Small Facility

From Big Shop To One Man Show – A Workflow To Minimize Downtime

February 25, 2016

Building a one man workflow to get the maximum out of your time grading. 

I’m sure most of you know that I have moved on from working at Smoke and Mirrors in a big team with assistants and multiple colonists to working on my own.

I’m sure many of you are in the same position as me so I thought I’d share my thoughts and workflow and would love to hear your thoughts on how myself or others could improve it.

The Goal

My goal when trying to figure out my workflow was simple.

Earn back some personal time!

As a commercial colorist, it is very likely that I will be attended from 9:30 in the morning till 6:30 in the evening.

This is firstly exhausting and secondly would mean that I only start prepping my jobs for the next day around 6:30 in the evening.

Easy jobs can only take 10-15 mins to prepare but complex ones can take hours to both prepare and copying.

Another factor was keeping an eye on renders.

A job I rendered recently took 4 hours and was needed by the flame artists for 9:30 the next day so I had to keep an eye on it.

Workflow So Far

So far the key to getting a little time back in my day is earning back my commuting time.

By kicking off transcodes or renders or media management when I wake up first thing in the morning I can have an hours work done before I even get into the office.

I do the same thing in the evening and leave a list of work that can be started as I leave and then finished when I get home.

I use a very simple Google Docs set up to keep track of what I have done and what still needs to be completed.

I use TeamViewer to then keep an eye on both my machines from home.

I have the latest tricked out 27″ iMac attached over 10G ethernet to our central storage.

This is my workstation for ingesting, transcoding and general prep.

My main grading machine is a Resolve Linux system.

Check out my video below to see how I am working currently.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I’m doing wrong and what I could be doing better as I’m very new to the Lone Wolf style of running a grading department!


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Homepage Forums From Big Shop To One Man Show – A Workflow To Minimize Downtime

  • Taylre Jones

    Interesting to hear about how similar things are between us in this. I remote link in all the time, it’s great. Just gotta remember to have the drives plugged in :-).

    I’m curious since you are on a Linux system, what do you do for deliveries? What if they want ProRes?

  • Dan Moran

    Hey Taylre!

    The linux actually has full support for both Read and Write for all flavours of ProRes. That and the extra GPU horsepower was my main reasoning for going to Linux over windows

  • Very neat workflow and a great reason to have a Mac as a assist workstation. Although I dont need to commute, this sounds very helpful for those trying to gain more worklife balance when working from home. I also use teamviewer to check on render and such, even in house

    Do you find yourself able to rely on the media management on all jobs with trim? I find it ‘”less than ideal” as it occasionally crashes when trimming.

  • I also use the hell out of remote desktop from home. I do the exact same thing. Get renders/copying going before I leave work, checking on them from home. And getting stuff going from home before I leave for work. I easily save a couple of hours each day working like that. I use the Reminders app on my phone to remember stuff like plugging in disks and checking in on rendering. We use Farmer’s Wife as a booking system at the studio, and that’s how I keep on top of upcoming projects and deadlines.

  • Taylre Jones

    WHAAAAAAT?! I didn’t know this. Very interesting. How do you like using Linux? Stable?

  • Taylre Jones

    Same here Jason. Same here. My favorite is when it crashes in the last 25% of the management. Hopes dashed on a regular basis ;-).

  • Hey Dan very nice one, please could you put in your checklist a tutorial about Resolve Linux workstation setup ?, how much graphics card/cudas do you have and how reliable are in 4K workflow ? or do you work in HD and delivery 4K ??

  • Where’s the video??

  • I see no video…

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