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Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows

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Brett Sherman
Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows
on Jun 21, 2013 at 3:56:36 pm

Maybe I'm just dense, but it took me awhile to figure this out. So in case anyone else hasn't.

If I have a project that pulls from from many different sparse bundles. I create a folder within the project sparse bundle called "Bundles to Launch". Then I Cmd-Opt drag all the volumes being used in the project into that folder creating Alias' for them. Then when you open that folder in the future, the OS automatically mounts all the volumes for you so you don't have to search around and manually open them.

Also let me make a plug for NeoFinder again. http://www.cdfinder.de/index.html

This is enormously helpful because it catalogs files and thumbnails WITHIN sparse bundles. This let's you examine or search for content within your sparse bundles without having to launch them. And when you double click a file in it, it automatically launches the sparse bundle.


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Daniel Bernard
Re: Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows
on Jun 21, 2013 at 4:05:00 pm

Have you been working for a while with FCPX and Sparse bundles?

I was the first workflow we worked on at my job but we ended up changing how we manage things around. Quick test with Harddrive test speed software (like the one from blackmagic) showed us that the Read/Write speed on Sparse Bundles was dramatically slower than on the disk itself, therefore making FCPX runs much much slower.

I am curious about your experience with such a workflow since space bundles seems like a good solution to manage Events within FCPX.

Thanks

EDIT: Maybe I shoud mention we're often working on pretty big project with hundreds of clips, effects, overlays, etc...


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John Davidson
Re: Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows
on Jun 21, 2013 at 4:39:51 pm

Andreas Kiel is kind of the expert of SDI's, in my humble opinion. He weighed in on the speed loss you're referring to here:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/344/19457

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


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Brett Sherman
Re: Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows
on Jun 21, 2013 at 4:42:35 pm

I have been working for awhile with Sparse Bundles. I haven't noticed a big difference in speed. When I measure it, disk speed might go from 100 MB/s to 93 MB/s. For me that's not a big deal. Management of projects is so much easier with Sparse Bundles and FCP X launching speed is A LOT faster. So I'm willing to trade off some speed. We're also moving to centralized storage where Sparse Bundles will be necessary until Apple comes up with a better collaborative workflow.

I tend to have projects that primarily use one Event. However, I'm currently working on a Year in Review video that will pull from dozens of bundles. I don't know if having multiple Sparse Bundles on the same drive negatively impacts performance.



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Daniel Bernard
Re: Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows
on Jun 21, 2013 at 4:50:09 pm

Thanks to you both, I find it interesting to hear about other's experience with such a workflow.

Andreas Kiel says it's only a little slower, when the test speed from HDD speed test from Black magic gave me results which were around 30% slower. I've read that those test software aren,t always right, i guess it's a clear case here.

And you write
"I tend to have projects that primarily use one Event. However, I'm currently working on a Year in Review video that will pull from dozens of bundles. I don't know if having multiple Sparse Bundles on the same drive negatively impacts performance."

That is VERY interesting. The project the editor was working on had 5 bundles from the same drive, with each contained a certain numbers of events. It may be that more than the sparse bundle themselves that slowed things down.

I find it odd though that it took twice of thrice as much times with the sparse bundle solution than the one we use right one. Does the software used to generate sparse bundle could make the difference?

Thanks


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows
on Jun 21, 2013 at 9:34:10 pm

sparse bundles are kind of directories like any app is
so read/write doesn't differ that much from from that read/write speed of the volume/drive they reside on.
having multiple sparse bundles on the drive and all are mounted (and used) is kind of the same thing like multiple streams in fcpx. accessing media (or in this case files inside a sparse bundle folder) do have the same limitations as any file/folder on a drive.
the big advantage of sparse bundles is that organizing events/projects in fcpx is way easier -- and that will make fcpx faster since there is less memory/resources needed while fcpx is running.
i will post some screen shots from the bmd speed test tomorrow when i got access to a real computer.

-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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Daniel Bernard
Re: Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows
on Jun 22, 2013 at 2:05:30 am

Thank you, I'd be curious. What HDD speed test software do you use to make those tests?
I may try my tests again with the Blackmagic one and post the results.


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows
on Jun 22, 2013 at 6:55:35 am

i used the blackmagic speed test.

-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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Andreas Kiel
Re: Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows
on Jun 23, 2013 at 7:06:17 am

I made some tests this morning in my "not state of the art" home office.

-Andreas

http://www.spherico.com/filmtools/DMGs/DMG%20Speed.pdf

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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Jason Jenkins
Re: Tip for Sparse Bundle workflows
on Jun 24, 2013 at 8:12:33 pm

I noticed the speed difference before, but I just did a quick test again:

AJA System Test

Volume: Promise Pegasus R6
Video Frame Size: 1920x1080
File Size: 1.0 GB
Write: 317.7 MB/s
Read: 446.8 MB/s

Volume: 20 GB Sparse Bundle on Promise Pegasus R6
Video Frame Size: 1920x1080
File Size: 1.0 GB
Write: 266.0 MB/s
Read: 236.7 MB/s

Quite a bit slower, but for my work I don't think it's a performance factor. I edit mostly native AVCHD and render out to ProRes LT or H.264.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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