Monday, 3 December 2012

Video Editing Set-up and Workflow

I'm currently editing a huge amount of video in Final Cut Pro X and thought I'd share some tips on my set-up and workflow.

1) Most important? A comfy chair, crucial in preventing you from ruining your back.

2) Backups - 

I have all the raw, original video files backed up in multiple locations. Two separate physical backups in two different off-site locations, just in case. We're talking in excess of 500GB of footage here, so we can't afford to lose it. I have the third copy on a 3TB G-Drive here in my office and that's the data I'll be working with. I'm also running Crashplan+, this constantly backs up all my files to my online cloud storage (see review here). And finally I have Time Machine connected to a 1.5TB Western Digital My Book, backing up my whole system every hour.

3) Workflow - 

I'm using a 27" iMac (3.4GHz i7, 16GB RAM) which is really great for running Final Cut Pro X as you have such a large working area. Connected to the iMac is a G-Raid 8TB Thunderbolt drive and I have all my FCPX Events and Projects saving to this. This is necessary as I have set-up FCPX to optimise the footage when it is imported and this takes up a lot of disk space.
As there is such a massive amount of footage I take advantage of FCPX's great shortcuts and Favourite (F) usable clips and Reject (Backspace) bad clips. I also Keyword (CMD + K) anything that I need to categorise or use later.

Cloud Backup review: CrashPlan vs Carbonite

Being suddenly quite paranoid about all my data being either stolen or damaged in a flood or fire I decided to look at the best cloud backup options. I narrowed it down to what seem to be the two favourites in the market:

CrashPlan and Carbonite

Crashplan+ wins with its unlimited, encrypted file storage, up to 10 computers, constant live backup, external hard drive backup all for $6 per month or $120 for the year. 

Comparatively Carbonite Home Premier is $149 for the year for just one computer, doesn't backup external hard drives and isn't Mac compatible (only the Home edition is).

After getting Crashplan+ all set up (very easy) and choosing my necessary files and folders on both my Mac's hard drive and my external drives I let it start to do it's thing... However the estimated time to back-up around 1TB of data said something crazy like 3 or 4 months! So I changed it to my most crucial data - photos and videos. It still estimated more than two weeks but it runs in the background and you can set it to speed up when you are away from your machine.

It's also worth mentioning they have an app that allows you to remotely view your files and do everything from watch videos, work on documents to uploading photos to Facebook.

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