Signiant Support

13.0 Final Cut Integration User's Guide Print



Final Cut Integration

The Signiant Apple Final Cut Pro integration allows users to employ Signiant media transfer technology with the Final Cut Pro product to provide a managed, secure, accelerated transport mechanism among Final Cut Pro workgroups.

Integrating Signiant and Final Cut Pro requires a central Signiant Manager and Signiant agents. The Manager host should be a dedicated system, since it manages the agents and transfers. Each Final Cut Pro workstation host involved in Signiant-accelerated Final Cut Pro transfers has the Signiant agent software installed on it.

When a sequence or clip is ready for transfer from a location running Final Cut Pro software, users can choose File > Export > Signiant Workflow Launcher and specify the Final Cut Pro workstation to which they want to transfer the media. The agent that will transfer the files contacts the Signiant Manager through Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) calls. The Manager initiates the Signiant job control process, and the source and target agents handle the transfer of the files to the specified Final Cut Pro workstation. Once the transfer is complete, users at the target workstation can view, open, and work on the transferred media.


Final Cut Architecture

The following diagram provides an overview of the software architecture and workflow implemented in the integration of Signiant and Apple Final Cut Pro.

finalCut_overview.png


Final Cut Configuration

The procedures required to install the Signiant product and Final Cut Pro Integration application are a combination of automated and manual processes. The installation of the basic Signiant product is fully-automated via the Signiant Manager and Agent installer programs. However, some of the installation and configuration of the Final Cut Pro Integration application require manual procedures.

A full installation and configuration of the Signiant Apple Final Cut Pro Integration application involves the following tasks:

  • Installing and configuring a Signiant Manager using the Signiant installer.
  • Installing and configuring multiple Signiant Agents using the Signiant installer
  • Configuring Final Cut Pro Workstation objects in the Signiant Manager Web Interface using the Signiant Apple Final Cut Pro Integration application.
  • Pushing configurations out to the target Final Cut Pro Workstation hosts.

System Requirements

Final Cut Pro 10 or higher are supported and the following Mac OS version is supported:

  • Mac OSX 10.9

All source and target systems involved in Signiant/Final Cut Pro accelerated transfers must have the Apple Final Cut Pro software installed and functional on all relevant Mac hosts.

Agent Configuration

You must install the Signiant Agent software on all Final Cut Pro Workstation hosts involved in the Signiant-accelerated Final Cut Pro transfers, and configure each of those agents. Signiant agent configuration involves the following tasks:

  • Installing Signiant Agents on Final Cut Pro Workstations
  • Defining Final Cut Pro Workstation Host Objects
  • Updating Final Cut Pro Workstation Hosts

Installing Signiant Agents

Install the Signiant agent software on each Final Cut Pro Workstation that will be part of a Signiant transfer.

Add/Edit Workstation

You define Final Cut Pro Workstation host objects in the Signiant Manager Web Interface. Workstation objects are an extension of a Signiant agent, where the host is given a free-form name and has associated configuration parameters related to Final Cut Pro Workstation functionality. To define a Workstation host object, follow these steps:

  1. From the Manager, click Administration > Integrations >Final Cut.
  2. Click Add Workstation.
  3. Type a name for the Final Cut Pro Workstation in the Workstation field.
  4. Select a Signiant agent from the Uses Signiant Agent drop-down list.
  5. Click Add.
  6. In the Menu Item Name field, type a name for the menu item which you want the configuration to appear as in the Avid editing interface.
  7. Select an Avid Job Template Library from the dropdown menu.
  8. Select the Workflow Start Component from the dropdown menu.
  9. In the Prompts and SOAP tab, select items from the dropdown menus or accept the defaults.
    Prompt Description
    Target Agent The base folder where files are to be transferred on the target system. The default "/Incoming Transfers/Final Cut Pro" will end up on the primary system disk (the one where the operating system is installed). Users can specify network drives by specifying /Volumes/<network_drive_path>.
    Target Directory The directory location on the target agent.

    Directory Mapping Options

     

    Job Date/Time, Agent Source

    Use WAN Accelerator

     

    Selecting Yes means that when the job runs, it will use UDP as the underlying transport, and will attempt to use all available bandwidth up to the user-specified bandwidth maximum. This configuration can result in a faster transfer rate than if it is not selected. The Use WAN Accelerator option should be used on high latency high bandwidth networks where throughput is a top priority. When running a job with "Use WAN Accelerator" set to "Yes", with a low bandwidth ceiling, or flow, or low throughput, the transfer will be switched to TCP. (The cutoff value is 57200 bits/second.)

    Note that bandwidth throttles may also be employed by other network devices and policies (e.g., QoS), therefore, a bandwidth throttle (or target maximum) defined here may not be achievable. If you are having difficulty achieving a particular bandwidth target ensure that other policies are not impacting your ability to reach the desired throughput.

    WAN Accelerator Aggressiveness

    Indicates how sensitive the WAN accelerator will be to other network traffic when it is running. Choose from one of the following:

    High: The agent will always attempt to send data at the Bandwidth Ceiling rate with no regard to other network traffic.

    Medium: The agent will always attempt to send data at the Bandwidth Ceiling rate, however, if packet loss is detected, the agent will gradually lower its transfer rate.

    Low: The agent will always attempt to send data at the Bandwidth Ceiling rate, however, if packet loss is detected, the agent will drop its transfer rate right away, and slowly attempt to increase it.

    Bandwidth Ceiling 

     

    (Applies only to WAN acceleration)

    The maximum rate at which the source will send the data on the network. Typically this is the maximum speed of the network (i.e., 100Mbps, 10Mbps, and so on). Zero means unlimited.

    (Note that testing has shown that specifying a ceiling is generally faster - as long as it is set correctly. This is because if the ceiling is set, the transfer immediately starts at that rate, rather than ramping up.)

    Click the calculator icon to calculate the amount of bandwidth as a percentage. Slide the bar to the percentage you want and click OK. The correct value appears in the Bandwidth Ceiling field.

    Bandwidth Throttles

     

    Click Add a new throttle. (You can specify up to four throttles.)

    Time-of-Day bandwidth throttles applicable to both WAN-accelerated and non-accelerated transfers. Note that you must use 24-hour time format to specify start and end times (i.e., enter 2:00 pm as 14:00). You can type directly in the field. Alternately, click the clock icon to specify 12- or 24-hour clock, choose the time and click OK. The time is converted to 24-hour clock time.

    You can also specify the rate unit in which the bandwidth is displayed (bytes/second or bits/second). You can also click the calculator icon to calculate the amount of bandwidth as a percentage. Slide the bar to the percentage you want and click OK. The correct value appears in the Maximum Bandwidth field.

    Note that bandwidth throttles may also be employed by other network devices and policies (e.g., QoS), therefore, a bandwidth throttle (or target maximum) defined here may not be achievable. If you are having difficulty achieving a particular bandwidth target, ensure that other policies are not impacting your ability to reach the desired throughput.

    Email To The email address of the person to receive the logging report. Separate multiple addresses with a comma.

    Email Condition

     

    Specifies when a job report is emailed to users specified in the Email Job Report To prompt. Choose from the following:

    • Always - Users receive a job report after every job run.
    • On Error - Users receive a job report after a job run that reports an error exit code.
    • Never - Users never receive job reports.
    Log Detail Level The type of logging information for this job. Choose from Error, Warn (warning), Info (Information) or Debug. Debug provides the greatest level of detail while Error provides the least.
    SOAP
    Controlling Signiant Manager The Signiant Manager used to create and run the SOAP job. The Manager name appears here by default.
    Create Jobs as User The Signiant Manager userid used to create and run the job. The Avid SOAP user is the default user.
    Password

    Type a password for the "Create Jobs as User" user name.

    Note: Do not change the password if you are using the (default) Avid SOAP user. The password is encrypted, and is unrecoverable through Signiant.

    Confirm Password Verify the password for the "Create Jobs as User" user name.
    Job Name Prefix The text to prepend to the Avid transfer job names.
  10. Click OK
  11. Click Save.
  12. Repeat for the number of Transfer Managers you want to define.

Changes are not visible to the Final Cut Pro systems until you click Update in the Workstation Listing screen.

Updating Workstation Hosts

Once you have defined at least one Workstation object and its targets, you may update it. Updating the Workstation hosts accomplishes the following:

  • Installs/updates any required binaries and application plugins on the Workstation hosts (source and targets).
  • Builds the XML configuration files and pushes them out to the appropriate Workstation hosts. These configuration files contain all settings to be used by the Apple Final Cut Pro plugin application.

Workstations List

The list presented under Administration > Integrations > Final Cut shows the Final Cut Pro Workstations that have been defined on the Signiant Manager. The Configuration Status column indicates if the target system currently needs updates of software and/or configurations. Requires Update appears in the status column when there is a new or updated configuration that affects the given Workstation. Other values that may appear in the Configuration Status column are Up To Date, Update Running, and Failed Update. This screen also allows users to do the following:

  • add, edit, and delete Final Cut Pro Workstations from the system.
  • update Final Cut Pro Workstations that require updating, or update all Workstations.

Status

When Final Cut Pro Workstations are "updated" via the Signiant Manager, a Signiant job is launched which performs all of the update work. The status and logs of the job used in the update process can be viewed by examining the "Final Cut Pro_TM_Update" job. You can examine this job by doing the following:

  1. Click on Jobs > Groups.
  2. Click on FinalCutUpdates.
  3. Click on View Jobs in Group.

There will be a single job in this group called "Final_Cut_WS_Update". This job is run every time the Final Cut Pro Workstation update process is performed.


Final Cut Components

The Signiant Apple Final Cut Pro Integration application provides the means to launch workflows from a Final Cut Pro editor for a selected set of media files. Workflows are defined in the Job Template Library canvas, using the components in the toolbox. The reference workflows included with the Signiant Apple Final Cut Pro Integration application enable the transfer of editable content from one Final Cut Pro system to another.

The following graphic illustrates the sample Final Cut Pro Workflow components:

There are three distinct parts to the Signiant Apple Final Cut Pro workflows: launch, execution, and reporting.

  • The FinalCutEditorStart component (renamed FCtoFCReference in this example) specifies the parameters relating to scheduling the workflow, such as when and how the job should run.
  • The FinalCutUpdateLocators, SigniantSimple, and FinalCutNotification components are grouped together as part of the execution sequence that transfers files from one or more Signiant agents, then transfers the transcoded files to one or more Signiant Agents.
  • The JobReport component provides summary information on the completion status of the workflow.

Workflows are built in the canvas of a Job Template Library, using the components in the toolbox.

  • FinalCutEditorStart Component

    The FinalCutEditorStart component is used as the launch point of Final Cut workflows initiated from the Signiant Apple Final Cut plugin on Final Cut workstations.

  • FinalCutToFinalCutTransfer

    This is the type of file transfer used in the "FCtoFCReference" workflow. The key difference between this file transfer and a generic Signiant file transfer is that this component handles the updating of the media file locators in the metadata file as well as all notifications (source and target notifications).

    This file transfer component performs the following major functions:

    • Transfers the files to the target system.
    • Updates the file locators in the XML export file (metadata file) to reference the new location of the media files on the target system.
    • Provides a pop-up notification on the source workstation indicating the success or failure of the job.
    • Provides a pop-up notification on the target workstation indicating that new media has arrived and providing the option to browse it.

     

  • FinalCutUpdateLocators

    Updates the master metadata file exported from the source Final Cut Pro system, so that the media file locators are correct for the location to which the media has been transferred on the target system.

  • FinalCutNotification

    The FinalCutNotification component is used to create a pop-up message on a Final Cut workstation. The most common use of this component is to provide an indication that new media has arrived, giving an option to the user to browse to the media folder.

  • JobReport

    Specifies that a job report be sent to specified users. These are sent depending on specified exception handling conditions. For example, if the job fails, the report may go to different recipients than if the entire job succeeds.

Final Cut Pro workflow components use some properties that are specific to Final Cut Pro and others that are common to other Signiant components. The four Final Cut Pro components FinalCutEditorStart, FinalCutToFinalCutTransfer, FinalCutUpdateLocators, and FinalCutNotification use the properties described in the following table.

Component Property Description
FinalCutEditorStart Source Agent The agent of the source Final Cut workstation. This value is set by the Signiant Apple Final Cut plugin.
  Source Workstation Name The "friendly" name of the source Final Cut workstation. This value is set by the Signiant Apple Final Cut plugin and is used as a field in the Final Cut pop-up notification.
  Media File List The list of files to transfer (media files + XML export metadata file). This value is set by the Signiant Apple Final Cut plugin.
  Metadata File The XML format export file produced by the plugin which completely describes the project/bins/sequences selected for transfer. This value is set by the Signiant Apple Final Cut plugin.
FinalCutToFinalCutTransfer Source Agent The agent of the source Final Cut workstation. This value is set by the Signiant Apple Final Cut plugin.
  Media File List The agent of the source Final Cut workstation. This value is set by the Signiant Apple Final Cut plugin.
  Metadata File The XML format export file produced by the plugin which completely describes the project/bins/sequences selected for transfer. This value is set by the Signiant Apple Final Cut plugin.
  Target Agent The target agent (target Final Cut workstation) to which the media is being sent.
  Target Directory The base directory where the media is to be written.
  Directory Mapping Options Options to add a folder with the source host name and/or date/timestamp of the job
  Use WAN Accelerator Enable/disable WAN accelerated transfers
  WAN Accelerator Aggressiveness UDP transfer aggressiveness
  Bandwidth Ceiling Bandwidth ceiling
  Bandwidth Throttle by Time of Day Bandwidth throttle by time of day
  Message 1 The first line of text to display on the notification.
  Message 2 The second line of text to display on the notification.
  Notification Timeout Notification Timeout
FinalCutUpdateLocators Target Agent The target agent (target Final Cut workstation) to which the media is being sent.
  Target Directory The base directory where the media is to be written.
  Metadata File The XML format export file produced by the plugin which completely describes the project/bins/sequences selected for transfer. This value is set by the Signiant Apple Final Cut plugin.
FinalCutNotification Target Agent The target agent (target Final Cut workstation) to which the media is being sent.
  Target Directory The base directory where the media is to be written.
  Message 1 The first line of text to display on the notification.
  Message 2 The second line of text to display on the notification.
  Notification Timeout Timeout in seconds, after which the pop-up will automatically close.

Final Cut Workflows

The Final Cut Pro_Workflows template library contains three workflows:

  • FCtoFCReference
  • FCtoFCComponentized
  • FinalCutWSUpdate

The first two workflows (FCtoFCReference and FCtoFCComponentized) accomplish the same thing. They are provided as 2 separate workflows to illustrate different ways of using workflow components to accomplish a given task. The third workflow FinalCutWSUpdate) is the internal-use only workflow that is employed by the Final Cut Pro Workstation Update process (i.e. it is launched when the user clicks on the Final Cut Pro "Update"button.

The following graphic illustrates the Final Cut workflows:


Final Cut XML File

The following table describes the XML configuration file used to create and control the Signiant-accelerated transfer jobs.

Tag Description Default Value
TargetName The "Named Configuration" specified when defining the source-target Final Cut Pro workstation associations. (none)
ServerName The hostname of the Signiant Manager on which the transfer job will be created. (none)
UserName The Signiant Manager userid used to create and run the job. Admin
Password The password for the above userid (encrypted). (none)
JobLibrary The Signiant job library containing the transfer template. FC_Transfer
JobTemplate The name of the Signiant transfer template to use for the job. FC_Transfers
JobGroup The job group to create the transfer job under. FCTransfers
JobNamePrefix The prefix to use for the job name. The job name will be the prefix followed by the source system name, target system name and a sequential number (timestamp). FCxfer
TimeZone The timezone to use for log messages. GMT
SourceHost The source host of the transfer (must match the local hostname). (none)
TargetHost The target host for the transfer (must match the hostname of the target Transfer Manager). (none)
UseWanAccelerator UDP-enabled transfer. Yes
WanAcceleratorAggressiveness How sensitive the WAN accelerator will be to other network traffic when it is running. Medium
BandwidthCeiling The bandwidth ceiling, in Kbps. 0 means unlimited. 0
BandwidthThrottles A set of up to 4 bandwidth throttles by time-of-day. (none)
TargetDirectory The target directory (base) where the media files are to be transferred. Macintosh HD/Incoming Transfers/Final Cut Pro
AddSourceHostFolder Flag indicating whether or not to create a sub-folder named as the source hostname. Yes
AddTimestampFolder Flag indicating whether or not to create a sub-folder named with the date/timestamp of the transfer. No
EmailCondition The condition under which an email notification/report is sent. Valid conditions are Always, On Transfer, On Error, Never. Always
EmailContact The email address(es) to which to send the notification/report. (none)
JobLogDetailLevelVar The log level to use for the job (0=Errors, 1= Warnings, 2 = Info, 3 = Debug). The larger the number, the more logging information is generated. 2

The XML configuration files exist under the directory: /Library/Application Support/Signiant System Support/

The following is a sample vendor XML file:

 <SigniantFCParameters>
	<FCSource>
		<SourceName>imac3</SourceName>
	</FCSource>
	<FCTarget>
		<TargetName>Menu 1</TargetName>
		<SigniantManager>
			<ServerName>imac1-win.ott.signiant.com</ServerName>
			<UserName>fcp_soap</UserName>
			<Password>********</Password>
		</SigniantManager>
		<JobVars>
			<JobLibrary>Final_Cut_Workflows</JobLibrary>
			<JobTemplate>FCtoFCReference</JobTemplate>
			<JobGroup>FinalCutTransfers</JobGroup>
			<JobNamePrefix>FCxfer_imac3_Menu_1</JobNamePrefix>
			<TimeZone>GMT</TimeZone>
		<FCtoFCReference.SourceAgent>imac3.ott.signiant.com</FCtoFCReference.SourceAgent>
		<FCtoFCReference.SourceWorkstationName>imac3</FCtoFCReference.SourceWorkstationName>
			<FCtoFCReference.EmailCondition>Always</FCtoFCReference.EmailCondition>
			<FCtoFCReference.EmailTo></FCtoFCReference.EmailTo>
			<FCtoFCReference.JobOptionsGroup._sp_log_severity>2</FCtoFCReference.JobOptionsGroup._sp_log_severity>
			<FCtoFCReference.PathMappingOptions></FCtoFCReference.PathMappingOptions>
			<FCtoFCReference.TargetDirectory>/Incoming Transfers/Final Cut Pro</FCtoFCReference.TargetDirectory>
			<FCtoFCReference.bandwidthThrottles>00:00;00:00;NNNNNNN;0;</FCtoFCReference.bandwidthThrottles>
			<FCtoFCReference.targetAgent>imac3.ott.signiant.com</FCtoFCReference.targetAgent>
			<FCtoFCReference.throughput_tgt>0</FCtoFCReference.throughput_tgt>
			<FCtoFCReference.udp_aggressiveness>medium</FCtoFCReference.udp_aggressiveness>
			<FCtoFCReference.udp_transfer>yes</FCtoFCReference.udp_transfer>
		</JobVars>
	</FCTarget>
</SigniantFCParameters>