I don't want to render and export a clip for insertion into a different project and then eventually have to re-render when exporting the final product: I'd like to minimise the number of renders of a given clip in order to minimise degradation, as I'm using lossy compression (mp4 or preferably DV-AVI). Or shouldn't I worry about that - at least in the case of DV-AVI? I accept that occasionally it may be preferable to render a clip anyway; e.g. if I've applied NV and/or speed adjustment to it - but those are exceptions.

 

HTH

John EB

 

@browj2

[I just tried creating a take and then importing it into a second project. No problem here.]

The bug in MEP 2020 caused Takes generated in that version to lose their audio component when imported back into the timeline, but Takes generated in MEP 2019 and then imported into MEP 2020 were unaffected by that problem. Has MEP 2021 fixed that bug, then?

[You should have gone for the 25$ HumbleBundle to get VPX.]

I know, too late...

[A Take is an object from the timeline, usually a trimmed object, that can have effects. The Take file is simply a set of instructions containing the path/filename, start and end points, and effects, if any. It's like a one object mini-project, that can be imported into one or more projects.]

That appears to be the big advantage of "Takes" - that you can readily import them into one or more projects without having to render the associated clip first. A "scene" would appear to have most of the same characteristics - but you can't readily import it into another project without dragging its parent project onto the timeline first and then searching for it.

[In these types of long video files, one usually needs to put a cut at each scene, a scene being the camera stopped and started. This is for further trimming, stabilization of a scene itself, colour correction, etc. To do this, one can use the Scene Recognition feature. I did one recently that created several hundred scenes. I then moved blocks of scenes to separate movies. An alternative is to split the long movie into themes and move each to a separate movie, then use Scene Recognition now or in another project. If you were to export each one of these scenes as a take, you could end up with hundreds of takes, making the whole process labourious. Thus, it's a lot easier to just create Movies, move the Scenes to them, and export the Movies.]

The scenes generation procedure is not a lot different to the takes generation procedure, with the exception that you can adjust the sensitivity of detection with the former, while with the latter you just have to delete the takes you don't want. BUT, you can separate the timeline into scenes and then save the result as Takes, that option being available in the Scene Recognition function courtesy of Magix. Plus, I really like the ability of Takes to be displayed as individual thumbnails in the Media Pool.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Apologies for the mess above - I hope you can both make sense of it. As I'm sure you realise, I'd like to use Takes IF there are no disadvantages in so doing. I especially like the fact that Takes are easily identifiable by a thumbnail, while Scenes are not - and what appears to me to be the considerable advantage for both that intermediate rendering operations are not required in order to use them in Projects other than the parent project. But I am not too sure if I'm exaggerating that advantage, and would really appreciate your comments on that key issue.

Thanks again

Richard

 

 

browj2 wrote on 9/16/2020, 12:07 PM

@Richard-Curtis

Hi Richard,

For me, in MEP2021 20.0.1.65, Takes work, sound works, effects work on the imported Takes. It would be good to have a second user validate this.

A Take is just a Scene that you send to a folder - and it only contains instruction, not an actual video. (Take = Scene) The scene recognition feature just splits a long video up into individual clips that we call Scenes. If you don't need a Scene, you delete it. If you select any video object (Scene) and drag it to the folder, you have made a Take; until then, there are no Takes. I don't think that there is any Take recognition tool, is there? Only Scene recognition.

If you do what I said, move the clips (Scenes) to the relevant movies, then you've already started your projects. If you save a clip (scene) to a folder, you are not advancing. Try the method that I propose.

As for the thumbnails, in the Movie you will already have the clips (scenes) - on track 1. That means that you can switch to Scene Overview mode and you now have the thumbnails of each scene, just like for Takes in the Media Pool. And if you switch to Storyboard, you still have thumbnails and you can scrub across them to preview them and quickly move them around.

If you're using Takes, you see the thumbnail in the Media Pool (which is just Windows Explorer) but you have to preview the Take to see more. Then you have to import the Take. With my method, you already have the object in the Movie.

One other thought, there are no Takes in a Movie. If you import a Take, it's just another video object (Scene) on the timeline. There is nothing special about them.

John CB

John C.B.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

Richard-Curtis wrote on 9/16/2020, 1:45 PM

@browj2

Hi Richard,

For me, in MEP2021 20.0.1.65, Takes work, sound works, effects work on the imported Takes. It would be good to have a second user validate this.

A Take is just a Scene that you send to a folder - and it only contains instruction, not an actual video. (Take = Scene) The scene recognition feature just splits a long video up into individual clips that we call Scenes. If you don't need a Scene, you delete it. If you select any video object (Scene) and drag it to the folder, you have made a Take; until then, there are no Takes. I don't think that there is any Take recognition tool, is there? Only Scene recognition.

Quite correct. One's either got to create scenes manually or use Scene Recognition before generating Takes - I didn't express myself very well there...

If you do what I said, move the clips (Scenes) to the relevant movies, then you've already started your projects. If you save a clip (scene) to a folder, you are not advancing. Try the method that I propose.

I understand your way of assembling movies on the timeline, but I don't think it really suits my m.o. Like you (I seem to remember), I have around 150 Super8 reels digitised as MP4 files, as well as around 70 hours of video digitised as DV-AVI to edit. I have identified around fifteen different movies I would like to create from clips in these various parent files, which clips could be included in one or more or of those movies. Rather than create fifteen (or fewer!) MVD files in the MVP project and slot scenes into them (scenes that can only be located by importing the parent file to the timeline and extracting the required scene(s) from it?) I prefer to work on one movie at a time in one MVP project and assemble clips for that movie on the timeline by either using Takes or previously rendered clips from the parent files - all of which I can see in the Media Pool at any one time and have identified in a spreadsheet. It's all very quick, believe it or not. I'm probably missing something (and you're being very patient with me!), but having to import a complete parent file to the timeline to locate the required scene for one or more MVD's doesn't seem very straightforward to me - and if more than one parent file is imported to show more clips the arranger rapidly fills up with unwanted clips.

As for the thumbnails, in the Movie you will already have the clips (scenes) - on track 1. That means that you can switch to Scene Overview mode and you now have the thumbnails of each scene, just like for Takes in the Media Pool. And if you switch to Storyboard, you still have thumbnails and you can scrub across them to preview them and quickly move them around. Understood.

If you're using Takes, you see the thumbnail in the Media Pool (which is just Windows Explorer) but you have to preview the Take to see more. I also have the Takes identified in a spreadsheet, which helps! Then you have to import the Take. With my method, you already have the object in the Movie.

One other thought, there are no Takes in a Movie. If you import a Take, it's just another video object (Scene) on the timeline. There is nothing special about them. Agreed, it's just the facility of handling them that makes them useful - you can see them in the Media Pool without having them on the timeline.

John CB

But now the other question - does it really make any appreciable difference to the quality of a clip if it's rendered more times than strictly necessary, assuming the format etc. isn't changed in so doing? Assembling rendered clips on the timeline is even easier than using Takes for that purpose, but researching this rather fundamental issue on the web doesn't turn up anything definite.

Richard

 

 

Richard-Curtis wrote on 9/16/2020, 2:01 PM

@browj2

Hi John

An afterthought following my magnum opus above: I manually identify scenes in a digitised parent file, and then I generate Takes for a file in just a few seconds by using the "Save Objects as Takes" item in the Edit Menu. I don't use the click and drag method to get Takes into the Media Pool - too painful!

Richard

browj2 wrote on 9/16/2020, 2:33 PM

@Richard-Curtis

Hi Richard,

"...but having to import a complete parent file to the timeline to locate the required scene for one or more MVD's doesn't seem very straightforward to me - and if more than one parent file is imported to show more clips the arranger rapidly fills up with unwanted clips."

You lost me here. By parent file, do you mean the parent video or the parent Project?

Parent video - open a new project, import a Take that is just a part of a longer video. Move it along the timeline. Grab front end and drag it to the right. If the take was from a scene in the middle of video clip, then you have access to the entire parent video. The take is not a video, just instructions. Thus, you are importing the parent video clip but trimmed.

Parent Project - if you export each Movie, you never have to open the parent project again, only the Movie. Try it. Export a Movie from a project; this creates an MVD file. Open a new project (or existing one), import the Movie. It puts it in another tab. Delete the first one if not needed. If you have more than one movie, just keep importing them. Now you can Merge them into one if you want (one of the commands on the Movie tab menu), or keep them separate or copy paste only what you need from one Movie to another. When done, remove the unneeded Movies from your Project.

So, if you had the parent project with 50 Movies (highly unlikely...I have one) and you exported each Movie, then you can open each Movie by itself in a new or existing project, no need to open the 50 Movie project ever again.

To answer your other question, "does it really make any appreciable difference to the quality of a clip if it's rendered more times than strictly necessary, assuming the format etc. isn't changed in so doing?" I would say yes; something to be avoided. I try to limit this to one intermediate, two max. I would not render out Scenes, as opposed to Takes, unless I did something to it first, like stabilization and Neat Video. Then I would render to mxv and continue editing by importing the mxv file into another Project or Movie).

I have spreadsheets for scanned family photos where I can document the photos. I also have spreadsheets for digitized 8mm and Super8. I put in a description of the contents and noted when there was more than one subject whilst digitizing. Then, for building one project, I would import the files and create separate Movies for any subjects that were not to be used for the project. Split up the file into scenes and move them to their related Movie. Once done, I would export the unwanted Movies, delete them from the Project, and note the existence of the exported Movies. I haven't done many yet.

I use Access relational database for Projects with a relational table for Movies. I would not also want to have to manage Takes. I find it much more efficient to start building the Movie from a project that is used just to split up long videos into separate components - Movies. Hmmm. I need to create a form and view in the db for the Movies so that I can input the Movies without them being associated with a Project. Then fix up my form for the Movies under Projects to list the available Movies showing both Movies linked to a Project and with no Project. I'll add that to my To Do list.

John CB

John C.B.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

Richard-Curtis wrote on 9/18/2020, 1:25 PM

@browj2

Hi John

Sorry for the delay while I "Tried it"!

@Richard-Curtis

Hi Richard,

"...but having to import a complete parent file to the timeline to locate the required scene for one or more MVD's doesn't seem very straightforward to me - and if more than one parent file is imported to show more clips the arranger rapidly fills up with unwanted clips."

You lost me here. By parent file, do you mean the parent video or the parent Project?

Not surprised you got lost - so did I. I meant parent Project.

Parent video - open a new project, import a Take that is just a part of a longer video. Move it along the timeline. Grab front end and drag it to the right. If the take was from a scene in the middle of video clip, then you have access to the entire parent video. The take is not a video, just instructions. Thus, you are importing the parent video clip but trimmed.

No issues with this.

Parent Project - if you export each Movie, you never have to open the parent project again, only the Movie. Try it. Export a Movie from a project; this creates an MVD file. Open a new project (or existing one), import the Movie. It puts it in another tab. Delete the first one if not needed. If you have more than one movie, just keep importing them. Now you can Merge them into one if you want (one of the commands on the Movie tab menu), or keep them separate or copy paste only what you need from one Movie to another. When done, remove the unneeded Movies from your Project.

So, if you had the parent project with 50 Movies (highly unlikely...I have one) and you exported each Movie, then you can open each Movie by itself in a new or existing project, no need to open the 50 Movie project ever again.

I followed your instructions, but as I anticipated I didn't find your method particularly user-friendly (mainly because I'm used to my own peculiar way of doing things, I guess.) As I understand it you're basically reallocating scenes from your original or existing projects into one or more MVD files on the timeline, the novel feature being that this method lends itself to parallel assembly of more than one Movie/MVD file. My way is less ambitious - I just try to get one Movie right at a time!

To answer your other question, "does it really make any appreciable difference to the quality of a clip if it's rendered more times than strictly necessary, assuming the format etc. isn't changed in so doing?" I would say yes; something to be avoided. I try to limit this to one intermediate, two max. I would not render out Scenes, as opposed to Takes, unless I did something to it first, like stabilization and Neat Video. Then I would render to mxv and continue editing by importing the mxv file into another Project or Movie).

I think I mentioned that because of these Takes issues I had previously elected to export ALL my scenes to MP4 or DV-AVI files before further editing. As you've confirmed, not a great idea...

The main thing is that you've answered my Takes/scenes quandary. In short, if I've got it right, a Take is a scene but a scene is not necessarily a Take. I still like the fact that all Takes are visible in the Media Pool and don't have to be in the arranger to be viewed. On the other hand, I initially experienced sync problems with Takes and still need to prove that they were due to my ham-fisted editing and not to a latent problem in MEP: I suspect the former.

I have spreadsheets for scanned family photos where I can document the photos. I also have spreadsheets for digitized 8mm and Super8. I put in a description of the contents and noted when there was more than one subject whilst digitizing. Then, for building one project, I would import the files and create separate Movies for any subjects that were not to be used for the project. Split up the file into scenes and move them to their related Movie. Once done, I would export the unwanted Movies, delete them from the Project, and note the existence of the exported Movies. I haven't done many yet.

I use Access relational database for Projects with a relational table for Movies. I would not also want to have to manage Takes. I find it much more efficient to start building the Movie from a project that is used just to split up long videos into separate components - Movies. Hmmm. I need to create a form and view in the db for the Movies so that I can input the Movies without them being associated with a Project. Then fix up my form for the Movies under Projects to list the available Movies showing both Movies linked to a Project and with no Project. I'll add that to my To Do list.

John CB

Access - Wow! That is dedication. The last time I used a database for anything was in dBase days - and as you'll be aware that was a long time ago. Right now I wouldn't be able to start getting into Access without some serious reading - and serious funding! Mind you, I might just dig out my old copy of MSWorks now you've mentioned all those interesting possibilities...

Thanks again, John!

Richard

 

johnebaker wrote on 9/18/2020, 1:58 PM

@Richard-Curtis

Hi

. . . . dBase days . . . .

I cut my teeth on DBase III and IV.

Like John I also use access database though it is for creating 'edit lists'.

As an example for large projects eg holiday, with video and images, about 3500 in total, go into sub folders of the project according to a preset structure I use. I run a Powershell script to get the filenames and dates and import this into Access where I can create lists of video and images that belong to places and times sorted usually in date/time taken order.

Helps a great deal for importing videos and images into projects - I do not have to go looking through them - to find the first and last of any given place/date/time just grab the first and last file names from the list and drag them into the project.

The one disadvantage is your camera(s) must be set to local time for consistency especially when using multiple sources in different time zones.

John EB

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX 12, MEP Premium 2021, and earlier versions 2015 and 2016, Music Maker Premium 2021 and Music Maker 2020.

Running Windows 10 2004 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16Gb RAM, 3 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60Gb internal SSD, + 6 ext backup HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

Richard-Curtis wrote on 9/18/2020, 2:52 PM

@johnebaker

Hi John

DBase IV was after my time. But I do remember dots featured somewhere in DBase III... (Perhaps I should stick with MSWorks for any future database requirements I may come across!)

Richard