ExaRAID HD Helps Film Director Escape Film Post- Production Editing Difficulty

ExaRAID HD Helps Film Director Escape Film Post-Production Editing Difficulty

Director Wang Xiaomin (See right photo) was originally the August First Film Studio’s Feature Film Department director. In order to achieve his dreams, he left the August First Film Studio and founded the Beijing Oriental Star Digital Television Center, a new and inspiring contribution to China's movie industry. Since its establishment, the center has made a large number of delightful and stimulating digital films.Examples include, Oriental Lion King, Yang Zirong, Xin Tian, 38 War Frontline Women, Poseidon, Village Folks, Flowers on the Wind, and more. The center obtained the Lily Award and International Children's Film Festival Outstanding Film Award and other awards.

In film post-production work, investment in film editing facilities is relatively high. In the past, Director Wang Dao and most of the editing post-production team was forced to outsource work or lease a non-linear editing post-production studio. This brought a major challenge to the director. Often, when the director's work required access to post-production facilities and they wished to continue workflow in a logical and cohesive manner, availability of the outsourced or leased studio was suddenly unavailable, had unfamiliar and unproven equipment or was open for a limited number of hours and, as Director Wang Xiaomin explained: “At times like these, at the moment when inspiration is the driving force and we desire to move ahead, suddenly there is a delay and workflow stops. The director then becomes very anxious and sleepless, and so a lot of time and effort can be wasted.” In addition to frequent problems such as these, there will also be studio scheduling conflicts because of workflow time lags for extended periods of time that adversely affect smooth coordination of editorial department operation, and follow-up issues such as delivery of final elements and release of the film.

In addition to the above concerns, there are still more serious problems. Digital production has resulted in surging storage system content and a much greater need for sharing content between work stations. As the price of digital storage declines, increasingly more content in various post-production storage systems is kept and used for longer periods of time. This results in extremely heavy demands on the data storage system space, which triggers a requirement for larger storage systems. Also, because there are often several team members working on the same film simultaneously, a studio often has no choice but to have the source material copied and saved multiple times so they can be used in the same project or other projects. As a result, work efficiency and smooth operation of the editing team hits serious road blocks, not only delaying the film’s production process, but also increasing production expenses, staff requirements and labor intensity. More critical is the film’s inspiration and interruptions in the creative process itself.

With high-definition digital film now firmly in place in the film industry, transmission performance of traditional storage systems gradually show their deficiencies. Too often, to meet the high-definition video bit rate of each editing project, it was necessary to combine more than one storage system. However, prices are prohibitive, for example, in high-definition television programs and feature films in 2K HD editing using FC storage system with bandwidths of 400-600MB, there is only support for 3U of 10-bit 2K HD Video (1920x1080) in actual editing. If you require support for more than 3U, FC storage systems will need 2 or more rack units in parallel to complete the editing. However, this requires an increase in investment, which is true for 2K HD as well as 4K HD video.

With the Accusys ExaRAID HD storage system firmly established and in operation at the Beijing Oriental Star Digital Television Center after (See Photo), Director Wang Xiaomin no longer worried about the previously encountered problems to fully utilize his artistic vision and passion and to enjoy the benefits that technology brings to his editing. He needed a high performance, cost effective storage system that would enhance their workflow, allowing them to rapidly ingest and encode content. He found success with the Accusys ExaRAID HD, an exceedingly efficient and cost-effective solution for the broadcast and post-production industry. Its external PCI Express technology enables disk arrays to be used in conjunction with editing workstations with a high-bandwidth transfer performance of 20Gbps. The ExaRAID HD family of products includes 2U 12-bay, 3U 16-bay and 4U 24-bay configurations. The 3U and 4U RAID systems are configured with single and dual independent controllers and ExaRAID can be used with any of the latest hard disk specifications.

ExaRAID HD 10Gb/s PCI-e functions have significantly higher performance than traditional 4Gb/s FC storage, Director Wang Xiaomin noted, and using ExaRAID HD A24D PCI-e dual-controlled storage transmission performance obtained 20Gb/s bandwidth. At his Apple workstation (8-core CPU, 8GB cache), the actual performance achieved is a read and write bandwidth of 1500MB while having highly cost-effective storage access times. As Director Wang Xiaomin explained, “Thanks to specialized products from Accusys, many of the problems encountered in my many years in post-editing have been resolved to our full satisfaction.”

ExaRAID HD’s high capacity caused Director Wang Xiaomin to no longer worry about storage capacity or data security. All film clips are stored in the ExaRAID HD, instantly retrievable at any time and for any time duration. This is a change from the past when you had to import data from other media. With powerful RAID functionality, the ExaRAID HD provides simple self-management, secure large-capacity and ultra-stable performance data storage.

Accusys, with many years of experience in the design, development and manufacture of storage systems, provides optimized storage for high speed, scalable encoding of audio and video products with more stable performance. It also provides the ExaRAID HD with the power of centralized management, the EQ (Equalization) mode and the DLP (Disk Lag Proof) mode. Its unique SAN EQ mode technology will get sustained high performance. Disk Lag Proof (DLP) technology can be activated via the RAIDGuard X GUI storage system management interface from Accusys to smooth out performance in the event of performance degradation, delay of a single disk due to aging from prolonged use, unstable performance, and to prevent dropped frames.

When Director Wang Xiao-Min saw such an all-inclusive storage system, he said he was pleased: "This is what I want a storage device to be and it liberated me, giving me more time, more emotion and creative passion."

The Accusys developed ExaRAID HD, PCI-e switch (ExaSAN) and PCI-e SAN storage architecture provided Director Wang Xiaomin with a proven platform that greatly improves the traditional workflow process. Having found significant savings and progress in post-production editing, he had more time to think of new works for film and television.