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Chris Harlan
The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 8:38:38 pm

Behold! The Cloud is upon us, and if thee do not prepare thyself, and the rushing cloud beats against thee, thine flesh shall be ripped from thine bones, and yea, thee shall die the horrible, horrible death of one who just does not get it.

We're getting a lot of talk about "the cloud" and FCP X, as if FCP X is somehow the Prophet of the Cloud. So, I want to say a few things about "the cloud."

First, imho, "the Cloud"=sales buzzword on steroids. If you have ever taken IP or Networking classes, you will know that when flow charting or diagraming network processes, the symbol used for either the Internet or a larger irrelevant part of your own network is a cute little line drawing of a cloud. That cloud symbolizes that there are a lot of twists and turns--some of them possibly arbitrary--between steps D and E that exist but are unnecessary to understand the processes you are charting. This has been standard nomenclature for two decades. Pick up an IP text book and you will find it. So, that's where "the Cloud" comes from.

Second, "the Cloud" isn't anything in particular. It just sounds more exciting/scary than saying "a bunch of VERY unrelated processes and procedures, ranging from thin client computing to offsite storage and backup, that take place over the Internet. Frankly, most of the time someone uses "Cloud" as a descriptor, the word "Internet" would be a better choice, offering more clarity to the listener.

Thin Client Computing is what many people mean when they say "cloud." It is an idea that has been around for more than two decades, and was championed by Oracle back in the 90's. With Thin Client you either A) remotely run a program from a server, or B) temporarily borrow or rent the program from a server to use on your client. These are old ideas that have been around for decades, but have been given a huge new life due to smart phones and other mobile device.

The other mainstays of the "Cloud"are file transfer, storage, and backup. There is nothing new about any of this other than it is being done over a much larger network. This network will not magically poof into a cloud. It will never be more fast or trustworthy than the weakest, slowest link between you and your material. After last year's Amazon debacle, ask anyone who lost data/dailies/prints how super comfy they are about the puffiness of the cloud. None of what I'm saying means that I think we aren't making great advances. I do. I just don't think there is anything magic or new about them.

As to FCP X and the cloud, I don't see anything particularly special or innovative about it that makes it more suitable for a networked world than any of its competitors. In fact, I would say that from what I have seen, it is well behind Avid in developing "cloud" tools. Last year at SMPTE, Avid was the only NLE player there showing "cloud" tools. It was a cool demo, which I guess they repeated again at NAB

http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/NABrealtime/story/avids_web_based_ed...


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Bob Woodhead
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 9:43:01 pm

The Cloud is a bunch of hot air (as far as video storage for editing goes).

Nothing to see here.... move along....


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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 9:48:12 pm

For the last several years, I've been using the MobileMe iDisk on all my Apple products. Among other things, it allowed me to upload completed client videos, which I could later share from my iPhone via the iDisk app from any place in the world. Or, I could put things on the iDisk such as my custom FCP settings etc., so I could have them available instantly at any client's facility anywhere in the world. It is very handy, and I have figured a zillion ways to make it useful in my business, but now it's going away, and Apple's iCloud is replacing it sometime within a matter of months.

As a precursor to the Cloud, I loved iDisk, in spite of its slow servers, and I'm really hoping the Cloud does all the things I like and lots more. However, it seems to me, to be truly useful, there is going to have to be either much great bandwidth on the Internet, or some type of very fast and automated down-rezing of video before it's sent on its way to the Cloud.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Chris Harlan
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:31:56 pm

[David Roth Weiss] " I've been using the MobileMe iDisk on all my Apple products"

Yeah, I've been using iDisk for client approval since just after it first came out. It has been a VERY handy pseudo-ftp site for me. I will truly miss it. I'll start looking in March for a replacement, unless they do backtrack, which I kind of hope they will.


[David Roth Weiss] "However, it seems to me, to be truly useful, there is going to have to be either much great bandwidth on the Internet, or some type of very fast and automated down-rezing of video before it's sent on its way to the Cloud."

Some of the stuff that is happening with companies like Aspera are pretty impressive. One of my very large clients uses them to routinely deliver broadcast materials. Here's a rundown on their data transfer:

http://www.asperasoft.com/en/technology/fasp_overview_1/fasp_technology_ove...


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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:37:23 pm

q[Chris Harlan] "Some of the stuff that is happening with companies like Aspera are pretty impressive. One of my very large clients uses them to routinely deliver broadcast materials."

There was no mention of price Chris, so I'm guessing it's go to be pretty darned expensive. Any idea how expensive?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Chris Harlan
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:48:11 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "There was no mention of price Chris, so I'm guessing it's go to be pretty darned expensive. Any idea how expensive?
"


Oh, yes! As far as I know they are currently priced well out of mine and most mere mortals' leagues. I think you need to do a huge volume business to make it worthwhile. But I believe there are now companies that are buying into their service and offering transfer to mortals like us. Tim Wilson posted a link to a company that seemed to be doing exactly that. I'll see if I can find it.


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Chris Harlan
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:55:46 pm

Actually, I was off. Time was referencing Prime Focus, which does seem to use Aspera as I suggested, but for only slightly less big companies.


TIM: Prime Focus's pricing is more for corporate customers (BIG corporate customers), but I would expect to see solutions that scale down in the very near future.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 12:08:44 am

[Chris Harlan] "Actually, I was off. Time was referencing Prime Focus, which does seem to use Aspera as I suggested, but for only slightly less big companies.
"


This is one of those things we've been hearing about and that has been promised to us for so many years that I can't even remember when I started getting excited about it. However, after years of waiting, I'm growing skeptical now and wondering if we'll ever see anything that's truly affordable for us mortals in our lifetimes.

Just think, maybe someday you and I "may" be exchanging similar messages questioning whether FCP X will ever deliver in our lifetimes.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Tony Brittan
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 12:34:14 pm

I read that Apple is considering continuing iDisk and other MobileMe features if there is enough customer feedback. Tim Cook actually had his office call a customer, who complained, back and told him that. So...let's get on it! I use it fir my clients ALL he time in much the same way you've described. And would be happy to continue to pay for it!


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Andy Neil
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 9:50:57 pm

Thanks for that Chris. I never understood where that damn term came from. It all of a sudden just started being used in all kinds of computer commercials. I put it in the same category as Hemi. To this day, I still don't know what a hemi is and why I should knock down old ladies to get one in my truck.

The more I learned about "cloud" computing, to more I kept wondering whether or not I was missing something. Surely there had to be more to it than what I was already doing with my computer? I guess not.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Steve Connor
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 9:53:48 pm

A recent email from Tim Cook has stated that Apple might not be averse to putting back some of the missing MobileMe features in iCloud, hopefully iDisk will be one of them as I have been using it as well

"My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user"


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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 10:01:24 pm

[Steve Connor] "A recent email from Tim Cook has stated that Apple might not be averse to putting back some of the missing MobileMe features in iCloud, hopefully iDisk will be one of them as I have been using it as well"

That would be terrific.

[Steve Connor] ""My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user""

My name is David and I'm a FCP 7 junkie - I shot up FCP X and didn't feel a thing.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Craig Seeman
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 10:10:50 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "[Steve Connor] "A recent email from Tim Cook has stated that Apple might not be averse to putting back some of the missing MobileMe features in iCloud, hopefully iDisk will be one of them as I have been using it as well"

That would be terrific."


In fact one of gripes about Apple is that they keep the mantra of "optical disk is dying" yet seem to have made no effort to create an alternate delivery method for professionals (business to business).

[David Roth Weiss] "[Steve Connor] ""My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user""

My name is David and I'm a FCP 7 junkie - I shot up FCP X and didn't feel a thing."


It must be too dilute for you. Apple must increase the dosage concentration for those inured.



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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 10:16:35 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Apple must increase the dosage concentration for those inured."

And, it had best come very quickly, as many like me are suffering withdrawal symptoms and we need a fix of the good stuff ASAP.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Craig Seeman
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 10:03:48 pm

[Chris Harlan] "FCP X is somehow the Prophet of the Cloud"

Maybe FCPX Profit from the Cloud.

[Chris Harlan] "As to FCP X and the cloud, I don't see anything particularly special or innovative about it that makes it more suitable for a networked world than any of its competitors."

I think Apple has server/san support as a means to connect to a metadata project media control brain but that's all speculation. The speculation is fueled in me precisely because of what FCPX lacks. The whole metadata database seems to be missing a "controller." It doesn't make any sense to me that FCPX would be designed that way unless there's intent to add it later. Of course some one say it's just plain missing and that's that. I just don't think Apple is that stupid.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 10:09:21 pm

Here's a real live example. How about a rendering cloud?

http://news.creativecow.net/story/867132


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Bob Woodhead
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 10:33:33 pm

That's quite different from a storage cloud. There've been render clouds for years in 3D.

The problem is the poor bandwidth we have in the US for Internet.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 10:58:00 pm

[Bob Woodhead] "That's quite different from a storage cloud"

Absolutely. Just an example of moving large files around via internets is all.

Bandwidth is certainly the limitation of all of this.


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Gary Huff
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:04:19 pm

[Jeremy Garchow]Bandwidth is certainly the limitation of all of this.

And data caps.

I love how there are those spouting the "Kid with the laptop" as being the future of video production and then turning right around to praise The Cloud, when the kid with the laptop is probably MANY years away from being able to upload typical DSLR footage without it taking forever.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:07:24 pm

[Gary Huff] "I love how there are those spouting the "Kid with the laptop" as being the future of video production and then turning right around to praise The Cloud, when the kid with the laptop is probably MANY years away from being able to upload typical DSLR footage without it taking forever."

We talked about this in another thread. Uploading proxies is not out of the realm of possibility.


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Chris Harlan
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:16:31 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Uploading proxies is not out of the realm of possibility."

Agreed. That proxy web editor that Avid was showing off last year was pretty cool.


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Gary Huff
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 12:04:48 am

[Jeremy Garchow]We talked about this in another thread. Uploading proxies is not out of the realm of possibility.

So how do you get your deliverable then? I guess the program itself would have to support transcoding your local files, but then you lose the speed reason why you'd use the cloud in the first place (rendering).


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Bill Davis
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 12:48:23 am

Depends on what your definition of "deliverable" is.

Shoot as much HD in the field as you need. Proxy that to the cloud if you need to share footage with others, keep it local if not.

Cut your project.

If it's a spot or a short length work, Sync only the deliverable in full res as an upload for distribution.

If it's a longer length edit like a TV show or a documentary, somebody has to take delivery of the full rez source files, load them locally, download or load that that proxy in suite to conform a master - and distribute that by something with enough bandwidth to make sense. Satellite, optical line, or Fed Ex - whatever works and the client can afford.

I will say that in my corporate training work over the past two decades, program length has dropped dramatically.

I used to commonly do corporate training programs in 30-40 minute lengths.

I haven't done a piece (outside of convention coverage where they want the troops to get a wide view of the entire event) that's been longer than 8 minutes in about 3 years.

My typical deliverable is averaging between 3 and 5 minutes these days - likely because all the client's want it to be web accessible.

The trends I'm seeing are: Shorter delivered masters. Huge increases in compression delivery algorithm efficiency, and increasing need for distributed production. (Clients want me to go to them to discuss and tweek edits, not stop what they're doing and come to me.)

These are some of the fundamental shifts that I'm seeing.

Combine these elements with the need for increasing team web collaboration and delivery format agility and I think thats why tools like FCP-X will find a place. Laptop friendly. Compression agile. It's perhaps a RISC editor? Pared down to what's required for the average real world job - and to become that, they had to stop trying to be the perfect uber-Hollywood all-in-one suite tool.

Just things to consider.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 5:45:44 am

[Gary Huff] "So how do you get your deliverable then? I guess the program itself would have to support transcoding your local files, but then you lose the speed reason why you'd use the cloud in the first place (rendering)."

To have full res locally or really close by.

Ship/keep a drive(s) well in advance to your finishing location and do what you need to do. Look at FCPX's proxy creation. Now, imagine that ProRes proxy was uploadable. A simple reconnect and done. Color, sound, interchange, whatever and you're back to whatever quality was shot.

In other words, the "cloud" or whatever it's called/technically referencing (IP Storage) would simply send all "info" minus video data back to you, to easily reconnect to your local machine.

Some VFX/ Graphics might have to be done local @ full res or offer an easy way to rebuild those in full res if created in the cloud upon your conform back to local.


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kim krause
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 8:47:04 pm

try south africa where our internet speed is about 1/10th of yours and we pay 5 times as much....


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 18, 2011 at 2:10:38 am

I hear you loud and clear, Kim. I did a recent project for a company in the Central African Republic. We set everything up for them to make Skype calls to me (first warning - no video on Skype calls, not enough bandwidth).

I let them know that I had a 50GB Dropbox account, so there would be no problem sending approvals files, and then final delivery. As it turned out, the approvals files (at 640 x 360) sometimes took four to six hours to download (they only have dialup in Bangui), and sometimes they didn't go through at all on the first shot, when there were interruptions in service. I ended up sending the entire final delivery package via FedEx on a LaCie 500GB tough drive. It took about six days, about the same amount of time it would have taken downloading from Dropbox. Oh well. Live and learn.

So I guess in our discussions of the Cloud, we should remember that the "Cloud", as it stands, is totally different depending on where you live.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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kim krause
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 18, 2011 at 7:55:42 am

welcome to my world!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 18, 2011 at 1:13:11 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "So I guess in our discussions of the Cloud, we should remember that the "Cloud", as it stands, is totally different depending on where you live."

Absolutely. It always comes down to bandwidth.


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Chris Harlan
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:14:53 pm

With proper bandwidth throughout, distribution across the Internet to an off-site render farm might make perfect sense for an operation, that swells in size several times a year. But this is, of course my point, about "The Cloud." If I say off-site rendering over the Internet, everyone knows exactly what I'm talking about, but its not as sexy or mysterious as "Cloud Rendering." "Cloud" is sales jargon that clouds communication and understanding.


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 1:40:14 am

The reality is that today there are two cloud computing NLE concepts: Avid and Quantel. Both are currently delivering products. Apple in the form of FCP and FCP X still hasn't figured out project sharing.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 1:49:45 am

I saw the Avid version at SMPTE last year. I thought it was pretty cool. I didn't know it was delivering. I have not seen Quantel's but would certainly be interested in doing so.


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 1:55:51 am

[Chris Harlan] ". I have not seen Quantel's but would certainly be interested in doing so"

It's their QTube product.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Chris Conlee
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 1:49:16 am

The shows I'm working on are all so security conscious that I don't see them wanting to store any dailies online in the foreseeable future. We do use DAX once in a while, but even that is used sparingly.

Chris


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Chris Harlan
Re: The Cloud
on Sep 17, 2011 at 1:53:35 am

[Chris Conlee] "The shows I'm working on are all so security conscious that I don't see them wanting to store any dailies online in the foreseeable future. We do use DAX once in a while, but even that is used sparingly.

Chris
"


Yeah, I see some of that too. A safe to lock everything away at the end of the evening, and the notion that I might take a GRAID with me to do some work an abominable thought to the powers that be.


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