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DI Storage

Published : 8th July 2004


Hi,

Does anyone have any idea how much much full-resolution film data the average DI house is capable of storing? Do people store entire features at 2K, or do it by reel, or what?

Thanks for any info.

Phil Rhodes
Video camera/edit
London



>how much much full-resolution film data the average DI house is >capable of storing

First answer - there's no such thing as an average DI house.

Second answer - as much as it takes - storage isn't cheap but it's sometimes cheaper than not getting the job.

Third answer - a 2K res feature is 2 to 3 Terabytes. The big houses will be able to carry several of these. Others have to juggle production to fit. (Weta apparently moved a Terabyte of data every day during LOTR). But the edges of storage capacity are now getting a bit blurred with systems that use cheaper low-response disks or near-line storage (robotic tape drive juke boxes etc), as well as rented off-site storage at databanks linked by optical fibre.

Dominic Case
Atlab Australia



Dominic Case wrote :

>Third answer - a 2K res feature is 2 to 3 Terabytes. The big houses will >be able to carry several of these. Others have to juggle production to fit. >(Weta apparently moved a Terabyte of data every day during LOTR).

The biggest factor in a DI for this variability is the length of the feature and the amount of recutting likely to go on during the DI process, obviously if your handed slate-to-slate material you'd try to avoid scanning any more than you have to but handles are still needed and a number of client we did jobs with were only happy if they could have 16 frames front and back - I put this down party to the uncertain image DI processes have and that they could always go back to a normal neg cut process if they had to.

The other factor is how you handle any visual effects and other 'opticals' as these can add up to more and more storage.

Moving a terabyte a day isn't actually all that much if your doing a DI business, during Band of Brothers we sometimes moved two episodes worth of data overnight to switch between one show and the next and that was before things progressed in terms of data rates and technologies like SANs.

As an example of how ridiculous things can get we have somewhere over 70TB of online storage in this building and we don't do DI in London anymore!!!

| Kevin Wheatley | These are the opinions of |
| Senior Do-er of Technical Things | nobody and are not shared |
| Cinesite (Europe) Ltd | by my employers



>Third answer - a 2K res feature is 2 to 3 Terabytes.
>This seems staggeringly little.

>more than three terabytes in this room, and all I cut is DVSD!


Ah! maybe a miscommunication, Phil.

A finished feature would be that sort of size - that is about 2 hours of playtime.

If you are talking cutting, the source footage would be may times more - but that's not how features are cut.

Quick quiz to highlight the speed of technology: after megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes, what comes next? If you only recently learnt the answer, how many years ago was it that you first heard of Terabytes?

Next quick question: if the biggest cinema complexes are now called megaplexes, how come we never had kiloplexes? Will we get teraplexes soon?

Dominic Case
Atlab Australia



Hi,

> third answer - a 2K res feature is 2 to 3 Terabytes.

This seems staggeringly little. That's only eight to twelve 250Gb hard disks, or more likely double that with RAID redundancy. Given that dlad_2048X1556.cin is 12.1Mb, and my personal inclination would be to scan at 14 or 16bits/channel, I was expecting several times that. I mean, I have more than three terabytes in this room, and all I cut is DVSD!

Ho hum.

Phil Rhodes
Video camera/edit
London



Phil Rhodes wrote :

>Third answer - a 2K res feature is 2 to 3 Terabytes.

>This seems staggeringly little, I was expecting several times that.


It's the right answer though. 170,000 frames times 12MB/frame is 2TB. A 4K feature would be 8TB.

The working set while doing a DI is about 4-5 times that amount though. So about 10TB for the various versions of work in progress.

We have about 120TB for all our departments.(and it goes upwards monthly)

We could store several features worth of data, but it would definitely involve some data juggling.

Jim Houston
Pacific Title Imaging



Dominic writes :

>Next quick question: if the biggest cinema complexes are now called >megaplexes, how come we never had kiloplexes? Will we get >teraplexes soon?

I've worked with a few megalomaniacs; that was bad enough. Please don't tell me there are teralomaniacs
out there.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP



...and the answer is petabytes...

To think I can remember when it cost a fool's ransom to buy a 5MB hard drive. . . in an age when we might have key chains with 40G drives.

Robert Goodman
Filmmaker
Philadelphia, PA



Robert Goodman wrote :

> and the answer is petabytes. . .

So is anyone here using the new Sony Petasite system, that supposedly stores about 6 TB on a tape? I'd love to hear anything, good or bad, about it -- working with someone who may have to use this system.

Jeff Kreines