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Old April 30th, 2008, 06:27 PM   #1
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Mac storage issue.

I have an editor working for me that uses Final Cut. I have decided to buy a new iMac and Final Cut in order to load/store weddings (I don't give out original tapes). My problem is that I didn't realize how big the files would get with the Apple Intermediate Codec. I'm now looking at just under 200 GB's per wedding. I would like to buy/build a 3TB (or so) RAID 5 for the iMac. Can anyone make suggestions? I need to keep the weddings on the HD for a few weeks after delivery, just to make sure that there are no problems. I plan on giving the editor several weddings at once on an external 1 TB drive. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old April 30th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #2
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A lot of folks swear by G-tech's drives

http://www.g-technology.com/
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Old April 30th, 2008, 07:04 PM   #3
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Chad,

Just to be clear, an array of any kind isn't used for storage/archiving but for your working "hot" files. Unfortunately an iMac only has USB or Firewire for external connectivity so any array you connect via those connections will only give you a very large - and slow - drive. Only with eSATA, SCSI or Fiber would you be able to fully use an external array to it's fullest extent.

Here's my recommendation:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Stardom/ST76104SWBC/

It's a "hot-swap" Firewire enclosure allowing you to have up to 4 drives at any one time; you could software-stripe for mirror or parity, it's very cost effective and extremely quiet (I tested the eSATA version, same enclosure different connectivity).

This - or another hot-swap FW enclosure - would be your best bet as it would allow you to not only have your working files externally but also have an immediate backup or mirrored copy to give to your editor. It also allows you the freedom to choose your own bare drives rather than get stuck with the manufacturers choice. Clean, simple, cost effective.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 11:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Dyle View Post
I have an editor working for me that uses Final Cut. I have decided to buy a new iMac and Final Cut in order to load/store weddings (I don't give out original tapes). My problem is that I didn't realize how big the files would get with the Apple Intermediate Codec. I'm now looking at just under 200 GB's per wedding. I would like to buy/build a 3TB (or so) RAID 5 for the iMac. Can anyone make suggestions? I need to keep the weddings on the HD for a few weeks after delivery, just to make sure that there are no problems. I plan on giving the editor several weddings at once on an external 1 TB drive. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Why are you using AIC? What is the original format? I am assuming HDV of some sort. HDV files will work just fine for your editor unless there is an extenuating circumstance here. Many people edit with HDV and make a final file of the edit in some other codec. Weddings usually end up on DVD so HDV will work great, any problems you might have heard of will not be a factor when it's down-rezed for DVD.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 07:48 AM   #5
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William,

I'm very new (2 days) to FCP. I read somewhere that the AIC was the best option for capturing HDV. Which one should I be using?
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Old May 1st, 2008, 07:59 AM   #6
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Capture in the HD format you shot in. Then just render the timeline (finished product)out into a quicktime movie . Or export using compressor and choose a number of settings (mpeg4,h.264 ect.)
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Old May 1st, 2008, 09:17 AM   #7
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Chad,

As discussed in many threads and in Apple's own whitepapers the best way to deal with HDV is to capture into ProRes422. HDV is a long-GOP type of codec which has many painful attributes when editing, ProRes coverts HDV into a less painful more efficient codec allowing smoother, faster editing without any raster quality loss.

Read up on the workflow in the on-line help inside FCP or download the whitepapers from Apple.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 09:56 AM   #8
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ProRes422 is one option, and DVCPROHD is another one as well. The picture size won't be as large as ProRes422, but ti will be HD. Also, it is a intraframe codec so it's easy to work with and the files sizes aren't as large as AIC or ProRes422. Also DVCPROHD can be edited on any normal 7200 RPM drive. For PreoRes422 a Raid array is best suited.

If yo do capture to preRes422, just remember there are two flavors 8 bit and 10 bit. In most normal circumstances for basic editing 8 bit is just fine (and smaller file size). If you are doing a lot of compositing and work then 10 bit is better.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 11:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chad Dyle View Post
William,

I'm very new (2 days) to FCP. I read somewhere that the AIC was the best option for capturing HDV. Which one should I be using?
While there are many ways to go, especially if you want to maintain the original quality of your footage, you should figure in the ultimate purpose of your footage to weight the final decision.

HDV is a very compressed format with a limited color space but it's capable of recording some very high quality images for a very low budget. Most complaints about quality arise from doing anything that requires rendering (effects, color correction, chroma-keys, etc.). But HDV can be edited as HDV successfully and later exported to DVCProHD, ProRes or another high end HD codec thru Compressor which will render all the effects and color corrections in that chosen codec thus avoiding most rendering problems inherent in HDV. Also you save disk space as you'll only render the finished project, not hours of raw footage.

If you are creating a documentary for television or film, ProRes, DVCProHD are codecs to look into. Industrials, weddings, small projects for standard def DVD, home movies, student films, all can stay in HDV and still look great. AIC is a decent codec but I prefer ProRes for certain projects and to stay in HDV for others.

Talk with your editor and figure out a working plan. You are not doing anything to the files that the editor couldn't do later. Also you might consider a FireStore drive and capture your footage directly to the drive during the shoot and bring that to the editor. Keep the tapes as a backup. Saves you time.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 01:36 PM   #10
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Chad,

A bit off topic but if you are new to Final Cut (as I am) I really encourage to visit Lynda.com. They have excellent video tutorials. It is a pay site but you can "try out" a few clips. It really saved me when I had to learn in a hurry. The best $25 I ever spent.

Clay
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 08:48 AM   #11
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Clay,

I've been considering Lynda.com for a while. I've been a Vegas user for quite a while and they have very little regarding that app. I spoke with them at NAB and they said they will be up to date on Vegas by the end of year. Obviously I might not be using it at that time and should be well on my way with FCP.

I have another question regarding video formats/storage. In Vegas, I've captured directly to the HD (as a .m2t file) and then copied them to an external Seagate 7200rpm USB 2.0 HD for my editor. She edited them off the external disk and has never had any issues. Can my iMac (2.66Ghz, 2GB RAM) record video directly to an external USB 2.0 HD? Someone suggested buying this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822154185) and using it as secondary drive to capture video and then to move it to the HD's that will be sent to my editor. Whew!
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 10:50 AM   #12
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It can. I capture to my internal drive and then copy the capture folder to an external disk. She can edit from there no problem I think.

Clay
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