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tapeless workflow


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#1 Patrick Nuse

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 04:51 AM

Tapeless recording. What is everyone doing to archive their footage when shooting tapeless?
I have been looking at the AG-HPX500. Looks like a great camera, but I am wondering what it will be like working with P2 cards. whats the advantage? having to either buy several cards for the days shoot or transfering to a laptop during shooting. Either seems like a pain in the but. But my biggest concern is if I don't have my footage on tape what will I use to archive my footage for later?. The only way to store that much information is backup tapes. If I need to do that I may as well record to tape to begin with and not worry about expensive cards or having to transfer footage to a computer while shooting. Am I the only one that needs to archive footage?
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 07:09 AM

If I need to do that I may as well record to tape to begin with


This is unfortunately the problem of compressed flash formats. It's less of an issue when you're doing D-cinema stuff, since it's then liable to be uncompressed and easier to get at in an IT infrastructure, which is all good in that field. For EFP sort of situations, though, this is the problem that rather hamstrings tapeless production.

P
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 08:00 AM

Something I'm leaning towards/investigating for my own XDCam coadeds is server based file storage off-site which should be backed up by the archiving company. But the problem with all of that is the upload speeds which for large GB shoots (such as the one I'm on now of 32+GB/days) well.. it's time I don't have to spend....LTO tape is another option, but not for in the field. Therein I do a double hard-drive backup onto 2 Western Digital self powered USB drives (320 gb each) and then again onto my own 1.5TB drives at "basecamp"
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#4 Phil Connolly

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 08:31 AM

That said a sub $200 - 1 TB hard disk - will store around 20 hours of DVC PRO HD.

So if you back up everything twice on two disks, it still works out less then $20 per hour of storage. Which is cheaper then DVCPro Tape.

Backing up is a bit of a pain - but in some cases - tapeless could save you money on your stock budget compared to tape. Although this is offset by the time spent archiving the cards... But you save again in post production not having to rent a deck or spend time digitising...
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 12:49 PM

What we did was to transfer the cards to a big RAID array -- IIRC, RAID 5 or 6 -- on the camera truck. The data guy would transfer and check as the cards came off the camera, and generate MD5 checksums. Then at the end of the day, the day's work would be transferred to two solid state 500 Gig drives. One drive stayed on the truck, the other went to the post house. They then dumped it onto their server, output dailies for offline and executive viewing, and backed it up on LTO's. (Not sure, but I think they did two sets of LTO's.) When the LTO backups were confirmed by checksum, the drive went back to the set. At that point the cards and drives containing that material were put back on the "available" shelf.

The on-truck array was big enough for a whole episode's worth of dailies, so the DP and director could always go check something they'd done a few days ago.






-- J.S.
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#6 Patrick Nuse

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 07:12 PM

Something I'm leaning towards/investigating for my own XDCam coadeds is server based file storage off-site which should be backed up by the archiving company. But the problem with all of that is the upload speeds which for large GB shoots (such as the one I'm on now of 32+GB/days) well.. it's time I don't have to spend....LTO tape is another option, but not for in the field. Therein I do a double hard-drive backup onto 2 Western Digital self powered USB drives (320 gb each) and then again onto my own 1.5TB drives at "basecamp"

True there are lots of options for storage even on set. I guess I'm worried about the extra steps involved during a shoot. where now it's just recording on a set of tapes each day. You just can't beat the simplicity. Just one of those things we have to adjust to I guess as times change.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 07:30 PM

I'm behind you on that, the tape based is a lot easier especially when you're out on some remote locations. But, truth be told, in the edit bay, tapeless workflows can save a good amount of time. I'm a little worried 'bout future shoots on the RED for the DIT... Ahh the "old school days," i find it ironic I can look back on Betacam and the like with such nostalgia.
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#8 Helmut Kobler

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 06:33 PM

I do a lot of documentary shooting where I'm the only camera guy, so I've invested in solutions that a one-man crew can do easily, with little or no effort in the field. Here's my approach with an HPX2700 Varicam:

1) Up until recently, I used five 32GB cards, which cost about $3000. Not a big investment if you're a professional who's doing this as a day job, and not as a hobby or once-in-a-while kind of thing. Having these five cards lets me shoot 6.5 hours of 720/24p footage, and about 3 hours of 1080/24p. That's been enough to easily take me through a whole day without having to worry about offloading (the idea of offloading in the middle of the day seems like a major hassle to me, I'd never do it myself....alternatively, I could hire a DIT for hundreds of $$ for the day to do that, but I'd rather spend the money elsewhere). Anyway, these five cards have actually lasted for multiple days without needing an offload, depending on the project...

2) When around LA, I wait till evening and do a quick offload of all 5 cards using a Panasonic PCD35 5-card reader attached to my desktop (just plug in all the cards, click a few buttons, and all 5 cards are offloaded to a raid 6 drive in less than 30 minutes). If I'm in the field, I would once again wait till evening, and off-load to a laptop with a RAID 1 hard drive attached (Raid 1 being mirrored, so you have an automatic backup). I've done this by connecting the camera to the laptop via USB (which is pretty slow, but easily can be done in few hours), so you don't have to lug a card reader around.

3) I'm actually in the process of replacing my five 32Gb cards with 64Gb cards. This doubles my recording time, and will handle most jobs without requiring an offload while in the field.

4) Editing footage is done on a RAID 6 (an 8 drive raid that can lose two drives and still keep data intact). But for archiving, I have an HP Ulrium 1840 LTO4 drive, and backup software called BRU PE. You can get this set up for about $3500 if you shop around. Backing up a couple hundred gigs of data takes about an hour. Same for restoring. When I capture my cards to the RAID 6, my next step is to slip a $50 LTO4 tape into the HP drive, and start BRU's archiving process in the background. The tape then goes in a safe, secure place, and I'm done.

Personally, I love my workflow. It's streamlined and simple enough for me to do myself with very little complication. It's not the cheapest solution, but I don't use the cheapest possible camera, either.

I recently wrote some reviews for StudioDaily for the PCD35 and a great Mac-based LTO4 solution. Here are the links if you're interested:


LTO4:
http://www.studiodai...-Mac_11294.html

PCD35 reader:
http://www.studiodai...list/11176.html

Good luck!!
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