AVID File Management w/ TerraBlock -- need some advice
So this is a complete rookie post, but I've been working with the Facilis TerraBlock server for the past 6 months at my job, and we've been running FCP 7 on 3 edit bays and it's been working great. We are now switching to MC 6.5. I'm quite new to the program and wondering if anybody could give me advice on how to best set up file management on the TerraBlock in a way that our freelancers who come in can access their respective projects easily from any of the edit bays. I know it's probably simpler than I'm making it out to be in my head, but I just want to get some opinions or at least just hear how others are doing it.
An example of what I was thinking was if Project A's footage comes in, I would set up a volume on the TB called "Project A," and then put the footage onto that volume. After that I would open a new project in MC6.5 and set the project folder to the "Project A" volume. Now, would it make the most sense at that point to make it a "shared" project since others may be accessing it at some point (sometimes one editor can't finish the job and another takes over, or I step in and make tweak), or does it make more sense to just make it an "external" project?
My last question regarding the file management: We do a lot of conceptual edits where we rip videos/images from the internet and cut a concept together to see how it works, so I've created a vault of all our ripped footage so we can access it in future conceptual videos. What's the best way to go about keeping things organized when multiple projects are accessing that footage over time? It's all Pro Res 422 HQ as well since we were editing in FCP7. Is it as simple as just leaving it all organized in the vault, and then using AMA to bring it in to various projects?
I'm sorry if a lot of this isn't clear. If you need more info, or something described better, let me know. I'm still figuring out much of it myself. It was easy with FCP7, though it was sort of a mess at times. I'm hoping I can get it all organized much better for future work in AVID, but it's going to take some help from you guys as well as the video tutorials. Thanks for putting up with me!
We have created a "mirrored" "Multi-Write" "Projects" partition where ALL projects are stored which allows any system to access the same project or separate projects simultaneously.
We create a "media" partition for each project allowing us to archive and remove media when the project is completed and clear off space from TerraBlock. If there is any "generic" footage we want to keep for other projects, we open the "generic/stock b-roll" project and consolidate that specific media to our "stock b-roll" partition ----
----We created a "read-only" "stock b-roll" partition for generic footage that can be accessed by any system for any project allowing editors to use from there and/or consolidate used footage to their media partition.
For "on-going" projects we simply keep the partition there and manage the media from inside the project to keep it from getting out of control size-wise.
There are many ways to manage and you must see what workflow works best at your facility. This has worked well for us.
Thanks for you reply. It is definitely helpful. I have another question regarding my stock/b-roll partition and files:
I have a whole vault (which now exists as our stock partition) of Pro Res 422 HQ stock/b-roll clips that we used for Final Cut Pro edits. As we move forward with editing these rip projects in Avid, would you recommend just AMA linking to those ProResHQ files that already exist? Or is it better for our final output to create a stock footage project, and then transcode and consolidate all of those files into DNxHD 60 within that project ahead of time?
Just as an extra piece of info: For projects where we are working with stock/b-roll footage, we deliver Final Quicktimes in 720p with H.264 codec, hence my thought of just re-transcoding everything to DNxHD 60. Doesn't working with ProResHQ footage that is AMA linked end up making things a bit difficult in the end when you're outputting? I'm still researching info regarding working with ProResHQ in Avid, but if you have any tips, I'd gladly take them.
Side note: I'm not sure why we started transcoding all of our ripped footage to ProResHQ. It's a bit overkill for projects where you're working with footage where the quality range varies from less than 480p all the way up to 1080p and you're outputting at 720p.
Thanks for your time!
I would not re-transcode the master stock footage. I would leave as-is if these files were in our system. Reason being, we typically can have an entire tape/file that is 30 minutes long and if it were in ProRes, we would link to that for editing in a project. We would really only end up using maybe 5 minutes of footage from that file which we would transcode/consolidate only that amount to the project's current media partition either by using subclips or portions used in the sequence.
In our case, we consolidate all our master stock b-roll to 720p 59.94, which is mostly how all our footage is acquired. We then sometimes end up with a project of different format and have to consolidate anyway from there - that's why I wouldn't change the existing. IF you have somewhat of a standard you could begin making future stock b-roll to that format and save some consolidating/transcoding efforts.
It's been a while, but I'm back with another question. I'm finally getting back to organizing our stock library, and I'm wondering if you could throw some advice my way on how you structure your stock library.
When I first started (and I didn't get too far before we got crazy busy) I had one project called "Stock Footage" and within that I had created a folder for each client and then various category bins within each client folder. Now, as I'm looking at it again, I'm wondering if it's best to create an Avid Project (on the Stock partition) for each client; then within each client-specific Avid Project I would create a folder for each job we do for that client and then divide up the corresponding footage into bins. My fear is that the first option would end up with the Stock Footage project growing to big and disorganized with every single client's footage over the years.
The third option is to just have one Stock Footage project like I currently do, and then to not divide footage up by client, but to just make category bins like "Babies" "Cars" "Landscapes" "Timelapses" etc that would contain footage from various projects.
Do any of those make the most sense? How do you guys do it? The only reason I've considered the splitting footage up by clients and jobs is that we would know where to look when we're thinking of a shot we used a long time ago -- "remember that one shot of the little kid with his toy mower in the backyard? let's use that" and then I know which specific client/job we pulled that for and can go right to it.
But keeping things more general (the third option) seems like the most natural way to do a stock footage library.