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Old June 30th, 2008, 06:27 PM   #1
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A second editor working from the same HD?

I'm getting swamped, and my wife wants to edit with me. I want her to be able to work on the same jobs as me, but to do so, we need to access the same hard drive. I work my hard drive hardcore as it is. What would I need to buy (besides a second FCP) to accomplish this? Is there a type of drive that can be pulled in every direction without compromising the data?
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Old June 30th, 2008, 07:16 PM   #2
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Are you talking about working simultaneously on the same project or passing it back and forth? If you want to work with the same media at the same time, your best solution might just be to clone the drive and pass project files or XML back and forth. True shared storage (like Xserve or EditShare) is really expensive, and it's not easy to set up. There are network-attached storage systems that are much cheaper, but those aren't usually high-performance units that are good for video post. If you have a huge budget, by all means get someone to install a SAN at your office. But you can probably do everything you need by buying an identical hard drive, cloning it, and setting up a protocol for sharing project files so you don't erase or repeat work. I'm not super IT-savvy, so there might be good network-attached solutions I'm not aware of, but I bet for only two editors that cloning drives is the cheapest and easiest solution.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 08:23 PM   #3
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>...you can probably do everything you need by buying an identical hard drive, cloning it, and setting up a protocol for sharing project files so you don't erase or repeat work.

I have two 700 gig Western Digitals, but have had a lot of troubles with mounting. I guess they will work though. With two, does that enable me to render one at the same time as I'm capturing another? Currently I have big problems with fragements in my completed renders, so I'm hesitant to push my hard drives any farther.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #4
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Dana, maybe I misunderstood what you're trying to accomplish with your storage. Do you want to work on two separate projects on two separate computers at the same time? Or do you want to use two drives to capture and render on one computer? If it's the former, you can accomplish that with a couple hard drives and good file management. If it's the latter, FCP is not capable of that, and I've read in other places that background rendering is not likely to appear even in future versions of FCP. So what exactly are you trying to do?

Also, what do you mean by fragments in your renders? What's the problem you're encountering? Have you tried rendering to a disk other than your Western Digital drives to see if the problem goes away? I don't know how a hard drive would cause errors in a render out of FCP, but there are plenty of ways to create errors with HDV and transcoding.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 09:19 PM   #5
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Dana,

The only way you can successfully have more than one editor working the same project at the same time is to use Final Cut Server or other third-party project management software on external drives or arrays (XSAN is for sharing a single array or volume but does not manage Final Cut projects directly). The process is not cheap nor easily understood by the uninitiated and I don't recommend it for your application since it would drain your budget and your time to setup and learn it.

You cannot clone a project and then migrate the changes successfully back into a single project file; each time the project gets updated new metadata is created which would conflict with the other version - that's why Final Cut Sever would be a necessity.

My suggestion is that you figure out a way to streamline and make your workflow more efficient and split up duties on jobs. For example maybe one person could capture and do rough-cuts/assemble edits and the other could do final/color correction/output. Figure out whose skills are stronger in certain areas and split up tasks based on experience and skill-set, that will go a long way in making a better workflow.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #6
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Final Cut server is the only way to have the software manage your projects and assets, but you can create a workable solution with cloned drives or just copied files. I do this all the time. I know it's not an IT-department-approved solution, but it works just fine on a small scale. I've been working with cloned media on a project with a friend who moved to Brooklyn several months ago. We have the same QuickTime files and other media elements, and we trade project files or XML over FTP. The worst-case scenario is that we have to reconnect some offline clips. If you keep your directory structures identical, even that isn't necessary. This is a cheap solution for working on different parts of a project together. The disadvantage is that it requires manual labor for tracking changes and media.

Robert, I agree that splitting tasks is an efficient way to collaborate on a project, and I use almost exactly the workflow you outlined at my office. My girlfriend does rough cuts, I do the finish work, and we keep the project on a single volume. But it is possible to share projects back and forth without shared storage or Final Cut Server. I know it's not elegant, but again, I do it successfully all the time. I see in your profile that you work with P2. I don't, so perhaps the metadata structure is different with tapeless media, and this solution doesn't work. If you're capturing from tape (and I think Dana is), the metadata is all in the QuickTime files, and everything else is in the FCP project file. If the QuickTime files are the same on both volumes, swapping the project file doesn't cause any loss.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 01:15 AM   #7
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>You cannot clone a project and then migrate the changes successfully back into a single project file; each time the project gets updated new metadata is created which would conflict with the other version - that's why Final Cut Sever would be a necessity.

That is pretty important. If my wife does the reception and I do the ceremony, it would make the most sense to do it in two different files. With a copy/paste I could reconnect the captured (tape) scratch files.

Dana Melana
Capture Sound Capture Tape 1
Capture Tape 2 Capture Tape 3
Capture Tape 4 Capture Tape 5
Capture Tape 6 Trim All
Label Sound Color Correct
Produce Ceremony Produce Preparation
Produce PShoot Produce Reception
(copy/paste the two files)
Produce Music Video Render to QT
Render for Web Build and Burn
Print DVD Prep mailer

That might work

@ Zach: If your girlfriend is so cool that she is helping you edit... naw, I won't meddle. That is a great way to learn about each other though.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 02:41 PM   #8
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I am having a similar issue:

I have 2 NLE stations, and need to share the media between them. The same media is used for different projects.

For what I see, the best option is an XServe, but it is really expensive. Is there any other cheaper option?

PD: I do not need to edit a same FCP project in 2 places at the same time.
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