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Mike Chedwick
Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 10, 2009 at 2:47:23 pm

What suggestions do you guys have regarding Edit room standardization. In other words when you have multiple Editors sharing workstations what's most important to insure smooth workflow and as little reconfiguration as possible. How do you keep rooms a, b, and c consistent with multiple users?

Thanks,

Mike


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Shane Ross
Re: Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 10, 2009 at 2:53:42 pm

Make sure that the same OS and QT versions are on all machines. Make sure that all versions have the EXACT same version of FCP. And disable automatic SOFTWARE UPDATE...and flog any editor who runs the software update on their own!

And then a SAN of some sort is in order...

Make sure that the editors each save their Keyboard Layouts saved on each system.


Shane



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Matt Lyon
Re: Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 10, 2009 at 3:55:21 pm

Hi Mike,

I definitely agree with all of Shane's suggestions. I had a couple other thoughts, since I've faced this situation a few times. But I think a lot of the answers depend on your specific situation: Are editor's sharing projects? Sharing Media? Do you want individual logins or will each machine run in single user mode? Will you be shuttling hard drives around frequently, or using a SAN? How are you ingesting media? Answering these questions will help us give you better answers, but I think will also be helpful exercise for you, since a lot of the solutions to running a smooth multi-user environment has everything to do with setting standards and "best practices" and enforcing them (especially when sharing projects).

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Mike Chedwick
Re: Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 10, 2009 at 4:02:26 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Each Editor will have their own login. All media will be on a SAN. Media will be captured by an EA and occasionally by the Editors. Projects may also be shared, but not the norm.

Thanks,

Mike


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 10, 2009 at 4:17:16 pm

In addition to all of the good suggestions above:

Have a "standardized" project layout. Create a printed version of what the "ideal" project structure will look like and post it in every edit bay. For example: Every project keeps the most recent sequence in a bin labeled "1. Current Cut", Old cuts go into "2. Old Cuts", Music into "3.Music", B-roll into "4. B-roll", etc. The numbers in front of the names ensures that the bins (folders) will sort nicely in your project.

I can't tell you how frustrating it is to step onto a system and not be able to find where the latest cut has been saved. The key to success in a group workflow is to establish a common bin structure, a common naming structure, and a logical workflow.

Last but not least: NEVER name a cut "final"... that's just asking for trouble. The minute you label something final... it isn't! Someone will come up with just one more change, and then, what do you call the next version? Final-final? Yes, I've seen that too often. Stick to numbers. It's safer.

Good luck.

mark





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Matt Lyon
Re: Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 10, 2009 at 4:57:29 pm

In addition to Mark's advice, I would suggest creating a folder on the SAN for templates and presets. Create template project(s) that editors can use as a starting point (then they have no excuse not to use it). Also create standard "easy setups" or sequence and capture presets that each editor can load on their system. I like to put an underscore character in front of these names so they sort to the top of the presets list for easy access.

Also a big issue I've seen in the past in multiple login configuration is when editors save things into their home directories. Any one else logging in to the system as a different user will not be able to access these files. Especially frustrating late at night if you need to hunt down an autosave file that is buried in someone's home directory. I suggest everyone sets their FCP station to use the "/Users/Shared/" folder for autosaves, thumbnail and waveform caches. You can also make a subfolder in here for project files. Others may disagree, but I always was taught to keep project files on a local drive, separate from the media. At the end of the day, editors can backup the project file to a folder on the SAN (and to a keychain USB drive).

In the past, when I've used a SAN, we set each workstation to save render files locally. This was because we were maxing out its bandwidth and wanted to take some load off the SAN's I/O, but this may not be an issue for you. Wherever you save your renders, give some thought to their organization, because it is possible for FCP to generate render files for different projects with identical names. I've seen situations where a project tried to load a render file from a different project entirely (if the workstations were looking in the same folder for renders). A good strategy would be to create unique folders for each project or workstation's renders, either locally or on the SAN. Regardless, render files should be saved in a location that has read/write permissions for all users.

I also have to respectfully disagree with Zane about admin privileges. I think every login needs to be admin. Yes, this is a security issue, but I've seen too many situations where FCP had problems because the user didn't have sufficient access privileges. IIRC, the Apple FCP guys themselves don't recommend running FCP as a non admin user. But you may decide it's worth the (potential) risk.

Hope this helps,

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Zane Barker
Re: Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 10, 2009 at 4:37:06 pm

I would make sure that all the users do NOT have adminitrator privliges in their accounts. Have a seperate admin account that only one or two people have access to. This will insure that someone does not go and install an update or some other peace of software that might cause problems when sharing with the other edit stations.

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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Joey Burnham
Re: Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 10, 2009 at 6:56:05 pm

Also,
Implement some sort of system where all the computer folder hierarchy's are the same. People usually set up their computers differently.

For example, every computer at our work is set up this way under each's admin folder.

Edit # Work > Feature Title >

Then there are folders in each feature folder for AE, FCP, QT, SCRIPTS, ETC.

Makes things a lot easier to find on another person's computer.
Joey



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Atticus Culver-Rease
Re: Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 10, 2009 at 9:17:55 pm

One thing that hasn't been mentioned among the good suggestions so far... try to have all the same plugins, fonts, etc. available on all the systems. It's pretty annoying to start an edit on one machine, then come in the next day and be working in a different suite only to find out that you're missing fonts or plugins that you'd already started using.

Another thing is that if you're using a SAN and have people working on different projects that share media you have to be very careful that Editor A doesn't move or delete media that s/he isn't using while Editor B was using it in another project next door. When I've had projects where I've been asked to share media I've now taken to duplicating it into a new location and working from that instead whenever possible rather than risk someone wiping out my stuff.


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 11, 2009 at 12:12:43 am

Atttcus,

Making your own "personal" copy may work on a small project, but practically speaking on a big project, it's just NOT possible. That's the whole point of a SAN.

Just like when you get in a car and drive, you have to observe the rules of the road. So too, a large group shared media workflow. There has to be rules to follow and if someone doesn't follow them... they lose their license to drive! For example: renaming your media at the finder level will cause everyone else's work to go off-line. Everyone has to know not to do that. We have a sign in everyone's edit room, "Do NOT rename your media". If they do, they find work elsewhere.

mark




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Mike Chedwick
Re: Suggestions for Multiple users
on Nov 11, 2009 at 2:45:18 pm

Thanks for all the tips!


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