A little OT: Asset Managers
Looking for some thoughts on assent management systems. Here's the catch: must be Premiere Pro compatible.
I know, it's an FCP group. And I dearly wish I were looking for a setup for an FCP X facility. (Actually, I'd probably just get Keyflow Pro and call it a day. Hey, John Davidson!)
But I know many of you use Premiere as well as X, and I trust your judgement -- well, most of you, at least 😉
So please chime in with discussion of asset management systems that work with PPro CC. 10-12 edit bays, 4-5 graphics stations, various execs and managers, a mix of HD, 2K, and 4K, all for broadcast output. Probably working with a TerraBlock or equivalent.
I've looked into Cantemo Portal a bit. What else is out there?
Thanks in advance.
CatDV and Axel
David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.
Thoughts on relative merits and drawbacks of each?
Personally, I think DAMs are a kind of a weird category right now.
Current DAM traditions all pretty much stem from the "networked shops" era - where proprietary protocols and a "walled garden" approach was king. But the coming era just seems way more "distributed" than that.
Collaboration seems to be shifting from exclusively in service to "all internal work groups" to a "smaller internal work groups extended with external contributors" model. A necessary reaction to what's possible with increasingly fast and pervasive connectivity?
Just off the top of my head. I could be totally wrong. Maybe editing as a team sport will be the way everything continues to be done in the future. It just seems that ad hoc teams is where we're inevitably going since the advantages of things like chasing time zones for 24 hour operations and tapping into a global pool of talent will drive better results than getting space in a building and paying for desks for everyone in it.
Time will tell.
Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.
What are some of the features you are looking for Jeff? By that I mean, do you want the execs and managers to be able to watch the raw footage, attach notes/markers and put together string outs/selects reels for the editors? Do you want any 'project locking' features so that two editors can't accidentally be working in the same PPro project at the same time? Do you want to have client review features? Do you want something that can easily work with LTO for archival? If someone is offsite should they be able to remote into the system via a web interface?
This is a broadcast promo operation that currently has no real system at all. They are rapidly growing and trying to get with a modern program, but need help. I'm the help!
Their current SAN is way too small and barely organized. Lots of old footage that needs to be cleaned out. It's Gigabit Ethernet, designed for DVCPro broadcast files. It's way too slow and unreliable to deal with the 2k and 4k footage that is increasingly the norm. There is no useable or thought-out system for tagging or organization currently in place. Edit bays are mostly working with local drives out of self defense, to stay off of the SAN. I'm told a new, larger SAN (probably Facilis TerraBlock) is on the way, with fiber connectivity to the trashcan Macs.
So: the need is to organize existing and incoming footage.
1. Tags, descriptions, etc.
2. Make it searchable.
3. Be able to create the equivalent of smart collections or playlists to bring into editing projects.
4. Allow for rough cuts and finished spots to go back into the system.
5. Needs to include graphics, vo, music and sfx.
6. Raw footage should be searchable and viewable by anyone from any platform. Spots too.
7. A notes and approval mechanism would be nice.
8. Some path to archiving in the near future.
I would be in favor of an LTO based online/near-offline/deep-offline model, but I doubt their budget will support it. I suspect backing up to stacks of drives is the most likely near-term scenario. Also, I don't think they're ready to wrap their heads around a remote or web-based access concept yet. Baby steps.
Essentially, Avid Interplay. Or at least Grass Valley Stratus. As I said, if this were FCPX, Keyflow Pro would be great.
I've looked into Cantemo Portal, and it seems to have a lot of the features. I don't know enough about the other systems yet.
Any suggestions welcome.
Certainly looks like you have your work cut out for you. My only recent experience is with FORK and I don't think that would fit the bill for what you are looking for. EditShare would like let you kill two birds with one stone (storage and DAM), but it sounds like they've already purchased the storage. Will they cut native or will everything get transcoded prior to editing into a codec like ProRes?
Besides Bill's suggestion of Bob Zelin, I would also suggest reaching out to Michael Kammes if you are on Twitter (@michaelkammes). He's an integrator out here in LA so NLEs, DAMs and SANs are his thing and he's very keen on sharing info/experience.
You may have already guessed this, but I think your biggest hurdle is going to them into the habit of keeping their media organized (especially if there are no assistant editors or media managers). When I've done workflow development in the past I always had my 'this it how it should work' dream version in my head but I always had to ratchet it down (sometimes way down) to reach the 'this is how it's going to work in reality' version. haha
It takes work upfront to stay organized and many are reluctant to put that work in (especially when deadlines looming and they feel the pressure to get it down NOW).
I don't disagree. In this case, however, we're looking at stepping back in time several years. Essentially, trying to adapt a local news operation infrastructure and mentality to a station group/mini-network promo/marketing agenda. I think it's going to require some heavy lifting. The fact that they recently went from FCP 7 to Premiere is disappointing, but it was decided before my appearance on the scene. So I'm dealing with the cards that have been dealt.
So this is very much in the large internal work group model. Collaborators come here. But I don't think there's any need for proprietary solutions. At least I hope not. The more open the better. I want to see this operation future-proofed as much as possible.
No I get it. You gotta do what the client wants to do.
I know that the LumaForge guys do Premiere Pro as well as AVID - so it might be useful to chat with them. I can hook you up with Sam Mestman and the crew in LA if you just want to pick more shared storage for video brains.
Also the Cow's own Bob Zelin would probably have some great ideas.
Good luck in your search.
Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.
Have you taken a serious look at Adobe Bridge? It sounds like just what you need, and you already have it if you have Premiere Pro. I ran the art department of an ABC affiliate, supplying projects for News, Promotions, and Commercial Production, tracking upwards of 300,000 assets, from art elements, music, scripts, 3D assets, and video, and was able to put my hands on any project within minutes!
Here's a link to an article I wrote for the COW a few years ago:
I agree with David Weiss -
and of course Key Flow Pro (as per John Davidson and FCP-X)
The other solutions are too complex and expensive.
Just remember, the real expense of any asset management system is the LABOR required to put into this.
Editors see this already pre logged, and say "WOW - I have to have this"- -they don't realize that someone spent
months or years logging and tagging all of their clips, so that when you type in keywords like "home run"
or "foul ball", or a players name, or a combination of a player with a sponsor, someone has manually entered that into the asset management program. There ain't no free lunch here. You are really paying for someone's labor, to make the life of the editors and producers easier. (find me all the interview shots of Jorge Soler)
Rescue 1, Inc.
Hi Bob, and all who have responded...
Thanks for the input. So far Axle and Cantemo seem like they may be the best fit for this group. I like Axle's "hands off" approach to the existing file structures. But I also like Cantemo's "related files" functionality, since many of these projects will be revisited multiple times over the course of a year. Both worth pursuing, I think.
I know this is going to be like pulling teeth. Devising a system may be the easy part. Enforcing the process will probably be a minor nightmare. Everyone's always in a hurry, and I'm sure they "just won't have the time" to do the tagging and follow the rules. Unfortunately, it may devolve to me to crack the whip! We'll see.
And I know cost will be an issue as well. What fun.