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Eric Rainey
FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 21, 2013 at 10:18:59 pm

So, I have done a quick search and didn't find anything new on this. I, like many others, are going to get off of fcp 7 this month/next month. We have 20 bays and are leaning toward Premiere because the work flow is so similar to FCP 7. All the talent we use either comes form AVID world or FCP 7 so might make most sense to go with Premiere. I WANT TO GIVE FCP X A CHANCE THOUGH.

Basically our workflow is to make a folder on our Xsan(97TB) that has the project name and in that folder we put two other folders one holding the fcp project file and one that holds all the media for that project. Can someone easily explain how I can do this or something similar with fcp X? We also sometime cross pollenate media into other projects...due to the media being so large and we don't want to duplicate it.

I would love to have real world examples/people I can see/talk to if I have questions? In other words people that actually have a lot of bays and are using a proven workflow and have experienced problems and have solutions.

Any help would be great!!! I don't want to bail on FCP X yet.



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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 21, 2013 at 10:24:21 pm

Keep your FCP X Projects/Events on the local machines and link to the media on the Xsan.

- Oliver

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


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Eric Rainey
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 21, 2013 at 10:43:31 pm

If you work in a 20 bay environment that is step backwards. At the end of the day or when someone leaves they have to make sure their FCP X Projects/Events are on the network and EVERYBODY forgets and things get messy.



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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 21, 2013 at 11:08:12 pm

[Eric Rainey] "If you work in a 20 bay environment that is step backwards"

That's entirely dependent on your workflow. Is this 20 editors working collaboratively, concurrently or consecutively? These variables each have different pros and cons. With X, there are two schemes people favor - sparse disk images and "add SAN location". From my own person experience with only two editors working on the same production back and forth, FCP X is less than ideal. I would recommend Premiere Pro CC for your operation. Or Avid Media Composer if you want it to be bullet-proof, but then you need to address your storage set-up, too.

- Oliver

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


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Eric Rainey
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 21, 2013 at 11:13:26 pm

Thanks for the post. I am thinking Premiere as well. If someone has knows of anybody/company that is working with that many bays and is happy with FCP X. Please let me know and I will call them.


Thanks
Eric



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Charlie Austin
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 21, 2013 at 11:15:41 pm

[Eric Rainey] "If you work in a 20 bay environment that is step backwards. At the end of the day or when someone leaves they have to make sure their FCP X Projects/Events are on the network and EVERYBODY forgets and things get messy."

So, since multiple users cant concurrently edit the same FCP 7 project, how does this work now? Just one project per "job"? I'm not an expert here, but I think to do this in X... just creat a SAN location for each job, (or each bay depending on how you want it organized) and put the Event(s) and Projects in there. Reference the media for your events/projects from wherever it's currently located. EZ. :-) If you put jobs in their own location, any bay can work on any job (one at a time for now) by just mounting the proper SAN location. More or less the same if you have locations for each bay... any bay can open what's been worked on in another bay by just opening that SAN location (assuming it's not mounted in another bay)

-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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James Cude
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 12:14:39 am

Where are you located Eric? Is this a post house, a training facility, a TV station, etc? Are 20 bays going full time with staff living in their own specific bay or do freelancers rotate in and out of different bays?


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Eric Rainey
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 12:31:55 am

There are a few staff editors and freelancers mostly. We cut commercials, promos, corp vids mostly. Our workflow deals with mostly one editor working on a project, but assistant editors open projects, add to projects. Sometimes we view cuts in other bay(from other editors) and sometimes other editors open projects while someone else is working on them, not to work in(or save them), but to get media and sequences out of.

I have very limited experience with FCP X and want to really see if other people have worked the bugs out in a big facility. I can't have us experimenting with a workflow on the job. That is why I would like to get the names of other people actually using FCP X in a big environment. It is hard to find companies doing that.

As I am writing this I see your response John....Thanks!!!! I will watch your videos and hope to bug you tomorrow.

Thanks for the replies everybody!!!
Eric



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John Davidson
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 1:08:55 am

Yeah, ask my anything you'd like. Happy to help.

One other interesting thing I'm doing that is still in the experimental phase is setting up a Mac Mini running OS X Server. Right now it's hosting a website, messaging service, corporate wiki, intranet, calendars, contacts, FTP, software update storage and caching (so you only download programs once from the App store) etc. The coolest part of it is that we've created network user accounts that allow anyone in any room to log in to any machine and voila, there's their desktop. This is super awesome because if you want to add an iMac for editing you just plug it in, log into the intranet, download a profile for local users, and you're pretty much working.

Obviously this takes some annoying setup time and I'm still learning how to do it, but we're already realizing the potential. Today we swapped machines so that a new designer could use a more powerful mac pro for 3D rendering and our editor could leverage the FCPX Optimized power of an iMac. We had outgrown iCloud and I'm not in love with Google Apps, plus this is a pretty painless way to swap systems.

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


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John Davidson
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 23, 2013 at 10:57:48 pm

Remember that network user account thing I mentioned? Yeah....never do that.

OS X Server is good for lots of stuff but not so much with the network user accounts - we had problems getting Profile Manager to work. Ended up just keeping users local and using OS X Server for services and intranet hosting.

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


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John Davidson
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 12:24:43 am

Hey Eric,

Did you see the FCPX On Air series I made back in December? I walk you through exactly how we do what you're asking about using Sparse Disk images. We're about a year into this workflow and it's been pretty great. One thing I'd throw out there is that there are pretty substantial rumors to a hefty FCPX Update coming in or around the time of the new Mac Pro. If the sparse disk workflow doesn't interest you, I would still hold out for 2-3 more months just to see what comes out from Apple before I jumped into such a massive subscription plan with Adobe.

Here's the series:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFL2mNWwki8fpFzlmFDDBVaAVBqrFxG6c
"http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFL2mNWwki8fpFzlmFDDBVaAVBqrFxG6c"

I've researched working in an XSan system, but instead have chosen to stick with our Sparse Disk image format because it's stupid easy to understand and you can always tell what project you have mounted just by looking at a finder window. Since the vid was made we chose to upgrade to a Netgear 10GbE switch with Thunderlinks for the iMacs and an ATTO 10GbE card for one of the mac pros. We also got a 60TB ProAvio RAID. Very happy with these purchases. The speeds are impressive on multiple systems. We are only feeding 10GbE to 3 systems and regular GbE to 3 more.

I'm happy to answer any questions you have.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 2:58:26 am

We don't have 20 bays. We do have a SAN, though, although its metaSAN and not Xsan.

MetaSAN has controls (called ProjectStore) that is available to any machine connected to the SAN. Each ProjectStore mounts similar to a sparse image, in that it looks like a separate volume. One person has read/write, anyone else can mount read only. Fcpx will not mount read only SAN Locations, but anyone has access to the media contained within them (if you need it).

If you need to mount a Store in any room, you can, as FCPX's file structure makes this hyper easy if you know what you're doing. All media can be referenced in each Event, and not physically duplicated as long as it is .mov before importing. You could always use fcpx to transcode camera original files from MXF and others, and drag those movies out to a common location on the SAN and relink.

The ProjectStore interface (via web browser) allows for many things including force ejecting of stores in case someone forgot to remove their SAN location before leaving. You can also tell which Store is mounted on what machine and serves as a check out system that everyone can see. It's very convenient.

From what I understand XSan is more of a user based permission set so that you would lock individuals user based San Locations. Or not.

This may help you: http://images.apple.com/finalcutpro/docs/Final_Cut_Pro_X_Xsan_Best_Practice...

In my experience, Premiere can be weird on SANs due to the tremendous amount of caching that happens. It does work, but it takes a long time to open bigger projects, and you have to delete the cache and start that process over every once in a while. You should certainly not pass it up, though, as it is certainly more like fcp7 than X.

Even though FCPX's structure is nothing like what fcp7 is, there are some conveniences. I know it sounds cliche at this point, but you have to go in knowing X does not operate like fcp7 as the file and database structure are very different.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 3:59:52 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Premiere can be weird on SANs due to the tremendous amount of caching that happens."

I'm not sure that's still true with Premiere Pro CC. You can turn off some of the caching/audio conform in the pref settings. I haven't tested that though.

One thing also to consider ... If you need to archive TRIMMED project media, FCP X currently is a no-go. I've done it, but it requires round-tripping through FCP 7.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 4:12:43 am

I find the same with CC. It still happens and is not a deal breaker, but an annoyance.

Pr isn't the best at trimming either.

With fcpx, you can very easily cull down a Project's used clips to a single event, ditching all unused clips. Sure, it isn't trimmed down to only the frames used, but it does help when needing to send as little as possible.

Also, FCPXML will allow one to import a Project with no Event, create a new Event in the process with all organization in tact. Unfortunately, there are things that don't come over in FCPXML like templates and other data, but the cuts and organization do come over.

It's far from perfect, but I find huge leaps in the right direction. It does take some getting used to and it has only been getting better.


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Ronny Courtens
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 7:17:06 am

Eric,

We run 15 FCPX bays over XSAN (broadcast post for national television). We had very little trouble making the switch from FCP7 and seeing what we have been able to accomplish with FCPX in the past year we are definitely staying with it. If you have any practical questions feel free to ask. You can also e-email me directly: ronny(dot)courtens(at)mac(dot)com.

Things are evolving quite rapidly in editing land. It might be very wise to hold on to FCP7 for another 5 months and see what's happening then. Having been around for quite some time now I know loads of people and facilities who are using FCP. Most of them are looking around but they have no intention at all to make any hasty decisions right now. And I think they are being very intelligent.

- Ronny


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Keith Koby
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 5:38:45 pm

We have a larger san and plenty of seats. ~500TB total and +60 san hosts. About 35 of those are stations where editors sit.

We currently have about 10 users on fcpx. That's up from 3 of us last year at this time.

There have been a number of threads on fcpx and sharing on xsan in this forum and the other one. Do a search in here and you'll find it.

We are currently using the san location methods, but blend the two examples given in the white paper. Our san locations are folders that sit parallel to where the fcp7 projects go.

Last week, we switched up to try out John's method of using sparse bundles. We like it. It's nice and clean. The disk images basically equate to the fcp7 project file too. Just be careful with either san locations or disk images on your san. Make sure you put them in a beefy storage pool that can support holding renders and playing back renders. In the future we hope to see better network and collaborative sharing options.

Also, if you keep your media centrally located (which makes sense on a san), make sure you have the "copy media into event" preference turned off on every station. It is on by default.

The other thing you might encounter if you haven't done any research yet and you have a big facility full of 12 core mac pro workstations, is that fcpx works better on new hardware (read: not old mac pros). Use it on the new t-bolt iMac with san links and t-taps, and you'll love the speed.

One last piece of advice would be to wait till the new mac pro ships. If you are anything like me, I have an aversion to proliferating windows boxes on the san and in the facility. My job is way easier dealing with OSX only. I want to see how the new mac pro performs with each app. To me, the premiere route probably means PCs with nvidia cards or imacs with nvidia cards rather than new macs pros which seem to only have the AMD option.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 12:27:55 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "With fcpx, you can very easily cull down a Project's used clips to a single event, ditching all unused clips."

Unless you have compound clips in the original event - even if those compounds are not included or the sequence was broken apart earlier. I just had a commercial job where I'd used compounds to build a selects reel as the "first pass". When I went to dupe the project with only used media into a new event, it took all the media from the "unused" compounds, too. The media difference would have been hundreds of GB versus 12GB. The solution was to roundtrip through FCP 7 to media manage the sequence.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 4:37:45 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Unless you have compound clips in the original event - even if those compounds are not included or the sequence was broken apart earlier. I just had a commercial job where I'd used compounds to build a selects reel as the "first pass". When I went to dupe the project with only used media into a new event, it took all the media from the "unused" compounds, too. The media difference would have been hundreds of GB versus 12GB. The solution was to roundtrip through FCP 7 to media manage the sequence."

It is certainly a bug, but it's not the end of the world.

Simple FCPXML import/export of a Project works to shake loose those phantom compound clips and you can import it to any share or drive that you want, and then organize the media.

No reason, at least in my travels, to go through FCP7 unless you do want to trim the media. You could also use Resolve for this and render new media via FCPXML, or Smoke does lovely conforms all with FCPXML.

You can also delete the media out of the compound and dupe again. This will also delete the media out of the original Event compound, too, so you just have to know what the tool is doing.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 8:12:40 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "It is certainly a bug, but it's not the end of the world."

Agreed.

[Jeremy Garchow] "No reason, at least in my travels, to go through FCP7 unless you do want to trim the media."

Which I do. FCP 7 round-tripping is also, often an essential step if you get graded, trimmed media from an out-of-house colorist and need to relink. A current impossibility with X unless a new XML is supplied (not always an option).

[Jeremy Garchow] "You can also delete the media out of the compound and dupe again. This will also delete the media out of the original Event compound, too, so you just have to know what the tool is doing."

Understood, but I want to keep the original session in tact, so deleting compound clips from the original event is not desirable.

In general, my feeling with X is that transportability is very problematic. Worse than 7 in fact. Sometimes very easy, sometimes it has you pulling your hair out. Relinking to media is frequently impossible, especially in the case of double-system sound. On the current film that I'm cutting, I find that on some days, X simply won't relink to some of the audio files when I move the "dailies" event from the assistant station to the editor's station. It seems to get confused - wanting to sometimes link to the real media file and at other times link to the alias. When it decides it wants the alias, there is simply no way to make it work as a relink.

I hit another bug today with LTO back-up. Seems that the alias files don't copy over. Not sure if there's something weird with the file itself or if it's the illegal parentheses characters - (id) . In any case it hangs up the LTO transfer. Zipping the event folder is a workaround.

YMMV.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 9:42:08 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Understood, but I want to keep the original session in tact, so deleting compound clips from the original event is not desirable."

No, it's not. I usually Dupe + Used Clips, copy/paste the compound content in their own Projects, delete the compound contents (not the actual compound clip), dupe + Used Clips AGAIN, and then copy and paste the clips back in to the compounds.

Pain in the rear, but it does work until it (hopefully) gets fixed.

[Oliver Peters] "In general, my feeling with X is that transportability is very problematic. Worse than 7 in fact. "

I guess I mostly see it the other way. There are times when it is so much easier than FCP7 as you can do a lot more BEFORE moving it, and file paths aren't as crucial as they are in FCP7. I can check if everything is there before I send it away, and I don't have to worry about the relink on the other machine as the file structure stays the same. If I do move it, though, I tend to organize the media in to the Event that is moved. And motion templates aren't exactly super simple to move.

I do wonder, of the FCPX file system will be "packaged" one day similar to how AVCHD is now on Mountain Lion.

As far as the alias files, our SAN had an issue way back when with them, as in they didn't work and were "ignored". I wonder if your LTO is doing the same. They aren't regular alias files, there are something different. You should be able to drag the media back in to the Event and FCPX will rebuild all the links.

I haven't had an issue yet with our Cache-A system, but I tend to organize the media before archiving as it makes the restore a lot easier.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 9:49:56 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " and file paths aren't as crucial as they are in FCP7"

Actually that's one of the things I'm finding NOT to be true. The complication is that now X has to worry about 2 sets of paths if you link rather than copy media. The path to the alias and the path from the alias to the media. This seems to work better in a networked situation than a sneakernet situation. FCP 7 simply says 'point me in the right direction' and it works pretty well. Especially since you can override it when it baulks.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 10:10:07 pm

I guess I haven't run in to many issues sneakernet or networked. I guess I am just lucky.

I can reconnect to everything so far, and if an alias gets bumped, I drag it back in and the link is reestablished very easily.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 10:14:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "and if an alias gets bumped, I drag it back in and the link is reestablished very easily"

Haven't had that work successfully here. In fact, I've had it completely munge master clips by doing that.

- Oliver

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


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Michael Sanders
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 2:45:30 pm

I'd wait..

We know 10.1 is due out very soon so I'd wait and see where it goes from there.

Michael Sanders
London Based DP/Editor


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Helge Tjelta
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 7:14:20 pm

Hi, I've done the transition from FCP7 to FCPX now in two companies, corporate business mediahouses.

Both went really smooth, and both having FCPX on Xsan. We work on each others projects all the time, and backup is now bless.

We create a folder with a lot of empty predefined forlders inside, and just use Add san location to this folder.
For backup we just copy the project folder and all is in place. We do a lot of reference media, but to media that is inside the top project folder. If import from other projects we use "copy to event" on import.

We also run it with DaVinci Resolve, and using Nuendo for audiowork. X2Pro works just fine here.

Don't miss, tracks, renderhell, framerates problems, double viewer, saving, avid or adobe. Sometimes I use Photoshop. We still use AfterEffects for animation and stuff. But have done a lot with motion and building our own graphics inside FCPX/Motion.

Also, I've just done an exhibition video for 3xHD resolution, yes thats it, 5760 x 1080. Inside FCPX. Works!
/helge, norway

Helge


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Don Smith
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 22, 2013 at 9:05:25 pm

Here's a real-world story about doing what you want:

http://visuals1st.com/?p=53

Also, going back to Premiere is like going back to a buggy whip now that I'm fluent in Final Cut Pro X. I FLY on FCPX! Seriously, once you 'get' FCPX and experience its ease and speed, you'll never go back.

Don Smith
NewsVideo.com

NewsVideo.com


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Helge Tjelta
Re: FCP-X and 20 bays..question
on Aug 23, 2013 at 11:27:54 am

Hi Don Smith, you are discribing the systems we use!!!! Thanks.

I think FCPX works really well in setup like this…

/Helge

Helge


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