When you offload your NLE's footage to centralized storage like a SAN, do you keep the native codec, or transcode it to something else, and if so, what do you find works well in the space vs quality vs. fast access triangle?
We digitize directly to the SAN in whatever format we're going to edit with. Typically ProRes but now that we're transitioning to Adobe Premiere Pro, we'll work natively for the most part with digital formats.
Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef. HD Post and Production Biscardi Creative Media
We digitize into whatever format we're going to be working with, and the footage stays in that format forever, including storage. Or, if we get outside footage provided by another source in a different format from "the usual" (such as if someone gives us Pro-Res or other files), we convert them into our "native house format" and keep and work with those. All of our suites (except one) have Matrox AXIO LE machines, so files are typically Matrox AVI 10-bit uncompressed 1080p 23.976fps files (although sometimes 1080i, or even NTSC... but always stay as 10-bit uncompressed AVI files).
Yeah, it eats up storage pretty fast and can be a little sluggish moving lots of data between suites when some projects are shared (even with a fast pipe), but it's what works best for us. Conversely from Walter, 95% of the time we live in the thirty-second world, so we don't usually have to have a zillion terabytes of storage in play all at once.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc. fantasticplastic.com
We've really struggled with this as we've grown, and as data has grown. RED raw footage can eat up some SERIOUS disk space, and prorezing all that hdslr footage can, too.
Here's what we do with our SAN...
Ingest everything to the SAN, and to a temporary backup drive (the san is also backed up 3x a day)
Prores select hdslr footage through compressor, and RED footage through RED rocket (we'll soon be on adobe as well, and won't have to worry about the dslr footage)
Delete the originals from the SAN as space is precious there, but leave the raw on the temp backup drive in case we want to recolor or we missed a shot in compression.
By this time, thanks to using ProRes LT, we've generally gone from about 500gb project to 60 or 70gb
We then edit the project and when done, we throw out all the raw.
We then archive the project to a client cheap drive, and an in house drive so they are separated and there are two copies.
I am interested, and maybe this is another post, in what people are charging, etc., for archiving, etc. and what their systems are for this...