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Blog: FCPX Sharing? Sure you can...

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Steve ModicaBlog: FCPX Sharing? Sure you can...
by on Jul 29, 2011 at 8:56:14 pm

Recently, we’ve heard a lot of folks saying that it’s not possible to share projects or media files between multiple workstations using Final Cut Pro X. We asked Mark Ferris of Blue Ox Pictures to put this claim to the test, and here he explains that it’s simply not true:

I’m using one of Small Tree’s shared storage products and Final Cut Pro X and have no problems sharing data. While it’s true that Final Cut Pro X will not show mounted storage volumes in either the Event library or the Project library they can still be shared between workstations.
Here’s how I’m doing it:

First, go to the Utilities folder and open Apple’s Disk Utility. Under the File menu choose New>Blank Disk Image. Select the drive to save it to (the Desktop is the default) and give it a unique name. Under Size select Custom and make it as large as you can – it cannot be larger than the drive you’re saving it to. Even though the actual media files will reside on the Small Tree shared storage, the Render Files will be saved to the Disk Image, so it could get quite large. Now, under Image Format select Sparse Disk Image. By selecting this option the Disk Image will only be as large as the files it contains, and will grow to include additional files added to it until it reaches the Custom Size you entered a moment ago. So if your Custom Size is 500 GB but your Disk Image only contains 2 GB of media, it will only take up 2 GB of space on your drive. Click Create and your new Disk Image automatically mounts.

Launch Final Cut Pro X and the Disk Image will appear in both the Event and Project Libraries. Select the Disk Image in the Event Library and hit Option+N to create a new Event. Now select the Disk Image in the Project Library and hit Command+N to create a New Project. It’s a good idea to give them both the same name as the Disk Image, but any unique name should work fine.
Now select File>Import>Files and locate the folder on the Small Tree shared storage volume containing your media files. You want to Add them to Existing Event and choose the Event you just created. Uncheck Copy Files to Final Cut Events Folder, make sure Create Optimized Media and Create Proxy Media are also unchecked, and then click Import. If you open the Final Cut Events Folder on the Disk Image you’ll see that Final Cut has created an Alias to each of the media files on the shared storage - note the files have a Quicktime icon with a little arrow in the corner.

Edit your project. When you’re done use the Finder to copy the Disk Image to the Small Tree shared storage.

When another editor in another edit suite wants to work on this project he/she simply copies the Disk Image to a local drive, mounts it, and then opens Final Cut Pro X. The Events and Projects should be online and ready to edit. When finished, use the Finder to copy the Disk Image back to the Small Tree shared storage again.

Finally, a bit of bad news. If you use Motion 5 to customize a template in the Effects, Transitions, Titles, Generators or Themes Browser, the new template gets saved locally in the Movies>Motion Templates directory so Final Cut can find it. You do not have the option of saving it anywhere else. This new template will need to be copied manually from one workstation to another.

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