Avid on Using Final Cut Pro with Isis, Unity, and Media Composer
Why Editorial Workflow Doesn't Change, But Storage Support Gets Easier
Vincent Maza: It’s quite simple. The Isis or Unity looks like a pool of storage for FCP users. Customers with FCP and Media Composer can attach both of them on the same system. But we don’t offer any way to share projects or media between the two systems. SO anyone who was working on FCP to media composer or symphony in the past would still do the same thing. Only difference is now they’re attached to the same storage.
That’s very important to understand: the workflow doesn’t change. Normally people would go through Automatic Duck, which gives you the ability to move a sequence from FCP to Media Composer. So whether they’re in a shared environment or not, the workflow remains exactly the same. A lot of people think, ‘OK, I’m on shared storage so I can right-click on a sequence and send it to Media Composer.’ But that’s not the case.
The most important thing would be exactly how many FCP clients you want to attach to that storage. You want to know what resolutions you want to do, and how many tracks you want to play back in real time. We’ll qualify your installation with an Isis or Unity, depending on how many systems you want to have running at the same time.
So the exact qualification is tailored to the bandwidth needs of a particular client.
Right. We qualify the connection to FCP. We don’t qualify what’s being played off the timeline. If you need to do two tracks of uncompressed HD off Final Cut, we can qualify the amount of bandwidth Final Cut requires to do this. If something is wrong with the machine, or with Final Cut, at that point we have to pass [the problem] on to Apple. But as long as Final Cut can guarantee the bandwidth, we can qualify it. If somebody calls the support line for Avid, we would troubleshoot our Unity or Isis systems with them to make sure the bandwidth and connection are there, and that everything is working from that side.
Was there anything specific going on that made this the right time for Avid to start qualifying FCP?
We had the [Unity] 5.0 release and the Isis 2.0 release, which basically increased bandwidth, and that was quite an important point to being able to hook up Final Cut to our storage. It was tied to those two releases. And obviously we’re trying to be more open. We qualified Final Cut, and there’s a lot of work going on in the third-party environment.
Do you think there are customers who would want to use a Unity system exclusively with Final Cut, or with other third-party software in the future?
We see mostly Avid customers who have Final Cut Pros wanting to do this. In the future, the support we offer for Unity or Isis could be a big issue. We have the ability to play back multiple systems at the same time and we guarantee 24/7 playback. We offer really great support, so there could be a lot of interest in getting a Unity or Isis for just Final Cut.
What about the Interplay initiative? Is FCP integrated there, too?
Not at the moment, no.
So it comes down to efficiency at a facility level where storage installations are concerned.
And a lot of it’s about support. If you can just call one company when something goes wrong and your storage goes down, that’s great ‘ especially if you have tight deadlines and heavy turnarounds.
For more information: www.avid.com