NAStronaut

4K WORKFLOWS

 

For many users in the animation and motion graphics world, very high resolution and high frame rate media is nothing new. GB Labs customer Crystal CG, for example, is frequently called on to create such content for sports venues using Adobe After Effects and Autodesk 3ds Max. 

However, 2K and 4K content is still a relatively new concept for videographers and TV producers. Cameras such as the ARRI Alexa and Red Scarlet are targeted at the higher end of production or are used by broadcasters primarily to capture HD. Only now with the arrival of the relatively affordable Sony PMW-F5, the Canon EOS C500, and the inexpensive Blackmagic Production Camera and Sony FDR-AX1 is UltraHD shooting a practical reality for most producers.

As with any form of tapeless production, there are two ways of transferring data from the camera to safe storage for editing. Either the Director of Photography can use an on-board recorder, capturing files to solid state disk or fast media cards, or use a workstation equipped with a 4K PCI capture card, such as Blackmagic Design’s Decklink 4K Extreme. In either instance, state of the art hardware is required to deal with the massive data rates.

 

 

DATA RATES

10-bit 4K (4096P), uncompressedmeans huge file sizes and demanding bitrates at 24fps:

  • Raw RGB + Alpha: 1 GB/s or 3.8TB/hour
  • YUV 4:4:4: 796MB/s or 2.9TB/hour
  • YUV 4:4:2: 530MB/s or 1.9TB/hour

Compressed 4K files are also challenging:

  • Apple ProRes 422 (HQ): 110MB/s
  • Sony XAVC (60fps 4:2:2): 75MB/s
 
 

WORKFLOW IMPACT

Editing workstations, data ingest devices and graphics adapters all have to be top of the line to cope with these data rates. Arguably, however, the biggest obstacle to adopting 4K is storage.

The biggest obstacle to adopting 4K is storage


Firstly, sheer volume size is critical. But before considering the editing platform itself, Tier 2 nearline and tape archives have to be readied to manage the massive influx of data. After all, there is no sense in filling a primary system with UltraHD footage, cutting a project but having no place to safely offload the files once it has been completed. Unlike with HD, where primary RAID systems can often hold a number of projects before space becomes an issue, in the 4K world, the capacity of tier 1 storage must be a consideration from the outset.

To prepare customers for this big data moment, GB Labs devised Echo 36, an easily expandable, fast nearline that ranges in size from 64 to 320TB and can be expanded to as much as 7PB. ECHO 36 includes RAID protection and 2 global hot spare disks to give a high level of security. A recent addition to the GB Labs portfolio is the Cluster Manager that delivers huge capacities (up-to 30PB) with no single point of failure: entire storage nodes can be kept for parity to safeguard against any node failure.

Cluster Manager with capacities up-to 30PB


GB Labs has also been quick to adopt LTO-7 in its multi-drive tape system. As a result, it can copy 4 6.5TB tapes at an astonishing aggregate data rate of 1200MB/s over a network.

 
 

NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE

The final issue to address before addressing the primary storage system is the network architecture. Many Ethernet-based storage networks do not fully saturate network connections. This inefficiency hampers the incredible transfer speeds that 10 and 40-gigabit connections are capable of. Additionally, many storage products are optimized for a particular network type, such as AFP or NFS but do not necessarily give users the best experience in their preferred protocol. Finally, we have found that many systems are problematic when faced with mixed OS networks. This is a common failing and can be a major drawback as customers increasingly want to roll out – say – Mac-based edit stations, Linux transcoding nodes and Windows effects, graphics and audio systems. 

SPACE supports multi-OS networks


SPACE from GB Labs was designed to overcome each of these issues. Data transfer speeds are class leading, network connections are fully saturated and system architecture was specifically developed to support multi-OS networks. Every system in the range from tier 0 to off-line tape systems share the same operating system, giving users a seamless and consistent experience at every stage of the production process and throughout the workflow chain.
 

 

EDITING PLATFORM

multi-OS

Without blistering read / write speeds, non-linear editing 4K resolutions is extremely difficult. Editors now totally immersed in real time online editing expect the transition from HD to UltraHD post production to be smooth and problem-free. 

Fortunately, in the last 2 to 3 years, solid state drive (SSD) technology has progressed rapidly. It now offers excellent reliability, a relatively low cost investment and lightning fast performance. RAID-configured, SSD is the only answer to 4K post production. There is a drawback: although the technology addresses the speed issue, the capacity of individual drives, compared with 4TB HDDs, means that space is comparatively limited (see above section on workflow impact). 

Sustain in excess of 3000MB/s


GB Labs’ Tier 0 NAS storage systems (Space SSD, Midi Space SSD, 4K Duo and Mini Space SSD) are carefully tuned to deliver extreme performance. With our new BlueShift technology and CORE 3 OS, we are confident that our systems outperform every product we have tested on the market. SPACE SSD, our flagship product, for example, can achieve in excess of 3000MB/s. This can be increased with use of affordable EX SSD units which add capacity as well as speed. Even the portable Mini SSD delivers a sustained read/write performance above 1GB/s. 

All SPACE storage supports collaborative editing environments and include Avid project support. Shared 4K editing is fully enabled for Apple Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro and Grass Valley Edius Pro.

 

 

ON SET

Manufacturing systems in a variety of formats, users can select rack-mounted, desktop or portable devices best suited to their needs, whether that is for a facility-based editors, boutique style workgroup or small teams working on location or on-set. 

With 4K Duo OnSet, the DIT has a complete single box 4K workflow that gives users and their insurer the confidence that rushes are protected from the outset. The system’s SSD RAID delivers the speed needed for producing quick edits and dailies, and instant grading. This is combined with twin LTO-7 drives that can copy (manually or automatically) data from the primary 4K NAS storage onto secure tape. A USB 3 port and optional eSATA to connector enables crews to use fast card readers, such as Sonnet’s Qio.

 

 

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Privacy Notice

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Introduction

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You may withdraw your consent at any time by instructing us gdpr_info@gblabs.com. However, if you do so, you may not be able to use our website or our services further.

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Specific uses of information you provide to us

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We do not share any data, personal or otherwise, with third parties.

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We record your request and our reply in order to increase the efficiency of our business.

We keep personally identifiable information associated with your message, such as your name and email address so as to be able to track our communications with you to provide a high quality service.

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When we receive a complaint, we record all the information you have given to us.

We use that information to resolve your complaint.

If your complaint reasonably requires us to contact some other person, we may decide to give to that other person some of the information contained in your complaint. We do this as infrequently as possible, but it is a matter for our sole discretion as to whether we do give information, and if we do, what that information is.

We may also compile statistics showing information obtained from this source to assess the level of service we provide, but not in a way that could identify you or any other person.

Use of information we collect through automated systems when you visit our website

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Requests by your web browser to our servers for web pages and other content on our website are recorded.

We record information such as your geographical location, your Internet service provider and your IP address via Google Analytics. We also record information about the software you are using to browse our website, such as the type of computer or device and the screen resolution.

We use this information in aggregate to improve your user experience and to assess the popularity of the webpages on our website and how we perform in providing content to you.

If combined with other information we know about you from previous visits, the data possibly could be used to identify you personally, even if you are not signed in to our website however we do not collate this data in order to personally identify you as a user, nor do we share this information with third parties other than Google Analytics. You can read Google’s privacy policy here for further information (http://www.google.com/privacy.html).

Disclosure and sharing of your information

  1. Information we obtain from third parties

Although we do not disclose your personal information to any third party (except as set out in this notice), we sometimes receive data that is indirectly made up from your personal information from third parties whose services we use.

No such information is personally identifiable to you.

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Third parties may advertise on our website. In doing so, those parties, their agents or other companies working for them may use technology that automatically collects information about you when their advertisement is displayed on our website.

They may also use other technology such as cookies or JavaScript to personalise the content of, and to measure the performance of their adverts.

We do not have control over these technologies or the data that these parties obtain. Accordingly, this privacy notice does not cover the information practices of these third parties.

Clicking on any such adverts will send you to the advertisers website through a referral program which may use cookies and will track the number of referrals sent from this website. Users should note that they click on any sponsored link or advertisement at their own risk and as such, we cannot be held liable for any damages or implications caused from this action.

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Users are advised to use social media platforms wisely and communicate or engage upon them with due care and caution with regards to privacy and personal details. We will never ask for personal or sensitive information through social media platforms and encourage users wishing to discuss sensitive details to do this through primary communication channels such as telephone or email.

  1. Data processing

Our websites are hosted in the United Kingdom and as such data will not be processed outside of the European Union.

Access to your own information

  1. Access to your personal information

    1. At any time you may review or update personally identifiable information that we hold about you, by contacting us at gdpr_info@gblabs.com.

    2. To obtain a copy of any information that is not provided on our website you may send us a request at gdpr_info@gblabs.com.

    3. After receiving the request, we will tell you when we expect to provide you with the information, and whether we require any fee for providing it to you.

  2. Removal of your information

If you wish us to remove personally identifiable information from our website, you may contact us at gdpr_info@gblabs.com

This may limit the service we can provide to you.

  1. Verification of your information

When we receive any request to access, edit or delete personal identifiable information we shall first take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting you access or otherwise taking any action. This is important to safeguard your information.

Other matters

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We do not sell products or provide services for purchase by children, nor do we market to children.

  1. Encryption of data sent between us

We use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates to verify our identity to your browser and to encrypt any data you give us.

Whenever information is transferred between us, you can check that it is done so using SSL by looking for a closed padlock symbol or other trust mark in your browser’s URL bar or toolbar.

  1. How you can complain

    1. If you are not happy with our privacy policy or if have any complaint regarding the use or storage of your data then you should tell us by email. Our address is gdpr_info@gblabs.com

    2. If a dispute is not settled then we hope you will agree to attempt to resolve it by engaging in good faith with us in a process of mediation or arbitration.

    3. If you are in any way dissatisfied about how we process your personal information, you have a right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office. This can be done at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/

  2. Retention period for personal data

Except as otherwise mentioned in this privacy notice, we keep your personal information only for as long as required by us:

    1. to provide you with the services you have requested;

    2. to comply with other law, including for the period demanded by our tax authorities;

    3. to support a claim or defence in court.

  1. Compliance with the law

Our privacy policy has been compiled so as to comply with the law of every country or legal jurisdiction in which we aim to do business. If you think it fails to satisfy the law of your jurisdiction, we should like to hear from you.

However, ultimately it is your choice as to whether you wish to use our website.

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We may update this privacy notice from time to time as necessary. The terms that apply to you are those posted here on our website on the day you use our website. We advise you to print a copy for your records.

If you have any question regarding our privacy policy, please contact us.