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Old October 6th, 2013, 12:46 PM   #1
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FCPX settings for Macbook pro

Hi all

Got a project to do abroad (golf charity event) and the footage needs turning around to view via projector in 24 hrs or less). Here in the Uk I have a 27 iMac, 32gb i7 680 mx etc etc BUT I will have to use my macbook pro 2010 for editing (core 2 duo, 8gb ram)

As you can imagine it will be like going from a ferrari to a skateboard in terms of speed.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can speed up my workflow (capturing 1080p) ? I.e. move events projects to external drive, work with proxy, exporting file format or size etc?

Hope you can help
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Old October 6th, 2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

The first thought that comes to my mind is: Wow! What have you got yourself into???

You're right about the analogy but better with the skateboard part going uphill.

I'm running an early 2008 1067 MHz with 8 GB model and while rendering takes a lot of time the exporting will be a killer. I've been using my Mac Pro for all the heavy lifting and the MBP only when I'm away from home and only then when I have to. The less wear and tear on it the better.

Here are a few thoughts:
Try and do as much "homework" as possible, setting up the Titles and Credits ahead of time. Anything you can do up front before you get there will help. Don't use any fancy titles that take lots of rendering time, like the one with the curtain for example.

If there is any way to beg, borrow, or steal another computer to help with rendering - do it.

Abroad: Is there any problem with NTSC vs PAL format?
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Old October 6th, 2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

Thanks John

Ha you're so right, I had planned to get a new TOTR Macbook Pro when i took the job in April but alas, other things popped up as ever.

Im taking my own projector so wont be a problem with formats.

What format would you render to if you were playing the final output on a projection screen?

Thanks
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Old October 6th, 2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

What format are you working with from the camera? AVCHD? ProRes proxy is awesome to cut with on a laptop but the conversion time is kind of a killer. Especially if you have a ton of footage to sort though.

I don't think the C2Duo is going to cut it - I just did a 48 hour turnaround on a 10 minute highlight video and even my 13" i5 MBP was kinda on the edge of usable. You're going to be super stressed out trying to hit a deadline on a laptop that works slower than you do. Buy a used/refurbished 15" i7 MBP and sell it when you're done. Or like said before, beg or borrow one from a friend or colleague.

ProRes 422 always looks nice as a final render and is the native sequence codec so it will render the quickest.
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Old October 6th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

Get a decent FireWire external drive, preferably one set up as RAID 0. Also have another FireWire drive on hand for backup. Ingest the footage as soon as you can thru Final Cut to the main external drive and then copy the events folder to the backup drive after shutting down FCP. That will cover you for drive management. For editing speed, choose optimize footage when you import. This way everything will be in ProRes before you edit for which your 2010 MP will thank you for. Quicker renders and exports however you have to figure about 60gb of hard drive for each hour of footage you ingest if you are shooting 24p. If you intend to layer a lot of effects you might experience slow downs that will make the deadline difficult. Exporting simple layers and then adding the next layer to the file might make your renders faster if a bit more complex to to organize. And export the finished project to the internal drive of the MBP, exporting to another drive than the one the footage is on is always faster.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 04:57 AM   #6
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

Frankly, I've got more questions than answers but wanted to get back with a response to your question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Gadd View Post
Im taking my own projector so wont be a problem with formats.
What format would you render to if you were playing the final output on a projection screen?
Wish I could help with a format suggestion but this is not an area I'm familiar with.

As for questions, I was wondering how large the room and audience would be. Hopefully the ambient light can be blocked off to showcase the projected image to its fullest advantage.

Also, it seems Mr Hohauser has a solution really figured out. Unfortunately for me, I neither have a RAID system yet nor know all the "ins and outs" of how they work. At the moment I'm too busy to do the research as to what to look for but it is on my acquisition list for later this year. I'm concerned about storage space and the thought of loosing my videos to an accident or problem really concerns me.

The Time Capsule works fine for ordinary data files but video files are huge. Tentatively I'm looking at a system by Synology as this was suggested by someone who is a knowledgeable resource.
Synology Inc. Network Attached Storage - NEW NAS Experience
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Old October 7th, 2013, 10:01 AM   #7
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

Give a look at these, I have three units set in RAID 1 for various projects. That way the drive makes a backup internally as you use it. Not great for live capture but most of us don't do that anymore. Plus I can easily take them home to continuing working.

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini Portable RAID - Bus-Powered Portable RAID USB 2.0 / FireWire 800 / FireWire 400 / eSATA
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Old October 7th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

Thanks Guys, great responses.

I have done some pre-work already (footage I took for the charity event). I will keep everything simplistic then re-edit properly when I get back home (not ideal but needed). I will make small edits and to be honest the vast majority of the audience are just looking for funny golfing mishaps rather than colour grading and fancy titles etc.

Thanks William I will check that out now :-)
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Old October 11th, 2013, 05:59 AM   #9
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

Just curious, how does your MBP handle editing the native files?
Ingesting to 422 would take up time that you could be editing.
Isn't this this ideal situation that you'd want to edit native and just transcode the bits that make the cut in your final cut?
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Old October 11th, 2013, 06:19 AM   #10
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

He is a little sparse on the specifics, such as amount of raw footage, timing of the event, type of edit and so on, but yes you are right, if you can work in native it is faster until the effects get piled on. For example, I usually edit native like you suggest however certain high bandwidth codecs (Panasonic's 50mbps AVCHD for example) just slow my laptop down to the point that playback gets very choppy even before adding filters. I can usually live with this but I will chose to optimize select footage if clients are with me. My MacPro usually plays everything except for some very high bandwidth mp4 files that come from filmmakers. If Mr. Gadd is able to ingest while continuing to film, the extra time taken to optimize will be unnoticed.
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Old October 12th, 2013, 03:43 AM   #11
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

To be honest I very really use my laptop to edit now, I have a 27' iMac, it, 32gb ram, 680mx card etc with a fusion drive so I do all the editing on that little beast without problems.

So, I am guessing I should edit in proxy here if I am capturing in 1080 50.. then hopefully exporting to pro res 422 (i think) to show on a projector (although the projector is not an HD one so wonder if I should change the output format)

The event (golf charity day) needs capturing on the friday, edited friday night/sat morning then shown sat night.. quick turnaround hey. I have started to do some prep work (titles) but will need to capture some on course interviews also

then finally, I will add a VO to the golfers bad shots via H4N and usb lead directly into FCPX
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Old October 19th, 2013, 06:38 AM   #12
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

Heres another thought but I dont know if its possible, is there anywhere that hires out top spec Macbook Pros, for situations like this??

Just a thought

Stuart
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Old October 19th, 2013, 11:45 AM   #13
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

If your projector won't project HD, 1080p, then why not shoot and edit in SD? Make a DVD(s) if necessary and project that.

Ron
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Old October 21st, 2013, 08:29 AM   #14
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

Well, the final output will be a youtube channel in HD.

UPDATE: well im about to come home from Portugal. Very dificult to shoot the footage friday, start editing at 7pm friday (finished 4am as it was sooooooooo slow to edit).

Final edit sign off 11am, final version rendered and tested for 6pm.. Shown at 6pm.

Quite clear to me that I need a top spec macbook pro (like my home iMac 27, 32gb ram, i7 etc)

Adding the VO (Voice over) was very difficult as the footage was jumpy, hence it was not precise.

Thanks for all your help here though
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Old October 21st, 2013, 08:58 AM   #15
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Re: FCPX settings for Macbook pro

So what workflow did you go with?
What did you learn besides needing a more powerful book?
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