Is there a way (preferably scriptable) to hard-cut all the BIG movie clip rushes and footages used inside a movie.blend project directory in order to store it away for future reference?

I'm often only using 1 minute bits out of HUGE 2 hours clips, so right now the project directory is 4.5Gb big for a 3 minutes videos, I can't afford that kind of storage :)

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    $\begingroup$ So let me see if I understand... you want to export a version of the .blend that uses different versions of the video files from the original - shorter versions. And you want to know if Blender can be instructed (with a script) to detect frames not being used and omit them from the new shorter versions of the footage (that it will also generate)...? $\endgroup$ – Mentalist May 26 '16 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Mentalist I want a new blend, with new files (and yes, if one single file was used, say two times - at different timeframes - then I would end up with two files) renamed like file01, file02 and so on. Probably at least 3 phases : 1-Ask Blender what files and what timings are used (actually just that would be a fine and accepted answer) 2-Use like ffmpeg to trim the files, and then 3-Re-import everyting at the right place in the .blend ; I know, it's really overkill and a plain "no" would be okay :) $\endgroup$ – yPhil May 26 '16 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, I doubt anything like that exists, but I can see how it would be useful. If it exists, I would expect to find it in the Velvets add-on. I haven't used it myself, but you might want to look over the features and see if there's a tool for this or a tool that could be customized to do this. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist May 26 '16 at 14:27
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    $\begingroup$ The biggest challenge would be to get it frame-accurate. I'm confident there are procedures that could extract a sequence of PNGs from your source video, allowing you to discard the video. On the other hand. 4G of storage is about $0.10 assuming you can get a 4T HD for $100. I understand not everyone has a good day job, but for many people this is not a problem, it is just an expense. $\endgroup$ – Mutant Bob May 26 '16 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ You effectively want a better quality VSE proxy render. Blender will convert used strips into jpeg sequences but that may not suit your needs. I don't think that creating a proxy generates a duplicate of an entire strip but you can define 100% dimensions. $\endgroup$ – 3pointedit May 29 '16 at 11:19

Automating the process would require some work, but https://superuser.com/questions/377343/cut-part-from-video-file-from-start-position-to-end-position-with-ffmpeg has some answers on how to make excerpts from larger videos.


ffmpeg -i in.mp4 -ss [start] -t [duration] -c copy out.mp4

Unfortunately, you'll have to create replacement strips that refer to the excerpt clip and get things frame-accurate again.

While I can imagine writing some python that creates these replacement strips, I am not confident that they will be frame accurate.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, this is indeed the closest to what I dream of. Now, since I can't have that, do you guys know of a way to just list the files actually used in a VSE file in order to get rid of all the unused footage files lying around the directories? $\endgroup$ – yPhil Jun 15 '16 at 9:55
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    $\begingroup$ I think just listing the files would be pretty easy. Go ahead and ask a separate question for that. $\endgroup$ – Mutant Bob Jun 15 '16 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ Good idea, there it is: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/55946/… $\endgroup$ – yPhil Jun 15 '16 at 17:20

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