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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Mac Pro/Macbook Pro Joint Ventures


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jcrew2

 
Member Since: Sep 26, 2008
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Okay, I am getting a mac pro next week. Plan to use it to run protools for music and final cut studio for video. Once I get it setup, I was thinking it would be sweet if I got a Macbook Pro, then I could work on my projects while away from my main workstation, and then when I get back, import my updates and changes to each project and continue moving forward. Of course I would do all of the processor intensive stuff on the desktop. The laptop would mostly be for rough editing and recording while out in the field.

Now all I have is the idea that it can be done. How to do it??? Thats what I need to know.


P.S. You may see this post in another section if I don't get many responses, so please don't get offended if I crosspost. Thanks
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Nethfel

 
Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 2,109
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Mac Specs: Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10

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the EASIEST way to me (this is for FCS, I can't comment on protools):

1) Use an external hard drive (or 2), either get a chassis with FW 800 and get a drive to plug into it, or get a drive/chassis combination (the second drive system can be a usb drive).

2) Format for OSX, give it a decent name (I call mine VideoProjects and VideoData)

3) Set the scratch/render on all machines to the FW800 disk (VideoData)

4) Save all projects to your secondary external drive (you can save it to the FW800 if you want, but it's best to keep project files separate from the scratch/render stores)

Optional - if you don't want to lug around 2 drives, make sure the username that you do the editing under for both systems is identical, use the FW800 drive to transfer the project files from one system to another. The reason for this is if you store other misc. stuff where the main project files are, you want to make sure that you don't have to re-locate the media each time you open on a different system.

The biggest reason why I am suggesting this is lets say you store all of the files on the internal drives of the mac pro, then transfer all of the data to the internal drive of the laptop - when you open the FCS project on the laptop, you'll need to locate your data. Once located, you do your work, save it etc. then transfer it back to the mac pro - now you'll have to locate your data again as the save file now references the data in a potentially different location. It gets messy going back and forth if you do it frequently, and I've found it easier to just reference everything against an external drive. I'm doing this now to move projects between 3 systems and it's been working well for me (even one time when I had to hook my fw800 drive up via usb, I was still able to work on the material because the reference is by the name of the storage.

I'm not saying how I do it is the best, it's just what works for me moving between three systems (mac pro, mac mini and macbook)

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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jcrew2

 
Member Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posts: 14
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1) Use an external hard drive (or 2), either get a chassis with FW 800 and get a drive to plug into it, or get a drive/chassis combination (the second drive system can be a usb drive).

Ok help me out here. Give me a little more detail on the first couple of drives you mentioned. The USB drive, I get, but why only for the
second drive system.

How many gigs are your drives and what size do you recommend?

Do you think the 8 core is worth the extra money on a mac pro?
I'm thinking the quad core is enough.
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Nethfel

 
Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 2,109
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Mac Specs: Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10

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First note: when I say project files - I mean files related to the project that don't include video, audio, render or other scratch medial. Project files to me include save files from the various apps in FCS, notes, photos that you may import into your project, mp3s that you may import, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcrew2 View Post
1) Use an external hard drive (or 2), either get a chassis with FW 800 and get a drive to plug into it, or get a drive/chassis combination (the second drive system can be a usb drive).

Ok help me out here. Give me a little more detail on the first couple of drives you mentioned. The USB drive, I get, but why only for the
second drive system.
The reason is that you really don't need to use your firewire bus for storing the base project files (the save files from FCS products, notes, etc.) where as for the actual editing process you really want the throughput capability of firewire. You can do editing on usb drives BUT you will find yourself rendering a lot more and the overall process will be slower then FW800.

y thought is to also keep other "non-essential" material off the FW bus. For example, let's say you have FW800, and your scratch drive is hooked onto it. Now lets say you have a second FW800 drive daisy chained off for something else, like the project save files and such - any time both drives are accessed at the same time the speed to each drive will be reduced because it's sharing the bus.

Sometimes it may be irrelevant (ie: I have no problem daisy chaining a 800->400 adapter off the drive and hooking in a firewire camera to do video capture since you wouldn't be capturing and doing other edit work simultaneously normally), but normally, I like to keep my video scratch, render, cache, etc. on its own dedicated drive on the fastest bus on the system (obviously, the best would be if you have esata on both your lappy and your mac pro as esata would have better throughput then fw).

Remember, the second drive isn't mandatory if you're willing to transfer your project files before doing editing work. This is many times what I do as I have my 3 macs configured the same for my logon and sometimes I don't like carrying multiple external drives around.

Quote:
How many gigs are your drives and what size do you recommend?
Everything will depend on:

The nature of the video and length of video you plan to be working with (1080? 720? SD?)
The codec you plan to work in (for FCS apple pro res? HDCAM? Apple Intermediate Codec? other?)
How many projects you plan to keep on your scratch drive before transferring any material to long term storage?
etc.

I don't work with very long projects, my longest is 2x 1 hr events HD 1080i and I'm currently using a 400 gig drive. Keep in mind, at my longest projects, I run a risk on space because my footage alone will absorb up to near 200 gigs which only leaves the remaining amount for render and such which really isn't enough, but I fudge it by working on the 2 1 hr events one at a time. When I'm done with my project, assuming I need to keep my footage, I transfer my footage over to my DROBO for long term storage.

here's a website that shows the calculations for storage requirements (not including additional rendering files and such - just covering the basic needs for some different codecs):

Video Storage For Final Cut Pro | Moviola – Training for Avid, Apple & Adobe | Production & Post Production Rentals & Sales | Los Angeles, Hollywood, Burbank

You want (not necessarily in this order of importance as they are all important):

1) A Fast drive (7200 or faster)
2) A large drive (depending on average project length and amount of raw footage, I wouldn't go less then 500 gigs, and would prefer a 1tb (I know you're asking yourself "well, why the heck do you have a 400gig?" well, when I switched to Mac, I had a spare 400 gig drive to throw in an external enclosure to use until I could buy something bigger - other purchases have taken priority)
3) A reliable drive (these scratch drives get abused. Log and transfer, capture video, renders, playing, scrubbing video, etc. - the heads will thrash back and forth a lot. You really want a good solid drive to stand up to this abuse; also be prepared for this to be the first drive in your system to fail as it will get the most use)
4) If you don't mind lugging around a larger chassis, an external multi drive chassis that does RAID 0 (striping) will give good performance due to the data being distributed amongst the drives increasing overall average performance - the only negative is if one of the two drives fails, the array fails. It's the trade off - you get a lot more performance with no extra reliability. Don't get a chassis that is going to do raid 1 or raid 5. Those are great raid levels for data redundancy and security should a drive fail, but it is terrible for video editing as they are significantly slower due to the way the data has to be written to the drives (a raid 1 or 5 chassis would be good for a long term storage of footage once a project is done tho).

Quote:
Do you think the 8 core is worth the extra money on a mac pro?
I'm thinking the quad core is enough.
Do I think an 8 core is worth the extra money? That is a tough thing to answer. I feel it is. I've seen all 8 cores get use with what I've worked on. Now, a new nahelem system quad core will perform similar to my older 8 core machine (in some things mine will be faster, in some the nahelem would be faster). Multiple cores help with well multithreaded operations (I can use 100% of 8 cores with handbrake ). Faster speed per core helps with software that isn't multithreaded or doesn't use a lot of cores. (for example, a program that uses 2 cores on a machine. 2 machines side by side, both same amount of cores, the faster per core machine will run the code faster then the slower machine - so in my case, a 3.0GHz 8 core early 08 machine will beat my machine easily.

Get RAM. Get Lots of RAM. Especially for HD video (4gig min recommended for working with HD. I'd expect FCS3 to be the same or possibly require more depending on new capabilities), and if you plan to use motion - from what I understand with Motion; the more ram you have the more things you can do in real time (I've only used motion a little bit so I can't really comment beyond what I've read).

Hopefully all of this has made sense

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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jcrew2

 
Member Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posts: 14
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Well to be honest, I probably get about 50% of what you're saying. But I get the general idea. I know I have lots of reading to do, but I consider these questions and answers as only part of my homework. And without a doubt, you are one of my tutors. Man...thanks for all your help. You've already given me a ton of info. Just so you know I plan to continue robbing your brain for more knowledge, don't try to resist...just keep the safe open and lets continue doing this the easy way!!!

Really I appreciate your help. I'll go do a little reading so that I can come back to review what you've told me so far to make sure I have a clear understanding. Looks like I need to just focus on my primary setup first. What I would like to do though is just make sure that as I build my setup, I keep in mind that I will want to add a laptop into the picture for working out and about. So if you would help guide me in the right direction for that, but at this point, looks like the biggest thing you can do for me is help me with phase one of my setup, which will be the desktop.

In the meantime, if you have a moment. Let me give you a list of terms or phrases you mentioned in your last post that would help me out if you defined for me.

1. if you plan to use motion ?
2. RAID 0 -(is mac pro raid the same thing, or is it raid1 or raid5?
3. What does Raid do?
4. daisy chaining a 800->400 adapter off the drive
5. video scratch, render, cache, etc
6. a raid 1 or 5 chassis would be good for a long term storage of footage
7. you said project files can go on a usb drive right?

Ok lastly, I guess I should give you a little info on what I would like to do and where I am so far in order to help you help me. I have a Canon xh a1 and a HV30. Plan to shoot mostly in hd and downconvert to sd at the end when necessary. Plan to shoot a variety of things... events, performances,interviews,documentary,indie films, music videos, and sports. Purchasing a new mac pro w/ nehalem quad core (8 core but only if i have to). Purchasing the latest final cut studio 2academic version (when does fcs 3 come out, and should I wait for it?).

By the way...did I say thanks for all your help. Just responding to my post has turned into a job hasn't it!!!
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Nethfel

 
Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 2,109
Nethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of light
Mac Specs: Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcrew2 View Post
Well to be honest, I probably get about 50% of what you're saying. But I get the general idea. I know I have lots of reading to do, but I consider these questions and answers as only part of my homework. And without a doubt, you are one of my tutors. Man...thanks for all your help. You've already given me a ton of info. Just so you know I plan to continue robbing your brain for more knowledge, don't try to resist...just keep the safe open and lets continue doing this the easy way!!!
Hahahahahaha! Hopefully I'll be able to continue to help - I know there are a lot of other people here too that know probably a lot more then I, and hopefully if I do give a bad piece of advice, they'll chime in .


Quote:
Looks like I need to just focus on my primary setup first. What I would like to do though is just make sure that as I build my setup, I keep in mind that I will want to add a laptop into the picture for working out and about. So if you would help guide me in the right direction for that, but at this point, looks like the biggest thing you can do for me is help me with phase one of my setup, which will be the desktop.
I'll do what I can. It's a good idea to get your main rig figured out, but attempt to be as flexible as possible so you can easily add additional equipment (computers) in the future.


Quote:
1. if you plan to use motion ?
Motion is one of the tools that is part of Final Cut Studio. It's a very powerful tool that allows for all sorts of work, including 3D, masking, rotoscoping, building menu templates for dvd studio pro, and a lot more. It is an extremely powerful program. If you've ever heard of Adobe After Effects - that's basically what Motion is, and it's including in Final Cut Studio

Quote:
2. RAID 0 -(is mac pro raid the same thing, or is it raid1 or raid5?
You can do a few different types of Raid on a mac pro, you can do software raid (which I don't really like) or you can get a hardware raid controller (to me a better option because I prefer all hard drive access to be transparent to the OS rather then the OS doing extra work to act like a raid controller). The Apple Raid card I do believe supports raid levels 0, 1, 5 and 0+1 - so the card can do raid 0 if configured for it.

Quote:
3. What does Raid do?
RAID is short for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. There are a variety of RAID levels that offer different benefits. For example - RAID 0 is striping, there is no redundancy but a nice speed boost over using just a single drive as now all of your reads and writes are spread across multiple drives giving you greater overall throughput. RAID 1 is mirroring - in its most simple configuration, on a 2 drive RAID 1 setup, everything written to one drive is also written to the second drive - this allows to continue to work even if one drive fails; it is slower because all the same data has to be written to one (or more) drives at the same time.

For a more indepth discussion on RAID and the different RAID levels, check here: RAID - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
4. daisy chaining a 800->400 adapter off the drive
Depending on your external drive, it may have 1, or hopefully 2 FW800 ports on it. You hook one to the computer, and the second port is available to add another FW device to. Firewire cameras are usually FW400 connections, and either require the chassis itself to have a FW400 port that the camera can connect into, or you need an adapter to connect a FW400 device to FW800. In my case, my HD case has FW800 and FW400 and I can plug my FW400 device into my HD directly.

Quote:
5. video scratch, render, cache, etc
While you are working, various things will happen to your video and audio.

It will need to be rendered at times
It will need to be captured or transfered or ingested somehow
thumbnails will be taken for clip identification on the timeline, etc.

All of these things are done on the scratch disk (or disks, scratch location and what is stored on each scratch disk makes more sense when you see the configuration of FCP).

FCP and FCE (final cut express) use a folder grouping that specifies capture scratch (where captured or logntransfered video is stored), autosave vault, render files (when the timeline is rendered for playback - you can't real time playback everything, some things need to be rendered. Command-R will become your friend), Audio Render (all non-video clip audio tends to want to be rendered, if you don't render it, you hear lovely beeps during the playback period where the audio isn't rendered) and various cache folders for the operation of Final Cut.

Don't worry - this may sound complex and hard, but it really isn't. Once you have your storage area setup, you don't have to worry about it until you need to move project data off.

And anything that requires rendering - you'll know. The timeline uses various rather obvious indicators to let you know if something needs rendering (ie: a clip that is not playable at all until it is rendered will show a red line along the top of the timeline where the clip is)

Quote:
6. a raid 1 or 5 chassis would be good for a long term storage of footage
If you want to store your footage for long periods - for example, let's say you start building a footage library so you can reuse footage in later projects. You're going to want to store that footage somewhere. As hard drives are getting cheap, it is very economical to store it on HD's. But as hard drives are mechanical in nature, they can fail, which means aside from backups, you don't want to be down long during a project waiting for a backup to restore, so you would store your data in a protected manner so that if a single hard drive fails, you don't loose everything. In RAID 1, if one drive fails, the other can continue its work. In Raid 5 your data is striped across multiple disks with parity information so if one of the drives fails the array can continue to operate and it can rebuild itself when you replace the faulty drive (read the link above for a more detailed discussion on RAID levels).

Quote:
7. you said project files can go on a usb drive right?
Mine have. I do use the same account name structure on my systems tho, so I can also just use a thumb drive to transfer my project files from system to system. I'm currently finishing a small project, final output is right about 11 minutes in length, footage stored on my scratch drive is about 66 gigs (60 gigs footage, 4.4 gigs dvd and rest is a few mp4 exports for preview videos); That project has a project folder of about 981 megs (which includes my final cut save file, motion save file, dvd studio save file, motion export video, mp3s, photos used in the project, some text files with notes, logo graphics, etc. This is a large project folder for me, most are much smaller, but due to the amount and size of photos this folder kind of ballooned a bit.)

Quote:
Ok lastly, I guess I should give you a little info on what I would like to do and where I am so far in order to help you help me. I have a Canon xh a1 and a HV30.
I'm jealous on the XH - I'd love to have one!

Quote:
Plan to shoot mostly in hd and downconvert to sd at the end when necessary.
That's what I'm doing right now. Mostly I've been doing SD in the past, so I'm still fairly new into HD.

Quote:
Plan to shoot a variety of things... events, performances,interviews,documentary,indie films, music videos, and sports.
That sounds like a wide variety and should be enjoyable for you. Very different settings so you'll probably have to mixup some of your workflow to accommodate the different types of footage (ie: a performance may be done in low light which may require different corrections then say a documentary).

I myself do mostly video for the school I work for. A lot of it is nothing spectacular (like the graduations, I supply the camera, set it up on the tripod and let the person in the soundbooth control it since I'm usually downstairs taking pictures with my still camera), although I do sometimes throw together some special things like this slide show I'm finishing that has some people on camera making statements, some voice overs, some 3D work for the opening (I don't do a lot of 3D work as I'm not really good with it, but I have a lot of fun playing ), etc.

Quote:
Purchasing a new mac pro w/ nehalem quad core (8 core but only if i have to). Purchasing the latest final cut studio 2academic version (when does fcs 3 come out, and should I wait for it?).
I honestly don't know when FCS3 will come out. I don't remember hearing about it when I was hearing about other announcements at WWDC so I don't know if it was discussed. I myself am usually impatient - I'd rather work with what I know I can have than wait and hope for what is coming at some unknown date. If it were coming at the same time as snowleopard, then I'd say get final cut express to get a feel for the use of the program (a lot of the interface is the same if not very similar) and then get FCS3 when it's out, but since I don't know when FCS3 is due, I can't say that my suggestion is good - also because I personally hate iDVD and final cut express doesn't come with any sort of DVD authoring, and there are very few options for OSX for dvd authoring (that has been one of my most difficult issues).

Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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jcrew2

 
Member Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posts: 14
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So lets say I don't start out with a Raid. And no laptop. How do I setup my files and projects and whatnot so that I have an easy transfer once I add my laptop and raid to my setup? Keep in mind that I only plan to get on hard drive on my Mac Pro to begin with. If I have to get a second drive to start with can a cheap usb external hd work?

Talked to a friend of mine who is a computer buff in general and he said that I could just create a network and use my laptop to access my desktop remotely and just work like that (assuming I have high speed web access while out and about). What do you think?

I think I understand a little bit more about Raid now. It's basically distrubuting data across multiple hard drives to increase efficiency in one way or another. For example, one configuration might be to help prevent loss in case one hard drive goes down, another config might be to speed up processing by spreading out data over a few drives, and another config might be a combo of the above two. Am I correct?

Is a Raid setup necessary anytime you have multiple hard drives on one computer or is it just a way that multiple hard drives can be linked for max efficiency?
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Nethfel

 
Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 2,109
Nethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of light
Mac Specs: Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10

Nethfel is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcrew2 View Post
So lets say I don't start out with a Raid. And no laptop. How do I setup my files and projects and whatnot so that I have an easy transfer once I add my laptop and raid to my setup? Keep in mind that I only plan to get on hard drive on my Mac Pro to begin with. If I have to get a second drive to start with can a cheap usb external hd work?
Just get an external chassis with firewire 800 and get a HD to connect into it. set up your main computer so when you get your laptop, they both use the same username.

In FCP, in the system settings, you'll be configuring your scratch disks, mine on this computer looks like:



if you use an external firewire drive, just hook up the drive, configure FCP, and make sure the drive is connected before you launch FCP.

Quote:
Talked to a friend of mine who is a computer buff in general and he said that I could just create a network and use my laptop to access my desktop remotely and just work like that (assuming I have high speed web access while out and about). What do you think?
You could, but I wouldn't recommend attempting to use final cut pro remotely. Remote control like what is done through osx (or on windows through remote desktop) is not designed for video work.

Quote:
I think I understand a little bit more about Raid now. It's basically distrubuting data across multiple hard drives to increase efficiency in one way or another. For example, one configuration might be to help prevent loss in case one hard drive goes down, another config might be to speed up processing by spreading out data over a few drives, and another config might be a combo of the above two. Am I correct?
Close enough for government work

Quote:
Is a Raid setup necessary anytime you have multiple hard drives on one computer or is it just a way that multiple hard drives can be linked for max efficiency?
No, raid is not a necessity. On my mac pro itself, I have 4 hd's, none of which are are together in any form of raid. My external long term storage array (my drobo) uses raid. My external FW drive for my scratch disk is a single disk, no raid. If I were working with uncompressed data and/or wanted to be able to do real time with more simultaneous streams of video then I would definitely be using raid; but for what I do, I don't need it for my working disks. I have it on my long term storage as I want to reduce my risk of data loss.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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