What is the best back-up regime for a major Vegas project based on aBIG store of raw video?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Jerem, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. Jerem

    Jerem Guest

    Dear group,

    I am brand new to Sony Vegas and embarking on a major project.
    I’m wondering if some old hands might be able to guide a beginner in
    the best way of protecting data and the project in a big project based
    on many hours of captured HDV.

    I have already screwed up once, by setting up RAID 5, but running into
    some problems when if failed and losing some hard work.

    I’m dumping RAID, which I don’t like or trust, especially the data
    striping versions (I also read that RAID 5 may not be suitable for
    ‘write intensive’ purposes??) Also, it spent way too much time
    crawling through various self-correction processes after detecting
    faults and corruptions – that seems to me to hugely outweigh the
    supposed speed advantage.

    NOW I’m thinking of setting up the following system – but does it make
    sense to an experienced user (please remember, I am brand new to
    Vegas, or anything like it).

    I have five 500 gig SATA drives.
    I was thinking of putting windows and Vegas 7 (and any other software
    installations needed) on one SATA drive.

    Then cloning that drive onto a different drive, which I’ll keep spare
    in case of main drive failure. (keeping these two identical should be
    ok I think, since the PC will ONLY be used for video editing, not
    general clutter or internet etc)

    That leaves me three drives, which will go into the mobo on separate
    SATA leads of course, and be used solely for media files.

    I have captured ALL my raw HD media from DVtape for this big project
    (thirty hours, which will probably be edited into two or three actual
    productions).
    This will be my basic media, and will be placed in thirty ordered and
    dated folders full of clips.
    This will help me by reproducing the precise order and content of the
    tapes in a folder structure, all in the order I shot it.

    This will never be modified (as I understand that whatever editing I
    do in Vegas projects will not actually alter my basic captured clips)

    I can reproduce THAT basic file structure three times over on the
    remaining three drives (and even take one out and put it in safe
    separate place in case of fire, theft etc….I’m never going to get an
    opportunity to refilm this stuff!)

    Then, so long as I preserve that precise file structure and never
    modify anything, I should be able to get my ‘fundamental media’ drive
    perfectly recognised by Vegas in the case of another drive failing.
    The only thing I would have to do is change the drive letter allocated
    within windows computer management/disk manager, so Vegas will know
    where to look. (?)

    Obviously, the only other thing I’ll then have to regularly back up
    onto the various drives is my Vegas project files, which I might as
    well store one of each on the various available drives at the end of
    the day.

    Does this back-up system make sense to experienced Vegas users?
    Would I be right in this basic approach for a big project?
    Or is it an over the top way of doing things? Is there an easier, more
    sensible way (please remember I’m totally new to this and may have
    missed some basic Vegas features which make all this easier).
    Or would you perhaps do more ‘basic editing’, i.e. chucking out
    unuseable stuff before embarking on the project ‘proper’?

    Obviously, right from the start I’ll start cutting and editing media
    within Vegas, and creating descriptively named files representing much
    shorter sections of video within the editing proces, which I’ll be
    placing inside various ‘media bins’ within the project media tab,
    which I will endlessly monkey about with.
    But I’m correct in thinking these will have no ‘real’ existence
    outside of the Vegas project and project file. So I’ll have to keep
    that vast chunk of ‘raw’ captured HDV data in one piece from start to
    finish.

    Thank you very much if you can comment on this, or perhaps share with
    me how you would approach data management and back up in a sizeable
    project where several finished productions may be made from 30 hours
    of basic raw material

    With regards

    Jerem
     
    Jerem, Aug 1, 2008
    #1
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  2. "Jerem" wrote ...
    My general concept for this kind of problem is that the
    majority of the disk content is replacable if a drive crashes.

    Essentially the entire contents of the boot/system drive can
    be re-constructed from the installation discs. I don't
    personally think that content is so valuable that it must be
    "mirrored" (whether automatically or manually).

    And all of the captured video is replacable by re-capturing
    from the original camera tapes. This makes two very
    important assumptions. First NEVER discard the original
    camera tapes. Never. If the content isn't worth the price
    of the tape, then it wasn't worth the time to shoot it in the
    first place.

    Second, all video is acquired using "batch capture". That
    way if the worst happens, the data can be re-captured
    +/- 1 frame at worst case. This means that some of the
    low-end applications (like Premiere Elements, etc) are
    NOT suitable for serious production because of their
    lack of batch capture.

    Granted, there is a significant time-factor in re-capturing
    many hours of video. But modern hard drives are so
    reliable that IME, it is worth this very slight risk. OTOH,
    modern hard drives are also so cheap per GB that you
    can keep offline copies of each drive if you are paranoid
    and rich.

    The stored essence of your actual original effort is
    contained in the batch capture specifications (which
    parts of which clips you are using), and the project
    timeline, where all the edit decisions and effect
    application information is stored. Of course that
    also includes auxillary files such as titles, etc.

    THIS is the information that must be backed up to
    prevent loss in case of catastrophy. Note, however,
    that the volume of this data is usually so small
    (relatively) that it can be backed up on almost
    anything from a CDR disk to a USB thumb drive.
    And both those media are so cheap that you could
    use BOTH without significant expense.

    I am not a Vegas user, but the concepts apply to any
    NLE application. I do almost as much multi-track
    audio produciton as digital, but exactly the same
    principles apply.
     
    Richard Crowley, Aug 1, 2008
    #2
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  3. Jerem

    Jerem Guest

    Thanks for the response, seems like fully understanding batch capture
    is my first priority.
    In the meantime, i have the luxury of loads of disks since I
    dumped RAID. That means I can practice some recovery options, such as
    bringing a project file back to life using a different main drive with
    vegas/windows, and different back-ups of the main video data.
     
    Jerem, Aug 2, 2008
    #3
  4. "Jerem" wrote ...
    The concept is dirt-simple. Learning how Vegas implemented
    it may take a few minutes to scope out and experiment.
    I hope you meant "bringing a project back to life".
    You CANNOT bring a *project file* back to life because
    it contains your edit decisions which cannot be recreated
    without starting the project over again from scratch.
    The project file is the single most important file to be
    preserved. Without it you are back at square zero.
    It is just the OS and the application program files. As
    long as they are installed properly should make no
    difference. Not worth the experimental time IMHO.
    If you have already captured all your video without
    batch capture, *at least* log each file and the in and
    out points (HH:MM:SS:FF) so that they can be
    re-created (re-captured) if the worst happens.
    THAT is your biggest risk at this point. With the
    in and out points, you can either re-capture the
    video clips manually, or plug them into the batch
    capture function.
     
    Richard Crowley, Aug 2, 2008
    #4
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