Tapeless workflow
  • We're seriously considering a proper, "grown-up" workflow solution at the company I work for.
    I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for end-to-end solutions, here's my rough idea at the moment (by the way, we're an Avid/PPro/PC studio):

     - regardless of camera, capture to external hard drive recorder (currently looking at the Atomos Samurai) in Avid DNxHD
     - graphics/edit/post on high res files directly from the HDD
     - backup to cheap USB3 hard drives for 6 months-ish
     - archive to LTO4 tape after 6 months

    I can see at least 3 advantages with this workflow;

    1. 90% of our footage will be the same resolution and filetype, hopefully eliminating most of the annoying "flipped fields/incorrect aspect ratio/crappy low res" pipeline problems

    2. As much as possible we'll be eliminating the need to push/pull files over a network/onto a workstation as the Samurai can record to 2.5" laptop harddrives which can be plugged directly into a caddy on a workstation

    3. Everything will be reasonably safe, secure and backwards compatible on LTO4.

  • If you have any control over production formats, the Samurai is a great idea. It's one of the few that will do 10-bit, which is nice. However, I'd strongly recommend against working directly off the Samurai drives. You should treat that as your camera original and transfer to your workstations or networked storage.

    It might be more upfront cost, but look into using SSDs in the Samurai. I'd suggest the following workflow:
    1. Transfer footage from SSD to workstation AND a backup drive. (Use a caddy that can plug in via eSATA or USB 3).
    2. Work off the local media and wipe the SSD only after both the local media & backup drive have been verified.
    3. Backup media, and project files/renders/final deliverables to two LTO4s when finished and keep one off-site.
    At one of the places I work for, we mostly get footage from production companies where we have little control over the format. But it's almost all tapeless. We use a similar strategy of keeping both local & backup drives of the media from the shoot. Transcoded media is kept on the system to work with. When everything is finished, it gets added to a client's LTO. We just keep adding until it's full, then we move on to another one.

    Just my 2ยข.
  • Sounds broadly similar, looks like I might be onto something here ;). I probably do need to build more redundancy into the system as you mention.

    Something else a guy at work has mentioned is getting our camera ops to use this device might be easier said than done, probably a good idea to rent it out for a few days first and acclimatise them to it!

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