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Answerman - How Are Anime Materials Archived?


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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
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Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:28 pm Reply with quote
Interesting article, being involved in IT as a DBA I see all kinds of redundant storage schemes. Currently we are using Solid State Arrays which have excellent access speeds. The cost is something that might make a major US studio hesitate, never mind the Anime studios.

Last week I had an experience with Blu-Ray that I'd never had before. A new copy of Yurikuma Arashi had the first Blu-Ray disk be unplayable in two of the 3 Blu-Ray players we have, the third would only pull up the menu and would not go further. So, it is possible for there to be issues even with something that is nominally robust like Blu-Ray.

Mark Gosdin
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
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Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:42 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Master files, which are usually in Apple's ProRes format (a flavor of QuickTime), or occasionally uncompressed 10-bit QuickTime, get shuffled across the world via FTP, private network transmission servers like Aspera, and via the good old fashioned and time-tested method of just throwing a USB hard drive into a box and sending it via FedEx.

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway."
—Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (1989)

I assume these must be huge files, so there's gotta be a cutoff point where the digital transfer just can't compete on either time or price.

Are overseas transfers physical?
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Sakagami Tomoyo



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 421
Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:46 pm Reply with quote
mgosdin wrote:
Last week I had an experience with Blu-Ray that I'd never had before. A new copy of Yurikuma Arashi had the first Blu-Ray disk be unplayable in two of the 3 Blu-Ray players we have, the third would only pull up the menu and would not go further. So, it is possible for there to be issues even with something that is nominally robust like Blu-Ray.

Sounds more like an issue with mastering, rather than the reliability of the disc. What's on the disc is there for good, but dud data was written to it to begin with.
Blanchimont wrote:
I assume these must be huge files, so there's gotta be a cutoff point where the digital transfer just can't compete on either time or price.
Are overseas transfers physical?

I assume that would be a complex equation with filesize, urgency, cost and how well the internet connection's behaving itself at the time being the variables.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:47 pm Reply with quote
Answerman wrote:
Blu-ray is such good quality that it's potentially indistinguishable from a master tape with the naked eye. While it's not ideal (or completely uncompressed), if someday somebody has to pick up the pieces and re-release something with old Blu-ray assets, they'd still look pretty great and sound perfect.

Is the DRM/encryption on Blu-Ray discs going to make that problematic for future archivists? Even assuming the DMCA doesn't make ripping Blu-Rays illegal well into the 21st century…
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DerekL1963
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
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Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:24 pm Reply with quote
mgosdin wrote:
Interesting article, being involved in IT as a DBA I see all kinds of redundant storage schemes. Currently we are using Solid State Arrays which have excellent access speeds. The cost is something that might make a major US studio hesitate, never mind the Anime studios.


Archival material shouldn't need high access speeds... At least it used to be that the further you got from current needs, the slower and cheaper the storage media became.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:56 pm Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway."
—Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (1989)

I assume these must be huge files, so there's gotta be a cutoff point where the digital transfer just can't compete on either time or price.


I don't know how other companies do it, but I had once worked with shooting a movie, and the producer found that it was most convenient to have the lead editor right there near where they were shooting so they could give the footage to him and work on it. They were saved via a large amount of external hard drives, which were carried around manually, but because the editor was there on-site, they were only carried mostly to remove them from the shooting site and stored at the headquarters.

The cameras they used created video whose file sizes were sometimes in the gigabytes per second. They would go through about 5 terabytes of footage shot per day, which amounted to about 90 minutes.
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Hoppy800



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:06 am Reply with quote
I'd be more worried about storage of the archives, anime has one of the worst histories when it comes to storing archived masters, all manner of accidents, misplacing of masters, writing over masters (I don't think this happens anymore), and the like. US TV was the absolute worst at this for the most part until the 80's and 90's when they wisened up.
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AnimeLordLuis



Joined: 27 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:57 am Reply with quote
Now that we're living in the digital age I thought that it was easy to archive Anime series but I guess that I was wrong. Shocked
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Omu



Joined: 17 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:44 am Reply with quote
I wouldn't count on BluRays as some kind of last resort when the master tapes get lost or something. Like with any other disc (CD or DVD) their material decays and is most likely to get unreadable after some decades. That's also the reason for developing things like M-Discs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-DISC).

Currently there just isn't any storage format or media where digital preservation for more than 30 years or so can be guaranteed. Digital data is the nightmare of archivists. It's way more complicated AND expensive to preserve than things like written documents, 35mm film etc.
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Paiprince



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:34 pm Reply with quote
Rather than storing them in a Film Canister or HDD and let them to rot, they should do periodical "spring cleaning" to transfer the files to another storage device so the media remains in as pristine condition as possible and so on and so on.

That would require hiring a couple of people to do the labor, but it sure is better than ending up with decayed quality video should the need to remaster happens.
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Polycell



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:36 pm Reply with quote
mgosdin wrote:
Last week I had an experience with Blu-Ray that I'd never had before. A new copy of Yurikuma Arashi had the first Blu-Ray disk be unplayable in two of the 3 Blu-Ray players we have, the third would only pull up the menu and would not go further. So, it is possible for there to be issues even with something that is nominally robust like Blu-Ray.
How old are the players? Blu-ray is a wild beast that requires firmware updates to keep up with: the real test is if a recent computer-based player can play them.
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Mr. sickVisionz



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:31 pm Reply with quote
Do they backup the actual production files (like NLE projects, After Effects files, whatever they use to draw, vocal performances, music, sound effects, Pro Tools session data, etc) or just the final video and audio mix?
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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:30 pm Reply with quote
I read that some Hollywood studios are still storing their movies on archived 35mm film prints, even for films shot/animated digitally. It's just that reliable.
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Tylerr



Joined: 13 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:13 pm Reply with quote
Japanese anime is compressed on blu-rays?

Even though they only put 2-3 episodes on a disk?
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:46 pm Reply with quote
Paiprince wrote:
Rather than storing them in a Film Canister or HDD and let them to rot, they should do periodical "spring cleaning" to transfer the files to another storage device so the media remains in as pristine condition as possible and so on and so on.

That would require hiring a couple of people to do the labor, but it sure is better than ending up with decayed quality video should the need to remaster happens.


Even if only done occasionally, that's still pretty costly each time they do it. It's definitely the one way to guarantee nothing will ever be lost, but I'd bet it's also the most expensive, if only due to the large amount of materials consumed over time.
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