FocalPoint Server allows FCPX libraries to be shared and managed within workgroups. One large step to making collaborative workflow easier.
At the recent IBC exhibition, we had an invite from Bridget Cuttell and Kevin Duggan to take a good look at FocalPoint Server. We would have reported during the show, but we all thought it was worthwhile waiting until a demo video showing the server in action with Final Cut Pro X was published.
What exactly is Focalpoint Server? It's a tool designed to work in a multi-seat collaborative environment that makes the creating, naming, using, finding, sharing and versioning of Final Cut Pro X libraries and events a lot easier. This is very close to a NCS (Newsroom Computer System) and we can see FocalPoint Server being used in broadcast where there are multiple episodes of shows to keep track of. FocalPoint Server already has a broadcast pedigree, it was first used by BBC Sport with FCP7 to try and control their editors naming conventions and media assets. It will also support Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere and many 2D & 3D graphic tools as well.
All a bit complicated, that's why we waited until their video was published!
Kevin took us through the workflow and we were impressed that not only does the server set up all the correct naming conventions and event structures within the library, the server also doubles as a project request, authorising and approval system with an HTML frontend.
We must emphasise that this is not software for the two or three seat installation, it is aimed at larger commercial organisations that have to have control over a group of editors. This is reflected in not only the price, but also the dedicated hardware needed to run FocalPoint Server and the optional support contract.
Pricing for the Workgroup version (maximum of 15 users and 5 workspaces)
Should you want to run the software on your own server, you will need:
x86-64, 3Ghz processor and above, quad core
Ubuntu LTS 12.04 64Bit/Redhat EL 6.2 64Bit/CentOS 6.2 64Bit
OSX 10.7 and above (Lion)
Windows 2008 R2
RAID 1+0 drive configuration for FocalPoint Server data (independent of OS drive(s))
- Java 7
- For Linux VM installations of FocalPoint Server only: Linux package haveged
Pricing for the Enterprise Version (No use limit but maximum of 15 workspaces)
As you can see, it's not an application you will find on the Mac App Store!! After quite a long chat with the guys at IBC, we did put forward the idea of scaling the software down for less than 5 users and maybe even provide a free tool for the creation of blank Libraries with event & role placeholders.
The above video only shows the FCPX side of the server, for a glimpse of how the server works with commissioned projects and approval, take a look at the following video where Kevin Duggan explains.
At an event held in 2013 by our friends at Root6, Bridget Cuttell ran through FocalPoint Server.
All very interesting, we will watch this product closely.