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X vs Pr on multi-editor project

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Chad Greene
X vs Pr on multi-editor project
on Apr 19, 2018 at 1:56:29 am

About four years ago I chose to switch our shop to FCPX instead of Premiere. We have been happy with that decision. We cut long form documentaries. Recently we have been handing pieces back and forth between multiple editors and have found it to be bumpy. Now I am being asked to reconsider Premiere.

Do any of you work closely with multiple editors on projects? Do you have success in X? What are your technics? How do you share proxies with offsite editors?

Do you prefer Pr? Why/how?


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Michael Gissing
Re: X vs Pr on multi-editor project
on Apr 19, 2018 at 2:07:33 am

Are they the only two choices?


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Joe Marler
Re: X vs Pr on multi-editor project
on Apr 19, 2018 at 11:53:52 am

[Chad Greene] "About four years ago I chose to switch our shop to FCPX instead of Premiere. We have been happy with that decision. We cut long form documentaries. Recently we have been handing pieces back and forth between multiple editors and have found it to be bumpy. Now I am being asked to reconsider Premiere.

Do any of you work closely with multiple editors on projects? Do you have success in X? What are your technics? How do you share proxies with offsite editors?

Do you prefer Pr? Why/how?"


I also used Premiere CS4-CS6 and now FCPX for large documentaries with multiple concurrent editors. I still have CC and use it occasionally for testing but not production.

FCPX is really good at unscripted projects with high shooting ratios like documentaries. There's a good argument that the rapid skimming and tagging features are more important than the magnetic timeline.

The FCPX multi-editor workflow can be complex when external proxies are involved and when the collaborators are not constantly connected via high-speed LAN. The external proxy workflow was obviously not a design priority since it involves some limitations, convoluted steps and there's limited UI support. E.g, relink is not reliable when using external proxies. However we make this work fairly well, including sending metadata and timeline updates via XML. In this scenario some editors have proxy only media and others have full resolution.

While "collaborative editing" often refers to timeline editing, with FCPX (esp. on docs) much of the time and labor on a large project is during the lengthy pre-edit organizational phase. There has been much discussion of continuously connected, LAN-type collaboration and less discussion of geographically distributed internet-type collaboration.

The collaborative editing workspace can be categorized in four quadrants: the organizational phase and the editing phase, and for each of those two, the workgroup can be geographically co-located on a LAN or geographically distributed on a slower link, possibly intermittently connected. The procedures for each of these are different.

Each of those four cases can be further classified by whether the collaboration is partitioned and non-conflicting or concurrent and potentially conflicting. E.g, separate assistant editors each working in their own event to rate/keyword metadata are non-conflicting even though their work may be concurrent. Different editors on the same timeline isn't supported, although they can each be working on separate projects which might be a previously-agreed portion of the overall timeline.

Our latest documentary is quite large - 230 hr of 4k H264 material comprising about 7,500 clips and 20 terabytes inc'l proxies. This is mostly in a single library, segregated by about nine different events. The geographically distributed editors all have a copy of the media, some of them proxy only.

Due to the amount of material, the pre-edit organizational phase is significantly more labor-intensive than the edit itself. So in this case we needed multiple collaborating assistant editors to devise and apply a consistent keywording and rating system. Once devised, that work could happen in parallel across multiple events and the updates could be gathered via event XMLs.

A limitation is FCPX does not properly handle XML updates if the underlying clips have duplicate filenames. Even though it applies a "uniqueifier" suffix upon import, it still gets confused if sending metadata updates via XML and will create spurious duplicate clips. Thus our workflow must include a careful renaming of all files before import to ensure they are globally unique. Use use "A Better Finder Rename" for this: http://www.publicspace.net/ABetterFinderRename/

The data org includes syncing multicam clips and selecting the proper audio source. This mostly happens before editing begins but it can overlap. Once in the edit phase, we can still (carefully) send updates via XML such as a missing multicam or a new keyword collection. Updating metadata when two people are in the same event can be tricky, so we use MergeX which has some limitations but works pretty well: http://www.merge.software

There is no support in FCPX for "event locking" or anything like that. We must manually coordinate who is working in what event. However it can be done and works fairly well.

The latest Premiere CC has "collaborative editing" called Team Projects. However it seems focused on the sequence or timeline phase of post production. It includes conflict resolution if two editors edit the same timeline, but apparently has no fine-grained locking within the timeline. IOW it knows if two editors alter the same timeline and either keeps one, the other or both versions. You can do that with FCPX (IOW edit the different timelines in the same event) and send XML files, but it must be done manually. Here's a user review "Premiere Proxy Workflow with Adobe Team Projects":







The advantage is it doesn't require additional hardware. For FCPX in a LAN environment there is the Lumaforge solution: https://lumaforge.com/workflow/

Others have experimented with various FCPX methods: http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/1938-collaborative-workflow-with-f...

I think it's fair to say that Premiere CC now has a built-in solution that doesn't require extra hardware. I don't know how good a fit that is for a large documentary that consumes more labor hours in up-front tagging and classifying than it does in timeline editing. The Premiere solution is cloud-based, so it could supposedly work across geographically distributed editors. This likely assumes they all start with physical copies of the same media. Premiere now has proxy support.

I'd like to see more collaborative workflow features in FCPX, and not just those designed for LAN-type collaboration with co-located editors. This would involve better support for external proxies, relinking, fixing the XML problem for duplicate filenames, some type of check in/ check out locking system for assets, something like MergeX built in, and similar to Adobe would probably be cloud-based. However up to now most recent FCPX new features have been client-facing and UI centric. Maybe that's in line with what users want: Out of the 128 feature requests on http://fcpx.tv/top.html, the word "collaborate" is not mentioned.

However in the real world, collaborative work is important -- even for smaller projects.


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Oliver Peters
Re: X vs Pr on multi-editor project
on Apr 19, 2018 at 6:25:11 pm

I work on a daily basis with other editors in a Premiere-based collaborative environment, where we have 8 systems connected to a common shared storage solution (NAS). We do not use Team Projects, as this is a cloud-based workflow, which doesn't really do us any good. All of our projects and media are on the NAS.

On the NAS, under current Adobe software, anyone can open any project. You can have multiple project files open at the same time. Whoever opens a project first, has write permission. The next person(s) to open that same project will have read-only access to it. If you open or access a read-only project, then you can import or drag sequences, content, etc, into your own open project. You can also juggle read-write permissions between users. If you've ever worked in an Avid shared environment, then this is similar, except that an Adobe project is comparable to an Avid bin.

I have also worked on a film collaboratively with FCPX. There you cannot have the same Library open simultaneously by two or more editors at the same time. But there are various workarounds that people have devised. If you are working independent of each other on separate systems with local storage, then interchange should be pretty easy, but you should leave the media in place (external to the Library) and your folder structure on the two sets of drives should be identical. In addition, relinking will be helped if both sets of drives are also named the same.

Both apps will work for you. I personally feel that Premiere is better for collaboration, but FCPX will work. Whichever way you go, test your workflow before you proceed.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Trevor Asquerthian
Re: X vs Pr on multi-editor project
on Apr 19, 2018 at 6:39:18 pm

You might want to look at that Avid thing too. Apparently a few people have managed to edit shared assets on it recently.



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Mark Raudonis
Re: X vs Pr on multi-editor project
on Apr 21, 2018 at 3:21:27 am

[Trevor Asquerthian] "Apparently a few people have managed to edit shared assets on it recently.
"


That's funny!

mark


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