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The Secret to DaVinci Resolve’s Global Collaboration Tools

Photo Moment - October 10, 2023

About a year ago, I embarked on a mission to create the perfect DaVinci Resolve editing system and workflow — one that transcends the limitations of platforms and geographic locations. Today, I believe I've come pretty close to achieving that goal with what I call my Global Collaborative Workflow. This editing system enables seamless collaboration with editors worldwide, regardless of their location or the devices they use.

Products Mentioned

Objectives of the Perfect DaVinci Resolve Global Collaborative Editing System

  1. Global Accessibility: My primary goal was to allow editors, including myself, to access projects and media from anywhere in the world with minimal effort. The result? A system that is entirely platform-agnostic, be it Mac or PC, desktop, or laptop.
  2. Local Performance: Working with high-resolution footage, I couldn't compromise on local performance. The system had to handle multicam 4K ProRes and 6K RAW footage efficiently.
  3. Automated and Fast Backup: An automated and swift backup system was crucial. Waiting for media to back up the day after a shoot was not an option. And, the backup needed to be both on-site and off-site.
  4. File Accessibility: I wanted access to all my files, including originals, from anywhere in the world. No more scenarios where a needed file is sitting on a distant hard drive with no immediate access.

The Global Collaborative Workflow

Blackmagic Cloud Project Server

With the release of DaVinci Resolve 18, Blackmagic introduced the Cloud Project Server. This cloud-based project server allows access to projects from anywhere with an internet connection. No server setup is needed—just create an account, log in, and start collaborating. The cost is a mere $5 per month for a project library, accommodating multiple projects and collaborators without additional charges.

However, there's room for improvement. Project-level restrictions and automated backups are areas that need attention. The absence of an offline mode can be limiting for those without constant internet access.

DaVinci Resolve Cloud Library interfaceDaVinci Resolve Cloud Library interface

Blackmagic Cloud Store

Media is efficiently managed by the Blackmagic Cloud Store, acting as a 10 gigabit NAS. Despite being able to use any fast NAS, the Cloud Store offers unique conveniences, such as syncing proxy video only, plus all types of non-proxy-able media (audio, graphics, etc.) to Dropbox or Google Drive.

Various Cloud Store models are available, with the Cloud Pod being a cost-effective, BYO storage solution. The Cloud Store Mini, which I use, boasts eight terabytes of NVME storage and a ten gigabit network connection. For larger-scale needs, there's a model configurable up to 320 terabytes.

Blackmagic Cloud Store Mini monitoring interfaceBlackmagic Cloud Store Mini monitoring interface

Synology NAS for Comprehensive Backup

To complete the backup puzzle, I use a Synology NAS RS1221+ with a ten gigabit card installed. Configured in RAID 6 with eight 16-terabyte drives, it offers high-speed storage and robust data protection. A Netgear XS505M 10Gbps network switch brings everything together at maximum performance.

The Synology NAS provides a nightly backup of the Cloud Store, manages overflow media, and serves as a local backup. For a comprehensive backup strategy, Synology Drive ShareSync or Cloud Sync can be employed to synchronize data to another NAS or a cloud service like Dropbox.

Synology NAS RS1221+, RAID 6 with eight 16TB drivesSynology NAS RS1221+, RAID 6 with eight 16TB drives

Achieving Persistent File Access

The final piece of the puzzle is persistent file access. Logging into the Synology from anywhere in the world allows browsing and downloading of files. Additionally, Dropbox ensures selective sync, enabling access to files on-demand directly on my computer.

Synology NAS RS1221+ Cloud Sync OptionsSynology NAS RS1221+ Cloud Sync Options

In conclusion, this Global Collaborative Workflow has transformed my editing process. Collaborating seamlessly with editors worldwide, maintaining high local performance, and ensuring robust backup and file access, it's a system that comes close to perfection.

While there are areas for improvement, the overall functionality and efficiency make it a nearly perfect solution for my editing needs.

🎧 Music in this Video

The music is from MusicBed! Get your first month free when you purchase an annual subscription by using my coupon code PHOTOJOSEPH at checkout!

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📄 Full Video Transcript

Mulling over workflows... I don't think this scenario exists, but it would be great if a remote editor working only with proxies (ie slow internet) when ready to output could engage the "remote render" feature on your studio machine that is attached to the original high res media, so that they can complete the project's final render & distribution without further input, and without needing vpn..
Did you change your workflow now that the Cloud Stores support Blackmagic Cloud Storage?
I’ve been testing it and I like it a lot. Also working on a backup to replace Dropbox. I’ll do an updated video when I’ve got it all in order.
Found this video because I want to do remote rendering for a tron vfx/editing project. The intro was reassuring :D
I synced a project from my client's pc to my system and edited it but when I add new graphics and music to the project in client's pc they don't get synced to my pc. They are offline even though the client pc shows that they are synced to cloud.
@@photojoseph When I click relink on my pc it opens my file explorer rather than the cloud. So it doesn't give me an option to sync graphics
Assuming the media is actually synced to your system then just relink it in resolve.
Hey @Photojoseph. I would love to hear (or maybe you have done already) and update on your solution now that dropbox unlimited is gone. I assume (may 2024) you are still in the last months of your previous plan (like we are) but wondering if you have found a good solution without it. Are you using the same overall system with DB for proxies and then using something new for your RAW backup? Thanks for the work on this video.
@@photojoseph - I keep trying to comment but its not showing up. Who did you contact at dropbox?
I just reached out to dropbox to clarify -- they said "In regards to your additional storage, it will be free until October 31, 2028" . Maybe mine is longer because I have been a customer longer? No idea, but fortunately that's the situation for me. That said, I have reached out to box to see if they want to collaborate with me on a new video. They haven't responded yet though.
Ok, thanks for the info. I’ve made a note to look into it soon.

So lately I’ve been using the Blackmagic cloud for proxy storage. It’s been perfectly reliable and overall easier to manage. I guess the only negative is you can’t choose what to download. For example in my Dropbox proxy workflow, I had a folder just for the localization team with a RiP (render in place) of the entire timeline so they only had only one video file to Dropbox sync and reconnect. Now though it’s just automatic. They open the project and everything downloads even if they don’t need it. But, they have no problem with it so, so far so good.

I’ll likely be moving my backup to I’ve seen reports of problems downloading large files though so I need to stress test it. I’ll be making a follow-up video but it’ll be a while.
@@photojoseph - The way that Dropbox finally settled is that you have whatever your current storage amount was as of October 25th, 2023 (I think thats the day, but regardless, end of October of last year). Then they add 5TB per user to that amount. Then that is your total quota until October 21st 2024 - On Nov 1st 2024, you will drop down to 15 TB TOTAL between all of your users. The only way to add more is to add more ACTIVE users.

Basically I think the solution should be somehow keeping the RAWs on your local and having just the proxies sync with the cloud/dropox and then finding a new backup solution for the raws. Does that sound right?

We haven't set this up yet, but thus far your setup seems like the mist similar I have seen to my own needs. I have a sinology and a few QNAP servers in the main office, but need to connect to multiple editors and colorists as well as have access since im on the go a lot.

In theory, having ONLY the proxies sync isn't an issue right? How would you set that up?
I had it in my head that I had a couple of years left… is that not the case? Oops if not. I did explore They have an unlimited and they integrate with synology. I’d heard however that retrieval of large files is unreliable and they never responded to questions about that on 𝕏. Read this post, then go to the top of the thread and try to find all the branches.
... Terrible solution for 99% of You-Tubers collaborating part-time...
... OK for People running a full-on Video Editing BUSINESS...
... A Content Production business must earn AT LEAST 250k Gross to implement these solutions...
... and there are better more cost-effective setups out there...
@@photojoseph Ahhh yes... 😔You did claim to have "The ULTIMATE"... But like Ford challenging Ferrari... no... your solution is decidedly NOT the ULTIMATE... the gauntlet is thrown... and it would be fun to create some buzz and business🤔for our respective models during the challenge... people love friendly rivalry...
@@photojosephI do appreciate your work... and gave it a like...
... but perhaps my style of putting forth an argument is a bit curt. I apologize.
I agree... You did say that it was not for everyone... but since your solution calls for some substantial initial and continuous cash outlay...
...I wanted to hint to a more cost-effective solution which meets all your criteria... including perhaps an improved backup and collaborative workflow... but my solution needs a video... and since I have your attention...
Did I say this was a solution for everyone? Thanks for the criticism; it’s nice to know my hard work is so appreciated!
4:46 I am learning Davinci and setting my collaborative workflow and found this video that talks about a way to compara timeline changes:

Apart from that, you content is excelent 🙏✨
I know how to compare timelines — that is not the point here. The point of that timestamp is that there’s no good way to check out a project other than export import. You could end up with conflicting timelines which yes you could compare but the point is to not have to be in that situation in the first place.
Super informative video Joseph. Thank you so much for being so thorough with explanations.

We've tried the cloud with 3 editors one the same project with proxies in Dropbox. However the editing experience felt laggy in comparison to local editing. Did any of your editors (specially the ones that don't have the synology set-up you do) have any problems with lag during the edit? Another problem we encountered was the files going off-line or missing media and I had to relink everytime I logged into the project. I have a feeling that might have been do to the folder naming and hierachy on the raw media not being the same? Or many not setting up the Dropbox connection for each of the editors properly?

Any light you can share into this is greatly appreciated.
@AlejandroGuimoye 😊
@@photojoseph Thank you so much, Joseph! I really appreciate the reply. I will give it another shot and edit on the Cloud. Based on what you explained, I think we were moving so many things around because things were not set up correctly from the gecko and that's probably where things went south. Love your content and channel!
Lots to unpack here.

Performance: hard to say because I haven’t used non-cloud in ages and no one specifically said “hey cloud is slower”, but something when I get bangs I do question if it’s cloud related or or.

Relinking; there’s a lot of issues in Resolve with relinking if you move media around. I finally concluded that if a machine that has access to both originals and proxies tries to use the Dropbox proxies, things get ugly real quick. As long as that machine is never used away from the originals though, I’ve not had issues.

Paths shouldn’t need to be the same. Every computer stores its own local paths. There’s the path mapping setting in project settings that could be worth exploring but as long as things don’t move once connected it shouldn’t get squirrely.

Dropbox: I recently started testing black magic’s own cloud storage. While there’s features missing, it really does work well. Totally seamless. But again no good way for the primary machine to be a laptop and go mobile. Which really sucks. I think the only way is to create a whole separate user on the computer.

Hope that helps. You can book some time with me if you want to dig deeper.
Very interesting and great system, but please... the music background is so distracting, it's difficult to focus, particulary when we are a non english speaker. I would appreciate to have soft music background instead or at least no music at all, it will make the viewing way easier to watch, espacially when we have so much information to get. Keep going and thanks for you work.
That is NOT a ridiculous backhanded response. It’s a statement of fact. I mixed these on professional monitors and the mix sounds great there. I neglected to verify on lower end speakers. I now have a set of both on my desk so I can go back and forth. I’m not sure how much more accountability you want me to take, “dude”. I thanked for the feedback and said that I’ve addressed the issue. Sheesh. Y’all this is YouTube, not Netflix. We have limits and I can’t replace a video here. But hey — thanks for the supportive comment. Walking up to kindhearted feedback makes my day.
@@photojoseph The quality of our speakers isn't the issue here, dude... 🙄 What a ridiculous backhanded response. Learn to take the note!
Understood; in recent videos I’ve lowered the volume. If you watch/listen on really good speakers it’s awesome, but most aren’t, so I’ve addressed that. Thanks for your feedback.
It's great to see and understand how this could work at such an optimized level, but can a simpler workflow be implemented? Especially if the remote editor is only doing offline work and I will do the finishing work? If on my end I have camera originals and proxies on a portable SSD (like a T7) and sent just the proxies to a remote offline editor who then relinks them from a local drive on their side, is it possible for us to work collaboratively?
Absolutely. The CloudStore just adds automation. But you could render your proxies to Dropbox on your computer. The only thing you’ll have to manage manually is the extra files — graphics, audio, etc. the “non-proxiable” files, as I like to call them.
How do you handle the linking of media assets for remote workers while all working in the same project? I just tried this today and when the media is re-linked by the remote collaborator to their local proxy files the local studio shows the media as missing and needing relinking. I’m sure I’m missing something obvious but can’t figure it out..
Hm, the only thing that comes to mind is that the view is set to “originals only” (ie not proxy). If it’s set that way and you only have proxy files available, you’ll see the media as offline. Could that be it?
Not sure but it seems that Drop Box no longer has unlimited Storage with 3+ seats of advanced or any of the highest plans. =( Advanced starts at 15TB and adds 5Tb for every additional user.
I covered that recent change in the video
The music is a bit loud, I find it quite distracting
I was thinking about passing up the video but the blunt but focused reaction about that specific YouTube video criticism of its loud music— sometimes this is true!

So I watched the video, and it’s not overly loud, but it’s instrumental music that really is distracting. I think it’s that Epidemic Sound canned stock soundtrack music— maybe you could dig a little deeper in their library of canned music.

I agree with the criticism of the canned music, Joseph. It’s either Epidemic Sound or the latest TikTok viral music. 🥱😴😵‍💫🤮
@jakobdorn1658 appreciate the feedback, and those are definitely quality cans! Thanks for writing back.
@@photojoseph I listened to it on Sony XM4 headphones. I think it's mostly (for me) bad music choice. The relatively fast bpm and song genre itself sets a fast tempo for the video, which doesn't "feel right" on a tutorial/workflow video. I would also turn it down 20% volume wise

But this is all personal in the end, I don't see other people complaining so it might just be me
Sorry; it’s a balancing act. I’m curious what speakers/headphones you listened on? I monitor on a variety of monitors before publishing and this sounded balanced (to me) on all sources.
Cannot thank you enough for this breakdown. perfect solution for our small studio, now I need to upgrade our Synology
Awesome! Thanks so much; glad it helped
Great video. Just starting to get into Content Creation, live in Canada with 1.5gig Internet connection and fast machines. But am hiring an editor in India with 50 MB/s average speeds and wanting her to work "off of" the media I have locally. Do I need to invest in the Cloud appliance? Can't I just use my existing Synology 1522+ NAS for this instead? What about my local machine. I get that I have to leave it on...
@@photojoseph ehhhhh working with media over the internet WILL in fact work, provided the upload bandwidth is sufficient. I do it all the time. Home has 500 Mbps uplink, Work has a 600 Mbps uplink (both are fiber optic based). I run a site to site VPN between work and home, and just access the files on my NAS over the VPN. It's not as fast as local storage, clearly, but it works and works just fine. I do however, only work with video game clips that get recorded at 100 Mbps so I'll never max out connection when working on something.

I'm well aware most folks don't have that kind of upload internet bandwidth though, but you can't say "It'll never work". Maybe qualify the statement with "if you don't have the upload bandwidth, you'll be in for a bad time"?

That person trying to work off a 50 Mbps connection is in for a bad time though, for sure ....
@MohammedSheikhdotcom makes sense. The new sync feature and free 2TB should work but keep in mind that’s only for the media, not your other assets (graphics, music). That all still needs to be shared somehow. Dropbox is great for that.
Apologies I mean 50mbps… okay so will work off of proxies, and set to local sync … but I don’t need their cloud nas device right? I can just use my own local storage? And the free 2gig plan should be enough to edit the proxies? Sorry if I’m not making sense, trying to figure this out. Appreciate your reply and time.
The editor has 50MB/s internet or mbps? 50MB/s is 400mbps which is quite good but regardless you don’t want to work off media across the internet. It’ll never work. Just use cloud sync and let them edit from proxies or originals but it needs to sync locally.
We need you to talk about the Atem HD8 …(5hours..) 🙏🏼
LOL are you saying you want a long webinar on the new ATEM hardware?
Hey Joseph. This is a great video, but I must be in a different situation from most. I want to be able to have a collaborative system in my home for ONLY ME as the collaborative user. In other words, I am the sole editor of all projects, among 2 desktop computers, a Surface Pro, and the iPad Pro version. I have the Cloud Pod, with two 4TB SSDs connected. I try to use the NETWORK tab with the DaVinci Resolve Project Server, but cannot seem to get this going, no matter what. I have tried several different configurations, because the Blackmagic manual does not go into any depth about using the network version of the Project Server. I don't mind paying for the Cloud Project Server when I need it, but I only need it when I have a remote photographer in another state with the Blackmagic Camera App, for uploading footage on the fly. Any other time, I am the camera operator. I just want to be able to use the project server in my house on all four devices. Can you please explain how this is accomplished. I saw a video from Creative Video Tips channel, but it references V17.4, and the current one is extremely different.
Network requires setting up DaVinci Resolve Server on a computer. It’s easy enough to do and the installer is included with the Studio installer. Cloud eliminates the need for you to set up the server yourself because it’s in the cloud.
great ! but if I may, a diagram is missing that shows the networks and flows.
Thanks for your feedback. I hadn’t thought of a diagram but that’s interesting. 🤔
Great and informative video Joseph. Thanks for making this.
My pleasure! Glad you enjoyed it.
What types of videos do you make that require this set up? I have 3 Synologys. Definitely took a while to learn about and set up over a vpn, Sharing data between them in different locations
Most what you see here on YouTube. Everything I talk about here is for this! Remote editor and localization team have access to what they need. It’s pretty great.
Cool ❤
Love this New chair look!
Yeah, sadly
@@photojoseph thanks for the update.. I’ll check that video out. goodbye cool chair.
Haha thanks. That’s the “old chair” (that part was filmed back in May) but with a new grade (nearly every grade is different from that set). I need to design a whole new set now though. That chair is gone! 😢
OMG, so much information in short time, this will take time to process, but anyway, well done 👏
Thank you! Feel free to watch over and over and over 😏
Well done! =)
Thank you sir!
Does the BlackMagic NAS have an underlaying OS, like the Synology and others have a linux running in the background, this would make it pretty easy to write a script for backup.
@@chrisatlatenite Yeah, it must be a linux kernel, with 'standard' NAS. Sure they customized it, but the core functions like rsynch would still be there, all that is needed to run auto backups. Question is just, how to get in. Most small linux boards have some way to root the device...
I believe they're using the same OS as their cameras and switcher hardware - which is a custom built OS. I'm sure it's built upon UNIX/Linux.
@@photojoseph where there is a will there is a hack. Pretty much all NAS systems have a linux under it, its just a matter of getting access. Try to SSH to the your IP of your device and see what happens ;)
Nothing published. I’m not aware of any way to write additional commands for it.
Perfect... I just need a rich donor
Don’t we all!

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