Fundamentals 101 - File Based Archiving

By - - Flame , Smoke
4 mins
Last modification: 16 Sep, 2017

Hi Everyone

A lot of people have requested that I cover archiving in the Autodesk systems products.

In Flame and Smoke, there are two types of archiving.  File-based archiving and tape-based archiving

File-based archiving is the most popular way of backing up data after a project has been completed.  This blog will focus on file-based archiving and the different types of archives you can create.

There are three type of file based archive - The media archive, the setups archive and the project based archive

1. The media archive is simply a file in which you can place all your media into a file for backup purposes.  The media archive never compresses the data so your images will always look the same as the originals and it never drops a generation.  In this archive you can store clip-libraries with their media contents such as video, audio and metadata.  The metadata can be timelines from an edit as well as any effect applied in the edit such as softFX and BatchFX.

2. The setups archive is a compressed TAR file of the project's directories which contain all the setups/setting saved during the projects progression.  Below is a diagram showing the layout of the directory structure on the system disk and where the setups folders are located. 

TIP:  Whatever you put in the project folder will be backed up with the setups.  So fonts, logos and files can be placed in a folder in the project directory and it will be backed up.



3. The project based file archive is a complete mirror of your project - so everything gets back up.  My only warning is make sure that you clean up your project before you do a project backup.  Many times I have seen 100-200 gig archives when they could really just be 25 gig because the operators left every bit of data in the projected, needed and not needed.  House-keeping is the way forward.


The first video takes you through the archiving processes inside the library and covers the three different types of file archives.

For optimum viewing, set the player to 1:1 and FULLSCREEN

(This is applicable to Smoke and Flame 2010 ext 1)


The second video takes you through the restoral process in the library covering the three different archives

For optimum viewing, set the player to 1:1 and FULLSCREEN

(This is applicable to Smoke and Flame 2010 ext 1)



Benefits of file archiving. 

- The data is still binary so you do not drop generations which is the case with tape based archiving.

- All different resolutions can be backed up into the same archive whereas tape based archiving can only back up the resolution it supports.


Lastly, I always get asked what is the best way to do file archives?  I like archiving to disks because they are cheap and easy to setup (like USB drives for instance.)  If you thinking about digital tape formats such as LTOs and DTFs (to name a few) then I definitely have an opinion on how to archive properly.  My preference is always to archive to a fileserver first and then use a digital device's own software to correctly back the data up to the medium of your choice.

Please keep the feedback coming, it is greatly appreciated.  

Keep safe wherever you are!



- The question regarding streaming media vs downloading the videos - the site appears to be designed for streaming media and I just follow the rules.. sorry..
- I am adding everyone's suggestion to my forever growing list of requested blogs to cover features and i am getting through them slowly. 
- Emyr, I know that you would like a Linux v Tezro and connecting Macs to Linux.  My knowledge is pretty basic at that level as I look at it from an operator and not from an engineer.  If you give me specifics then I might be able to help out but no promises on that.  All the exporting NFS mounts and configurations... arg!!!
- I am looking at doing a red workflow blog at some point; it's all in the list :)



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  • Smoke
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To post a comment please login or register
| 7 years ago
Hi Marek, I cannot point you directly to a web page but if you google formatting an EXT3 in Linux and mounting an EXT3 drive in Linux, it should point you in the right direction. Best of Luck! Regards Grant
Edited by b2GuPhyB 7 years ago
| 7 years ago
Thanks Grant, would u know where can i find all the info i need on web? cheers Marek
Edited by imH8XtyX 7 years ago
| 7 years ago
Hi Marek, I cannot give you all the technical instructions but your drive needs to be seen by the Linux operating system. You need to format your drive with a compatible file-system like EXT3. Once this is done, you need to mount the drive as a Volume for linux. Flame should than see the drive and you should be able to archive to it. Hope this helps. Regards Grant
Edited by b2GuPhyB 7 years ago
| 7 years ago
Hi Grant, I would like to know how do u set up external Esata disk for archiving from flame. cheers Marek
Edited by imH8XtyX 7 years ago
| 9 years ago
Hi Tashi, You can open a 2010 archive in version 2011 of the software but you cannot open a 2011 archive in a 2010 version of the software. The archivng mechanism is only backward compatible because there are too many differences between versions and it is impossible to support forward compatible archiving. Regards Grant
| 9 years ago
Hi Grant, Are project archives forward compatible?
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