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Re: update on Shared storage, workgroup capability?

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

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Keith Koby
Re: update on Shared storage, workgroup capability?
on Feb 21, 2013 at 6:18:16 pm

We have a lot of users (like 35 edit stations) on an xsan volume. Only about 6 or so users have moved over to using fcpx so far, but we are finding success with it and we are planning on moving more over. It's still growing as an app, but it is definitely useable on a facility level. Here's some of our findings:

As mentioned in someone else's post, we too use san locations basically in the same regard as a fcp7 project. You can open and close an fcp7 analogous "project" by adding and removing san locations. Note that a san location is one user at a time.

The san locations where the projects are stored are on the san is in a parallel directory to fcp7 project files. You have to make sure that the storage pool where you locate your san locations is beefy enough to keep render files and play them out! If you use presstore to back up/archive your projects, you can tell it to ignore the high res media folders in order to not back up/archive renders along with your projects.

We store our media centrally and do not want it copied into the event folder. If that's the way you want to do it, make sure to turn off "copy imported media into event" in the preferences. When that is off, it will just drop an alias in the event folder.

To share projects between users like you would in fcp7 by duping a project file, you can create a new san location folder and then use the project browser to copy the project and referenced events into the new san location. This works pretty well. The user working on the copy should start a new event for materials they add if you want to consolidate everything back to the original. You can also export and import xmls from one project/event to another. And compound clips are good for moving pieces of a larger project back and forth.

Besides pointing all users to a master set of generators created in motion, we are also finding it useful to import xmls for our master sets of graphics which are pre-rolled. This way we have consistency on a facility level for role and sub role naming conventions. Also whenever an update to a graphics package occurs, it is simply a new xml that we deposit in the xml repository. The next project an editor creates, they will import the new graphics master xml.

Exporting with roles and making bundle destinations is handy in x for a facility that does variation work like promos. Check into that... But it's also handy for exporting texted and textless masters as well as multitrack audio splits of full length shows or assets.

Also, you should check out what is going on with Cantemo Portal. They are a MAM system that has an xml export that feeds into fcpx as an event. So you collect assets in the mam, and then send that collection to fcpx as an event. It brings along ranges that have been annotated in the mam as keyword ranges in fcpx. I believe catdv has something going on with fcpx as well, but I'm not certain.

One last benefit that I'm seeing is the cost per edit station is going down. FCPX runs really fast on a good iMac. We've started outfitting new stations with iMac 27s and using thunderbolt devices for IO and fiber rather than macpros with pci-e cards. Also thunderbolt minis are perfectly capable of being used for capture stations where you used to use a tower... It will be interesting to run the numbers again when and if a new macpro is released.

Keith Koby
Sr. Director Post-Production Engineering
Howard TV!/Movies On Demand/iNDEMAND Pay-Per-View/iNDEMAND 3D

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