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Final Cut Server, trying to understand.....

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Paul HarbFinal Cut Server, trying to understand.....
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 7:28:08 pm

So being a feature film editor, and a FCP fan, I am very interested in Final Cut Server and what it can or cant do in a feature film post workflow. We of course use Avid and Unity and our assistants love it, even though I find both interfaces quite archaic.

I would love to push these guys to do our next film on FCP but to this point it has been an uphill battle due to not having a Unity like solution for FCP.

Is FCS this solution? Im trying to wrap my head around how you would work on a feature film with multiple editors working in the same project, but not erasing each others work. Now Avid creates bins that lock, so you have ONE project always.....that we all work from, we can read anything at any time, however if you open a bin that someone else is working in, you cant overwrite anything in that bin.....ie a sequence.....

Now FCP works differently.....you can have multiple projects open at the same time.....and bins dont lock......thats not how FCP works.....


So my question is, how do you create the same kind of workflow in FCS? Can it be done and if so, how.....do you just break up your bins as FCP projects(which seem to be where you can lock a file so it cant be overwritten) so that each project has a sequence in it, and when your done you bring it into the "master project"? Im just trying to wrap my head around a workflow using FCP and FCS in a feature film enviroment.....thks for any insight.

Paul

Paul Harb-Director/Editor
Wrong Beach Multimedia


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Aaron NeitzRe: Final Cut Server, trying to understand.....
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 7:41:03 pm

It looks like it may be promising.... BUT I'm going to be an awful cynic: it's software that's completely unproven in the field, FCP has a glut of underlying problems that Server is probably jury-rigging around which is a recipe for disaster, and there are workflows for multiple editors with FCP that work great (they just require 1 crack editor or assistant who is responsible for feeding out sequences to get cut and then bringing them back into the master project)





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Jeremy GarchowRe: Final Cut Server, trying to understand.....
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 7:56:41 pm

[Aaron Neitz] "FCP has a glut of underlying problems that Server is probably jury-rigging around which is a recipe for disaster"

See, i am hoping the further development is leading to the fix of these problems in order for Server to function properly.


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Aaron NeitzRe: Final Cut Server, trying to understand.....
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 7:59:32 pm

Me too! I think a good rewrite of Final Cut from the ground up would do wonders for a lot of things.

But one thing about diehard FCPers - we adapt around problems quickly and with a lot more community ingenuity than our Avid counterparts do ;)



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Jeremy GarchowRe: Final Cut Server, trying to understand.....
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 8:14:10 pm

[Aaron Neitz] "But one thing about diehard FCPers - we adapt around problems quickly and with a lot more community ingenuity than our Avid counterparts do ;) "

True, but with Final Cut Server, apple is going to garner much more attention from people that are going to spend lots and lots of money on lots of machines/systems. And when you spend that money, you want/need it all to work together. What I'm saying is, if they are going to lay their neck out on the line in the huge post world, they better be looking around for the axe man.


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Paul HarbREALLY TOO BAD
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 8:15:54 pm

Its really too bad if my fears are realized that is not ready for feature film workflows......Apple has a HUGE chance here to really make inroads and take over market share. People out there want Apple to step up, however there is NO room for this kind of software to have all sorts of issues, which is why people always go back to Avid and Unity.....and if it takes a rewrite of FCP to make this a solid performer with large complex projects and multiple editor workflows that go back out to film and have to deal with other dept and things have to be in sync, match keycode ect.......then thats what they should do....they should learn from Avid's mistakes which were IMHO that they listened, kind of to users complaints and needs....however they werent willing to do a real rewrite and just kept adding onto old legacy code, which ends up being workarounds. If Apple is going to do the same thing, and just keep adding onto Macromedia's old legacy code, to try and make FCP do things they had never even thought of when they created the program....then they have lost a big opportunity to take over a big chunk of high end post work...and that will be sad....I love macs, I love Apple, usually.....but ultimately I will use whatever tools will get the job done.......hope they take advantage of what they have here....cause they NEVER could have predicted when they bought the code for FCP from Macromedia, that it would become this phenom that is really has become....Apple you guys listening?

Paul

Paul Harb-Director/Editor
Wrong Beach Multimedia


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Shane RossRe: REALLY TOO BAD
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 8:34:42 pm

Final Cut Server is not meant for this. It is a sever with proxie video that producers can look at and make small edits and give those to the editor who then links to the master footage. This is all really for news rooms and documentary type productions.

For FCP in a Unity type setting, you need XSAN or MetaSAN and shared storage. And you cannot approach using projects the same way Avid does...because FCP doesn't do that. You need to work the way FCP works...learn how to do it another way...multiple projects and always work with them locally, not from the server.

Or...look at EDITSHARE. That is a really slick shared setup and software that is VERY Avid-like. Each bin is a project file, and if it is opened by another editor, Edit Share prevents others from making changes to that. And it has an opening interface that allows you to choose users and a project file...jutt like Avid.

But honestly, if you like the Avid way of doing things, use an Avid. But if you go with FCP and how FCP does things, you need to get out of your Avid mentality and into the FCP mentality...and it is tough. I am in the middle of that now with other Avid editors...and yes, it is a struggle. But once you get used to it, it is easy.



Shane



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Chris BorjisRe: REALLY TOO BAD
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 9:51:14 pm

[Paul Harb] "hope they take advantage of what they have here....cause they NEVER could have predicted when they bought the code for FCP from Macromedia, that it would become this phenom that is really has become....Apple you guys listening?"

Paul are you kidding?

Stevie Jobs knew EXACTLY what would happen....he anticipated it like all things he's involved in.

He's considered a heavy hitter in Hollywood now especially with the Disney Merger and Pixar success. Its a matter of time before FCP surpasses Avid, one way or the other.




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Matthew NelsonRe: REALLY TOO BAD
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 10:41:09 pm

[Paul Harb] "they werent willing to do a real rewrite and just kept adding onto old legacy code"

This is also fraught with potential problems. It's kinda like saying my building has poor plumbing so I hope they tare it down and rebuild it to fix the problem. A million new lines of code are a million new chances for problems. A complete rebuild is rare. OS9 and all its legacy issues was dumped for unix based OSX in no small part because it was developed by Job's company NeXT.

But I do wish Apple would take a long hard look at media management. That room could use a major remodel.

Matt



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Alan SmithRe: REALLY TOO BAD
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 11:56:17 am

I work in a production house who produces five television shows per season and has just made the switch from an Avid/Unity world to a FCP/XSAN world. We made the switch because we felt the FCP system and workflow would enhance our productions rather than hinder them. As with any switch, we have our share of bugs to get worked out, but we have finally got all systems setup and running smooth and have found the change to be a good one.

Regarding the lock project/bins, you have to retrain your brain when making the switch. In Avid, a project contains bins where media, sequences and assets exist. If you delete or modify a bin you delete or modify your assets. Your sequences are contained in the bins and when you edit a sequence you lock the bin from other editors overwriting your work. Its a nice and safe setup to allow multiple editors working on a single project.

The FCP system works VERY differently. To use Avid concepts, think of the HDD or storage location of your project as the "project" and your FCP project as an Avid bin. This is more consistent with the media management and workflow.

For a given show, we have several editors working on various parts of the show. They create a project and work on their portion. When all the parts are completed we combine them into a single project and begin nesting the sequences into a finished episode. This allows multiple editors without having to worry about someone deleting or overwriting your work.

The beauty of Fina Cut Server is that you will have the ability to "check in/out" projects to make them read only so that other editors can view the project sequences, but cannot write to them. We are excited about getting it in and setup. We believe it is going to enhance our workflow even more.



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Paul HarbRe: REALLY TOO BAD
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 8:38:00 pm

thks, you actually had a helpful post......Im so tired of the standard....stop making FCP an Avid post......sigh......they missed the point, which you didnt....so thks....

Paul

Paul Harb-Director/Editor
Wrong Beach Multimedia


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Matthew NelsonRe: Final Cut Server, trying to understand.....
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 8:19:27 pm

FCServer will not give you Unity type sharing. Note this is from bleary eyed reading of FCServers manuals. FCP projects are checked in and out of FCS as whole assets to one user at a time. There is no intra-project sharing where ownership is divvied out at the bin/sequence level.

FCServer is best thought of as an asset control, project/asset database and workflow manager. A much needed tool for those of us who have to manage multiple projects with editors who have their own naming convention/organization or lack there of.

I would not be surprised if Apple buys/leases Editshare's project sharing technology for future versions of FCP/FCServer.

Matt



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Tom WolskyRe: Final Cut Server, trying to understand.....
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 8:52:10 pm

The software is intended to work with multiple projects. Where a single project had multiple sequences for scenes, in FC Server (not to be confused with FCS, Final Cut Studio) separate scenes or sections of the show are separate projects that can be assembled into a single project for delivery.

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP6," "Basic Training for FCS2" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Author: "Final Cut Pro 5 Editing Essentials" and "Final Cut Express 3.5 HD Editing Workshop"


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mark raudonisRe: Final Cut Server, trying to understand.....
by on Apr 9, 2008 at 11:02:49 pm

Paul,

You make a lot of "I wish" or "FCP should" statements, but the fact is, FCP and X-SAN already CAN do what you're asking. I should know. I've been using FCP/X-SAN in a multi editor, shared project, long form workflow for over three years now.

Step one. Forget about doing it "Avid's way".

Step two. Find a bright, FCP savvy guru who can walk you through the workflow.... specifically, media and project organization.

Step Three. Hire that person to hold your hand for three months.

Step Four. Forget abut making your FCP into an AVID. It isn't.

Step Five: Finish the film. Prepare acceptance speech, "I'd like to thank the academy...".

Good luck.

Mark






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Paul Harbthks to everyone for the help, just to clarify....
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 8:36:24 pm

Just want to thank everyone for the help, however after the responses I feel i need to clarify since the fanboys seem to come out any time anyone questions anything. I learned on Final Cut Pro.....then went to Avid not by choice but because thats just the way it is in Hollywood right now, unless your a bigshot and can force a studio to use what you want. The studios have BIG money invested in Avid systems and rent those out to movie productions....so they really have no incentive to change, in fact quite the contrary.

I say this because after reading everyones responses....what I see is a common trend here and on other FCP or Avid editing forums.....that editors(which I believe if your worth anything you are and consider yourself an artist)....seem like to make comments like....its not an Avid....your thinking is the problem here, and so on and so forth.....thats great.....too bad if you really knew me you would know that I love FCP, I have invested heavily in FCP at my home studio and I REALLY posted the question because I want to push FCP in my next feature film....however I have to convince others, mainly assistants, that actually are the ones that have to deal with all this backend stuff.....so Im trying to wrap my head around the way thay THEY work now with Unity and how to TEACH them that this is a real option and that Avid is not the only way to do this kind of workflow.

That said, they act just like so called FCP editors......they act like they own stock in the company and that their livelyhoods are tied to a certain editing platform.....luckly I feel I have learned to not give any company slack when it comes to my artistic tools.....I can give you a list of things that Avid does better and things that Apple does better and things that Edit do better, Adobe.....ect.......these are just tools.....

I am an editor, not a FCP editor, not a Avid editor....an editor......i think we should all remember that before we start making the standard board posts flaming people who have legitimate questions with your love of FCP.......

The best answer I got to my post was what I had stated was my hunch, that you would create projects as cuts.....and a master project would contain all of your other smaller segmented projects......it seems that FCS, the way it creates logging in and out of FCP projects, hence locking them from others, this would be the way to go, so thank you for that answer......


ok...enough of my rant.....Ill let you other guys love your tech while I love my art.....

let the rants begin.....;)


Paul






Paul Harb-Director/Editor
Wrong Beach Multimedia


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Shane RossRe: thks to everyone for the help, just to clarify....
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 8:40:39 pm

Nope...you nailed it Paul. My thoughts exactly. If people want Avid, use Avid...it works. If people want FCP, then get FCP...and get people familiar with FCP and that workflow, not Avid people who will try to make FCP act like an Avid. If I threw FCP people onto an Avid they'd be equally lost.

Editing systems are tools, and you just need people familiar with that tool in order to work properly.

I to am an Editor. labelling myself as AVID EDITOR or FCP EDITOR is limiting and meaningless.


Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD now for sale!
http://www.LFHD.net
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Jeremy GarchowRe: thks to everyone for the help, just to clarify....
by on Apr 10, 2008 at 9:18:26 pm

Paul? You got a lot of really helpful answers from people who know both systems and from people who are DOING what you are asking today with FCP and no FCP Server.

I agree Avid vs FCP is stupid, but...

You don't see how this turned into Avid vs FCP when you specifically asked how FCP Server basically compares to Avid Unity and for that you get mad at the answers where people are telling you how it's not like the program you are familiar with and then proceed to flame everyone because they aren't 'editors' for choosing a different workflow, when you are asking about a different workflow?

Please explain.






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Paul HarbRe: thks to everyone for the help, just to clarify....
by on Apr 11, 2008 at 7:51:47 am

Sigh......AGAIN....to clarify....I use FCP, I have used FCP since version 1, I love FCP.....can we get that out of the way so you can take off your FCP goggles and understand what I was asking......I dont know Unity....my assistant does.....as any editor who edits features will tell you thats how it usually works, Im not usually bothered with the way the backend works....

HOWEVER....since I LOVE FCP....I am trying to find out if there is a workflow and what that would be to ease the minds of "Avid" assistant editors that DO have to deal with backend and media management stuff on a big feature film project.....

I was never MAD about anything, I came on here with a simple question, got some good responses and a bunch of the normal FCP fanboy responses, which Im getting tired of seeing all over the internet, all over post houses, this whole FCP/AVID thing.....its so stupid......the same people that flamed me by saying your thinking wrong, and dont try and make your FCP and AVID totally ignored the question and issue at hand, and decided to make some stupid point......so be it.......fall into the same trap of elitist thinking that Avid did for years and see where that gets you as an editor....things change, tools change....artists are just artists.....

Hopefully this makes more sense to you and you understand more clearly where I was coming from...if not....Im not sure what to say..except that if you bother to read all the posts some people actually got it without trying to make some FCP/Avid statement.

Paul

Paul

Paul Harb-Director/Editor
Wrong Beach Multimedia


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Jeremy GarchowRe: thks to everyone for the help, just to clarify....
by on Apr 11, 2008 at 3:19:08 pm

[Paul Harb] "all into the same trap of elitist thinking that Avid did for years and see where that gets you as an editor....things change, tools change....artists are just artists.....
"


....but not editors, right? Look Paul, say what you want. It's a free country and they haven't taken away the first amendment quite yet, but don't come on a board and tell editors who use FCP that they aren't editors. It's unbecoming, unprofessional, and just plain elitist like you said AND you are doing nothing but denouncing the very throne you love so much, or at least said that you love so much. You know what, for some people their livelihood DOES depend on one tool or another and you cannot knock those people (including me) for making a choice. DO I know Avid? Hell no. Do I know other programs? Yep I do. Does that make me less of an editor? Hell no, again. I am an editor, not an FCP editor, not an Avid editor. An editor. To take the tool/artist analogy further (which is not really a valid analogy in my personal opinion), you don't tell a carpenter which tools to show up with when he's fixing your house, or you don't tell a painter which color to paint with and with which brush. So. ? If I had to sit down at an Avid right now and edit I bet I would stumble around for a good long while. Give me a few days and I'd be up there editing away. You know why? I am an editor. My livelihood depends on that, FCP or Avid or iMovie, ok not iMovie.

Sorry Paul, but you really tripped my trigger for some reason.

Jeremy



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Paul harbRe: thks to everyone for the help, just to clarify....
by on Apr 11, 2008 at 5:03:41 pm

u got an itchy trigger finger my friend....maybe that's the issue. The irony is u are making my point as u continue to keep a thread going that asked a legit question, with nothing more than fanboy comments,I never said anyone wasn't a "real" editor as I dont even know what that means....

Im sorry u misunderstood what I was saying....I wasn't putting down FCP or anyone on these boards which I have been part of for many years. I just find it too bad some of the knee jerk reactions lime your own, when someone asks a real question. But u got that trigger like u said....we r going to have to agree to agree I guess....hopefully u don't feel the need to keep goi g tit for tat here....but I have a feeling your a guy that needs last word with that trigger finger


Go edit something

Paul

Paul Harb-Director/Editor
Wrong Beach Multimedia


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Jeremy GarchowRe: thks to everyone for the help, just to clarify....
by on Apr 11, 2008 at 6:14:00 pm

Cool. Good luck to ya.


Jeremy



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