The tree navigator is shown on the left of the main window and provides a convenient way to organise the clips in a catalog, to browse files on the file system, and access other functions such as the contents of the CatDV server.

You can show or hide the tree navigator using the toolbar button or menu command.

Catalog node

The Catalog node represents all the clips in the current catalog.

  • If you are temporarily viewing something else in the main window (for example, a catalog on the server), click on the catalog node to go back to the current catalog.
  • Click on All clips to reset any filters and view all the clips in the catalog.
  • Drag files or clips from another view onto the Catalog node to import them into the catalog.
  • The Sequences node provides a convenient way to access any sequences in your catalog.
  • Drag clips onto the Sequence node to create a new sequence.
  • If the catalog contains metaclips or image sequences these are shown in the tree. Clicking on the metaclip allows you to see the constituent files inside it.
  • If the catalog includes events these are show in the tree.

Smart folders

The Filters node provides some convenient ways of filtering the current view so you only see the clips you are interested in. If you create named filters these appear as Smart Folders. Clicking on a smart folder automatically applies that filter.

Automatic filters

Using Automatic Filters you can quickly organise the clips according to any clip property, for example grouping by date, by file format, by tape or bin. You can think of grouping as providing dynamic “virtual folders”:

  • Drill down to find the clip property by which you want to arrange your clips. Expand this node (for example, Date or Bin or Media Path) to list individual grouping values, then click on the value to show the corresponding clips.
  • For editable properties you can drag clips onto another node to change the value.
  • You can combine the tree navigator with the grouping panel for two levels of grouping, for example by media path and then by format.
  • Select multiple grouping values in the tree (by holding down the Cmd or Ctrl/Shift modifier when you click on nodes) to combine the filters.

Server node

If you use the CatDV Server use the Server node to quickly browse clips on the server without opening up a remote catalog in a new window.

  • You can browse the entire database by catalog or by tape.
  • Catalogs can be organised into folders. Right click on the tree node to add a new folder.
  • Quickly perform a custom query by defining named queries under the Smart Folders.
  • Right click on a node and click Open For Editing to edit a catalog.

If you use the Enterprise Server additional features are available:

  • Use the tree navigator to load preference settings according to which project or production you are working on
  • Create and view shared group documents which are stored on the server (the “production blog”).
  • Create Shared smart folders where the queries are stored on the server so they’re available to everyone in the production group
  • Create named Clip Lists containing an explicit list of clips of interest. Drag clips onto the clip list node to add them to the list.
  • Use Browse All Clips to show thoe most recent clips on the server. Use the Quick Search box in the tool bar to narrow the search until you see the clips you want.

File system node

The file system mode provides access to your file system from within CatDV without having to switch to the Mac Finder or Windows Explorer.

You can browse directory contents using CatDV’s media analysis features without having to import them into a catalog. You can also perform common media file management operations straight from the tree navigator, for example drag and drop to move or import files.

  • Drives and network volumes, as well as your home directory and desktop are shown.
  • Create additional shortcuts to your favourite locations by dragging a directory onto the main File System node.
  • Double click a node to analyse the media files in the folder and display the whole folder as thumbnails or a filmstrip.
  • Click on a file to play it in the clip details panel (unless you have the Avoid pre-loading movie Preference option set)
  • Directories which have already been analysed (and whose contents are therefore cached for quick access) are shown in bold.
  • Right click on a directory to show options such as delete or rename directory, to import it into the catalog using a specific importer, to search for a file by name, and more.

Under Mac OS X, click on a directory in the tree and type your search terms into the quick search box to perform a Spotlight search within that folder, for example to find all files of a particular type wherever they are on your hard disk. You can view thumbnails for the search results, sort them in various ways, and import selected results into your catalog.

Final Cut node

The Final Cut Projects node lists your recently used Final Cut Pro project files. If you have Final Cut Pro 7 you can drag and drop clips between CatDV and a Final Cut project using these project nodes.

  • To add an FCP project file to the list, drag it onto the Final Cut Projects node.
  • Double click a project to open it in Final Cut Pro and link to it.
  • Once opened the project is shown in bold. Clicking on it will export the clips in your browser via XML and list them in CatDV (this may take a few moments).
  • Drag selected clips or sequences that have come from FCP to a catalog window or the catalog node to add them to a CatDV catalog.
  • Conversely, if you have search results of clips you want to use for editing, or have created a rough-cut sequences within CatDV, then you can send these to Final Cut by dragging them to an open project node.
  • Hold down the Option key while you drag to the FCP project node to link to the proxy, not the original media.

Note that if you drag a clip straight to the Final Cut application window, whether from CatDV or the Finder, it is sent over as a file reference to the complete media file. Using XML and the Final Cut tree node is much more powerful however, as you can send subclips, log notes and sequences from CatDV to Final Cut and all the metadata is preserved.

Temporary views

When you use the tree navigator to view the contents of the file system, a catalog on the server, or the contents of a Final Cut project you are temporarily replacing the window’s view on the current catalog with temporary clips. It is important to note that these temporary clips are not part of the current catalog and won’t be saved when you save the catalog.

Because changes to a temporary view aren’t saved in the catalog the clip details panel won’t let you edit or add log notes to a temporary clip. Additionally, the background colour of the clips changes to a shade of red to remind you when you are in a temporary view.

It is easy to add temporary clips to the current catalog however. Simply drag and drop them onto the catalog node (or right click and select Import To Catalog). Once you do this they become normal clips that you can edit and save with the rest of the catalog.

Scratch Pad

The clip Scratch Pad is a holding area where you can drag clips of interest to save them temporarily, for example to build up a result set of clips from multiple catalogs or queries. Drag clips to the Scratch Pad node to save them, or drag them into a normal catalog window (or onto the Catalogs node) to add them to a normal catalog. Clips are stored in memory in the Scratch Pad as long as the CatDV application is open, even if you have closed the catalalog they came from.

If you prefer, you can use View > Scratch Pad to access the scratch pad via a new tab in the clip details panel rather than the tree navigator.