FCP X 10.1: Collaboration

Posted: January 4, 2014

[ This article looks at collaboration. My next article will examine backup and archiving techniques for Final Cut Pro X 10.1. ]

Collaboration is the process of sharing media, events or projects between editors or other staff. Final Cut Pro X v10.1 provides a wide variety of ways to collaborate, but they all start at the same place: importing your media. This article looks at collaboration in general and provides different examples of how editors can work together. However, there are more options than I have time to cover here. Check out the Additional Resources section at the bottom of this article for more information.

This is the third of four articles I’ve written on media management in Final Cut Pro X v10.1. The other three are:

DEFINITIONS

Libraries are the master container and hold everything: media, events, projects, render files, transcoded files, metadata, everything.

Events hold clips and projects. Think of events as folders which you can organize as you see fit.

Projects are timelines; “sequences,” as Final Cut Pro 7 would call them.

Libraries can be stored anywhere and named anything that the Mac file system will allow. However, some library locations will be better than others. For example, you can store libraries on a thumb drive, however, storing that same library on a Thunderbolt RAID will yield better performance.

Media that is stored inside a Final Cut library is called “managed media,” because Final Cut manages it for you. Media that is referenced by a library, but stored outside it, is called “external media.”

NOTE: Once you are inside Final Cut itself, I recommend storing clips and projects in separate events within the library because it makes managing them easier. This organization is not required, but it is a good practice.

IT ALL STARTS AT IMPORT

While Final Cut provides a variety of ways to reorganize media after you have it in the system, life is easiest when you plan to share files during import. When you import files, you have two key options for Media Storage that affect how easily you can share files.

  • Copy files into [Event]
  • Leave files in place

When you Copy files into an event, Final Cut copies the files from where they are into the library. This creates what Apple calls “managed media.” These files are stored inside the library and travel wherever the library bundle goes.

NOTE: Libraries are called “bundles,” because they “bundle” a large number of files into a single location. Bundles are, essentially, special-purpose folders that act like a single file.

The good news about copying files into a library is that all your files are in one place, making them easy to manage, move, or backup. The bad news is that the library file size can be enormous because it contains all that media. (Enormous does not mean bad, simply that the file size is very big.)

When you Leave files in place, Final Cut creates a symlink, stored inside the library, that points to the location of the source files on your hard disk. “Leaving files in place” avoids duplicating your media.

NOTE: Symlinks are much more robust than the simple pointers we used in Final Cut Pro 7; they are even more robust than the aliases we use in the Finder. For example, if you rename a source file or the folder that contains it, Final Cut will still know where the source media file is located.

These symlinks are tiny, about 100 KB, which keeps the library bundle small. Even better, multiple libraries can point to the same media, without increasing the space you need for storage, because each library only points to the media, it doesn’t copy it. However, because media files are now separate from the library, you need to make sure you are backing up both the library and the media files.

Also, when you import media, use Events to stay organized. Since you can create an unlimited number of events inside a single library, create as many events as you need to help you organize your media.

UPDATE NOTE:  Mark Spencer points this out in the comments, but I want to also mention a new feature in the 10.1 update. Now, when you are importing from a camera card you can choose to copy the media to an external folder on a hard disk or shared network volume so that all editors can get to the media as soon as Final Cut is done importing from the camera. This is especially useful for multiple users with quick turn around situations like news and sports.

In previous versions we would need to import to a local hard drive, then copy the media to the shared storage. Now, this is all done in one step.

KEY THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

  • Media does not need to be stored inside the library.
  • Multiple libraries can link to the same media, without increasing storage requirements.
  • Linked media, what Apple calls “external media,” is connected to the library using symlinks.
  • A library can contain just media, just projects, or both.
  • When you edit media from a different library into a project, one of two things will happen: 1. If that media is stored in the original library (“managed media”), the media will be copied into the second library that contains the project. 2. If that media is linked to the original library (“external media”) only the links will be copied into the second library.
  • For slower networks, consider copying library files to your local storage prior to editing.
  • Sharing projects by copying them to libraries lets you transfer the complete, lossless project file between editors. This is different than XML export, which is designed for interchange with third-party apps like DaVinci Resolve that do not natively read Final Cut Pro X project files.

CREATE A “TRANSFER LIBRARY”

A Transfer Library is a library that is specifically created to share projects or events from one editor to another. Let me illustrate how to create a Transfer Library to share a project from one editor to another.

Select the project you want to share in the Browser.

Choose File > Copy Project to Library > New Library

Give the new library a name. You can name the library anything and store it anywhere.

To reduce the size of the project to its bare minimum, uncheck both these checkboxes. Your project should now only be a few megabytes and small enough to email.

NOTE: I recommend using Copy Project to Library, rather than Move Project to Library, principally because if anything goes wrong, you still have the original project.

UPDATE NOTE:  You do not need to delete any render files before moving or copying a Library. Final Cut does not copy this generated media when copying or moving libraries because that media can be quickly regenerated once the library arrives at the new destination. This makes the the transfer go more quickly and keeps the Transfer Library smaller.

COMMON SCENARIOS

Scenario 1: Two editors who are on the same network want to work on the same project.

Answer: While only one editor can be in a library at a time, the ability to quickly open and close libraries makes sharing simple.

Store the library on a network volume. When the time comes to give the project to another editor, simply close the library so that the other editor can open and work on it. Because both media and project files are stored in the library, each editor has access to the latest cut each time they open the library.

NOTE: Depending upon the video formats you are using and the bandwidth of your network, it may be easier to copy the library from the network to local storage.

- – -

Scenario 2: A producer in a different location wants to do a rough-cut for an editor, then have the editor polish the cut.

Answer: Import all media so that it is copied into a single library, then duplicate that library onto a second hard disk and give it to the producer. Because the media is stored inside the library, you don’t need to worry about cloning drives or matching file path names, the library handles all of that.

The producer opens the library inside their copy of Final Cut Pro X, creates a new project and edits a rough cut. When she is done with the rough cut, the producer selects the project and chooses File > Copy Project to new Library to create a new Transfer Library.

This creates a new library containing the project, with links to all the existing media. The producer sends that library back to the editor, who opens it, then drags the project into the existing library. At which point, the Transfer Library can be deleted.

Sending projects contained in otherwise empty libraries is a fast way to share projects.

- – -

Scenario 3: Two editors on the same network need to share media, but not projects.

Answer: On a network volume, store all media in separate folders, organized however you wish – by client, job, activity, scene… whatever. Each editor can then import the media they need for their project and select “Leave files in place.” This means that the media is linked into the library, not copied.

This is the fastest way to share media – by linking it to the library, not copying it into the library.

NOTE: Media can be stored on any network volume. However, not all networks have the same performance. A simple Gigabit Ethernet network is fine for small groups and single camera editing. However, for teams of editors or multicam editing, you will need to increase the performance of your network significantly. This is where XSAN comes in. XSAN is a high-performance network optimized for media editing.

- – -

Scenario 4: A team of editors all need access to the same media using a variety of applications.

Answer: Store the media on a high-speed network, organized in folders as necessary. Editors not using Final Cut can access the source media stored in those folders. Final Cut editors can create new libraries that point to this media. Editors can share libraries using the Open/Close method I talked about in Scenario 1, or they can transfer projects from one editor to the next using the “Transfer Library” we talked about in Scenario 2.

SUMMARY

Final Cut Pro X is designed with collaboration in mind, but it requires thinking differently about how and where to store your media. Libraries reduce the need for cloning drives, instead we simply need to copy files from one drive to the other. And the ability to move projects by containing them within libraries makes sure that all essential data transfers from one editor to another.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Apple provides a good overview of media management. Read it here – especially pages 14 – 18.

The well-respected Alexander Snelling has written a detailed and easily readable analysis of media management, collaboration, backup and archiving. Read it here.

As well, here are three other articles I’ve written that explain the basics of media management in Final Cut Pro X 10.1

FCP X: Manage Libraries

FCP X: Manage Projects

FCP X: Media Management

Comments
61 Comments to “FCP X 10.1: Collaboration”
  1. Benji says:

    While editing a project, new keywords and metadata may be added to clips in the associated Event. So in exchanging projects between editors, how to we keep the Events in sync? My only guess is that rather than copying the projects to a transfer library you’ve got to copy the entire Event or Events.

    I worried when working with another editor using separate hard drives and separate Libraries with the same media that if you only transfer Projects back and forth, you run the risk of losing clip metadata. What if one of us makes a new keyword collection?

    I’m asking because I want to try this out on my iMac and Macbook Air. I want to work on a proxy only version of a Library on my Air, but be able to easily switch back to the optimized media version on my iMac. If I add a new keyword collection on my iMac but only transfer the Project to my Air, I won’t see this keyword collection on the Air, correct?

    So I’m thinking that the first time I create a transfer Library from my iMac, I copy all EVENTS to it and tell FCPX to include Proxies. When I create subsequent transfer Libraries to my Air, I just need to include all Events because the proxies are already there…right?

  2. Mark Spencer says:

    Larry,

    You state that there are two key options for importing media: copying files into an event or leave files in place.

    This is not correct. There are actually three options, and you skipped a very important one completely. The Copy files option has two sub-options: copying into an event, or copying to an external location.

    Leave in place is only available for files that are not on a camera card or camera archive.

    Also, you state:

    “When you edit media from a different library into a project, one of two things will happen: 1. If that media is storedin the original library (“managed media”), the media will be copied into the second library that contains the project.”

    This is not true if both libraries are on the same volume. In that case, the media will appear in both libraries, but no media is duplicated.

    Also, and this is more personal preference, I don’t recommend storing projects in their own event but rather in the event that contains the media that project uses.

    Mark

    • Benji says:

      I noticed when I exported Event XML that it did NOT include any projects that are contained in that Event. So when trying to sync different workststioms you’ve got to send a transfer Library containing the project you want to share AND an XML for the Events that need to be updated. Would it be easier to just put the Events that need syncing into transfer Library? You then drag the updated Event into your Library, move your current project into the updated Event, then delete the old Event?

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Mark:

      Thanks for this update – this was an option I did not know about.

      Larry

    • oren says:

      Mark,

      Re: storing projects on the event with media. I like the cleanliness of this, but when sharing with editors, I like the idea of having a separate event for their project, so that if they add a music track, compound clip, logo, etc. those assets are added to their own event. Then, when getting the project back, it’s easy to see what were their additions and make sure I have any extra media required from them. I can then add this event to the original Libary, or merge it with the original Event at the end.

  3. Benji says:

    “Also, and this is more personal preference, I don’t recommend storing projects in their own event but rather in the event that contains the media that project uses”

    I guess this is what I should do when keeping libraries in sync on two different machines. Otherwise I’d have to export an XML for each Event to keep it in sync.

  4. chris says:

    Thanks for the helpful post, Larry.

    This Transfer Library technique only really seems to work with media stored not in the managed library but outside the library in external folders, is this correct?. I am hoping not!

    My scenario is this: I have a copy of the managed library and so does my assistant. She makes a new project and edits. I want to then have a look at that project. She is based in another country to me so we only want to send the project, not the original media. If we try your recommended Transfer Library option, scenario 2 above, all the original media is also copied along with the project.

    in outlining scenario 2 you say “Because the media is stored inside the library,” i.e. managed library, but then a few lines down

    “When she is done with the rough cut, the producer selects the project and chooses File > Copy Project to new Library to create a new Transfer Library. This creates a new library containing the project, with links to all the existing media. ” i.e. the media is not in a managed library but in external folders.

    I was hoping to be able to able to transfer projects between my assistant with both of us using a managed library, but as we don’t want to send the original media back and forth every time, it would seem that we should be using libraries with media stored in external folders?

    Thanks for your help

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Chris:

      First, make sure the project is in its own event before creating the transfer library.

      Second, since the project may contain render files, rather than source media, these can be deleted from the Transfer Library before sending the Library via email. This will reduce the size of the library.

      Larry

      • Mark Spencer says:

        That won’t help. If it’s a managed library, when you copy the project to a new library, the media will also be copied into the library. If you want a library that only contains sym links, you need to consolidate the media to an external location. as the op described.

        • chris says:

          Thanks for the reply Larry. I did try your suggestion but, as it is a managed library, the original media got copied over too.

          It seems that Mark is correct – the Transfer Library option only seems to work for libraries with media stored in a library outside the library, not with managed libraries. I guess this actually makes sense, but I was hoping to be able to transfer just the project (I realize that projects must exist in a library, so a project in a library with out any media) between my assistant and myself with both of us having a managed library but that doesn’t seem possible.

          This is says something similar
          http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/1310-the-final-cut-pro-10-1-cheat-sheet

  5. Mark Spencer says:

    If you really want to keep the media managed and share just projects, you *can* export and import Project XML – however, you should test it first because not all features of your project may translate (e.g., some keyframed effects, etc.) But if your project is just straight cuts, it may be a good solution.

  6. chris says:

    I seem to have found a workable solution to allow for transferring of events and projects between editors with managed libraries – exchange the backup file!

    A hack, but it works. For example, both my assistant and I have the same managed library of a shoot. At this stage no editing has been done so no projects. She edits, making a few projects, events, whatever. When she is finished she lets me know and gives me the latest backup file. I open up that file – double click in the finder. Although this opens, usually it says that the original media data can’t be found so it opens as a new library with all the files highlighted in red as unconnected clips/media. All I have do then is drag the projects that my assistant made to the library I have with the media in. Everything is automatically connected. Perfect!

    And to make things even easier, we are storing ours backups on dropbox so all my assistant has to do is make sure that it has backed up recently by checking the time code on the backup file name and then I just drag that backup file to, for e.g., the movie folder of my mac and then double click from there.

    Seems to be a solution for sharing projects between editors both using a managed library in 10.1 anyway.

  7. Mark Spencer says:

    Interesting solution! I’m not sure why you feel you have to have managed libraries, but I’m glad you found a way to work with them. Any reason you couldn’t each consolidate the media outside the library, then share the library itself rather than the backup?

  8. chris says:

    Yes, will have to think through whether we really do need managed libraries.

    If we consolidate the media outside the library and then share the library itself it has render files in it which make it unnecessarily large. Which makes Larry’s tip for using a Transfer Library a good one if you are consolidating the media outside the library as the render files aren’t included.

  9. Mark Spencer says:

    Very good point about the render files, Chris. Same is true for any proxy or optimized media, that’s always kept in the Library. But is optional when copied and is also not in the backup.

  10. Bmann says:

    That’s good information about using copied managed libraries and backups to work in between two locations. So if the other managed library needed to, you would just re- transcode the media that didn’t exist in that library? Or it would already exist from the first time?

  11. Rick King says:

    This worked for me, so I wrote it up:

    FCP X 10.1 Collaboration Workflow
    Between an Editor and a Producer

    This workflow is designed to minimize transfer file size.

    Editor:
    1. Create a new Library named Master & Import (or copy from another Library) all media. Do not create optimized or proxy files.
    2. Send the Library to the producer. This gives the producer all the related original files to work with from here on. It will also be the Editor’s Master Library.

    Producer:
    3. Create Project(s) as needed and edit them.
    4. Select the Project(s) and Delete Render Files.
    5. With Project(s) still selected File/Copy Projects to Library/New Library & name it v1. Do not include Optimized or Proxy media.
    6. Send that Library back to the editor.

    Editor (same process):
    7. Create Project(s) as needed and edit them.
    8. Select the Project(s) and Delete Render Files.
    9. With Project(s) still selected File/Copy Projects to Library/New Library & name it v2. Do not include Optimized or Proxy media.
    10. Send that Library back to the producer.

    Repeat 3-10 incrementing vn with each edit.

    Each new transfer Library will always include only the original files for the clips used in the selected Projects These can be transcoded at either end as desired, but should be omitted when creating the new transport Library to keep it small.

    Upon receiving each new version the previous version can be deleted, except for the Master which has all the files, not just the ones in the current Projects. When an edit pulls files from the Master Library to a later one you get a message “You are editing clips between libraries.” to let you know the corresponding original files will be copied to the destination library, which is what you want.

    Please let me know if you find any bugs or improvements.

  12. Rick King says:

    My apologies. In my last post I enclosed Production Name in chevrons to indicate “fill it in” and it got omitted upon posting (no HTML allowed I guess). Here is the comment with = delimiters which should make more sense.

    FCP X 10.1 Collaboration Workflow
    Between an Editor and a Producer

    This workflow is designed to minimize transfer file size.

    Editor:=
    1. Create a new Library named =production name= Master & Import (or copy from another Library) all media. Do not create optimized or proxy files.
    2. Send the Library to the producer. This gives the producer all the related original files to work with from here on. It will also be the Editor’s Master Library.

    Producer:
    3. Create Project(s) as needed and edit them.
    4. Select the Project(s) and Delete Render Files.
    5. With Project(s) still selected File/Copy Projects to Library/New Library & name it =production name= v1. Do not include Optimized or Proxy media.
    6. Send that Library back to the editor.

    Editor (same process):
    7. Create Project(s) as needed and edit them.
    8. Select the Project(s) and Delete Render Files.
    9. With Project(s) still selected File/Copy Projects to Library/New Library & name it =production name= v2. Do not include Optimized or Proxy media.
    10. Send that Library back to the producer.

    Repeat 3-10 incrementing vn with each edit.

    Each new transfer Library will always include only the original files for the clips used in the selected Projects These can be transcoded at either end as desired, but should be omitted when creating the new transport Library to keep it small.

    Upon receiving each new version the previous version can be deleted, except for the Master which has all the files, not just the ones in the current Projects. When an edit pulls files from the Master Library to a later one you get a message “You are editing clips between libraries.” to let you know the corresponding original files will be copied to the destination library, which is what you want.

  13. Hey Larry,

    you suggest for scenario 1 in collaboration workflows to store the library on a network volume. When I try to save the library on our NAS I get an error „unsupported volume type – choose local or SAN storage“ :-(

  14. Mark Spencer says:

    Libraries can only be stored on a NAS if it’s an NFS-mounted volume. If it’s an AFP or SMB network volume, you can’t save a library to it unless it’s in a disk image.

  15. seth says:

    I’ve discovered what I think is a solution that allows me to collaborate with a 2nd editor even when I’ve a Project Library that has linked media files (media is located in directories OUTSIDE of the Project Library. The catch is that the 2nd drive (or clone) is given the same volume name as the 1st drive.

    Then I follow the steps above per Rick King.

    Does anyone see any issues with this?

    Thanks!

    Seth

  16. James says:

    Hi Larry,

    The steps for collaborating via scenario 2 above just don’t work! Even after leaving both the “optimized” & “proxy” media checkboxes UNCHECKED, the new library created is huge and contains all the media used my the project!

    There does not seem to be any way to do this:

    “To reduce the size of the project to its bare minimum, uncheck both these checkboxes. Your project should now only be a few megabytes and small enough to email. ”

    Please check this again and let us know if something has changed in 10.1.1! Thanks.

  17. Mark Spencer says:

    James, that’s right – it will only work with a library that has external media, not a managed library.

    • James says:

      Thanks Mark ! — you were right — i had media included that was from another library so, that was the problem.

      • James says:

        BUT…. now after having followed the steps for scenario 2 above perfectly, upon opening the transfer library in fcpx no project (actually, NOTHING) can be found. The transfer lib opens and it appears too contain nothing. In the finder it’s is several MB.

        What could be causing this?

  18. Josh says:

    Hey guys, I work for a state agency that produces educational content and professional development
    for teachers, kids, and PBS learning media. Pardon my ignorance here. Im coming from a shared
    Avid workflow mind. I’ve got 16 producers/editors here on last generation MacPros and 2013 Imacs all but
    1 is connected via 8g fiber to Facillis Terablock 24D running latest updates. I am trying to develop
    a workflow similar to what we have in Avid ( this is what the big wigs understand) so that
    multiple editors can work simultaneously with same media, not necessarily same Sequence(project).
    as even avid will lock you out of editing those with bin locking. I would like all of our producers and
    editors sharing projects and media in FCP so we can move away from Avid. Most of them will go to any
    length to not use Avid. If I can replace the workflow with FCP we will be golden.

    I have for instance a project with 2 producers working on a Arts documentary series that will have
    3 different timelines using same media.. In avid I would create a project, build out bins, each producer
    would have their Sequence bin with sequence related material. All the media wether AMA or managed are in media bins. The producers can collaborate between bins and seq all in the same project.

    I’ve tried this in FCP10.1 building a drive on the Terablock, creating a library, corresponding events with projects.
    I have a separate pool of media on the terablock, using the leave in place option at import. All the media we ingest
    is converted to ProRes before it hits the storage.

    After that I get mixed results between machines, the media usually shows up ok, but projects don’t always update
    between users. Generated media or audio doesnt appear to be going to the shared library and therefor being offline
    on the other users machine.

    I appreciate any advise.

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Josh:

      I’m not sure you can get there from here… yet.

      While media can be shared – as you’ve discovered using the “Leave in place” option – Libraries, which contain Projects, can not. In other words, only one editor can be in the same library at the same time. And, since the library contains all the generated media for all the projects it contains – render files, project files, analysis files – no other editor can access that generated media either.

      Thinking about your Arts project, what would work, it seems to me, is to create a library for each “Timeline” that accesses the same shared media. That way, producer 1 can work with Library 1 containing Project 1 – and remember that libraries can have an unlimited number of versions of that project- while producer 2 works with Library 2 containing Project2 and all its iterations.

      When they need to swap projects, they close the library they are working in so the other editor can access it.

      The key is to think of the library as your interchange object, not the projects inside the library.

      Larry

  19. Laurens Eekman says:

    Hi Larry, can you please tell me how one shares a library in FCP? Including media, events, projects, render files, transcoded files, metadata, everything?

  20. Dale Ryan Leckie says:

    Hi,

    I’m currently running two maxed out iMacs on 10.1.1 and two 2010 Mac Pros loaded with ram, a 12 and an 8 core (upgrading soon to 10.1.1).

    Right now, every edit suite has independent external storage in both thunderbolt and FireWire verities. All footage is filmed and loaded onto a USB drive, and backed up to a second USB drive, about 4TB each. Then everything is imported and stored on either Gtech or promise RAIDS managed by FCPX, about 4-6TB…sometimes as proxies and original or just original media.

    Then and other 4-6TB drive is used as a backup with backups for fcpx…and eventually every project is archived on another drive.

    So, as you can see, we use a lot of hard drive space.

    I’m trying to make the move to central storage for obvious reasons…and here is my plan…

    For now I buy 1 Drobo b800i and max it out at 32TB, single disk protection, 25TB of useable space.
    All footage is archived on the Drobo as we shoot it and only safe graded by drobos single disk protection.
    The Drobo is connected to a Gbit ethernet switch, and each mac is connected to the switch giving all editors central storage and access to all footage.

    In FCPX, we save Liberaries we are currently working on locally? Or on the Drobo?
    All importing from the archived footage is “left in place” rather than copied.
    The old mac pros can transcode id needed.
    The iMacs can run of original media.

    Here are the questions I have so far.

    1. Will the Drobo over ethernet be fast enough? Most larger organizations use ethernet connected storage servers right?

    2. What would my back up routine be? My media and liberaries would be stored in different locations. Would the drobo single disk protection be enough? I plan on having a few spare 4TB drives ready to insert if a disk fails.

    3. Am I correct in thinking that my 4TB of footage would be the majority of space used, if no proxies are created and original media is used, not including the library which would be very small with external media, render files, and other added music, graphics and such? Also assuming that the Drobo single disk protection is the on protection I have.

    4. Is there a better option then the Drobo b800i? We are a small crew with no IT department.

    Thanks for any feedback.

    Dale

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Dale:

      This is NOT a good idea, nor one that will work successfully. I am a big fan of Drobo, but not for centralized storage that is being accessed by multiple users.

      There are much better options. Look at shared storage from:

      * Small Tree Systems
      * Tiger Technology
      * Edit Share
      * MaxxDigital

      You need a server with HIGH-speed storage attached via Thunderbolt so that the storage is MUCH faster than any connected computer. Drobo attaches at the speed of a single computer and will quickly develop bottlenecks.

      Gigbit Ethernet is fast enough for single-stream ProRes editing live from the Server. If you are doing multicam editing or high-resolution video or uncompressed codecs, you’ll need to copy the files locally to get the speeds you need.

      The “single disk protection” in a RAID means that if one hard drive in the RAID dies, your data is sate. It does NOT mean your data is backed up. You should plan to have one high-speed drive attached to the server for media access, with a second hard drive, which can be much slower, attached to the server for backup. Any Drobo would be a good choice for this second backup device.

      Hope this helps,

      Larry

      • Dale Ryan Leckie says:

        Hi Larry,

        Thanks for the info.

        I will have a look at those other options.

        If I’m to do a shared storage option, it’s looking like a thunderbolt connection is best?

        Have a good day!

        • Larry Jordan says:

          Dale:

          “Best” is relative. Depending upon your server, it will probably be the cheapest. However, as you’ll discover, other options exist.

          Larry

          • Dale Ryan Leckie says:

            That’s true.

            Is ethernet an issue in general with shared storage?

            Or does it depend on the server as well?

          • Larry Jordan says:

            Dale:

            Gigabit Ethernet has a top speed of about 105 MB/second. Which is plenty fast for lots of editing.

            The key gating factor, here, is the speed of your switch. Most inexpensive switches can’t support providing full bandwidth to all connected devices. For this reason, a couple of years ago, I upgraded my simple switch to an SMB switch from Cisco. Here, the backplane (the bus that moves data around inside the switch) is fast enough to support every connected computer getting data at full gigabit Ethernet speeds without choking.

            With a fast switch, fast server and fast storage your editors should be able to edit directly off the server without needing to copy data locally – except for high-bandwidth editing like multicam or high resolution images.

            Larry

          • Dale Ryan Leckie says:

            Hi,

            My research has now led me to ProMax Platform Studio. So far, they seem like the best option. Affordable now but scalable for future growth.

            What have you heard about servers taking the load of of my edit suites…I’m thinking about rendering, transcoding, exporting. I know compressor can share a job across multiple machines using q master. Not sure if fcpx does this, or if it’s an osx thing.

            A huge selling point beyond shared storage would be to bring new life to my older Mac Pros if certain processes are offloaded onto a server.

            Thanks again for you thoughts.

            Dale

    • Lydia Robertson says:

      I have to second Larry on his position of Drobo not being a good editing solution.

      It looks good on paper but in practice it is slow. Also, in a shared environment it is very dangerous because though you are protected if one drive goes south you are NOT protected if the Drobo itself fails. I am a fan of using Drobo as backup but I have had them fail and had to buy a new old Drobo, of the same year and model, to access my backed-up material. This took over a week and meant we were without our back up during this time. Of course, just then, one of our media drives died and we would have been in a pickle if we hadn’t gone out, spent the cash and bought a new Pegasus Thunderbolt the day before and hooked it up for temporary back up. Now we are backing up to Pegasus RAID 5 instead of Drobo

      • Benji says:

        I’ve been editing off of the Drobo 5D for the past year. I also have Crash Plan which is trickling everything on my Drobo up to the cloud. The Drobo 5D is fine for editing off of however I usually do my main edit with proxies because it is much more “snappy”. Towards the end of the project I’ll do color correction and effects with Optimised Media turned on. This has worked fine for me so far. I had a drive fail a few months ago in the Drobo and was able to hot swap in a fresh one no problem.

  21. Kelly Dove says:

    So what’s the best way to handle this scenario: We are editing a feature length doc – in one office, location A. Every few weeks, we need to edit in a different office, location B. The project has lots of new media by this time, interviews, etc.

    We copy/consolidate the files each time to an external thunderbolt hard drive – but now that we have so much media, it takes hours, as in 12 or more. Much of the media is already on the other computer at location B. Just not the new stuff, which was on various hard drives that we no longer have access to.

    What’s the best way to copy/consolidate just the new files? thanks!

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Kelly:

      Clone your drive every night.

      then, when you need to take a drive on the road, you’ve already transferred the media and project files. Simply disconnect the spare drive and take off.

      Larry

  22. Ken Summerall, Jr. says:

    I have another scenario. 2 people working on a project. Both have identical copies of the Event media on their own machines. One person has logged the b-roll for the project. Can a Transfer library be used to just transfer the keywords and other metadata? Would this be accomplished using the method above?

      • Ken Summerall, Jr. says:

        Mark,

        Do we need to make sure that the library and events are all named the same thing? We have never done the Event XML thing before.

        • LarryJ says:

          Ken:

          Yes, common names will make this work a LOT better.

          Also, you SHOULD be able to select the Event containing the logged media and make a Transfer Library of that Event, which should also transfer all the logging notes.

          Do a test and compare using XML and Transfer Library and let us know what you find. NEITHER of these will damage or change the original Library containing all the notes.

          Larry

  23. Brad says:

    Hi Larry,

    I am new to FCP so please bare with my ignorance. I have been working and editing with FCP X on an iMac7 using its internal 1tb hard drive. However, after realizing I was going to have storage issues I picked up a 4tb g-tech thunderbolt drive. My concern is this, I have a piece that I’m editing which is now spread out over the iMac internal drive and my external drive and I wish to delete as much as I can from the iMac and get it to the external drive without damaging my project. Any suggestions on how best I could accomplish this? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Lydia Robertson says:

      Hi Brad,
      an easy way to handle this is to manually move the Library you are using to the drive you want everything to be on and then consolidate the library – which will copy all media into that library, onto that drive as one large managed library. If you are not sharing your library with another editor this will work very well for you.

  24. Kathy says:

    Just updated to tcp 10.1 and can not get sony z7u m2t files to import-they are greyed out in import window.

  25. Ricardo says:

    Hey everyone,

    Does anyone know how to merge events and avoid equal files to be deleted? I have two events in a collaboration environment. don’t know what has that the other one doesn’t. is there any way to see this automatically?

    thank you!

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