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Details FCP server for OER art & design video resources

This setup could have the potential to be used in many ways and we may need to all come together in order to make this happen/funding.

At this early stage It may be best to keep the focus on one specific use: 'An open Final Cut Server and co-editing environment for shared storage, use, re-purpose and publishing of art and design video learning and teaching video resources for the six colleges of UAL and to be opened to other external HEIs in the future. In order to give it a wider appeal to attract more attention, use and backing for cross college support and collaboration. If we can get this set up on a minimum budget it can evolve and extend to include advanced options.     

One codec - MPEG-4 movie - H.264, AAC - SD 4:3 - 16:9 (video is only for publishing on the web so can be low resolution only)

Policy management - it will be integrated/aligned with the UKOER policy and the ALTO/UAL policy

Video content on the server must be licensed with creative commons cc-by-sa and be able to be transferred between servers, published and stored on the ALTO server.

Potential - starting estimate of 200 hours of MPEG-4 movie - H.264, AAC video =  500Gb

Estimated accumulative video data per week - Need to establish the data growth over a period of time, HD - 1Tb, SD -500Gb...

User access and their Level of responsibilities: Pro editors (25-40 users), staff and students (all UAL LDAP users = potentially thousands) content providers = 50 users (upload content) general users = potential thousands users (remove OER and view content)

Expectancy of use? ie: All this - Download once for many to see at the same time or download many times for individual use  or even don't download but view on-line.

VPN Access between site and the protocols available  - also connectivity between sites (dedicated lines?) to be discussed?

Firewall information - to be discussed?

Are the editors expected to edit at the same time? Maybe yes and no.

Do you currently have citrix? Not sure?

Source of the data , which cameras  currently in use? All sorts of cameras = tape or tapeless

Learning-Studio-Oliver-Furlong.JPG24.08 KB
Learning Studio-TRAMS.jpg26.71 KB
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cfollows's picture

Thank you Glyn, this is great info. I am trying to target or focus this proposal specifically at using video resources assets that have already been compressed (good quality) for editing and publishing online ONLY, original content will remain with author. I demo of your system would be great so we'll see who's interested and arrange a date in a few weeks maybe? All the best Chris

Anonymous's picture

Yeah, thanks Mike :-)


I was asked to set up a Final Cut Server to store digital assets generated by students at the LCC for archiving purposes in the main and secondly to assess whether there were any other benefits we could gain - content for the web, etc . This we did and staff from the Faculty have been uploading their student work. Not too sure how many items are there now, haven't looked at the FCS for a little while.

The setup is internal to the LCC, so we aren't using the internet to move assets around the wider community which helps on bandwidth needs. Storage and backups are key to any FCS installation, what with copies of the original asset, thumbnails that are created, versioning (if you are going to allow) and so on.

We(I) did quite a bit of customisation of the interface for the Faculty, they wanted to be able to search for assets using specific metadata tags and we came up with a number of new metadata fields and associated tags that are presented to "editors" when uploading new assets to the server, mostly in a series of drop-down menus (helps get accurate metadata in to the system). It is likely that you would need to do some customisation in this scenario as well, in fact for it to work you will have to customise it, IMHO. GIGO springs to mind!

My concerns from the limited information I have seen are to do with the technical infrastructure that will be needed to meet some of the suggested aspirations for the system. In general terms, sharing uncompressed video content isn't going to be an option unless there is a high bandwidth connection from end to end, so downloading an asset from UAL over a wifi connection in someone's house is not going to work.

As a resource within UAL, again there may be issues around bandwidth, not everyone is on a "high" speed link between the sites.

If, however, the main purpose of the system is to provide assets that have already been compressed then bandwidth may not be an issue, uploading a Final Cut project for sharing would be. You may want to have some more thoughts about the codecs though. Are these assets only going to be viewed over the web or might they be used in situations where a higher quality version would be preferred/wanted?

Permissions is something else you will need to think about for your users.

Finally, you will have to provide some staff development for your FCS users, those providing the assets as well as for those who will be looking for assets - in-house and online.

I can demo our system, if anyone is interested


processarts's picture

Thanks Mike, will chase this up!

mfkelly's picture

I believe Glyn Whittle at LCC has been using FCPServer. It would be good to get his input.

Anonymous's picture

Joe from Trams Ltd From our point of view I would like to Thank Chris for the hard work, dedication and attention to detail, plus introducing Trams and letting us take part of this Learning studio workshop, it was extremely beneficial to take part so thank you all for your time. The solution we are promoting as you had the opportunity to see can be customized in many different ways the most critical thing I have to point out is the planning as this will ensure that the base is built and additional components then can be added at late stage without compromising the the original setup.

So in order to move forward we need to get answers to some of the questions already being asked which involved knowing the users and their levels of permissions, the video usage as in where is coming in from, what changes are required and where is going to, bandwidth obviously plays a big part specially when involving different sites and so on.... if possible at all setup one more meeting just to allow us to get a good number of points checked just so we can built a case in which can include some prices.

The stage after planning really is writing the proposal this contains key information on how the solution will benefit the users, what advantages this will provide against perhaps other solutions in this industry as well as the current system setup and how this can be utilized in conjunction with the UAL systems and last the major features of an asset management and workflow system like Final cut server.

More than happy to work towards covering the different stages but please feel free to let me know if other areas need covering as well.

Joe Fernandes

Anonymous's picture

Chris, the TRAMS demo at the Learning Studio at LCF was an excellent way to start the Final Cut Server dialogue about sharing video for Final Cut Pro editors across the UAL. We now need to have a follow up discussion as to how this shared Final Cut Server will benefit users, who it will benefit, so we can get to a cost indication. But we need to draw up a structure of what we'd like in order for Trams to give us a cost figure. My guess is getting an interested party of FCP users/ editors from UAL colleges together is the next step.

So lets find out who uses Final Cut Pro at the UAL for creating learning resources? And if you are one of those people, would you use a shared pool of video footage if you could get your hands on it? That is to say, adding to filming your own content, would you use other people's footage ?

A little bit of research in this area I feel is needed to assess the type of structure we may want to deploy. And, having a summary of the potential uses of having such a tool at our disposal.

A big respect from me for all your enthusiasm and your hard work in this area. Its an excellent start to a necessary dialogue that may help unify our collegiate structure!

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