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Old May 3rd, 2009, 04:32 AM   #1
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Quicktime Stutter (also in export)

I've stumbled upon a very big problem with my 5d footage: frames are dropped when played in Quicktime based apps. Worse yet, these dropped frames are also dropped when I create DV proxies.

I batch converted a lot of 5d footage to DV ntsc anamorphic in Compressor, but also tried ProRes when I found out about the stutter/dropped frames. But the stutter was there in both the ProRes and DV footage.

My partner at work saw the exact same stuff, when we tried it on his computer. At first we thought that the CF card was the problem (a-data 32gb), but that's not the case.

The thing is that the footage plays flawlessly in VLC so I'm afraid that the Quicktime h264 encoder/codec is the culprit here. There's no skipped frames or stuttering in VLC, and if I'm correct everything was fine with ffmpeg based playback.

My question is: What to do?

It's nearly impossible to avoid any quicktime based playback in OSX, and I really don't want to not use FCP, Compressor or QT.

Our computers are identical: quad core 3ghz, 8gb Ram, 9800gtx plus 1gb RAM, so the really shouldn't be the bottleneck here?

I really hope you guys can help with how to resolve this problem.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 08:00 AM   #2
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Are you describing a problem with playing the .MOV files straight off the camera or just files that have been processed to another format?

If you can provide a link to one of your problem files I can see what it looks like on one of our Macs.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 09:29 AM   #3
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Sorry if I'm a bit unclear.

I copied a whole bunch of shots from the camera to my mac. When playing them from my main harddrive (and my business partner's mac), there's stutter/dropped frames, this is also visible in the prores conversion I did, and in the DV ntsc proxies I created.

So the dropped frames happen in QT, FCP and Compressor.

The thing is that these files play perfectly in VLC (again playback from my harddrive). Everything runs smoothly.

The footage is on my work computer, but if you wouldn't mind waiting, I could easily upload a couple tomorrow. I'm thankful for any help I could get.

:)
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 10:46 AM   #4
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You have a powerful Mac Pro which should play these files OK. Are you running Leopard & do you have all the latest QT updates?

Give me a link tomorrow & will see if the movies are OK for me.

Cheers

Nigel
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:37 AM   #5
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Here it is, I hope it plays ok:

www.metopia.dk/MVI_0703.MOV


edit: it's 57mbs.

Last edited by Lars T. Therkildsen; May 4th, 2009 at 05:06 AM.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 05:51 AM   #6
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Stutters on my old G5 and my newer Intel MacBook Pro

Avey
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Old May 4th, 2009, 06:04 AM   #7
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Thanks for trying it out. I simply do not get it. It stutters on my 2007 mbp, but on a couple of late 2008-2009 MBP (latest revision)) the files run smoothly (it's not only on this file), and the stutter is placed randomly, more or less.

I can get it to play without dropped frames in vlc, and when I throw it into FCP.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 06:04 AM   #8
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It's clearly handheld footage & a bit shaky & the car is running over some rough road but I see no stuttering. I have played it in QT & VLC side by side & it is interesting the difference between the two pictures. Played in VLC there is a definite red/orange colour cast to the video but as it is at night under lights that may well be the true colour.

I played the clip on two different 2008 Mac Pros, a 2007 MacBook & a 2008 MacBook Pro with no problems. They are all running OS X 10.5.6.

Last edited by Nigel Barker; May 4th, 2009 at 06:07 AM. Reason: more precise system specifications
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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:02 AM   #9
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Thanks for trying it out. I can only get so-so fluid playback in FCP, but as soon as I export it (even as dv ntsc or aic) it's choppy again.

I'm using 10.5.6 and QT 7.6.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #10
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I imported into FCP & it plays smoothly. I imported into iMovie & it plays smoothly. I will try exporting & converting with various CODECs & see what happens.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 08:18 AM   #11
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yup late 2007 MBP (UK model if that makes any difference) quicktime 7.6 here too.

very odd.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 08:42 AM   #12
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I really appreciate all your help with this!

I've been reading a bit, and it seems like a minority of 10.5.6 users have issues with QT 7.6, this could be the case. The most important thing for me is though that the footage is okay.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 09:00 AM   #13
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I "solved" it, but then I'll have to live with the color clipping, and do the the gammafix in Apple Color.

Via Pacifist I downgraded to QT 7.4.5, which now gives me smooth playback of all my files. It seems like QT 7.6 has some issues with certain Nvidia cards, but it also seems like some ATI users might experience this as well.

It still sucks though.. just a bit less... and again thanks for your help!

EDIT: FCP wants 7.5.5, but it still works.
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