The 'Usage' menu is useless

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elkins.alex

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The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostThu Sep 23, 2021 12:05 pm

After many years of the usage column being fairly unreliable it does now seem to accurately reflect the number of times a clip has been used across a project.

However, the usage menu when you right-click a clip is completely useless as it only lists usage of a clip in the timeline you currently have open. It gives no information about which other timelines a clip might appear in, which for me is the point.

I feel like in much older versions of Resolve this worked fine. If I'm right about that then why has this functionality been removed?
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Marc Wielage

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Re: The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostFri Sep 24, 2021 3:36 am

Which specific version of Resolve? It has worked for us, at least from Resolve 17.1 on.
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Peter Chamberlain

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Re: The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostFri Sep 24, 2021 8:14 am

Usage updates live but only shows the current timeline usage.

We had examples of projects with 100s of timelines with 20,000 clips and calculating usage for that combination is non trivial, so this is at least useful for the current timeline. If you dont have many timelines you can use markers/keywords/flags etc to help generate a used/not used list.
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RedRider14

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Re: The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostFri Sep 24, 2021 8:16 am

Hmmm, that's not the main problem with Usage column.
I have been caught a couple of times, cleaning up projects for archiving. Deleting files that show no usage, particularly on feature projects. You could potentially have dozens of them.

The problem is, when you use files in a Fusion Clip on your timeline. Those media files show up as 0 Usage in the column.
So at the end of a long project, you delete those files, come back a year later to update something, and you're stuffed.

So unfortunately for me, The Usage column is un-usageable!!
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eikonoklastes

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Re: The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostFri Sep 24, 2021 9:57 am

Peter Chamberlain wrote:We had examples of projects with 100s of timelines with 20,000 clips and calculating usage for that combination is non trivial, so this is at least useful for the current timeline. If you dont have many timelines you can use markers/keywords/flags etc to help generate a used/not used list.

It sounds like this value is currently being calculated on demand, and therefore becomes computationally expensive in large projects.

However, from a programming perspective, why can't this value be written to the database as clip usage is updated in timelines? It seems extremely inefficient to calculate this as an afterthought, rather than doing it proactively as things change in real time.

If the clip usage number is written as it happens, then updating that value becomes as trivial as reading the number from the database, and that number will always be up-to-date.
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elkins.alex

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Re: The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostMon Sep 27, 2021 10:06 am

Peter Chamberlain wrote:We had examples of projects with 100s of timelines with 20,000 clips and calculating usage for that combination is non trivial


Thank you for the response, Peter. For what it's worth, Premiere (generally a far inferior product IMO) has been able to do this for at least 7 years so I'm not sure I completely buy the argument that it's non-trivial. Perhaps the way you guys are implementing it makes it difficult but there is evidently a simpler way to do it and I hope you can pursue it.

I think perhaps there's a slight gap in understanding as to why editors in particular need this. I understand why - Resolve was built for grading, which means that it's based on the idea of having a small number of master timelines and that's really all that matters. However, for editing, particularly larger projects, we often need lots of timelines. Stringouts timelines, sync maps, selects timelines, scenes in progress, alternative versions, etc.

Keeping track of where a particular clip has been used is essential in this context. I can see in the usage column that a clip might have been used 3 times, but that still doesn't tell me where - have I used it in a version I've sent to a client or was it just in a selects timeline and a couple of test edits I worked on? The only way to answer that question it to open every single timeline until I find the three that contained that clip, which as you're aware could involve hundreds of timelines. In Premiere I just highlight the clip in the bin and there's a drop down menu that lists every timeline the clip appears in. Simple.

I need to stress that this isn't just about working out if a clip has been used. It's about how a clip has been used.

People have been requesting this for a number of years. We really need Blackmagic to understand why it's so important.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostMon Sep 27, 2021 11:09 pm

elkins.alex wrote:Keeping track of where a particular clip has been used is essential in this context. I can see in the usage column that a clip might have been used 3 times, but that still doesn't tell me where - have I used it in a version I've sent to a client or was it just in a selects timeline and a couple of test edits I worked on? The only way to answer that question it to open every single timeline until I find the three that contained that clip, which as you're aware could involve hundreds of timelines. In Premiere I just highlight the clip in the bin and there's a drop down menu that lists every timeline the clip appears in. Simple.

I have to say, that would be a very useful feature.
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IsraEliteMedia

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Re: The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostTue Sep 28, 2021 10:05 am

I completely agree that this is a worthwhile addition and very much needed.

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ReneRotterdam

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Re: The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostTue Sep 28, 2021 8:15 pm

It's difficult to keep up with usage in a meaningful way. Most editors I know (long form stuff) like duplicate their timeline once a day or three, four, five and rename it. (I do more or lees the same)
So with that workflow a usage drop down menu will be a long one and pretty useless because it doesn't say what part of the clip is used in the different timelines.

When in doubt I use the show duplicate frames (mode ?) (under the view menu)
drop the clip on the timeline I'm working on and then I can immediately see if the clip is used and what part of it.

hope this helps ( a bit)
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IsraEliteMedia

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Re: The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostWed Sep 29, 2021 3:29 am

Thanks Rene, I didn't know about "duplicate frames". Will give that a try too.
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eikonoklastes

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Re: The 'Usage' menu is useless

PostWed Sep 29, 2021 6:07 am

ReneRotterdam wrote:It's difficult to keep up with usage in a meaningful way. Most editors I know (long form stuff) like duplicate their timeline once a day or three, four, five and rename it. (I do more or lees the same)

The functionality doesn't have to be useful in every imaginable scenario. Yes, it can possibly start becoming less useful in the scenario you described, but for other scenarios, when you want to quickly (and reliably) check to see where a clip is, this feature sees a lot of er...usage.

ReneRotterdam wrote:When in doubt I use the show duplicate frames (mode ?) (under the view menu) drop the clip on the timeline I'm working on and then I can immediately see if the clip is used and what part of it.

This can become tedious and unreliable when you have many timelines that you need to check against, and you have many clips in a timeline, so a zoomed out view will not show you the duplicated frames, which would entail careful scanning, which makes it error prone, and also potentially a lot of scrolling around.

As has been mentioned in this thread, this is a solved problem in other apps, so we just need Resolve to catch up. I personally have used Usage frequently in my projects in Premiere, but was forced to stop using it in Resolve because of how unreliable it is.
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