Post Magazine

August 2016

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Page 45 of 51

WORKFLOW 44 POST AUGUST 2016 he art of post production has al- ways been about getting the best quality work done in the most efficient manner. Every show uses multiple-cam- eras with formats from HD to 6K. For post professionals it's just the tip of the iceberg as shooting ratios continue to increase and HFR (High Frame Rate), HDR (High Dynamic Range) and even VR-sized data threaten to take over the facility. The potential costs associ- ated with new formats and the deluge of footage can seem quite daunting to maintaining a profitable post business. Can we afford to do "that" for the client? If we try and charge for it, will they go to our competitors? One thing is clear: post houses can no longer afford to put talented people to any task that is not directly generating revenue. Sure, it's possible to get interns to do some grunt work, but can you really afford it if they make a mistake with a client's media? There are a lot of repetitive, mundane tasks, both when ingesting camera media, and when packaging up the many deliverables now required for distribution. However, each process has to be done correctly, every time, or costs go up. FILES GONE WILD The first step in taming the "files-gone- wild" problem is to automate as many repetitive tasks as possible. When cam- era-original media arrives at the door, the only human intervention should be in connecting the drive or card to a system, and from that point forwards, all the work of color-space converting, transcoding, re-wrapping, backing up, copying and moving, should be done automatically. The metadata on cam- era files is getting richer every day, and that only helps an automated system to make more intelligent choices about what needs to happen to get the media to its intended format and destination. Is it multi-camera? Then it should be auto- matically grouped and synced, either as a string out, or as time of day with black inserted in-between, and placed in a bin ready to edit. Many facilities still have assistants doing this by hand, which is inefficient and somewhat costly. As devices and methods for distri- bution continue to increase, so does the amount of deliverable masters. For some organizations, depending on the program, the number of masters can easily be in the hundreds. In addition to automating the creation of those multi- ple masters, which is crucial to keeping costs down, it's important to think about where the media is going next. Where will the content owners and distribution companies pick up the final masters for their territory/region? CLOUD RESIDENT SHOW MASTERS There is a lot of talk about the cloud and it is true that the media industry, com- pared to other industries, is very late to the game in terms of cloud adoption. The post production industry is understand- ably late due to shear size of the data in the post pipeline. However, it's worth looking closely at the final delivery as a way to gain efficiencies and reduce capi- tal expenses for on-premises equipment. If the show masters eventually be- come cloud-resident to facilitate access by all stakeholders, then transforming the media as it's moving makes a lot of sense. The cloud is not only for storage, it also offers an unlimited supply of virtual compute power. To that end, post organi- zations owe it to themselves to consider a more "hybrid" approach to their auto- mated media pipelines. Creating all those IMF packages and language versions on the ground and uploading each to the cloud is inefficient. However, creating those versions in the cloud is a smarter use of available resources. In general, anytime workflows involve publishing or pushing to clients or distribution part- ners, then those workflows can be done in a cloud environment. FOLLOW THE DATA A general rule of thumb is to "follow the data." The best practice will always be to perform file-based media workflows as close to where the data lives as possible. This method avoids needless copies, and reduces extra steps in the process. Most importantly, it allows organizations to reduce capital expenses (CAPEX) in favor of operational expenses (OPEX) with a SaaS model, which scales as the work demands. In a perfect world, a media processing system should reside both on-premises and in the cloud. A hybrid solution should support jobs being processed in whichever location makes the most sense for the task at hand. Telestream Vantage and Telestream Cloud offer a hybrid solution today, and it's gratifying to see our customers reaping the benefits. Remember to 'follow the data!' POST PRODUCTION PROCESSES DON'T ALL NEED TO HAPPEN ON PREMISES BY SHAWN CARNAHAN CTO TELESTREAM NEVADA CITY, CA WWW.TELESTREAM.NET FOLLOW THE DATA T This diagram shows a media processing system that resides both on the ground and in the cloud.

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