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Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


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Old November 5th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #1
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Speed reference

Okay, I know I keep asking stupid questions...

Here's another one. Reason why I ask is because as you all know I am used to Vegas on a much lower powered machine than my new Mac.

I have some XDCAM HD footage on an XDCAM HD timeline. I have applied the 3-way color corrector, G-Simple Curves, and G-Super Levels from the Nattress set of filters.

Pressing space to play the timeline the computer does seem to struggle to playback smoothly, and the output to the MXO practically doesn't update frames at all!

Now, three filters on my old PC with Vegas on XDCAM HD footage would have made it struggle. However I am still amazed that a quad core Mac would struggle with this.

What sort of stuff are you guys able to do to the footage on a similar system before it starts to struggle?
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Old November 5th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #2
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Simon, I'm pretty interested in this, as someone looking to upgrade from a PC with Premiere Pro to a Mac Pro with FCS 2.
I've heard it before too, stories about Final Cut having to render much more then Premiere or Vegas.

Can anyone chime in on this subject?
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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #3
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I am getting a bit tired of the rendering. Especially when it seems like I am doing quite simple, not very CPU intensive operations, and playback is jerky even in a vastly reduced Canvas window.

I've double checked that my memory is installed in the right configuration. My HD's are all laid out as recommened to me for speed by another FCP user.

Would I gain much speed by transcoding the XDCAM HD footage to the prores codec?
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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #4
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Okay, just did a test. Transcoded one of my clips to Prores 422 HQ, put it back onto my timeline and applied the same filters. Playback settings to Unlimited RT, full framerate, and full quality picture.

The result? Totally smooth realtime playback. So it seems that transcoding XDCAM HD to Prores is the way to go from this small test.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #5
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Ahhh, now I'm getting it.

More learning needed! :-)

I was using the multiclip function, so FCP was obviously processing all my other clips at the same time even though i was just playing back the timeline. So I can forgive it now considering that it was processing 7 full resolution XDCAM HD clips with 3 filters on them all simultaneously!

I highlighted all the clips on the timeline and told it to collapse the multiclip. Playback is now totally smooth.

Although it still seems that FCP handles Prores more efficiently during playback than native XDCAM HD.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 02:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
Ahhh, now I'm getting it.

More learning needed! :-)

I was using the multiclip function, so FCP was obviously processing all my other clips at the same time even though i was just playing back the timeline. So I can forgive it now considering that it was processing 7 full resolution XDCAM HD clips with 3 filters on them all simultaneously!

I highlighted all the clips on the timeline and told it to collapse the multiclip. Playback is now totally smooth.

Although it still seems that FCP handles Prores more efficiently during playback than native XDCAM HD.
Thanks for the update! Reassuring to hear ;-)
I pressume the quality of the Apple Prores codec is very good to?
How long does it take to transcode to Prores?
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Old November 6th, 2007, 05:01 AM   #7
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I need to play around now. The file I rendered out from Color last night in Prores format was noticeably lower in quality than the original footage. But I haven't really played around enough to know whether I have set it up correctly.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #8
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Simon,

Are you running multiple, single drives or do you have an external RAID array of some type? Any HD codec will struggle esp with multiple streams for real-time playback on single-drive setups.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #9
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I'm using single drives in this system.

However what I found was that when you play back a timeline containing a multiclip FCP always processes all the camera angles even if you aren't working in the Viewer window. So my system was trying to play back 7 XDCAM HD angles with filters on all of them!

Without the filters applied it was plying back smoothly, which is quite impressive considering once again it was handling 7 simultaneous levels of XDCAM HD HQ footage.

The proper solution was to collapse the multiclip before playing back the timeline though. This resulted in realtime playback even with the filters applied.
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