I finally decided to reorganize my current video project to make things easier to find.  For starters, I realized that all the raw dv footage I’ve captured should not be in the same folder as the project itself.  That is a recipe for creating copies of the same footage later when I want to use it in another project.

Instead, I created a folder for my footage named by date and subject and stored it with the rest of my similar captured footage.  That way it is ready for me to grab for any project.  Next, I created a project folder (I called it “project_wbp” in my case).  Inside that I added another folder called “media_rawdv”.  Then I used this command in a terminal:

ln -s -t /path/to/media_rawdv /path/to/original/*.dv

That command creates symbolic links (i.e. shortcuts) to all the original files.  Cinelerra doesn’t care whether its resources are real files or links, so this works fine.  Later, if I move the original files, I can just recreate the links and I’m all set.

There are two important steps  you need to do when you move things around or rename them in your project:

1. You should edit your project .xml file and change the paths as necessary (note that Cinelerra doesn’t seem to like relative paths, so you should use absolute ones).  Don’t forget to change the path to the xml file itself if that has moved.  Any text editor can handle this.

2. To save a lot of processing on large projects with many resources, you should rename all the project’s index files (you can change the location in Cinelerra’s settings, but they’re usually in ~/.bcast”) and change the internal paths in each file.  The following program should do the trick:

#first rename the files in .bcast
rename ‘s/home_video_oldname/home_video_project_wbp_media_rawdv/’ ~/.bcast/*.idx
#next use this to fix the internal paths in the index files
[ ! -d $BPATH ] && mkdir -p $BPATH || :
for f in $DPATH
if [ -f $f -a -r $f ]; then
/bin/cp -f $f $BPATH
echo $f
sed “s/$OLD/$NEW/g” “$f” > $TFILE && mv $TFILE “$f”
echo “Error: Cannot read $f”
/bin/rm $TFILE

The only things to change in the preceding script are the two paths in the rename command and the same in the OLD and NEW variables.  Note the the index files include real paths (hence the \ escapes to make the literal / characters work), but in their names they replace the / characters with underscores.

For smaller projects, you could probably skip this step, as Cinelerra will regenerate the files anyhow.  For my 40 minute video, which has hundreds of clips, it takes hours to do this.   The script does the job in a couple of minutes.