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Workflow for sharing Motion templates?

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William Davis
Workflow for sharing Motion templates?
on May 24, 2013 at 6:10:59 pm

We have FCP X systems connected to an Xsan volume, and I'm wondering if anyone has a workflow suggestion for keeping custom Motion templates in sync between systems.

I've looked into creating a "master" folder on the Xsan and using the Terminal to create a symbolic link to each user's local drive (as suggested by MacBreak Studio and others). It works in theory, but it seems a little dangerous to have more than one person accessing the same files at the same time.

I've also tried some folder level syncing solutions to automate the process of keeping each local library up to date with what's on the server. So far nothing does quite what I'm hoping it would, and I think the Xsan is introducing permissions issues that make certain templates inaccessible for certain users.

Is there anything I'm missing?

Thanks much,
Bill


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John Davidson
Re: Workflow for sharing Motion templates?
on May 24, 2013 at 6:53:49 pm

The automatic syncing solution was mentioned to me several times after we made the walk throughs. I prefer to let individual editors update their machines when ready. An updated or tweaked template that gets automatically synced could wreak havoc on an edit in progress. We train everybody to keep on top of their own updates. It takes more effort, but also eliminates nasty surprises.

We do maintain a master database of templates on the NAS server. Then each person copies over locally when ready/able.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Patrice Freymond
Re: Workflow for sharing Motion templates?
on May 24, 2013 at 7:58:58 pm

What we've been doing with 5 edit rooms using FCP7 and Motion on an XSan was to have the templates saved on the Xsan.

The editor would copy them locally to use for the edit. Whenever new templates were created by an editor he would, at the end of his session, save back the whole template folder to the Xsan thus updating it.

This worked as we had folders of templates on a "per show" basis and no show gets edited by 2 editors the same day in multiple rooms.

I imagine that in a similar situation the same workflow can apply to FCPX (a concept I am about to test as we will soon move those rooms to FCPX/Motion 5).


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Workflow for sharing Motion templates?
on May 25, 2013 at 11:29:51 am

One thing you should think about is the way Motion 5 and the old Motion save the templates. In legacy the save path was in the /Library with Motion 5 it is the user movie folder.
So with FCPX you better move manually or by script a custom template before you use it in any project to the matching folder in /Library. Otherwise you will be in serious trouble in a collaborative environment.

-Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Keith Koby
Re: Workflow for sharing Motion templates?
on May 28, 2013 at 3:04:59 pm

We've tried the symbolic link workflow. It works, but it's not great. Anytime a system adds a plugin for example, the rest will get a message on next startup that fcpx is restarting to reflect changes. It makes you nervous as an admin. Anyone might, at any point, open up the template to edit something and adversely affect the rest of the facility. Better to have them actually live local.

We are now creating installer packages with the motion template folder and any fonts that are used and letting the editors install individual templates themselves. All of those components are stored in the editor's home directory so no admin credentials are necessary. We keep the installer packages on the san and make a link to them on a wiki so that updates can be tracked.

It is useful to have one person be the master creator of motion templates so that naming conventions and theme naming conventions are consistent.

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


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William Davis
Re: Workflow for sharing Motion templates?
on May 28, 2013 at 3:34:44 pm

Thanks to all for the valuable feedback. I will be hammering out a workflow for our facility that involves more manual updating than I had originally planned. There seems to be an opening here for Apple or a 3rd party to come up with a server-side solution for managing custom templates (not to mention events and projects themselves) in a multi-user environment.

Bill


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Keith Koby
Re: Workflow for sharing Motion templates?
on May 29, 2013 at 11:44:52 am

We also need motion to be aware of roles so that custom roles can be assigned to templates and carried through into fcp x.

(I'm leaving extra space so this sinks in bc it is so important...)



There are companies making tools to manage sharing and organization via xml. The big issue here is that not all information is accurately carried in the xml - the biggest problems for us are font, font position, justification and even sizing.

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


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Workflow for sharing Motion templates?
on May 29, 2013 at 12:25:56 pm

Keith,

There are no roles in Motion XMLs, though you can apply a theme.

Using FCPXML always resets all values to the basic settings of the Motion Template since there is no information in the FCPXML about any parameter settings.

Using symbolic links (as mentioned above) is quite a pain as they only work for files and not for folders.

-Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Keith Koby
Re: Workflow for sharing Motion templates?
on May 29, 2013 at 3:48:20 pm

[Andreas Kiel] "There are no roles in Motion XMLs, though you can apply a theme."

I wasn't referring to motion xmls. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I was referring to Motion generator fcpx templates when talking about the lack of role support in motion.

As for XMLs I was referring to fcpxml and problems with text formatting.

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


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Workflow for sharing Motion templates?
on May 29, 2013 at 4:54:10 pm

[Keith wrote]I wasn't referring to motion xmls. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I was referring to Motion generator fcpx templates when talking about the lack of role support in motion.

As for XMLs I was referring to fcpxml and problems with text formatting.


Sorry I just gave a quick reply and haven't been detailed enough.

With .fxpml files you can save several metadata including roles but no parameters for any Motion Template.
Exporting an XML and re-import it will set all of the parameters to their default settings. I personally don't like that.

One thing you can do with text stuff is to create a role like "Helvetica-44-bottom". So you can select all of these clips and apply those settings.
A "Helvetica-44-bottom-left" will work as well but won't help since FCPX can't apply horizontal alignment to multiple clips. You still can do it 1 by 1.

-Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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