Working with editors from anywhere using Blackmagic Cloud Pod

Let's look into the Blackmagic Cloud Pod and Cloud Store ecosystem with a walkthrough of how the syncing process allows editors to work together from anywhere in the world.

By John Barker • 29 Sep 2022

Let’s look into the Blackmagic Cloud Pod and Cloud Store ecosystem with a walkthrough of how the syncing process allows editors to work together from anywhere in the world.

We use Dropbox for this one, but Google Drive will work nicely too!

Check out Part 2 of this video on Alex’s Channel. Watch here.


John Barker:

With the help of the Blackmagic Cloud Pod and Cloud Store, we’re in a pretty good place to work remotely with video editors. Let’s delve into how to make this work, and I’ve got some help from my good friend, Alex Pettitt, for this two-part series. Make sure you watch his video right after this one.

To make the most of this workflow, I’ve set up a few things on my end. I have this multi-cam ISO shoot from a video showcasing the ATEM SDI Pro ISO. I can pull the SSD out of that ATEM, where I recorded all that ISO footage, and plug it directly into the back of my Cloud Pod. I’ve connected my Blackmagic Cloud Pod to my local network here. And whenever I launch the utility tool, I can see the drive popup because it’s connected to that Cloud Pod.In the Cloud Sync section, I’ve also set up my Dropbox account here, and I’ve linked that to the Cloud Pod. I could also use Google Drive here too, but I tend to use Dropbox for most of my work. From there, I can use the utility tool to add a watch folder on my SSD, and sync it up to Dropbox. On the left here, you can see the SSD that’s attached to my Cloud Pod. And on the right, you can see that same folder in Dropbox. All the files that I’ve dropped in are syncing as we speak, and you can see them show up.

And this is an excellent time to hook up a HDMI cable to the back of the Cloud Pod, and take a look at the lovely monitor output that shows up. Since I’m not heavily using this SSD right now, it’s a little bit quiet. But with lots of people accessing the footage over the network, you can see it really light up and show that activity. You can also see the connected users and how much space is remaining on this drive. So, now, it’s time to edit this video and I’ve asked the help of Alex to give me a hand with that. So we’ll take a look at the next steps over in your studio, Alex.

Alex Pettitt:

Thanks, John. So from here, I want to download the footage that he’s added so that I can pull together a rough cut. Since John is using his Dropbox account, I just needed to share with him my Dropbox email address so that he could share the folder on Dropbox. I have the Blackmagic Cloud Store Mini 8 terabyte on my end, which is the half rack width unit with internal storage. But it works basically the same as John’s Cloud Pod. It’s all hooked up to my network here, so I can follow the same steps in the Cloud utility tool to then sync my folders.

Since we’re only working with small ATEM Mini H.264 files, I selected to sync both the originals and the proxies. But if we were working with larger Blackmagic raw files or ProRes files, we might want to select Sync proxies only. The sync is then smart enough to only sync the files in the proxy folder so that an editor can get started on the edit right away. We won’t launch into the full edit workflow here. So I’m going to jump ahead a little to here, where I’ve imported all of the footage into DaVinci and made a quick rough cut for John. I can actually save versions of the DaVinci Resolve project file to the same Dropbox folder so that John can keep an eye on my editing progress. So, John, how’s it looking?

John Barker:

Looking good so far. Now, while Alex has been hard at work editing my video, cutting out all the mistakes, I’ve been shooting some B-roll to include in this video. I shot all this B-roll in Ultra HD on my GH5, but there’s not much point in sending all of those big files over to Alex. This is where the Blackmagic Proxy Generator comes in really handy.

When I launch the tool, I can choose a folder, a proxy format H.264 at 1080 will work just fine for us. And then I can hit start and off it goes. The Proxy Generator has created this proxy folder, where it will hold all that media. I can add that folder to the same drive Alex and I have already been working on, so we can see that new footage when it shows up. And after a few rounds of editing and feedback, I can pick up where Alex left off and do the final touches on my end.

Now, this way working is pretty nice, due to it’s always syncing folder structure. And it means I can drop any footage I want into that folder and it’ll upload and send it off to Alex just fine. Of course, you could just use a Dropbox account to do a lot of this stuff. But one of the killer features here is taking that SSD out of the back of an item, plugging it into the Cloud Pod, and just letting it happen and work magically. I can go home for the day and trust that the folder will sync up and he can take over, work through the night for me, and edit my video.

One thing that would be really cool to have in this setup would be the ability to record from an ATEM across the network to a Cloud Pod, connected to that same network. At the time of making this video, it’s not currently possible to do that, but with the ethernet ports on these ATEM devices, it does seem very possible in the future.You’ll notice here that I’ve been getting Alex to save versions of his DaVinci Resolve project to keep me up to date with the edit. We did this so that we wouldn’t overwrite each other’s work by syncing the Resolve project. So, instead, he saved versions along the way. But it does turn out that there is an even better way to remotely edit and collaborate together. And that’s using Blackmagic Cloud. And we can use this method to work remotely with other editors from wherever in the world. And we’ll take a look at Alex’s channel to learn more all about that.