Flame project and HUGE ARCHIVES

I like to do a daily archive during a project and then at the end of the job delete all of them and do a final archive, without all the source footage, offlines, audio files, gfx, CGI, old Batch interactions & unused renders. Only keeping what was used in the final master files. If your facility or home studio is set up correctly all this should be on a server and will be backed up separately. I then save a copy of the OTOC HTML file with the project on the server as this can be so helpful when looking for an element on an old archive.

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But is this a healthy and sustainable practice for a facility at scale? This could cripple a facility, right?

I only tend do it if there is capacity, most places have there own system in place so I follow that!

yes, path translation is useful, but I had issues with path translation- pattern browsing (FLME-53366).

There’s a sample python script that comes with the flame install that removes all but the most recent batch iteration. It’s called clean_batch_iteration.py


Hi @stu

Sorry, I don’t normally answer on weekends hence the delayed response :crazy_face:

When you have all the exclude options enabled, Flame will always create an archive with no media EXCEPT when there is media that is generated and cannot be traced back to a source. So if you created any media in Flame with the tools, it is considered as media that cant be traced to a source. This media might be super important to your project and Flame wont just exclude or trash it because the archive would be incomplete (with or without the exclusions in place). The most classic media I am referring to is the Batch Renders. Once you have rendered a clip, there is no way of tracing it back to the Batch Setup it came from. So forcing the archive to keep this media ensures that you are protected!

Now excluding source media/cached media refers to a trace-able source. Excluding the renders refers pretty much to TimelineFX and not Batch Setups and Renders.

You can perform housekeeping prior to archiving by deleting renders etc to reduce the archive but it needs to be done with care and attention not to delete the finals etc.

I understand the WTH scenario that most of us work under these days so please make sure you check Flame feedback for any previous requests and vote them up or add your own for an archive with absolutely no media. I will say that it would be a “use at your own risk” consideration.


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Hi, might be a dumb question but are BFX renders regarded as timeline fx and when exclude is on then those renders will not be part of the archive?

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Hi @johnag,

This is not a dumb question at all.

Even though Batch and BFX share a common engine, its more about the surrounding “Story” to the metadata.

Batch setups are their own entity and can exist outside of a timeline. They always have in Flame. The renders produced by Batch have no connection to how they were created.

BFX in this respect appears to follow the rules of the timeline. The BFX renders belong to the timeline with its setup. It’s all contained together. Therefore even if you ditched the rendered media you could still easily rebuild the render with the metadata setup.

So EXCLUDE RENDERS does appear to also exclude BFX rendered media and not Batch renders.

I did perform a few tests before I answered.

I made a timeline with no effects and archived it with exclude on for everything (Source cache and renders. The archive was 5MB. This was the benchmark with no VFX.

I added a TimelineFX to the timeline and rendered it. Using the same archive settings, the archive was still 5 MB.

I added a BFX to the timeline and rendered it. Using the same exclude settings the archive was still 5MB.

I removed the BFX from the timeline, rebuilt the same effect in Batch and rendered the result. Using the same exclude settings, the archive was 200MB. So the Batch media is definitely being archived.

I deleted the Batch Render and kept the setup. I archived again and the archive reduced back to 5MB with the exclude options.

This enabled me to answer your question but please try it for yourself.



Thanks for doing those tests. It’s very clear now what’s happening.

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Hi Grant,
Thanks for your reply.

I get asked for No Media archives a lot when remote freelancing, so I’m already doing it, but I have to do it manually.
It would be good to archive individual shots without media, rather than the whole project setups.

At the moment I have to create a duplicate batch and remove all the media, and add muxes and compasses to explain what goes where.

It looks there are already two improvement requests which I have upvoted.

Ability to back-up project data without media
Rufus blackwell

Archive without Media
Peter Tresize


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Hey Peter, would it be easier to use 1 BFX for each shot. ie 1 shot per timeline.

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If I were in Flame Assist or Smoke 2015, I thought about dividing up the material like that to manage large setups. But for Flame, I prefer to use Batchgroups.

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Another question, if you have history turned on in prefs and you only keep the iterations would that be a method of keeping your batches archived without the rendered clip. Bit like having a bfx on each iteration.

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There is so much flexibility, I’d suggest you see what works based on the type of work and hardware you use. I have different workflows depending on whether I’m on Linux or Mac.

If a Batch setup is getting big, and you need to do intermediate renders, but want to keep archives small, you can right click a node and make a BFX clip. The BFX clip behaves like a timeline render, and can be omitted during archiving.

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I export renders and pull them back in overwriting the original render , this way like the rest of your source media they sit on a jobs path, everything in the timeline is on the path, flame archives are tiny and no doubling of media, as long as you keep a well orchestrated jobs path then this works brilliantly and no need to double up on media. (archive excluding cache and renders)

If I’m super busy then this gets forgotten and the archives get big but try to avoid