All data within a CatDV catalog is held in the form of clips. There are different types of clip, such as still images, movie files, scenes within a movie, lines of an EDL or batch list, and so on.
Each clip has the following main properties (often referred to as fields when shown in a dialog, or as columns when the clips are shown in a table).
Some of these properties are editable while others are filled in automatically at the time of import. Depending on the type of the clip, some of these properties may not be relevant and are left blank.
Built-in clip properties
|Name||Name of the clip|
|Notes||Description or other comments you enter about the clip|
|Bin||Project bin or directory on disk where the clip came from; used for grouping clips|
|Tape||Name of the tape or reel the clip is on|
|Import source||The file that details of this clip were imported from (eg. a movie file, EDL, or batch list)|
|Source media||the media file that holds the video data the clip refers to (not necessarily the same as the Import Source)|
|In & Out||Timecode values for the whole clip. The Out point of a clip is the timecode of the frame after the last frame of this clip (and normally equals the In point of the following clip). (Corresponds to Media Start and End in Final Cut.)|
|Duration||The corresponding clip length, i.e. the difference between In and Out points.|
|In2 & Out2||Timecode values for a selection made within the clip (corresponds to In and Out in Final Cut).|
|Start & End||Current clip bounds, either In/Out or In2/Out2 depending on the Export clips based on selection Preferences option|
|Type||Clip type, whether still, audio or movie file, and if so whether a master clip (correspond to entire file) or a sub-clip. The icon is crossed out with a red X if the file is offline or unplayable.|
|Underlying Type||More detailed type information that distinguishes QuickTime, OMF and WMV movies, for example. For DV clips the icon indicates whether a definite scene change at the start or end of the clip has been identified.|
|Format||A summary of the format of the movie (whether DV, other QuickTime movie, still, etc.). See the list of media-related properties for more details about the media file.|
|Poster||Each clip has a poster thumbnail, normally the first frame of the clip but a different poster can be set from the clip details movie tab|
|Mark||A general purpose check box to mark clips of interest or to save a selection|
|Hide||Clips may be flagged as hidden so they don’t normally appear unless the Show hidden menu command is used (you could use this to hide rejected clips but without deleting the clip record, or hide master clips once they have been divided into subclips.)|
|Big Notes||An additional comments field, capable of storing notes larger than 65,000 charactes|
|Event||Which event this clip is part of|
|Rating||A star rating from 0 to 5 stars. 0 means unreviewed, while conventionally 1 star means a rejected clip, and 2 to 5 stars means a good clip|
|Good||An older mechanism for marking good or bad clips, replaced by Rating|
|Exposure||A summary of the camera exposure details (available with some DV camcorders and digital cameras)|
|Record date||The original date/time of recording of the clip or image (available with some DV camcorders and digital cameras)|
|Date||Either the Record Date, or failing that the earliest modification time of the source media|
|User 1..N||General purpose user-defined text fields (in the Standard Edition you can have up to 3 user fields, in the Professional Edition you can have any number).|
|Clip ID||Several fields are used to uniquely identify clips in different ways|
|Status||A general purpose clip status field (you can define your own statuses in the Pick List section of Preferences, for example ‘Approved’ and ‘Rejected’)|
|History||Any changes to the Status of a clip are recorded in the history field|
|Transition||Available when importing EDLs (edit decision lists)|
|Seq. No.||Sequence number when importing more than one clip from a file, eg. an EDL or scenes within a movie|
|Online||Indicate whether the clip is currently online, or a proxy or thumbnail is available|
|Used||How many sequences (in this catalog) that a clip appears in (this can indicate whether a clip is used in a project or not).|
Making sense of property names
Some of these properties might appear more than once with similar names, for example where long and short forms of the same data are available. Or you might see two fields with the same name and quite different contents, or the same content in different fields!
There are several possible reasons for this apparent confusion. The important thing to remember is that the property name is just a label used to annotate the property on the screen. The label doesn’t necessarily have to be unique:
- You can give user-defined fields any name you choose. These names could clash with a pre-defined property. It is also possible to rename the pre-defined properties in Preferences.
- When defining details panel layouts it is possible to customise the name of any field, including built-in properties.
- Certain metadata properties like Name or Date (read from iTunes metadata for example) might clash with a pre-defined property.
- If you import a media file then the Import Source, Source Media and Name fields will all show the same thing, ie. the media filename. On the other hand, if you import an EDL or Final Cut XML file these fields may all be different: Name is the name of a particular shot or scene, Source Media is the media filename for that clip, and Import Source is the name of the EDL or XML file you imported the data from.
- Some special fields like “Name or Tape” show different data for different types of clips and are designed to make most efficient use of available space in icon grid views, for example showing the file name for stills and the tape name and timecode for movie clips.
Use tool tip text (hover the mouse pointer over a field name) to display a short explanation of the field if you are unsure which property you are viewing. (You can also set the Show attribute IDs option in Preferences to automatically display a unique field identifier after each property.)
When choosing properties from a drop down (for example, when customising view layouts or performing a complex query) colour coding is used to indicate the type of field: green for built-in fields, red for user-defined fields, and blue for metadata fields. Also, a small icon indicates whether the field is a grouping field, a multi-grouping field, a plain text field, or a date or timecode field, and also whether it is editable or read-only.