When you import media that resides on an external storage device, all the media is copied to Autodesk storage. Any changes that you make to this media are protected, and exclusive to this stored copy. However, it can take a long time to load large files and all of this stored media can take up a lot of space in Autodesk storage.
Clips with unmanaged media, also known as soft-import clips, provide a more efficient way to handle media. When you import media as a clip with unmanaged media, Smoke creates a link that references the media at its original location, so that no media is actually imported and duplicated in Autodesk storage. Later, when you move or delete clips with unmanaged media, you affect only the reference—not the actual media at the shared storage location. You can also use this method when importing files using a sequence or recapturing media. See and .
When using clips with unmanaged media, be aware that you have no control if another user modifies the original media files. All clips with unmanaged media in Autodesk storage that refer to the modified media files are updated to reflect the change. Ensure that all users accessing the same media are aware of these implications.
You can process (render) clips with unmanaged media in any module. The resulting new clip is written to Autodesk storage. Since any links to the original media are now removed, changes to this media will no longer be updated on the shared storage. Also, if the media changes in the original external location, the changes are not reflected in your stored clip. This can be useful if you want to prevent other users with access to the shared storage from altering your clip.