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Old December 11th, 2006, 06:56 PM   #1
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Multiple Machines, how would you use them?

Here is the issue. We run a small shop. We have accumulated some machines but don't really know a workflow that would best utilize their power or lack of in the case of one of my machines. I have the following:

1-Quad G5-3GB-2.5ghz
1-Dual G5-2GB-2.0ghz
1-Macbook Pro-1GB-2.16ghz/17
1-Powerbook-1GB-1.0ghz/17
1-Mac G4-350mhz-aka the little mac

I have an abundance of external drives, plugins, etc.

So my question is if you had these machines how would you use them? Should I try to build a server with all of my log and capture files located in one place? Should I use them seperately? Any advice would be appreciated as my business is growing to the point that workflow is an extreme issue now.

BTW / We mainly do documentaries for arts organizations. You can check out some of my work below:

Deep Purple
http://www.box5productions.com/feeds/crown/deepsm.mp4 – small version
http://www.box5productions.com/feeds/crown/deepsm.m4v – large version

In.Trance.It
http://www.box5productions.com/feeds/crown/guarddog.mp4 – small version
http://www.box5productions.com/feeds/crown/guarddog.m4v – large version

Connexus
http://www.box5productions.com/media/blue.mp4 – small version
http://www.box5productions.com/media/blue.m4v – large version

And before anyone says anything about using copyrighted music. The groups I work get that permission so everything is above board on that end of things.

Thanks so much in advance.

tim
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Old December 11th, 2006, 10:21 PM   #2
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You don't own a bunch of little computers. You own a super-computer

http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/features/xgrid.html
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Old December 11th, 2006, 10:25 PM   #3
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Very Problematic!!!

I have looked at doing the XGrid thing. However, on Apple's discussion forum (XGRID) there are very few people who have done this succesfully.

I am not faint of heart as my deadlines loom large and I am a procrastinator.

Tim
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Old December 12th, 2006, 06:14 AM   #4
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You have a nice little cluster for rendering compressor tasks and shake scripts, if you need it...

Gunleik
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Old December 12th, 2006, 12:26 PM   #5
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I will look into creating a render farm.

However, I was more talking about capturing. Workflow. For example, do I gain anything or lose anything by capturing on one machine(server)? Then editing footage from that server.

What I am thinking is, using my G4-350MHZ to capture all the footage. It doesn't serve anything unless it possible. Then my Powerbook G4, 1.0 GHZ would serve the files to the various machines. Then the machine could edit the footage.

I deal in hours of footage. For example the last project I had, had 47 hours of footage. It would be very adventagous to be able to be capturing without stopping work.

The render farm can work at night when we leave. I am more concerned about the daily flow.

Thanks so much for your response thus far it is helping me work through some ideas.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 08:32 PM   #6
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I would be think carefully about setting up the G4 Powerbook as a server for video editing. Why use the Powerbook? Just use a firewire drive to transfer files.

What sort of network do you have at the moment?
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Old December 12th, 2006, 11:54 PM   #7
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I don't have any sort of network at the moment. I share a cable modem wirelessly in the office but thats about it.

I just thought I read on here or somewhere else that there is a way to log and capture and still edit. I may have seen it on a documentary or something. But, they logged and captured in one area and then the editor was able to edit somewhere else.

I may not be able to afford such a thing or have the know how either. I just need to move faster from aquisition to editing back to tape. The cluster thing will greatly improve that, if I can get it running.

Tim
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Old December 13th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Snyder
I don't have any sort of network at the moment. I share a cable modem wirelessly in the office but thats about it.

I just thought I read on here or somewhere else that there is a way to log and capture and still edit. I may have seen it on a documentary or something. But, they logged and captured in one area and then the editor was able to edit somewhere else.

I may not be able to afford such a thing or have the know how either. I just need to move faster from aquisition to editing back to tape. The cluster thing will greatly improve that, if I can get it running.

Tim
That's not as easy as it sounds. Cluster grouping requires an ethernet network at least. And it's only useful for shared rendering in Compressor or After Effects. I'm not sure if Final Cut itself can take advantage of cluster rendering.

If you have a gigabit ethernet network, you can actually share files in realtime but it requires a fast server to host the files. There's a reason that video servers are specialized devices with special methods of data transmission such as Fibre Channel.

Set up one computer has a capture station and devise an efficent method to send the files to an editing station. This could be over the ethernet network or by an external drive. Once the files are transfered just import them into the project.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 11:51 AM   #9
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Hello,

There are several products that can network FCS, but you may want to wait for NAB 2007. Apple bought Proximity, maker of Art Box media management software, last week. It's possible that this software will be used in conjunction with an Xsan 2.0 to build a very stable and effective workgroup system for FCS. Art Box already works with the current version of Xsan to help manage and catalog digital assets. But, the buyout will only improve features and performance in the future. You'd need to speak with an Apple engineer about how that could work for you. If you need something before the future, there's a system called http://www.editshare.com/ that is suppose to work well with FCS and others. Hope that helps out.
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