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  • FCPX and SAN

  • Gregorio Paolini

    June 22, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Bob, assuming that Final Cut Pro X is a mess; but hoping – I don’t know if it will be an illusion – that it can be upgraded in the next months (??) for professionals can you confirm that it is impossible now to work in a shared area network with it? I understood that now project and media (or whatever they are called now) MUST stay in the same HDD. Can it be a shared RAID? I’m asking you just to know if we can make some tests downloading and installing a copy of FCPX it in one of our Mac Pro (in a new disk, with a fresh install of Snow Leopard etc etc)… Thanks

  • Bob Zelin

    June 22, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I do not know the answer to this very important question.

    This is a wonderful opportunity for companies like Studio Network Solutions, EditShare, Small Tree, Apace, etc. to post right here on
    Creative Cow and say “yes, our great SAN system works perfectly with
    FCP X”. We have NOT tested FCP X with Final Share, so I cannot honestly tell you if it works or not.

    What I can tell you is the horror I observe from the forums on Creative Cow, and other forums like FCP-L, with the huge disappointment of FCP X so far. So I am not panic’d about testing, because at this moment, I don’t think that anyone is racing to get rid of their FCP 7 installation.

    I would love to hear if the other manufacturers of SAN systems have tried FCP X yet.

    Bob Zelin

  • Steve Modica

    June 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I did a bunch of testing yesterday.
    It will work with shared storage. In fact, it imports very quickly because it creates symbolic links to the files. If you don’t set the special “don’t move everything to events folders” flag, it starts copying everything local in the background.

    All in all, it was really good. Our FCP guy was testing and editing a project (H.264 no less) right away. Performance was good. I was able to have 4 or 5 streams going with 8-10 audio and work with no trouble. It renders automagically in the background, but pauses that during playback. I could force it on and it would play at a lower frame rate. I could enable dropped frames and force some drops.

    I was doing all my tests on a non-jumboframe imac. So that was worst case.

    A *huge* bright spot is that this forces “good” sharing behavior. You can share your media files, but projects will be local.

    Steve Modica
    CTO, Small Tree Communications

  • Erik Freid

    June 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Hi Bob,

    I know this is a little OT for this forum but I would love your take on discontinuing FCSvr, in a SAN environment, or any file based workflow you need to track assets. Nothing on the market can fill this niche at the price point that FCSvr was at that I can see.

    I know I am poking a bear with a sharp stick but you always have genuine insight.

    thanks,

    Erik

    Erik Freid | MediaSilo, Inc
    207 South Street | Third Floor | Boston, MA 02111
    t. 617.423.6200, m. 617.306.8632, f. 617.507.8577
    http://www.mediaSilo.com [email protected]

  • Gregorio Paolini

    June 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks Bob and Erik. But if “You can share your media files, but projects will be local” this is useless in a collaborative network in which one suite is supposed to make the rough cut, another goes on with b-roll, another with graphics and another makes the post… The usual workflow is impossibile because the project must stay in one suite.

  • Steve Modica

    June 22, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    To “share” project files, you would either move or duplicate the project (you can copy everything, just used clips, or the project file alone) and then move it to the second system.

    When you import from shared media, it creates symbolic links, so I expect you could even copies those and import the whole thing.

    Steve

    Steve Modica
    CTO, Small Tree Communications

  • Eric Peters

    June 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I wanted to jump in and lend some of my observations so far regarding the “projects” (sequences) and “events” folders and the ability to move them around and work with them from different locations, though having only had it in my hands for a day, I’m reluctant to go to far into making SAN workflow claims without putting it through further rigorous testing. But some of these observations do at least answer some general questions in terms of what you seemingly cannot do…

    From what I’ve been able to surmise, you cannot move the Events folder. FCP X does not allow you to change the save location, and it doesn’t like it when you try to open the “CurrentVersion.fcpevent” file from another location. It will not open properly from anywhere but the designated location. This means that each user’s clip database will be customized specifically to them based on the footage that they import, whether it is stored on a server or not. You CAN move the entire contents of the “Final Cut Events” folder onto an external drive and then move it back locally to the proper location, and it will still open fine.

    As for projects, these also will only work properly (as best as I’ve been able to tell) if in the location that FCP is expecting them. Again, you can move the entire contents of the folder from an external drive into the designated location, and you should be able to do this with or without the render files. As I’m sure everyone has noticed already, the render files no longer present themselves in Finder as QT files. Finder reads them as document files, and each render file has a plist associated with it. If you attempt to move a project but don’t move the render files, it should work fine, you’ll just have to re-render the sequence when it is first opened.

    As it all relates to Final Cut Server… From what I’ve seen, the Events library is very much taking on at least some of the features of Final Cut Server. You can create custom metadata fields and fill in metadata as long as you want on your media. I’ve created 20+ “custom” metadata fields without issue. Not sure if they have any sort of limit on how many custom fields can be added…

    Eric Peters
    ProMAX Systems
    [email protected]

  • Steve Modica

    June 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I’m testing over here as well.
    I have proven that I can replace the Movie directory with a symlink and put it elsewhere. (I do this at home with iMovie!) I ran out of time today but I plan on proving that multiple systems can edit from the same events.

    Ideally, I think I’d prefer that only “Events” were shared rather than projects. I was able to put a project on a stick and move it around. So long as the events are consistent between machines, I think it should just work.

    Steve

    Steve Modica
    CTO, Small Tree Communications

  • Bob Zelin

    June 22, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Hi Bob,

    I know this is a little OT for this forum but I would love your take on discontinuing FCSvr, in a SAN environment, or any file based workflow you need to track assets. Nothing on the market can fill this niche at the price point that FCSvr was at that I can see.

    Erik –
    I was a big CatDV fan the second I saw it. I never have installed a FCSvr system, because of my
    love for CatDV. So I don’t care !

    Bob Zelin

  • Eric Peters

    June 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Steve, I think you may have something with the Movie directory/symlink idea… Disappointing that this is the way you would need to be set up to make it do what we all want it to.

    The one option you are given as far as choosing where your Events reside within FCPX is in the File > Move Event option… But that won’t allow you to permanently change your Event location. The next Event you create is automatically created locally.

    On to more testing…

    Eric Peters
    ProMAX Systems
    [email protected]

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