File by Reference

It is sometimes handy to have EDL assets not as a copy, but as a reference that is automatically updated into your project. Suppose you have several short videos that at the end have the same credits which include the current year such as 2021. But now it is 2022 and all of the videos would have to be individually updated with the new date. By including a Referenced File as the EDL file type when you create each of the videos, you can just change the one credits xml file and the next time you load one of the videos and render it, it will now automatically have the updated information.

The purpose of this feature is to be able to rework a smaller section of a global master project at any time, which can be done by an "assistant" (i.e. external software like GIMP or Inkscape, ...) and then this work is automatically reflected in the global master project. It is for advanced usage only.

Up until the addition of this feature, CINELERRA-GG has always used copies and no direct reference in order to ensure original data is never compromised (No Destructive editing). In the usual case, subprojects as xmls are copied into a master project where subprojects had been inserted, so that if you change something in a subproject or delete a subproject, it would have no affect on the master project. But now with File by Reference, any project that uses a referenced file will automatically include any changes made to the referenced file when loaded. At the same time, if you use the EDL file NOT as a referenced file in a project since it is then just a copy, it will not be updated. Because of this difference, the user needs to be very aware of what using this feature could do.

Use with extreme caution. However, there are several built-in safety features and a warning that should never be turned off even though it gives you the option to do so. These include:

  1. When the File, Load files menu is opened, the EDL strategy will always be set to just EDL as default. Although, if you use Apply and leave the Load Menu open, it will stay changed to what you selected until it is re-opened.
  2. When an EDL is opened as Reference, the color of that file name in the Resources Media folder is different in order to serve as a reminder that it is special.
  3. A warning message is displayed in a popup window when you load a File by Reference that reads Other projects can change this project and this can become a broken link. Although you can check the warning box to never see this warning again, you would be well advised to not do so. It is a great reminder of consequences and you will not want to be cavalier about the warning. Instead just use the X to dismiss the warning.

Here is a step by step example of how you can use File by Reference:

  1. Start up CINELERRA-GG and use the Title plugin to create a new credits file. Save as credits.xml.
  2. Start a New project and then load an existing master project to the timeline.
  3. Load the credits file you created in step 1 with a Load Strategy of Create Resources Only and with EDL Strategy as Reference.
  4. Note the color change in the credits.xml filename and the reference comment in the Resources Media folder.
  5. Drag the credits file to an empty spot on the timeline. Save this new master project and quit.
  6. Start CINELERRA-GG up again. Load credits.xml and make a change to the Title and save again.
  7. Exit CINELERRA-GG; restart CINELERRA-GG; load your master project and now you will automatically see on the timeline the changes you just made in the previous step.

The CINELERRA-GG Community, 2021