EditShare’s XStream EFS SSD storage and Flow asset management tool set are used at the heart of many 4K/UHD post production workflows. In this video freelance colorist Warren Eagles shows the key benefits of Flow’s toolset when working with Adobe Premiere Pro CC and DaVinci Resolve.
We’re all living inside a giant media asset management system. It’s called the universe, and some remote parts of it run intelligent software called “Humans”. We somehow manage to keep track of a seemingly infinite mountain of assets.
But we’re not very good at it. We forget things, and we definitely can’t keep track of every single blade of grass that drifts into our field of view. We’re imperfect. We lose stuff.
In the past, when our daily media workflow revolved around film reels and videotape, it wasn’t so bad. With film, you can see the content – you only had to look at it. And with videotape, at least you could stick a label on it before stacking it on a shelf.
Digital video is now a done deal. Tape is only used for archive and restoring vintage material. Today, production is done with files, and the problem with files is that they all look the same. In fact, they don’t look like anything at all. You can’t really “see” them: all you can see is the name of the file on a computer screen, and if your files have names like “ 000000” to “8738752”, with no additional data about the clip, then it is completely impossible to work with them unless you go through them one by one.
And even if the files have good, consistent names, what about multiple versions, each with slightly different content? What about different formats, aspect ratios, colour grades? The list is almost endless. Working without good asset management is a nightmare and a liability.
There’s a long list of software available to help. Not all of it does the same thing. It’s useful to break it down into three main categories.
- Media Asset Management (MAM) – traditionally focused on managing the lifecycle of finished media assets
- Digital Asset Management (DAM) – more of an emphasis on image and document assets so tends to be used more by general media agencies than post production facilities
- Production Asset Management (PAM) – this is for content creation and packaging: post production, in other words.
What are the prime reasons for adopting PAM in post production?
The biggest of all of these is organisation. From ingest to delivery, it’s essential to manage assets securely on behalf of your clients during the creative process. Every single asset is there for a reason, and it has a value. Organised assets are worth indescribably more than disorganised ones.
Automate repetitive or complex tasks. With the right software, you’ll be able to set up automated workflows and routines to do the most complicated jobs: jobs that cause projects to overrun, and which tie up valuable (expensive!) employees. Transcoding, QC workflows and content delivery can all be automated.
With multiple employees working on the same project, it’s essential to manage their collaborative efforts. If you get this right, it will turbo-charge your business. If you get it wrong, it’s at best inefficient, and at worst, a recipe for disaster.
Frees up resources
Stand-alone NLEs contain asset management, but without a centralised system, each one is an island, or “silo”. This leads to fragmented and ineffective workflows. Worse than this, these expensive resources are often tied up with browsing, logging, trimming and even previewing. None of these activities now need a fully-fledged NLE: virtually any modern computer – laptop or desktop – can be used for these tasks with the right PAM software, freeing up the NLEs for intensive craft work.
Create new business opportunities
The more control and visibility you have over your assets, the more you can share, package and distribute them, either business to business, or business to end user. Information is profit, and a good PAM creates and adds information at all stages of the process.
A well designed Production Asset Management (PAM) system improves your workflow and business efficiency. It makes complex tasks simple and routine. It maximises profitability while allowing your employees to focus on doing the best possible job. Your creative budgets will go further.
Editshare Flow is a scalable Production Asset Management system that simplifies and turbo-charges the creative process. Several editors can work on the same timeline – with all the major NLEs. Spread across all of Editshare’s products, it is a unified environment where creatives can work together while technicians, administrators and managers optimise the use of resources.
Editshare Flow is unique because it is designed from the ground-up to work with closely with Editshare’s shared storage, and yet is available either through a workstation or via the web.
And now with Flow Story, a fully-fledged remote NLE that’s built into the fabric of the Editshare ecosystem, the creative process can start anywhere, and any time, whether you’re in the office or working remotely via a broadband connection.
For more information on EditShare’s Flow asset management solution and how it integrates with their XStream storage range please go to their website: www.editshare.com/products/flow
Wolfcrow does a fantastic job stepping through the post production process for Cinema, from managing and organising files in storage, all the way through to deliverables and archiving.
More details of each step of the process can be found here:
Helping make sense of difficult media workflow challenges
Complete suite of media management tools help manage ever increasing amount of production content
It’s a simple fact of life that organizations working in the broadcast space need a strategic approach to technology adoption. For post-production companies keeping a watchful eye on the constant evolution of acquisition formats and delivery standards, staying ahead of the curve can be quite…
Emoxis LLP is a long-established 3D animation and video post-production house based in Singapore. Catering to global advertising agencies and multinational corporations, the company’s services include television commercials, multimedia video productions, infographics, corporate presentations, animatics, stilomatics, motion graphics, animation, VFX and audio. Whatever the project, Emoxis’ creative team collaborates to deliver a unique aesthetic for each client within a short timeframe, which requires a strong storage infrastructure for quick and easy file access and sharing. Last year, Emoxis invested in a Facilis TerraBlock 24D to streamline operations.
At Emoxis, jobs are passed from offline, to 3D, motion graphics and online finishing at a rapid pace, and TerraBlock has simplified and accelerated the flow of data through Emoxis’ workflow. “Our operational team is lean, so productivity is hugely important. We want our creatives to be able to perform at top speeds, and with TerraBlock at the center of our workflow, they can,” said Mark Sun, creative director, Emoxis. “Our files render and transfer quicker than ever before, and we can playback uncompressed Adobe Premiere files in real-time. This functionality is crucial, especially when facing tight deadlines daily.”
Before integrating TerraBlock into its workflow, Emoxis explored NAS and standard file sharing with a centralized server, but quickly found that those solutions lacked the performance needed for concurrent connectivity and multi-format playback, while using more complex protocols. After searching for a higher quality storage solution that could match its video centric workflow needs, Sun purchased the TerraBlock through integration partner The Media Village. “We couldn’t be more pleased with our final decision. After using the system for some time, it’s evident that Facilis’ team is dialed into our needs as video creators and built a highly efficient solution at a price point that can’t be beat,” noted Sun.
Collaborating closely with The Media Village and Facilis, Emoxis’ TerraBlock installation ran smoothly, and the team was up and running in no time, with TerraBlock connected via 8Gb Fibre Channel to five Mac workstations that run Apple® Final Cut Pro®, Adobe® Premiere Pro®, Autodesk® Smoke®, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve and/or Avid® Pro Tools®, in addition to four Windows motion graphics suites that are linked via 1Gb Ethernet and run Adobe® Creative Cloud™ and Autodesk® 3ds Max®. The system is also linked to three producer workstations, a custom archive workstation, encoding suite, ten render farm nodes and an administration file server.
Emoxis is unique in that it is not a full edit-based post-production house, and shares its storage with producers, whose work typically requires 1Gb access to input documents into project folders. While real-time performance played a role in the decision-making process, finding an affordable, fast and easy way to share data between the entire team was the most important. “With Facilis, you don’t incur per-seat licensing fees, and you can easily customize your connection, whether Fibre Channel or Ethernet, to work in a hybrid environment,” said Sun. “It’s also easy to use and there is no cumbersome metadata controller; you can customize your workflow to cover a variety of situations. That alone made it a no brainer in terms of our decision to acquire TerraBlock.”
Over the course of post production on each project, Emoxis’ team will often draw upon high quality stock footage purchased from sister company, MotionElements.com. As the HD and 4K footage arrives uncompressed, the team has to be able to maintain maximum availability and speed while transcoding the footage for the timeline, which TerraBlock has afforded.
TerraBlock has also eliminated the need for Emoxis’ team to migrate project files from one workstation to another when changing edit suites, because all of the workstations can access footage directly from the system. “TerraBlock has put our editors at greater ease. It’s simplified the project planning process and changed the flexibility of how we work as a team for the better,” explained Sun. “We needed to move uncompressed HD files in real-time, and TerraBlock delivered; we wanted everyone in our studio to have access the same shared volume and TerraBlock provided that.”
He concluded, “No news is good news in this business, and we never hear any complaints about file access or networking from the staff. TerraBlock works perfectly the way we envisioned it would, which gives our entire team a peace of mind.”
Facilis TerraBlock is a high-capacity, multiplatform, shared storage system for post-production and content creation professionals. It fosters collaboration, supporting Fiber channel and Ethernet, as well as volume and file-level control.
About Facilis Technology
Founded in 2003, Massachusetts-based Facilis Technology, Inc. designs and builds affordable, high-capacity, turnkey shared storage and archiving solutions for post production and content creation professionals working in the film, television, education and audiovisual markets. Its production-proven solutions are fast and intuitive – making it easier for creative professionals to collaborate and work more efficiently. Flexible, scalable and compatible with industry-standard creative solutions, Facilis’ products blend seamlessly into any studio environment – boutique, mid-size or large – and have been installed in more than 2000 facilities worldwide. http://facilis.com/
All trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
Media Contact: Katie Adams, RazPR / Katie@razpr.com / 310-450-1482
Philippines-based integrated post production facility puts 288TB shared storage system at heart of new media asset management architecture supporting national commercial broadcast television & radio network
HUDSON, MA (April 12, 2016) – Facilis, a leading international supplier of cost-effective, high performance shared storage solutions for collaborative media production networks today announced a large-scale order for its TerraBlock shared storage system. Philippines-based ABS-CBN Corporation iPost (Integrated Post Production) has purchased four TerraBlock Hybrid24 systems, which have already been delivered and installed at the customer’s Quezon City-based post production facility.
The order was secured by Facilis working in partnership with local authorized reseller, Singapore and Philippines-based Media Village.
iPost operates under the Technical Operations Division of the Philippines’ national commercial broadcast television and radio network, ABS-CBN. It provides audio and video post production and visual effects services with an extensive range of content from drama series to soaps, talk shows and game shows. ABS-CBN operates two national TV channels, two regional radio networks, 11 cable channels and six international channels.
Prior to this install, iPost had four editing workgroups where each workgroup comprises 20-25 editing bays. To significantly increase the broadcasters’ editing capacity, it has added two more workgroups where up to 30 Avid Media Composer systems will work in a shared collaborative workflow. Facilis TerraBlock provides the shared storage facilities which bind this large-scale open workflow together.
The TerraBlock shared storage system is integrated alongside iPost’s content ingest facility to capture video feeds from other channels within the network and also from external sources. Eventually, the TerraBlock systems will be part of a larger central ingest system aimed to manage materials from acquisition to post production and delivery to in-house clients.
Specified by Media Village’s expert team of workflow designers, the TerraBlock system utilizes a combination of SSD and spinning hard drives to provide optimum levels of operational efficiency, resilience and cost efficiency. The system provides 10GigE and 16Gbps fiber channel client connectivity.
“We evaluated several other shared storage systems prior to making our decision and the Facilis TerraBlock out-performed all of its rivals,” commented Jessie Yamzon, the Head of Post Production at iPost. “Price and performance combined with its ease of maintenance were major factors that also led to the decision.”
For Facilis, this contract marks a turning point in company’s 13 year history. “Our ability to extend our technology to meet such high bandwidth and capacity requirements is a testament to the evolution of company and product line,” commented James McKenna, VP of Marketing and Pre Sales at Facilis Technology. “Working with Media Village, our ability to meet the needs of a national broadcaster in the APAC region speaks volumes about our customer focus and product quality.”
About Facilis Technology
Founded in 2003, Massachusetts-based Facilis Technology, Inc. designs and builds affordable, high-capacity, turnkey shared storage and archiving solutions for collaborative media production networks in the film, television, education and audiovisual markets. Its production-proven solutions are fast and intuitive –making it easier for creative professionals to collaborate and work more efficiently. Flexible, scalable and compatible with industry-standard creative solutions, Facilis’ products blend seamlessly into any studio environment –boutique, mid-size or large –and have been installed in more than 3,000 facilities worldwide. http://facilis.com/
All trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
For more information, please contact:
Doug Hansel or Véronique Froment
EMEA & APAC
Bob Charlton and Katie Charlton
+44 20 7084 6335
XStream EFS New Features
EditShare XStream EFS storage with its combination of EditShare File System (EFS) and innovative hardware is uniquely tailored for the post-production environment with core features delivering a resilient, high-performance storage platform:
- Single namespace – expands with additional storage
- Non-disruptive scalability to 5PB+ with millions of assets
- Distributed file system with multiple levels of hardware redundancy
- High availability options for reduced downtime
- Native Client connection for enhanced bandwidth performance
At IBC 2016 we will showcase the latest XStream EFS storage release adding further enterprise storage functionality that increases versatility and security:
- Node Groups: Now an EFS cluster can be configured with a mix of capacity and technology including SSDs for high data rate content and SATA HDDs for cost-efficient, performance storage
- File Protection: Administrators can choose from a variety of new file protection mechanisms to match content value and storage cost
- EFS Storage Goals: Users can allocate dedicated storage resources and file protection to individual departments or workgroups, ideal for managing enterprise environments
- File-per-frame Enhancements: The latest release expands optimization support for file-per-frame media including DPX, DNG (CinemaDNG), EXR (OpenEXR), CRI (Cintel), R3D (RedRAW), TIFF and RAW formats
- New HDD Options: EditShare has just completed qualification of our first 8TB HDD, which provides 33% more storage than we have ever offered before
More details on this latest XStream EFS release can be found on our website.
For a complete overview of the XStream EFS storage platform please download the new EFS brochure.