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Getting started with Zoom VideoFX

Zoom VideoFX is a proxy-based high-res asset management that works with a third party transcoding server, like Vantage. It also supports external archives to be integrated into user-defined workflows. At the basic level, a VideoFX setup should have an Ingest Server and a third-party Vantage transcoder. The Ingest Server that runs a few hooks to redirect high-res and transcoded files in conjunction with the Zoom check-in app on the Zoom Client. The Vantage Server does the transcoding and generates low-res and mid-res versions of the high-res asset. The components and their interactions are shown below:

 

 

In this diagram, the components are:

  • Zoom User: an authenticated user of Zoom that intends to check-in a valid high-res file into the Zoom MAM repository.
  • User Area: the Zoom User’s personal storage from where files are submitted for check-in. Also referred as ‘USAN‘.
  • Zoom Client: any one of Zoom desktop clients or Zoom app plugins that can invoke the Check-in App. Setup Zoom Client for VideoFX as shown here.
    • Check-in App: the module in Zoom Client that handles check-in of files into the Zoom repository.
  • Ingest Server: an intermediate server that is responsible for ingesting high-res files into Zoom. Typically the Zoom Preview Server co-hosts the Ingest Service.
    • Pre-check-in Hook: a Perl script running on the Ingest Server to validate the type of ingest as high-res or direct or deny check-in if the asset fails to be validated against these rules. If the high-res asset is validated then the script subsequently copies this high-res asset to the Protected Network Share.
    • Post-check-in Hook: a Perl script running on the Ingest Server, which submits the high-res file to the Vantage Server for transcoding.
  • Protected Network Share: a shared network mount location where all high-res files are stored. It also stores mid-res files from the Vantage Server. To know more about how to set up this protected network share, click here. Also referred as ‘PSAN‘.
  • Vantage Server: a server running third-party Telestream Vantage transcoder that will convert the high-res file to lower resolution versions.
    • Post-Vantage proxy-ingest Hook: a Perl script running on the Vantage Server, which ingests low-res proxy into the Zoom MAM Server after the Vantage Server generates low-res and mid-res files.
  • Zoom Server: the Zoom MAM Server in this setup that holds the repository.
    • Archive Hook: if archive module is enabled and configured, then an archive hook is triggered on ingest / user request.
    • Restore Hook: if archive module is enabled and configured, then a restore hook is triggered on user request.

 

 

Zoom MAM Server

Ingest Server

Vantage Server

Zoom Client

OS

Linux (RHEL 7+)

Linux (RHEL 7+) Windows Server 2012+

Windows 7+

macOS Sierra 10.12.6+

Perl

5.26.1.1+

Python (pip) *

3.6.2+

AWS CLI *

1.15.10+

User Area (USAN)

Write access Read access Write access

Protected Shared Network
(PSAN)

Write access (for Archive) Write access Write access

* only when using Archive module that uses AWS CLI for archiving to S3.

 

In addition to these requirements, also check for:

  • VideoFX license: check if you have the necessary license for VideoFX by following this post.
  • Vantage license: set up your Vantage Server per Telestream’s instructions here.
  • Plan out the metadata schema to be used as the folder structure for the hi-res assets as well as New Project (Adobe CC plugins) parent folder. For e.g, you could use metadata fields ‘Show’, ‘Season’ and ‘Episode’ to save in the folder structure as shown below:

 

After fulfilling these requirements, follow these steps to continue:

VideoFX needs a high-capacity storage on a network location to store the high-res, and sometimes also the mid-res files. This location should be accessible from all other components of the VideoFX system. Click here to know how to set up a third party mount as the shared location. Set up this mount location on all machines, including the Zoom MAM Server, the Ingest Server, the Vantage Server, and all Zoom Clients.

 

All servers in the VideoFX setup need to have Perl installed; all the required Perl modules used by the scripts must also be installed. In addition, the Ingest server and the Zoom MAM Server also require Python (pip) and AWS CLI. 

  1. Perl: follow this article to install Perl and its required modules.
  2. If using Archiving using AWS S3, then you also need to install:
    1. Python (pip): install Python 3.6 from here. This will also automatically install the pip tool for installing Python packages.
      Remember to select the checkbox ‘Add Python 3.6 to PATH’ before beginning installation from the installer.
    2. AWS CLI: install AWS CLI from the AWS support page. Configure your AWS CLI with the AWS Access Key ID, AWS Secret Access Key, Default region name, and Default output format as per your AWS account, as described here.

 

After setting up the environment on the servers, follow ahead to set up each server now:

 

For your Zoom Server to be ready for VideoFX, it should have VideoFX license and have several metadata properties set up. Make your Zoom Server ready for VideoFX by following this link.

 

As described in the prerequisitesthe Ingest Server should be running Linux RHEL. We need to install Zoom Preview Server on the newly setup Ingest Server. Typically, the Zoom Preview Server co-hosts the Ingest Service. If you are re-using the Zoom Preview Server to also co-host the Ingest Service, the steps below are not required.

Install Zoom Preview Server

Copy Zoom Server installer and install the Zoom Server (steps for Linux). Follow the instructions in the installer. This will install the service needed by the Ingest Server.

After installation, check that:

  • you can ping your Zoom Server from this Ingest Server machine.

  • Zoom Preview service is running and is also set to start after server startup.

 

As described in the prerequisitesthe Vantage Server should be running Windows Server. We need to install Zoom Client on the newly setup Vantage Server.

Copy the Zoom Client installer for Windows and run the installer. Follow the instructions in the installer. This will install the Zoom Client needed by the Vantage Server.

After you have set up shared network locations and environment on the Vantage Server, you need to create Vantage workflows and validate these as described here.

 

Follow this post to install the required script files for hooks on each server.

 

If you are using archive module with VideoFX, then configure it as described here.

 

Follow this post to set up Zoom Clients to make use of VideoFX.

 

Follow this post to check if your VideoFX flow works as expected.