Collaboration

Whether you’re working on a commercial, corporate piece, feature, or web spot chances are you’re not going at it alone. Digital content creation offers the ability to work together in ways that were never possible before, but only if you have the tools capable of handling the ever increasing demands of modern media. With our servers, teams of every size can now enjoy the benefits of shared storage and collaborative workflow that until now were out of reach or impractical. 

Performance

Sneakernet, proxies, upresing, footage pulls. All of this costs untold amounts of money and time and are relics of an analog workflow that is resistant to change. The ShareStation and Jellyfish let you work natively and iterate quickly so that your time is spent working not waiting. A single shared storage platform for ingest, editorial, VFX, finishing, and archive means quicker turnaround and transparent media management.

Simplicity

Shared storage and networking are inherently complex technologies that if done right can seem like magic, and if done wrong can be your worst nightmare. Why does an editor or VFX artist care about any of that? Our servers and the ShareClient App take the “fun” out of networking and let you get back to work. Save the complexity for your storytelling, not your storage.

Creativity

There is nothing more frustrating than the start/stop process that has become modern post-production. Unresponsive tools, highly compressed proxies, and slow file transfers are the death of creative flow and we won’t stand for it.

The Right Fit

There is no one-size-fits-all for teams, that’s why our servers are available in many shapes and sizes to give you exactly what you need and nothing you don’t. 

 

ShareStation was designed in part because all the shared storage solutions for FCPX we looked at were flawed in some major way. So we decided that we might as well make our own solution that performed the way we needed it to.
— Sam Mestman: LumaForge CEO

Final Cut Pro X

Most Final Cut Pro X facilities edit with their Libraries from a local volume, referencing media that lives on a Storage Area Network (SAN) or Network Attached Storage (NAS).  The reasons for this have nothing to do with FCPX, but instead have far more to do with how FCPX needs to be integrated in a collaborative environment to be able to work effectively.

  • In a traditional SAN environment (especially XSAN environments), FCPX Libraries have a difficult time because SAN’s by nature don’t handle small database-driven files well, which is exactly what FCPX requires in order to work quickly and effectively.  This causes FCPX cache, waveform, and analysis files to perform poorly in a SAN environment.
  • On most NAS based storage, FCPX Libraries and media management commands will not work because NAS storage is typically shared through AFP or SMB Protocols, which are not designed to work with the FCPX Library Architecture.
  • Currently, the best way to run FCPX in a shared environment is through NFS Protocol.  Unfortunately, for FCPX users most NAS based storage is not optimized for NFS. The few that are NFS capable that we've tested in our lab leave much to be desired.

The ShareStation & Jellyfish are the only shared storage solutions that have been optimized to meet the demanding performance requirements of the Final Cut Pro X Library Architecture, and waveform/thumbnail caching. Our extensive FCPX optimization, allows you to seamlessly work with your FCPX Libraries directly from your server and collaborate with other editors across all of your Mac clients as if your libraries lived directly on SSD storage.

There is no other shared storage system in the world that comes close to the FCPX performance that LumaForge has achieved.

Read about one of the world's largest FCPX installation on FCP.co:

 

 
premier workflow

Adobe Premiere

With its emphasis on speed and responsiveness, in addition to its cross-platform Mac & Windows functionality, our servers become the perfect choice for an Adobe Creative Cloud workgroup. Most editors that use shared storage solutions are used to seeing the dreaded beach ball on playback as they work through their edits.  Latency between operations is a constant annoyance to the editor that is trying to get into a creative flow, and the question “how come when I’m hooked up to a local drive everything works?” is a common refrain. Our servers were designed to be faster than your local storage and still give you all the benefits of being in a shared environment regardless of your OS, workflow, or resolution requirements.

With 10GbE speeds that exceed 1000 MB/s both on Windows and Mac, and responsiveness in your editorial actions that feel like you’re connected to a giant SSD, you’ve never had a Creative Cloud shared storage experience like you get with a ShareStation & Jellyfish. Permission issues and compatibility problems are a thing of the past as your PC and Mac editors can easily collaborate with their cross-platform projects in Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Audition, or Speedgrade. Also, if you’re working in the cloud with a PC, your VFX workflow can get a shot in the arm by opening up 4K DPX/EXR playback over a direct 40GbE connection to your client(s). With LumaForge servers, your resolution, OS, and codec limitations are gone, and an entirely new set of workflow opportunities become readily available to you.

Read about real world same day editing in Premiere:


 
 

AVID

All of our servers fully support Avid Bin Sharing, allowing your team to seamlessly work from Avid Projects with multiple editors accessing media from the same bins simultaneously without issue. In fact, working with Avid on a ShareStation or Jellyfish won’t be much different than your FCPX or Premiere shared workflow, and your disk performance and responsiveness over 10GbE with Avid is second to none.

Additionally, because our servers are optimized for so many different apps, it makes getting from Avid to any other application painless. Need to get your AAF from Avid to Resolve and work with your online RAW 4K media in a shared environment? No sweat! Have both Macs and PCs working with Avid, and you need to work with the Creative Cloud too in both environments?  Well, we wanted to be able to do the same, so we made sure that it was possible. Regardless of your workflow or application, we've got you covered.

Native AVID bin locking available with MIMIQ:

 

 
My clients have often needed to round trip through Resolve in an environment that just didn’t support it. Multiple operating systems and codecs, across various systems, on traditional network fabric made supporting their needs difficult and, at times, seemingly impossible. We designed the ShareStation to make the difficult task of round tripping across platforms a breeze.
— Eric Altman: LumaForge CTO

DaVinci Resolve

Resolve has long been known as the swiss army knife of the post production world, allowing colorists the world over to finish films regardless of NLE or operating system.  It has been designed to finish at any frame rate, codec, or resolution you might ever want to finish at, making it probably the post production world’s most versatile tool. However, there’s always been two problems when it comes to working with Resolve in a shared environment:

  • Shared storage has never really been fast enough to work efficiently (or affordably) with high resolution image sequences like DPX and Open EXR, even at 2K Resolution.  Now that we are moving into a 4K world, the necessity of fast, efficient shared storage has never been more critical for color houses and online facilities.
  • ProRes – Most people in the industry know that a Resolve system with multiple graphics cards in a high end PC Tower will give the best performance, which is why so many colorists work in the PC world.  Unfortunately, exporting to ProRes (the most common deliverable) is currently difficult on the PC side.  Because of permissions issues, it has always been extremely difficult for the Mac and PC worlds to integrate properly.

Our servers solve both of these problems. In terms of bandwidth, colorists can work seamlessly with 2K DPX and EXR files in a shared environment over 10GbE, delivering anywhere from 800-1150 MB/s of sustained throughput to any client, which is more than enough for multiple streams of those image sequences on any given system.  We are the only manufacturer we know of that allows you to connect 40GbE directly to a PC or Linux client, which allows enough bandwidth for sustained playback of both 4K DPX and Open EXR image sequences. The bottom line is that with our servers you can go as fast as you need to for Resolve in your shared storage environment.

On the ProRes side, your media can live in a truly platform agnostic environment.  With our NFS optimization, you can finish a movie in Resolve on a high end PC tower, and then immediately go over to your MacPro, open the Resolve project there, and deliver your video to ProRes.  It’s the best of both worlds. Collaboration has never been easier.

We allow Resolve to truly become the Rosetta stone for post production that it was always meant to be.

See how you can work with Resolve on set in this Tao of Color blog post:

 

 
The ShareStation opens up collaborative workflows to the VFX world.
— Lumaforge CVO: Neil Smith

VFX: After Effects, Nuke, Fusion, Maya, Cinema 4D

Regardless of whether your facility is running Nuke, Fusion, Maya, or Cinema 4D on Mac, Windows, or Linux platforms, we will make your life easier as a VFX artist.  The ability to quickly get shots through your facility is crucial in this business, and our solutions can be a game changer for your artists, enabling you to deliver previously unheard of deliverables to even the most demanding clients.

The ShareStation was designed to work with OpenEXR and DPX data over 10GbE, and every ShareStation and some Jellyfish models can be outfitted with 40GbE connectivity enabling sustained 4K DPX and Open EXR playback on multiple clients.

If talent and creativity are the life-blood of a VFX facility, then efficiency in data storage and networking are the arteries of its success. A successful VFX house depends on efficient and reliable IT infrastructure.  With tight budgets and escalating IT costs, it’s imperative that the systems put in place for modern VFX workflows are efficient, cost effective, and low maintenance.  Many VFX houses need a fast, responsive, and reliable shared storage backbone so that their artists can easily share work and assets amongst themselves while also allowing producers, colorists and the screening rooms access to the same data with the same throughput.  With our systems, true artist collaboration becomes possible regardless of application, resolution, workflow, or codec.

So far it’s great! I’ve been using it for After Effects, Premiere and Assimilate Scratch VFX work. Two fast 10gbT clients and four gig ethernet clients means it’s a workhorse. It just goes. Setup took 15 minutes.
— Duck Grossberg, CTO Local Hero Post
 

Virtual Reality

Whether you’re ready for it or not, Virtually Reality is going to be the next big thing in post-production.  Neil Smith, co-founder of LumaForge, is WAY ahead of the curve when it comes to VR, and is currently teaching the world how to do it with his Moviola webinars.  The cool thing about this?  It has allowed us to master VR workflow for a shared environment, and we've applied everything we've learned in developing the ShareStation.  Every time Neil complains to us about problems he’s having with his 10K VR workflow over direct-attached 40GbE (yes, you read that correctly… he is actually doing that and complaining to us when he has to wait), the ShareStation gets a little better.  Quite honestly, we’re already doing things in our lab with VR that the rest of the industry is only dreaming about.  When you’re ready to take on VR, know that your ShareStation is up for the challenge.

Taped live at the June 2016 lacpug Meet. Part 1 of a 2 part presentation with Neil Smith and Matt Celia as they take you behind the scenes of the creation of an incredible virtual journey aboard a Pirate ship sailing the seven seas in search of hidden treasure and deadly contraband.