Jun 2, 2011

UPDATED: Multi-Machine - Infield Log, Transfer and Edit Network with One Mirrored RAID

Today we're talking local server networking with computers using a Mirrored RAID set, Mac computers and Final Cut Pro.  This will work with Final Cut Pro X when it comes out.  In fact when you no longer have to transcode things your life will be much nicer.  The big thing here is hardware and how its set up.  Below I've included the copy for how to set up your server and best practices when using it.  Can anyone draw?  A diagram would be nice but not from my hand.  I have no creative drawing abilities in my bones.

Let me know how this works for you and if you have any suggestions to improve it.  I've used it and love it.  It can be adapted and modified to meet your specific needs and workflow.  I prefer to offload raw footage to the drives using ShotPut Pro and then work off a copy of the footage.  I'll have myself or lead editor working while I have the assistant pulling broll and whatnots.  When that isn't possible this workflow is exactly what you need.

There are images at the bottom of the post that you can download and use as a visual reference.

**** A somewhat important point not to forget with the Mirrored RAID work flow: when ingesting footage from the secondary (laptop), the editor on the primary (MacProo) needs to manually drag (import) the media that has been logged and transferred to the RAID into their FCP project.  Even though they are working on a FCP files that is the exact same name, the files are stored on two different machines (each machine creates it's own autosave of it's project) meaning the footage doesn't automatically poputlate on the FCP project NOT ingesting the footage.  Ideally with bins matching the file structure on the RAID. ie. Day 01 // 09_23 card 01_a // (media clips).****


For best results use a MacPro with separate FW800 Busses, front and back
Set up two hard drives — one on the front FW800 buss and the other on the rear FW800 buss. Open disk utilities and select each new volume and partition to one volume. Do each one twice, for good measure calling one shoot_region_a and shoot_region_b (short names, lower case and no spaces is ideal).

NOW select shoot_region_a and select RAID (seen in blue above). From the left column select the two hard drives shoot_region_a & shoot_region_b and drag them into the white box to the right. Youʼll want to tell it to automatically rebuild -- this is found in options... Once it has completed this, there will be only one drive on the desktop of the MacPro.

NEXT plug an ethernet cable between the two machines -- the MacProʼs have two so you can still connect hardline to the internet to upload content to an FTP or whateve -- and open System Preferences on the MacPro and select sharing under the Internet & Wireless section. Tick the File Sharing box. When you have a green light youʼre done. You can, if youʼd like, to name the computer as per your needs. ie. MacPro or Main.

Repeat this File Sharing process on the MacBook Pro. Maybe label the computer name laptop or something. Again, when you have the green light youʼre good to go.

Okay, now in the Finder bar on the laptop (or secondary machine) select Go and then Network.

Youʼll select the MacPro or primary machine and Connect As a register user. Youʼll need to know the admin login name and password for your machines. When you are connected youʼll see a list of the volumes available. Select the Mirrored RAID you created and it will appear as that (unless youʼve change your icons.

You should now be networked to your Mirrored RAID, having access to both machines.

This is a setup for direct Log & Transfer and not to be used to copy raw digital files to drives. See Infield Workflow for example.

I suggest using your secondary machine to Log and Transfer your footage and pull broll selects for your editor.
Create a FCP project file and name it exactly what youʼve name it on the principle machine. This makes FCP not confused when it is looking for files as the secondary and primary will be saving and naming everything the exact same. When you ingest footage youʼll want to create a new folder in your scratch disk for each day, ie. Day 01. Then a new folder for each card you offload and I like to label it with the time (military), card number and camera. 08_21 card 01_b. This helps you know when the footage was shot and who shot it.

You can use this same principle in FCP as you ingest and create a bin for each card ingested. Thatʼs youʼre call.

So create new sequences and label them as per your needs and begin cutting selects to those sequences. Once youʼre done pulling the specific work. Create a new FCP Project and label it accordingly. ie. Awesometown Selects. Save it to the Mirrored RAID, close it on your machine and then the principle machine can open it, copy the sequences or whatever makes the editor happy.

• It is wise to change the FCP Autosave to 10 mins from 45.
** This will work with any two Macs -- laptop or desktop or iMac as long as ʻhostʼ is a MacPro with two separate FW800 ports on the front and rear AND you have two separate licenses of Final Cut Pro.
*** Any other questions please ask me.

1 comment:

so said...

i so wish you were my neighbor