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  • Anyone seriously using FCP X in a Volume-based SAN like SanMP?

  • Francois Stark

    July 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Hi
    We have a 12 seat, 60TB sanmp SAN. 8 seats are used for FCP 7, the rest for audio. We have a central job server, where the FCP suites save all projects and related Motion files.

    Any client can walk in and open any project on any machine and continue working in any FCP 7 suite. New media for that project gets saved on the suite’s own write-enabled SAN volume, and any media stored on any other SAN volumes are accessed in read-only mode. No problem – we have been running like this for 6 years. No metadata server needed, not secondary ethernet network. It just works.

    How do you see FCP X working in this environment? I understand that it will see each suite’s own write-enabled SAN volume as just another local disk. It will create events and projects there. However:

    -If you want to open a project in another suite – what happens? It will only see the media, events and project from the original suite in read-only mode. Does it create a new events database on its own write-enabled disk? Or is this just a bad idea?

    Considering the AVID and CS6 alternatives to FCP X – in an environment where I have hundreds of clients who work on thousands of projects in 8 suites looking at the same media set – where do I go?

    Regards
    Francois

  • Oliver Peters

    July 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    [Francois Stark] “Considering the AVID and CS6 alternatives to FCP X – in an environment where I have hundreds of clients who work on thousands of projects in 8 suites looking at the same media set – where do I go?”

    Based on my experiences with FCP X and a FibreJet installation, I would say it’s doable, but you need a lot of manual oversight and control over the media and projects. A lot of editor interaction. Given you criteria, your best option today the foreseeable future is going to be Avid and either ISIS/Unity or Terrablock.

    – Oliver

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

  • Patrice Freymond

    July 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Hi François,

    we run a similar setup to yours, albeit smaller. The question of upgrading to FCPX looms and I’d be very interested to share any info regarding FCPX/SanMP (on an EVO server) with you.

    Sorry I can’t be of much help as of now. I plan to start testing the FCPX/EVO setup towards the end of the year.

    best,

    Patrice Freymond

    patrice@monteur.tv

  • Caspian Brand

    July 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Hello Francois,

    From your description it sounds like you might have your SAN volumes configured per suite. For FCP X, you might also want to consider using some volumes configured per project (if you aren’t doing so already). In this way a project can move from suite to suite as needed with write access to the media.

    Regards,
    – Caspian

    Product Specialist
    Studio Network Solutions

  • Bob Zelin

    July 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    from this wonderful article written by Steve Modica at Small Tree.
    I don’t know one person willing to do this, however –

    https://www.small-tree.com/v/vspfiles/files/pdfs/NoMiracleToUsingFinalCutProX.pdf

    While it’s true that FCP 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:
    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. Now, under Image
    Format select Sparse Disk Image. Click Create and your
    new Disk Image automatically mounts.
    Launch FCP 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. Select the Disk Image in the Project Library and
    hit Command+N to create a New Project.
    Now select File>Import>Files and locate the folder on
    the shared storage volume containing your media fi les. 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 fi les on the shared storage – note the fi les have a
    Quicktime icon with a little arrow in the corner.
    Edit your project and, when you’re done, use the
    Finder to copy the Disk Image to the 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 FCP
    X. The Events and Projects should be online and ready
    to edit. When fi nished, use the Finder to copy the Disk
    Image back to the shared storage again.
    Follow the above instructions and you and your team
    will be using Final Cut Pro X and marveling at everything
    it has to offer.

  • Tim Wilson

    July 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    see? piece of cake.

    Tim Wilson
    Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
    Creative COW Magazine
    Twitter: timdoubleyou

    The typos here are most likely because I’m, a) typing this on my phone; and b) an idiot.

  • Oliver Peters

    July 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    [Bob Zelin] “I don’t know one person willing to do this, however – “

    You need to get out more, Bob 😉

    [Bob Zelin] “Here’s how:”

    This is a good post, but bear in mind that creating sparse disk images has nothing to do with working in shared environments. It’s merely a way of organizing sessions/productions without having to move subfolders in and out of the Events and Projects folders on your hard drives. You’ll notice that in this description, the actual working files are being moved from the SAN to/from local storage for work.

    Here is an alternative workflow. Media stays on the common SAN volumes. SAN volumes can be organized by client/session/production or by write-volume-per-room. On each workstation that will work with this media, import the media into an Event (stored locally). Make sure to link and not copy media. All workstations involved should have identical Events. At this points various editors can cut entirely different projects from the same Events/Media. When you need to share or move sequences, simply copy the pertinent Project subfolder (renders files would be optional) to the other workstation. Place that Project subfolder into the FC Projects folder and launch FCP X. You may have to relink media files, but it’s a dirt-simple process.

    – Oliver

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

  • Chris Harlan

    July 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    [Bob Zelin] “Edit your project and, when you’re done, use the
    Finder to copy the Disk Image to the 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 FCP
    X. “

    It just blows my mind that people are using disk images to share files and that other people are crowing over FCP X’s super slick media capabilities. Apple is the only company I can think of that people would do this for. Any other company would have been laughed off the planet.

  • Chris Harlan

    July 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Never mind. Sorry. Nothing happening here.

  • Oliver Peters

    July 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    [Chris Harlan] “It just blows my mind that people are using disk images to share files and that other people are crowing over FCP X’s super slick media capabilities. Apple is the only company I can think of that people would do this for. Any other company would have been laughed off the planet.”

    FCP X isn’t particularly better or worse than legacy as far as sharing. Collaborative workflows have never been a strong point for FCP. Due to its somewhat “open” nature, plenty of folks had developed really good, but highly customized, workflows. These allowed them to do collaboration/sharing in ways that worked for their shop. In most cases, those have never been true collaborative environments, but rather “project-duplication” and “project-moving” environments.

    – Oliver

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

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