Los Angeles Church Mosaic Maximizes 4K Content Creation Workflow with Facilis TerraBlock Shared Storage
Mosaic—a Southern California church with more than 3,000 regular attendees—is among the first houses of worship in the nation to adopt an end-to-end native 4K-resolution file-based video workflow for media content creation.
To expand the reach of its message through media outlets—such as YouTube, social media, and their podcasts—Mosaic has built a 4K capable broadcast facility in the heart of Hollywood.
“Our goal is to shoot and produce video with the highest image quality we can afford in order to preserve our digital media distribution options well into the future,” said Adam Genzink, the broadcast director at Mosaic.
“With this move to 4K, we needed a robust storage system capable of the heavy lifting required to move multiple streams of 4K video simultaneously,” Genzink said.
Mosaic procured a TerraBlock 24D shared storage system with 192 terabytes of storage and 16GB of Fibre Channel networking capacity from Cutting Edge Audio and Video Group, a Media Systems Integrator, with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Cutting Edge, which served as Mosaic’s systems integrator, continues to help the innovative organization as it pushes the 4K-production envelope.
“Mosaic is an innovative organization that is constantly striving to expand the reach of its message through media. With the new 4K production studio, they were doing something that had never been done before, and needed a cost effective, high performance storage solution from a vendor they could trust,” said Zeke Margolis, Cutting Edge Los Angeles Sales Manager.
“Facilis TerraBlock with 16GB Fibre Channel has been a solid foundation to Mosaic's workflow. Cutting Edge was honored to participate in the project and look forward to supporting them as they continue to push the production envelope,” Margolis added.
SHOOTING FOR 4K RES
Mosaic’s innovative 4K-workflow is comprised of several best-in-class third-party systems. It begins with four Sony Cinealta 4K/HD live production cameras that are used to capture the theatrical flair of Mosaic’s well-attended weekend worship services. The dramatic staging includes theatrical lighting, singers, band performances, big-screen graphical displays, and a dynamic sermon by Mosaic Pastor Erwin Raphael McManus.
Two Sony PWS-4500 4-channel multiport AV storage devices record the four isolated raw 4K camera feeds (or ISOs), and then this acquisition video is transferred directly to the TerraBlock. The TerraBlock also receives two additional 4K-video streams, which are the program output and clean feed from a Sony MVS-8000X 4K production switcher used during the worship service.
“A unique feature of the TerraBlock is that it supports both Ethernet and Fibre Channel network connections, making it very versatile from a systems integration standpoint. This high-performance network connectivity makes TerraBlock well suited to handling the multiple, massive data streams associated with 4K video in real-time,” said Sig Knapstad, co-founder and technical guru at Cutting Edge.
“Our 4K-workflow is quite complex, so we really lean on Cutting Edge quite a bit. Since my expertise is in content creation, not postproduction workflows, I’ve had tons of questions. Everyone at Cutting Edge has been really patient with us as we’ve become acclimated to this new technology,” Genzink said.
The user-friendly Facilis TerraBlock also interfaces directly with several other powerful third-party solutions in use at Mosaic. One is a Levels Beyond server for media asset management that is in the process of being installed.
As an industry-leading network shared storage system dedicated to post production and content creation workflows, TerraBlock offers a shared file system and data management tools, along with the capacity to handle processing-intensive tasks, such as color grading and graphical overlays. It also delivers video, audio and data over Fibre Channel and 1/10/40 Gigabit Ethernet connections through a custom protocol that avoids the overhead processing and latency delays that can hamper other network storage systems.
Another key system element that interfaces with the TerraBlock at Mosaic is the Vantage Transcode Pro Connect media-processing platform from Telestream. Any media that’s deposited on the TerraBlock automatically drops into a watch folder.
Vantage automatically picks up files from the watch folder, and creates whatever file versions and formats are needed. For example, it generates H.264 low-res proxies for editing and the file formats needed by the Levels Beyond asset management server. Vantage Lightspeed servers—also from Telestream—provide accelerated GPU processing to boost the productivity of the Vantage workflow.
“Both 4K raw files and their respective low-res proxies can reside on the TerraBlock. And editors can work with full-res files, low-res proxies, or both as they’re editing in Adobe Premiere Pro CC,” said Genzink. “Premiere has a new workflow that lets editors toggle between raw acquisition footage and low-res proxies on the editing timeline. But anytime they render files out, that footage is always rendered from the raw high-res acquisition media.”
ON THE HORIZON
In time, Genzink said that their infrastructure might be enhanced with a tighter interface between Adobe Premiere and the Vantage Transcode Pro in order to enable a more automated workflow.
The Vantage workflow at Mosaic might eventually include the transcoding of files for digital distribution, which are currently being handled on the local workstation. Mosaic is also evaluating the possibility of distributing to other new platforms, such as Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast, in the future.
“That is why it was so important for us to shift to a 4K-video workflow based on a shared storage system like TerraBlock,” Genzink said. “Both TerraBlock and Premiere are capable of supporting editing in full 4K resolution.”
Mosaic also has plans to scale their storage capacity, including the use of cloud storage for long-term media archives. The TerraBlock will then be devoted to only short-term storage of about six to eight weeks' worth of data locally. Media files will move to the cloud when they’re no longer needed in online storage.
“We’re generating tons of data and files, so of course, we’d love to expand our TerraBlock storage in time,” Genzink said. “We’ve been really happy with it, and on every task we’ve used it for, the TerraBlock has proven to be reliable and robust, and essential to our 4K-workflow.”
About Facilis Technology
Facilis Technology was founded in 2003 with the idea of bringing advanced storage technology to the Media and Entertainment industry at a reasonable cost. Its production-proven solutions are fast and intuitive, making it easier for creative professional to collaborate and work more efficiently. Flexible, scalable and compatible with industry-standard creative solutions, Facilis’ products blend seamlessly into any studio environment – boutique, mid-sized or large – and have been installed in more than 3,000 facilities worldwide.
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