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James Ewart
Media Sharing
on Aug 29, 2014 at 11:55:25 am
Last Edited By James Ewart on Aug 29, 2014 at 11:56:39 am

Just working my way rough Ripple Media Management tutorial and on the "Workgroup" section.

I do not usually or ever work this way but thought I would enlighten myself.

By each editor "leaving files in place" thus creating Sym Links in his/her own library each editor can be working with the same media at the same time. That sounds very clever. I'm just interested how this works because I was led to believe (obviously wrongly) that this was never possible with any SAN solution be it FCP, AVID or Adobe.

Excuse my ignorance but I would be grateful for enlightenment.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:36:07 pm

This has always been possible with Premiere, FCP X, FCP 7 and similar NLEs for nearly two decades. Sorry ;-)

Avid is a bit different because its MediaFiles folders are like FCPX self-contained libraries. You can't have multiple access to these unless you use a Unity storage system. A few companies like EditShare have devised Avid-specific workaraounds.

Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:50:28 pm

Thanks Oliver

I can't get my head round two or more people using the same files at the same time but I guess that's what Video on Demand is all about.

oh well - it's good to know one's limitations. ; - D


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Brett Sherman
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 29, 2014 at 1:35:01 pm

There were a few hurdles that FCP X has eliminated that previously made this harder. The first hurdle was they allowed you to import media into an external folder not connected with the library file. The second is they now allow the cache to be stored outside the library, so this has greatly reduced the size of the library file. Where once it wasted disk space and time to duplicate library files, it is now simple and fast.

Personally I think the file structure of FCP X is better positioned to allow multiple users to access the same library at the same time which would really allow for more collaborative workflows, but whether Apple will do this is questionable.



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James Ewart
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 29, 2014 at 3:48:50 pm

"... the file structure of FCP X is better positioned to allow multiple users to access the same library at the same time "

In such a scenario how would I prevent you messing with my project/timeline inadvertently for example?

I guess some kind of virtual lock?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 29, 2014 at 4:10:23 pm

[James Ewart] "In such a scenario how would I prevent you messing with my project/timeline inadvertently for example?
I guess some kind of virtual lock?"


Now you are getting into details that will make your head spin ;-)

There are lots of ways to set up SANs and NASs. You can have volume-based and file-based SANs and administration can be set up with server-based tools, like Apple OS X Server and AFP, and/or dedicated SAN software, XSAN, FibreJet, etc.

With FCP X, libraries can be local or on the SAN, but can only be accessed by a single user at any given time. The only NLEs that permit true project sharing for simultaneous editing within a common project are Avid Media Composer and Lightworks. NLEs like FCP and Premiere can "fake it" by using duplicate copies of the project/data/library file(s) that reside locally on each editor's machine.

Where permissions and control and locking come into play are in how many users can simultaneously write to the data files at the same time. Avid can do this, because each bin is a separate data file, so Editor A is working on a sequence that exists in Bin A and Editor B is working on a copy of that same sequence that exists in Bin B. Many film projects have 2-10 people all working on the exact same, common, master Avid project. The process works, because at the end of the day, some human has to compare the two (or more) sequences and decide which is the final version or what the combination of these should be the final.

FCP 7 users have mimicked this same scenario, by placing a copy of a sequence into a duplicate FCP 7 Project. Then the two editors work separately. At the end of the day, one of them has to combine the FCP 7 Projects into a single master project.

- Oliver

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


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Charlie Austin
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 29, 2014 at 5:44:33 pm

[Oliver Peters] "here permissions and control and locking come into play are in how many users can simultaneously write to the data files at the same time. Avid can do this, because each bin is a separate data file, so Editor A is working on a sequence that exists in Bin A and Editor B is working on a copy of that same sequence that exists in Bin B. Many film projects have 2-10 people all working on the exact same, common, master Avid project. The process works, because at the end of the day, some human has to compare the two (or more) sequences and decide which is the final version or what the combination of these should be the final."

Thanks for that, having not cut on MC in a multi-editor scenario I never knew exactly how that worked. So, in theory... If X libraries were multi-user, you'd be able to (somehow) bring in an Event for each editor, all of whom would start with an identical project. Every user would see all the events, but could only work in their own unless it was "released" to a single user, at which point the projects could be combined. Then, everyone takes theirs back, rinse/repeat?

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

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 29, 2014 at 7:41:29 pm

[Charlie Austin] "you'd be able to (somehow) bring in an Event for each editor, all of whom would start with an identical project. Every user would see all the events, but could only work in their own unless it was "released" to a single user, at which point the projects could be combined"

Sounds plausible.

- Oliver

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


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Charlie Austin
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 30, 2014 at 5:40:33 am

[Oliver Peters] "Sounds plausible."

It kinda does huh? That would be nice...

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

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 30, 2014 at 1:34:36 pm

[Charlie Austin] "It kinda does huh? That would be nice..."

I'm not sure it could be done exactly the same way, but in the Avid world, bins are data files that live inside the umbrella of the project folder on the hard drive. This could more or less equate to events inside libraries in the FCP X equivalent.

With Media Composer on a Unity system, whichever editor opens an individual bin first when a project is shared, that editor has write permission and everyone else has read-only permission to that bin. When the bin is closed, the editor relinquishes write permission. Others can close and reopen the bin to refresh. The Unity software manages these permissions on-the-fly.

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 30, 2014 at 7:38:17 am

Thanks for that.

I spend much more time asking questions here than I do answering them so I appreciate your taking the time Oliver and all...

This must be the Media Management to which all my Avid editor friends refer when they are trying to explain their preference (apart from that's the tool they prefer anyway which is cool with me).

The Duplicate Libraries with Events containing Sym links to the same files and then using "Transfer Libraries" (Ripple term) for me to be able to share my latest version with you seems a good solution.
I am interested in the land of the Hollywood blockbuster why so may working on the exact same cut?

Things could get very messy no? How does that work please I am intrigued.

Many thanks

James


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Oliver Peters
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 30, 2014 at 1:39:40 pm

[James Ewart] "This must be the Media Management to which all my Avid editor friends refer when they are trying to explain their preference (apart from that's the tool they prefer anyway which is cool with me)."

Not really. Even a standalone seat of Media Composer has very good media management. Some of it is a bit restrictive, particularly when it comes to relinking. MC works best when everything is internal to its MXF folders and then MC has maximum control. This philosophy is essentially what Apple copied with FCP X.

The way Avid does it, allows you to move drives around quite freely and the local MC project has no problems finding that media. When MC is launched, it scans all drives automatically that have an Avid MediaFiles folder at the root level of the drive. There is a database file within each folder.

- Oliver

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 30, 2014 at 1:46:44 pm

[James Ewart] "I am interested in the land of the Hollywood blockbuster why so may working on the exact same cut?"

I presume you mean when many editors work on one project. Typically there's only one editor and then a number of assistants. They handle the ingest, logging and output of cuts for the editor and can do it from other attached systems. On some films there may be others, like music editors and VFX editors who also tap into the same project to do their thing.

Some films have more than one picture editor and in those cases, they would usually work separately on different scenes. Often this allows the director to bounce between rooms, work with one editor and give him or her notes. Then while that editor is doing the changes, the director can work with the other editor and review the cuts of his or her scenes. And so back and forth in that manner.

On larger installations where everything is under one roof, you might also have the sound team connected to the same shared storage. Typically this would mean Pro Tools systems that can then tap into the same media for sound post.

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:11:53 pm

Thanks for that.

So is there really any advantage to that over and above the "Transfer Library' system with different people using their own Library as only one person is very going to be actually cutting a particular sequence/project at once?

I understand the production line workflow (that's how I work). I will block out an hour long film into more manageable chunks and send them off to others at various intervals.

I suppose I'm saying is it better of just different to the FCPX solution?

Thanks again.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:45:57 pm

[James Ewart] "So is there really any advantage to that over and above the "Transfer Library' system with different people using their own Library as only one person is very going to be actually cutting a particular sequence/project at once? "

I'm not sure what you are asking. Do you mean compared to shared storage environments or to several editors working in parallel on standalone systems? If the former, then for complex projects, the Avid approach blows the doors off of everything else that's out there. If you mean the latter, then it's more or less the same, just a slightly different approach.

- Oliver

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


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Michael Sanders
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 31, 2014 at 9:22:44 am

All I would say (without any knowledge at all) is that in a very short time, from V10.9 upwards (I think), Apple have changed/tweaked the library structure at every update.

It looks to me that whatever they are up to - they an't finished yet :-)

Michael Sanders
London Based DP/Editor


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James Ewart
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 31, 2014 at 9:27:00 am

... what's taking them so long? Is this a game?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 31, 2014 at 1:41:54 pm

[James Ewart] "... what's taking them so long? Is this a game?"

Software development takes longer than most folks think. 10.0.0 was little more than a beta and adding libraries was a bit of a mid-course correction. I think the clock really started at 10.0.6 or 10.0.8. Unfortunately, ProApps is also at the mercy of the OS engineers, which would include the group developing AV Foundation (the underlying media architecture). That gives them some pros compared to other NLEs, because of the tight iteration with the OS. It also gives them some cons, because they can't build their own, independent media architecture.

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 31, 2014 at 2:13:53 pm

Please don't get me wrong but I did read something somebody wrote here (Bret maybe) about how, with the resources they have, it's taken so long. But of course I do kind of grasp (kind of because it's so far away from anything I could ever think about doing) that creating something like this is gargantuan. Just occasionally I can't help wondering where it is in their list of priorities.

Any thoughts on the change of course?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Media Sharing
on Aug 31, 2014 at 2:47:17 pm

I don't have any particular thoughts on their future development, but I would suspect that actual network-based collaboration is very low on their priorities. That's because it really isn't in sync with Apple's general philosophy of empowering the individual. IMHO.

I have been involved in a number of software development efforts and at any given time, things that are discussed are at least a year or more before they would become an actual feature.

Oliver

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


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Bret Williams
Re: Media Sharing
on Sep 1, 2014 at 5:13:58 pm







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James Ewart
Re: Media Sharing
on Sep 1, 2014 at 6:04:54 pm

http://www.10dot1.co.uk/content/FCPXInASharedEnvironment_FINAL.pdf

Anything new from these people?

As an aside I have already asked them about facilities houses running FCPX systems (they must be supplying to somebody) and they were unable to supply me with anywhere I could go for "finishing" a project (sorry not a 'project' - what am I meant to call a project ... I'm not sure any more?) in the UK.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Media Sharing
on Sep 1, 2014 at 6:38:29 pm

[James Ewart] "they were unable to supply me with anywhere I could go for "finishing" a project"

Doesn't surprise me. If you get in a bind, drop me an e-mail (although I'm in the US).

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: Media Sharing
on Sep 2, 2014 at 8:21:55 am

Thanks... not as a plug but in case anybody is interested Preditors in London W1 are making inroads with FCPX and I have spoken with Clear Cut Pictures who are testing the water.


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