Edit Anywhere

As a professional video producer, you face a growing demand for more content on a widening variety of devices and platforms. Today’s new, multiscreen world creates additional work, while budget and time constraints remain as tight as ever.

The ongoing transition from tape-based to file-based workflows offers the promise of dramatic productivity increases. But as you probably know, the greater flexibility of file-based media can bring its own set of challenges:

  • It is still difficult for multiple editors to work on the same set of files.
  • Source files can be huge and cumbersome to pass around.
  • While creative teams used to work in a single location, today your team may be scattered around the globe, requiring that massive files be sent back and forth over a LAN or over the Internet by FTP—a process that not only consume valuable time, but can also lead to file duplication, confusion, and loss, as well as more troublesome file management.
  • With more diverse teams, individual creative players often use a variety of software applications to manipulate your media assets, further complicating team cooperation.

One way to address these issues would be to allow editors access to shared media files across a network without copying. But in reality, bandwidth constraints make it virtually impossible for production team members to work together with full professional-quality source material across a network.

Low-bandwidth proxy files have been one stop-gap solution for working around bandwidth constraint. But proxy files must be generated before creative work can begin, and they still consume additional storage and require streaming servers. Because final edits are applied to the high-resolution assets only at the end of the creative process, use of proxy files adds time required for project completion, and blocks team members from seeing the original, pristine material as they work.

It can be very difficult to efficiently manage production-team collaboration in this new file-based world. Clearly, you need a more efficient solution. Now, Adobe Anywhere for video provides one.

Adobe Anywhere Demo

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Adobe Anywhere

Collaborate Workflow Platform

What is Adobe Anywhere?

Adobe® Anywhere is a modern, collaborative workflow platform that empowers users of Adobe professional video solutions to work together, using centralized media, across standard networks.

Harness the power of worldwide connectivity to boost your enterprise workgroup’s creativity. Adobe Anywhere lets you bring teams of talent together to collaborate and create productions from virtually any location where there is network connectivity. With Adobe Anywhere, editors, visual effects artists, and other video professionals can use local or remote networks to simultaneously access, stream, and work with remotely stored media. There’s no need for heavy file transfers, duplicate media, or proxy files.

Adobe Anywhere operates across standard networks and requires no proprietary hardware. Its collaborative capabilities are embedded directly in the latest versions of Adobe Premiere® Pro CC, Prelude® CC, and After Effects® CC, so team members don’t have to learn new video software tools. For complete control and security, Anywhere is hosted on-premises with other enterprise media storage and asset management infrastructure. It makes an excellent addition to any system, as it uses no proprietary hardware, but we find it works especially well with Harmonic MediaGrid for dynamic, on-the-go editing and streaming content adaptation.

Enterprise organizations that use Adobe Anywhere will need to have the latest versions of Adobe video software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro CC. These video applications, along with other leading Adobe creative tools, are available through membership in Adobe Creative Cloud™.

Key benefits

Internet connectivity, mobile devices, and cloud computing have dramatically reshaped the way people consume content. Now, Adobe Anywhere harnesses these same forces to offer you a better way to create content. Team members—both local and remote—can collaborate more effectively and at lower cost. Here is a recap of the primary benefits of the Adobe Anywhere system.

Enhanced virtual team collaboration: Adobe Anywhere gives members of your video production team the ability to work with media simultaneously in a shared virtual environment.

Centrally managed media and project information: Shared, centralized resources increase efficiency and lower costs. Team members can work with more portable and cost-effective hardware. And with everyone working with the same set of files and efficient streams, overall storage and network costs are reduced.

Adobe Anywhere iPad App: In the field or on remote location, team members can view productions and play sequences from the Anywhere server on their iPads. The Adobe Anywhere App is available as a separate download from teh Apple App Store.

Remote access to media: Team members nondestructively edit media from facility workstations or on laptops in the field—anywhere they have connectivity, avoiding the hassle, delay, and expense of working with proxy files or of transferring large files across networks.

Streamlined integration with industry-leading Adobe tools: With Adobe Anywhere, media is accessed directly from the user interface of Adobe Premiere Pro, Prelude, and expected in late 2013, After Effects, as easily as working with local files. As a result, your editors, visual effects artists, and loggers can collaborate more efficiently, with no need to learn additional software.

Adaptive bandwidth usage: Your production team members get real-time playback in variable network conditions. Adobe Mercury Streaming Engine automatically adjusts quality to optimize for the available bandwidth.

Integration with existing infrastructure: Adobe Anywhere is designed to work with the infrastructure you have in place, simplifying implementation.

Support for standard systems and processes: Adobe Anywhere is an open, collaborative, workflow platform designed to work in an enterprise environment without proprietary hardware. A modern, RESTful API enables integration with common workflow systems and MAMs.

Scalable architecture: You can improve performance or increase the number of users at any time. Adobe Anywhere is designed to scale predictably to match the needs of your production team.

User-rights control: You control who can access production media. Grant or remove access rights based on individual and team needs, or integrate with rights management systems such as LDAP.

Easy-to-use versioning system: Version-control features in Adobe Anywhere significantly reduce project conflicts and make it easy to revert to older versions when necessary.

Real-time activity feeds: You and your team members can always keep up with the latest activity, with feeds on what has recently been edited, ingested, or changed in your video productions.

Archiving and restoration: Export finished productions as zip fiels for easy offline archiving. Return them to active production any time by simply moving them to an Anywhere cluster and unzipping. Media management APIs offer help in identifyig which media to remove or archive.

User interface customization: Adobe Anywhere can be customized for your team’s specific needs. Programming APIs allow you to create user interfaces for tablets, the web, and Adobe professional video tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Prelude, and After Effects. Custom extension panels within Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Prelude allow you to place user interface functionality directly in your team’s main editing applications.

How It Works

Adobe Anywhere creates a private cloud environment that enables your production team to collaborate smoothly and securely. It uses centralized storage and computing resources that reside within your physical facility so you can create a secure, efficient workflow customized to your needs. Adobe Anywhere allows a great amount of flexibility for setup within your local area network, and remote team members can access the same cloud environment across the Internet via VPN.

Adobe Anywhere software is installed on a cluster of servers (hardware that you purchase separately). The cluster contains two types of nodes: a single Adobe Anywhere Collaboration Hub node and three or more Adobe Mercury Streaming Engine nodes. Each node is installed on a separate server.

Adobe Anywhere Cluster media storage Collaborative Editing Test Adobe Anywhere Cluster

Source media files used by Adobe Anywhere are kept on a storage server connected to the cluster via a high-bandwidth OS-level file system mount. Local and remote users can upload source files to the storage server and can even work on the files while upload is in progress. Once the files finish uploading, they can be immediately used by other editors.

The core component in the Adobe Anywhere cluster is the Collaboration Hub. It contains the database of project information and metadata, manages user access, coordinates the other nodes in the cluster, and provides an API for integration into other Adobe Anywhere clusters.

The Adobe Mercury Streaming Engine nodes provide real-time, dynamic viewing streams of Adobe Premiere Pro and Prelude sequences with GPU-accelerated effects to your team members on their individual computers. The media is streamed from its native file formats on the storage server out to the users.

And when it’s time to export from Adobe Anywhere, the Mercury Streaming Engine can generate final files from sequences and other media.

A minimum of three Mercury Streaming Engines is required for a small workgroup. But the system can easily be scaled to support larger groups or more complex use cases, simply by adding more Mercury Streaming Engines. The exact number required depends on use-case details such as the number of simultaneous users and media formats.

Adobe Anywhere does not require dedicated network cabling between individual editing workstations and the Anywhere cluster. This can greatly lower the costs associated with your network infrastructure and make it possible to create flexible workspaces for your creative team.

The viewing streams Adobe Anywhere delivers to individual team members are small and light enough to fit on shared, standard LAN/WAN networks. Adobe Anywhere does not edit, move, or delete the original media on the storage server. These functions are reserved for your media asset management system. And there are no proxy files in the Adobe Anywhere system. The server accesses the full resolution files and uses the power of the Mercury Streaming Engine to deliver exactly what is needed, given the bandwidth available. As a result, you get less complexity, lower workflow costs, and speedier production.

User Experience

Like the recent industry transition from tape-based workflows, Adobe Anywhere enables a major advance in efficient production workflow. Instead of performing numerous file management tasks, your editors now can work without needing to see or manage the actual media files. File management becomes the domain of the technology manager, so media editors can solely focus on creating high-quality content.

For anyone using Adobe Premiere Pro or Prelude, working with the remote media via Adobe Anywhere feels just like using media files stored locally. Playback is frame accurate. Scrubbing is instantaneous and smooth. There is virtually no change to the workflow within the application being used, no additional software to be learned, and no compromises required in the editing experience.

With Adobe Anywhere, you can even reduce the cost of the computers used by your individual team members. Because the Adobe Anywhere system provides high-performance media handling and rendering, it’s possible to smoothly edit media on hardware with lower specifications than that required for editing large local files. Since the source files reside on the shared server, individual team members need dramatically less local storage.

Adobe Anywhere will introduce some fundamental changes to your team’s editing workflow. But these changes are not difficult to grasp, and they provide a very powerful new way to work.

From Project Files to Productions

Project files are the established way for editors to organize the media and other assets needed to create new content. Each editing application has its own type of project files, and the files are inherently single-user. These files can become a bottleneck when collaborating with others. They typically reside on the editor’s computer, and in order to collaborate with others, the editor must copy files, re-link media, and merge changes from multiple projects. It is also a hassle to determine who has the project file with the final version of an asset. All of these annoyances take up time that could be better used for creative work.

With Adobe Anywhere, these hassles are gone. Instead of creating project files, users create or log in to a shared production. An Adobe Anywhere production is a multi-user, multi-application replacement for project files. It provides a shared collection of folders, assets, and sequences, all of which can be edited by those working on the production. Instead of duplicating assets across multiple computers, everyone can simply use the same assets.

Introducing Shared Productions media storage Collaborative Editing Test Introducing Shared Productions

Anyone who knows how to use project files will have an easy time using shared productions. This is because the familiar Media Browser and Project panel provide the main user interface.

The productions themselves are stored in a database on the Adobe Anywhere Collaboration Hub server. Since all data is stored on the shared servers, users can access their work from any location, and data remains secure in the event of a hardware or software issue.

Simultaneous Access and Conflict Resolution

Workflows that involve locking files or checking out assets can be troublesome for creative teams. Adobe Anywhere removes the burden of these managerial tasks and allows multiple users to proceed without blocking each other.

When a user is signed in to an Adobe Anywhere server, his or her productions can be viewed in the Media Browser. Productions are visible or accessible only to the users and groups assigned to that production. Everyone who has access can see the same content.

A production feels like a project, and contains a set of folders and assets organized by the users. The Media Browser always shows the group’s shared view of the content.

To start working, a user opens a production. Anywhere automatically makes a “clone” of the production items for this user and opens them in a private session. Like the shared production, the user’s private clone is stored on the server, providing data portability protection, and allowing the user to work with files without downloading them. The session becomes the user’s private view to work on without colliding with other users. There is no need to lock or check out files.

The user’s private view of the production is reflected in the Project panel, which is renamed the Production panel when in Anywhere mode.

When you are done working, sharing your changes is easy. Adobe Anywhere examines your private view of the production and adds your changes to the shared production.

media storage Collaborative Editing Test Collaborate Without Conflicts

 

Because multiple people can be working in the same production at the same time, Adobe Anywhere provides protection against unintended conflicts or overwrites. In order to share your private changes, you must first get any updates from the shared production. This pulls all shared changes into your private view. If another person has changed the same asset you are working on, you are provided with information about the conflict and given the opportunity to keep the other person’s changes, your changes, or both. Once you make your choices, you can then transfer your changes to the shared production.

Regardless of which option you use to resolve a conflict, data is never lost, because Adobe Anywhere has a robust, built-in versioning system.

Versioning

Each time you transfer your changes to the shared production, Adobe Anywhere stores a new version of the production. Versions are a permanent and easy way to maintain the history of a production.

In most production workflows today, editors commonly duplicate assets or sequences every time they make significant changes. This is a common technique for keeping work available that might be needed later. Automatic versioning in Adobe Anywhere makes it easy to restore an older version, eliminating the need to manually manage and maintain multiple copies of your assets.

media storage Collaborative Editing Test Collaborate Without Conflicts

 

In multi-user environments, a person might make changes that are not acceptable. This common hazard is typically avoided by placing strict editing rules on users. With Adobe Anywhere version history, such strict rules aren’t necessary. If someone makes an unacceptable change, you can use the Media Browser to look through previous versions and restore the best version to the current shared production. Adobe Anywhere versioning provides safety while maintaining creative freedom.

MediaGrid

Scalable Shared Storage

Scale-out shared storage optimized for media workflows

Harmonic® MediaGrid is designed specifically for video workflows, providing the performance of a SAN with the simplicity of NAS. Proven in many of the world’s most demanding video environments, MediaGrid is a great fit for applications requiring shared, real-time storage, such as edit-in-place, collaborative editing, transcoding, video on demand and over-the-top (OTT) adaptive bitrate streaming.

MediaGrid is scale-out storage, enabling organizations to start small—with as little as 10 TB of usable capacity—and then seamlessly scale to petabytes of capacity and tens of gigabytes per second of throughput. It is built for 24x7x365 operations, and delivers more performance for the money than competing systems as the result of Harmonic’s unique file system software, which enables true parallel access across many storage nodes and network connections.

Highlights
  • Unique file system technology enables exceptionally high bandwidth across all capacity points
  • Ethernet-based storage that is simple and cost effective to deploy, manage and scale
  • Qualified and optimized with dozens of the leading media applications
  • Integrates with Harmonic ProMedia Origin streaming video server for the delivery of Time-Shift TV services

FilmPartners’ MXFserver

Production Management System

The project management engine for an efficient post-production infrastructure

FilmPartners’ MXFserver™ provides a complete set of post-production management functions allowing the pre-alignment of source materials in the workflow so that editors, graphic artists, producers and other users can easily find the materials they need for their projects. When users connect to a given project, everything needed for that project is provided. MXFserver works optimally with Harmonic MediaGrid storage because it can perform all production management functions without interfering with the data path between client workstations and storage. MediaGrid performance and scaling benefits are not impacted by MXFserver operation.

MXFserver presents virtual workspaces that satisfy the operating requirements of the tools being used. Multiple users may connect concurrently to the same project, and share the same materials, with either the same or different post-production tools, providing an environment that is optimal for collaborative post-production. Virtualized workspaces also provide another substantial benefit: the master materials are always protected from accidental deletion. Users work with the masters via virtual workspaces that contain pointers to the master files. The masters do not need to exist in multiple copies to be used by multiple users.

Highlights
  • A universal, virtualized storage server infrastructure that supports all  leading post-production applications and tools in the industry (e.g. Avid® Media Composer™, ProTools™, Apple® Final Cut Pro®, Adobe® Premiere Pro™, Pyramix™)
  • Organization of the workflow around human-centric projects, instantiated in containers that provide the collaborating post-production team access to all needed materials
  • Shared and concurrent operation on media files with bin locking or equivalent function for Media Composer, Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro
  • Media file virtualization, eliminating the need for copies or duplicated media and enforcing full security for the original materials
  • Editing from multiple workstations directly on Sony® XDCAM™, Panasonic® P2™, and QuickTime files in any codec supported by the editing system in use
  • Networked processing of AMA materials with Avid® editing applications, featuring faster AMA processing than in normal use
  • Native support for LTO5 archiving without the need for additional software
  • Professional access rights management with full reporting; MXFserver can also work with ADS
  • Scalable software architecture that runs on a standard Windows Server OS
  • Native integration with EVS servers in support of sports and other real-time event production workflows
Download PDF
MXFServer Datasheet

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