By Paul Hayes, Edit Share
EditShare collaborative storage systems are one of the most developed solutions on the market today for file-based video post-production. EditShare offers sophisticated media and project sharing functionality for all major nonlinear editing solutions, with an “open” approach to compatibility for all of your creative workflow tools.
Digistor have been selling and supporting EditShare solutions since 2007, and now have a number of large EditShare installations in broadcast production and post-production, and the education markets. EditShare was the client’s choice over many other solutions on offer due to better compatibility with all major creative editing and graphics applications. This compatibility goes deeper than most manufacturers, with perfect support for Mac, Windows, and Linux networked clients working together at the same time and on the same files, as well offering many specific video workflow software features aimed directly at professional TV and film market users.
EditShare is asked almost daily about support of third party software and hardware. It’s almost impossible to provide up to date info and support about every software or hardware tool available, suffice to say that if that tool works with network storage, it is highly likely to work with EditShare.
Recently EditShare and Digistor were asked to test support for Telestream Pipeline ingest hardware and software for a “catch up TV” service need. We are happy to provide the results for all:
– Capturing in Pipeline with Quicktime ("closed option") and Quicktime Edit-while-capture ("open option") codecs are supported on EditShare. There no special needs from EditShare to capture from Pipeline. Simply create any EditShare Managed or Unmanaged space, choose that media space as your target directory in Pipeline, and start recording.
– Clips captured appear instantly on the EditShare media space, allowing you to bring them into your NLE system immediately from any workstation or notebook computer on the network.
– For Pipeline Quicktime edit-while-capture (EWC), you need to select a directory for "local disk caching" on your workstation/laptop. A necessary requirement by the Pipeline system, clips are captured locally to this cache and forwarded to the EditShare shared drive automatically.
You can simply choose the internal hard disk of your Mac or Windows system. If you are using the higher data rate resolutions like ProRes422HQ, you should be very careful about what other processes are taking place on that workstation at the same time.
These codecs and wrapper would be the best option for a client with a Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, or Telestream Episode requiring an edit-while-capture (EWC) workflow. We would suggest that any other processor intensive applications be run from other workstations and not on the station that is capturing. The local disk caching does consume a lot of workstation system resources, and any other app on the same station may interrupt this and could cause dropped frames.
- EWC Quicktime files “grow” while capturing, but after stopping ingest, the clip remains at the preset duration-it doesn't re-make a clip to the new (shorter) duration if you stop the capture early. You are left with black in the remainder of the clip. The Pipeline default setting is 9hrs, so setting something closely resembling the actual required capture time would be a really good idea for subsequent editing...scrubbing a 9 hour clip to find the first 3 mins is going to be frustrating!
- Pipeline doesn't appear to offer a chunking option for EWC. Chunking is a good feature to have in conjunction with EWC as it creates a “closed” clip at set intervals (say, every 10 mins). This means you end up with an entire clip with no black filler, and is completely seamless with the next and subsequent “chunks” .
- Capturing in Pipeline for Avid Media Composer (or Symphony) direct to EditShare also seems to present no challenges. Using the Pipeline “MXF (OpAtom) + AAF” option is the only way to do this. This means that after capture you will have to import the AAF to an Avid bin. There is no local caching required by Pipeline and EditShare has always supported direct ingest.
- Pipeline does not offer an EWC and MXF (OPAtom) for Avid option. Pipeline's only wrapper for MXF and EWC seems to be MXF Op1a, so that means no direct support in Avid projects.
- Interestingly, if you use Quicktime EWC and use Avid's AMA process in Media Composer, it does "kind of" work. You link the incoming EWC (open) clip to AMA by browsing the EditShare drive while capturing. The clip is brought into a bin and you can play it.
But the AMA service keep updating the Avid interface, meaning the Avid interface screen refreshes and flickers. That makes it almost useless for critical editing because this results in interruption to your edit session. As the files grow, the Avid MC interface keeps refreshing as it sees more video, interrupting what you are doing.
Once the clip is actually loaded in the source window or on the timeline it is ok, but getting it there is frustrating and very much hit or miss.
You could perhaps create a duplicate setting in your Avid settings to turn off AMA. Selecting the “on setting” when you need it to update the incoming clip, and then selecting the “off setting” so you can actually edit! The refresh is so quick and continuous so it is hit and miss to get the timing right! A nice solution would be if Avid could include a console command to set the refresh as set intervals...say, every 30 secs, or every 1 min. That would do it!
The Pipeline still has a very tricky user interface. Even selecting the target directory for capture requires a science degree to work out! You actually have to select the file wrapper from the codec drop down menu, THEN double click the same option you just selected (for example “Quicktime”), and only then does it open the target directory window! Hope this tip helps someone...the Pipeline User Manuals are very unclear about how to do this, so be prepared to waste some time finding the target directory setting!
With EditShare as the collaborative storage system, Pipeline is a cost effective tool to use as an ingest device. It does lack some key tools for professional collaborative workflow such as the edit-while-capture facility for Avid (MXF) formats, and chunking.
It works well for simpler needs such as Quicktime and Avid MXF “closed” clips, and will suit smaller post house that want a simple, centrally located network ingest system. All files that Pipeline creates can be written directly (or indirectly) to EditShare storage.
Fully integrated into the entire solution, Geevs, Flow and EditShare storage systems offer many benefits for an all “file-based” workflow. Geevs Post Ingest system (shipping Sept 2012) is a server-based, low cost 2 channel HD ingest system that includes edit-while-capture in both Avid MXF and Quicktime codecs, as well as chunking and many other “must-haves”. The product is expected to ship in September 2012 and priced around the $15,000 mark for 2 channel ingest/4 channel playout.
As well, each EditShare storage solution ships with Flow production asset management software as well as Ark, the disk and LTO backup and archive solution. The value of these two tools alone will far outstrip any initial price saving in an ingest solution.