How to reconstruct subclips when bins have gone missing

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Scott Gilbertson

  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:14 pm

How to reconstruct subclips when bins have gone missing

PostFri Jun 24, 2016 11:01 pm

As I reported elsewhere (, I had all my bins go missing. I'm running version on Windows 10.

I wanted to see if there's some way to recover the timelines and subclips that had been present in the now-missing bins, rather than re-doing the entire project completely from scratch. I'm posting a progress report here, in case somebody either knows more about it than I do or can benefit from what little I do know.

There was a timeline visible when I opened the project, with all missing clips. I was able to sort-of rescue that one by converting to a compound clip, whereupon it's in the project. That way I can get it back later by decomposing the compound clip into a new timeline.

The main things I figured out is that the "SeqContainer" directory contains the deleted timelines, and that those timeline files contain some information about the subclips. In my case that directory is:
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C:\ProgramData\Blackmagic Design\DaVinci Resolve\Support\Resolve Disk Database\Resolve Projects\Users\scott\Projects\1067 Soft Case and Carry Strap\SeqContainer

The files have gobbledigook names:
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Each one contains a similarly unreadable sequence ID:
Code: Select all

Over in Project.xml, searching for "Sm2Sequence" finds only the ones that were not obliterated by the bin-dropping bug:
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<Sm2Sequence DbId="2de3e6c1-42aa-4f65-b7ae-2e9689e86c91">

So the spuriously-deleted timelines are still there, just not linked to Project.xml.

Within each "SeqContainer" file, searching for "Subclip</Name>" gets you to the subclip entries (each inside a Sm2TiVideoClip element), and you'll find stuff like:
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<Name>1B01_1C04_DSC3162.MOV Subclip</Name>

What I think I know is:
  • The "Name" field tells you which original clip the subclip was excerpted from (just ignore the "Subclip" part.
  • The "Start" time is within the timeline -- no use for re-creating the subclip.
  • The "Duration" field is in source frames. In this case the clip was 25fps, so 629 frames is 25.16 seconds.
  • The "MediaStartTime" field is seconds. In the case above 91.76 seconds is 91 seconds and 19 frames, so 1:31:19 as expressed in the viewer on the Media page.

I believe in that case I can reconstruct the particular subclip thus:
  • Add 1B01_1C04_DSC3162.MOV to the project on the Media page.
  • In that clip, set an "in" point at 91.76 seconds = 1:31:19 in the viewer.
  • Set an "out" point at 91.76 + 25.16 = 117.92 seconds = 1:57:23 in the viewer.
  • Save as a subclip

Repeat for every subclip referenced in the timeline. Then open my compound clip in a new timeline, decompose in place, and if my stars are lined up just right, all the clips should conform properly to the re-created subclips. I plan to write a little script that pulls out all the information and converts the time formats, so I can print out a checklist.

Can anybody confirm, refute or add to that?

In particular, am I missing some obvious-in-retrospect far simpler solution?
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
Xeon W3680, 48GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960

Scott Gilbertson

  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:14 pm

Re: How to reconstruct subclips when bins have gone missing

PostMon Jun 27, 2016 4:40 pm

In case anybody cares about this very strange, rare edge-case, I can confirm that the method I described basically worked. I wrote a little AWK script to extract the timing information into CSV, printed that out and used it as a checklist to re-create all my subclips.

Then I grabbed a delivered MOV I had previously made from the timeline (before all my bins went missing), and set it as a reference clip for the recovered timeline.

Then I did 54 iterations of:
  • Using the name shown on the timeline clip, select the corresponding subclip in the media list.
  • Right-click / Force Conform With Media Pool Clip
  • Repeat as necessary selecting different subclips, in cases where there was more than one per source clip, to find the correct subclip.
  • Occasionally adjust the timing a little bit, to match the reference video. I don't know why that was needed.

Yes, only 54. It's a short instructional video.

It took four hours or so to recover what was originally something like 10-12 hours of work, which isn't too bad I guess. More importantly, I don't have to get re-approval of the recovered timeline, because it matches the render folks had already reviewed.
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
Xeon W3680, 48GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960

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