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Where to start learning FCS?

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Rob FabianoWhere to start learning FCS?
by on Jun 14, 2010 at 3:06:32 pm

Other than the books that came with FCS (I've ordered "Getting Started with FCS") does anyone have advice for a beginner as to where to start? I'm a hands on kind of learner and have been looking for "best practices" kind of examples for starting out but haven't found anything yet. Any advice would be tremendously appreciated. Thanks.


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Jennifer VeileRe: Where to start learning FCS?
by on Jun 16, 2010 at 5:01:04 pm

I am self-taught and am actually currently creating some video tutorials (hopefully I will post them online soon). I found the tutorials on http://www.wonderhowto.com/ a good place to start for the very basics. Are you an administrator or an end-user only? If you are an end-user, the system should be simple (based on how good of a job the admin. did setting it up). If you are setting it up yourself my biggest piece of advice is to learn the structure of sets, groups, fields, and lookups. Once you understand the purpose of these things and how your organization is going to use it, you are golden. Wrapping your mind around that is the most important thing, because it informs your decisions on what to create. Also, think of metadata with searching in mind. The only reason to include metadata is so it is retrievable later.

Jennifer Veile, MLS
Video Librarian


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Rob FabianoRe: Where to start learning FCS?
by on Jun 17, 2010 at 3:18:11 pm

In the end I will be a little of both... administrator and end user. My experience is as an editor and motion graphics artist. We've got everything set-up (Server and XSAN) put no one really willing to step up to the plate and execute. I'm basically the guy left standing on the line while everyone else took a step back. Don't get me wrong I love this kind of work... its just something I haven't done in a while so I'm hoping its not going to be too big a task for one person to handle.

Thanks for the link, and recommendations... I'll look at learning the structure of sets, groups, fields, and lookups. And take a look at setting up a simple Watcher as John McVey suggests.

I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes.

Thanks!


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John McVeyRe: Where to start learning FCS?
by on Jun 16, 2010 at 9:57:31 pm

Start by setting up a simple Watcher. There is a wealth of key concepts you can gain by that. Keep it very simple at first, just have it watch a certain sub directory off of a Filesystem device and have it execute one Copy Response. Have that Copy response push the file into the FCS Media or Library device as an asset and then include one 'Delete Always' response so the watcher folder doesn't fill up with already copied files.

Do it with JPEG files to start,. Don't mess around with video just yet. Then start adding levels of complexity to the Watcher as a whole. Assign some different (still image) transcode settings to the destination device and set the Copy response to use different ones ie Targa, Photoshop etc. Afterwards, start pre-setting certain metadata fields in Copy response. Notice how the asset gets 'stamped' with that metadata as it goes in. Finally, go to the Poll Watcher section of the Watcher and put in some wildcard includes. Pop in *.JPG and *.jpg. Then go and drop a GIF, a PNG and a JPEG file into that watcher. Notice how the watcher skips the former two and only acts upon the latter.

By the way, open up a Search all jobs to see all of this activity. Then go look at the Logs and see what's in there.



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jon RutherfordRe: Where to start learning FCS?
by on Jun 17, 2010 at 1:30:23 pm

Rob,

This has been a challenge with FCSvr deployments. The books can only take you so far. I made sure I contributed to that discussion in Chapter 9 (Getting Started with Final Cut Server - Peachpit Press) by emphasizing the importance of planning the workflow before installing the DB. There are so many custom configurations out there it is very difficult to even use some as examples.

The basic building blocks are as follows:
- Devices
- Group Permissions
- Metadata
• Sets
• Groups
• Fields
• Values
- Automations
- Optional custom external scripting

Most of the Workflows I have been building have actually used very little automation or scripting at the start. There is already so much to understand and adjust to that the facility/organization does not need to leverage them to get started.

Also, a thorough understanding of the FCSvr - FCP workflow processes is essential. People really need to understand the proper steps in order to move between these apps. General media management practices will change and users most times have a challenge with that.

Bottom line. Successful deployment equals:
1. Proper design plan
2. Proper expectations set
3. Proper testing
4. Proper training (admin and user)
5. Proper troubleshooting procedures
6. Proper update plan

Hope this helps,
Jon


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Rob FabianoRe: Where to start learning FCS?
by on Jun 17, 2010 at 3:32:37 pm

Thanks Jon, it does help.

Unfortunately it was an outside vendor that set up the basics before it got to my desk. We're looking to take small bites out of this, one at a time. Our first bite we're going to try using FCS as a sort of DAM for our general asset library. Music, completed movie files (such as commercials,) maybe some b-roll, logos etc. Thats the part of this that will please management the most right up front. Integrating FCS into our whole workflow will definitely be the larger part of this. I'm hoping that it is flexible enough to adapt as we integrate it into how we work.


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Rob FabianoRe: Where to start learning FCS?
by on Jun 17, 2010 at 3:23:08 pm

Thanks for the suggestions... even the idea of starting with jpgs is great... I was ready to dive in with a pile of assets we frequently get use out of, ie general company b-roll, royalty free music and other programs we use frequently. My problems is I feel like a kid with ADD because every question I answer has given me a few other issues to move my attention to. I'll try setting up a watcher today and hopefully that will give me some confidence to keep on moving forward.

Thanks


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Matt GerardRe: Where to start learning FCS?
by on Jul 29, 2010 at 1:55:38 pm

I'll help keep this thread alive, as I'm in the same spot you are. I'm sitting down at my new MacPro today to start creating a FCSvr setup as well. I did take the FCSvr training class in toronto from a great company, and am now "FCSvr Certified" but I haven't' actually done anything yet!

Anyway, the main things learned are already outlined in the previous posts. The biggest thing is to know exactly what you want it to do for you BEFORE YOU INSTALL IT!!! I have a multi level roll-out plan mapped out, starting simple, and adding stuff after the bugs (me) get worked out.

I also had an outside company come and install all the hardware and software, and then gave me a "Good Luck to Ya!" tip of the cap without any training or setup with FCSvr.

We will be using it mainly for a DAM for one client first, via a VPN coming into our office. We probably won't ever use it to manage FCP projects, as the current workflow (and flexibility of our editors) won't really allow for it.

Keep us updated!

Matt

Its more fun to ride a slow motorcycle fast than a fast motorcycle slow...


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Rob FabianoRe: Where to start learning FCS?
by on Aug 23, 2010 at 5:18:16 pm

Thanks for keeping this post alive. I have help on the way between today and tomorrow. I'm not sure how far we'll take this but I will update with anything I learn. We will be primarily using FCS as a DAM as well as most of our editors now operate off-line/out of house. I'm not sure final cut server was the best solution for us but its what we have so we're going to make it work.


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