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Can we do this?

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Vince Sanchez
Can we do this?
on Jun 12, 2010 at 10:06:35 pm

The company I'm working for is interested in cataloging their large footage library to make the assets more easily searchable for uses other than the shows we're editing. They've suggested FCS and after some reading I'm advocating Cat DV. I have the demo and am amazed at how fast I've been able to get it to do the basic things we need it to do, now I'm wondering if I can make it work for the whole company.
Here's what we have. We have three groups producing shows in three different locales, with an executive producer in a fourth location. We need to catalog each show and generate preview movies at the editing location and then forward those to the EP where they would be collected together into one large library and at that point some further metadata might need to be added to aid in searching.
Can this be done and what would the approach look like and which products would we need? Specifics would be nice, but at this point I'm more interested in if this would in Cat DV.
As I said this is primarily for archive material, we've been doing the show for 4 years and have a good working media management format that actually works well when a project is brought into Cat DV.
This is such an easy to get started with product I'm hoping we can make this work.
Thanks for any advice.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Can we do this?
on Jun 13, 2010 at 11:26:02 pm

of course, the answer is YES. You can get the workgroup version of CAT DV (for under $3000) and this will run up to 5 users, that can share catalogs, or you can add an additional 5 users for under 2 grand for a total of 10 users. But unless you are a genius, you will need support, and you should get someone to HELP YOU setting up your client with a multi user CAT DV enviornment, so you can be successful using the amazing CAT DV product in an network enviornment. If you are in California (which I believe that you are) - then Bryson Jones will be happy to assist you with your enterprise or workgroup install.

Bob Zelin




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bryson jones
Re: Can we do this?
on Jun 14, 2010 at 2:47:53 pm

Hey there guys, Happy Monday. Vince, Bob is correct, you can absolutely do what you are laying out.

For a multi location setup, you may want to use the Enterprise version of CatDV but what you are wanting to do is not too hard of a workflow to set up. The main issue I see is more infrastructure than CatDV, as far as your server setup and delivery of the proxy. (although that can be done by shipping drives too). Also, who is the master location or if there are multiples etc, has to be hashed out, but the software setup is fairly basic to a trained tech.

If you like, I, or the Squarebox guys, (or probably any dealer local to you) could give you a demo of how it all works in a server environment, and lay out the differences in the types of server licenses. I have a few locations who do exactly what you're talking about.

Also, as you've already seen, it works quickly without a ton of development on your part.

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Vince Sanchez
Re: Can we do this? Yes We can! Now a small question
on Jun 14, 2010 at 9:22:24 pm

Wow, spent some time with this weekend with the pro version of the program. Its doing everything we wanted from the system. Very intuitive, which is helpful because as well laid out as the manual is, its sometimes short on information, like, "to do this, click this" with no indication where the menu item is. But that's small because like I said what looked like a daunting task Friday, is now humming along smoothly.
While I think the server version would be great, for now I know that to get the client agreeing to use cat dv, we'll probably have to make the pro version work. Which for our purposes it is. Its nice to know that if we start with the pro version we can move up to the server version later.
NOW FOR THE QUESTION- After I catalog my backup drive and make proxies, I then copy the folder that has the catalog and proxies to a remote machine. When I open the catalog on the new machine everything is offline until I point the path search to the proxy folder. Initially the media still shows offline until I click on a clip then it changes to online.
I am looking for a way to make the clips change to online all at once. If I click on the preview node they alll show as online but its a filtered setting and some clips that may still be offline disappear. I could also scroll to each clip to make it go online but that takes forever. Is there an easy way?
For now that's it, I'm going to torture the program some more, but no complaints at all.


Thanks,
Vince Sanchez
Intel Quad Mac 2.66
AJA LHe
HD link
OSX 10.4.11
FCP Studio 2


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bryson jones
Re: Can we do this? Yes We can! Now a small question
on Jun 14, 2010 at 11:02:03 pm

In the Preferences, got to "Media Search Paths. There you can define the path based preview path. That tells the app where to look for the proxies.

Done!

As to the server, yeah, the way you're working is fine until someone edits a clip in the home system. Then the catalogs are out of sync.

Additionally, you can only search within a single catalog without the server so as long as someone knows what catalog to look in, you're good but deeper searches and more functionality come from the server.

The final item is that your "layout" of your fields and details panels (and that proxy path) can all be stored as a production group in the server so that when someone logs in, it loads your "look" and layout and access privileges. That's not a problem in a small rig, but you can imagine that in a larger system it's a big deal. As it stands, if someone on the client end edits a clip in your setup, there's no notification and their copy is simply wrong. So be careful of that. A silly user could really wreck things. (what? a silly user? there are no such things in production!!!)

I think that with some careful management, and a good backup, you can get this running. The reason I lay all this out is not to "sell" you on Server, I just want to be ahead of the problems a bit so CatDV doesn't get blamed for being a "bad" system. We have fixes for all of the above items and more but as you said, you have to get them used to the idea.

Good luck and stay tuned!


bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Vince Sanchez
Re: Can we do this? Yes We can! Now a small question
on Jun 15, 2010 at 4:47:02 pm

Bryson,thanks for the input. I agree that the server option would be best for "headquarters", as that would be the place to collect all the archives into one catalog, and its the option I'm pressing for them to do.
As far as putting the catalog out of sync, what we are dealing with are archived drives. Once a finished show is archived those drives are never written to again. This project is a way for the EP and Marketing dept to know what's on a drive in order to search for a clip from a particular event and then have the production house that has the archive pull the shot from the archive.
Our facility houses about 80% of the archives so while it would be nice for us to have this in a server catalog its not really a big deal as we look for shots based on a particular event in a particular year, so we'd go right to a specific catalog to start searching.


Thanks,
Vince Sanchez
Intel Quad Mac 2.66
AJA LHe
HD link
OSX 10.4.11
FCP Studio 2


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bryson jones
Re: Can we do this? Yes We can! Now a small question
on Jun 16, 2010 at 5:38:08 pm

Man, it sounds like you've got it licked for now. Keep us posted as to how it rolls out over time. So cool to see a new shop come on line.

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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